#InstaProfit: Using Instagram to Boost Your Business

Think of Instagram as the lovechild of your portfolio and lead generator—I bet I have your attention now.

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#Why

Instagram has over **one billion active monthly users** and **over 500 million daily users**. This stat comes from February of 2017—two 1/2 full years ago!—and it’s only been growing since.

It’s free advertising that almost everyone knows how to use (or can at least delegate to someone who does). And, bonus! It’s a medium that is entirely reliant on the visual, which makes it a natural fit for the visual consumer (which is nearly EVERYONE). It’s also more personal. Instagram works on a 1:1 communication, which means you can see every individual who interacts with your post and reach out to them specifically.

Best of all, along with it being easier for your customers to use, it’s also easier for you to use. Hashtags function like a more direct SEO, making it a more straightforward way for your business to be delivered. And, I know I’ve already mentioned this, but Instagram’s free! The sky’s the limit on Instagram. Let’s also not forget how Instagram comes with free photo editing opportunities, making it easier for you to look like a pro with little to no experience.

#How

I can see it in your eyes, dear reader—you’ve come to see the new frontier that is using Instagram to boost your business. But now, of course, comes step two. How do you get started?

  1. Set a few goals. Like anything in business, setting attainable goals is key to a successful venture. Determine what you want to do, a destination to map out your steps. One such goal can be deciding who you want to work with. Who is your audience and who is your ideal client? Using a social media calendar can also help you map out your steps!

  2. Customize your content. 80% of Instagram users are under the age of 34, and studies show that over half of all millennials check their Instagram daily. Make sure the userbase you’re after will find your content inspiring, helpful, entertaining, and informative (you get the idea).

  3. Optimize! As with all social media, a business account is going to look different than a personal one. Don’t muddle up your personal account with your business one. Keep it totally professional, and keep your amazing sunset vacation pictures for your own private account. 

  4. Best Foot Forward. Write a compelling bio. Make it engaging, and attention grabbing. Some things to include may be how you love helping your target demographic, your niche, and of course emojis are always a fun way to get your audience’s attention too. 

#What

You understand the why, you understand the how. But what kind of things should you be posting on your Instagram account now that you’ve signed up, penned that clever bio, and selected your profile picture?

The last thing you want is to have a bland profile. Mix it up. Think of it as an artistic canvas for your business. You are selling a product or service, yes, but you’re also selling your brand. It’s important to keep your brand in-tact, consistent and thriving throughout your Instagram account. Photographs, along with aesthetically appealing images and clever captions are more important than ever.  

Not sure where to get started? Limelight Marketing Systems has a team of insta-specialists that are here to #help you on your way to #success. Contact us today. We’ve got the #knowhow to make you look good.


Help! No One is Engaging with my Posts!

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Diving headfirst into the world of social media marketing is a dizzying and oftentimes overwhelming experience. You’re slammed with words and terms such as total reach, post reach, page likes, visits, engagement and boost…even for a savvy social media user, it can make your head spin! And that’s before we’ve added hard numbers and data into the mix. So what does it mean to get your client base engaging with your profile and posts? And how can you increase that activity?

Let’s start with the basics. What is reach? What is engagement?

Reach is a measurement of how many people have laid eyes on your post. That is to say, how many people it has reached. This number is great and extremely useful, especially if you are looking to increase the visibility of your business. Now, you might be tempted to think that establishing a high reach is simple, but like most things online it’s not that straightforward. With recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms, reach has become harder to influence and increase. But don’t get too concerned! There is an answer. But first, let’s talk engagement.

Once you’ve established your reach, engagement comes in. Engagement is the amount of views, clicks, comments, likes, and shares that happen with your posts. It’s the important metric to consider when you are looking to further brand loyalty and build a lasting relationship with your customers. Reach is good—engagement is better. Just because someone has seen your post doesn’t mean they’ve engaged with it and retained it.

So how can you influence your reach and engagement to be the best social media marketer possible? Consider the following 3 tips:

1. Handcrafted Posts. Make sure when you’re posting, you’re creating a post that is specific to your customers—not your business. Address what they find the most important, and share information they’re likely to pass along. Be visual! Posts containing pictures or videos are more likely to end with engagement from your user base. Check out the demographics of people who are “liking” your page. Ask yourself: is this the base I was hoping to reach? Do I need to adjust my methods, or maybe my concept of my target audience?

2. Engage, engage, engage. Once you have a customer engage with a post, don’t be afraid to respond. One of the biggest plusses of social media is the direct line of communication with your client base. Say hey, ask them questions, and get a conversation going. Due to recent updates, to how Facebook functions, the website tries to keep the platform relevant. Stay up-to-date and in the loop so you don’t get buried in your clients’ newsfeed.

3. Cash in, cash out. Again, Facebook has made some algorithm changes to how its newsfeed functions. If you want to grow your reach, which is necessary to increasing engagement, it’s worth exploring your options and considering a paid campaign. It’s the unwritten rule of all business: sometimes you need to spend some money to make some money.

Thinking of jumping headlong into social media marketing for you and your business? Or maybe you’re looking to polish up your existing professional profile. No matter your goals, Limelight Marketing Systems has the reach and know-how to get your clients engaging with your posts in no time. Contact us today! We’ll make you look good.

20 Places You Can Promote Your Business Locally Right Now

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Gone are the days where you would exercise your fingers in that famous yellow business directory. Well, I guess you still could but it’s tantamount to having an AOL address. It’s just not relevant anymore.

You need to be found where and when your buyers have a need.... and that could be right now.

There's a myriad of opportunities to promote your business online, let’s start by exploring the numbers. 97% of people are at least looking online for local businesses (that's the good news) and will click on the first search result. (People can be lazy. Their clicky finger may be tired or they want to get back to Netflix or … no, they’re really just lazy.)  75% of people never scroll past the 1st page (that's the bad news) and you might NOT be the one that they will find.

Here’s my point, your business doesn’t exist to them if they can’t find it easily. (In fact, maybe that was one of your potential clients that just walked past your front door with a Starbucks and a big bag of money...don’t let that happen again.)

Here’s what you do.

Get one of those sandwich boards and a big bell, the kind a Town Crier would ring, OR even better, you could do a simple Google search of local business directories and that alone would probably yield 20 or so sources. But we’ve made it even easier for you. The main ones are listed below.

Yelp Manta Foursquare

DexKnows Trip Advisor Kudzu

Mapquest Local.com Hotfrog

 White Pages Superpages

YellowBook YellowBot YellowPages(online)

MerchantCircle Angie’s List The Business Journals

Facebook my Business Google My Business Yahoo Local

...and that was 21 for those of you who weren’t counting.

At a minimum each directory allows you to list your

  • Location

  • Hours

  • Phone Number

  • Website address

  • Type of business

Each directory may be a little different but some will allow you to list more features of your business (including your branding) and you certainly want to take advantage of that where you can.

READY TO SHOW UP?

Correctly setting up your online business listings is a good place to start! Do a scan to see what's right and what's wrong. You'll be surprised. 

SCAN YOUR BUSINESS NAME NOW AND SEE WHAT PROSPECTS FIND ABOUT YOU!

Think about what Google, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp, (and all those 21 we previously listed above) can do for you. 

Having business profiles in as many places as possible makes you rank higher on all search engines. Always remember the more sites, the more links and the more consistent/accurate and relevant business content you put in about your company, the easier it is for complicated algorithms to “like” you.

So, your objective is simple. Make some noise, link to your website, and get found when people are looking for you. 

…. And if you need some help….there’s always The Limelight Marketing Team