Somebody called me a “Go-Giver” and I’m not gonna lie… I kinda like it. 

Social Media Manager Virginia Beach/ Elixir Media Co./ Kristina knapp

I’m assuming Jamie, owner of Your Pie (aka most delicious pizza you will ever have), said it because I’d just announced my app of the month to download. I started sharing the apps I use in January when I realized these tools could help so many more local businesses create unique content in a more polished and branded way.

I’ve always been an open book when it comes to my life and the knowledge I acquire to live it to the fullest, so sharing tips, tricks, and the how to’s of social media seemed like a given (pun intended).

But as I wrote feverishly in my goal planner, I realized I wanted to give back in a more real way. More than just sharing my knowledge of Instagram and Facebook. I wanted to really help and so I asked myself, what skill sets do I have that are worth more than the dollar amount I can donate.

Now… this might come as a shock to you, but it took me weeks to realize that skill set WAS social media… #blondmoment. So I hit up the most giving person I know, Amanda from Stellar Exposures, and said “HEY. Help me help someone.” And in true Stellar fashion, she immediately pulled out her phone and starting listing off the endless number of nonprofits she donates her photography services to. 

Finally after lots of hmmm’s and maybe I could make that work, we landed on Roc Solid Foundation and fist pumped our way down the highway! (Not really… I’m pretty sure there were a whole lot of wide eyes and four letter words, ending with a Duuuuuude. Let’s do this!)

So we scheduled a lunch at the Broken Egg in Suffolk and I convinced their head of operations that they needed me- free of charge, of course. Much to my excitement they agreed and so I am absolutely stoked to announce I am taking over their social media accounts! 

Roc Solid Foundation is a non profit organization that builds hope for children with cancer in the form of custom play sets and room makeovers. I can’t wait to start brainstorming ideas on how to get their message out and to show the world all the good they bring to it! 

Every three months, I’m going to donate my time and help a different non-profit get their message out there to spread awareness and to encourage support. If you know of a non-profit that could use my help, please email me about it! My next opening will be in July!

New Algorithm, Who Dis?

“I haven't shot anything new in a while. Also because I don't feel like creating new content with Insta acting like a total prick. So enjoy a smiling selfie of me. Have a good day folks.". - @yogasini

Virginia Social Media Manager

Girl, I FEEL YOU! 

At least I did... Like in most situations where I feel out of control, I cleaned and organized my entire house and then buried my head in research. What I found was not what I expected.

My go-to plan for beating algorithms and using them as a tool to propel my content to the top of my followers' feeds would not work this time. Instead, we're going to have to kick it old school- because that's what Instagram did.

In 2016, Instagram announced user feeds would be more of what they actually were interested in (aka more like facebook). They introduced us to a less chronological feed that was based off a set of "rules" or algorithms. And so most business owners' frustrations began, with good reason. 

Earlier this month, IG stated that a change was a comin'! User feeds would “feel more fresh.” In other words, they'd planned to take a step back from meddling with our beloved feeds. This decision was a reaction to the overwhelming complaints of their 800 million daily active users who said they were tired of the same damn image appearing at the top of their feed for days on end. 

So VOILA- we spoke, THEY listened and now we have recent posts at the TOP OF OUR FEED... well, sorta. You're favorite  algorithms are all still there, but posting during optimal times is now critical. And no, I'm not talking about the good ol' 6am and 8pm. I'm talking about YOUR specific followers and when they are interacting with you.

For example, check out these two accounts. The red rectangle signifies when their content receives the most interaction from other accounts. They don't follow the same interaction times at all, because they have two completely different target audiences! 

optimal instagram post
Optimal Instagram Post

So the moral of the story? Adjust your strategy. It's more important than ever to track your account's interaction peaks and post during those times while continuing with all the strategy you've learned since 2016. 

I hope this helps and calms your desire to throw your phone out the fucking window.  Just breathe, track your times, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Facebook Ads VS. Boosts

Photo Courtesy of Stellar Exposures  Short, stubby hands courtesy of May Avera (thanks Ma.. good thing I wasn't planning on being a pianist <3)

Photo Courtesy of Stellar Exposures

Short, stubby hands courtesy of May Avera (thanks Ma.. good thing I wasn't planning on being a pianist <3)

Sometimes when I ask the question, "Do you ever run Facebook Ads?" I get the response, "Oh yeah, I boost posts all the time."

(Insert grumpy cat face here)

And it's not because of you, TRUST ME. My grumpy cat face, though made in the moment, is directed towards Facebook. For some reason, they've made it insanely difficult to understand how to EFFECTIVELY create and target an ad campaign, as well as understand the difference between boosting and using Ads Manager. 

So let me break it down for ya!

Facebook allows you to "boost" posts like videos, photos, offers, events. It's called a boost because Facebook will literally boost your posts to the top of other people's feeds. Depending on who and how you target your audience when setting up the boost, this will determine who's feed it will actually show up on. On the flip side, this target audience will see your post as "sponsored".

(I can almost see the light bulb going off with an "ahhhh.. that's what that means.) Ready to have your mind blown further?

Running a Facebook Ad requires going into your Facebook Ads Manager, which is only available to business pages. Once inside, you can make your way through the Ad Campaign labyrinth and start really getting your hands dirty! 

I personally think it should come with a warning sign that says "These ads are created by professionals only. Do not try at home.", with a side effect label of "May cause user to throw laptop across the room". 

haha I kid, I kid... kind of :) 

Facebook Ads Manager CAN be super frustrating, BUT it can also be super effective! You can do some really fun stuff like creating an audience by uploading your email list to target only those specific people! Whaaaat. YES! THEN you can create a Lookalike Audience, that mirrors those people on your email lists. Which means your 50 person email list, just grew to 1000 of people JUST LIKE THEM.

AND BOOM. There you have it. A boost is simply paying money to push an already-made post to the top of an audience's feed. An ad is created by diving into the deep hole that is Ads Manager and creating an ad campaign to reach your custom audiences. 

 

Social Media Terms

Social Media Manager Virginia Beach/ Elixir Media Co.

Ever feel like social media is a foreign language? Too often when I'm nerding out over the latest algorithms, I get the all too familiar "WTF is that" look when a word like crowdsourcing or clickbait comes up. So I decided to create my own glossary of social media lingo in terms we can all understand!

Algorithm- A process of rules to be followed to solve a problem. Essentially, social media is now set up so that people will see more of what they actually care about (interact with). As businesses, we need to work with the algorithms so our content is still seen. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have their own set of algorithms that I view as a checklist. The more "rules" I can follow on the checklist, the more my post will be seen by my target audience. 

For example, Facebook has a new algorithm that pushes a video recorded live, more than an uploaded video. This tells us we need to start recording live whenever possible because more people will see it! 

Bio- Short for Biography, this explains to new followers what exactly your business does and is about. 

Brand Advocate- Someone who feels so strongly about your business, they promote it on their own pages! These people are insanely valuable when trying to sell!

Click Bait- Content with misleading headlines or photo that leads back to a non relevant source. For example, posting a photo of a jaw dropping image to get people's attention, then leading it back to your website that says nothing about the jaw dropping image. This is usually done to gain traffic to a website but completely discredits you in the future. People won't believe you when you actually have something amazing to show them and more often than not will unfollow you.

CTR- Clickthrough Rate. The number of people who view a post, then complete the action the post asked for. For example, a photo saying "click for more info" and 10 out of 100 clicked the link would have a 10% CTR.

Curated Content- Photos that are strategically selected, organized, and placed in order to appear cohesive. 

Cover Photo- The horizontal image at the top of your Facebook page that businesses should use to show off, not to be confused with your profile photo.

Crowd Sourcing- One of my favorite tools for increasing engagement and visibility! Asking your followers opinion on any topic you choose. This can be a simple A or B poll or asking your audience to help review a service or product.

DM- Direct message aka sending someone a private message that others cannot see.

Engagement- Social media engagement refers to the interaction between you and other profiles. The accumulation of likes, comments, messages, etc.

Facebook Pixel- An analytics tool that allows you to track people who visit your website (and what they do once on there), and consequently target those people in your next ad set. 

Live- A Facebook and Instagram feature that allows you to stream video in real time with your followers. 

Geo Location- tagging content with a specific location.

Organic Reach- Those who viewed your content without you paying for it. 

Permalink- A "permanent link" or original link to specific content. Usually used a as a reference or end source on platforms such as Facebook or Pinterest. 

Real Time Marketing- Connecting with your target market over things happening right now, ie. trending topics.

SEO- Search Engine Optimization. All major search engines, more specifically Google, has a process of ranking websites according to "relevancy". These rules of relevancy are guidelines that when followed, can allow you to earn yourself a higher ranking with Google.

Social Media Management- Managing social media accounts and measuring the effectiveness of social media activities. 

Social Media Marketing- Using social media to increase brand awareness.

Verified- Usually reserved for celebrities and major companies, like Coca Cola, a blue check mark signifies that the profile is the official representative of that person/ business.

 

Print is DEAD. #byefelicia

Elixir Media Co. / Virginia Beach Social Media Manager

Ok, the title might be a little dramatic, but my face up top is not. I have a serious case of wearing my heart on my sleeve and my thoughts right smack dab across my face, and THIS is the one I give when someone says they spend thousands on print advertising, but investing in online marketing seems risky. Yeah... we're going to have to break this one down.

Online marketing is easier to track, whether that is Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. You can see exactly how many people saw your ad and even the number that took time to read it. From there, you can adjust your strategy, investing in what works and dropping what doesn't. With print, there is no realistic way to track efficiency. (I mean, sure... you could install hidden cameras into every store a magazine is in, use facial recognition to obtain their info if they grabbed a copy, and call every single person to ask if they read the ad... yeah, you could totally do that.) 

You can also hone in on targeting through social media. When investing thousands into a single ad in magazines, newspapers, billboards, or banners, you are taking a shot in the dark on hitting your target market. Maybe they will pick it up, turn to the exact page and ignore the other businesses who share a page of ads with you... maybe they won't. The beautiful thing about social media is people are GIVING you their info, on not only demographics, but also their hobbies and interest! Want to target women from 27-37, who live in Virginia Beach, are college educated, AND love hiking? No problem! 

Virginia Social Media Advertising Agency/ Elixir Media Co

Take a look at this chart provided by LinkedIn. According to them:

Online Media Advertising
Average Cost (Yearly): $1,575,000 - $2,000,000
Monitoring & Controlling: Easy
Measurement: Measurable
Reach to Target Audience: 80% - 95% Achievable
Lead close rate: 14.60%

Print Media Advertising
Average Cost (Yearly): $2,200,000 - $5,500,000
Monitoring & Controlling: Difficult
Measurement: Unmeasurable
Reach to Target Audience: Unmeasurable
Lead close rate: 1.70%

The choice is clear. Put your money where it will go further- after all, we take enough risks as local business owners, don't let marketing be another one. 

Using Instagram Stories for Social Media Marketing

Elixir Media Co/ Virginia Beach Social Media Manager

Instagram Stories is taking over the world!! OK... not really, BUT in the last year it has become a serious contender in being one of the top most efficient ways to reach your target market via social media. Don't believe me? I get it. It's hard to believe content that disappears after only 24 hours is worth your time right? Wrong. Totally wrong. And here's why:

  • As of November 2017, IG Stories has over 300 million active users DAILY. That's over double snapchat.
  • The average IG user spends about 30 minutes on stories alone every day!
  • 70% of users are watching with the sound on, compared to less than 20% for regular Instagram and Facebook videos.
  • Users are more likely to engage via stories than regular post! (So weird... right?)

Still a little unnerved? No worries, I've got your back. Here are my top three tips for posting on Instagram Stories.

  1. Tell an actual story. Yeah... you heard that right. Don't just take a photo and think- DONE! No, you most certainly are not. Your target audience, isn't going to remember that photo of your latte and laptop you just posted. Try to share between 3-5 photos/videos per "story". Like "My favorite mobile-office to get shit done." + "Caffeine to the face" + "Productive AF" with corresponding photos. 
  2. Use strategy. Don't forget to add geolocations, tag other users, and hashtag away! All of these features still work and can get even more exposure than a regular post since less people are using them on Stories.
  3. Have fun with it. Take advantage of the fact that it will be erased from history in 24 hours, so you don't have to be PERFECT. Use it to humanize your brand. Show people insights to your local business that they won't see anywhere else like your messy desk, your morning routine, or the incredible team that your business couldn't run without! 

Now go and post to your Instagram Stories TODAY. Tell a story, strategize, and (most importantly) have fun! 

Elixir Media Co/ Virginia Beach Social Media Manager