2019: The Year Your Business Needs to Invest in Social Media Marketing

Investing In Social Media Marketing 2019

Technically we could swap the date in the title with any date in the last 10 years and this would still be a relevant message, but for the purpose of keeping this current, let’s stick with 2019. The marketing opportunities within the realm of social media marketing have done nothing but grow exponentially for years on end and we’ve all been witnesses. Whether we’re spending our personal time exploring these platforms to stay in touch with friends or land a new job, or we’re doing research to see how they could help our startups or employers send their messages out into to the world, social media has become an unavoidable part of our every day lives. So much so, that brands and businesses have caught on and it’s more clear than ever that this is where you need to be to succeed.

That being said, are you keeping up with the times? Are you two steps ahead of your competitors or five steps back? If you’re going to make any resolutions in 2019, make one to really sit down and find your place on social media so you can invest accordingly.

Whether you’re skeptical (seriously? STILL?!) or just need some reminding, here are five reasons why you really really really need to invest in social media marketing for your business in 2019:

It Provides Authenticity
As a society, we’re far past the point of trusting everything that advertisers say. We’re skeptical, educated and bolder than ever when it comes to our outlook on marketing so as a business, you need to adapt. Social media gives your brand a channel to push out messages on a regular basis, that aren’t robotic advertisements, and stay in touch with consumers by offering a transparent view into your company that lends itself well to the overall genuine vibe that all consumers are searching for.

It Helps Strengthen Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the acronym that we’re all familiar with but aren’t quite sure what it means or how to achieve maximum success using it as part of a marketing strategy. Luckily, you don’t have to know much to know that updating social media profiles regularly can help you show up in relevant search results on Google.

It Works Well With Your Other Advertising Initiatives
Research has proven that 81% of consumers research a business online before they make a purchase so where you show up, what information is provided and how you come off to the world are incredibly important. Social media campaigns are just one part of the puzzle. Make sure that when you’re running a promotion or campaign on other platforms (newspaper, radio, television, magazines, in-store handouts etc), that your social channels match. It’s all about using them as part of an overall strategy.

It’s Cost Effective
Seriously, for real. While the platforms themselves are free to join, it’s no secret that we’re not all exactly equipped and confident navigating them on our own. Even if you pay for assistance with platform maintenance, the cost breaks down to just dollars per day and isn’t your time worth much more than that? You could also invest in custom training sessions to help you feel more confident setting and achieving goals online. Either way, the cost is a fraction of what you’d pay for a one-off magazine ad the size of a business card. Plus, the skills you learn are much more valuable in the short and long term than the real estate on any one magazine page.

It Builds Engaged Communities
Regularly updating your social media channels means you’re giving consumers a chance to learn more about you and what you offer. When followers interact with your content, their personal connections can see that they’ve endorsed and supported you and that’s worth much more than a 15 second radio spot ever will be. Over time, an engaged online community builds on itself in ways that other mediums just can’t compare with.

 

So what are you waiting for?
Reach out today and let’s get social!

Tools To Help You Step Up Your Social Media Game

Tools To Help Improve Your Social Media Game

We’ve all been there; juggling 20 tasks at once, pretending to be a graphic designer and fiddling around website code like you’ve done it a million times before and aren’t in the least terrified to break everything. As a business owner it’s not unusual to wear many hats at once, and often times, limited marketing budgets make this more of a reality than we’d like to admit. But whether you have a plethora of incredibly useful skills, or you’re a one-trick pony that specializes in one realm and crushes it daily, there are definitely some apps, programs and tools out there that can help you make the best of your unique situation and needs. There’s a time and a place to step back and let technology help so just give in and let it happen. Your schedule and your brain will thank you!

Design
Let’s be honest, very few entrepreneurs have what it takes to navigate the Adobe Creative Suite of programs and blast out incredible branded content. Even those who do have the skills, might not be able to find the time. Cue these great tools that can help you do everything from gather inspiration for content, create collages, add text, motion graphics and more.
Canva
Ripl
Adobe Spark
Instagram Layout

Copywriting
There are very few people who actually enjoy writing and find it a simple task to accomplish. For most entrepreneurs and industry employees, writing is not fun and for some, it’s downright terrifying. Luckily, there are some pretty cool tools and apps you can use to step up your writing game and get the support you need to communicate your ideas clearly.
Grammarly
Hemingway

Photo Editing
So you’ve got some great photos but need to touch them up a bit without uploading everything into a complex computer program and pretending you know how to use the hundreds of special tools they offer. These apps and programs can make this process a lot simpler and keep your editing contained to your device where the photos already live.
ColourStory
Google Snapseed
VSCO

Scheduling
We could all use some help when it comes to scheduling updates on our social media accounts, especially since the list of platforms seems to be never ending these days! There are a bunch of popular industry tools that provide free and paid options which are bound to make things a lot less stressful when it comes to sourcing content, scheduling and maintenance.
Hootsuite
Buffer
Sprout Social

What Do You Know About Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing Facts

You’ve probably heard about it by now; the new king of content aka influencer marketing. There’s no denying that customers are smarter now than ever before. They don’t trust brands like they used to so they look to real humans to recommend products and services and that’s exactly how influencer marketing was born. If you aren’t familiar with what it means or how it works, you’ll want to take notes because it’s already a huge force in the marketing industry and it poised to continue growing as the years pass.

Influencer Marketing Infographic

How To Create Easter Content For Social Media

Easter Social Media Ideas For Small Businesses

Easter is a holiday that tends to creep up and catch us off guard every year because the date is always changing! Even if you aren’t the religious type, it’s a time to celebrate spring, eat far too much candy and spend time with family. To me, it’s a little reminder that beautiful weather is on its way and that makes me happy! Ironically, my birthday this year falls directly on Easter Sunday so the holiday is taking on a whole new meaning for me haha! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in even more goodies and treats. Even though it’s not your birthday and even though you may not be big into the holiday itself, as a business there are many ways you can get involved and encourage your followers/fans to engage:

  1. Host A Virtual Egg Hunt
    Want to get followers/fans involved and encourage them to engage? Host a virtual egg hunt! Create a few custom social media posts with hidden Easter eggs and hold a competition to find them. Both Instagram and Facebook would be great platforms to incorporate for a hunt. You can even offer a prize for finding all the eggs that creates incentive for them to continue engaging through the holiday weekend or the week leading up to the big day.
  2. Create Seasonal Social Graphics
    Changing your cover photos or incorporating easter graphics into your content schedule is a simple and fun way to get involved with any holiday and Easter is no exception. Remember to keep it bright and colourful and don’t be afraid to show off your team (think easter bunny ear selfies, easter egg competitions etc).
  3. Encourage Followers/Fans To Share Moments
    Whether it’s taking a photo of their Easter table or sharing their creative Easter egg decorations, there are plenty of ways to encourage user-generated content for the long weekend. Whether you decide to host a contest or you just want users to share content for fun, there are a lot of options at your disposal. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to give people enough time to share and make it easy for them to do so.
  4. Host A Special Sale/Event
    A long Easter weekend means that there’s more to the holiday than egg hunts and chocolate binging. People will be looking for things to do and experience over the course of the weekend so why not host an event or share a limited-time promotion? Whether it’s generating a simple Easter promo code for your online shop, hosting a family-friendly easter event at your location or including hourly specials to entice more visitors to come through the doors, there’s a lot of ways to have fun with it! Regardless of what you choose, don’t forget to create graphics that will help you promote everything online.

Social Media Marketing In 2018

social media marketing trends 2018

From the rise of grassroots influencers to society’s response to fake news and misinformation, the world of social media marketing is ever changing and 2018 is no different. If you want to stay current and ensure that you’re leveraging platforms to their full potential, understanding upcoming trends is the key. Below are the six main trends you should take note of as we move further into 2018:

  1. The Rise of Micro-Influencers
  2. Focus on Generation Z
  3. Twitter’s Bot Crackdown
  4. The impact of Call-Out Culture on Brands
  5. More Brands Will Use Messaging Platforms
  6. Social Media Marketer Battling Fake News

 

social media marketing trends 2018

The Rise Of The GIF

Social Media Likes GIF

No matter how you pronounce it, the GIF is making a huge comeback! The glitter text and silly pixelated graphics that once graced our personal MySpace pages have returned and they are way cooler than they used to be. Whether it’s a dancing cat, silly character, popular saying or a ridiculous floating food item, there’s something for everyone. As GIFs continue to grow in popularity, more platforms and apps are adding them to our lineup of cool “stickers”.

Earlier this year, Snapchat started releasing moving filters and stickers and had since launched a full GIF library users can slap on their snaps for fun. Even Instagram recently released a GIF database that users can access when they post stories.

Social Media GIFs          Social Media GIFs         Social Media GIFs

As a big lover of emojis and the personality they add to a standard message/response, it’s exciting to see the rise of GIFs since they open up a whole new door when it comes to having fun with content and creative. Almost every Instagram story Blab has posted since the launch of the GIF feature has included at east 1 GIF and I’m not ashamed to admit that! As a funky, eclectic brand, GIFs are a great way to add some personality and movement to every day messages. If you’re noticing the new found popularity GIFs but aren’t sure how to incorporate them, consider these simple tips:

1. Stay True To Your Brand
Regardless of your brand personality, there’s a GIF that’ll work for you. Don’t shy away from them entirely just because you have a more refined or professional reputation. Take the time to look through the databases and search specific words or objects that you could incorporate without the risk of abandoning the brand you’ve worked so hard to build.

2. Know When Enough Is Enough
Unfortunately, there is such a thing as overkill when it comes to GIFs. Does your post really need fireworks, two dancing cats, a winking pizza slice and glitter text? Know when to use GIFs to enhance your message and when to opt out or pair down to keep things simple.

3. Understand Your Audience
The type of content you share depends entirely on the type of people you’re speaking to and GIFs should follow the same principle. Know your audience inside and out and use that knowledge to determine if certain platforms or messages are better suited for GIFs.

How To Use Snapchat Like A Millennial

How To Use Snapchat Like A Millennial Windsor Ontario

Snapchat can be a safe haven and a platform where people can capture and share memories. Although, some might argue that it’s the most confusing and useless platform they’ve ever experienced. Needless to say, you either love it or you hate it. While there isn’t really a wrong way to use Snapchat, there are definitely ways you can ease into it like a professional if you’re interested in trying it out. Whether you’re a born millennial or an old, cranky, retired person trapped inside a 20 year old’s body, you can use these tips to get started:

Adjust Your Mindset
While many have copied the concept, none have succeeding in removing Snapchat from its pedestal. The beauty of Snapchat is also its biggest strength, all content shared on the platform disappears in 24 hours. Snapchat’s core principle is simple: Send that awkward, unfiltered selfie, snap a quick pic of the sky, record yourself lip-syncing to an embarrassing song. It’s not going to stay in your digital archive forever so why not just live in the moment? It’s all about instant gratification, for yourself and for the people you send content to.

Keep Up With Changing Lenses
With all the lenses available within the app, it’s nearly impossible to take a bad snap! Be prepared to laugh at yourself as you play with the voice changes and silly effects. The best part is that they change all the time so there’s always something new to play with. Plus, if you create a bitmoji character and link it with the app, you’ll unlock even more ever-changing lenses.

Have Fun With Filters
While lenses add a really cool augmented reality vibe to the app, filters are another great way to some fun to your snaps. They let you add text, locations, branded messages, time stamps, the current temperature and even the current speed at which you’re travelling. The best part about them is that you don’t have to choose just one! You can layer multiple filters on screen at the same time to add multiple effects.

Create A Snapcode
Are you really using Snapchat if you aren’t promoting your Snapcode? Your Snapcode is basically a personal barcode on Snapchat. You can post it anywhere online and anyone can add you on Snapchat by opening the app and pointing the camera at your code. You can keep it as the basic ghost illustration or you can add a series of 5 quick selfies to jazz it up a bit.

Design A Geofilter
If you’re looking to add something fun and unique to your next event, why not design a custom geofilter? They’re called geofilters because they’re restricted to a certain area so you can create one that customers can use when shopping at your business, dancing the night away at your wedding, or visiting a certain area. While they aren’t free, they also don’t cost a fortune and increase in price based on the area you want to cover.


What’s your best tip/trick for new Snapchat users?

5 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Social Media Training

Social Media Training Sessions Windsor Ontario

There’s no doubt that social media is an incredible marketing tool! It gives businesses a place to tell their story and engage with their customers on a level that no other medium can compete with. Whether you’re a small home-based business or a multi-million dollar corporation, social media provides a level playing field and new opportunities that continue to grow and develop as the years pass….but all this potential can be overwhelming! As a small business owner, where do you start? If you need to make a big impact with a small budget, you should consider custom social media training sessions. Here are five reasons why you should elevate your knowledge while investing in yourself and your business this year:

1. Training can help you reach your goals faster
Some goals can be easily attained based on your current skill set and connections but others can take a lot more time to conquer due to lack of time, resources or knowledge. Social media training sessions can help you reach those seemingly unattainable and frustrating social media goals faster by empowering you with the knowledge, confidence and skills necessary to get the job done on your own time!

2. Training doesn’t require a massive budget or a long-term commitment
Unlike the cost associated with traditional marketing campaigns or long-term agency contracts, social media training can be booked and paid for on an as-needed basis. No contract is required and you can book as few or as many sessions as you want. Whether you’re looking to invest in training every month to keep your knowledge current, or you’d prefer to invest in one session to help you solve a specific problem you’re currently facing, training gives you that freedom.

3. Training is the first stepping stone into a world full of opportunities
Often times the one thing that holds most businesses back from truly exploring and leveraging social media, is their lack of confidence. Training sessions don’t just provide extensive insight and knowledge, they also empower business owners to make decisions, set goals and accomplish tasks they once felt too uncomfortable facing themselves. Training is the first step towards being able to fully leverage social media to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.

4. Training allows you to prioritize your time
It’s no secret that social media can be incredibly time consuming. One thing leads to another and before you know it, your 30 minutes of time of the platform has turned into 3 hours and you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing in the process. The great thing about training is that knowledge truly is power, especially when it comes to efficiency. Sometimes it can be a time consuming task just to find a simple button or feature so the better you understand the platforms you’re working with, and the more comfortable you feel navigating them, the more likely you are to accomplish your tasks on these platforms quickly. Time is money am I right?

5. Training keeps you in control
Many businesses are worried about investing in social media because they don’t like the thought of someone else being in control. Social media training does the exact opposite; it keeps you in the driver’s seat the entire time. You’re in control of the topic, you get to ask all the questions and you guide the session entirely from start to finish.

 

Are you ready to invest in the power of knowledge this year? Contact Blab to learn more about customized training sessions and how they can help you achieve your business goals!

New Year, New Desk Swag

Blab Media Office Windsor Ontario

At the start of every year I always end up running around in a frantic whirlwind trying to catch up (and clean up) after a month of hectic holiday plans. At some point, when everything starts to calm down, I take it upon myself to organize my work space and freshen everything up for the months to come. There’s something to be said about starting fresh in January. It seems entirely possible to focus on goals and motivation comes easily with a blank slate laid out in front of you. The possibilities are endless and things seem so much less overwhelming when you have full control of the direction you’re going to take moving forward.

Usually after the holidays I have some new knick knacks to add, books to make space for, and a new calendar to put out. It gives me an excuse to tidy up, organize paperwork and purge/donate some unused items from the previous year. God knows I have way too many notebooks and pens for the average human so this step is essential to ensuring I don’t end up buried in unnecessary supplies. It’s also a wonderful reminder to kick it old school from time to time and take notes on paper instead of digitally. Never underestimate how inspiring a cute notebook can be! This year I was gifted quite a few new items for my office and was excited to make space for them. I added a cute desk calendar, a gratitude journal from local maker Pocket Squares, a beautiful gold notebook, a really fun #girlboss desk sign and an awesome Ambassador Bridge print from local agency Dark Roast Digital.


Do you refresh your work space every January?
What are your organizational tips/tricks for your home office?

5 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2018

Social Media Trends 2018

With every new year, comes new trends and opportunities for businesses. Surely we can all appreciate how far technology has come in such a short period of time and this year’s social media trends are no exception. If you’re looking to invest in social, reset your goals, overtake your competition or stand out in a crowded market, these are the five trends you’ll want to consider as we move into 2018:

  1. Augmented Reality Makes A Comeback
    Hard to believe that it’s already been five years since Google came out with a pair of glasses—Google Glass—that promised to bring augmented reality (AR) to the mainstream and change how we live and interact with each other. As you could have guessed by now, it was a flop. But now, multiple companies (Facebook, Google and Snap) are competing to enter or re-enter the market. After a handful of highly successful augmented reality apps, sales of VR headsets on the rise, and greater technological sophistication (faster internet speeds and better visual rendering), 2018 could very well be the year that AR takes off. If it does, and stays in the mainstream, you can bet that social media will be one of the most popular applications for the technology, bringing people together over vast distances and providing an entirely new user interface for social interactions.
  2. The Continued Rise Of Live Streaming
    Some businesses may argue that live streaming already dominated in 2017. About 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% would prefer live video to written social media updates. Now that social platforms and users have settled into the concept, 2018 is bound to bring with it not only a cool new way to interact with audiences online, but an expectation for your brand to keep up.
  3. A Change To The Standard Social Formula
    Last year there were more than 50 million small businesses using social media to market their businesses. There’s no doubt that social media is popular for a reason, but the increased presence of brand-written content is leading to fatigue among users which makes them less likely to respond or engage. This shift in consumer behaviour is going to force brands to re-think their approach and consider a more unique approach to content and messaging.
  4. Gamification Extends Into Social
    There’s no doubt that users love interacting with each other, even with complete strangers! There’s also no doubt that people love playing games so why not bring those two together to create a better overall experience? Since 2017 saw the rise of gamification and immersive gaming experiences, it’s only a matter of time before we see an app that blends social media and gaming more naturally. There’s no way to know what will come from merging these two interests but it’ll definitely be something worth exploring when it does!
  5. Social Ad Adoption
    Now that brands are more established on social media, their focus is shifting to generating revenue and investing in ads. While most brands have already begun exploring ad potential across multiple platforms, this trend is going to grow even further as more small businesses catch up and work to compete with larger competitors.

While none of these trends are going to completely change the way brands and users interact with social media, they’ll definitely make for an interesting year. If your business is going to remain competitive moving forward, you’ll want to consider adopting and exploring these trends. Learn more about what they are, what value they present and how your business can leverage them for success.

Unsure how to move forward with your 2018 business goals? Consider scheduling a customized training session with Blab and start 2018 off with the knowledge you need to make things happen!