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content creation

Advertising on Instagram

Advertising on Instagram

While Instagram is still in the early stages of rolling out advertising options, it’s still important to be in the know on what features early adopters are seeing. The platform has been running experimental campaigns with companies like General Electric and Levis, but has not yet opened this feature to all users.

They recently gave an inside look at what real-time tools advertisers on the platform can expect to find.

·      Account insights

These insights offer information on impressions, reach, and engagement, which give a big picture of overall brand awareness.

·      Ad insights

Here you’ll find detailed statistics on how your advertising campaigns are working in regard to impressions, reach, and frequency.

·      Ad staging

In this area, you can create and collaborate on an advertising campaign to make sure everything is just right before it’s launched.

With this information, you can get a better grasp on the ROI of your Instagram ad campaigns and find out what works (and what doesn’t) for your audience.

But until Instagram ads are fully open to businesses, there are a few best practices you can follow to ensure the content you’re sharing on this platform is resonating.

1.  Curate

All of your images should have a unified look and feel. Use a standard filter for all images and be sure the content works with your other images to communicate a brand persona.

2.  Quality over quantity

You may be tempted to post more frequently in hopes of getting more likes and followers, but try to focus on crafting a gallery of selective images rather than posting around the clock.

3.  Lifestyle, not product placement

It’s tempting to showcase your products in a typical product shot way—but use this platform to express your inner photographer. Show products in use (think lookbook or editorial-type photos) rather than just saying, “Hey, here’s my product.”

4.  It’s not about your logo

You don’t need to showcase your logo in your images. Instead, let your products speak louder than your brand. When your content is strong, looks uniform, and communicates your brand persona—your audience won’t need to see your logo to know it’s you.

What are some of your favorite brand Instagram accounts? Tweet your favorites to @wearelumen.

Social Media is a Science

Social Media is a Science

It wasn't all that long ago when content on social media was…simpler. Say you had 350 likes on Facebook. When you posted a status update to your page, all 350 of those people who liked your page saw the content you posted. But today, that’s no longer the case. In fact, you’re lucky if 10 percent of that 350 person following sees your post. Why is that?

Social media platforms of today’s world are algorithm-driven, meaning certain content is deemed “richer” than others—and will be seen by more people. Not all content is created equal. There’s a science behind posting content on social media today, complete with strategies for success. It’s a recipe: If you follow it, you’ll do well. If you’re sloppy, you've got a mess.

Let’s look at how this plays out on Facebook, specifically.

While algorithms are always changing, Facebook has shared some guidelines for what types of posts will get greater exposure. So what qualifies as “rich” content, then?

  • Posts that generate high interaction rates (i.e. comments, likes, and shares)

  • Posts with high interaction from the page owner’s end

  • High-quality graphics and images

We all know that posting to social media can sometimes require a lot of work, so it’s frustrating when time and effort is wasted on a post that’s only seen by a few people. So what are a few tips for creating “richer” content that gains traction and inspires those important interactions?

  1. Create social content. Ask questions, gather opinions—value your following’s unique input.

  2. Use high-quality images. No blurry, uninteresting photos. Make sure your photos really communicate a message.

  3. Be conversational. When someone takes the time to comment on a post, comment back! Build relationships and remember: It’s all about conversation.

Creating content that gains traction does require time, energy, and a keen eye, but when you can focus on quality over quantity, the results will pay off. Don’t worry as much about posting every day—post when you've got something interesting to say. Like any normal conversation, no one likes it when someone is speaking just to hear their own voice. Use your voice to be impactful.

If You Build It, They Will Come

If You Build It, They Will Come

Keeping up with various social media outlets is a lot of work. You need high quality images, timely information, personality, and time to interact with other users after planning all of that wonderful content. For many organizations, this is overwhelming. So instead of putting 100 percent effort into creating content, building a community, and interacting with users, there are a lot of half-hearted attempts made to cover the organization’s social media bases—including hasty posts, spelling errors, and low-quality images (just to name a few.)

The problem: Your audience has an excellent sense for detecting when you’re not trying very hard. The results are sloppy—and make for a bad reflection of your organization. Think of it like when you’re baking: if you don’t measure your ingredients and rush through the cooking process, the results are never good…and probably inedible. The same holds true for online content. When you don’t follow the recipe and respect the science behind it, the end product is poor.

So what do you do when you’re limited by staff resources, time, and aren’t really sure what qualifies as “quality content” in the first place?

For one, this is where a business like Lumen (that’s us!) can help by providing support services. By contracting out your online presence, you can count on consistent quality content that’s relevant, interesting, and engaging. It’s less risk than hiring a full-time staff person and is backed by tested strategies that produce results. Our passion is storytelling and building a community that supports businesses they believe in.  You can learn more about what we do here.

But what if you can’t hire out support services and still want to have a solid social media presence? Our advice: stick to a few social media outlets you know your target audience is using and focus on quality over quantity. It may take more time to build a following, but if you can provide a few well-thought out and well-executed posts each month, it’s better than spending a lot of time producing low-quality content. If you build it, they will come.