Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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Social Media Marketing for Small Agencies

Committing to social media marketing can be a heavy lift. Read on for tips to make it easier.  

Whether you love it or hate it, social media has permanently changed our world. It has certainly opened new avenues for marketing. Whether you are firing off micro-targeted ads, responding to customer questions or concerns, or using it as a vehicle for branding and thought leadership, social is an essential digital marketing tool. Let’s look at how small agencies can tap into the power of social without becoming overwhelmed.  

Social Media 101

First, determine where your audience is. It can be tempting to create profiles on as many platforms as possible, but if you overextend yourself, you may not be able to keep your profiles consistently updated. This can make you look unprofessional and even harm your brand.

Instead, consider a data-driven approach. In our industry, it likely makes sense to start with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook, for example, has incredible reach, with 69% of American adults using the platform as of 2019.[i] LinkedIn is an ideal choice for B2B brands, with 80% of leads coming from the platform.[ii] The platform also offers powerful tools for showcasing your company, recruiting workers and even building your company culture. Twitter has significantly less user adoption – 22% circa 2019[iii] – but it is a hotbed for journalists and is perhaps the easiest platform for engaging in the type of one-to-one customer communication that social thrives on.  

Optimized Profile

After you have your platforms, create profiles that are complete and optimized. At the beginning of 2021, we wrote a blog post outlining how to do this on Facebook, and while each social media platform differs, the best practices we covered are largely applicable to other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Just remember to prioritize the use of photos, your “About” section and your business’s contact info, and you’ll already be ahead of the game.

Content Strategy

Next, establish a posting strategy. As you might expect, there is no shortage of opinions on how much to post on each platform. With Twitter, it is suggested that you post three times a day or more, while Facebook and LinkedIn get two times and one time per day respectively.[iv] Yet that cadence is likely not feasible for most agency owners. Posting once per day per platform is sufficient to keep your pages looking fresh and active. Even putting up new content two to three times per week goes a long way toward creating a vibrant social media presence.

Quality Over Quantity

With any content strategy, quality trumps quantity. Focus on thought leadership and educational content over company updates. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should neglect to promote your business or publicize your products, but you want people to see you on social as a helpful resource rather than a pesky salesperson. Here are some great examples of content to post:

  1. Company blog posts
  2. Industry news
  3. Product demos or videos
  4. Customer reviews
  5. Quick tips or advice
  6. Holiday or awareness day posts
  7. Photos of your company culture
  8. Relevant quotes
  9. White papers or reports
  10. Industry research
  11. Infographics
  12. Polls or questions

As long as your posts are visually appealing, educational and inspire engagement, you’re on the right track.

Join the Conversation

Posting your own content is only half the battle on social media. The other half is social listening and fostering conversation. First, establish your community and/or audience on each platform. Friend or follow a few people each day. Depending on the platform, you can also join groups or forums.

Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to track keywords that pertain to your business. That way, you can stay apprised of any chatter where it would make sense for you to join the conversation as a thought leader. Once again, social media is all about two-way communication, community and establishing yourself as a helpful resource. If people start seeing you that way, they may circle back around when they need the product or service your company provides.

To start easily tracking hashtags and keywords, look into a social media listening service. The good news is there are plenty of options out there that offer a free version.

Final Thoughts  Like much of marketing, social media can feel overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a designated staff person handling things. But it doesn’t have to be. By being choosy with your platforms, creating optimized profiles and establishing a solid content strategy, you can leverage these technologies


[i] Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use for My Business? – Wharton Online (upenn.edu)

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] How Often Should I Post on Social Media? | Buffer Blog

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Personal or Business Social Media Account?

Is it time for a business account? And what do you need to know about their terms of service?

I’m old enough to remember when social media felt simple. Back in the day, social was little more than a space to post silly photos or blog about your day. Fast forward to 2021 and social media is anything but simple. A highly developed industry worth over $60 billion,[1] social is now a fundamental aspect of the modern economy, a low-cost way for organizations to connect with followers and market their products and services.

Considering this explosive growth, perhaps you’ve wondered if you should establish a business account for your agency or if you can get by with a personal profile. Many of the largest social media platforms offer such accounts, each with its own terms of service. Here are some top considerations when thinking about establishing a business profile.

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

The good news is that for several of the biggest social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you don’t have much of a choice when it comes to establishing a full-fledged business profile. Take Facebook, for instance. To interact within the platform as a business, you must establish a business page. Once you do, you’ll be able to access advanced analytics and run paid advertising campaigns. The same holds true for LinkedIn. To effectively promote your business, engage with customers and grow leads, you need to create a page rather than a profile.

Twitter, however, is a bit different; the process for setting up a profile works roughly the same way as an individual account. You can establish a profile for business purposes in a few easy steps.

TikTok

What about a more contemporary platform? Can these also be leveraged for social media marketing purposes? TikTok is increasingly being used by brands due to its highly engaged membership of one billion members and counting, compelling video content and sheer variety of ad types. TikTok does require you to establish a specialized profile, but it’s easy enough for any small business to implement.

Terms of Service – Some Core Takeaways

As we’ve mentioned, each one of these platforms includes their own terms of service, and nearly all of these include important things for businesses to mull over. For example, businesses that sign up for Twitter must share “personally verifiable” information, including phone contacts.”[2] Thankfully, it is possible to disable this any time through the settings page. Other terms of service are more difficult to opt out of. For example, any information tweeted by you is considered fair game for Twitter to sell to advertisers. Be sure to never tweet out sensitive information. You can delete your tweets, sure, but Twitter will always keep a record.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, numerous aspects of Facebook’s business tools policy require further reflection. The platform’s advertising policies is one such area, as numerous criteria can get your ad rejected. Whether it be a non-functional landing page or something that violates Facebook’s community standards, it’s good practice to review the site’s advertising policies before you spend time building an ad.

Another factor to be mindful of is copyright. Prior to sharing original graphics on your pages, you should understand you are essentially signing “an agreement that gives the site the right to use the work for a variety of purposes, like displaying it, adapting it, or copying it. In these cases, the license is given without payment.”[3]

TikTok has its own novel copyright issues. With music being at the core of the site’s content, you may be wondering how the content creators or the site itself are not inundated with cease-and-desist letters. Unlike many sites, TikTok “hosts a large library of royalty-free music, often from new and upcoming artists who want to gain exposure.”[4] This allows the music to be leveraged by users “in their videos without risking copyright infringement.”[5] While some users have still received takedown letters in the past, average businesses “probably won’t face legal trouble for using music that appears in the app’s music library.”[6]

The Beginning of the Journey

Moving to a business account on social media can have major benefits for your company – giving you greater understanding of your core audiences and more means for promoting your products and services. Just be sure to review each site’s terms of services for what is allowed and what is a no-go. Then you’ll be all set to leverage social media to gain greater awareness for your brand and grow your business.

This article is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. Any opinions, or perceived opinions, are strictly those of the authors and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Consultation with an attorney for specific advice based upon the reader’s situation is recommended.


[1] Social Networking Sites in the US – Market Size | IBISWorld

[2] Kate reviews: Twitter Terms of Service(August 19, 2021) – Ko-fi ❤️ Where creators get support from fans through donations, memberships, shop sales and more! The original ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ Page.

[3] How Copyright Works with Social Media (thebalancesmb.com)

[4] How to Follow Social Media Law on TikTok: Music Copyright Edition – Ian Corzine

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

Can You Use Canva with Peace-Of-Mind?

A low-cost, easy-to-use design platform. Is it too good to be true?

Many business owners recognize the importance of having a steady stream of graphics on hand. If you are going to market your company or have an active presence on a channel like social media, you need compelling imagery to supplement your copy. The data almost unanimously backs this up, with Twitter, for instance, reporting that “tweets with photos average a 35% increase in retweets.”[i] Of course, understanding the importance of graphics naturally brings up the question of how you’re going to create them. Hiring a graphic designer can be expensive. And using Photoshop often involves a steep learning curve.

Thankfully, there are several online platforms these days that facilitate the easy creation of beautiful graphics, with one of them being Canva. Canva has a variety of pricing levels or tiers. There is a free version, as well as “pro” and “enterprise.” While each version is fairly affordable, most small agencies would likely find the free edition of Canva sufficient for their purposes, as it includes numerous templates, design types, cloud storage and more.

Given its robust functionality, on some level, Canva almost feels too good to be true – as nothing in life is truly “free.” And naturally, this may raise some understandable questions, such as whether you own the material you create on Canva and if you need to be concerned about licensing. These are questions we will address in this blog post and hopefully allay any concerns so you can start producing your graphical material.

Do You Own Your Canva Graphics?

According to Canva’s terms of use, if you upload something you’ve created independently from the site, you retain ownership and copyright. However, once you begin combining uploaded elements with pre-existing material housed within Canva’s system it becomes more complicated. In this case, you don’t own the design as much as you are permitted by Canva to use it for promotion. You don’t have to worry about someone contacting you later and asking for compensation.

What Should I Know About Canva Licenses?

So, what do we mean when we say that you have permission to use your Canva creations? Well, Canva essentially gives you a license to use all free templates or images on Canva to create different pieces of collateral that promote your business, such as flyers, banners, social media graphics and so on. The one thing you cannot do is create an image with materials owned by the platform and then directly sell that graphic. This is a violation of the site’s policies. Another prohibited action is to use templates or stock imagery as the standing logo for your business.

Canva has two other types of licenses to be aware of:

  • One-time use licenses: As a free Canva user, you will have access to hundreds of thousands of free stock imagery and other design elements. You can mix and match these assets to create myriad designs, and you don’t need to take any additional action to obtain permission. A large portion of the site’s content, however, is watermarked. To access and appropriately use this material, you must buy a one-time user license, which does carry some modest restrictions:
    • For example, you cannot use your design’s stock imagery in more than one design. (Although you can use it on more than one platform, such as on your website and social media.)
    • You also cannot use the stock image in designs made outside of the Canva.
    • Finally, there is a hard limit on the amount of time you can reproduce the image, with the ceiling currently being 2,000 times.

  • Canva Pro unlimited licenses: With a pro subscription, however, you are given unlimited access to the platform’s content, and you have the freedom to use Canva’s entire catalog of stock imagery and other design elements across multiple pieces of collateral. There is nothing additional to pay because the unlimited license is included as a part of your subscription.

A Viable Option?

Canva is a viable option for any organization dealing with real constraints in time or money. We live in a visually oriented society, meaning that to communicate effectively with your target audiences, you need to be able to pair your messaging with compelling photos or designs. With its relatively inexpensive price point, deep repository of images and templates, and the option to buy licenses for additional design materials, Canva can help small agencies and firms put out content that wows and potentially even converts their audiences.

This article is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. Any opinions, or perceived opinions, are strictly those of the authors and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Consultation with an attorney for specific advice based upon the reader’s situation is recommended. 


[i] Social Media Engagement: What Is It & How to Increase It (socialfiremedia.com)

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Demystifying Social Media Analytics

Social media has its own language. Be sure to become fluent.

A great benefit of social media marketing is the analytics that are available for little to no cost. However, sometimes when evaluating a campaign, it can feel as if you are drowning in data and that more questions are being raised than answers. From understanding what analytics to prioritize to knowing what each metric means, reviewing your work on social media can be far from straightforward. The following tips can serve as a helpful primer on setting your campaign’s goals and properly interpreting the results.

Determine Your Goals

Before you can start evaluating your social media campaigns, you must determine what your goal was in the first place. Was it to drive more people to your website? Develop a broader reach on social media? Cultivate leads for your business? Generate sales? Once you clarify your goal, you’re ready to zero in on which metrics to scrutinize further.

Awareness Metrics

A helpful way to think about which social media metrics to examine is to decide if your campaign is intended to increase awareness or drive action and engagement. Let’s say you are trying to increase awareness of your agency. Some major metrics to look at could include:

  • Impressions
  • Net follower gains
  • Page reach

Impressions capture how many people saw a post on a given platform, while net follower gains describe the number of people who followed your page and are now receiving updates on your activities.

Both are simple to track. You can see impression figures for an individual post with a simple click. If you are looking to track them over time, you can access the built-in analytics on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Follower numbers are also prominently displayed on a user’s profile on each site – allowing for easy review.

Page reach is used on Facebook and describes the total number of unique people who saw your page’s content within a specified time frame. LinkedIn has a similar metric called “page views,” which is the total number of page views in a designated period. To view this metric and collect necessary data, navigate to the analytics platforms within Facebook or LinkedIn. Twitter does not contain a comparable metric, but you can view impression data for your tweets (both individual and cumulative) by visiting https://analytics.twitter.com/ and logging into your account.

These metrics are important for agents to be mindful of, as social media is about building brand identity and fostering community just as much as it is about driving people to your website or inspiring sales. Agents should evaluate how their output on social is resonating, making tweaks to language, messaging and hashtags based on the results they are seeing.

If emotional-based messages are not working, you could try posting about the tangible benefits you can provide to your customers. And if the hashtags you’re incorporating don’t seem to increase the number of people viewing your content, you can always apply a hashtag research tool to improve how your posts are connecting with your audience. 

Action or Engagement Metrics

What are the analytics you should focus on if your goal is to drive action with your content? Some pertinent metrics would include:

  • Likes and favorites
  • Post shares and retweets
  • Conversions and click-through rate (CTR)

Not all metrics are created equally. While it can be satisfying to receive likes on a carefully crafted post, they may not do much for your brand or make an impact toward your campaign goal.

Typically, it is more valuable to receive engagement based around a business priority. For example, although sharing or retweeting a post is technically an engagement, it provides the type of organic awareness of an agent’s operations that cannot be matched by your own posting.

Conversions, which means that a user has navigated to your site and performed a specific action, and CTR, which measures how many people have clicked on a link embedded in your post, are usually the most valuable form of engagement. The main social media platforms provide an easy mechanism for tracking CTR. LinkedIn, for instance, offers several metrics (including CTR) to review at the bottom of each post, while Facebook offers a similar array of helpful insights in the same location.

Tracking conversions is a bit more complicated and can require some familiarity with additional technologies like Google Analytics. However, numerous online resources can walk you through how to gauge whether your social media is inspiring the actions you want to see on your website, such as people signing up for consultations or joining your agency’s email list.

Take Advantage of Social’s Power

Social media has changed how people connect, obtain information and conduct business. While these technologies can take some time to master, they can be incredibly advantageous for an agent’s operations. The trick is to have a strong idea of what it is you are trying to accomplish via social media and a firm understanding of how to measure your results. By applying these principles, you will start seeing a positive impact and ultimately make progress toward your business goals.

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Optimize your Facebook profile like a pro

Put your best foot forward on the world’s largest social platform with these easy-to-implement tips.

You’ve done it. You’ve finally set up a Facebook page for your business. It’s time to leverage the platform’s nearly 2 billion subscribers, engage directly with your customers and promote your products. But before you start crafting your first posts or preparing your weekly hashtags, you must ask yourself a key question: Are the basics of my profile optimized?

If you are brand new to using Facebook for business, the answer is likely no. While it is tempting to immediately start marketing on the platform, it’s critical to not skip optimizing your profile. For many businesses, Facebook is the number one way in which their customers will connect with them and form long-term judgments about their brand. You want to be sure that you are putting your best foot forward by implementing the following tips.

Beautiful Photos

Any Facebook page includes both a profile photo and a cover photo, each of which needs to be formatted correctly. Begin with your profile photo. Typically, for most businesses, this will be your company logo. It is highly recommended that you resize your image before you upload it, as Facebook will compress photos to make them fit the platform’s specifications. For instance, your profile photo will be displayed 170×170 pixels on computers, 128×128 pixels on smartphones and 36×36 pixels on most phones.

Remember that your photo will also be snipped to fit within a circular-shape template that Facebook uses for profile photos. You will need to ensure that your logo image has excess whitespace around it, which will then guarantee that the entirety of your logo shows up within the circle. Utilizing photo editing software like Photoshop or a free online platform like Pixlr can help you make this change.

Your page’s cover photo needs to be approached the same way. The ideal dimensions for your cover photo are 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall for computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on mobile devices. To make things easier on yourself, seek out an online tutorial. Hubspot’s guide to the Facebook cover photo is particularly helpful and includes a free, downloadable template to help you optimize it.

There are other considerations to keep in mind regarding your profile’s photos. You will want to make sure they accurately reflect your brand. Is your logo the correct version? Do the colors, words and imagery that are in your cover photo fit with your organization’s style guide? Be sure you can answer “yes” to both of these questions before you proceed.  

Keep It Fresh and Accurate

Once you have some great-looking photos in place, you’ll need to update your profile’s logistical information. A freshly updated page has become even more important during the coronavirus pandemic, as more people are online than ever before. While you don’t need to necessarily use every field that Facebook offers, you should strongly consider providing responses for the following sections:

  • Category: This field will increase your chances of your company showing up in Facebook’s internal search.
  • Address, Hours and Additional Contact Info: While always meaningful, these fields have become exponentially more important for businesses during the pandemic. With some customers now limiting their face-to-face engagement with businesses do to health concerns, you will want your customer-base to be aware of any changes to your hours and to know how they can get in touch with you regarding questions or concerns.
  • About: This is your opportunity to offer an “elevator pitch” that sums up who you are and what you’re offering. Make it short and succinct. Additionally, consider knitting together your digital presence by providing links to other social profiles and your website.

Don’t Forget Your Call to Action

In addition to its other functionality, Facebook provides what is known as a “call to action” (CTA) button. With a bright blue color, and given its prominent location near the top of a business page, this is another aspect of Facebook that merits careful optimization.

Facebook allows you to modify the button’s text and choose from a variety of different CTAs. You can direct people to click on the button to book an appointment, call you, download an app and much more. Don’t forget to insert a URL into the button and that your URL’s destination aligns effectively with your chosen CTA.

Onward and Upward

Now that you’ve got a fully-optimized profile, you’re truly ready to begin taking advantage of the world’s largest social network. Once you start pulling people into your business page’s orbit by creating great content, they will have everything they need to learn who you are and what you have to offer. From there, it is onward and upward. Continue nurturing your profile. The more work you put in, the more progress you’ll make toward your business goals of achieving greater recognition, reach and additional sales.

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