Category: Social Media News

How to Formulate a More Effective Approach to TikTok Marketing [Infographic]

Looking for ways to maximize your TikTok marketing approach?

Twitter Faces Advertiser Boycott Due to Failures to Police Child Abuse Material

Twitter's failures in detecting and removing child abuse and exploitative material look set to hurt its bottom line.

LinkedIn Adds New Features for Company Pages, Including Post Templates and Link Stickers

Some new options to drive more engagement with your LinkedIn page posts.

Meta Adds Enhancements for Call Ads, Including New Callback Option

Phone calls might spook some people, but for the right brand and audience, they can be highly effective.

All the Key Updates for Marketers from Google’s 2022 ‘SearchOn’ Event

Here's a look at all the big SEO and product display improvements that Google unveiled at the event.

YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights

The changes will provide more context on comment removals.

TikTok Reports 62% Jump in Fake Profiles on the App

As TikTok continues to grow, so too does attempted misuse of the app.

I Took 7 Weeks Off Work After Hiring 3 New Teammates, Here’s Why It Worked Out

I Took 7 Weeks Off Work After Hiring 3 New Teammates, Here’s Why It Worked Out

In July and August of this year, I had the incredible experience of taking seven weeks off of work — fully paid. I benefited from our generous sabbatical policy (more on that below) to take a break from work.

It had been a particularly busy year, and I had two new teammates join in February and then a third in April who all reported to me— so the timing was tight here to get everyone onboarded and operational before I went on sabbatical. I was pretty nervous about taking such an extended period off of work after just having brought on three new teammates. But, in the end, my being away ended up empowering my teammates to level up their ownership and highlighting processes I didn’t need to be involved in.

Taking time away from work can be daunting, but in my experience, it can also be immensely worthwhile. It provided an opportunity for growth for both my team and me.

Here’s more about sabbaticals at Buffer, how I set things up while I was out, and why it ended up working out so well.

Our sabbatical policy

Since 2019, Buffer has offered sabbaticals to all teammates who have been on the team for five or more years. Teammates are invited to take a fully paid sabbatical and spend it however they’d like — working on a side project, traveling, helping a non-profit, spending time with family, achieving a life goal, or something else entirely.

We offer six weeks of sabbatical for every five years at Buffer, plus every additional year without taking a sabbatical adds another week (maxing out at 12 weeks).

February marked six years at Buffer for me, so I was eligible for a seven-week sabbatical. I’m one of 22 people who have taken sabbaticals from their time at Buffer since the practice was first put into place in 2019.

How I set up the team for support while I was out

I run the communications and content team, comprised of two content writers (you’ve seen Tami and Umber on the blog) and one social media manager (you’ve seen Mitra everywhere but might remember Instagram and TikTok videos in particular). Then we work with several agencies as well.

Everyone’s sabbatical planning was slightly different, but for me, I focused on my three teammates first. Here’s how they were supported:

1:1s with another manager

I do weekly 1:1s with each person, and in my absence, they did bi-weekly 1:1s with another marketing manager to continue getting that support.

Connecting with my manager

In some companies, “skip level 1:1s” are popular as a way for teammates to connect with their manager’s manager. My manager is our CEO, Joel, and while I was away, he did a group call with the team to check in and see how they were doing. This isn’t quite a skip level but a similar idea.

Peer reviews

Our original process for blog content was that everything was being run by me for editing. We had peer reviews instituted instead for all blog posts in my absence. Social posts are not all reviewed, but there are several options for peer reviews on social posts around the company when needed.


New mastermind pairings were kicked off around this time, and each teammate was paired with a mastermind partner. These are fun pairings meant to connect two teammates who don’t often work together to chat about challenges and lend a different perspective. They evolve a lot as the relationship deepens. Here’s more on how we run masterminds at Buffer.

Passing off points of contact

In each of my agency relationships, there was usually one other person who was already familiar with how we collaborated. So that person stepped up to become the primary point of contact, or else I assigned several people to be points of contact so our partners at the agency would have options.

Documentation for everyone

Last but not least, we have a really great internal handbook and marketing wiki on our team. Over the past year, I’ve been building systems so that we regularly document processes and best practices in Notion and sometimes include a Loom video.

Before leaving on sabbatical, I regularly asked teammates questions like:

  • What don’t you know enough about?
  • What are you worried would go wrong?
  • Is there any process you’re unsure of?
  • Are you confident you can access all of the information you need?

Then I recorded videos or wrote up documentation for anything that came up.
I had already written down all the other documentation around using specific tools, but I checked that over multiple times to ensure it included everything I thought relevant.

After many months of setting everything up for success, I felt complete confidence in my team. So I set my out-of-office reply and logged out of all of my communications tools for seven weeks to be completely disconnected from work.

The positive benefits of being away for 7 weeks

I was expecting things to go well because I felt everyone had prepared, and I knew there was a solid support system in place, but I was surprised at just how well things went without me there. (Maybe I should go on sabbatical every year? 😆)

I saw a lot of positive benefits.

My team grew a ton during this period

There’s nothing like removing the quick gut check with someone to level up your decision-making skills. I heard across the board that making decisions without my input helped build confidence. I believe this was especially beneficial because, as a new teammate, the practice of running things by me was initially built into the onboarding. Once the habit is created, it can be challenging to break. This led to each person taking on more ownership over their area and projects.

We questioned our processes

When I returned, one of the questions I asked in our first 1:1 with each person was what processes we might want to reconsider. In the end, things I had been owning that I passed to others temporarily ended up sometimes staying with that person because the new process made more sense. For example, in one case, it was a new primary contact for an agency we collaborate with, and another instance was that peer reviews ended up being both fun and helpful, so we kept those.

We also realized there hadn’t been a lot of collaboration built into the content calendar before I left. I had been planning everything while my teammates were still onboarding. Now that everyone was onboarded, we started an editorial review where the content calendar planning is much more collaborative.

It surfaced unclear areas

Being away also surfaced areas that were unclear and that weren’t documented. They all ended up being tiny things (like choosing the right cover image for blog posts), but still, it meant there was room for improvement in communication and documentation around those things.

Ultimately, decisions were made without me leading to teammates being more empowered within their roles and areas, and our team processes were improved and felt much more robust. I couldn’t be happier with all of this!

Where could things have gone better?

I wondered, “could things have gone better?” and I think there’s always room for improvement. But the biggest thing was ensuring my team had enough connections across the company. They are connected to each other and others on our Marketing team, but for new teammates at a remote company, it can be challenging to feel connected. Without a manager there to help make connections, that can be even more difficult. So if I could change one thing, it would be ensuring that there were even more points of connection between my teammates and other leaders at Buffer.

Over to you

Have you taken time off work as a new manager? How did it go? Or do you have any questions about our sabbatical policy at Buffer? Send us a tweet; we’d love to continue the conversation!

Instagram Shares New Tips on How to Instagram Reels for Marketing

There's a heap of helpful tips for those looking to incorporate Reels into their digital marketing approach.

Brands are Driving Higher Reach and Engagement by Posting Instagram Reels

The data shows that brands that embrace Instagram Reels are seeing significant benefits.

YouTube Adds Voiceover in Shorts, Providing More Creative Considerations

YouTube continues to add new creative tools to its short-form video option.

Facebook Tests ‘Subscribers Only’ Posts to Enhance Creator Offering

Meta continues to try out more creator tools to help boost subscriptions and community.

Meta Detects New Covert Influence Campaigns Run from Russia and China

Meta's latest discoveries underline the potential dangers of political manipulation efforts online.

How These Sisters Turned Their Passion for the Alaskan Wilderness into a Fulfilling Small Business

How These Sisters Turned Their Passion for the Alaskan Wilderness into a Fulfilling Small Business

For sisters Anna and Kelly, life was anything but ordinary growing up in Fairbanks, Alaska. On chilly school mornings, as they’d make their way towards the bus stop, it wasn’t uncommon for moose to be idling nearby. Careful not to alert the striking creatures, the girls would nimbly make their way around the animals while somehow still boarding the bus on time.

An encounter like that might be frightening to some, but Anna and Kelly were raised to always respect and appreciate the wildlife they were surrounded by. Living in Alaska, away from relatives, they learned to rely on both their neighbors and the nature around them as their community and family. Now, as adults, they look back at their childhood and appreciate how unique their experience was.

“For a couple of years, we lived in what we call ‘in the village,” Kelly said. “There were a lot of bears where we lived. And every spring, you could walk down to the river and see the blue whales coming up. That time was quite magical for a kid because it's just unlike anything else.”

Their parents always stressed the importance of being present in the moment – something quite easy to do when living near the vastness of the Alaskan wilderness – and intentional in the way they communicate with others. Presence and intentionality were values the girls were raised with and have stayed with them. And while it would take many years before they would eventually open up their own art business, these very principles are what inspired Arctic Haven Studio.

“When we started the business, our biggest goal was to share the art we're creating, but to do so in a way that connects people and back to nature,” Anna said. “Whether it's nature that they've experienced themselves — like if they've actually seen a Musk Ox, they can buy [our] Musk Ox and think about that experience — or to connect them to something they want to experience.”

Together, Anna and Kelly have created a small business that they hope will not only bring people together but also remind them of the beauty around them. This past July, Arctic Haven Studio celebrated their one-year anniversary. In a short amount of time, they shipped their artwork to 16 states, created 17 different design sets, and spent an average of 72 hours on the pieces.

Here’s how the two set up their brand in a way that’s allowed them to pursue their passions while doing a lot of good along the way.

Combining their strengths to create something special

When Kelly was a business major in college, one of the things that were drilled into her was to never go into business with a family member. But she’s glad she didn’t heed the advice of her former professors, as creating Arctic Studio Haven with Anna has been a special experience. Though the two have full-time careers – Kelly works in contract management and Anna is a wildlife ecologist – their other job is running Arctic Haven Studio together.

The studio relies on both Kelly and Anna’s unique strengths. With her business insights, Kelly has been able to handle all of the logistic and administrative work, while Anna creates the artwork that is made out of tiny pieces of recycled paper – a technique she’s been exploring since high school.

For each piece, Anna starts with a simple sketch of an animal, then she begins filling in the outline with scraps of paper – often starting with the creature’s eye which is usually the most detailed part. It’s a long process, and Anna has spent anywhere from 40 to 80 hours working on a piece. Each animal offers its own unique challenge. Recently, Anna made a walrus and enjoyed playing around with paper to create its wet and slimy texture.

It was Kelly who saw just how special and marketable this very art was.

“I would never have started this business if I didn't have [Kelly’s] support and knowledge as a business major and a business person because I like creating stuff, but I don't have the patience or knowledge to actually start a business,” said Anna.

In particular, it was a specific design that Anna had made of a ptarmigan, one of Alaska’s iconic birds, that became the catalyst for their small business. It was one of the most detailed paper-cut pieces Anna had created at the time.

The duo didn’t just want to sell any kind of product, however. They knew they wanted these art pieces to help connect people to one another, which is why they initially launched note cards with Anna’s designs on them.

“We started with notecard sets being our primary product,” Anna said. “We both write a lot of letters and [note cards] lend themselves well to being able to have some art that you get to enjoy, and then can give to someone else,” Anna said.

By playing off each other's strengths, the two have launched a company that perfectly embodies everything important to them.

As Anna said, “personal connection and community is a founding value for us.”

Laying out the groundwork for their small business

Despite already having a very clear vision for their products, Anna and Kelly didn’t rush to open up their doors. Instead, they carefully looked into vendors, reviewed contracts, and researched everything they needed to know about starting a business. In fact, it took them 13 months from their first official design to their grand opening.

While they were in the planning stage, they had clear talks amongst themselves about how they’d run Arctic Haven Studio. First, they broke down the six core functions of the business. They then turned each of those functions into job roles and divided them up between the two. While they value each other's input, they also decided there would be a decision maker for each aspect of the business.

“The agreement was that we both had a say in all the categories, but when a decision had to be made, whoever was assigned that category got to make the final decision,” Kelly said. “And we've never clashed on that.”

This methodological approach to opening the business is something they’re both glad they took the time to do. It allowed them to lay out a foundational groundwork for Arctic Haven Studio, making them feel confident in the business’s mission – to create meaningful work that not only represents their hometown but helps cultivate community amongst their customers.

While they’re proud of the growth they’ve achieved so far, they’ve always been realistic about their business and the fact that for now at least, Arctic Haven Studio is not their full-time job, but their passion project.

This perspective has helped them from getting discouraged.

“Everybody wants to be successful right away. But you have to figure out what that success even looks like and recognize, ‘I'm probably not going to make much money in the first three years’… but knowing that’s okay because success is making one more connection and just having those reasonable and reachable goals,” Kelly said.

Taking their time to open up connects back to the sisters’ goal of always being intentional with their work. This slower pace has allowed them to check all of their boxes, ensuring they were fully ready to become small business owners.

Giving back to themselves and their community

Contributing back to the wildlife they were raised by is something Anna and Kelly knew they wanted to do with their small business, which is why they’ve decided to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center annually. So far, they’ve donated over $300 dollars to the organization, and hope to give even more soon.

“The Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center ended up being a perfect fit for us because they do a lot of conservation and rescuing orphaned animals that then they rehabilitate and get back into the wild,” Anna said. “Or they use them as captive animals in an educational sense. But they have very strong animal care guidelines. And so it's something we felt really good about.”

Along with giving back directly to the wildlife, the sisters have embedded sustainability into their business as well. They use recycled paper and recycled materials for their packaging as much as possible – despite the fact that it is quite pricey for them as a small business to do so. They are well aware of the fact that they could be bringing in more money if they used cheaper supplies, but doing so would feel wrong.

“How can we sell art that reflects nature, but [our customers] are going to rip open the plastic and throw it in the trash?” Kelly said.

But as much as they’re hoping their business can make a positive impact on the world, the sisters have also found that Arctic Haven Studio has brought back so much value into their own lives. While running a small business is not always easy, it has given them a chance to unwind from their everyday lives. For Anna especially, it’s been a creative outlet. The wildlife ecologist just recently graduated from grad school and says the business helped balance things out for her.

“I honestly think [Arctic Haven Studio] is kind of what kept me sane in grad school. Having the creative outlet, creating the art and then also having the business side of things to work on with Kelly, where it was completely separate from my grad school work,” Anna said.

Even more, however, this side project has given the two a reason to spend more time together, strengthening their bond. The most fulfilling part for Kelly has been seeing everyone appreciate Anna’s art – something she’s been doing since childhood.

“I really enjoy seeing people enjoy Anna’s work because I grew up with it,” Kelly said. “There's satisfaction in that and seeing Anna being proud of what she's made.”

The future of Arctic Haven Studio

Just recently, Anna and Kelly celebrated a big moment for their small business: their first in-person exhibit at Wild Scoops, an ice cream shop in Midtown, Alaska. This was the first time they had printed out Arctic Haven studio pieces on such a large scale and displayed them in a public setting for so many to see.

Another step they’ve taken is reaching out to local businesses to start selling their notecards, stickers, and prints in physical stores, moving away from their online-only model. They’re also extending their product line and considering including prints in poster sizes. While they are still selling their original note cards, they’re looking into diversifying their items a bit to reach more customers.

The two plan to continue growing Arctic Studio Haven together with the goal of adding more beauty, nature, and meaning into their customers’ lives.

“We all know that feeling that you get when you’re looking at art and you just want to be where that is,” Kelly said. “And so we hope our customers will take away that [our products] are more than just a piece of paper to write on, but an intentional piece with an intentional connection.”

14 Things That Can Hurt Your Site’s SEO Rankings [Infographic]

Make sure you're not making these common SEO mistakes.

WhatsApp Launches ‘Call Links’ to Better Facilitate Group Audio and Video Chats

The option will make it easier to invite people into your group audio and video calls on WhatsApp.

TikTok Could Still Face a Ban in the US as it Continues to Work Through New Data Security Deal

TikTok is working with US officials to provide more transparency over its data processes and algorithms.

Twitter’s Testing a New Way to Showcase Brand Communities in the App

A new way to enhance your Twitter community efforts?

Meta Adds New Account Switching and Cross-App Alert Tools as it Looks to Maximize Engagement

The new cross-app alerts will get more people tapping across to stay up to date with the latest.

Reddit Highlights Key Engagement Trends and Brand Opportunities in the App

The report looks at how redditors engage, and the value they get from Reddit communities.

Instagram’s Testing a New Way to Use DMs as an Alert Option for New Posts

Meta continues to seek new ways to lean into evolving social sharing trends.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

When you want to make an impression on people, you no doubt do things to enhance your personality. You wear the clothes that suit you best or if you’re a business, show off the best of your packaging and messaging.

Most social media bios – including Instagram – function as your digital personality. It’s an extension of what people expect in real life, whether the impression they get is accurate or not. And it’s where people instinctively go when trying to understand you (or your brand).  Your Instagram bio is the information section of your account, and it's the first impression visitors to your profile page have of you.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Every part of your Instagram bio is an opportunity to not only introduce (and re-introduce) yourself but also communicate your value to your audience. In this article, we’ll share some ideas for making the most of your Instagram bio and examples of some of our favorites.

What is an Instagram Bio?

An Instagram bio is the section at the very top of every Instagram profile that displays:

  • Profile picture
  • Username
  • Display name
  • 150-character limit description
  • Business category
  • Contact info
  • Link
  • Instagram Shop
  • Instagram Story highlights

Your bio is the first point of contact and should reflect your brand and personality as much as possible. A good bio encourages action from the visitor (‘Shop Now’, ‘Subscribe’, ‘Contact Us’) or gets them invested enough to engage with the content you offer.

What should you consider when creating your Instagram bio?

When thinking through which of these features to include in your bio, consider the following:

  • What is your brand voice and tone?
  • What is your brand’s personality?
  • What do you offer that other brands or accounts don’t?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • What actions do you want people to take after they visit your profile?

6 ideas for your Instagram bio

There are different ways to approach your Instagram bio. Here’s a breakdown of how you can set yours up using examples from existing accounts.

Keeping it simple

Many people choose to keep their bios as simple as possible. Some just outright state what they are like So It Goes magazine with no other information.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Others use a simple tagline, as we at Buffer and the folks at NASA do.

And some accounts like Kinfolk just have their link-in-bio and business category up and leave the rest of their information blank. (P.S. This is only likely to work if your target audience doesn’t require much information from Instagram as a channel of communication).

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Provide all necessary information upfront

Some bios just go straight to the point with the information new followers might be looking for. It can even save them a Google search if the way they would typically find out the information in your bio is by clicking through several pages.

Getaway House details all the places you can find its rental cabins, saving you a fruitless click to their website.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Newspaper Club states several offerings for its audience – print your own newspaper, get it delivered anywhere in the world, and get free samples.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Ting’s Chips tells you right away where you can find its products.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Get creative

You can choose the route of the Quirky™ Instagram bio by using alternative imagery. This tactic depends on your brand personality – not many people expect “cute and fun” from their logistics company.

Chubby Home uses emojis that match its cute and friendly brand personality.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Visceral Home uses alternative fonts to grab attention. But keep in mind that fonts outside what you normally get on Instagram may not be very accessible as screen readers may be unable to pick them up.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Encourage an action

If you want to get people to do something immediately, your Instagram bio is just the place to tell them.

The Cosmic Latte asks visitors to sign up for their newsletter.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Byredo says to “shop online and in-stores.”

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

SoCo Tahini tells its audience to use tag them using the hashtag #socotahini when they cook with the product.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Offer a deal

Make the sale right off the bat by offering deals to visitors – after all, they’re potential customers.

Wild One offers several deals to visitors, from a discount on shopping a specific product to free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Free Mvmt Shop offers unlimited access in your first week of use for $25.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Build authority

Some potential customers need a little more convincing than others, so calm their worries with the reasons they should trust your brand.

Kola Goodies does this by mentioning publications they’ve been featured in like Forbes and Bon Appetit. For anyone wondering if they should try a new food brand, this can make them more confident.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Chamberlain Coffee uses this strategy by highlighting its connection to popular founder Emma Chamberlain.

6 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Instagram Bio

Tips to make the most of your Instagram Bio

If you’re looking for more ways to optimize your Instagram bio, here are some of our top recommendations:

  1. Get specific: Use the 150-word space to share your brand hook, highlight new products/releases, highlight partner accounts, or share a hashtag that users can adopt.
  2. Maximize your “link in bio”: You might have seen captions or Reels saying to “click the link in bio” for some extra information or access to new content. Your Instagram link in bio is the optimal opportunity to direct users to your owned content. Many people choose to use a landing page to hold several links, and lucky for you, you can make one right in Buffer, called a Start Page.
  3. Fill out ALL the (relevant) details: Instagram allows you to include a lot of information before users even scroll down to the rest of your page. Take advantage of the available tools by including Contact buttons, letting users Shop from you right in your account, or creating Instagram Story highlights.
  4. Add a CTA to encourage action: If you want visitors to take a specific action the first time they visit your page, tell them in your Instagram bio. ‘Click the link in bio to do x’, ‘send us a message’, ‘use the hashtag #xyz’ – these are some of your options.
  5. Use a relevant profile picture: Whether it’s your logo, a recognizable face or a campaign image, you must fill in the profile picture space with something that fits your brand.

Change up your bio from time to time

You and your business will evolve – and your social media bios should evolve in tandem. Instagram bios don’t need to be static – you can edit them to your heart’s content, so take advantage of the freedom to highlight any new projects or releases or start a new campaign.

Beyond optimizing your account, you might also be focused on growth, whether of your followers or overall metrics. Take the chance to start scheduling your Instagram posts through Buffer and build the organic momentum that will take your Instagram page from “meh” to “must-follow.”

Instagram Shares Updated Parents’ Guide in Line with the Return to School

The guide provides a full overview of Instagram's various safety features.

Instagram Confirms that Videos Under 60 Seconds in Stories will No Longer Be Split into Segments

Instagram continues to merge its video options.