Instagram Stories (for Business!)

Instagram stories might seem like something that is for teens, but it’s also a great way to show some behind the scenes and moments in your business that you don’t necessarily want to live forever in your profile (or aesthetically don’t quite match). They can also help you show off your personality a bit more in a way that you might not be doing with your profile.

Another benefit is, drumroll please: it’s chronological!

Since 2016, Instagram’s newsfeed has not been chronological, it’s been determined by an algorithm. And well this happens because Instagram keeps growing and the volume of content does as well.

But stories are chronological. The latest story appears as the first bubble. So, it’s a great way to stay top of mind! Stories are also the first thing at the top of Instagram when you log in. Prime location.

IG Stories are popular! After just one year, Instagram reported it had 250 million daily users of Stories, versus 166 million for Snapchat. Businesses are using Stories to drive engagement: 1 in 5 stories posted by a business receives a direct message from a follower, and more than 50 percent of business accounts created a story in July 2017.

Create your story:

Click on your bubble on your home screen to add a story if you don’t have a current one if you do it will show you your existing story(ies). If you have an existing story, you can click the camera in the top left corner to create a new story.

Now here you take a pic or a video that you want to share for the next 24 hours. Both have a max of 15 seconds.

Then click (+ your story). And Congratulations, you’ve created an Instagram story! And again, click on your bubble to view your story and see how many people have seen it.

BUT. That was pretty anti-climatic. So, let’s look at how you can add some jazziness.

FORMATS

When you open your story camera, you have a sliding menu at the bottom that allows you to choose different formats.

Normal: regular photo or video. To take a picture click on the big circle or hold it to record a video of up to 15-seconds.

Boomerang: a looping video that plays forward and backward over and over again. You can only capture a few seconds, but if you time it right it can be lads of fun 😊

Superzoom: you have a few different zoom types. Dramatic, Bounce, Beats, TV show. You click on the music note to change it.

Rewind: Plays your video in reverse.

Hands free: another way to take a video but you don’t need to hold your finger down on the button to record. The camera rolls until you time out at 15 seconds (or stop it)

On the menu above that, you can choose a photo from your camera roll, turn flash on or off, flip the camera, and then here are your face filters. They are live – meaning you preview them here and need to choose before you take the photo.

FILTERS

Once you take a photo you can swipe through various filters here. Generally, they are just colour filters.

STICKERS!!!

This is my favourite part of Instagram stories, the stickers, because of the interactive elements.

There are 3 sticker elements I want to direct your attention to: location, hashtag, and gifs. To get to stickers you click on this smiley post it guy.

HASHTAGS: these hashtags are searchable. You can use the hashtag stickers, you can do rainbow or white. Doing this allows you to show up in a search.

LOCATION: you can add locations to your story. Click on it and it searches near you. It lets you appear in the search/explore tab for more visibility.

GIFS: Instagram recently partnered with Giphy to give users the ability to use animated GIFs in their stories. Gifs give your story another dimension. One thing to keep in mind. Less is more. You don’t want 8000 stickers at once with hashtags and locations etc. But there are some options to help you stand out a bit 😊

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HOT OFF THE PRESS!

7 Instagram Tips to Attract More Customers!
The Complete Guide to Getting Started on Instagram!

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform (currently sitting at about 800 million users). That is more than Twitter (about 330 Million) and LinkedIn (about 500 Million).

With so many users, chances are your ideal customer is there! But how do you use these numbers in your favour to attract your dream customers? 

In this guide, I demystify the platform and help you make powerful moves to generate more leads and attract more customers! 

Get it HERE

Should Your Business be on Instagram?

I’ve noticed recently that a lot of you struggle when it comes to Instagram. You either don’t quite know how to use it, aren’t on it yet, don’t know what to post or, in the words of a couple of my clients, don’t “get it”, so really for the next few weeks I am going to focus on how you can use Instagram to grow your visibility and attract more customers. And so, we’re not bailing on Facebook. I love Facebook and it has many features that Instagram doesn’t, but I want you to think about adding the platform to your online marketing efforts so create a more well-rounded strategy.

. Instagram arrived on the scene in 2010.  This app encouraged users to take a photo, use a filter, write a caption, and post. And there were a lot of food pics.

Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012.

Let’s start off with some super interesting and fun statistics all about Instagram. Because no matter how awesome Instagram is, there’s no point in you spending resources in growing your Instagram if your audience isn’t there.

Now first off, is user-ship. There are 800 million users on Instagram – which is about the equivalent of Twitter and LinkedIn combined.  (Twitter sits at about 300 million and LinkedIn 500 million). Woof. That is huge! And the audience there keeps on growing exponentially.

OK point taken, lots of people. But who are they?

  • 38% of online women use it, and 28% of online men use it.
  • 59% of internet users between 18 and 29 are using Instagram and 33% of users between 30 and 49 are using Instagram.
  • 59% of Instagrammers in the U.S. are under 30 – we can assume Canada follows a similar trend
  • The numbers are heavily skewed to younger folk. 18- to 29-year-olds comprise 59 percent of users in the U.S., followed by the 30 to 49-year-olds accounting for 33 percent.
  • For those of you who are in b2b, there are 25 million business profiles on Instagram, and I will bet probably twice as many as that who simply didn’t opt to have a business profile but own a business.
  • 75% of Instagram users take action after visiting a post
  • And, the best stats I came across: Instagram has the highest interaction rate when it comes to social media platforms.
  • According to a 2016 Instagram has a 2.2 percent per-follower interaction rate. For a comparison, Facebook has a 0.22 percent rate.

So now that you have those numbers to think about, I want to share some differences and similarities between Facebook and Instagram.

The reasons being:

1. Facebook owns Instagram, but it is its own platform, so I do want you to know what the difference is

2. A lot of the strategies that I share regularly on my show are applied best to Facebook and Instagram, they are my 2 favourite platforms, and I just want to give a bit of an overview for why and who does what best.

SIMILARITIES

1. Algorithm

Both FB and Instagram’s newsfeed are determined by an algorithm. I’ve spoken about algorithms here before, and what I share does apply to both. Engagement is important, the quality of your posts is important, you have a window of opportunity, and creating conversations is the goal. On both platforms, FB's goal is to keep you around as long as possible. So, anything you share that keeps your audience’s attention is good!

2. You can cross-publish

If you are the admin of a page on FB, you can go into your settings on Instagram and link both accounts. This allows you to choose to also share your posts on Facebook when you are posting to Instagram. I do this fairly often, but there are some things to keep in mind on this topic:

1. Often you’ll want to change the text: there are certain nuances of Instagram that don’t apply to FB and you’ll want to change, examples could be hashtags, “link in bio” etc.

2. Not every post is great for both platforms. You don’t want your FB and Insta to be identical. Then why would we follow you in both places?

3. It doesn’t work the other way around, i.e. you can’t post to FB then also share to Insta.

3. Ads manager

Another similarity which I assume is the results in both being owners by FB is the ads. When you create ads for Instagram (which btw you need a business account for) you do so inside the FB ads manager. You can do a few simple things within the Instagram app, but you’ll generally want to go into the ads manager for anything more complex than a boost.

DIFFERENCES

1. Profiles are treated equally

This is probably my favourite things about Instagram. Both platforms allow you to have a “business account”. But on Instagram, all profiles are treated equally. On fb, you can’t go and comment on profiles easily, but on Instagram, you can, which makes engagement super easy!  You can comment on anyone’s post as long as they don’t have a private account.

2. Invites vs follows

On Facebook, this is how you connect with people. You are either ‘friends’ where you have both made an indication that you want to connect, or you like a page. And you have the option to Invite your friends to like your page.

On Instagram, you basically follow others and hope they follow you back. Yes, there is an entire strategy behind getting followers, but that’s what you do need to know. You can follow anyone, but they don’t necessarily have to follow you. And, there is no way to “invite” ppl to follow you.

3. Instagram is a native and mobile platform

On Facebook, you can do pretty much anything. Instagram is a bit more limited and really contains you to the app. You can’t share links in captions, you can’t “share” or retweet”. You can post a photo or a video and that’s where it stops. Everything is native, meaning you need to upload directly into the app.

There are apps that make life easier. Instagram now let’s business profiles schedule posts (with the help of 3rd party apps). Before it kinda just reminded you and if you were lucky, it would copy the text to your clipboard.

And on that note, it’s mobile only. You can access your Instagram profile from a desktop, but you can’t post or do much. Again, there are 3rd party apps that let you post, but for the most part it's just mobile.

***

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

7 Instagram Tips to Attract More Customers!
The Complete Guide to Getting Started on Instagram!

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform (currently sitting at about 800 million users). That is more than Twitter (about 330 Million) and LinkedIn (about 500 Million).

With so many users, chances are your ideal customer is there! But how do you use these numbers in your favour to attract your dream customers? 

In this guide, I demystify the platform and help you make powerful moves to generate more leads and attract more customers! 

Get it HERE

The Hangover AKA what no one tells you about success in life and business

The first 3 months of the year for me were amazing. Yes they were really busy. But often the busier you are and the more you have on your plate, the more the fire is lit under your bum to actually get stuff done. That’s how it works for me anyway.

In January I went to the Bahamas for a retreat where the topic was sales, in February I went to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, California with a few days vacay,  and in March I went to Arizona to attend Your Million Dollar message.

Meanwhile, I was also in launch mode for the Live Video Formula, which meant creating content for webinars, presentations, a free download, and weekly videos. Not to mention creating the content for the course, delivering it to beta testers, and getting people into the course itself.

And, to top that all off; all the march madness that happens each year with many key projects ending March 31st.

Oh right, I was also deep into rehearsals for a theatre production which just wrapped up last weekend.

Then April rolled around and I was like….what now? What do I do, what do I spend my time on, what is next for me?

Honestly, I spent a few weeks feeling really lost. The webinars were done, I was waiting for the course to begin, all of that work to get the course up and running was winding down.

So I want to share with you 3 important things to keep in mind if this happens to you, and so I can look back next time and remind myself.

1. Take time to relax and re-energize

3 months of pedal to the metal can really take its toll on you. I was loving every minute of it and I don’t think I even realized how busy I was and how much I was actually taking on. My mind just kept saying more more more!

But after such a stretch, it’s important to make sure you take a bit of time to take a breath, relax, and ground yourself.

Take a nap. Sleep in. Do the things that you haven’t done in a long time because they “aren’t productive” because honestly, you aren’t going to be productive if you don’t because you’ll be out of gas.

I watched at least an entire season of the Mindy Project. And some of that was in the middle of the day when I’d usually be working. Good idea? Depends on your perspective. At this point, there wasn’t a ton that I needed to get done. The most important thing for me was to get rest so that I could strategically plan next steps. Your brain won’t be strategic if it’s too tired.

2. Focus on other areas of your life

I had some friends that I hadn’t seen in what felt like forever. And I felt like I had barely seen BFK in forever either. Even though we live together.

When you are giving it your all in one area of your life, other areas are going to suffer, that just how it is. It’s not realistic to think you can be the super entrepreneur, the best GF the friend who is there for everyone, improve your half marathon PR, and nail your role in a play all at the same time. Some might say that’s a limiting belief. I say it’s reality.

Take some time to refocus on the areas that might have been neglected. Go on a date with your partner. Go for a girl’s night or for coffee with friends. Go for a nice long run even if you feel like dying the entire time.

Refocus and make sure you are creating a well-rounded life for yourself that isn’t only fulfilled when it’s full of work activities.

3. Take a break from technology

I don’t really love saying this. And I really don’t love doing this.

But it’s easy to become addicted and obsessive. When I was running webinars, I couldn’t help but check on the registration numbers every few hours. And I couldn’t help checking my list size, my ad analytics, my likes and comments on my posts, you name it. It got very obsessive.

And that’s not even that worst part. When the webinars had all been done, and there wasn’t really any equivalent to check on, I still kept grabbing my phone to look at for some instant gratification. But like I said, there wasn’t much to even be looking at other than social media likes. And we really don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

So take a break.

And if that’s really hard for you, like it is for me, start small.

I logged out of Facebook and Instagram (on a Saturday) and told myself that I couldn’t go back in for 12 hours. I wouldn’t be missing any work stuff, Saturday. And when I'd grab my phone, the prompt for me to log in would remind me that I made this pact with myself. Because often I just go in without realizing its just a habit.

Second. Don’t be afraid to leave your phone at home if you are going out for dinner or something quick where you in no way will need your phone. and don’t be afraid to let your phone die and leave it off for a couple of hours. The battery on my phone has been super wonky and needs to be replaced. That gave me the perfect excuse to just leave it off for a bit.

You probably won’t miss anything. I didn’t. And it helped me be more mindful of checking Instagram or FB just out of habit.

Ok, so there you have it. How I got over my business hangover. Again that strategies are:

1. Take time to relax and re-energize;

2. Refocus your time and energy;

3. And take a break from technology.

 

Facebook watch, The Blue Jays, and the future of live video

Something you may not know 'bout me is, I am a huge Blue Jays fan! (I even named my dog Tulo). This week I am discussing the Jays and Live Video.

How do these 2 topics overlap, you might ask? Last week, Facebook Watch – a new(ish) FB video platform, had exclusive rights to broadcast the Jays game against the Royals, and this was, of course, broadcast over Facebook Live. What does this mean for Baseball fans, live streamers, social media users, and everyone in between? Watch today’s episode to find out!

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It starts tomorrow! The Live Video Formula

Live video is the most effective way to build your audience, increase engagement, and grow your business – EVEN if you don’t a huge following!

In this 6-week LIVE course, I show you how to launch, grow and monetize your live video presence!

For more details CLICK HERE

Create a Mesmerizing Learning Experience

In this week’s episode of The Art of Online Marketing I chat with Adult Educator, Course Creator, and Speaker, Sandra Currie-Samson about how to create a mesmerizing learning experience for our audience. As business owners and marketers, whether we know it or not, we are teachers, and there are some important factors to keep in mind to ensure that we are teaching in a way that engages our audience. These include:

1. Including a live element;

2. Building a community;

3. Knowing your audience and their needs.

Watch the video to learn how you can create a more engaging learning experience for your audience.

It’s finally here! The Live Video Formula

Live video is the most effective way to build your audience, increase engagement, and grow your business – EVEN if you don’t a huge following!

In this 6-week LIVE course, I show you how to launch, grow and monetize your live video presence!

For more details CLICK HERE

Maximize your Live Video MAGIC!

I love live video. But I don’t love it because like being or seeing myself on camera (quite the opposite actually). No, I love the results that live video get me. Live video helps me reach new followers, build a meaningful relationship with my audience, increase engagement, and more!

At this moment in time, live video is the most popular content format among social media users. That means that most people would rather watch video then other forms of content such as blog posts or other social posts. The reach, the level of engagement, and the time spent interacting with live video posts is also higher than any other type of format. The point is – people love watching live video.

However, all the benefits, which I call live video magic, are at their peak while you are LIVE!

This means that it’s to your benefit to get your audience to watch live. Those who watch live are more likely to engage, watch longer, and share with friends because it is in the moment.

How do you get more people to watch live? I share 3 suggestions in this video.

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Want to learn more about using live video to attract customers? Join me LIVE on April 12 at 12PM AST! CLICK HERE to sign up. In this 1-hour session, Get More Qualified Leads with LIVE VIDEO, I will share with you how to use live video to build your audience, increase engagement, and attract more customers! CLICK HERE for more info.

The RIGHT (and wrong) way to boost a live video!

Don’t boost your post! It’s a waste of money!

Wait. What? When did that become the common perspective on boosted posts?

Is boosting a post always the way to go? No. But boosted posts absolutely have a time and a place.

What you need to know is that when you boost a post, you are essentially pushing your post out to more people with the objective of getting “engagement” (aka, action on the post).

If that is your objective – great. If not, you should consider creating an ad. Watch the video to hear what strategy I use with my own live videos!

Want to learn more about using live video to attract customers? Join me LIVE on April 12 at 12PM AST! CLICK HERE to sign up. In this 1-hour session, Get More Qualified Leads with LIVE VIDEO, I will share with you how to use live video to build your audience, increase engagement, and attract more customers! CLICK HERE for more info. 

Live video can work for you – EVEN if you don’t have a huge following!

I only have a small following. Will Live Video work for me?

I get asked this question ALL THE TIME. Every time I do a training session, at least one person will ask this question. And the answer is: YES!

Here’s why.

At the end of the day the number of followers or likes you have isn’t really important, it’ the intent behind the click. It is much more valuable to have a small, engaged audience than it is to have a massive audience that couldn’t care less.

By going live, you will create meaningful relationships with the audience that you already have. When you consistently share valuable content, you gain their trust. There is something about being able to see and hear you, your voice, your tone, all in real time, without editing or censoring, that helps people connect with you on a new level that isn’t really possible with other formats. It’s the closest you can get to having a face to face conversation!

Your social media presence will naturally grow from doing consistent lives. Going live is algorithm friendly; you get a much higher reach when you go live than any other type of content. This means more of your followers will see your post, AND new people who aren’t following you yet see your post. Which makes organic growth of your page super simple and easy!

Want to learn more about using live video to attract customers? Join me on March 28th at 12PM AST! CLICK HERE to sign up. In this free online training, Get More Qualified Leads with LIVE VIDEO, I’m going to show YOU how to use LIVE VIDEO to build your audience, increase your engagement, and grow your business. You do not want to miss this! CLICK HERE for more info. 

Newfoundland, Bollywood, and the TERROR of video

If you’re just meeting me, you may think that I have always LOVED doing video and that is absolutely not true. I love the results that live video has for my business, but, like so many people out there, I started out being terrified of doing video, not to mentioned LIVE video.

I really had to ease myself into it. I knew that by not using video in my business, I was missing out on so many opportunities to grow my business and to become more visible.

In this video, I share my 3 tips to ease into video!

Want to learn more about using live video to attract customers? Join me on March 21st at 12PM AST! CLICK HERE to sign up. In this free online training, Get More Qualified Leads with LIVE VIDEO, I’m going to show YOU how to use LIVE VIDEO to build your audience, increase your engagement, and grow your business. You do not want to miss this! CLICK HERE for more info.  

How your Brand Can Show up Powerfully Through Video – with Special Guest Brittany Pickrem

In this episode of The Art of Online Marketing, I am joined by Brittany Pickrem, brand expert & designer. Brittany shares how your brand can show up powerfully through video by:

✓ Setting the Stage;

✓ Having Good Lighting;

✓ Incorporating your brand colours;

✓ Planning your Wardrobe;

✓ And More!

Watch the video for details! Wanna learn more about Brittany? Check her out here: brittanypickrem.com/ 

the live video formula 2b.jpg

Introducing: The Live Video Formula!  Launch, grow, and monetize your live video presence (even if live video scares you)! 

➢ If you've dreamed of stepping up your social media game with live video, but need support, skills and confidence to get started;

➢ If you're intimidated by the idea of being live, creating content, and a part of you worries you won't be able to pull it off;

➢ If the tech makes your head spin and you just don’t know what you need or where to begin;

➢ If you're determined to get started with live video in 2018, and you want to do it the RIGHT way; Join me for the LIVE VIDEO FORMULA!!!

Full Details here: https://www.stratigro.ca/live-video

To book a call to be considered for the program, please visit: https://goo.gl/Cz9aqc