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How to Add Additional Links to Your Instagram

Do you get frustrated having to change the link in your Instagram bio all the time? The current Instagram platform doesn’t allow hyperlinked URLs in posts or in stories. However, you have the option to add a link to a paid post/story. On the feed, it shows up as a bar at the bottom of your image or video with a call to action like “Learn More” or “Shop Now.” On the story, it shows up at the bottom of the screen with an arrow to swipe up and the call to action below the arrow. You can also add a free “swipe up” option to stories if you have more than 10,000 followers or a verified account. Since most small businesses aren’t likely to have either of these things, and you don’t want to spend money on every single post/story, how do you make this a little easier for yourself? There are several tools available to help with this issue. Tools like Linktree, Linkin.bio, Shorby, Lnk.Bio, and Link in Profile offer the option to put a link in your…

Trending Now

Trending Now: May

Food trends in May are all about Mother’s Day, warmer weather, cooler foods and drinks, campouts, and the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. Most people think of breakfast in bed or brunch when they think of Mother’s Day. But a lot of sweet treats popped up on the internet this month to help you show the moms in your life how much you care. Like these delicious Mother’s Day cakes or this beautiful edible bouquet. May isn’t just about moms. It’s also the time of year when everyone is preparing for summer. The temperatures get warmer and the food and drinks get colder. It’s the perfect time to start breaking out refreshing summer drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Expect lots of fun summer treats with boozy twists like these champagne popsicles. Or something fun for the kids like mermaid layered slushies. As the temperatures increase, more people are going outside to enjoy the sunshine. This means more cookouts and picnics. Flavorful fresh salads are a popular side dish at these outdoor events, along with other types of tasty sides…

SMCKC Blog Recap Header

SMCKC May Lunch Recap: Making A Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events

Recently I attended a SMCKC lunch titled “Making a Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events.” It was a panel Q&A with Derek Byrne of Visit KC, Rachel Kephart of KC Film (a division of Visit KC), and John Kreicbergs of Propaganda3. While I work with retailers on digital promotions for their events, they aren’t the type of large-scale events that were discussed by the panel. But I found that a lot of what they advised to the audience can be applied to small-scale events and social strategy in general. For example, all three panelists discussed the importance of keeping attendees informed before, during, and after the event. Derek Byrne manages social media for all of the college basketball tournament games that take place in Kansas City in March. For these games, Visit KC is on social media all year long, announcing games when they are scheduled, helping people plan their trips, and giving them sightseeing ideas outside of the games if they’re coming out of town to visit. John Kreicbergs works on events like Boulevardia, a craft beer and music…

How to Tell Your Story with Facebook & Instagram Stories

In my last blog post I mentioned the growing popularity of Facebook and Instagram stories. If you aren’t familiar with how to create them, it might seem a little daunting. In this post I’m going to give you some step-by-step instructions on how to create everything from simple picture stories to more elaborate types of stories. How to Create a Story Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the process of creating a story is similar across both platforms. Instagram has an option at the top left corner of the screen when you first open the app. It’s your profile picture with a plus sign on it. The text below it reads “Your Story.” Just click on the icon and it will take you to a camera setting where you can create your story. To create a Facebook story, the options will vary based on the app you are using. If you are using the regular Facebook app, go to your business page and scroll down until you see the “Your Story” heading. You will see your cover photo with a…

Social Media Icons

Social Media Trends

I mentioned in a recent blog post that your social media plan “needs to adapt as the social landscape changes.” It’s helpful to know how changes and new trends might affect your strategy so you can determine if you need to course correct. Digital strategy shouldn’t be reviewed only once at your annual planning meeting. It should be an evergreen conversation to help you keep up-to-date on the tools and trends you can use to make your digital strategy as successful as possible. Here are some things I’ve noticed in the first few months of 2019: Using Stories to Tell Your Story Are you using Instagram and Facebook stories? The idea started with Snapchat, where you share an image or a short video that disappears after 24 hours. Both Instagram and Facebook have launched similar features on their platforms and they are steadily growing in popularity with users. Consider creating content that you can share across all areas of Facebook, including stories. Also consider using stories to help you create content that your customers will connect with more. Buffer suggests…

Feedback

A Case Study for Customer Surveys

Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers. I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE. Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study: When to Use Customer Surveys Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback. I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program,…

Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

Social Media

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

Social media used to be about grabbing your space on a platform, posting content and maintaining your presence on the platform. Some of you might be reading this and thinking “use to be?” I hate to break it to you, but the days of creating an account for your business and not thinking much about it are gone. If you are going to take the time to create a social media account and dedicate even the smallest amount of time, money and resources to it, you have to have a plan. And that plan needs to adapt as the social media landscape changes. I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions focused on the ever-changing landscape of social media. Angela Crawford (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group) and Matt Staub (owner, Proxima LLC) discussed the ways social media is changing and how brands who want to succeed on these platforms need to change with it. Crawford started by outlining the three categories brands tend to fall into on social media: Brands that inform (news,…

Video on Computer

Facebook Video Options

We write about video a lot on this blog. Sean regularly posts about video creation tools and best practices. While I, on the other hand, usually include the importance of video content in my posts about Facebook algorithm changes and social media content strategies. But what if you don’t have the tools and expertise to create a professional video for your store? Not to worry! Facebook now offers several different options to help you create your own video with static images! The simplest option (also the only one that doesn’t require you to pay for an ad or a boost) is to create a slideshow in a Facebook post. It will display the images in order just like a slideshow, but it will post like a video and therefore will be given higher priority in the algorithm. You can post up to 10 images per slide show. Plus you have the option to have a fade transition in between slides and you can choose the length of time the slides appear (0.5-5 seconds). If you’re looking for something more personalized…

Measuring Value

7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impact (Webinar Recap)

So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy. I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase. Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help. Depending on your budget, you might…