How To Promote Your Product or Service on Instagram

Are you posting regularly on Instagram and ready to take it to the next level? Perhaps you have a course, coaching session, or product you’d like to sell. If so, then Instagram is definitely the place to be! Let’s talk about how to promote your product or service on Instagram.

A great way to promote your business is with campaigns. A campaign is a targeted approach to getting more people to your products or services pages. While you may be posting daily and providing value to your audience, campaigns have set goals in place. You’ll be talking about your products or services in your posts, and mixing those posts into your daily IG posts. There will be a set strategy in place, which is what we will be talking about in this blog post. Plus, there’s an awesome freebie at the end with my top 7 Instagram strategies, so keep scrolling (or if you’re impatient, check it out here).

So how do you run a campaign on Instagram? Here are 5 tips:

Use the “Link in Bio” feature

If you’re trying to send people to your product or services page, make sure it’s in your bio. That is the first place people look when they land on your Instagram. Think of some juicy copy which will entice people to click. Here’s an example:

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You read this and you know exactly what she does, and what her podcast is about.

I’ve also seen a lot of people lately using linktree. People will click on your linktree link, which leads them to another page where you can put a few different links, like this:

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When people click on the linktree link, this is where they’ll land:
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Whenever you post a campaign image to Instagram, make sure to remind people to click the link in your bio.

Craft branded images

When you’re running a campaign, you want to strategize ahead of time. Create posts for Instagram that are relevant and have a theme going. For example, pick a color palette, and always include your logo or website on it. When people see this photo/color scheme, they should know it’s from you. For desktop tools, try out Canva, PicMonkey or Photoshop. For apps, my go-to is Over app. You can overlay text and images on a photo, which makes it super easy to add your logo.

Use Instagram stories

Instagram stories is huge right now and has surpassed Snapchat. If you’re not already using it, it’s time to get on it! This is also another avenue for you to promote your products or services. Use Instagram stories to be more relatable to your audience, and build relationships. Talk about your product or service that you’re promoting, but also use this platform to provide value and answer any relevant questions people might have. For example, if you’re a personal trainer promoting a new training package, use Instagram stories to talk about personal training in general. Topics could include 5 reasons you should hire a personal trainer, 3 ways to find a good personal trainer for you, a quick workout how-to, etc. Now people watching see your expertise, and will be more warmed up to buying from you. Here are more tips on how to use Instagram stories for your business.

Share relevant tips and tutorials

Tips and tutorials are huge on social media. There’s a reason you see them being shared left and right. Think of a few tips related to the product or service your launching or promoting. Let’s say you’re running a campaign for a yoga studio class package, start sharing videos, photos or IG stories that provide value. This could be pose tutorials, 5 tips for your next yoga practice etc. Then in between all of that content, you are interweaving your package. For example, at the end of an Instagram story with your tips, you’d say, “Want to grow your practice? We’re offering XYZ if you sign up by X date!” Regularly provide value then promote your product or service, and you’ll see your Instagram campaign grow organically.

Use user-generated content

If you have an engaged following, using user-generated content can help grow your campaign even more. I’ve helped one client (a protein powder) gain followers and sales by sharing content from other fans. Search through your hashtag to see what other people are posting about you or your product. Or you can also run a contest where you ask people to post photos on Instagram, which you will then share. For example, if you’re a coach, you could ask people to share photos of their own workspace using a relevant hashtag (let’s say #deskselfie). Then, you go through the photos and choose which ones you will re-share on your profile. How will this help your campaign? People love when you share their content. So if you mix this in with your promotional posts, it’s a good way to boost engagement and get people talking. Perhaps they will tag their friends on your profile in order to recommend you!

These are just a few tips to help you create a campaign on Instagram for your business.

Want even more Instagram strategies? Check out my free Instagram guide where I share 7 tips to get more engagement, leads and clients from your Instagram:

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Want to save this post for future reference? Pin the image below so you can come back to it:

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Hope these tips help – leave your Instagram handle below so I can give you a follow!

How To Find The Best Hashtags For Your Business

My last post on Instagram focused on how to use Instagram stories for your business – well, a lot has changed with the platform since then!

I will go over those changes in upcoming posts, but today we’re going to focus on how to find the best hashtags for your business. Hashtags are very important on Instagram, so it’s important to know how to use them to your advantage.

Use General Hashtags

If you’re a business owner, you already have a niche or theme. Start writing down hashtag ideas that relate to that – it can be as general as possible! For example, if you’re a personal trainer and want to get more clients, you can use general hashtags like #personaltrainer #fitness #gym #gymtime #igfitness.

While these hashtags will have thousands, if not millions, of photos, it’s still possible to find new follower. If they’er perusing that hashtag feed, and your photo stands out, they’ll click through and hopefully follow you. That’s why you need to make sure your photo is eye-catching and interesting. Think about what would make YOU stop scrolling.

Mix In Specific Hashtags

You also want to start getting more specific. Using hashtags with smaller audiences means even more targeted potential followers. Going back to my personal trainer example, you could use hashtags for your state. You could also use #crossfit or specific area you’re a personal trainer in, like #bootcamp #TRX #TRXtraining #postpartumfitness #prenatalfitness.

I’ll throw in another example. If you’re a photographer, what do you specialize in? Wedding photos? Infant photos? Do you take minimalist photos? Abstract? Find those hashtags are start using them.

These hashtags narrow you down even more. If someone is interested in wedding photography, they will be looking through that hashtag and be able to find you easily.

Find Community Hashtags

Are you an NASM trainer? I bet you there is a hashtag for that. If you’re part of an organization, search for their hashtag. There are also tons of social media communities around various topics. So, there might be a post-partum fitness community whose hashtag is #mommiesgettinghealthy or something along those lines. That is a huge, untapped potential for you. You now found a community of people talking about their problems and pain points that YOU can solve/help them with!

Using my photography example, find communities of people who you think will be interested in your services. Something like #photographer might connect you with more photographers, but that’s not your goal. Think specifically as to who is looking for you. If you’re a wedding photographer, you could be using #TheKnot because you know that is a community for brides.

Start doing some research and get creative with it. Think about what your ideal client would be searching for.

Having good hashtags is an important step for success on Instagram. This is the number way people will find you. While this tool is for Twitter hashtags, it can help you brainstorm some hashtags ideas for your niche.

Leave a comment below with your Instagram handle so I can check you out and give you a follow!

ColourPop Case Study: How Social Media Can Increase Your Sales

Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand the cycle of how social media reaches an audience and results in sales for a company. From the second that a post goes up, what exactly happens?

For many individuals, it is hard to stray from the thought that social media posts and ads should lead to direct sales. For the most part, social media posts do not lead to direct sales. A social media post goes through many phases and reaches many individuals before one can see a substantial increase in sales.

I would like to share an experience with you that might help to clear this idea up. Recently, I purchased lip products from an online cosmetics retailer called ColourPop. This purchase wasn’t from seeing an ad on Facebook and thinking, “Hm, these look nice! I’ll purchase them to try them out”. The first time that I learned about this company was through my boss at work. She was raving about this company called ColourPop that has affordable cosmetic products and that I should give it a try! She had seen a video on YouTube of a makeup artist trying it out and reviewing the product. Looking at the infographic at the end of this post, my boss would be known as “The Connector”. She told me how she had been telling all of her friends about this company and that they also loved the products. So, I decided I would take a look at their website, read some reviews online and watch YouTube review videos. A little while later, I sat down and ordered some lip sticks. Let me tell you, these products lived up to their expectations!

What did I do next? Of course I posted all about the products on my social media platforms (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) exclaiming how awesome these lip sticks were. I am seen as “Influencer #1”. Aside from posting on social media, I also had done what my boss had done. I went to my friends and raved about ColourPop. Furthermore, a few of my friends saw my social media posts and ordered the product just from seeing my reviews on social!

My power of influence led to my friends, “Influencer #2” and “Influencer #3,” to get online and purchase some products themselves. They received their products in the mail, and while that was happening, my post on social media was blowing up! People wanted to hear more about these products. I eventually directed them to ColourPop’s Facebook page and the cycle continued.

This might seem confusing to some, and it might take a couple read throughs to fully understand how the system works. Social media CAN increase sales in a company. It may take some time to reach the right people, however, once it reaches that one person called “The Connector”, your products and services may very well become the talk of the town. I’ve had clients who don’t get immediate sales, and then believe there is no ROI in social media marketing. This is just not the case. Think of social media as word of mouth marketing. By being present on social media, you’re giving your fans an outlet to post about your products, as well as share your pages with their own friends. Patience is key!

To stay up to date with social media news, tips and more, join my free Facebook group!

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6 Ways To Create The Best Instagram Content

Instagram might seem easy enough as a social media platform – just upload a picture and wait for the likes to come in, right?

While this might be somewhat true, there are a few tactics you should implement if you really want to grow your Instagram account and create quality content. I have helped my clients gain new, loyal followers on Instagram, which leads to increased brand awareness and sales!

Here’s how to do it:

Take Photos In Natural Light

Always try to take your photos in natural light. NO FLASH. It just looks much better than when you use flash. Even if it looks dark, you’ll be able to edit it later on to make it brighter. You’ll learn more about what my favorite photo editing apps are at the end of this post in my free guide!

Weekly Features

Quotes…tips…”_____ of the week”…these are all great weekly features to incorporate into your account. For example, if you’re a clothing boutique, you can showcase an outfit or new arrivals each week. By having weekly features you’ll always have something to post. Try doing weekly quotes, tips, behind-the-scenes photos, etc. If you do create quotes or tips make sure you add your logo or website so that if it’s shared, it will be traced back to you.

Feature Photos From Fans

Have you seen accounts “regram” or repost photos from other accounts? This is a great way to grow your account, expose your fans to other related accounts, and connect with other users.
This is something I regularly do for clients. It could be from our own fans or it could be photos that I find while scrolling through the “explore” feed or certain hashtags (which is why it is important to use hashtags – other people or brands can discover you). If you share someone’s photo make sure to tag them so that they get the alert. This could lead to new followers for you since they will be curious as to who shared their photo, head over to your account, and hopefully give you a follow! It’s a great way to expose new people to your business or brand.

Use Hashtags

I think it’s pretty common knowledge now to use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. But some people are still afraid to use too many hashtags. I don’t really think that’s possible on Instagram. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags and I highly suggest you use as many as possible. Hashtags are the way that people will find you. When I do for clients is post the photo with a caption and then add hashtags in a separate comment so that it doesn’t clutter my initial caption.

There are lots of tools online to search for relevant hashtags to your brand such as hashtagify.me and Iconosquare. You can also use the Instagram search bar to look for hashtags and see how many post there are for each hashtag. So if a certain hashtag has 6 million posts you know that is popular however your post might quickly be lost in the shuffle. So use a mix of popular hashtags and those that might not have a huge audience yet. Here’s an example of a hashtag search for #running on Iconosquare. As you can see, there are lots of related hashtags and you can also see how many photos are tagged in each:

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Connect With People Through Hashtags

Going along with hashtags, make sure to also search through relevant hashtags and connect with new people. I always advise businesses to regularly follow new people they find through the search function. Furthermore, leave a relevant and meaningful comment on accounts…definitely more than just “Great pic!” We all know social media is about being SOCIAL, so make sure you’re doing just that!

Use Photo Editing Apps To Look Like a Pro

I rarely post a photo as is. I use a few different photo editing apps to make sure I get the photo exactly like I want it to be. There are also other apps I used to create quotes or tips right from my phone where I can also add in the brand logo. One of my favorite apps is called Over. You can create quotes on a blank background or choose from their myriad of free background images. It also allows you to add text or photos and has many paid options as well.

Try these photo editing apps to have insta-famous photos! | http://pattyrivas.com

If you want to learn more about the tools they use on a regular basis download my free PDF where I go over exactly what apps I use and what their features are. Click the orange box below to get your photo apps guide!

I believe Instagram is the easiest platform to be on right now as a business. It’s a visual platform which makes it a great way to showcase your products and show your fans the “behind-the-scenes” of your business.

It’s easy to connect with people related to your brand and find potential loyal fans. Remember, because it’s a visual tool your photos need to be great. Using these apps will help you create stellar content that will capture people’s attention in their Instagram feed. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions at all!

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales

Pinterest is an often disregarded social media platform but it has been very powerful in driving traffic to various blogs and websites in recent years and it can be powerful for you too. With the right strategy Pinterest can help you to significantly increase sales and here’s why: most of the users on Pinterest search for and pin things that they eventually wish to purchase. People are also drawn to Pinterest because of the high quality images and they are more willing to purchase what they see versus what they read. So what can you do to increase your sales with Pinterest?

The Pin-It Button

The Pin-It button allows visitors to your site to add images from your website to their Pinterest boards. When they do this, others on Pinterest will be able to see this content from your website as well. This will increase your web traffic and if the image directly links to a product, a number of visitors may make a purchase right away. You’ll see with  my own image below, if you hover over it, a “Pin it” button appears. You can easily install this through your blogging platform. I use WordPress and use the “jQuery Pin It Button For Images” plugin.

How To Use Pinterest To Increase Sales and Web Traffic | http://pattyrivas.com

Engage With Other Users

You can turn your Pinterest followers into customers or visitors to your website by pinning consistently so that your pins appear in your followers’ feed. You can also use apps like Viral Woot to schedule pins. You should look at your followers’ boards and re-pin content that is relevant to your business. As I’ve mentioned before, social media is about SHARING as well as promoting your own content. The more you share other people’s content, the  more others will find you and engage with your brand. As you find new accounts to follow, leave meaningful comments on pins that interest you. All of this is very similar to what I have talked about in other posts about gaining followers on social media.

Join Groups & Group Boards

If you’re a blogger, there are a myriad of Facebook groups you can join that will help you increase your Pinterest following and engagement. I am also a health & fitness blogger, so I have found fitness groups where we share Pinterest links and pin each other’s content. Search for your niche and see what you can find. If this doesn’t work for you, search for group boards on Pinterest. It’s a great way to collaborate with others and get way more eyeballs on your content. Search your niche/topic in the Pinterest toolbar, then click “boards” and relevant boards will show up. You’ll know if one is a group board because it will have a little icon showing multiple people. Here are a few examples:

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 11.55.20 AM When you join a group, as I mentioned above, make sure to share other people’s stuff as well as your own. Re-pin the group’s content onto your own relevant boards. Lastly, you can also make your own group board and invite others in your niche to it.

Make Your Boards Searchable

People are using Pinterest like a search engine. For example, when someone is searching for vegan recipes, they will type “Vegan Recipes.” If you want your board to be found, you need these key words in your board name and board description. Sure, having a fun board name (like I Love Veggies!) might stand out, but when people search for certain terms, your boards won’t show up.

Use The Right Dimensions

Long, skinny pins tend to do the best on Pinterest. So when you’re creating graphics, keep this in mind. I know it’s an extra step to create an image specifically for Pinterest, but if you’re looking to increase web traffic and conversions, this step is key. Here’s a handy guide on Pinterest image dimensions. Pinterest can be a major source of traffic to your website and that traffic can convert into actual sales if you use the right strategies on this platform. That’s why I created a Pinterest checklist for you! Download the checklist so each time you post you’re sure that you’re doing it right.

Start pinning, create good branded content, and eventually the visitors and customers will come pouring in.

Not sure how to create branded content? Stay tuned! I’ll be having a training on this soon.

How To Create A Social Media Marketing Plan

Did you know sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are now responsible for more than 30% of all website traffic, according to a study by Shareaholic.

Now more than ever it is so important to have a solid social media strategy in place for your business or brand. I work with various clients (and also on my own content for this blog and my fitness blog) and create a social media strategy on a daily basis, but also develop plans that span months and even throughout the year.

Tips For Creating The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Plan

If you’re just posting randomly and sharing content sporadically, you shouldn’t be surprised when your social media results and ROI are less than stellar.

That’s why I’m going to share a bit of my own daily strategy and include a freebie:  a weekly social media planner PDF which you can download below.

The social media planner includes:

  • Worksheets for planning campaigns around holidays and important events
  • Tools for scheduling your social media so you’re not tied down to a computer all day
  • How to use hashtags to grow your following
  • Types of content to post (tips, quotes, promotions, etc.)

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Here are a few of my tips and tools used when it comes to creating a social media marketing plan.

Use Hashtags

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags – they will help people find you and engage with you. I would say limit Twitter hashtags to 2-3, but with Instagram you can use as many as you want! According to Buffer, there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point when it comes to hashtagging on Instagram. Hashtag away! Here’s an interesting image (from the same Buffer article) relating to hashtags and Twitter: How many hashtags should I use on Twitter?

In order to find relevant hashtags, just do a simple google search. You can also use tools like Hashtagify and Hashtag Scout. Lastly, use the search tool on Instagram (under tags) and simply start typing keywords relating to your niche. It will give you a list of hashtags and how many people are posting under that hashtag. So how do hashtags relate to your social media marketing plan? In my workbook, there is a page where you can list all hashtags related to your brand or business. Start using these regularly in your posts in order to increase your followers, retweets, shares and engagement. Experiment with different hashtags and monitor which ones do best for you.

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

Create A List Of Content

This is something I do on a daily basis for my clients. While this is my full-time job, it doesn’t have to be yours, so don’t worry, I will explain how you can do this quickly! Keeping a list of relevant content you stumble on means that you always have a vault of links to post on your social media platforms. You will no longer sit down at your computer and wonder, “Hm, what should I post today?” I like to use Google Docs for my list, that way I can share it with my team and have them edit/add to it as well.

I also color-code each link so I can quickly see what “theme” it is under. For example, for my fitness related client, some of my colors are for running related topics, lifting related topics, healthy recipes…you get the gist of it. So how can you do this quickly? Create a google doc, then once a week dedicate however much time you can (I suggest at least 30 minutes but whatever you can do will help you a lot), to finding links to share. Here’s how you can find them:

  • Set up Google alerts for a specific keyword, like “business tips.”
  • Search your keywords on Pinterest and share people’s links. Make sure to tag them in your post so that they see it and engage with you. Most likely, they will also re-share.
  • Search through hashtags on Twitter. When people share news articles or blog links, they’re most likely using hashtags so that others will see it and share it (hence my first point of this post).
  • Check out Stumbleupon. I have found a lot of cool and interesting links on there that I end up re-sharing.
  • Trending topics. What is trending on Facebook and Twitter? If it’s relevant to you, share it and get people talking. Ask them what their thought is on whatever the trending topic is…get people talking!

When you plug in links into your Google Doc, also add in their Twitter handle or whatever social media account you will be tagging them in. It just makes it easier to copy and paste later on into your scheduling account. I made this Google Doc template for you so you can start curating your own content. Just save it to your own account and you’ll be able to edit it. Let me know if you end up using it! 

Plan Ahead & Use Themes

I visited a social media agency a few years ago in January. Guess what? They were already planning their campaigns and promotions for Back To School time in September. Now I’m not saying you need to think that far in advance, but planning out your year really helps with your strategy, even if it’s a month or two in advance. For example, right now at the time of this publishing (December), you could be planning your campaigns relating to New Year’s resolutions, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. Download my workbook to find a content theme calendar as well!

Schedule Your Own Content

Do you have a blog? Make sure you’re sharing your content! While I always refer to the 80/20 rule (80% of your content should be from other sources, 20% should be your own content), you need to be consistently sharing your own posts and articles as well. I mainly use TweetDeck to schedule my twitter posts, but other tools are Hootsuite, Buffer, and Edgar. Edgar allows you to keep a vault of scheduled content that gets shared and reshared (instead of manually keeping a list yourself), which is pretty cool, but it is a paid app ($50/month).

Whenever I publish a new post I schedule it and make sure to schedule it for a few times that week. I would made a copy of the Google Doc I shared above and keep all your links in there as well. You should not only be sharing your latest posts, but older ones as well. Did one of your posts go viral? Keep sharing the heck out of it!

Create Branded Content

This is super easy once you create a template. I’m sure you’ve seen people share inspirational quotes or tips. Instead of re-sharing those, create your own. I create my “Lightning Quick Tips” and share across my social media profiles. I just have a blank template, and each time I want to create one all I have to do is add the tip in. Here’s an example of one:

Social Media Tips

Include your logo so that way if people do re-share it, your business name and logo will be right there. This is another thing you can do quickly if you just set aside time on the weekend to do it. I use Photoshop, but there are online tools like PicMonkey or Canva that you can use. If I’m on the go, I use the app Over to add text to an image, and the same app to add my logo to it as well. Super easy. Want more tips relating to social media and a handy dandy workbook to write down all your ideas and strategies? You can download my free Weekly Social Media Planner workbook below. Use it to get more organized when it comes to your social media and jot down your content ideas!

Get Your FREE Social Media Planner

I’m working on an audio training series now that I’m really excited about. To get more results based social media marketing tips, click to be added to my VIP Waiting List for the brand new 3-Part Kick Butt Social Media Profit Program AND receive my Social Media Planner which will have you navigating the social media minefield like an Admiral in no time.

Yes, put me on the waitlist for the “Take Your Social Media From 0-100 in 3 Days” training!

Drop your social media links in the comments if you’d like me to follow you and check out your page. Good luck with creating your plan!

My Top 3 Social Media Analytics Tools

Social media marketing without a strategy is just guessing. Using analytics helps you see what the best content to post is for your brand as well as many other little things like best time to post, who your followers are following, and what content gets the most engagement.

I use three tools on a regular basis, well technically four if you count Facebook analytics but that might be a whole separate post in and of itself :) I’ll explain each below, but I also included a video at the bottom of this post where I go through each website with you and you can follow along on my screen.

Use these social media analytics tools to monitor your brand and create better content!

Iconosquare

Iconosquare is a website to track your Instagram analytics. You sign in with your Instagram login and then if you’re able to see a whole bunch of data. You can find out who’s not following you, who is following you, when most of your followers are online, your most engaged photo ever, you’re most commented photo ever and much much more.When it comes to Instagram posting at the right time is key. You really are only posting anywhere from 1 to 3 times a day so you want to make sure that it’s during a time where the most people will see it.

Use iconosquare to find out when those peak times are and post around those times. Also, by seeing what your most popular content is you can see what your fans like. You might think a piece of content is amazing yet something else is what is really popular and engaging with your audience.

Lastly, I love that iconosquare gives you analytics throughout the years or months you have been an instagram user. You can see how your account has grown over time.

Twitter Analytics

Twitter has its own analytics website which is actually very detailed and helpful. I will talk about a third-party website in a second but the Twitter analytics tool works very well.With this tool you can see the history of your follower growth and again, track your content and how well it does. You can see which pieces of content gets the most engagement, the most impressions, and the most favorites and retweets. So if a certain type of tweet that you use is getting a really high percentage of engagement, then you need to keep doing that. I have found the most engaging types of Twitter content is when I share someone else’s content and tag them (such as “check out this recipe from @soandso, it looks delicious! {link}”
Usually they will retweet and therefore their followers will see it and your brand name/Twitter handle too.

Followerwonk

Followerwonk is another Twitter analytics tool. You can use this in a way similar to iconosquare but for Twitter. You can see when the majority of your Twitter fans are online and therefore post your content around those times.

If you regularly push links to your own blog posts, or your online store, or anything promoting your brand, make sure that you are posting that stuff during these peak times. And then fill in the rest of the time throughout the day with other stuff like sharing other peoples content, images, funny memes, etc.

Followerwonk also lets you see the demographics of your Twitter followers. You can see what percentage are male versus female, or age groups, or even what country they’re from. You can also see which of your followers has the most followers themselves, so if you want to target certain types of people, you can see who your most influential followers are.

Here’s my video showing you each of these websites and how I utilize it (for some reason it is not embedding in this post).

As always, if you have any questions, just leave a comment below or tweet me @socialstormedia and I will get back to you!

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3 Ways To Improve Your Social Media & Engage More Students

As a higher education professional, I see firsthand how student affairs professionals are eager to use social media yet aren’t using it effectively. We all want to use social media to promote our events and programs, but there are different ways to do so when it comes to reaching college aged students.

While college students are “always on their phone” and on social media, they don’t necessarily want to be sold to or promoted to all the time. Think about it, when you’re on social media do you like seeing brands constantly pushing their product at you are getting you to buy their product? I don’t know about you but I find that super annoying and will tend to unfollow.

If you’re a higher education professional or education professional in general who is trying to reach a younger demographic, really put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel if you were seeing whatever message you are putting out there.

Instead of constantly posting about your next event and begging students to come to it try thinking of other creative ways to engage students and get them excited about your event.

Here are three ways you can do just that:

3 ways to use social media to engage students

Make It Fun

Do not, I repeat do not, just post a picture of your flyer that you’ve been plastering all over campus. That will not get much engagement or excitement for your event. Instead, take the information that you have and create a fun image for whatever social media platform you’re using.

For example, on Facebook, images and videos do really well when it comes to being seen on people’s newsfeeds. Create a branded image or a short video that will entice students and get them talking about your event. At a school I used to work with they would create a short teaser video for events such as a mud run or bed races etc. This shows students what will be happening and also entices them more than a flyer. Think about what would get you excited and create that. Even if your topic is “boring ”you can find ways to spruce it up. If your event will have free food, a raffle, or prizes of any kind definitely include that as well

Start Using Video

Video is huge right now, as I mentioned above, so it’s definitely something you should start utilizing. Whether it’s creating shorter form videos for Facebook or getting on an app like Periscope, it is something you should consider when it comes to your social media marketing.

YouTube videos do take time to create and edit however using an app like Periscope is much easier. Using Periscope you can live stream your events or give behind-the-scene views of your department. People love behind-the-scenes types of videos so keep that in mind. Check out my previous article all about periscope here.

If you want to make videos for Facebook or YouTube simply use an editing software that comes with your computer to put together videos. You don’t need Final Cut Pro or fancy equipment to do so. Many videos that you see online are filmed with just an iPhone. Create teaser videos, promo videos or interview videos of students on campus…anything that will get people talking. If there is an upcoming event at your school (not necessarily within your department) that students are talking about, then create content around that. Leverage that popular event or promotion to get people to your page as well. Other video ideas include how-to videos, behind-the-scenes videos like I mentioned above, funny videos, step-by-step videos and more. Buzzfeed’s Facebook pages do a great job of incorporating video – check this one out.

If you have students working with you then use their creativity to help you brainstorm for these types of content.

Use Students

Going along with where I just left off in the previous statement, if you don’t already have students working in your office get them there. Whether you get them as interns or work-study, whatever you need to do, hire a few students to help you out.

You may want to do it all but I assure you that having a student team will help you create better content that resonates more with college students. I know that many higher-ed professionals are worried about students having access to social media credentials and accidentally posting something but I think that the pros outweigh the cons.

Students are more responsible than you think and they know not to be posting on your social media profiles as opposed to their own. Furthermore, giving them the opportunity to help you with your marketing helps them in adding something to their resume. It helps them develop a visual portfolio that they can take the future employers.

They understand more than anyone else what students are thinking and they know of trends way before you might. I didn’t know about snapchat until my younger sister told me about it and explained it to me…and I’m not even that much older than her!

Students are the number one way that you can start creating better content. Make sure that you foster an atmosphere where they’re comfortable giving you feedback on your content or giving you new ideas. When I worked in a marketing department with students, we encouraged them to give us any idea no matter how crazy they thought it was and a lot of the times we implemented them and were very successful.

So a few takeaways from this article for you would be:

  • Hire a student or multiple students to help with your department’s social media marketing
  • Start developing video content
  • Experiment with new apps as they come out (like Periscope)
  • Create content for each social media platform and DON’T just post pictures of your printed flyers

As you start creating content, feel free to send it to me or leave your school’s/department’s social media links in the comments so I can start following you!

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How To Use Periscope For Your Brand or Business

So Periscope is the new “hottest” thing…according to a lot of people. I have used it for the past month or so and actually really love it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Periscope, it is a video app that allows you to LIVE stream. That is the main selling point. It is live and happening in the moment. Their tagline is “explore the world through someone else’s eyes.”

Your Periscope video lives for 24 hours before it is gone, so your followers are able to watch a replay within that time frame. It’s super easy to use – just open the app and start broadcasting! People will find you if they are looking on the world map (you can see who is live all over the world) and your followers also get alerts when you’re live. You can also link it to your Twitter account so once you start broadcasting, it is tweeted out from your account…something along the lines of “LIVE on Periscope: How to XYZ.” People can click on the link and watch from the web (another great selling point).

What are the benefits of Periscope over other video tools like YouTube?

  • As mentioned above, it is live broadcasting from a location.
  • No editing required like with YouTube videos.
  • You open up your app and you’re ready to go.

I was out at a restaurant/bar last week and saw their TVs advertising their Periscope account…I was really impressed! Many businesses wait to hop on the newest social media platform…get on it early and you will reap the benefits! PS – if you live in New Jersey, the place I’m talking about is Famished Frog, check them out 😉

So how can you use Periscope for your own brand?

Curious about Periscope? Here are 5 ways to start using it for your brand, business or blog!

Showcase Your Business Live

If you work in the restaurant business, hop on Periscope and show off your restaurant during lunch or dinner. Talk about your menu or any specials you’re running. If you’re a bar, show off your bartender’s drink making skills, or talk about speciality drinks only found at your location.

Do you work in education/higher education? Periscope is a great way to show your department events and programs to your students. Furthermore, if you’re in college admissions, you can use it to show certain parts of campus, talk about campus history, traditions, and much more. I’m thinking I can write a whole separate post about this for my higher ed people 😉 For those of you who don’t know me yet, I work in higher education as well, and received my Master of Education in College Student Affairs from Rutgers University…I love talking about social media and higher ed!

Talk About News Updates

Share important/exciting news about your business as well as the industry you’re in. If you’re in retail, show off your latest shipment of clothing or a style that is trending. Trends can actually be a relevant topic no matter what business you’re in.

You can also talk about big news within your field. Did something huge happen over the weekend relating to your business? Share your opinion and see what others have to say about it. PS – you can invite people to ask questions live which is a cool feature as well. Don’t be afraid to ask people if they have any questions or thoughts while you’re talking.

Share Something Cool

This can kind of relate to showing off your business live, but think of something out of the ordinary to show your followers. Perhaps you can create a recipe live or experiment with something. You could interview someone related to your business or blog. How cool would it be to interview a professional athlete LIVE if you’re a fitness blogger? Start thinking big and outside of the box in order to create content people want to see and interact with.

Show Off Where You Are

You don’t have to just be filming at your specific business location. If you’re heading to a networking event or conference, hop on Periscope to show off the scene to your followers. Even if you’re not at some huge event, you can think up ways to connect with people outside of just filming within your business. Maybe start up a weekly Q&A session while you’re taking a walk outside or weekly/monthly series where you review products relate to your niche. Whatever it is, do NOT Periscope while driving. Come on, let’s be safe people.

Just Talk

Some of the best “scopes” I’ve seen are people just giving tips or insight and talking straight at the camera. Yes, it sounds kind of boring, but if you’re giving away valuable content, people will listen. Make sure to come up with catchy titles to bring people in. Some topic ideas could be:

  • How To XYZ
  • 7 (or any number) Ways To XYZ
  • 3 (or any number) Things You Should NEVER Do While XYZ
  • Top # Things To Wear This Fall (or any variation of that)
  • 5 Ways To Accomplish X Within The Next 24 Hours (or whatever timeframe is realistic for your niche)

You can save all of your scopes by turning on autosave in your settings. That way, you can share on your other social media platforms as well, which is perfect for those who might miss your 24 hour replay timeframe.

Let me know if you’re on Periscope so I can give you a follow!

Have you used Periscope yet? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent?

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How To Get More Instagram Followers

Everyone wants more Instagram followers right? But there are ways to go about increasing your numbers. After all, you don’t want to come across as spammy or get banned.

I talked about this in a recent post on my other blog: How To Increase Your Instagram Followers in 24 hours.

How To Get More Instagram Followers (Without Being Spammy)

Basically, it’s all about engaging with other users and connecting with them in a meaningul way (as opposed to just leaving comments like “nice!” or “cool!”).

For more tips, please click the link above to read the whole article! I would copy and paste it here if I could but don’t want to get flagged by Google 😉

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or comment on the original article – either way I’ll see it and respond quickly!