inbound marketing

After 5 years, Instagram caves and adds photo zoom feature

As of Wednesday, Instagram has finally added a photo zoom feature to their massively popular social media platform. After 5 long years of refusing to incorporate any kind of photo-viewing features, the pic posting giant is now enabling users to zoom in on tiny parts of posted photos.

By using the same standard smartphone zoom maneuver with a pinch of two fingers, you can now immerse yourself in those glutinous food pictures and bikini pics you secretly scroll through every night.

With the arrival of zoom, it’s still unclear why the platform waited 5 whole years to give users this kind of visual insight.

As the company stated today, “Over the past six months, you’ve seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we’re still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram.”

The zoom feature was made available for iPhone users this week, but Android users will have to wait a few more weeks before they can feast their eyes on discreet picture details.

As for everyone else, take care not to accidentally like your ex’s photo while you zoom in on their latest selfie.

5 key benefits of having your business on Twitter

Twitter gets left in the dust when it comes to social media marketing. Most people are willing to give Facebook, and now Instagram, a shot with the launch of their brand. But, if you ask most people if their company is on Twitter, they’ll tell you no, or not yet. Why that answer? People are afraid of Twitter. Simply stated: they don’t get it.

For those of you reading this who are on Twitter, you’re probably wondering: what’s not to get? Twitter has a complex stigma attached to it, and sends social media amateurs running in the opposite direction.

Twitter is not a difficult platform to use. It focuses on the effectiveness and information relation of a 140-character sentence or phrase. Photos and videos can be added, and the platform revolves around the use of hashtags. That’s it!

Put your business on Twitter. Here are 5 KEY benefits of maintaining a lively Twitter profile:

  1. One-on-one customer service: Savvy consumers take to Twitter today to engage in customer service praise, complaints, and questioning. Twitter is the place for a person to Tweet at a business about their experience. On Twitter, you can directly reply back to consumers, and showcase their responses directly on your profile. Oftentimes, companies (if a consumer complains) offer them a deal or return right on Twitter. If consumers know they can reach you this directly, they’ll be more apt to buy from you.
  2. Community tagging: You can geo-tag any one of your Tweets on Twitter. The location attachment helps businesses solidify their presence in a given community. The more you tag your community, the easier it will be for local consumers to find your business and check out your website.

  3. Keyword searches: Since Twitter is the land of the hashtag, it’s incredibly easy to research keywords related to your business, and see what people are saying about your service or product. This kind of feedback is invaluable for updating your branding image.

  4. Lax communication: The brevity of Tweets keeps Twitter a low-pressure and informal place to interact with consumers. Since Tweets are so tiny, many businesses Tweet 8-10 times per day. The relaxed style makes one-on-one consumer communication seamless.

  5. Spying on competitors: Through keyword searching, it’s easy to spy on competitors on Twitter. Let’s say you’re in the Spa Industry. If you search “Spa,” every person using that word has Tweets pop up, and you can see exactly what they’re doing or saying to attract customers. 

Convinced your business needs Twitter, but don’t know how to navigate it? That’s what we’re here for! Twitter is one of our platform passions, and with over 1,300 followers and counting, we know the recipe for success.  

Why do so many business owners fear social media?

After being in business for close to 6 months now, this is probably the most puzzling question we ask ourselves at SocialMe. Clearly, without this conundrum, we wouldn’t have a successful business. However, there are certain elements to social media that will forever make it a feared marketing item with a variety of businesses.

It’s natural to fear the unknown. It’s even more natural to resist change. But, social media has undeniably solidified itself as the most important communication channel, eCommerce marketplace, and news dissemination platform available today. There’s no ignoring Facebook anymore. With 80% of consumers answering they’re more inclined to shop at a store if they locate a credible, authentic Facebook page, it’s time to stop asking why people ignore it, and time to start asking why they fear it.

We have three theories on why so many people want, yet fear social media.

1. Lack of writing and grammar skills

If you think back to Middle School and High School, probably close to 40% of your class struggled with writing. It’s a common skill set many are unable to learn and develop throughout their lifetime. Spelling and grammar are scary to a lot of people. English is a complex language, and our spelling system doesn’t always make sense. 

About 1 in 10 Americans are dyslexic and shy away from social media.  An even greater amount fear they will be mocked, made fun of, or ruin their business’ legitimacy with misspellings and poor grammar. This is all incredibly true. Businesses need to look smart, professional, and on top of their game. The best way to come across as professional is by showcasing well-versed, succinct social media posts that demonstrate a mastery understanding of the English language.

2. Inability to identify a business brand

Social media forces businesses to identify their central brand and build around it. Businesses that fail to do so end up with 30 Facebook page likes and zero online community engagement. With all of the competition on social media today, businesses have to identify a brand, market the brand, and analyze the consumer reception to the brand. They then need to alter it as needed for drawing in more interested consumers.

This is very hard for many businesses. It forces them to really peel away the layers and pick a core platform for their services and products. Most businesses that have been around for a while 1) don’t want to do this and 2) don’t think they need to. They therefore shy away from social media, and continue with the “same ole” approach.

3. Too technologically challenged to understand social media

This may sound harsh, but it’s true, and we all know a handful of people, typically 50 years of age and older, who just can’t seem to grasp the Digital Era. Now, we are not blaming these business owners whatsoever. Imagine owning a restaurant for six decades and trying to understand Facebook? We probably couldn’t either!

But the truth of the matter is these people just don’t get the Internet, and they’re probably never going to. After six successful decades in business, why fix it if it’s not broken?

Sadly, these establishments will fade into the past if they don’t set aside their unwillingness to adapt. In the meantime, their technological challenges prevent them from even learning what “Tweeter” could do for them.

These are just our theories, and they could be completely wrong. They could, however, be correct, and posit a great start for including the small businesses of our country in the Inbound Marketing age. Here at SocialMe, we want to help them.  

How to brand your small business

A word that has come to carry a lot of meaning with it in the new digital marketing era we live in today, branding is absolutely essential to building a successful and long-lasting business model. Whether you’re a small business, a corporation, or an individual, in order to resonate with consumers, you need to brand your company in a clever, memorable, and intriguing way. People want to feel they know you and your goals before they purchase something –how you brand your business instantly communicates with clients what is most important to you.

Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for the businesses buying up ad space all over the Internet. The innate human connectedness branding taps into is relevant at all levels of the economy. With social media and instant information at our fingertips today, it is crucial that businesses build smart and unique brands that stick out against the others. If anything, it’s even more important that small businesses utilize this effective approach to marketing as a way to surpass the competition. Creativity, active social media management, blogging, and unwavering customer support are free branding channels all small businesses should be harnessing to get ahead in the game.

You may be saying to yourself “I know branding is important, but my business is doing just fine. I don’t need to worry about it.” We know social media and digital marketing are intimidating to many, but trust us, if you don’t accept this new nature of business, you will fade into irrelevance next to the businesses who are branding themselves far and wide.

The first step to branding your small business is defining your brand. Your brand character should embody and promote your business while engaging your target audience. Identify whom you want to reach and who would want your product. Build a brand that taps into their interests while also harnessing the core of your business goals.

Next, think about what drives your business. Who comes into your store every day? How old are they? What do they talk to you about? Who visits your website regularly? Who leaves reviews and what do they have to say? Really analyze who is driving your business and supporting you. Build a brand that reaches people like these ones. Bring them into your online community.

Once you identify this group, define a brand that will build long-lasting relationships with them. If they’re already supporting you, they either like your product or your business in general. Build a brand that will keep them around forever. Communicate what’s important to your business, and change what you need to keep them with you even longer.

Then, whatever you do, don’t copy other successful brands. Nothing fades faster in the eyes of consumers than unoriginal copycats. So what if your logo doesn’t look like Coca Cola? Community members and local consumers want to know your original business. They want to see something different and unique, something that catches their eye. Be unapologetically yourself. Your small business has character – they all do. Build on it.

And lastly, the most important part of actually getting your brand out there is the communication. Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn? If you don’t recognize all four of those words, it’s time to hit Google for a couple hours and bring yourself up to speed with social media today. An absolutely critical (and 100% free) marketing tool, social media disseminates your brand to millions of users worldwide. Each platform has its own target audience, so it’s important to be on all of them, otherwise you’ll miss out on age groups possibly in-line with your brand. To promote your brand on social media, start a blog, and write your key words as much as you can to boost your Search Engine Optimization rankings. You want people to traverse your website every day – that’s how they discover your brand in the first place. Both social media and blogs complementary promote one another, driving millions to behold your new, original, and refined brand.

Does all of this seem overwhelming? Most of it is information you already have as a small business. You know your community, you know your clients, and you know your love for doing business at the local level. All you have to do is thoroughly analyze and identify it – and then get over your fear of social media and start posting. Here at SocialMe, we have a passion for social media and blogging. We can make you a free blog on your website instantly. We can write about whatever you want, so long as it incorporates themes synonymous with your brand. And we can post to your social media for you every single day.

So what are you waiting for? Go brand your small business and share your beautiful message with the rest of the world.