Digital Marketing: Tailoring Content for Social Media Channels … and (Smile!) Getting to Know Instagram

By Eric Olsen, Fasturtle

Feeling intimidated by all the social networks out there today? Don’t be. At their root, they are all the same: they help people connect like never before. When used correctly, they enhance your company’s visibility to existing and potential customers. To unlock the full potential of a social media marketing campaign, you must first understand the basics of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn:

Audience Expectation of the Big 3

Facebook: Informal, friendly, and shareable posts work best here. Images and videos that encourage interaction and further sharing garner over 90 percent engagement for small business pages on Facebook. Ask questions, request comments and share product or service information frequently.

Twitter: Tweet throughout the day if possible— the Twitter stream moves fastest of all the social networks and audiences expect multiple tweets per day. They also expect prompt responses—72 percent desire a response within an hour.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn users are professionals, so your posts should be too. Convey leadership while sharing goals, accomplishments, new hires and so on.

Successful Property

Facebook: Posts can be long or short, but audience engagement is always the goal. Anecdotes, questions of the day, and relevant hashtags, recently added to Facebook, encourage commenting and show personality.

Twitter: Tweets around 100 characters get re-tweeted most. The ideal tweet has a link, an image, and two hashtags, but mix it up for variety.

LinkedIn: Sparking conversation is the ultimate goal of this social network. Provide intriguing images or links to thought-provoking content to engage visitors. LinkedIn also allows for more targeted social media marketing via a company page: use yours to create posts and encourage dialogue with specific audiences.

Crossover

While these three social networks may seem vastly different, your content can be successfully reused across them. With a bit of reworking, you can share the same post on Twitter as you did on LinkedIn, saving you time and increasing your exposure.

Remember, track your engagement to understand what your audience wants and when it wants it. If this task becomes overwhelming or is holding you back from achieving your goals, keep in mind that a professional search engine optimization and digital marketing team can help you leverage any type of social network to your ultimate advantage.

A Good Look at Instagram

Instagram—that cute little rainbow camera app—has grown into a social network powerhouse in just a few short years. With hundreds of millions of users and billions of photos shared, it is a highly beneficial (not to mention fun!) social media tool. Here’s how you can get in on it.

What Is It?

An app that lets users take pictures and videos from a mobile device and, using the ‘Share Settings’ option, share on Instagram and across other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. What makes Instagram unique is its selection of filters that allow users to alter the color, tone and contrast of photos. Add a caption, throw in some hashtags, and you have a polished and personalized image to share.

Instagram vs. Pinterest

On Pinterest, each pin is a link to an external site. This social network is more like a search engine where users can look for specific products or content. Because of this, small businesses generally use it to generate website traffic and for search engine optimization purposes.

Computers and Instagram

Instagram photos and videos may only be uploaded from a mobile device. You can, however, browse profiles and post comments from a computer.

Earning a Following

Use your current social networks to notify followers and customers about your Instagram account. Or send out a newsletter—either way, include your Instagram username so that even folks without smartphones can follow you. Instagram’s “Find People to Follow” feature in Account Settings makes it easy to find supporters. Finally, add an Instagram badge to your blog and website.

Measuring Instagram Success

Use Iconosquare (formerly Statigram), a free Instagram analytics platform, to track comments, monitor photo engagement, and view other analytics. If you use HootSuite, you can stream Iconosquare to Instagram and monitor both.

Multiple Instagram Accounts

Switching from your personal Instagram account to your business’ account to post is not yet possible. However, Fotogramme and Iconosquare allow switching between accounts for monitoring purposes.

Benefits

As with most social networks, Instagram lets you do more than just promote products: it allows you to connect with the people who matter most to your business. Digital marketing pros in Scottsdale know that Instagram lets companies show a personal side, tell stories, and take people behind the scenes. This creates familiarity, builds trust, and provides a platform for long-lasting relationships.

Some final tips about Instagram: participate in popular hashtags like #waybackwednesday, #throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday. Introduce employees and discuss nonprofit or charitable projects. Successful social media marketing campaigns on Instagram are human, authentic and fun, creating impactful, emotional connections.

Where do you see online marketing going in 2014? Do you have an Internet-marketing related question? Please send it to eric@fasturtle.com, and I will try to answer it in the coming months.

Eric Olsen founded Fasturtle, a website design and SEO firm, in 2000 providing business owners strategic digital marketing solutions. Olsen has successfully started, acquired or partnered with multiple marketing firms in the digital marketing space in Scottsdale and across the country. As a Constant Contact-endorsed presenter on search engine marketing, email marketing and website usability standards, Olsen continues to empower business owners and their staff with the tools and techniques to expand their brands. More: 480-348-0467; www.facebook.com/Fasturtle; Twitter @fasturtle or @ericolsen.