POV on Instagram Stories – March 2018

On this episode, I talk about the compelling stats behind Instagram Stories.  Some compelling stats:

- 300 million active daily users

- Over 1/3 of Instagram users are viewing Stories daily

- Snapchat Story views have declined 15-40% since Instagram launched their Stories product

- Major Snapchat influencers are now posting 2x more on Instagram Stories than on Snapchat

- 1 in every 5 organic Stories earns a direct message (proving consumption is happening)

- Daily consumption of Instagram has skyrocketed since the launch of Stories (raising the tide for the whole platform)

If you aren’t taking Stories seriously, you need to recalibrate. This is a real platform in and of itself and should probably be the first focus when using Instagram and not in the second position. Experimenting with organic and paid Stories efforts will prove out the be far more beneficial than sweating the organic reach and like count on each Instagram post. That serves a purpose too, of course, but is less of a driver than before.

Invest in Stories more now and take advantage of the good times, before that starts to change for the worse and they less value. Don’t sit on the sidelines reading yesterday’s news. Grab your phone and start telling your brand’s story…

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On KPIs and social media…

On this episode, we talk about social media and the KPI conversation. Our argument is that a brand or business needs to first determine what their goals are and then articulate that to their employees and/or vendor partners. They shouldn’t get lost in the weeds on terms like CPM’s and Ad Recall Uplift, they should just define what they want/need to happen and then allow their team to create a gameplan against that.

Let me explain this a bit further. “I want to grow my Instagram followers by 5K” sounds like a KPI but I would push back on that and ask – why, what does that give them specifically? This is a tactic and not a goal. Worth noting:
Goals are at the top and are the macro drivers: 
i.e. Reach 1 million vegan moms
Strategies are one step down and are different tributaries to that goal:
i.e. Facebook Ads, influencer partnerships etc.
Tactics are the small ball, micro executions within strategies:
i.e. Dark posts, influencer giveaways etc.

So growing your IG follower count is a tactic, under the strategy of leveraging the IG Platform and that strategy should feed into a bigger goal. So if that goal is to reach 1 million vegan moms, then we would argue that in today’s IG landscape, harvesting your own follower count is not the best tactic to accomplish that. You are better served by leveraging more paid Instagram work, more integrated collaborations with influencers and even brand collaborations that put you front and center with an audience already established by another like-minded brand.

We are all about KPI’s and ROI, as a way to measure success via social media, but I flip the script and put it on the client to think it thru first. Define the goals, discuss and debate strategies and then let your team execute on different tactics. Tactics will vary and come and go, and strategies will change and modify along the way too, though less frequently.  Goals should remain pretty consistent and be revisited every 6 months.

Don’t make your social media vendor (or any vendor for that matter) or your internal social media team report back on random statistics that add no value.  Tell them where your destination is and let them lead the way to get there. The trip won’t always be straight or perfect, but if all turns are made with the destination always in mind, then you are more likely to get where you were going at the outset.




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Instagram POV – further explained…

In this episode, we go a bit deeper into our current POV on Instagram. We have recently shared our take on what matters on Instagram, as well as why we love Instagram Ads so much right now.  Here we frame how to rethink your strategy for the platform and be able to better explain the right approach to retailers, investors and/or even yourself.

Instagram (just like Facebook before it) has given away a lot for free to build their brand and user base.  Now they are saying to brands that if they want to reach people and leverage the platform, they will need to pay. This is a good thing and if done right, it actually provides much more value than your follower count OR how many likes your last photo received ever did.

Hope this helps shape the conversation a bit more…

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Sircle Sessions: Can you land PR/media opportunities through social media?

Sircle-Social Sessions

Brands are constantly trying to find value in social media (many doubt there really is any) and are often looking at the wrong data points. It cannot be measured solely with a simple ROI calculation and/or traditional KPIs. Your efforts need to be looked at from a different POV and it is imperative to keep in mind that each individual effort is not necessarily intended to have a very specific result. It is more of a long game that needs to be played consistently and needs to pivot as the brand, industry or even social landscape does.

At Sircle we believe that social is not a marketing vertical and is more of a horizontal layer that touches all aspects of your business. By remaining committed to story telling and content marketing (which you should be if you own or manage a brand and want to win in mid-2016) and leveraging social networks, their audiences and amazing targeting and tools, you can do powerful things.

One such “thing” that brands are all thirsting for, is finding writers, bloggers, publications and/or media outlets to help them tell their story. They will shell out PR retainers to get these, and more often than not, they feel very frustrated or short changed by those engagements. It seems like PR has become a necessary evil and some brands see it as a set expense, or a cost of doing business if you will. It is amazing to me that brands will pay for this, which is so micro focused, in lieu of paying a social media retainer and/or an internal salary for social media management.  I would argue the latter brings much better value.

If you want to get coverage or gain influence, you need to roll up your sleeves, get to work and contribute content to the web. Posts, tweets, blogs, statuses, pins etc.. all create potential one-to-one exposure for your brand, which in turn can lead to bigger exposure if and when you come across the right set of eyes.

I was asked if I have seen opportunities surface through social media management and I shared my experience here. You can also click the image above to consume.  Enjoy!


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Sircle Sessions: What the key areas of focus in social media?

Sircle-Social Sessions

Many brands are not taking a holistic approach to social media and are treating it like its own silo of activity.  The team responsible for social, is usually understaffed and is often not in sync with the rest of a company’s digital initiatives, which is a big mistake.

Social media management is a full time job and pulls from a lot of different talents.  You need to be able to write, create, navigate various social platforms and be able to have the understanding of digital, to have it all working pursuant to a make sense strategy. Once you have the right person or team in place, then it comes down to a lot of small ball work. Click the image above or here, for an excerpt from a recent interview on the topic.

It really needs to be a balance of content, engagement and growth tactics in order to have transformational social media results. Brands need to really invest equally in all three, if they want to experience a really meaningful impact:

  1. You must contribute to the community with good content that people will enjoy and want to consume.
  2. You cant just put out content, you must seek out conversation opportunities and then close the loop.
  3. You also need to have a content and engagement strategy that aims to satisfy bigger marketing or company growth goals such as: fan and follower aggregation, traffic to the website, email capture, awareness (reach, impressions, branded searches) and of course – sales!

Social media affords brands a very inexpensive way to speak with and listen to customers and prospects.  So many marketers spend so much time talking about why social doesn’t work, why it isn’t trackable or how it dosnt have an ROI, and if they spent half of that time actually putting in the work, they would be singing a very different tune.

In order to win you must be a daily practitioner, and continue to tinker around.  Small moves, can produce big results- but only if you are really in the game.

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Sircle Sessions: Where do brands go wrong with social?

Sircle-Social Sessions

I sat down for a recent interview and we went deep into a discussion on social media and how brands approach it the wrong way. Most get (or pretend to get) that they need it, but do not invest the right resources into making it work. Click the image above or here, to watch some of that conversation.

It has to be an all in mentality to win and you cannot be half pregnant. You must plant the seeds and then water them with time and dollars to make sure that they not only grow, but flourish. The brands who get this and approach it as religion rather than just tactics, are winning and I am proud to say we work with many of them.

Garyvee said it right when he stated that “social media is just a slang term for the internet-the math is straightforward: people’s internet consumption now happens on mobile, and the thing people do the most on mobile is use social media platforms. That is the internet now. If you don’t understand this, you’re behind. There is zero difference between “digital marketing” and “social media marketing.”

Social media is not a fad, it is the current state of the union. Not creating and putting out content and of equal importance not listening to and engaging with the community, is just not acceptable for any business in today’s day and age. Brands need to wake up and participate, or they are going to put themselves out of business.


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Custom Facebook Welcome Tabs

Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 8.19.44 AM

At Sircle Media we have been creating custom welcome tabs for clients for over three years now.  Facebook tabs are created using iframes which means you can basically perform all of the same functions available on any external website, within the framework of Facebook.  This affords brands an incredible opportunity to engage with people on The Social Network.

Building a community is the number one objective on Facebook and one way to accomplish this is to create an environment, rich in content that users feel compelled to come back to.  By offering content and context about your brand you are able to “story tell” more and convert brand loyalists.

We often direct all new traffic through the welcome tab so that we can establish a more substantial first conversation with them. Otherwise they jump directly to your timeline and into a conversation that is already going on. We also use Welcome Tabs in many of our Facebook ad campaigns as they have proven very useful in converting likes.

These tabs are an important piece of our marketing puzzle as they accomplish a few mission critical things for our customers.

  1. They offer up additional content to prospects and customers
  2. They help showcase products available for purchase on our client’s website
  3. They capture email addresses for future email marketing
  4. They offer share buttons to help make the content on these tabs more viral

Here is a little video breakdown of how we approach making these tabs. Enjoy!  CLICK HERE


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