Sircle Media Featured on Social Media Today…Again!

SMT_300x300We were published in Social Media Today again this morning and this time we were talking about the new updates to Facebook retargeting and custom audiences.  This is a hot topic in Facebook (and web) marketing these days and it was nice to see us picked up again as an influencer in the space!

Facebook is working hard to balance driving revenue and increasing value to advertisers while maintaing a good user experience for its members.  Not an easy task, but nonetheless a priority.

To read the piece, CLICK HERE!

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Facebook Graph Search Exploration

I posted in this blog about the launch announcement for Facebook’s Graph Search back in January and I was admittedly excited about the potential of it all. A couple of weeks later I was one of the early accounts granted access to the tool and have been using it ever since.

It definitely takes some getting used to, which makes sense for any major change like this.  For someone who uses Facebook literally all day long I have found it frustrating at times as I try to navigate amongst my various client pages.  When trying to quickly toggle from profile to profile I find to be a bit more cumbersome than before.

For businesses it is now more important than ever before to pay close attention to how your page is structured. Keywords, descriptions, key business information etc. need to be written in a way that will make it more likely to show up in search.  i.e. If you are a Steakhouse in NYC, you better make sure to have Steakhouse as a key business description and have your NYC address entered correctly.  Not to do so could put you out of a relevant search.  Here i queried (Steakhouses in NYC liked by my friends) and this is what came up.

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Arlington Club is only a few months old but they have done a tremendous job with PR and Social Media and have worked their way to the top of my list. (and many others in my circle, that is for sure) When I look at the names of my friends who like the restaurant I found 13 “influencers” who I feel are pretty trendy and know a good time. This leaves a positive impression on me personally and is much more influential than a Google Search or Yelp review, because my own personal impression of these people makes their LIKE that much more powerful to me.

I read this piece in Social Media Today which breaks the entire platform down a bit further and I feel there are some helpful tips here. I thought I would share it with my readers.  Has your account changed over yet?  What are your thoughts on Graph Search?

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Using Instagram To Grow Your Brand!

I came across these simple, but spot on tips for using Instagram to grow your business on Social Media Today and I felt compelled to share it.  The whole article paints a very clear picture of what Instagram is and why it is so powerful. Give it a quick read and take notes.  Here are the 6 tips:

1. Use images to tell a story, not blast your branding

If you sell a product or service, make sure the images you use are about the experience of using the product or service, and not a product placement ad. Starbucks is an example of a big brand that does this well. Sure their photos show lots of Starbucks cups, but their photos also tell a story—the focus is always on what the person is doing while enjoying their coffee—on the beach, reading a book, etc.

There’s not a lot of tolerance for marketing that’s obviously marketing on social in general, and I would argue less so on Instagram. Keep it subtle and keep the focus on the experience or emotion your Instagrams project.

2. Most photos fall into two categories: beautiful imagery or humor

Make sure your Instagram photos fall into one of these categories. Generally a humorous photo needn’t be beautiful as well. Most users aren’t posting all their random party pics to their Instagram stream and brands should exercise similar constraint. Photo albums in that vein are for Facebook. Think of your Instagram photos as high value/low volume.

3. Don’t post too often

A general rule, don’t post more than three photos in a row or once every three hours. If you post more often than that, you run the risk of hogging your users’ feed. And don’t automatically share your Instagram photos to all your networks—editorially select and customize each one for the appropriate platform.

4. Choose an account name that’s the same as your Twitter handle

Having the same Instagram account name and Twitter handle serves two purposes. One—your profile will be easily recognizable and easy to find. And two—if you are tagged by another user in a caption and that photo is shared on Twitter, that tag will link to your Twitter profile. It ensures that tagging makes sense when an Instagram photo is shared on other networks.

5. Use hashtags, but don’t be creepy about it

Like on Twitter, hashtagging photos enables discovery of your profile by users outside of your primary connections. You can use the search functionality on the app to find out which hashtags are often used. Like on Twitter, hashtagging Instagram photos by event, geolocation, or subject matter is a good idea.

Other hashtags people tend to use on Instagram are filters and colors. Hashtags tend to be somewhat limited on Twitter due to the character length limitations. Because Instagram doesn’t have these limitations, this has encouraged some users and brands to stuff Instagram captions with every hashtag imaginable. Don’t do this—it looks like you’re trying too hard. Even worse, it makes you look like a spammer.

6. Set up an account on a web-based viewer

Instagram’s focus continues to be all about the mobile experience, but the app recently added the ability to view individual photos on the web through a shareable link. This feature allows your Instagram stream to not only be seen by those not using the app, but allows those who do have an account to like and comment on a shared photo right from the web. However, using a separate web-based viewer can help you manage your presence and track your progress.

Using Instagram’s API, these tools recreate your feed on a webpage, so you can view multiple photos at a time (without scrolling) on your computer. Most often you can make the same actions (liking, commenting, searching, tagging, etc.) on these web viewers that you can make on the mobile app. My favorite tool is Statigram—they even have a few basic metrics, comment notifications, and an Instagram campaign toolkit.

Hope this was helpful! Follow us on Instagram @SircleMedia


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