Unique New Promotions from Bahama Breeze and Air Canada

It’s always fun to see how brands bring their campaigns to life in new and exciting ways. This week, we launched a few promotions with Bahama Breeze and Air Canada that do a great job of engaging their audiences with interesting user experiences.


Bahama Breeze: Rumtoberfest Instant Win Sweepstakes

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To promote the restaurant’s month-long Rumtoberfest celebration, Bahama Breeze launched a fun and engaging Instant Win Sweepstakes to drive awareness. This promotion was built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform, and also features a custom CRM integration, which creates a seamless database management solution for the brand.


Bahama Breeze: Pirate Personality Quiz

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To create an additional engagement opportunity for their audience and drive more awareness of the Rumtoberfest event, Bahama Breeze leveraged Votigo’s Personality Quiz App, also available on our Self-Serve Platform, to give their customers a fun and unique way to participate in the restaurant’s brand conversation.


Bahama Breeze: Rumtoberfest Photo Sweepstakes

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To round out its social marketing efforts in support of the Rumtoberfest celebration, Bahama Breeze also launched a photo sweepstakes for a chance to win a week-long Caribbean cruise. This promotion was also built using Votigo’s Self-Serve Platform and features #Hashtag entry, mobile responsive design, content moderation and social sharing. The combination of all three promotional experiences should do a great job at driving awareness of and participation in Rumtoberfest!


Air Canada Trivia Sweepstakes 

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Air Canada launched their ’14 Days to Win’ promotion  as a way to engage with and incentivize travel agents to book travel with the airline. The promotion was built by Votigo’s talented Full-Service Development Team and features multi-language display, custom trivia questions after registration, daily rotating prizes in the header, and dynamic message display based on the user’s answers.


Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.

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5 Tips To Make Your Content Worth Sharing

Did you know that every day, more than 2 million pieces of content are published on the Internet? From blog posts, articles, and reviews all the way to e-books, white papers, and special reports – content marketers are busting their chops to get noticed amongst the internet clutter.

This fact is surprising in and of itself, but what’s truly shocking is that most of those content marketers actually have no idea what they’re doing. Recent research done by Moz and Hubspot reveals that 75 % of randomly selected posts and articles found on the Internet have zero links and shares – they are completely off the grid.

Basically, they are totally irrelevant in the grander scheme of things. They’re usefulness in terms of SEO, establishing the company as a thought-leader in the industry, or exposure is seriously crippled.

The same study reveals that nearly 85 % of published content is redundant – rehash after rehash of the same old information that hasn’t been built on or added to in any significant way to make it more appealing to readers.

In order to avoid these pitfalls and start creating content that is shareable and that attracts links it is important to stick to some proven and tested methods of content creation.

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Not surprisingly, originality doesn’t play a huge part here. It’s very difficult to come up with something completely new on a daily basis. However, content presentation, format, and style, and emotional triggers do play a large part in getting those shares you want so badly.

Following these 5 simple rules will ensure that your content gets picked up more readily on social media networks or anywhere else on the Internet and can be a ticket to your content going viral:

  1. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, WRITE LISTS

Visual content gets easily devoured, especially when it’s good. However, sometimes it’s not possible to do an infographic, a video or a presentation and you just have to sit down and write something.

When that happens, try to find an angle that allows you to present your information in the form of a list. Lists are easy on the eyes; the content is broken up into chewable pieces that are more palatable and people know what to expect the moment they see the title.

Lists present information in a way that is easier for people to comprehend. If you can’t write up your article as a list at least try adding some bullet points whenever you have to write stringy sentences that might be difficult to comprehend or would require the readers go through them more than once – people simply don’t have the time to make the effort.

  1. EVOKE EMOTIONS

Your content should aim at four specific emotions:

  • Awe-inspiring
  • Surprising
  • Elating
  • Amusing/positive

People tend not to share sad or outrageous content – most of us don’t want other people to experience the same negative emotion we did.

On the other hand, everyone likes to be amused or surprised, or inspired by something – that is why content that evokes those types of positive emotions gets picked up and shared more easily.

Bottom line: if a piece of content makes you feel something while you’re reading or watching it, there’s a good chance that other people will feel it too. Always try to spice things up a bit through good storytelling and emotional triggers.

  1. KNOW YOUR READERS

A lot of times a piece of content falls flat on its face because content creators forget the audience they are writing for. People respond better to content that is in sync with who they are and what they want to accomplish. In most cases, people share content that confirms an image of themselves they want to project outwards.

People want to be seen as caring, fun, smart, rich, inspiring, clever – and a whole bunch of other things. Create a persona of your average reader (or create 5 if your target audiences are diverse) and find out what is the image of their ideal self that they are projecting to the public. Use that to create great content and watch those share numbers skyrocket!

  1. BE USEFUL

Useful content gets shared – period. It’s how most people are wired; they see something helpful and they want other people to see it too. It might be out of the goodness of their heart or they want to appear more knowledgeable than their friends – it really doesn’t matter, shares are shares.

What matters here is that your content is the most helpful they can find on the given subject. Make your how-to articles most detailed and your tutorial videos packed with easy-to-follow information and you will be able to get all the shares you need.

  1. PLAY THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

Whenever there is a hot topic on the internet, content creators flock to it in an effort to drive some traffic to their blogs, media sites, or social media platforms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that except that after a while everything becomes a blur and all those articles or videos start looking like boring copies of each other.

A better approach to this is to invest some time in studying the topic and creating something that has a different angle. Don’t be afraid to swim against the current sometimes – taking a controversial stance on something differentiates you and it’s guaranteed to spark a debate.

This article was originally written by Scott Ragin for the Heyo blog.

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6 Elements of a Perfectly Optimized Social Media Page

Social media sites are among the most effective platforms for getting online exposure and relevant traffic to your business website. More and more people are joining popular social networks to express their thoughts, opinions and memories with friends, while many users also join social media networks so that they can endorse the products and services they like.

Why not reach them on the social networks where they are already spending time and maximize your business revenue while you’re at it? Here are some of the tools and strategies that can help you optimize your social media pages to attract more people to join your brand community.


1. USE YOUR BRAND LOGO AS A PROFILE IMAGE

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Businesses are recognized by a meaningful logo that also appears on all documentation and correspondence mediums. The social networks expose your business to your targeted audience which means you can easily get your logos recognized along with the official profile.

Some experts argue that the use of an image of a business representative makes a business page more personal and authentic. The use of a personal picture is commonly seen by bloggers, service providers or owners of small size businesses. These people need the exposure to their personality, skills and expertise for a selected group of people. However, it is recommended to use a logo if you have an established brand or a renowned business. Additionally, it is important to note that the logo needs to be consistent across all of your social accounts.


2. USE YOUR COMPANY NAME AS THE PROFILE NAME

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People on social networks are inclined to search keywords or names of their favorite brands, that’s why companies have to use real product names as user IDs/profile names.

Another benefit of using a company name as the username is that the fan following loves to refer to the products or services they use by mentioning them in posts and comments. They can easily tag these names and give you more brand exposure.


3. BE STRATEGIC WHEN IT COMES TO THE FREQUENCY OF YOUR POSTS

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A common perception about a social network is to make a maximum number of posts for staying active among the users. That of course is not true for all the platforms. For example, for a Facebook business page, 6-7 posts are more than enough for a week, whereas your Twitter profile may require 6-7 tweets on a daily basis. At the end of the day, it is always more about quality than it is about quantity. Make sure you are providing your audience with meaningful and relevant content and you will be more successful.


4. SIMPLIFY YOUR LINKS

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The link addresses of your website helps visitors know what the page they are going to is about. It may include a part of structuring URLs for better visibility and understanding on social media, whereas to make it more appealing and clickable you need to shorten them as well. Shortening a URL can also reveal the number of traffic you are getting from a specific account, page or profile.

The use of a link address varies between different social networks as it may display a preview of your website which is more appealing that just a URL. While some of the networks only grab the images of your product or CMS pages to pin them to an audience.

You can also add the website link in the page description so that a user can click on it after reading about your business, whereas a separate space is also provided for a URL which is worthy to use.


5. USE HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES

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Visual content has proven to be more interactive and engaging than other forms of content. This means high-quality images of the products or info-graphics with well-researched data composed in a well-presented manner.

Visual content is said to be more captivating for users as they can easily absorb the information and get connected without compromising their time in reading.


6. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACTIVE ADMINISTRATORS AND EDITORS

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The excessive use of social media on mobile devices has provided a quick search tool for customers to find a company and ask them directly what they want. Nowadays, the presence of your business is enough for reaching customers, but you need to have an active administration to reply to their comments and private messages.

Social networks give people access to the profile pages for instant messaging since visiting your website and filling out a contact form is typically more time consuming. Better profile optimization also accounts for the time you take in replying to a message. This can become quite embarrassing if a user continuously contacts your staff and gets no response.

Try to post information and useful content, in order to keep your visitors engaged. Also consider the use of social contests and giveaways. The comment section can also help you grab users’ attention by replying to them with the information they are looking for.


CONCLUSION

The blending of social pages with a business’s core marketing activities has revealed that the creation of profiles is only valuable if you take the latest trends and consumer behaviors into consideration. Start by implementing the above tips to get going towards the optimization of a successful social media page.

This article was originally written by Alastair Brian for the Heyo blog.

 

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Exciting New Promotions from State Farm, Pringles and The Co-operators

UGC Contests and Quiz Campaigns are a great way to engage your audience and drive meaningful brand conversation and awareness. Here are three brand-new promotions from State Farm, Pringles and The Co-operators to help inspire you as you start planning your next promotion.


State Farm “Neighborhood Assist” Custom Contest

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The State Farm Neighborhood Assist Program helps worthwhile nonprofit organizations across the US by offering $25,000 grants for neighborhood projects that specifically benefit either education, safety or community development. This year, the insurance brand is inviting people to apply for that grant by sharing a story about why their chosen organization is so deserving of the reward. This contest was built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team and features a custom submission countdown clock, photo upload and fully responsive design.


Pringles “Battle of the Cans” Video Contest 

Screenshot 2016-09-13 11.00.29Pringles is all about school spirit! And this Fall, they’re inviting marching bands from across the country to submit a video featuring a killer drumline solo (using Pringles cans of course!) for a chance to win one of 16 $1,000 high school band booster donations.  Also built by Votigo’s full-service development team, this contest features Instagram, Twitter & Direct Upload options, a head-to-head voting gallery and fully responsive design.


The Co-operators “Name Our Neighbours” Quiz Campaign

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Canadian insurance company The Co-operators is about to release a new TV commercial, and with the help of Votigo’s Quiz Application, they’re allowing their customers to participate in the process of naming all the starring characters! This is a great example of how to bring your audience into the larger conversation for your brand, and make them feel like they are part of the overall brand experience. Built by Votigo’s full-service development team, this campaign features technology that requires all users to watch all of the video before proceeding (in order to maximize brand engagement), custom registration flow and fully responsive design.


Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.

 

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7 Ways to Get Customers to Promote Your Brand Overnight

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The less you spend on marketing, the better. That’s why Word-Of-Mouth marketing is still so highly sought after. This is, by definition, the oldest marketing method. It’s been around for centuries. We love talking about what we’ve bought, what we love, what we hate … just sharing our opinion in general helps us form an identity. Now, the question is: how do you capitalize on this human tendency? As a business owner, you need to find a balance between encouraging customer feedback and straight up soliciting reviews.

Don’t think WOM has a place in your industry? Think again.

Some top word of mouth marketing stats suggest the following.

  • Customers who were acquired through social influences have a 37% higher retention rate.
  • 72% of consumers say reading a positive review increases their trust in a business.
  • Brands that leverage social influencers to spread their message are seeing up to a 10X increase in conversion rate.
  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people; more so than they do from brands.

Ready to rake in awesome customer reviews and churn up some word of mouth feedback? Learn these 7 tricks like the back of your hand, and put them into practice.

Offer an instant reward.
You’d be amazed at what people will do when an instant reward is on the table. Who wants to wait for their prize? Not me, that’s for sure. For example, if my hairdresser told me, right here right now, that I’d get $15 off my cut and color if I shared a selfie on Facebook and mentioned her in the photo, you better believe I’d do it. When comparing the 60 seconds it’ll take me to post that selfie to the $15 I’ll save, it’s definitely worth the effort.

Send out free product.
Give away free product in exchange for an honest review. Now, to prevent disappointment, be very clear about what you expect. If you absolutely need the review in exchange for free merchandise, make this apparent. Type up an instructional note, and place it in the package before mailing it out. Your note might look something like this.

Thanks for agreeing to review our product! 

  • Please review the product within one week of receiving.
  • Please post the review on your personal Facebook page, and tag us using @milliesoaps and #soapsbymillie. 
  • Be 100% honest. If you hate it, include constructive feedback in your review. Not only will your review help us promote the product, it will also help us understand how we can do better.

Ask questions.
Hop on Facebook, and ask for customer feedback. Post a product, and ask for fans to leave an honest review in the comments. This is probably the quickest way to drum up a bunch of buzz. In the middle of a customer crisis? Then wait it out. Doing this at the wrong time can encourage a ton of nasty feedback.

If you aren’t looking for product reviews, but want to gather a general opinion about your customer service or shopping experience, you can also ask questions along these lines.

“What can we do to make our shopping experience better? Comment below with suggestions.”

“We’re putting together our fall line! What would you like to see us carry?”

Run a contest.
Ask customers to share a photo on Facebook for a chance to win that product. Or, invite fans to tag people in an Instagram photo for a chance to win the pictured product. Above all else, focus on customer engagement. If you’re not regularly interacting with your social media fans, they won’t respond to this call to action. Be consistent, and focus on building a community. If you do this, everything else will fall into place. People will be lining up, eager to post a rave review.

Pay customers for how to tutorials.
If you have an amazing product, customers will want to rave about it. They’ll want to show others how to use it and why they love it. Find your most active customers, and then see which are most involved in the DIY community. This will take a bit more effort on the customer end, so don’t be afraid to spend a little for this project.

Post something like this on social media.

“Are you Youtube savvy, obsessed with our roses, and looking to make some extra shopping money? We want to see how you use our product! We’re currently looking to hire 25 members from our DIY community to film how to tutorials. Email us at videos@sandysroses.com if you’re interested. We’ll reach out if it’s a good fit.”

Offer a promo code in exchange for a review.
You can email the promo, or text it out in the form of a mobile coupon. You can either operate on the honor system, meaning you send out the coupon first, and just encourage customers to share their feedback online or, you can walk customers through a funnel that only rewards them with a coupon when they’ve posted their review. Personally, the second option is the way I would go. People have good intentions, but if you leave the task open ended, it will get pushed to the wayside.

Create a referral program.
This might not technically happen overnight, but with a little work, a referral program can help you auto generate extra revenue and word of mouth reviews. Once put into place, this program will keep the review process somewhat automated. Before launching it, test it out at least a dozen times. The last thing you need is a faulty referral program. People expect to get paid for their referrals, and you want to iron out any kinks in your system so this can happen.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to pushing that product, people. Don’t lose sleep over high cost promotional methods. Instead, loop your happy customers in, and ask for their honest feedback. That’s the quickest way to grow your business on a budget. Why spend thousands of dollars on so-so marketing methods when you don’t have to? Be smart with your spend, and you’ll be rewarded.

This article was originally written by Kristen Vanstrom for the Heyo blog.

 

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Drive Product Trial & Brand Awareness With Online Promotions

If you’re looking to drive product trial and promote brand awareness, online promotions like Contests or Sweepstakes are a great way to go.  Research shows that a brand’s social media activity contributes to a high level of product trial and un-planned purchase, so why not get in on the action?!

Take this new Facebook sweepstakes by Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for example. The objective of the promotion is to encourage people to consider changing their daily beverage routine by incorporating Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for five days, to see the positive change in how they feel. 300 lucky entrants will be rewarded with a free 5-day supply of the water, eliminating a barrier to entry (purchasing the product) that might otherwise diminish engagement. The Brand benefits because they are getting product into the hands of potentially new customers, and the consumer benefits because they get to try a new product at no risk. Screenshot 2016-08-31 09.56.09

 

What we know for sure is that social media trends suggest that people are far more likely to try or buy a product because their friends do too. So, here are a few other ways you can use contests or sweepstakes to drive product trial and brand awareness to tap into that engagement potential:

  • Run a UGC Contest in which participants are invited to submit a photo or video that shows how they use your product, what it means to them, or why they love it.
  • Run an Essay Contest in order to invite people to try your product and leave a review that shares what they liked about it.
  • Run a basic enter-to-win sweepstakes and reward the first 100, 200 or more entrants with a free sample of your product.

Interested in learning more about how Votigo can help you drive product trial and brand awareness? Contact us today to talk to an Account Representative.

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How To Use Psychological Triggers When Writing For Social Media

You can post on social media all day long using images, calls to action, and the right hashtags without ever getting the engagement you had hoped for. The missing ingredient in your social media strategy is leveraging psychological triggers. This is how you can get followers to start engaging right away.

EMOTIONS TRIGGER SOCIAL SHARES

One of the largest social media studies ever took a deep look into the psychology behind social sharing. What they found, in a nutshell, is that emotional posts are the most likely to generate shares – especially happy posts. So, if shares are part of your goal, post about emotional topics – the happier, the better.Untitled [free stock photo from Pexels]

SPELL OUT WHY A READER SHOULD ENGAGE

Using the word “because” is one of the most powerful words in sales. It works beautifully in social media as well. You can trigger a reader to engage with a social media post by illustrating the value to them with your words. Don’t just come out and say, “share this post because your friends will want to see it.” Instead, be subtler, sending the same message with clever wordcraft.

There are many giveaways on Facebook everyday. But, this one has over 17K shares. Notice how the value of the giveaway is cleverly illustrated in the description – this viral post was created was no stroke of luck. The original poster understood the importance of including a value statement, “5 members of our team would install it in your house if you win.”

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MAKE EVERYTHING EASY

The easier it is to accomplish your call to action, the more likely social media followers are to abide. So, when you want someone to subscribe to your newsletter, don’t just tell them, “go over to our website to subscribe.” Instead, include a link to your signup form. When you want readers to comment, ask a question instead of expecting them to guess.

Social media followers – and everyone else on the web, really – want everything to be handed to them on a silver platter. So, it’s your job to do so. You want to make everything as easy as possible for anyone who stumbles upon your post by including the necessary information.

INCLUDE IMAGES OR VIDEO WITH ALL OF YOUR POSTS

Color increases a reader’s attention span and absorption by 82%. Additionally, visual content will increase the amount of people who see your message by 94%. This makes social media traffic more likely to engage. When sharing on social media, always include an image or video that the reader can associate with the information you’re presenting. Imagery is one psychological trigger you never want to go without.

CONCLUSION

Creating social media posts can be a waste of time… but, only if you don’t know what you’re doing. Now that you know these psychological triggers, you can start to integrate them into your upcoming social media campaigns. So, go write your next SMM plan today, and come back to tell us how it goes.

This article was originally written by Janice Kersh for the Heyo blog.

 

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Holidays Round 1 – Halloween Promotion Planning Time!

Yep – you heard us right! Even though there’s still a few more weeks to go, Halloween will be here before you know it, so it’s not too early to start getting organized for an engaging social promotion to celebrate the holiday!

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Few holidays have such a strong visual component as Halloween, which makes it the perfect opportunity for brands to engage their fans with a UGC Photo Contest or Video Contest. Leverage #hashtag submissions via Instagram and Twitter in addition to allowing contestants to upload photos or videos directly from their computer, smartphones or Facebook albums. The more ways people have to enter, the greater your engagement will be.

More importantly, a brand doesn’t have to be directly associated with Halloween in order to be able to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the holiday. Chances are your audience participates in Halloween anyway, so why not engage them by tapping into behavior they’re already doing, for a chance to win something that IS relevant to your brand?

To help you get started with your own planning, let’s take a look back at one of the most successful Halloween promotions we’ve ever run.

 

The Chipotle Boorito Halloween Costume Contest promotion had a fun title and a great Halloween design that was eye-catching and relevant to the Halloween theme.  Chipotle asked fans to enter the contest by submitting a picture of themselves in costume in front of a Chipotle restaurant.  This fun call-to-action encouraged fans to visit Chipotle and participate in the Halloween festivities, which was in turn great for sales!  The promotion created a great way for fans to stay engaged by incorporating a voting process where fans could vote for entries and easily share their favorite photos. The lucky grand prize winner won $2,500, five runner up winners received $1,000, and 20 entrants received the honorable mention prize which consisted of a sponsor-specified burrito party at the winner’s select Chipotle Mexican Grill location for up to 10 people.  The contest did a great job incorporating a holiday theme into their contest and kept fans thinking about Chipotle.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can bring a Halloween promotion to life for your brand.

 

 

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How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms. Ordinary people use them to communicate, share funny pictures, upload their pretty selfies, discuss issues and events, and have fun in every possible way. But small business owners have their own professional aims: they use these websites to engage with their audiences directly.

Social media platforms are essential for successful marketing. However, there is a myth that using them for marketing purposes is simple and fast. Well, good things take time and effort, and so does an effective social media strategy. How to make the process faster and which platform to choose? In this article, we will make a small review of the most widely-used social media websites and share some ideas about how to apply them to your growing business.1


Why should online businesses use social media?

Well-done social media marketing brings:

  • Yes, you can gain traffic from creating the right content and making the right people sharing it within their environment.
  • Better sales. When people talk more and more about you and your product, the sales will grow, too.
  • Brand awareness. Believe it or not, brand awareness can bring your product in front of people’s eyes when they need your services. And social networks can help you with this.

Gaining followers and keeping in touch with them ensures you getting the most of your social media account. You need to reach those potential customers you never hope to achieve before. And the more followers you get, the more chances you have to grow this much. Remember one easy formula: more followers bring more followers.


Which one to choose?

When choosing the most suitable platform for your business purposes, you have to be picky. There are several factors to consider and we have gathered some useful information in this post to help you choose one and use it properly.

Let’s start with some core elements you have to keep in mind. They are:

  • Location and age of your audience
  • Competitor’s activity
  • Your aims
  • The amount of time you can afford

In fact, sometimes it may be the best idea not to be on particular social networks because you may have a lack of time, financial resources, or just because your customers don’t fit with a certain network.


#1 Facebook

2Facebook can attract new potential customers to your website and therefore – promote your business. However, there is one crucial challenge you have to fight: the buzz in your followers’ news feed. However, there are some methods to stick out:

  • Profile picture.

It should be unique and recognizable. Use a small picture of your brand’s logo to let your users recognize, find, and Like you.

  • Fill out the “About” section.

Make sure to include relevant information about your company in the “About” section. This is the first place people will look at when visiting your page! Never leave it blank!

  • Match the basic marketing features.

They include a cover photo, pinned post, and CTAs to promote your campaigns. These things can maximize the engagement with followers and make your marketing message clear. As a good example of page appearance and amazing user experience, visit Threadless on Facebook.

  • Tailor organic posts.

Facebook has one great feature – you can segment your posts by gender, age, education, etc. Use it to present the right content to the right audience.

  • Use compelling visual content.

Remember, multimedia posts generate up to 95% more views. Include visual elements into your Facebook campaign.


#2 Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging tool to post short messages, links, status updates, etc. So the first thing that distinguishes Twitter is that you have to be laconic and informative. Let’s see how you can attract more customers to your service using this platform:

  • Tweet on a regular basis.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter is less noisy and patchwork. When you post too much on Facebook, your users can become annoyed and unsubscribe. However, it is opposite with Twitter – when you stop posting every day, your users will forget you.

  • Interact with right people.

Find experts and influential persons in your target area and follow them. Retweet their tweets, place your Likes and maybe someday they will give you feedback. Attention from an influential persona in the industry is attractive! Twitter search will also help you find competitors, like-minded prospects, and even customers.

  • Benefit from “Twitter love”.

It’s okay to ask your subscribers for Likes and Shares. The more Shares they make, the more people can see your brand. This is a good thing since it lets you reach people you could never reach on your own. Just do your best to generate interesting and useful tweets!

  • Don’t forget about “Follow us on Twitter” button.

Make sure you have a link to your Twitter account on the main page of your website. For instance, StudentShare has a Twitter bird logo at the bottom of the main page in their block “follow us”. This helps users find more information about the service and stay updated.


#3 Instagram

Instagram is all about photos and visuals, so you have to build a recognizable brand identity. Not every small business needs to have an Instagram account. However, any service connected with aesthetics somehow, let it be beauty industry (barbershop or manicure), clothes, arts, etc. needs to demonstrate itself with the help of visual appeal.

  • Your brand’s style and visual representation.

Instagram has a range of filters you can apply to your photos. The task is to choose one filter or a couple of them and use them for most of your photos. Use the same set of filters and you will create a recognizable style. For instance, check 33 Acres Brewing Company’s Instagram. They use white color pallets and white borders for most of their photos. When scrolling a News Feed, users recognize the brand by their photos and associate similar images with Acres Brewing Company.

  • Follow people.

As well as Twitter, Instagram account will become popular if you will follow targeted persons. Comment on their photos, push the “Like” button, take part in discussions and you will be surprised how quickly you’ll get more subscribers.

  • Use relevant hashtags for your posts.

Using right industry-related hashtags will help your potential customers find you.

  • Organize contests.

Many users follow brand’s pages on Instagram specifically to take part in contests. So don’t be shy to ask them for comments, shares, and hashtags. Try out something like this and use the analytics to find out whether it helps you promote your brand.


If you are a small business owner, you don’t have to push yourself and try to become a king of all social media platforms at once. Step back, consider the special features of your business and think how a certain network can help your business show the best sides. Check your audience, study analytics, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you have any ideas about using other networks for business, come and share your thoughts in the comments.

This article was originally written by Veronica Hunt for the Heyo blog.

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How to Engage Your Audience with WOW Content

In today’s digital world, people can find any piece of information in a matter of seconds. If you want to make your online project successful, you need to compete with many other providers. Content is the ultimate weapon that can drive you to victory.

No marketing campaign can achieve success without promoting content of high quality. It’s the tool that attracts and engages the target audience, boosts the awareness for your brand, and brings you to more leads and sales.

This Is How Awesome Content Is

According to the 2016 survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute, the percentage of B2B marketers who consider their content marketing campaigns to be effective is only 30% (that’s 8% lower when compared to last year’s results). 44% of the marketers meet daily or weekly with the purpose to discuss the progress of their content marketing programs.

Here’s the most important data that shows how crucial content marketing is: 88% of all B2B respondents to the same survey said they were using content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience.”

Granted, that’s a survey focused on B2B marketing, but we can safely state that all businesses benefit from content promotion. The communication channels are more diverse than ever, so there are no limits to the number of visits, likes, shares, and comments that a single piece of content can achieve.

Not All Content Is Awesome, Though

The main purpose of content marketing is reaching out to the target audience by offering value and uniqueness. It seems like there’s a rule: it doesn’t matter what business you’re into; you have to be a publisher if you want to be competitive.

Successful content must be unique, focused, and well-written, but it also needs to be optimized for the search engines. Most of all, it has to be engaging. How exactly do you achieve such level of quality? There are proven techniques that will guide you there.

Engaging Your Audience with WOW Content: Tips and Tricks

Content marketing is more than writing posts on random topics related to your niche. You need to invest more effort in research and development if you want it to result with success. Now that we clarified how important content marketing was, let’s get to the tips that will help you turn it to your advantage.


  1. Make the Headline Worthy of a WOW

Think about it: what’s the first thing that grabs your attention when you see articles shared on social media? Exactly; it’s the headline! It’s the factor that attracts people towards a website, and it’s often the only thing the visitors read before liking or sharing.

Here are few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to think of a great headline:

  • Make it specific

Headlines like How to Live Your Life don’t work, since they are too generic. How to Live Your Life without Romance, on the other hand, is a potential trigger of visits, comments, and shares. Your headline needs to offer enough information for the reader to understand what the post is about.

  • Don’t mislead your audience

Click baits work for websites that feature tons of ads on their pages. People click the sensational titles only to find content that has nothing to do with the implications those statements made. This strategy results with income from the ads, but it also gets you a frustrated audience. It’s completely the opposite of what great content marketing is about. The title needs to be relevant to the post, so don’t even think about misleading the readers.

  • Make it unique

What theme do you have in mind? Search Google and check out the most popular posts. You don’t want to offer something too similar. Your headline and the entire post should be unique, so the readers will get value with the time they spend on it.

  • Make it useful

Offer articles that solve the readers’ problems, suggest tips on lifestyle improvements, or simply improve their knowledge on a matter. The headline should convey that usefulness in a simple statement, such as 10 Tips that Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze.


  1. Write informative, detailed content

There are two types of content marketers: those who frequently publish brief articles within the 250-500 word count range, and those who spend more time developing high-quality content that provides greater value.

According to the data provided by the serpIQ Blog, the posts with at least 1500 words achieved better results in Google search when compared to short posts.

1You may wonder why most blogs and websites are full of brief 400-word posts, then? Because they are cheap and simple. Longer content does take more effort, since it mustn’t be repetitive and it takes more work for you to make it engaging. However, that effort definitely pays off in terms of audience engagement.


  1. Find the influencers. Use them to your advantage

No matter how awesome your content is, you need to rely on influencers when it comes to its promotion. Identify extremely popular users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and other networks. Then, contact them with a request to feature their opinion in your article. Ask strategic questions, and then infuse their comments within the post you’re writing.

There are two main benefits you’ll gain by featuring an influencer’s opinion in your article:

  • You’ll make it more relevant and authoritative.
  • You’ll get free promotion. The influencer will share that article with their social media followers, so you’ll get plenty of visits to your website.

  1. Turn Your Posts into Tutorials

People use the Internet for various reasons, but there’s something they all have in common: learning. It doesn’t matter what your niche is; you can always think of a way to educate your audience through the content you write. That’s a smart way for promoting websites, products, and services.

This tip is straightforward: think of different themes that teach your audience how to do something related to the things you promote. If, for example, you’re promoting a site that sells makeup, you won’t focus the campaign solely on reviews and recommendations. You will also post textual and visual tutorials that teach people how to apply that makeup.

If you’re promoting a website from the niche of technology, you can post tutorials that teach the target audience how to setup a particular TV set.


  1. Use the right tools

Content marketing is a complex category. You need to pay attention to multiple factors, such as timing, calls to action, choice of headline, communicating with the audience, social media activity, and much more. When you have the right tools at hand, everything becomes easier. Here are few you can try:

This tool will help you locate the influencers in your niche. Your dashboard will list possible advocates ranked by influencer score. You can easily reach out to them and discuss the way you’ll use their authority for the sake of your campaign.

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Sometimes it’s hard to be a website owner, marketer, and content writer at the same time. If you don’t have enough space for all responsibilities, the simple solution is to outsource. The writers and editors from this team will listen to your instructions and deliver the work you need.

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Plagiarism can be detrimental to the success of your content marketing efforts. That’s why you need to make sure each piece you publish is absolutely unique. This plagiarism detection software will keep you safe.4

A platform that lets you plan, organize, and produce content through collaboration.

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Now, are you ready to start wowing your audience through great content? You’ll be on your way if you follow the tips above. Try them and share your achievements with us.

This article was originally written by Julie Petersen for the Heyo blog.

Julie Petersen is a freelance writer and a content marketing specialist. She is a founder of AskPetersen.com writing blog, where she regularly creates helpful guides, articles and writing services reviews for students. You may contact Julie via Linkedin.

 

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