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Instagram: Thank you for scheduled posts…and reposts!

After extensive changes that make marketing through Facebook even more difficult, Instagram marketing and posting (which is also owned by Facebook) is becoming easier.

If you use Buffer, Hootsuite, Soci, or any other social media management tool, you #instalife just got easier. Now, instead of posting from your phone to Instagram, you simply schedule and the post becomes live at the preset time, like all other social networks.

How does this help you tell your story? We all, as business owners and entrepreneurs, have a story to tell. Instagram allows us to tell it visually, and to reach audiences unavailable on other social networks. With every post, we create a visual storyboard that reaches an increasingly attention-starved world. When you can project your message, your story in seconds, you magnify your reach.

How do you tell your story on Instagram? Clarity in your profile, an Instagram aesthetic, tagging and distilled images are the key. My favorite Instagram examples are…

@remodelista
@pegfitzpatrick
@dailystoic

All for very different reasons. If you’re interested in getting your #instalife on for your small business, there’s no better time to start than now.

Update Feb. 8, 2018

Instagram repost feature is coming!

More on Instagram. According to an article from Marketingland

Instagram tests its version of the retweet but thru Stories

People in the test group can share other people’s public posts to their own Stories, and their followers can tap on the shared post to see the original.

It’s coming y’all! These two updates, repost and scheduling posts, will make Instagram a more relevant tool for business owners and entrepreneurs. Get ready to see an burst of creativity and business conversations on Instagram in the very near future.

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Deep breath: Facebook changed.

Facebook has changed its strategy when working with businesses to protect users–what’s a business owner to do?

The reality of it is, for most businesses who have been using Facebook to authentically engage with their audiences, the strategy need not change in major ways. Facebook is still accepting posts from businesses, and they’re still all about posting beautiful, relevant content for users.

Google’s similar strategy

This change is similar to the Google changes that have been made over the past decade with tags and SEO. At the beginning, SEO was a game in which coders would generate hundreds of tags and place them behind the page to create a search presence. The content that the user saw did not necessarily relate to these tags, and the content didn’t have to be good; it was basically the wrapping to deliver the tags to the web. As Google grew more sophisticated, so did the content strategy. Businesses actually had to write content engaging to the reader and well crafted. Since that time, we’ve had the rise of storytelling and more compelling content across the web.

The change has been good, but it deeply impacted many businesses who had been using search to “trick the internet” and grab readers without providing excellent content for the reader. 

So, what’s going to happen with Facebook? 

Mark Zuckerberg said, “The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.


As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” ((emphasis mine)
They are flagging posts that use engagement bait. “To help us foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.”
To read the complete post from Jan. 11, 2018, click here
You can overcome this, but it’s going to cause some changes for everyone. Pages reach, video watch time and post length will decrease. They want to see posts that generate conversation, and they’ll be pushing up posts that create engagement. 

Engagement bait has been blocked–like this, share this, tag a friend, comment if you blah blah blah. Also contests are being suppressed.  

So, what do you do? 

Focus on storytelling. You can do it!

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Essential social media…you can pare back in 2018

In the same way that a more effective workout yields better results in less time (think HIIT vs. easy elliptical), a more effective social media process yields better results in less time. 2018 may be the year you pare back and use your social media tools more effectively.   
Social media is a tempting drain of resources, time and energy if used incorrectly. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can be sucked into endless webinars, Facebook groups and chats about perfecting their social media strategy and getting the most likes and clicks. But, the bottom line is, are you doing what is essential for your business?
This year as you move forward in social media and content marketing, keep these three simple tenets in mind. 
  1. You don’t need to be everywhere to be heard. Better to brand well and be social on one or two key platforms than have a diluted presence on many. How do you decide which platforms you should be on? Find your users, and go where they are. 
  2. The goal is not to be on social media but to be social. Curation is a vital part of the social media mix. Who do you love? Who do you want to recognize? What did you read that inspired you lately? Don’t hesitate to share greatness and comment on others’ hard work.  
  3. Tricks no longer work…authenticity and excellence do. You can’t tag your way into your audience’s attention. Who are you as a brand, as a CEO, as a company? Honestly represent that, with on point writing skills and creative imagery, and you’re on the right path. 
A few other tips, courtesy of Larry KimVerified account

ore

8 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence 📥 Improve your inbound ✂ Trim your feed 👌 Make interesting content 💬 Curate others’ content 🎉 Throw a party 📝 Answer questions 👥 Start discussions and debates

Are you ready to get started this year? If you’re going to begin somewhere, I’d start with Google My Business. What’s your go to social media platform? And, are you using it to the full potential (calendaring, analytics, engagement)?
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

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Google+ vs. Google My Business. Where to put your time?

The answer, hands down, is Google My Business.

Getting Found Online (excerpt from an article by @teamarchlea)

One last way to differentiate the two services is what comes up when you type in your business name on Google.

“If you only have Google+ set up, only your social network will show up, with your posts and number of followers associated with it. However, if you have Google my Business set up, you’ll have access to those additional business details on the side of the listings, from a full citation (Name, Address, Phone Number) to your business hours, to your website URL. Google my Business provides a far more detailed and comprehensive look into your business as a listing.” Read the full article here.

So, what does this look like IRL? 
One builds your business, directly on the Google search page, where 60-85% of your traffic is coming from, while the other puts posts in the wasteland that is Google+. And, now that Google My Business has posts for all businesses, the information you post will show up directly in the search screen. 

Invest the time in Google My Business. It will pay off because it enhances every single Google search experience. 

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2018: The Year of Artisanal Content

“Content can no longer be a commodity, churned out in a word factory. We need handcrafted artisan content. It takes longer to create, but you don’t have to make as much of it, either. Focus your resources on a few pillar pieces that deliver real value. Content that inspires readers to spend time on the page, explore further, and share with others will beat commodity content every day of the week.” from @toprank

Yes! I am so ready for the rise of artisanal content. 

Yesterday, I was speaking with a new and exciting company, and I told him that my job is to amplify your message, to promote your passion. But this isn’t done with an interchangeable set of words, search terms and keywords that I use for every other client. Each brand should have a unique voice, building their presence in the community. We have so much today that is commodity–voice, presence and passion will make the difference in 2018. 

Here’s the rub. Much like artisanal bread or chocolate, this kind of content cannot be produced overnight. And, it cannot be produced in a vacuum. It requires you to live with the brand, believe it the ideas and the inspiration of the founder, and speak to his or her passion. It requires research, editing, revision, and time. But, The difference is as obvious as the difference between Wonder bread and scratch made. It is undeniable, and each post is more compelling because its resonance echoes for each reader.  


Here’s to you, brands, writers, content marketers and social media strategists. Make 2018 the year of artisanal content.