Category: Social Media Marketing

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

Today’s youth is craving to be at the forefront of successful movements, tearing down and rebuilding structures and enacting positive change around the world. Increasingly, nonprofits are leveraging this desire and turning to younger generations to drive change and become the future leaders of the world. Their main catalyst of change? Social media.

This is the driving notion at Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), a young, vibrant, and growing organization that is pushing for bolder actions to make universal access to modern and clean energy happen by 2030. They believe that the younger generations are the driving forces of the current climate action movements; they ask the most challenging questions, are open-minded, and use their own network to reach new audiences of leaders and supporters. Through their platforms, SEforALL truly hopes to channel the right mindset and influence the future leaders of the world.

In this interview, you’ll hear directly from Meriam Otarra, Communications Specialist at SEforALL, and you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important for nonprofit organizations to appeal to younger audiences nowadays
  • How to connect on a deeper level with younger audiences through reader-friendly, modern, dynamic content
  • The marketing tactics that work best to reach younger audiences
  • Tips on building awareness and community around important causes via social media
Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.

There are so many great nonprofits working hard to make the world a better place. We want to help a tiny bit when it comes to their social media marketing efforts. We offer a 50% discount to all registered nonprofit organizations. Here’s how you can apply for the discount!


Tell us more about you! What’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) all about and what’s your role there?

Hi my name is Meriam Otarra and I’m a Visual & Digital Communications Specialist for international organizations. I currently lead the creative communications and social media for Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). SEforALL is a young, vibrant, and growing organization that works with the United Nations, international organizations, governments and the private sector to ensure we achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) — access to modern, clean, reliable, and sustainable energy for all — by 2030. We’re soon celebrating a decade of SDG7 progress since SEforALL was initiated by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon. Since then, there has been an increasing demand for SEforALL platforms and products, and that’s why as part of the communications team, I make sure that these digital products are:

  • Reader-friendly, modern, dynamic;
  • Reaching the right audiences!
Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action
Meriam Otarra, Communications Specialist at Sustainable Energy for All

Tell us about the “This is Cool” campaign! What has made this campaign so successful?

From where I’m from, which is the Philippines, a day never passes by without hearing someone say, “It’s hot.” (Either that, or “Oh my god, it has been raining non-stop for 7 days!”) And without urgent actions to the climate crisis, the rural and urban poor in developing countries in Africa and Asia are getting more and more at risk of the consequences of heat, because they can’t access or afford whatever cooling technologies are available out there.

SEforALL started the #ThisisCool campaign last year after releasing one of the household reports called Chilling Prospects, which tracks the global development of delivering universal sustainable cooling. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the current cooling situation (last year it was found that around *1.02 BILLION* people are at high-risk due to lack of access to cooling!), its challenges, and what can be done across the world to make sustainable cooling for all a reality.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

As part of the campaign, we created a microsite with Greenhouse PR, with different cooling case studies—from cool rooftops to farming innovations—and provided a nicely illustrated toolkit that can be used by anyone and everyone to start the conversation on sustainable cooling. Check it out at thisiscool.seforall.org!



Why do you believe it’s important for nonprofit organizations to appeal to younger audiences nowadays?

We’ve said it before at SEforALL (and we’re definitely not the first ones to say it!), but youth are the driving forces of the current climate action. They aren’t afraid to speak out and demand better policies or a better response to the pandemic that’s affecting us, youth, both short- and long-term. As social media managers, sincere engagement is what we ultimately aspire to build, and at least for what I can say as the frontline of SEforALL social media, youth are the ones who ask questions, are open-minded, share ideas, and use their own network to help SEforALL reach other audiences who may have otherwise not heard about SEforALL before. Through our platforms, we can only hope to channel the right mindset and influence the future leaders of the world.

As social media managers, sincere engagement is what we ultimately aspire to build, and at least for what I can say as the frontline of SEforALL social media, youth are the ones who ask questions, are open-minded, share ideas, and use their own network to help SEforALL reach other audiences who may have otherwise not heard about SEforALL before.

As a nonprofit international organization, how do you connect on a deeper level with younger audiences?

We’re not scared to dive into conversations with youth. That’s why we created the SEforALL Youth Summit last February, organized by the SEforALL youth representatives ourselves, to show that youth voices are needed to be heard and that SEforALL is here to listen. The outcomes of that Summit are also going to feed into the high-level meetings on energy happening this September.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Empowering Younger Generations to Take Action

What marketing tactics have you found work the best to reach younger audiences?

We found showing data and infographics that hit closer to home for younger people have had better engagement and reactions than most other content. Two good examples that we’ve pushed out during the Summit were (1) showing data through an infographic on the amount of energy the whole country of Senegal uses versus the amount of energy Californians use playing video games; and (2) no energy access, no internet.


We found showing data and infographics that hit closer to home for younger people have had better engagement and reactions than most other content.

For our #ThisisCool campaign, we also reached out to youth influencers in the climate action sphere in Africa and Asia by commenting on their posts related to passive cooling (see example below). And only when they follow us back do we actually send them a personalized message on Twitter telling them about our campaign and ask them for their emails so we can send the toolkit directly to them. It’s important for us to know that they believe in our message as we do with them before we bombard them in their inbox. With the support from Greenhouse PR, we selected them not just based on their following count, but also the quality of content that they put out.


Which social media platforms have successfully driven SEforAll’s missions forward and why?

As far as advocacy goes, our Twitter and LinkedIn profiles have had the most impact on SEforALL projects. Twitter is fast-paced and straight to the point and easy to connect with our audiences in the international organization sector. As we (and our partners) always have events, knowledge products to release, it’s usually the first platform we utilize for any campaign. And while LinkedIn is quite the contrary, we’ve used our LinkedIn to establish thought leadership in the energy access scene, as well as show value and appreciation to our staff. It’s also quite surprising but a lot of our youth audiences are mostly on LinkedIn.

We’ve used our LinkedIn to establish thought leadership in the energy access scene, as well as show value and appreciation to our staff. It’s also quite surprising but a lot of our youth audiences are mostly on LinkedIn.

What advice do you have for other organizations that want to build awareness and community around the causes they care about via social media?

Two words—timely and timeless. At SEforALL, we don’t want to be just quick, we also want our content to be relevant yesterday, today, tomorrow. It helps to create content that puts the cause into proper context, one that is straight forward, relatable, short.

At SEforALL, we don’t want to be just quick, we also want our content to be relevant yesterday, today, tomorrow.

We recently did a 2-minute explainer on why we need universal energy access or Sustainable Development Goal 7. It was also created to reach out to those who are not yet familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals in general. We talked about current events, why energy is needed for cold chains for vaccine deployment, why children need energy to access online education, etc. Art and copy have to go hand in hand. At SEforALL, I’m lucky to work with multimedia wordsmiths that make my work easier.


What actions can businesses and individuals take today to make sustainable cooling a reality?

When we think about cooling, the first thing that comes to mind is air conditioning. But cooling for all depends on many different solutions and with the climate, economic, health crises that we are facing, we need to make sure we prioritize efficient and affordable solutions that (1) won’t spike energy demand, and (2) don’t have negative environmental impacts.

Business, corporations, individuals—all stakeholders—can think about cooling solutions in four ways:

  • Passive cooling solutions: no-energy solutions like trees that provide shade or natural ventilation in buildings
  • Policy solutions: governments prioritizing passive cooling in building codes or cities ensuring enough green space to keep the city cool
  • Financial solutions: making energy-efficient refrigerators and air conditioners easier to purchase by the mass public
  • Service solutions: training people and companies how to be more sustainable and how to create sustainable products

To find out where we are in delivering sustainable cooling for all and what the newest cooling innovations are out there, we’re having a virtual event on the release of our 2021 Chilling Prospects report this May 5!


We hope this interview with Meriam helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow Sustainable Energy for All on Instagram here and on Twitter here!

https://buffer.com/resources/empowering-younger-generations-to-take-action/

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How The Clubhouse Phenomenon Could be Utilized as a Marketing Strategy

If you don’t happen to be familiar with the unique audio-based social network, Clubhouse, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many haven’t had the chance to use it because they’re either not on an iOS device or they haven’t received an invite. However, it’s likely that marketers will soon wake up en masse to the potential of this platform as a unique opportunity to win new leads and leverage fresh conversions for their business. 

Despite launching in May 2020, by the end of the year Clubhouse was enjoying having over 600,000 registered users, despite a lack of presence on Android devices and online. 

Clunhouse User Growth

(Image: Backlinko)

As we can see, in early 2021 Clubhouse downloads have spiraled past six million thanks in no small part to Elon Musk’s advocacy of the platform. The growth of Clubhouse appears set to continue to spiral due to the network’s unique invite-only framework, where users are unable to simply sign up to the app without first receiving a user invitation. 

Clubhouse non-us markets

(Image: Backlinko)

While the vast majority of Clubhouse users are based in the US, the market is expanding rapidly across Germany, Japan, and the UK. Other English-speaking nations like Canada and Australia are experiencing an increasing number of downloads while Turkey’s relatively young population is among another significant nation of large early adopters. 

But what actually is this new social media network that’s spent the past year steadily embarking towards global domination? And why could Clubhouse provide marketers with a golden opportunity to connect with their audience in a brand new way? Let’s look at how Clubhouse can be utilized as a marketing strategy:

What is Clubhouse

Clubhouse is a social audio chat app where users have the ability to tune into interviews, conversations, and discussions between people on various topics. Think of the platform as a podcast, or a streaming service like Twitch, only the content is live audio. Once the discussion has finished, the content is gone and there are no recordings available afterward. 

For the time being, only existing users are capable of inviting others. This means that to sign up, users will need to know somebody who has already registered to the platform themselves to get in. Meanwhile, anybody can download the app on iOS to reserve a username – and then it’s a case of waiting to get an invite to dive in. 

The reason behind this rather unique approach to Clubhouse stems from the fact that the creators are still developing the platform and working to develop safety features and guidelines ready for more broad adoption. When the app can handle large audiences, plans are in place to open it up for everyone to use. 

This closed-circuit release of Clubhouse may have inadvertently – or indeed deliberately – become an excellent marketing ploy by its creators. The scarcity of invites has created a buzz around the app that may not have existed to the same extent if everybody had the chance to join in and eavesdrop on conversations from the word ‘go’. 

Furthermore, a number of factors like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sustained popularity of podcasts, the free time that remote work has generated and general widespread video fatigue appear to have combined to make Clubhouse the ideal social app at the ideal time. 

Ray Wang, Constellation Research principal analyst and founder described Clubhouse as “the modern version of AM talk radio democratizing a digital society. The other unwritten part of the business model is a way to reward content creators with a new platform.”

Clubhouse taps into the popularity of podcasts while allowing users to multitask as they engage in the app. Unlike with copy and video, listeners to audio can do tasks like exercising, cleaning, or checking our inboxes as we hear the individuals we follow talk live. 

The Potential That Clubhouse Holds for Marketers

So, what makes Clubhouse a great fit for brands? The answer to this depends on your business, and what you’re looking to achieve from your campaigns. 

At the moment, Clubhouse has displayed significant potential for boosting users as thought leaders and expanding audiences within their respective niche. 

In terms of use cases, it’s been reported that some attorneys have already been able to find new clients via Clubhouse by using the platform as an opportunity to share their expertise and demonstrate their value to followers within dedicated rooms – while some brands have even begun sponsoring discussions on the app and sharing business insights in rooms of their own. 

This appears to be the most significant benefit for brands. The platform is a hub for sharing knowledge and insight through the means of various discussions that can build on community connections. These demonstrators of value could hold significant value too with Clubhouse rooms currently seeing high levels of engaged, active users. 

As a marketer, you could ensure that your brand sparks the right topic of discussion and use it to draw in a refined and engaged audience – helping, in turn, to boost your presence and maximize audience reach. 

How to Run Campaigns on Clubhouse

While it’s reasonable to expect Clubhouse to introduce some form of advertising opportunities for businesses in the near future as the app grows, there’s real value in creating your own campaigns that are geared towards demonstrating expertise and engaging with a new audience. 

By using Clubhouse to set up a room of your own, you can use the app to grow your own community of followers who are interested in your business’ content and thus more likely to act on their interest and make a purchase. To get started on Clubhouse – assuming that you’ve managed to access an invite – here’s a step-by-step guide to building your own room:

1. Find People, Rooms, and Clubs to Follow

 

 

Start a room

(Image: Social Media Examiner)

One of the most significant things you can do as a marketer on Clubhouse is to be strategic with who and what you follow. Following too many random accounts can lead you to have access to too many rooms that you’re not interested in. Take care in who you follow – the hallway will generally show you only rooms that match your perceived interests. 

2. Begin Building a Vibrant Network of Users

 

 

Network

(Image: Social Media Examiner)

When you enter rooms, you’ll see a breakdown of the individuals around you. The people in the room are broken down into three categories. Firstly, you’ll have the stage which consists of those speaking to the audience. Then, there’s the front row. The front row consists of the individuals in attendance who the speakers themselves follow. Finally, the third section is the audience. 

When you click on the people on the stage and the front row, you can access information about them. This can help you to determine who to follow and how you can build your connections within the app. 

3. Optimize Your Portfolio to Build a Following

Your Clubhouse bio is where you can tell your audience exactly what you want to be known for. What you include in your bio will play a key role in how people find you in the member directory, so be sure to use a healthy array of keywording to get you noticed. 

Rather than a traditional online bio, invest time in creating an extended informational bio, and don’t be afraid to include emojis. Here, you want to stand out. Mention where you work, your title, content channels, and social profiles – as well as any clubs you’ve already launched. 

To build a following, enter rooms that are relevant to your industry and get to know the people who regularly visit them. As you get more active and show up more, the people who host those rooms could invite you to come on stage where your audience will notice you. The more time you get on stage, the more followers you’ll attract

Don’t waste time when you’re talking. Don’t introduce yourself or your field of work, or even your business. Simply ask or answer a question clearly and succinctly and offer value based on your expertise alone. When you effectively engage with your audience, they’ll feel compelled to click on your bio and read more about yourself and your business. 

4. Begin Hosting Your Own Rooms on Your Terms

 

 

Host

(Image: Good Housekeeping)

When you create a room, you automatically become a moderator for that room. As a moderator, you can control who comes up on stage, who gets muted, and who can join you in the role of moderator. 

Here, your goal is to bring order to the room and anticipate what the audience wants and needs. Sometimes that could mean taking a short break, where you can ask your audience to give moderators a follow. When the audio content resumes, you can even suggest listeners ping their contemporaries into the room to listen along. 

Having your own room means that you get to curate your content. You can invite your business’ industry experts to the stage in a bid to demonstrate why their knowledge can be a vital component in earning clients money, or you can tap into the diverse qualities of Clubhouse’s global audience by including voices from all around the world. 

New event

(Image: WikiHow)

To start a room, all you need to do is to create an event and schedule it. There are two caveats to creating your room that need to be addressed. Firstly, it’s important to ensure that you’ve networked enough to begin drawing an audience into your room. Preaching to an empty room can be a waste of valuable time spent on campaigns elsewhere. 

It’s also key to ensure that your room is scheduled well enough in advance and at a convenient time that doesn’t clash with any competitor discussions that could take your audience away from you. 

Building a Vibrant Community With Clubhouse

The explosion of Clubhouse onto the social media scene has come at a time when users are looking to favor companies with authentic and trustworthy branding rather than corporate giants with decades of accumulated brand loyalty. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a time of deep financial uncertainty and a steady stream of news events. In this era, consumers want to find confidence in brands that appear to share the values of their consumers. In creating live, uncensored and unscripted rooms through Clubhouse, your brand has the chance to demonstrate genuine value while offering users the chance to benefit from your expertise for free. 

HubSpot’s social media community manager, Krystal Wu explained that “Clubhouse offers a lot of opportunities for connection with celebrities, a vast variety of people in different industries, and even close friends. It opens the door for live conversations allowing people to be vulnerable within a community space. This type of connection is unique to deliver audio content with small to large groups of people. Its unscripted content that anyone can be a part of.”

By setting up rooms to discuss your industry and your brand’s position and potential to deliver leading service, it’s possible to win dedicated fans and followers who are more likely to reward your willingness to share your knowledge by choosing your business to make a purchase. 

As marketers utilize this early and largely untapped market, it’s vital to bring in analytics platforms to observe your progress. Insights provided by Google Analytics and Finteza can map how audiences receive your Clubhouse content and use it to inform their purchasing decisions. You can build a custom funnel that will show you exactly how visitors from Clubhouse navigate and behave on your website, how many of them convert and where they exit. 

Conversion funnel

Through studying the flow of traffic and subsequent conversions, you can make informed decisions on how to approach the market and how much time to commit to the app. 

Brands that use Clubhouse have a brand new opportunity to earn credibility by discussing topics that they’re experts on. However, they could also earn greater trust because they’ve made themselves available to listen and talk candidly with their audiences. 

This level of trust-building with potential customers is a chance that shouldn’t go begging in the value-driven climate of 2021.

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The post How The Clubhouse Phenomenon Could be Utilized as a Marketing Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/03/how-the-clubhouse-phenomenon-could-be-utilized-as-a-marketing-strategy/

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

The best marketers today are building loyal fans by engaging with their audience in the comments and in messages. By approaching every conversation with genuine interest, they are leveraging social media to drive a remarkable and unforgettable customer experience that has fans coming back over and over again. But how exactly can you create this remarkable customer experience on social media?

One marketer that has mastered the art of social media to drive a better customer experience is Bryanna Evans. She’s the Social Media Manager at Southern Elegance Candle Company (SECC), a home fragrance and budding lifestyle brand that captures the warmth and hospitality that the South is known for. Not only has her focus on engagement helped them build loyal fans, but it’s also helped them double or triple their revenue, as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell told us: “Our social media makes us a lot of money… We went from doing maybe $20,000-30,000 a month just posting pretty images to well over a $100,000 a month now simply by engaging people more.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how SECC creates a positive customer experience on social media that has customers coming back over and over again. You’ll hear directly from Bryanna Evans, Social Media Manager at SECC, and you’ll learn:

  • How a positive customer experience on social media can bring significant value to your business
  • How your audience can help you with your business’ marketing and product development strategy
  • The tool Bryanna uses to more efficiently engage with SECC’s audience
  • What social platforms are most successful for customer engagement
How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer social media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.

Tell us more about you! What’s Southern Elegance Candle Co. (SECC) all about and what’s your role there?

Southern Elegance Candle Company is a home fragrance and budding lifestyle brand that captures the warmth and hospitality that the South is known for. The fragrances we offer are inspired by our CEO, D’Shawn Russell’s experiences growing up in the South. Through our products, individuals are able to experience the joys of southern-living no matter where they are.

My name is Bryanna Evans and the role I play at Southern Elegance is multifaceted, but my major responsibilities include social media management and overseeing customer service. Although many think of them as separate entities, I feel that they overlap quite a bit. Both assist in my process for developing strategies that appeal to consumers, content creation, and building authentic connections with our audience.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience

Why does customer experience on social media matter?

In this digitally charged age, everything is at the touch of our fingertips. We’ve been conditioned to expect information just as quickly as we consume it. The same holds firm for customer experience on social media. It’s often the first impression potential consumers have of the company and whether it’s worth investing in them, (browsing their social media platforms, following accounts, purchasing products). It can make or break a brand.

How does SECC create a positive customer experience on social media?

We use our platforms to cultivate a welcoming environment centered around unity and inclusivity. Our tagline ‘Modern Values, Southern Charm’ plays a huge role in our content creation process- from graphics to captions, we try our best to ensure that anyone who comes across our feed feels accepted. We engage with our audience as if we’re long-time friends whether they’ve been following since the beginning or just visiting out of curiosity. That energy also translates into how we approach questions, answer comments, email, and DM’s.

We engage with our audience as if we’re long-time friends whether they’ve been following since the beginning or just visiting out of curiosity. That energy also translates into how we approach questions, answer comments, email, and DM’s.

What are SECC’s most successful social platforms for customer engagement and why?

Instagram and Facebook are our most successful platforms, with TikTok on their heels. I would credit our success to our genuine interests in our audience. The internet has made many skeptical- It’s often hard to know if a brand really cares about you as a consumer or just your money. This feeling can be amplified through robocalls and chatbot assistants. If someone comments on our posts, we comment back. If they call they’re met with a welcoming voice. We spark conversations through quizzes, videos, contests & giveaways.

I would credit our success to our genuine interests in our audience. If someone comments on our posts, we comment back. If they call they’re met with a welcoming voice. We spark conversations through quizzes, videos, contests & giveaways.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Instagram post found here.

How do you learn from your community to help guide your marketing and product development strategy?

Our community is very vocal about what they desire from us. We often get messages regarding fragrances and products they want to return or see. However, in the event that we decide to launch a new product or scent, we try to include them in the process as much as possible. We allow them to test scents, vote for new fragrances, and name candles. We actively seek their feedback and test interest in future projects through story polls, surveys, and asking questions.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Facebook post found here.

How does managing SECC’s social media account and community look like on a day-to-day basis?

We always have a lot going on, so content is planned on a weekly basis. Personally, organization is key. I have to manage my time wisely; to do so I use a personal planner, a social media planner, and two whiteboards. One whiteboard has a tentative time-based schedule written out. This allows me to pivot if something arises and I need to help out on the floor or have an influx of calls for the day. The other contains important reminders for upcoming projects and tasks.

My workday usually starts at 8 AM. When I arrive I review my planners, and reminders for the day. The next hour of work is dedicated to answering customer service emails. For the next half-hour, I create any graphics I need for the day and schedule a few posts, if I haven’t done so over the weekend. Afterward, I dive straight into our Instagram and Facebook DMs. I also reply to comments from anywhere between thirty minutes to an hour. I then take a bit of time to check my work emails and knock out a few things on my to-do list. I also take this opportunity to plan and execute at least one TikTok video for the week for the company account.

We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories daily- depending on what’s happening on the floor I post behind the scene footage around 11:30 AM or 1:00 PM. Throughout the day I share stories we’ve been tagged in or important announcements like sales. After lunch, I go back to answer any new customer service emails, schedule any other posts if needed, answer DMs, story replies, and comments. My day typically ends at 4 PM. Before I leave for the day, I make sure to answer any lingering emails.

We post to our Instagram and Facebook stories daily- depending on what’s happening on the floor I post behind the scene footage around 11:30 AM or 1:00 PM. Throughout the day I share stories we’ve been tagged in or important announcements like sales.

Walk us through how you use our new engagement tool. What are your favorite features?

Buffer’s new engagement tool has really helped to boost the efficiency of replying to comments. My favorite engagement feature by far is the alerts, as they’re a huge time saver. I love how they allow me to prioritize which ones I need to reply to ASAP. When I see a shopping cart or question icon I know that may need to have detailed information available for that individual. An added perk is that the tool makes it easy to scroll through comments on each post and locate those pesky spambot comments so they can be removed or hidden.


What advice do you have for brands that want to start using social media to build a community of loyal followers?

My advice for brands looking to use social media to build a loyal community is to start conversations, gather feedback, and be real with your followers. Social media can be intimidating but at the end of the day, there’s no wrong or right way to go about it. What works for Southern Elegance, may not work for another company. It’s all trial and error. It’s important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is looking into the topics, trends, and habits of your target audience and using that information to curate engaging content.

What works for Southern Elegance, may not work for another company. It’s all trial and error. It’s important for brands to experiment with different approaches and see what sticks. A good start is looking into the topics, trends, and habits of your target audience and using that information to curate engaging content.

I actually follow some of my professors from college. They regularly post articles, start conversations around emerging trends, social media, public relations, and marketing practices. I try to stay active on social media- Even if I don’t post daily, I set time aside to go through each platform, take note of memes, recurring topics, trending hashtags, etc. If I see something I think I can apply or rework to fit Souther Elegance I take notes and dig deeper.

Additionally, in my free time, I take online courses, and attend “YouTube University.” Social media is constantly changing and I’ve found that the best way to keep up with the algorithm changes, updates, and latest strategies is to just put time aside to actively learn.

What’s your favorite SECC product and why?

My favorite Southern Elegance product would have to be our wax melts and warmers. I just turn my warmer on, pop a wax melt in, and go about my day. My favorite fragrances are our Charleston: Sweet Tea and our Savannah: Peach & Champagne as they remind me of my time spent growing up in Georgia and attending my alma mater Georgia Southern University.

How a Candle Company Uses Social Media to Drive a Better Customer Experience
Instagram post found here.

Have any questions for Bryanna? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Bryanna or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-to-use-social-media-to-drive-a-better-customer-experience/

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

As the buying power of Gen Z grows, marketers at businesses of all sizes are searching for novel ways to connect with this audience and build lasting customer relationships.

It’ll come as no surprise that social media platforms are of the best ways to connect with this generation — which includes today’s teenagers and those in their early 20’s. But marketing to Gen Zers means much more than simply posting pretty pictures and memes.

So what does it take to stand out and connect with this valuable audience in 2021?

One brand that has mastered the art of marketing to Gen Z is Blume, a fast-growing skin, body, and period care brand on a mission to break boundaries and smash taboos.

In this interview, you’ll hear directly from Janice Cheng, Brand and Community Manager at Blume, and you’ll learn:

  • How to build a brand that connects with Gen Z
  • How to market and sell on social media
  • The key to understanding Gen Z’s preferences on social media
  • Successful strategies to use when marketing to Gen Z
Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Tell us more about you! What’s Blume all about and what’s your role there?

My name is Janice and I’m based in Vancouver! I’m the Brand Manager at Blume—a fast-growing skin, body, and period care brand on a mission to break boundaries and smash taboos. I joined the team back in June 2019 as the 3rd hire and EA to our founders Taran & Bunny. Now, I’ve been in this Brand role for almost 9 months.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

Why do you think your Gen Z audience connects with your brand?

Gen Zers are conscious (smart) consumers and the most connected generation ever. Growing up with social media, they want transparency, community, and look for brands that align with their values. I think Blume checks off all those boxes in a really genuine way! Since day one, we’ve been more than just our products. Blume is breaking stigma by having conversations about extremely normal, yet still taboo topics, like acne, puberty, periods, and sex ed. As I’m sure most of us know, these are “issues” that carry well into adulthood, so a lot of our audience are millennials as well.

Gen Zers are conscious (smart) consumers and the most connected generation ever. Growing up with social media, they want transparency, community, and look for brands that align with their values.

We’re also a brand that cares. We launched the thestatesofsexed.com, Future World Shapers Award (created for Gen Z change-makers), and generally produce engaging and shareable content. More importantly, we prioritize using our platform to amplify the voices of our community and speak up on issues important to us; this includes climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement, and even our pandemic response. Our audience teaches us a lot, and more than anything, they’re our friends! This is all translated through our brand voice cohesively across all channels.

Tell us about a recent social media campaign. What made it so successful?

We’re only about 2.5 years old but one of my fave moments was our in-house Blume Celebrates Skin campaign (a campaign focused on being confident in our own skin is undefined and unrestricted by our physical appearances or the bumps and blemishes on our skin). We were only about five people then (half of our team now) and it was so much fun because it came from our hearts. Quickly and organically, it grabbed the attention of Allure and Daily Mail UK. Sometimes metrics are tricky with these kinds of campaigns. Say someone comes across this campaign and finds new strength and bravery in their natural skin. Although can’t quantify feelings, the reviews and customer testimonials are invaluable to our team.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Instagram post found here.

BUT! Meltdown (our best-selling acne treatment) continues to be our top community favorite and campaigns like Celebrate Skin reinforce that. Ultimately, our social media goal is to increase engagement, and this campaign accomplished that for us. We’re about to have some of our biggest campaigns this new year! So stay tuned.

Where do you find inspiration for Blume’s social media content?

Recently, a lot on TikTok (obviously), community pages like Girlboss, and also meme pages. We have an #inspo Slack channel where we share things we see on our feeds and Explore pages and what’s circulating in our own friend’s groups! Pro tip: start an #inspo channel whether just for yourself or with your team.

How does Blume leverage user-generated content to connect with its Gen Z audience?

Community is core to all we do. Beyond our products, for us, it’s about adding value to Gen Z, and user-generated content (UGC) is a huge part of that. Using UGC is more impactful than using traditional models or lifestyle images because UGC is by actual people in our community—reflecting a range of real skin. It’s the best way to relate to this audience!

Using UGC is more impactful than using traditional models or lifestyle images because UGC is by actual people in our community—reflecting a range of real skin.

Also, Gen Zers are so creative because producing content is second nature to them so partnerships together are so fun. I love looking through our tagged posts every week and seeing people embrace their shelfies and natural skin. We give them full creative freedom! So rather than believing what we have to say about our products, you should believe our community through UGC, their captions, reviews, and experiences.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Instagram post found here.

How does Blume embed UGC, customer testimonials, and reviews across all its marketing channels?

We have an incredible tiny team of two that keeps the rest of the team, especially marketing, up to date with all inquiries, trends, and themes of the week. For example, our Meltdown before & after shave has always been highly effective for us because a photo equals a thousand words.

In skincare, especially clean beauty care, it’s really important for us to spotlight the effectiveness of the product and how our products actually work. We’ll use before/after photos and other UGC in ads, Instagram story features, and email newsletters. With permission, of course.

On a regular week, we try to post UGC and/or testimonials about 3-4x on our social media channels.

In skincare, especially clean beauty care, it’s really important for us to spotlight the effectiveness of the product and how our products actually work.

What are Blume’s most successful social platforms for selling and why?

Definitely Instagram—still cracking the code for TikTok. Ultimately, Gen Zers are the trendsetters and determine what’s next. Something can come and go overnight so we have to be quick to pivot, adapt and execute. We can plan all we want but our best performing posts often tend to be non-product focused ones. If we had a Meltdown post planned on a day where the world actually needs more empathy and love, we’ll swap it for a journal prompt post or check-in.

What advice do you have for brands that want to start selling on social media?

Make a list of brands that you love and dig deep into the “why.” For Blume, the core criterion for selling on social is based on value; we focus our marketing on educational content about our products and brand, community building through UGC campaigns and partnerships, and aesthetic shareable graphics.

Also, GET. ON. TIKTOK. Whether to start your brand page or just to get in touch with Gen Z culture, it’s worthwhile I promise you. Here are three easy things you can start right away: write copy like a human (not a robot), have fun with emojis, and start following people to bring eyes to your page!

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Fllow Blume on TikTok here.

For Blume, the core criterion for selling on social is based on value; we focus our marketing on educational content about our products and brand, community building through UGC campaigns and partnerships, and aesthetic shareable graphics.

Personally, I follow Gen Z brands that I admire, read lots of Glossy and Beauty Independent, and ask our awesome Influencer, Lead Eman, for the 411 on what’s cool and what’s not. I also used to scroll TikTok for 4 hours a day (lol) for simultaneous entertainment and market research.

What’s your favorite Blume product and why?

I’d like to say Meltdown because that’s everyone’s #1 and I’ve had a lot of stress acne through 2020, BUT my runner-up is definitely Hug Me, our natural deodorant. Random fact: the probiotics, our secret ingredient, has adapted to my body so well I hardly need deodorant anymore. It’s also unscented so I recommend it to EVERYONE. I might be biased but these two are also my faves because their names are so fun to play with when copywriting. 👋

Thanks for Bluming with us, Buffer friends! ❤️


We hope this interview with Janice helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow Blume on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Janice? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Janice or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-blume-markets-and-sells-to-a-gen-z-audience/

How to Win Social Media Conversions After The Holiday Rush

If only the world of marketing came with a little respite once in a while. As a chaotic, tumultuous holiday season packed with desperate brainstorming sessions for new holiday slogans, themed ads and special offers draw to a close, marketers find themselves tasked with campaigning their way through the new year lulls. 

While the transitional months from winter into spring are typically quiet for many businesses spanning retail and eCommerce, more companies are assembling marketing campaigns in order to win customers and maximise profits during the spending downturns of January, February and March. 

Retail Sales

(Image: Statista)

As we can see from the chart above, drops in retail sales from the build-up to the festive season into the new year can amount to a 30% fall in purchases among consumers. The chart, which has plotted out the recent history of retail sales in the United Kingdom, shows that while spending has steadily increased, peaks in spending around Christmas time have been consistent until 2020. 

The arrival of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, however, pointed to a significant disruptive influence in retail sales online in the UK. With more citizens facing more time spent indoors while social distancing and isolating away from the pandemic, it appears that more online shoppers chose to spend their money on goods and services.

With the pandemic culminating in a widespread shift towards workers transitioning away from office commutes and towards working-from-home (WFH) and the continued prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic around much of the world, marketers may be facing a fresh opportunity to create successful marketing campaigns during this traditionally slow period for sales. 

Realizing The Greater Roles of Social Media in the WFH Landscape

The rise of WFH looks as though it’s here to stay, and this could carry significant ramifications for the world of marketing – especially as social media campaigns continue to gain traction among marketers aiming to generate greater brand awareness and loyalty alongside advertising campaigns. 

Social Media Usage

(Image: Marketing Charts)

According to the metrics above, social media usage in the US was set to accelerate significantly in the wake of COVID. With more citizens across the world unable to interact with friends and family in person, social media usage became more prevalent. With one social network, TikTok, experiencing a huge increase in users. 

Social Media During Covid-19

(Image: Marketing Charts)

The height of the pandemic saw more marketers take to tapping into the potential of this huge new network of active social media users. In fact, as much as 84.2% of CMOs looked to use social media to build brand awareness online, while customer retention and acquisition both ranked high. 

While businesses can certainly tap into social media for continued campaigning following the conclusion of the festive season, one of the most significant drawbacks of this time of year amounts to how best marketers can utilize their social media campaigns to draw in new and returning customers. 

With this in mind, let’s explore some of the key ways in which CMOs are looking to keep things fresh when it comes to content in the new year: 

Champion Community Interactions

There are few better ways of entering the new year successfully than to work towards championing community-driven content. By opening your business up to its community, you can not only share their content but also build a significant level of brand loyalty and awareness online. It’s even possible to build a space for dedicated users to interact with each other and share their experiences and ideas using platforms like Mighty Networks or Zapnito

Kristen Baker, a marketing manager at HubSpot explained that “in today’s highly digital and connected society, it’s funny to think people can still feel disconnected from others. This goes for personal relationships as well as business relationships – specifically between brands and their customers as well as brands and their employees. So, what is it that has people feeling a disconnect to others and the companies they do business with? It’s a lack of community.”

One key example of an organisation building a huge cross-platform community through marketing can be found on Netflix. When the company teamed up with content marketing agency, Mustache, the result amounted to a series of new social media accounts using the @NetflixIsAJoke handle to post funny videos, memes and other forms of content. 

The campaign prompted a vibrant community across a range of platforms and generated around 3.5 million new followers for Netflix in the process. 

By spending the quieter months following the festive period working on building a community and engaging more with your social media followers, you could not only establish more brand loyalty but build a deeper understanding of who your customers are and the sort of content they would like to see. You could even invite them to create content on your behalf and share the best entries in return for a prize. 

As marketing budgets tighten following the holiday season, user-generated content can pay dividends in keeping your social media followers engaged and continually clicking on your brand for updates. This, in turn, can lead to a healthy boost to website traffic, conversions, and much more engagement later on when new promotions kick-off. 

Work on More Organic Promotions

There are many reasons why the new year is a good time to start interacting more with your customers. In the age of WFH, it’s likely that they’ll have more time to spend on social media, and in those long drawn out winter months, they may actually crave some interaction with people – even if that ‘someone’ actually turns out to be a brand. 

You can help to foster a sense of loyalty by introducing a more evergreen promotion in the form of a loyalty scheme. As a new year arrives, customers may be looking for new challenges, and a loyalty or referral program could be perfect for keeping them engaged in those early months. 

There are plenty of ways in which you can introduce a loyalty program specific to your business. The classic approach made popular by both coffee shops and bookshops is a stamp card where every purchase equals a stamp. After a pre-determined number of stamps, the customer can receive a free product or service – or a freebie. 

If your business is more heavily dependent on service subscriptions, then it’s possible to run a referral program where customers get discounts for referring friends. You could also introduce tiered loyalty schemes where customers can move through tiers based on the purchases they make. The higher the tier they’re in, the greater the discounts. 

Naturally, these more organic and evergreen promotions encourage customers to convert more often, knowing that they’ll be rewarded for their loyalty. At a time that’s traditionally much more tranquil following the frantic festive season, loyalty rewards can bring a significant boost to conversions. 

Promote Self Improvement

The rise of the pandemic has led to a widespread increase in self-improvement measures. Whether it’s eating healthily, regular exercise or mindfulness, it seems that these trends are likely to continue in the age of WFH. 

This could be a significant opportunity for social media marketers who are looking to increase brand loyalty in the new year. Your social media marketing efforts can resonate with consumers more by promoting self-improvement. 

Be sure to generate trust in your brand by sharing your expertise, creating tutorials to share across social media (these can be video-based or textual), or even creating online courses central to your content. 

These approaches can add value to your business on social media, and followers will feel emboldened in following you and taking on the information that you share. 

The notion of self-improvement can be a significant tool for businesses to use in their marketing campaigns in January and February, where New Year’s resolutions remain fresh in the minds of consumers online. Position your online self-improvement materials on your social media accounts as a means of offering your followers the opportunity to learn through your company’s expertise. 

This social media marketing approach can be created as a freebie or as a paid service, but as long as it demonstrates value to your customers, it’s an effective way of resonating with their mindsets following on from the festive period. This boost in loyalty and awareness among your social media follower will lead to more click-throughs on to your landing page and subsequently more conversions from users who were content with your self-improvement content. 

Content Trial and Error

Of course, it’s vital at this time of year to continually monitor the performance of your campaigns. Raw metrics are likely to show drops in the number of conversions being made with your company, so it’s important to look elsewhere for key indicators surrounding how your campaigns are taking shape. 

By running links to your website’s landing pages from social media, you can actively review each step of your sales funnel through dedicated analytics engines like Google Analytics and Finteza. Both platforms are capable of providing rich insights into the causes of page and cart abandonment and various bouncebacks. 

Google Analytics

(Image: EasyAutoTagging)

At a time of year where consumer spending is largely frantic, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your funnels are kept squeaky clean and free of any potential sticking points for non-committal visitors. 

Be sure to regularly monitor your social media links and posts, and always compare and contrast your performance by looking into the various impressions you’re getting and the click-through rate that they’re generating. 

It may even be worth setting up different landing pages for each social media platform so you can better identify the best-optimised campaign for each network. 

As the frantic festive period and the huge marketing pushes of companies become a memory, it can be much more difficult to generate campaigns that can see similar levels of traction. In markets with a little less consumer spending power, the process of trial and error can really pay dividends in spotting newly emerging trends and capitalizing on them.

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The post How to Win Social Media Conversions After The Holiday Rush appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2021/01/how-to-win-social-media-conversions-after-the-holiday-rush/

5 Insights to Boost Your Brand’s Social Presence in 2021 and Beyond

It’s been a whirlwind of a year and anticipating what lies ahead is no easier to navigate. Our friends at Hootsuite launched their 5th annual Social Trends report illuminating the top trends set to shape brands in 2021 and how to adapt and thrive. You can download the full report here, but here’s a peek at some of the high-level insights backed by the brightest minds in marketing and data.

A shift to short-term ROI

This year saw a rush to deliver a short-term return on investment (ROI) to recoup lost sales from the upheaval of the pandemic. In fact, 73 percent of all marketers ranked “increased acquisition of new customers” as their top outcome for social in 2021, compared to only 46% last year, marking a 58 percent year-over-year increase. This has led to a very transaction-focused year.

But transactions alone don’t create memorable brands or long-term growth.

That’s why you need to innovate to win long-term loyalty and engagement. How? By bringing back the fun to the buying process, making shopping more social and using social as a way to connect with customers, foster loyalty, and prevent disjointed experiences.


Finding your place in social conversations


The uptick in social media use in 2020 translated into numerous opportunities for brands. Unfortunately, many faltered by jumping in too soon instead of taking crucial time to listen to their audiences. The reality is, many people want to engage with each other, not brands. Those that let their audiences guide them were able to find spaces where they could fit into the conversation in a meaningful and authentic way. 



Brands who will find success in 2021 are not necessarily the ones leading the conversation, but rather finding creative avenues to fit into it and break through the walls of indifference.

To join the conversation instead of just interrupting, lean into user-generated content (UGC) in lieu of costly content production, bolster social listening to find where you fit, and pick your time and place for engagement and participation. 



The tipping point for baby boomers

Baby boomers are spending even more time on social platforms now as a result of the pandemic, yet marketers still overlook and under-represent this lucrative group in favor of targeting younger demographics.

Why? For one, we have a tendency to fall prey to the irresistible chase of newness—rather than pursuing effectiveness. To capitalize on boomers’ growing tech enthusiasm, look to smart segmentation and thoughtful representation. That’s how savvy brands like yours will leapfrog over companies still stereotyping. 




Tying engagement data to identity

Social media isn’t simply about racking up likes, those are just a means to an end. You want to make sure your social efforts drive real results for your business. To do it, move beyond reactions and dig deeper to see how social data can help you understand your customers better.

Linking social media engagement to identity is more critical than ever for marketers. After so many traditional approaches fell by the wayside, it’s become the strongest bridge between brands and customers. To achieve this, look to establish a solid UTM framework for both paid and organic ads and integrate your data into your CRMs. This will ensure greater visibility into customer touchpoints and untapped opportunities.

Success will boil down to taking steps — big or small — to gather key insights from quantifiable data. Be sure to map these back to your broader marketing objectives to avoid getting lost in a pit of attribution or stuck measuring social in a silo.

Becoming a purpose-driven brand

While 2020 wasn’t the beginning of the shift towards purpose-driven marketing, it kicked things into high gear.

Now 53 percent of people say they want brands to proactively make the world a better place.

Becoming a purpose-driven brand isn’t something you can fake or simply mimic on social media. You can’t tick a box and be done. Brands must be cognizant of what is going on in the world and take into consideration the conversations already unfolding. If you’re going to take a stance, make sure your actions back it up.

In 2021, the strongest brands will balance the twin demands of building a better business and better world. This strategy must start in your boardroom and should use social listening to learn and gain intelligence.

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The post 5 Insights to Boost Your Brand’s Social Presence in 2021 and Beyond appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/12/5-insights-to-boost-your-brands-social-presence-in-2021-and-beyond/

IFundWomen’s Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

How does IFundWomen empower and support women entrepreneurs? Their strength is in their community. IFundWomen, the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses, aims to empower and support women entrepreneurs as they navigate building their businesses. They’ve identified a powerful marketing channel to help these women bring their visions to life: digital community.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how IFundWomen integrates their marketing and community building to foster inclusive digital spaces. You’ll hear directly from Shakivla Todd, Marketing Associate at IFundWomen, and you’ll learn:

  • Community tactics to build closer, longer-lasting relationships with your customers
  • How to learn from your community to inform your marketing strategy
  • Where Shakivla finds inspiration for creating social media content for a small business audience⠀
  • How to avoid tone-deaf marketing in uncertain times
IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer social media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Who are you?

My name is Shakivla Todd and I am the Marketing Associate for IFundWomen. More importantly, I’m a stellar older sister, a dope friend, and a budding plant mom. IFundWomen is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with capital, coaching, and connections. We offer immediate access to capital through a premium online fundraising experience, access to small business grants from corporate partners, expert business coaching on all the topics entrepreneurs need to know about, and a network of women business owners that sparks confidence, accelerates knowledge, and ignites action.

I manage our digital communities through social media strategy, Slack engagement, and e-mail marketing. I also am a startup coach and I get to coach women entrepreneurs on how to level up their social media game—this is one of my favorite parts of my role!

IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

Where do you find inspiration for IFundWomen’s social media content?

I spend a lot of time scrolling through Instagram to get inspo for social content. I am always stalking Ellevest, R29 Unbothered, Freelancing Females, Girlboss, the list goes on. Additionally, our community is #TeamMemes so pop culture inspires a good amount of my content. I am also looking for the next thing to be memeified! For example, millennials collectively are re-watching the early 2000s sitcom Girlfriends on Netflix. Everyone is talking about it, so I made a meme from a picture of the cast to promote one of our grant programs.

IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

Lastly, I would be lying if I didn’t say that we get inspired by checking out our competitors. It’s a great tactic!

How does managing IFundWomen’s social media account and community look like on a day-to-day basis?

First thing I do in the morning is check all DMs across platforms. I can do this from laying in my bed, so it’s a good slow start to the day and I don’t have to worry about it during the workday. I like to respond to any messages and comments within 24 hours, but if it’s a launch day or something important I check in with Instagram much more frequently.

On an amazing day, I have already scheduled my posts into Buffer. So, I’ll go check on them to make sure everything is still good to go. After that, my day is clear to be creative and strategize for future content. I collaborate with our sales, coaching, and creative teams to ensure that we are consistently marketing our products, services, events, and partnership. I have to make sure everything is reflected in our marketing content calendar.

What advice do you have for brands that are trying to foster a supportive, inclusive online community?

Don’t be tone-deaf. A lot of STUFF is going on in this land of 2020. You can’t ignore it. You have to find some way to address it that aligns with your brand’s mission, values, and voice. That being said, don’t just say something to say something. Be authentic and make it work for you. For example, during the aftermath of George Floyd’s death instead of going silent or posting a black square, our response was amplifying and supporting Black women-owned businesses recognizing that one of the most important actions to combat racial injustice is to redistribute money to Black-owned businesses. ⁠

Don’t be tone-deaf. A lot of STUFF is going on in this land of 2020. You can’t ignore it. You have to find some way to address it that aligns with your brand’s mission, values, and voice.

How do you learn from your community to help guide your marketing strategy?

Our community is loud and clear about what they need, want, and love. I like to try out different tactics and just watch to see where our community takes it. If something goes “viral” I continue to create content similar to that. Our followers are also often in our DMs asking for help to get their businesses funded. Their specific questions fuel my marketing strategy.

Our followers are also often in our DMs asking for help to get their businesses funded. Their specific questions fuel my marketing strategy.

For example, IFundWomen partners with companies to build grant programs for businesses. Over the summer, during the application window for one of our grants people were consistently sliding in our DMs asking very specific questions about their grant application. We decided to host a workshop specifically on grant writing. To promote this free workshop I seriously just took a screenshot of the first slide of the presentation that was going to be used for the workshop. The post blew up with nearly 1000 likes and over 400 people registered for the workshop. I think it succeeded because the Instagram post was very simple, straight to the point, and directly addressed a concern our community was having.

IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community

What’s your number one tip for engaging with IFundWomen’s community?

Perform like everyone’s best friend on the gram. What does that mean? That means most comments and DMs get very personalized responses. I interact with our followers not only on our posts but on their posts as well if it comes across our feed. I often engage as if our business account is a personal account. It’s a great tactic to beat the algorithm, but also to build community and brand trust.

Perform like everyone’s best friend on the gram.

I love reading Buffer’s, Later’s, Hootsuite’s blogs, and Social Media Today. A good scroll through TikTok and Twitter is also good for the brain. I think most trends start in those two apps. Shameless plug, I take what I learn all over the internet and put it into a roundup of “trends to keep up with” in my newsletter, Trending with Shak.

What’s your favorite IFundWomen partnership to date and why?

The Funding Journey is an IGTV series where we interview successful founders on the long, sometimes complicated, journey to getting their businesses funded. It’s my favorite because:

  1. I get to put on my true producer hat and build something out start to finish.
  2. Most of the founders we interview are from HUGE brands. It means amazing reach for us as a brand plus our community LOVES hearing from brands they love like Black Girl Sunscreen, Lively, and The Helm.
IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community
Link to Instagram post found here.
IFundWomen's Guide to Cultivating an Inclusive and Engaged Digital Community
Link to Instagram post found here.

We hope this interview with Shakivla helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow her journey on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Shakivla? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Shakivla or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/a-guide-to-cultivating-an-inclusive-digital-community/

How HIKI Shifted Their Social Media Marketing Launch Strategy During COVID-19

How HIKI Shifted Their Social Media Marketing Launch Strategy During COVID-19

HIKI, a newly launched genderless full body sweat brand, was set to reveal their DTC brand in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. Despite the pandemic, HIKI decided to push forward with the launch by shifting its social media marketing launch strategy to suit the times we were living in. But how did they manage to do so?

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how HIKI shifted their social media marketing strategy for a COVID-19 era and how they leaned on their community to co-create their products. You’ll hear directly from Tinah Ogalo, Social Media Coordinator at HIKI, and you’ll learn:

  • Where to find inspiration for creating social media content for a Gen-Z/millennial audience
  • How to leverage your community to inform your marketing strategy (and to create TikTok content)
  • How to plan for a successful new brand or product launch on social media
  • How to stay up to date on social media trends and updates
How HIKI Shifted Their Social Media Marketing Launch Strategy During COVID-19

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Who are you?

Hi, I’m Tina w/ an H. I’m the social media coordinator for arfa, a new consumer goods brand house specialising in personal care products. We co-create every product with real people from all over the country (we call them the arfa Collective) because we believe people should have a say in what they put on their bodies. And in return, we make them stakeholders in the business and give them 5% of profits. We currently have two brands that we launched this summer: HIKI, a genderless full body sweat line, and State Of, a skincare and beauty line for menopausal women.

How HIKI Shifted Their Social Media Marketing Launch Strategy During COVID-19

Where do you find inspiration for HIKI’s social media content?

Our HIKI audience is predominantly Gen-Z / millennials, so I look to platforms and topics that those demos are currently responding to most, like pop culture, TikTok, Giphy, and my Instagram explore page. I also am so inspired by our community’s posts about HIKI. They created the brand with us and they’re so invested in its success, so when they post content to their socials about our products, I am always re-posting or coming up with creative ways to showcase their content.

Our HIKI audience is predominantly Gen-Z /millennials, so I look to platforms and topics that those demos are currently responding to most.

View this post on Instagram

Two things we love: Our Anti-Chafe Stick and @theogermaine 😍

A post shared by HIKI (@hiki_foranybody) on

One example was the ‘Put a Finger Down’ challenge on TikTok. We saw that this was a great way to engage with our community so we created our own version to show them and others that sweating is totally normal. We had our Collective members, Noelle and Gabe participate in the challenge. Fun Fact – that’s our UX Designer, Ian’s, voice. We thought a British accent would be a nice added touch LOL.

How does managing HIKI’s social media account and community look like on a day-to-day basis?

Every morning I check to see what posts I’ve got lined up for the day, and then I go through all of our notifications that I may have missed from the night before. For the rest of the day, I’m working on the content calendar that’s two weeks out, searching for the latest trends, leveraging audience insights, making creative briefs for assets I want to incorporate into the feed, and working closely with our designers to create custom content for each platform.

HIKI was launched in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. How did HIKI shift its marketing launch strategy to suit the times we were living in?

I joined in June, so I wasn’t at arfa for the initial launch, but the team did an amazing job. They had all of these plans for launch, then when COVID hit, people’s lives and priorities shifted of course, as a business ours did as well. It felt counter-intuitive to what we were trying to build – products and brands that put people first – to launch for-profit as though the world hadn’t changed. We also realized sourcing supplies was a big problem for a lot of folks, so we decided to instead give away all of the products we had ready to sell and ship to healthcare personnel, essential workers, and first responders—we ended up giving away 20,000 products, and I am so proud of that.

It felt counter-intuitive to what we were trying to build – products and brands that put people first – to launch for-profit as though the world hadn’t changed.

It also helped us a lot when we officially launched for sale in July, because we had about 300 reviews on the site and had already gotten some amazing feedback from customers that I could use on social. Beyond that, we really leaned on our Collective, the people from all over the country we built the brand with, and micro and nano influencers to get as much vibrant and fun content as possible to push on our organic and paid channels to spread awareness. And it worked! The response to our branding on social accounts has been overwhelmingly positive.

What marketing/social media advice do you have for brands that are pre-launch?

Launches are always hectic (but so fun!), so it’s important to do as much heavy lifting beforehand so you can sit back on launch day and enjoy the show. Build up your asset arsenal so you have lots of social content to choose from in the first few weeks, gift 50-100 influencers in the 20K-100K range to generate buzz, partner with like-minded brands on social giveaways to build up your email list, and do lots of research on relevant hashtags. And definitely have at least a two-week plan so then you can breathe.

Build up your asset arsenal so you have lots of social content to choose from in the first few weeks, gift 50-100 influencers in the 20K-100K range to generate buzz, partner with like-minded brands on social giveaways to build up your email list.

How do you leverage HIKI’s community to inform your marketing strategy?

Our Collective wants us to succeed just as much as we do, getting feedback from them is always great because it’s so inspiring. Creating engaging stories such as polls and questions allows us to see what our community likes and doesn’t like. Right now we know that they’re big fans of product shots and memes. They tell us how they incorporate HIKI into their lives and in turn, helps us share with our community different HIKI Hacks.

Creating engaging stories such as polls and questions allows us to see what our community likes and doesn’t like.

How HIKI Shifted Their Social Media Marketing Launch Strategy During COVID-19
HIKI’s Co-ounders with The Collective members

What’s your number one tip for engaging with HIKI’s community?

Be active and listen! Check throughout the day that you’ve answered everyone, pinned tweets, liked comments. Even on the weekends, I check on our page in the morning, midday, and evening. It’s so important to us that our social account feels like a person(because it is! It’s me! :)) and we all are engaging with our feeds regularly, so the same should go for HIKI.

I am always on the platforms, looking at what interesting new brands are doing and what’s trending. (Side note: I LIVE for TikTok trends). I also listen to podcasts and read social media blogs, like Homemade Social, to stay in the know.

What’s your favorite HIKI product and why?

I love all of our children equally, but if I HAD to pick, I’d say the Body Powder because it smells amazing, is talc-free, and rubs into my skin seamlessly. Besides putting some on my lower back to fight my daily back sweat, I also use it as a setting powder.


We hope this interview with Tina w/ an H helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow her journey on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Tinah? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Tinah or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/hiki-social-media-launch-strategy-covid19/

How to Maximize Impact on Social Media During COVID-19

In the aftermath of COVID-19, what has changed for social media managers? How can social media managers best approach their work to keep building their clients’ and employer’s online presence and brands?

The Importance of a Social Media Manager

Social media managers occupy an essential role as promoters of brands and organizations. Their core responsibility is to engage with the target market, grow follower numbers, and expand a brand’s online presence. All over the world, lockdowns are necessitating social isolation, leading to more time connected to digital media. Figures from Facebook, for example, indicated massive rises in the use of their platform during lockdowns. 

As people are spending more time online and demanding more online content, social media managers have an opportunity to capture the attention of these prospective leads and engage with them. Although the shift to a more serious, somber time means standard messaging approaches might no longer be relevant, social media managers can still work to engage effectively and sympathetically with the target audience. 

Growing a Business on Social Media

The post-COVID world holds many uncertainties for social, so social media managers will need to stay flexible and responsive to tailor their approaches. Consider how your employer or client’s messaging comes across during a time when consumers are feeling uncertain and vulnerable. Review the format, timing, and channels of your messaging in the context of the current cultural climate. 

During a crisis, you might be able to best improve engagement and grow your audience, and hence the business, by adopting an empathetic and open tone. Excessively sales-focused or promotional messaging could backfire during these times. Your organization will still want to maintain regular, frequent social media messaging while staying alert to changes so you can tailor your messages as things change. For example, if stricter or looser restrictions impact how your goods or services are delivered, make sure your customers know about it. As an example, fast food giants like McDonald’s and Domino’s have promoted their contactless delivery processes. Focus on driving conversations, expanding the community, and sharing to keep growing your business. 

Another useful strategy for growing your online audience during this time is to encourage appointment viewing habits through episodic content. With people spending more time on digital platforms, social media managers can encourage repeat views and regular connections by running a series of content. For example, you can post COVID-related information posts every day at a given time and remind your audience to check back the same time the next day. You can simultaneously run other content series related to how to use your products or services. These can take the form of live videos, recorded videos, podcasts, articles, newsletters, or any other format you prefer. Be inspiring, educational, or entertaining, but always deliver value. 

Leading with Empathy and Sensitivity

While physical isolation can lead to more time spent on social channels, businesses will likely gain loyalty by not coming across as opportunistic. Again, constant pure-sales messaging could make the brand appear to be tone-deaf and out of touch. Instead, adopt an authentic, helpful approach to support your social media audience. 

For example, Dettol’s TikTok handwashing challenge led to billions of views while communicating a practical message in an upbeat manner. As you refine your messaging, take into account your community might be feeling anxious and vulnerable as they face new challenges in their lives. 

Explore ways to be helpful even if it doesn’t involve buying your products or services. For example, you could share a message offering to donate a percentage of proceeds to food banks or to provide free services or goods to nonprofit organizations that are helping the community during the pandemic. By demonstrating the brand genuinely cares and is doing its part to help out, social media managers can build trust among consumers. 

Even during stressful, turbulent times like the present pandemic, social media managers can drive engagement and business growth by a unified, consistent message. Focus on quality messaging relevant to the customer’s pain points. Track performance and adjust your content from day to day in accordance with analytics as well as how COVID is continuing to shape the world. Given how changeable the post-COVID world is, brands and their social media managers will likely do best by staying agile and prepared to adjust their social media strategy as new challenges and opportunities arise.

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The post How to Maximize Impact on Social Media During COVID-19 appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/08/how-to-maximize-impact-on-social-media-during-covid-19/

How Huel Uses Social Media to Reach an Audience of 400,000+

How Huel Uses Social Media to Reach an Audience of 400,000+

It all started with a mission. Julian Hearn wanted to create a business he was proud of — a business that was about more than profit; that did the right thing for the planet, for its staff, and its customers.

That mission led to the launch of Huel.

Huel offers nutritionally complete food, delivered to your door. It’s flagship powder product is made from plant-based sustainable ingredients like oats, flaxseed, and coconut, and offers consumers a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional meals and snacks.

Since its launch in 2015, Huel has sold over 100 million meals and built up a passionate audience of over 400,000 followers across social media channels.

How Buffer helps Huel to connect with customers across platforms

Finding the right software is a challenge for marketers. It’s especially difficult in the social media space. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are constantly evolving, and as a result, the needs of marketers are always changing.

“It’s difficult to find something that does it all,” explains Tim Urch, Social Media Manager at Huel.

How Huel Uses Social Media to Reach an Audience of 400,000+
Tim Urch, Social Media Manager at Huel

But working with Buffer has enabled Huel to connect with its audience — and grow its presence — across platforms. “I’ve used Buffer since I started at Huel in 2016,” Urch explained, and Buffer has helped Huel to navigate the waves of organic reach and maximize every opportunity to reach its most passionate advocates in their social feeds.

“Because the reach of organic content on social media is limited, getting those messages in front of as many people as you can is essential,” according to Urch. To achieve this he uses a multi-platform approach. This ensures Huel is connecting with and building lasting relationships with its key target customer groups where they naturally choose to engage with content.

I’ve found that the type of follower across social media platforms is different. People have their go-to social media, so if we have a key message we want to get out, it’s important to share it cross platform

Huel uses Buffer to manage its global social media presence made up of 10 profiles across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How Huel Uses Social Media to Reach an Audience of 400,000+
Huel uses Buffer to plan and share social content across their channels

It’s great for managing our social publishing schedule. We can easily tailor our messages to each social platform and review everything in one place.” says Urch

Keeping feeds filled with valuable content

When it comes to keeping Huel’s social media feed filled, Urch focuses on creating content that has a purpose beyond simply generating ‘Likes’. “[We] create content that first and foremost is useful or adds value for our audience,” he explains.

Whenever we think about content we’ve got to consider how it can be useful to our Hueligans [an affectionate term for Huel customers], why would someone want to subscribe to our content and have it appear in their newsfeed?”

For Huel, that content might be tips for product success, nutrition advice from its world class nutrition team, business advice from its founder, or simply fun, relatable content which makes the audience feel part of its unique tribe.

But there’s a balance that Urch aims for. “As a brand we also need to talk about our products, a bit,” he explains.

Creating a sweet spot between what we want to say and what our audience wants to hear is tough – when those two things are the same, we’ve struck gold

Tying entertaining content with the product is Huel’s sweet spot

Generating original content ideas

Anyone who has worked in social media will understand the challenge of keeping your content calendar brimming with ideas. It’s no small task, especially when you’re managing multiple profiles across platforms.

But over time, the Huel team has built up strong instincts about what will work on its social channels, and when planning content, Huel aims to challenge the norms.

A lot of our most successful content has been instinctive, stuff that just came to me or someone in the team,” says Urch. “It might feel a bit left of field, a bit wacky, like a meme or a bold statement that might ruffle some feathers.

Huel’s take on the #dollypartonchallenge

It takes time to build this type of understanding with your audience where you know something will just click — remember Urch has been with the brand for over four years — and as a brand learns more about its audience, its team can begin to lean on intuition a little more. “Something I’ve learned is to trust those gut feelings,” he says. “Part of Huel’s DNA is about thinking a little different.

Managing social media as part of a team

Content ideas are just one side of the coin for brands. The other is collaboration.

Content ideas can come from anywhere. Everyone uses social media and therefore, unlike in other more technical disciplines, everyone knows what could work

So as a Social Media Manager, Urch believes an important skill is to let go of the reins and utilise the team around you. “We have a team of marketing rock stars,” he says. “We brainstorm ideas together all the time, but what about the rest of the business?

To aid collaboration across the team, Urch recently was set up a Slack channel called #social-hit-squad. In this channel a group of about 15 teammates from all areas of the business come together to share ideas and inspiration. But Urch also uses it as a testing ground for his own strategies and content. “We share ideas and I temperature check my own ideas with them too. This has meant our content is more reactive, varied and successful.

From ‘check out’ to checkout

While striking the balance between keeping fans entertained and selling products is a challenge, Huel use Shop Grid to help their Instagram audience navigate their way from their Instagram page to their online store.

How Huel Uses Social Media to Reach an Audience of 400,000+
Shop Grid helps Huel connect their Instagram account to their website

If our Instagram content triggers something in our audience that makes them want to learn more, or buy one of our products, then we want to help facilitate that. Shop Grid is a really simple way for our customers to tap through from a post to our website. It’s qualified traffic with purchase intent,” explains Tim.


Managing a multi-channel strategy in the fast-moving world of social media is a huge challenge for any team. Buffer is proud to play a part in supporting Huel as it builds its brand and audience across social media channels. We hope you can find some inspiration from their approach!

https://buffer.com/resources/how-huel-uses-social-media-to-reach-an-audience-of-over-400-000/

How to Pre-Launch on Instagram: The Inside Story of Jot Coffee’s Social Media Strategy

How to Pre-Launch on Instagram: The Inside Story of Jot Coffee’s Social Media Strategy

Launched in April 2020, Jot Coffee, a newly launched DTC (direct-to-consumer) coffee brand, has quickly picked up steam as the new at-home coffee brand that delivers an exceptionally delicious experience, both in-person and digitally. But how did they manage to generate so much interest and excitement for their launch?

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how Jot built excitement for its launch on Instagram and how to create a community from day one. You’ll hear directly from Jackie Modena, Director of Community at Jot, and you’ll learn:

  • Where to find inspiration for creating on-brand social media content
  • How to plan for a successful new brand or product launch on Instagram
  • How to generate pre-launch interest, UGC (user-generated content), and followers
  • How to engage with your brand’s community in a timely manner
  • How to stay up to date on social media trends and updates
How to Pre-Launch on Instagram: The Inside Story of Jot Coffee’s Social Media Strategy

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram Stories, which means you also have the ability to watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Who are you?

Hi, I’m Jackie Modena! I’m with Jot, a newly launched DTC company that makes a first-of-its-kind 20x concentrated Ultra Coffee from fair trade, organic beans. All it takes is one tablespoon of our Ultra Coffee to create delicious, café-quality drinks at home, like iced lattes, americanos, and cappuccinos. We have a small but mighty (and highly caffeinated) team based out of Boulder, CO.

I’m Jot’s Director of Community, where I oversee the strategic direction of our social media, develop content, engage with and grow our community, manage influencer partnerships, and work closely with PR, performance marketing and customer service.

How to Pre-Launch on Instagram: The Inside Story of Jot Coffee’s Social Media Strategy

I’ve previously held in-house marketing and social media roles at other national CPG companies like Ripple Foods and ICONIC Protein, and prior to that, worked for a boutique PR agency that specialized in servicing natural & organic CPG food, beverage and lifestyle brands.

Where do you find inspiration for Jot’s social media content?

When we first started out with our social channels, we developed a set of creative guidelines to help inform the types of content, visual direction and aesthetic that we wanted to create.

We were also fortunate to launch with some amazing GIF, video and still content from an early creative shoot organized by our branding agency, Red Antler. Those assets really helped to set the foundation for the tone and visual direction of our social media. From there, it was easy to find content partners and curated content that fit our aesthetic. For inspiration, I follow relevant Instagram hashtags that either tie directly to our brand or to an aesthetic (ex. #coffeephotography, #coffeevibes, #morninglight, #lightsandshadows, etc.), look to other brand accounts (both competitors and other categories), and follow my favorite creator accounts for inspiration.

How does managing Jot’s social media account look like on a day-to-day basis?

I try to consolidate things as much as possible, so that I’m not bouncing around from platform to platform all day. That’s what makes Buffer such a great tool—I’m able to manage our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all in one place.

While we typically have ‘themes’ or overarching content initiatives that we plan six months to a year in advance, I only look to schedule content a few weeks out—and even then, I consider it a rough plan. Things can change so quickly, and it’s important to be able to pivot quickly and adapt to the landscape.

While we typically have ‘themes’ or overarching content initiatives that we plan six months to a year in advance, I only look to schedule content a few weeks out

From there, as it relates to Instagram, my day-to-day looks like the following:

  1. I’m checking in on UGC via our tagged posts and hashtags, and engaging with members of community who share their Ultra Coffee photos and recipes. We try to encourage customers to use #jotcoffee and #justonetablespoon, and we’re currently running a #summerofjot campaign.
  2. I’m checking in on stories and DMs throughout the day, to engage with our customers, re-share stories to our own story, and field any customer service-related questions that might come in.
  3. I like to keep an eye on the engagement on Facebook and Instagram ads, both to moderate any comments that violate our community guidelines and to answer questions from consumers who might be curious about our product.

How do you plan for a successful new brand or product launch?

As a marketer, brand and product launches are some of my favorite initiatives to plan, strategize and execute.

With Jot, when it came to Instagram specifically, we were careful to start curating our feed with on-brand, aesthetic content (and I think this can be a great time to utilize more ambitious grid-style posts that span 3-, 6- or 9-feed posts in size) leading up to our launch, without showing the actual product.

How to Pre-Launch on Instagram: The Inside Story of Jot Coffee’s Social Media Strategy
Jot’s pre-launch grid-style post that spanned 6-feed posts.

While we planned to have a presence on all the major social media platforms, we knew that Instagram was going to be a main priority for us and where we’d be dedicating a majority of our resources when it came to content, influencer and community.

To help generate pre-launch interest, followers and UGC, we launched a friends & family program in the weeks before our official launch, and encouraged participants to share their Ultra Coffee experience with us. This allowed us to start gathering early customer feedback and troubleshooting possible customer service and community questions.

To help generate pre-launch interest, followers and UGC, we launched a friends & family program in the weeks before our official launch, and encouraged participants to share their Ultra Coffee experience with us.

We also received a lot of great unboxing and other UGC content for social, which we started gathering and saving to ensure we’d have enough content on our launch day to really make a splash. Again, a tool like Buffer can be really helpful in this regard, because you can start to build up your content database and schedule out your launch day posts and stories (knowing how hectic launch days usually are, this can be a huge time-saver!).

In terms of other product launches I’ve worked on in the past for more established companies with an existing community, I think it’s fun to build anticipation with teaser posts leading up to the official launch. It gets the community engaged and involved and almost makes the launch into a game (you could even tie in a giveaway if someone guesses the correct new flavor/product).

What marketing/social media advice do you have for brands that are pre-launch?

I’d establish yourself on all the main social channels (and try to keep a consistent handle across all platforms) but figure out which channels are going to be your main focus.

For us as a DTC consumer product, it made sense that Instagram, and to an extent Facebook, would be an important part of our marketing strategy, so it was really essential that we nailed it on those platforms. We have more flexibility when it comes to posting cadence and strategy for our other platforms like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and TikTok, which allows us to be a little more experimental in our content.

When you’re a small startup, you’re only going to have so many resources—time, budget, manpower—to devote to your social channels, so invest wisely in your primary channels while maintaining relevant content on your secondary channels.

What’s your number one tip for engaging with your brand’s community?

Time is of the essence, so check in with your platforms of highest engagement frequently. If your priority platform is Instagram and that’s where you’re seeing the most engagement, you don’t need to necessarily be glued to Instagram all day but consider designating a few 15-minute chunks of time throughout the day as Instagram check-in time and even blocking your calendar as such.

Time is of the essence, so check in with your platforms of highest engagement frequently.

I do think it’s important to try and engage in a timely manner, whether it’s through DMs, a comment on a piece of UGC, or a comment on a post, because your followers are more likely to still be active on the platform and see your engagement.

I’ve also seen instances where follower conversations or questions can snowball in an unintended direction, or misinformation can be spread, if the brand doesn’t engage quickly enough with the community, so try to monitor and stay on top of conversations as they happen rather than being days behind and trying to do damage control later.

How do you stay up to date on social media trends?

I find that many of the social media scheduling and influencer platforms I utilize have fantastic blogs and email newsletters (including Buffer!) so make sure you’re signed up to receive their communications—they often have all the latest news & updates on the major social media platforms and trends in the space.

I have a few newsletters I’m subscribed to as well—The Hustle, Lean Luxe, and Morning Brew’s new marketing-centric newsletter, for a quick take on trends in retail, marketing and DTC businesses.

Finally, I’d recommend seeking out a few networking groups specific to your position or industry. I really like the Create & Cultivate and Women in Influencer Marketing Facebook groups—they’re a great way to share resources, ask questions, discuss ideas/approaches and meet others in the industry. Since conferences and trade shows are off the table at the moment, these kinds of groups can be a great stand-in for in-person networking opportunities and can lead to collaborating, brainstorming and sharing.

How do you take your Ultra Coffee?

My favorite everyday way to take my Ultra Coffee is in an iced latte—it’s as simple as 8 oz milk (I prefer Oatly Barista Style), ice, and a tablespoon of Ultra Coffee.

When I want to switch things up, I go for one of our new #summerofjot recipes: one tablespoon of Ultra Coffee, 6 oz water, one tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1.5 tbsp maple, and ice – for a refreshing and unique Cold Brew Lemonade.

View this post on Instagram

Iced coffee season has officially returned. To celebrate, we’re hosting our first Ultra Coffee recipe contest. It’s as simple as whipping up your favorite iced or cold Ultra Coffee beverage, snapping a photo or video, and sharing it using #summerofjot. ⁣ ⁣ We’ll be selecting three winners by 7/3 to receive a three-month Ultra Coffee subscription (3x bottles, every 4 weeks). ⁣ ⁣ In addition, as part of our ongoing efforts to support the Black Lives Matter movement, for every entry received we’ll be making a $10 donation to @thelovelandfoundation, an organization that brings opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls.⁣ ⁣ We’ll be sharing some of our favorite iced and cold summer-ready recipes over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out if you need some inspiration. ⁣ ⁣ For more details, check out our #summerofjot stories highlight.

A post shared by Jot (@jot) on


We hope this interview with Jackie helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow her journey on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Jackie? Feel free to drop your question in a comment and Jackie, or someone from the Buffer team, will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/jot-coffee-social-media-strategy/

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

Social Media Management in Times of Crisis

These are times of fast-changing news around COVID-19. It’s clear that what we are facing — not just as marketers, as friends, and parents and colleagues — is unprecedented. And we’re all in it together.

In times like these, people look to each other, and to their communities to figure out how to respond. Over the last, 9 years, we’re very grateful to have built up such a strong community of people who use our products, read our blogs and listen to our podcast, and we believe that it’s important that we all try to navigate these challenges together. That’s why we want to share these thoughts with you. Sometimes, it’s best to just start a conversation.

Last Thursday (March 12, 2020), as a team, we took a moment to stop and reflect. We paused our Buffer queue, as what seemed like a great and timely posts a few days ago, now felt a little irrelevant. We gathered together and we discussed what the COVID-19 situation means for Buffer, for our teammates and those closest to us, and our customers — and we’re still figuring this out.

Social media is such an important communication tool in 2020, and we know as we all try to navigate unexpected and unprecedented challenges, many of your customers and teammates will turn to social media for some form of support. And as many around the globe isolate, social media might become an even more important channel for communication and a sense of community.

So what does social media management look like over the coming weeks and months? We’re still figuring it out.

We hope that the below thoughts can act as a starting point to work from as we navigate the current and up-coming challenge.

This isn’t an opportunity

The first thing to say is that this isn’t a marketing opportunity. Brands shouldn’t be looking at the COVID-19 pandemic as something to capitalize on.

However, even though it’s not quite business as usual — every post, campaign and ad you run will need an added layer of care and empathy over the coming days and weeks — it is okay to continue to market and sell your product or services, we know for some businesses not selling products can impact the livelihoods of some of their teammates. Just don’t use COVID-19 as a platform to self-promote. 

Pause and reconsider your social media plans (and goals)

If you haven’t already, now is a time to reflect on any existing plans for the end of Q1 and heading into Q2.

Many campaigns and pieces of content you had planned might be better saved for another time. We recommend rethinking your content and social media plans to tailor them to the changing needs of consumers right now.

On Monday (March 16th), we were due to launch a new, updated version of our podcast, The Science of Social Media. We had a new episode lined up, new artwork, creative and more. But we felt it wasn’t the time “celebrate” something new so we hit pause on that temporarily to focus on the more immediate needs of our customers and our audience. (We still plan to launch the new style podcast in the next week-or-so, but the launch might look a little different.)

It’s also a good time to reflect on any goals you had for the coming months as priorities may need to change. For example, new customer acquisition goals might shift towards a focus on customer retention and support.

Now is a good time to take a look at the bigger picture and what social media means to your business in a time of global crisis.

If you decide to keep some campaigns or content paused and find yourself with a few spare hours that would have been spent on content creation, promotion or analytics, now could be a good time to focus on some of the social media tasks that aren’t directly customer facing like a social media audit. 

Is your company able to help

You never want to shoehorn your brand into a conversation in which it doesn’t belong. And most brands don’t belong directly in the COVID-19 conversation.

But that said, almost every business globally will be impacted in some way by COVID-19, and there might be some small things your business can do help in these moments.

At Buffer, we’ve been a remote-first company since the start, and with many businesses and workers being forced to go remote for the foreseeable future, this felt like the best place for us to help.

So after a brief pause last week, we decided to focus this week on how we might be able to help people adjusting to remote work:

Hailley also jumped into our remote work guide to freshen it up and ensure it includes all of our most useful remote work resources. 

Outside of Buffer, Common Thread Collective doubled down on sharing data and insights into how it the pandemic is affecting its brands and how it’s responding:

At a time when eCommerce business might be cutting back ad budgets, Privy hosted a webinar focused on making the most from your existing traffic: 

Loom made changes to its platform to help students and teachers: 

And Basecamp’s co-founders hosted a Q&A about remote work: 

Over the coming days and week, ask yourself: What role does your brand play in this situation?

(And it’s completely fine if feels like there’s nothing. Don’t force it.)

Think clearly about the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. If you’re an entertainment brand, maybe your audience could do with a fun distraction, like Disney releasing Frozen 2 early

If you’re a travel company, dealing with support might be more of a priority, so you could try to proactive about questions from your audience and give clear directions on what’s happening. 

And as a local business, it could be helpful to simply share your opening hours or how you’re being affected by what’s going on. Saucy Brew Works, a brewery and restaurant in Cleveland has been keeping its followers regularly updated with open hours and updates:

Communicate clearly with customers

It’s almost always better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Especially in times of crisis.

If you’re closing your office and the team is working from home and it isn’t impacting your customers, that might not be something you’d want to communicate. If your team shifting to remote work will impact customer service response times, or delivery times, that is something worth sharing.

With so many companies impacted consumers are getting much more communication than usual from the brands and companies that they engage with, make sure that the information you are giving them is empathetic to that and focused on conveying only key messages.

When it comes to figuring out what to say when you put out a message over the coming days and week, the details matter. Strive to make all communication clear and relevant, and avoid making assumptions and share decisions early to give you customers as much time as possible to react.

Delta airlines has been great at communicating with its customers on social media over the past week-or-so. Its CEO, Ed Bastian, turned to LinkedIn to keep customers informed

And Delta has also been sharing some additional information and context across its social channels, such as how air filtration systems work on its planes. This is a great example of over-communication that is relevant to customers who may be traveling during the crisis.

Patagonia made the decision to close its retail stores on Friday, March 13, 2020:

In its announcement, Patagonia made sure to over-communicate and provide customers with plenty of information about how it is dealing with COVID-19. In the Twitter thread sharing the announcement about its retail stores closing Patagonia told its customers:

  • We will temporarily close our stores, offices and other operations at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020.
  • Employees who can work from home will do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • We apologize that over the next two weeks, there will be delays on orders and customer-service requests.
  • We encourage our friends everywhere to take the extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

The message could have simple been “We’ll be closing our retail stores at the end of business on Friday, March 13, 2020 — but taking the time to over-communicate, and share more than it needed to, helped Patagonia to assure it’s customers that is was doing all it could for them, and to support the company’s employees.

(This Twitter thread started by Matthew Kobach has more examples of brands communicating clearly during this on-going crisis.)

Support and keep your team informed 

Work will look a little different for all of us for a little while, and it’s great to embrace the concept of over-communication with your team as well as your customers.

In times of crisis, it’s important to keep in close contact with each member of your team and set some expectations around what work might look like over the next few weeks or months.

As people adapt to new working practices productivity might not be at its usual levels, and it’s important to let your team know how your company plans to deal with the effects of COVID-19 and the new work environment.

Here at Buffer, our Director of People, Courtney Seiter, and CEO, Joel Gascoigne, shared updates with us last week on COVID-19, Buffer and how the next little while might look for the team. We also have a temporary, and very optional, Slack channel where teammates can chat, share news, resources and support each other at this time. As a remote team, we’ve also been making extra effort to connect with each other for impromptu chats and get togethers, too. 

There’s still a lot going on to figure out but it feels incredibly important for company leaders, and teammates alike, to be pro-active supporting their teams and each other. 

Further resources on crisis communication and social media management

Here are a few resources we’ve found helpful for thinking about social media and communication strategy at this time:

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-management-in-times-of-crisis

How to best use Pinterest for your Business Marketing 📌 🖥📱

How to best use Pinterest for your Business Marketing 📌 🖥📱

http://mikearmstrong.me/how-to-best-use-pinterest-for-your-business-marketing/
— Read on mikearmstrong.me/how-to-best-use-pinterest-for-your-business-marketing/

100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of populer twitter hashtags…

— Read on mikearmstrong.me/100s-of-populer-twitter-hashtags/

The Keys to Epic Engagement on Social Media


It doesn’t get much better than a moment of delight on social media.

We love the brands who deliver these moments to customers (as customers of some of these brands, we particularly love when it happens to us). And we aim to deliver delight on a regular basis when we interact with Buffer customers online, too.

Social media engagement seems like a slam dunk strategy. Everyone should be doing it, right? But it certainly comes with its blind spots and questions.

Should you be replying to everyone?

How can you make sure you capture all your mentions?

What are the best ways to respond quickly?

In this post, we’ll run through some of the reasons why investing in engagement makes business sense, and we’ll touch on the specific tips and workflows to master engagement on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


One of the quickest and easiest ways to set yourself apart on social media is simply to reply. If you reply to all your customers, all the time, with a helpful and happy response, then you’re really ahead of the curve.

That’s right, all it takes is engaging with the people who want to engage with you. You’ve probably heard this stat before: Eighty-eight percent of brands don’t respond to messages that need a reply. Really! You can be among that elite 12 percent, simply by engaging. 

We’d love to give you some tips on how to do just that. 

Before we get into the specifics for tools and workflows on the major social networks, let’s start by discussing some of the benefits and the “why” for social media engagement.

We want to help you get there. Here’s a guide on all things customer support and social media with dozens of tips that you can implement today and begin to delight your customers.

1. Social media engagement is public

With social media engagement, you will naturally amplify your brand’s voice and tone, plus you’ll have your interactions front-and-center before a larger audience. 

(DMs excluded.) 🙂

Think about some of the private interactions you have with your customers, like with traditional customer care channels like email, which are private, 1-to-1 interactions. But with social channels like Twitter, these interactions can be public — at least to start. Same goes for engaging with your audience in Instagram comments or Facebook reviews.

You’re already wow-ing your audience in other channels like email and live chat. 

With social media, the awesomeness you’re delivering is visible to everyone. 

Those amazing audience interactions that create strong word of mouth marketing for you are now amplified to a much larger audience.

Existing and potential customers get to see first hand that you’re responsive and actively supporting your products or services. 

2. Social media engagement is fast and focused

You can deliver delight very fast and in a focused way, chatting with your audience about specific topics and campaigns or helping solve particular problems that they’re facing. 

With a focus on the short ‘n sweet, something magical happens:

  • The barrier to entry for your audience drops dramatically. They have an easy way to converse with you, anytime. 
  • Focused and specific topics mean you can reply faster and engage deeper. We love diving into a marketing conversation with our audience members in a Twitter thread or helping answer questions in a DM
  • And one big factor that affects the bottom line — Faster responses equal happier customers, which equals more ROI. Research shows faster responses actually generate revenue for brands.

Because of its fast and friendly nature, social media is often preferred over other channels of getting in touch. And the more you respond quickly to your audience, the better they’ll learn that social media — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter — are great places to connect directly with your brand. 

3. Social media is where your customers are. You can achieve a huge scale of engagement by being responsive on social media. 

At Buffer, a vast majority of our audience is on social media throughout the day. It’s where they’re at and where it often makes the most sense for them to reach out and get in touch. 

We have more than 1,000 conversations a week on social media!

We imagine that there might be a large volume of social conversations happening for you, too. People spend an average of nearly four hours a day consuming media on a screen. And a growing percent of that viewing happens on smartphones and apps.

That’s a lot of eyeballs on screens. 

Social media channels provide an easy outlet for customers to switch from browsing to chatting at a moment’s notice. More and more those chats are pointed toward brands on social where customers are beginning to expect quick answers to their problems and authentic engagement with their conversations.

One of the best ways we’ve found to make sure you catch all these conversations is to use a social media engagement tool. There are a lot of great ones out there. We’ve built one at Buffer called Buffer Reply, which you can check out at buffer.com/reply


Getting the most out of Facebook & Instagram engagement

The biggest social networks in the world live under the Facebook umbrella, and brands that make great use of their Facebook Page and Instagram profile can create wonderful experiences for their audience.

It all begins with getting set up correctly. Let’s start with Instagram.

1. Fill out your contact information completely

You want to show people that you are committed to being there for them on social, and one way to do that is to put in the time to create a complete profile. This includes the obvious bits like profile picture and description. By the way, we did a whole episode on Instagram bios just a couple weeks ago if you scroll back through our podcast archives.

But beyond those basics, we also highly recommend filling out the finer details like category, location, and contact information. This shows your audience that you’re willing to engage with them in any way that works best for them — whether it be through a DM, through a reaction to a Story, or through email or in-person.

The same advice holds true for your Facebook Page. Spend the time to fill out everything completely, including your profile picture, cover photo, and About section. But also making sure that all your contact information is listed. 

As a bonus tip, if you’re actively engaging with people on these networks, then those interactions are likely to be quite easily visible whenever someone visits your page. You can see the replies to things like Facebook posts, and you can scroll through Instagram comments. If you notice that a brand is jumping into the comments to answer questions and share emojis, then you’re likely to leave with a positive feeling about that brand!

2. Take full advantage of social engagement features

The other major tip we want to share about engaging on Instagram and Facebook is to take advantage of some of the new features that both networks are rolling out to manage conversations even easier. There’ve been a lot of neat announcements recently. You might have heard about Threads, a new standalone app from Instagram that is intended for private, 1:1 conversations. It remains to be seen exactly how brands might use this tool, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

What’s more immediately clear is the way that Facebook hopes to unite its messaging for businesses into a centralized inbox. Currently, you can manage Messenger and Instagram DMs through your Facebook Page, and Facebook has added even more functionality just this last week, including the capability of: 

  • Adding labels to contacts, like ‘VIP’ and ‘New Customer’ 
  • Using saved replies to streamline responses for common questions
  • and Setting up instant replies and away messages, which you can schedule to be sent at different times

Also on the horizon: Instagram DMs might be coming to desktop soon. Currently you can only access these through the mobile app.


Getting the most out of Twitter engagement

Twitter is an especially effective customer support and success channel that can be scaled much easier than traditional phone or email support channels. It’s fast and effective for your customers, and it’s speedy and efficient for your social media team.

Like with Instagram and Facebook, it helps to get the profile set up completely. Specifically for Twitter, it can be great to add support hours to your Twitter account profileTwitter makes it incredibly easy to include your support hours directly on your Twitter profile. This helps set response time expectations with customers which is crucial.

Similarly, you can enable the‘Provides Support’ label to let customers know that your Twitter account provides support by quickly enabling this option

One small tweak that we highly recommend making on Twitter is allowing anyone to send you a Direct Message. You can reduce friction by allowing anyone to send you a private Direct Message as opposed to the normal flow where a you and your customer must follow each other in order to DM. This would encourage more conversation with your audience.

Universal tips for social media engagement

1. Add team member signatures to replies.

Even if it’s just one or two people replying on your social handles, signatures are a great way to make your customers’ experience that much more personal. It can even help reinforce a sense of continuity of care.
You can add this manually into each message, or this can be automatically added if you use a social media support tool like Buffer Reply

And if you’re not sure what to use for a signature, we’ve found that common conventions include appending first names or initials next to things like hyphens or carats.

2. Use a social media inbox

Ok, we’ve mentioned tools like Buffer Reply a few times now, and for good reason: when it comes to social media monitoring, it’s very important to capture all your brand mentions. Third-party tools like Reply can make this much easier. 

Ideally, with social media monitoring, you’ll want to get all

  • @mentions`
  • all direct messages, of course
  • but also all the times when your brand is referenced on social outside of a direct outreach

By setting filters and searches in these tools, you can ensure that you capture it all and respond to every conversation that needs it.


How to say hello to us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media – especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!


About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

https://buffer.com/resources/social-media-engagement-tips

Instagram Stories: How 18 Brands And Influencers Are Using It (And You Can Too!)


10 billion.

That’s the number of videos people watch on Snapchat every day. The same potential consumption (maybe more) exists for Instagram Stories —  quick videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours, just like Snapchat, but with an audience of 500 million users.

Does that sound like a channel worth exploring?

We believe so! Storytelling has always been a key part of marketing, and features like Instagram Stories are empowering us marketers to tell better and deeper stories about our brands. We’d love to provide you with more resources about Instagram Stories so that you can master this platform and see your voice spread.

In this post, I’d love to share 18 Instagram marketers who have been doing rad things with Stories to give you some inspiration on what you could do for your Instagram Stories too.


Now you can also plan and schedule Instagram Stories directly within Buffer, on web or on mobile. Try it now for free

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is schedule-instagram-stories-feature.png

Instagram Stories

18 Creative Uses of Instagram Stories (and how you can do it too)

From my research, I discovered several creative ways brands and individuals have been using Instagram Stories. And here’s the great news: most of these strategies do not require huge budget or resources to pull off!

Before we dive into each brand and individual, here’s the full list of rockstar Instagram storytellers with links to their Instagram profiles.

(Note: If you end up following some of these great accounts and wish to see their Instagram stories from a desktop browser, there’s a neat Chrome extension here which lets you do just that.)

  1. NASA
  2. LOFT
  3. Huffington Post
  4. Techcrunch
  5. Gary Vaynerchuk
  6. Chris Burkard
  7. New York University
  8. GoPro
  9. When I Work
  10. Shopify
  11. Remote Year
  12. Black Sheep Cycling
  13. Olympics
  14. Brian Fanzo
  15. Minaal
  16. 9gag
  17. Sean McCabe
  18. TrackMaven

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how each of the following brands and individuals uses Instagram Stories and see how you might take inspiration to adapt their strategies for your own brand!

1. NASA (@nasa)

Supplement your main Instagram content with bonus info via Stories

This is one of my favorite ways of using Instagram Stories: telling a deep story behind each and every Instagram post.

One of the key differences between Instagram and Snapchat is that Instagram provides a public, viewable profile for your main content. On no other social network can you get this type of supplemental information about the posts themselves.

This makes NASA’s use of Stories quite the native strategy. Here’s a great example: Recently, NASA posted about the annual Perseid meteor shower on their Instagram account and used Stories to share more about the meteor shower and the research on it, talking to the scientists involved in the research and showing the equipment used for the research.

NASA Story

How you could do this for your business: 

After you choose a final photo to share on Instagram, snap a couple of extra ones that go behind-the-scenes. This can be as easy as:

  • Flip your camera around to take a photo of the opposite view (example)
  • Share some of the failed drafts of photos (Instagram Stories are ephemeral, thank goodness!)
  • Snap a photo with the team that helped you create your Instagram photo
  • Zoom out and photograph the setup – works great for product shots to show all that goes into getting the photo just right!

2. LOFT (@loft)

Turn Stories into real-time events (and amplify engagement)

LOFT, a women’s clothing brand, invited two best buddies for a style challenge, which was shared as an Instagram Story. The challenge: Find something (in the LOFT store) the other didn’t think she could wear.

Not only did LOFT allow their followers to follow along the fun challenge, LOFT also gave them an opportunity to engage with a recent Instagram post and help spread their brand by asking them to tag their best friends in the post.

LOFT's Instagram Stories

(Hat tip to Amanda Tessier for this one!)

How you could do this for your business: 

Take a look at your event calendar and see if there are any upcoming events and activities that your online community can follow along. It could be:

  1. Challenges like LOFT’s
  2. Company retreats
  3. Meetups, conferences, or roadshows

Otherwise, consider if you could organize fun games around your product or service which your online community could participate in by leaving a comment on one of your recent Instagram posts or sharing a photo with a particular hashtag.

3. Huffington Post (@huffingtonpost)

Use photos with captions to tell your stories

With the help of the text and drawing functionality of Instagram Stories, Huffington Post has been creating interesting short photo summaries of recent news, allowing their followers to consume their content in a more visual and fun manner.

Huffington Post Story 1

Huffington Post Story 2

Huffington Post Story 3

How you could do this for your business: 

Go through all your recent blog posts and challenge yourself to turn one of them into a photo story. Adding captions will tend to make it easier while drawing with the three different Stories markers will bring more personality to your story.

4. TechCrunch (@techcrunch)

Give your followers a quick and easy way to consume your content

Quite similar to Huffington Post, TechCrunch has been using Instagram Stories to share headlines and short text summary of recent tech news.

Techcrunch Story

How you could do this for your business: 

If you publish lots of content regularly like a news or media agency, summarize your articles with a headline and a tagline or sentence. If the news is shareworthy, adding your brand logo, like how TechCrunch did, could help to spread the awareness of your brand.

5. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)

Mix high-quality edited content with raw authentic content (and keep in mind the vertical screen size)

Gary Vaynerchuk has been using Instagram Stories for several purposes — promoting his DailyVee videos through high-quality visuals, sharing very authentic glimpses into his daily life, and connecting genuinely with his followers.

Gary Vaynerchuk Story 1

In a recent Story, he mentioned that his followers asked for more wallpapers on his Instagram Stories and so he made more for them.

Gary Vaynerchuk Story 1

How you could do this for your business: 

Gary Vaynerchuk does quite a few things well on Instagram Stories, and here are some of the things you could try:

  • If you produce video content as part of your marketing strategy, consider creating an extra version for the vertical mobile screen or simply add borders at the top and bottom, which Gary Vaynerchuk does sometimes.
  • If you tend to use your Instagram posts to drive traffic to your content on your blog or Medium publication or YouTube channel, create promotional images and mention that the link is in your bio.
  • If you create images for your social media posts, make an additional image for the vertical screen or reuse the one you created for Pinterest.
  • Use Instagram Stories to do research and interact with your community. What types of content do they want from you via Instagram? How can you provide those content to them?

6. Chris Burkard (@chrisburkard)

Show your behind-the-scenes adventures

Chris Burkard is a very talented photographer with almost 2 million followers on Instagram.

He has been using Instagram Stories to take his followers through his adventures where he captures the jaw-dropping photos he shares on his Instagram accounts, including river crossings and camping outdoors with very windy conditions.

Chris Burkard Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While not every business might have such adventurous experiences on a regular basis, your followers might be interested in what your company does on a day-to-day basis. Think about some of the fun aspects you could show them, such as brainstorming sessions, team lunch, company games and more.

7. New York University (@nyuniversity)

Bring your followers on tours

New York University has a very engaged following on Instagram. Each of its posts has thousands of likes and 10–20 comments. Following the theme for its posts, New York University “takes” its followers on tours around the campus and city, enhancing the experience of following the account.

New York University Story

How you could do this for your business: 

This is great if you are a tourist attraction or school or even a retail store with a great physical space and environment!

When you are taking your afternoon break and going out for a walk, snap a few photos of interesting sights or locations and share them with your followers. These raw authentic snaps will give your followers a better sense of the area and might make them want to visit you more.

8. GoPro (@gopro)

Bring your followers on an adventure

GoPro is one of the brands I think of when I think of adventures. When Instagram Stories was launched, GoPro jumped onto the opportunity to share more footage taken with, yep, GoPro.

Recently, while making its GoPro family member’s dream come true of seeing the aurora australis, GoPro shared the adventure with its Instagram followers through incredible video footages of the trip.

GoPro Stories

How you could do this for your business: 

If you are an outdoor activities company, share all the thrilling and breathtaking videos of the outdoors with your followers.

For those who might not have such opportunities on a daily basis, here’s something else you could try. While GoPro’s Instagram Stories alone looks amazing enough, it is part of their #DreamReal marketing campaign of fulfilling their social media advocates’ dreams. You could perhaps:

  1. Use Instagram Stories to promote your company’s hashtag and encourage more people to use it.
  2. Show how happy the winners of your giveaways are or how awesome your giveaway prizes are to attract more people to participate in them in the future.

9. When I Work (@wheniwork)

Feature your customers and share behind the scenes

When I Work is employee scheduling software with over 15,000 happy customers worldwide. Recently, they visited a few of their customers in Canada and featured them in their Instagram Stories.

When I Work Story 1 When I Work Story 2

How you could do this for your business: 

If it is possible, visit your amazing customers and give them a shoutout on your Instagram Stories. This will let your followers know what types of businesses and individuals use your product and might give them the social proof they need in order to convert. Furthermore, this will help you build a stronger relationship with your customers.

10. Shopify (@shopify)

Promote your blog posts creatively

You might not always be able to visit our customers like When I Work so Shopify worked around that by letting merchants, who use Shopify for their business, take over the Shopify Instagram account and share about their business.

Apart from merchant takeovers, Shopify also promotes their blog posts through Instagram Stories.

Shopify Story

How you could do this for your business: 

This is just one of the many ways you could promote your blog posts through Instagram Stories:

  1. With the blog post you want to promote, find 3-5 key points that will grab your followers’ attention. (An easy way could be to look at your H2 headings.)
  2. Turn them into fun Instagram Stories using relevant photos, captions, and drawings.
  3. Create a simple bit.ly link to be used for the last photo.
  4. Post them!
  5. Bonus: It will be great to download each Instagram Stories photo onto your phone as you create them and post them all at once when you are ready. This will help to ensure that your followers see the full set of photos at a go.

11. Remote Year (@remoteyear)

Bring your offline and online communities together

Remote Year is a year-long program where 75 digital nomads travel across the world to work and explore 12 cities together.

Through their Instagram Stories, they share what they do on, I believe, a daily basis, allowing their followers who might not be able to join the trip to still be part of the fun.

Remote Year Story

How you could do this for your business: 

It can be a bit of a bummer for your community when they are unable to attend some of your events. It could be meetups or conferences with a limited number of tickets or an exclusive event for certain customers only or a program for a selected few such as the Remote Year. However, that does not mean they have to miss out on all the fun. Here are some of the things you could do:

  • Interview key personnel briefly about the topic of the event
  • Invite attendees to share their experiences at the event
  • Film interesting and fun moments of the event
  • Appoint a host or two for your Instagram Stories while the event is taking place to talk about what is going to happen during the event, narrate as the activities are happening and interview attendees, like what the Remote Year did for some of their events (as seen in the first photo)

12. Black Sheep Cycling (@blacksheepcycling)

Give sneak previews of your upcoming products or launch them through Instagram Stories

Black Sheep Cycling is a cycling brand that provides innovative and unique cycling apparel.

A few days ago, they launched their ambassador kit for their community. Besides announcing the upcoming launch with an Instagram post, the team also used Instagram Stories to showcase the kit from various angles.

Black Sheep Cycling Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While preparing the marketing materials for your upcoming launch or announcement, create a few more vertical designs for your Instagram Stories. Consider more than one image or design since the ephemeral nature of Instagram Stories allow you to share more photos and videos without cluttering up your Instagram profile. Here are some variations you could think about:

  • Different angles of the product
  • Specific features of the product
  • Different people using your product
  • Various ways of using your product

13. Olympics (@olympics)

Report timely news and wrap-up

When the Rio 2016 Olympics was taking place, the social media team behind the Instagram account took the opportunity to share more about and celebrate the incredible Olympians. Harrison Barnes also took over the account to give a wrap-up for a day and shared his thoughts on the day’s events.

Olympics Story

How you could do this for your business: 

While you might not always be part of huge events like the Olympics, there are likely to be many high-profile events in your respective industry. For example in the tech field, one such event is TechCrunch Disrupt. You could attend such events and provide timely updates to your followers. Here are some possible ways:

  • Create simple images to share cool announcements and important news from the event
  • Share your thoughts about the announcements and news of the event
  • Interview speakers and prominent figures in the industry briefly, if possible
  • Feature partners and customers who happen to be at the same event

14. Brian Fanzo (@isocialfanz)

Give previews of your talks and let others take over your Instagram Stories

Brian Fanzo, popularly known as isocialfanz, is a millennial speaker who is very knowledgeable about community building, social media, livestreaming, influencer marketing, tech and more. In 2016 alone, Brian will keynote at more than 40 events around the world.

He has been using Instagram Stories to give previews for his upcoming talks and events such as the #Cloudtalk. He did the same when he was taking over our Buffer Instagram Stories while Brian, our Social Media Manager, took over his.

Brian Fanzo Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Work with other brands and influencers to take over your Instagram account and ask to take over theirs too. Like Gary Vaynerchuk said, “It’s an easy way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.” And it’s great because both parties stand to benefit from the takeovers.

A cool feature of Instagram Stories is that it allows you upload any photos and videos that were added to your phone’s camera roll within the last 24 hours. Simply swipe down while you are in the Instagram Stories camera mode. This allows you to share photos and videos from the brands and influencers without having to share your Instagram account password.

  1. Get them to create Instagram Stories and save them onto their phones without posting them.
  2. Get them to send their draft Stories to you via email, Dropbox or Google Drive.
  3. Download them onto your phone before the time you wish to post them (you will have 24 hours to use them after downloading them onto your phone).
  4. Wait for the right time and voila!

15. Minaal (@minaalofficial)

Share user generated content and showcase your customers

Minaal makes durable, professional travel gear that gets you where you want to be – faster, happier and more productive. (It is a brand many Bufferoos love too!)

In their Stories, they share photos from their community who are traveling all around the world with the amazing travel bags and gear.

Minaal Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Many a time, we love to showcase our users’ photos of them using our products, only to realize that the photo quality might not be on par with those we post on our profile or it might not match the theme of photos we chose for our gallery. Instagram Stories provides a great option to feature your users (and your product) without changing the theme of your Instagram branding or adding too many photos to your gallery.

Invite your users to share photos of themselves using your product and let them know that you will be featuring them on your Instagram Stories. Alternatively,

  1. Look out for photos of your product by your users (if there’s a hashtag that your community uses, that will be very handy)
  2. Reach out to those users and ask if you could feature their photos and them on your Instagram Stories.
  3. Once you have the photos, add their Instagram handle and perhaps add some drawings to the photos to make them more interesting.

16. 9gag (@9gag)

Funny user generated content and stories

I think most of us are quite familiar with 9gag and their hilarious content. With Instagram Stories, they brought their funny storytelling to another level!

9gag Story

How you could do this for your business: 

I believe most businesses aren’t like 9gag in terms of the amount of user generated content they have (thought it’s great if you do!). However, this does not mean we cannot learn anything from 9gag. I think 9gag is a great example of telling the same stories through different formats (on their website, Instagram posts, Instagram Stories and more).

Instagram Stories allow us to quickly click through a series of photos and videos, and that’s a great way to tell stories! It feels a bit like flipping through a photo book. So an idea could be:

  1. When you have a story or message to share with your audience, come up with a storyboard of the photos and videos you need.
  2. Download the materials onto your phone and add captions and drawings to make them more engaging and visually appealing.
  3. When the time is right, publish all of them together according to your storyboard.
  4. Bonus: You could use an Instagram post to briefly talk about the story and direct your audience to check out your Instagram Stories for more information.

17. Sean McCabe (@seanwes)

Give previews of your live events or courses

Sean McCabe used to be a hand lettering artist who charged five-figure rates until he launched a course teaching people how to do what he did and made six figures in the first three days. Since then, he has been teaching a variety of courses on building and growing a sustainable business.

He has been using Instagram Stories to share sneak peeks of his live training and why his followers should sign up for his courses.

Sean McCabe Story

How you could do this for your business: 

Personally, I like to find out as much as I can before I pay for a course, a product, or a service. Quite similar to a trial for a product or service, Instagram Stories could be an interesting way to share just enough to entice your followers into signing up for your paid courses or exclusive content.

Also, sharing a short memorable link makes it easier for your followers to act immediately.

18. TrackMaven (@trackmaven)

Share top news in your industry

TrackMaven is a marketing analytics software tool that helps marketers make smart decisions through understandable and actionable data. In line with their area of expertise, they share top marketing news every week in their Instagram Stories.

Track Maven Story

How you could do this for your business: 

I imagine most of us are already reading up a lot about our own industry so this just takes a tiny bit more effort:

  1. When reading through all the news, bookmark the top 3 to 5 pieces which are most shareworthy or most useful to the people in the industry or your customers.
  2. On Friday each week (or even every morning), share the news.
  3. Adding your thoughts about the news could help to make you a thought leader in your industry too.

Small plug

I would also love to give a shout out to Brian, our amazing social media manager, who has been rocking our Instagram Stories game too. Our Stories range from social media tips to influencer, brand and team member takeovers. If you are interested in learning more about social media, marketing and behind the scenes of a remote team, we are @buffer on Instagram!

Buffer Story

Over to you

There are definitely many more creative brands and folks out there that I did not come across during my research. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you know of any or if you feel that you are creating awesome Instagram Stories, feel free to share your handle below! Thank you!

You might also enjoy these Instagram marketing resources:

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: Get the Playbook That Drives Results

How Instagram Stories Work: A Powerful New Way to Engage

How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)

 

https://buffer.com/resources/instagram-stories-who-to-follow

5 Conversion Tips to Add to Your Social Media Strategy

Despite earlier predictions and fears, social media marketing is actually growing. People spend around 142 minutes a day on social media sites, which is more time than people spend checking their emails, even if it’s part of their working routine. (On average a person spends around 94 minutes a day reading their email inbox).

Social media sites are doing a fantastic job drawing their users to their sites and keep them engaged.

However, social media traffic is not easy to engage outside of the platform itself. Social media users are mostly lurkers. Unlike users who type search terms with the intention to perform an action,  external links and offers interrupt the user experience.

No one comes to Facebook to buy insurance. But a search user typing “insurance” into Google’s search box is most likely to be actively shopping for one.

With that said, conversion optimization tactics should be different when it comes to these two major sources of incoming traffic:

  • Search users can be easily lured in with a good copy and nice special offers.
  • Social media traffic conversion path is often longer and more fragmented. (Unless you are in fashion or food industry where you can build sales from social media thanks to impulse shopping effect).

Here are a few conversion tricks that work for social media traffic:

1. Create a secondary asset that fits social media users

Whether it’s organic social media traffic or social media advertising campaigns, in most niches the golden rule is always the same: “Don’t try to sell right away. Engage and build interest first”.

We had a great chat with Susan Wenograd who put it best:

Social media traffic

That being said, if your product costs more than ~$50, you may need to come up with a secondary product to engage social media users and collect data before selling more to them.

A few ideas of those secondary engagement assets include:

  • A fun survey leading a user into the problem and getting them curious enough to optin
  • An insightful whitepaper / tutorial describing the problem and then offering a solution which can be paid for
  • A free brochure (e.g. interior design ideas, Halloween part ideas, etc.) that can be email or mailed to the customer and inspire them enough to buy, etc.
  • Your own original research (based on your customer research or external survey results)
  • A free course that takes seconds to join and can later convince people to pay for upsells (the full premium course, access to premium membership, etc.)
  • A free evaluation of a problem that can be further solved by your product or service, etc.

Kajabi is a comprehensive platform that can help with most of those ideas above. It helps you create paid and freemium course, set up a membership site, engage users with surveys and polls, schedule and automate email notifications, etc.

kajabi

If you were looking for some ideas to engage your site users better, setting up an educational course and/or a membership site is a good idea.

2. Re-target those who converted

Taking this idea of marketing secondary assets further, you can use re-targeting marketing to actually convert those who previously downloaded your brochure or became part your membership site.

Almost any (interrupted) user experience can be revived by retargeting campaigns including both:

Re-targeting a user on Facebook

A natural re-targeting platform to start with is, of course, Facebook advertising platform. For that you need to install Facebook’s tracking pixel and set up a campaign to automatically show ads to people who previously performed some type of an action (e.g. downloaded your brochure) and/or viewed your products.

Facebook retargeting

Retargeting a user on your own site

You can also re-engage your return users with Finteza retargeting feature. For example, you can serve on-site ads to people who:

  • Previously read your guide
  • Viewed your product page
  • Registered an account

Finteza retargeting

3. Match your social media content to seasonality

One of the most effective ways to overcome that lack of intent issue, is to match your social media updates and ads to seasonality. When a hot season is approaching, many people find themselves interested in performing in action even if they were not there to act.

For example, in Fall of 2014 37% of U.S. consumers bought a pumpkin-flavored product, whether they were planning to or not. The power of seasonality has long been recognized by markers. Lots of brands come up with new temporal products and offers to generate new interest and sales.

It’s no wonder, Starbucks keeps marketing their Pumpkin Spice Latte at around early September and their Toasted White Chocolate Mocha closer to Christmas. Moreover, their holiday offering varies depending on the country to better meet their customers’ needs and traditions.

Christmas drinks

The power of seasonality can and should be utilized in social media marketing too. To get more organized, year after year, use social media editorial calendar to plan seasonal campaigns months ahead.

ContentCal is one option that offers “Campaigns” feature to ensure that your brands’ social media updates align to seasonal trends. ContentCal is minimal and highly collaborative. You can schedule campaigns months and years ahead and your team will be alerted of approaching seasonal trends whenever they login to contribute and schedule social media updates:

ContentCal

4. Diversify your CTAs

As mentioned above, social media users hardly ever stop. It is not at all easy to convince them to “download a free whitepaper” considering they came to your site after watching cat videos on Facebook (and are probably willing to go back to keep watching those).

Creating engaging copy for social media users involves much more creativity and experimentation. Play with CTA placement and wording, create an actionable context to naturally lead your readers into your conversion channel.

For some inspiration, try Text Optimizer, a semantic analysis platform that includes “Action words” section allowing you to see what may prompt your page users to act:

Text Optimizer action words

[Use these suggestions to create actionable context and word your on-page calls-to-action]

Adding visual content to attract more attention to your on-page CTAs is another way. You can put together effective visual assets using tools like Canva and Placeit:

Furthermore, make good use of these ideas on how to create conversion-oriented content to build a more engaging copy.

Diversify Your opt-in forms

Finally, while banner blindness has been an issue for years now, a new type of challenge is upon us. More and more web users ignore opt-in forms. Too many sites are asking for their email address and growing privacy awareness is not helping either.

A few short years ago giving away a free eBook in exchange for an email address was enough to boost your email list growth. These days most publishers are finding it more and more difficult to get anyone opt-in:

Anita Campbell, founder of a well-known publication, Small Biz Trends:

5. Experiment and then experiment some more!

Alter is a nice recommendation engine that helps engage more site users by adding an artificial intelligence component to your email list growing efforts. The tool learns more about your site users and customizes its CTAs based on their behavior boosting your opt-in rates:

Alter email optin

Alter integrates with major email marketing platforms allowing you to grow your current email list.

Have you found any effective ways to convert your social media traffic? Please tweet your ideas to @seosmarty!

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The post 5 Conversion Tips to Add to Your Social Media Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/10/5-conversion-tips-to-add-to-your-social-media-strategy/

5 Marketing Lessons from Daily Harvest’s Journey to Shipping One Million Smoothies

Launched in 2015, Daily Harvest has become one of the fastest growing direct-to-consumer food brands in the world. 

It’s an incredible story. But just how did Daily Harvest transition from solving a meal-prep problem for founder Rachel Drori to being in over 100,000 kitchens across the U.S.?

In this post, we take a look at some of the marketing strategies that have aided Daily Harvest’s incredible growth. 


Contents: 5 Marketing Lessons from Daily Harvest


1. Focus on target customers’ needs and create products to solve their problems 

Before starting Daily Harvest, Rachel Drori worked in marketing for Jetsetter. She wanted to find a quick, convenient way to prepare her week’s meals on a Sunday, so she didn’t have to think about what she would eat during busy weekdays. 

But after trying a number of options, nothing quite matched her needs. 

“Meal kits are perishable, they go bad in your fridge, and they take 45 minutes to prepare,” she told Entrepreneur. “And all convenient food is preserved in some way.”

As we touched on in the intro, Daily Harvest was founded after Drori began to make meals in batch and freeze them. Something that no company seemed to be offering. Seeing a gap in the market, she pulled together a website and started selling to people who were experiencing the same meal prep problems she’d had. 

The company has evolved a lot since those early days, but one thing that remains is its laser focus on serving a specific need for its target customers. 

“Our target consumer is one who subscribes to a healthy lifestyle, but is busy and has time restrictions,” Drori told Business Insider.

Drori expanded on Daily Harvest’s target customer during an interview with Inc. “Our customer wants to eat the way he/shes knows he/she should, but struggles with the challenge of making it happen.” 

“Our most common piece of customer feedback is that we’ve filled a need in the health food space that wasn’t previously being met. It works for the busy-bee or if you’re just looking for more nutrients in your diet but are unsure where to start.”

Consumer habits: The ease of buying healthy foods is one of the key pain points Daily Harvest solves. Shoppers want to buy healthier foods, but it’s not always easy — a survey of 1,017 U.S. consumers found that 95% of people ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ look for healthy food options, but finding healthy food is only moderately easy for most consumers.

But why is it so important for Daily Harvest to focus on specific customers? Why doesn’t it try to entice everyone to eat a little healthier?

“Focusing on a specific customer segment is critical to sustaining long-term growth,” says DTC Strategist, Marco Marandiz.

“Organizations that get distracted easily by emerging, yet unaligned, segments end up burning through their resources and creating value that doesn’t resonate with their earliest customers,” continues Marandiz. “For Daily Harvest, it’s important for them to keep digging into their core customers to really fulfil their needs in the kitchen.”

Having a clear understanding of who its customers are, and the problems it solves for them has enabled Daily Harvest to craft messaging, content, and products that are aligned with exactly what the customer is looking for.

Right from the hero section of its homepage, you can see its focus on target customer needs and desires: 

  • The heading ‘Eat More Fruits + Vegetables’ speaks to the target customers desire to boost their diet with healthy ingredients 
  • The subheading ‘We take care of food so food can take care of you’ also taps into the same desires, but from a slightly different level, letting customers know that all the hard work — sourcing and preparing healthy foods — is done for them. 

If you’ve ever interacted with the brand before the imagery on its site also feels incredibly familiar.

Daily Harvest has done a great job of creating its own unique brand style: 

Crisp images of its packaging containing bold, brightly colored ingredients, photographed against a solid background. It also uses lighting to create shadows quite frequently.

Here’s its look on Instagram — 

— and on a product page: 

Expansion is also important for most DTC brands. Many launch with one or two specific products — for example, Casper mattresses — and expand into other related products in order to grow — Casper’s pillows and bed frames. 

Daily Harvest is no different. It started out by selling frozen smoothie packs. But now it boasts a range of products.

And when it comes to launching new products, Daily Harvest ensures it keeps its focus on solving the problem of making healthy eating easier for consumers.

“It’s easy to observe their focus by taking stock of the product line expansions over the last couple years,” shares Marandiz. “They started with smoothies, but have moved into Harvest Bowls, Soups, Lattes, Chia Bowls, and Oat Bowls.”

The messaging around each of its expansion products is also hyper-focused on customer goals. 

Take its Harvest Bowls category page for example —

— the copy here continues to focus on the core mission of Daily Harvest: Making healthy eating simple. And no matter where you interact with the brand, that message remains consistent. 


2. Use Pinterest as a discovery engine to reach millions of potential customers each month

Pinterest is somewhat of a sleeper in the social media world. And though it might not make as much noise as platforms like Facebook or Instagram, its power to help brands connect with consumers is undeniable. 

In its S-1 filing ahead of going public, the company shared some insights into how people use the platform: 

  • Pinners don’t just dream about their futures; they explore real options and often want to bring their dreams to life. They browse ideas, visit merchant websites and eventually buy products and services; and 
  • People seeking inspiration use Pinterest in ways that mirror how they use magazines and catalogs.

So whereas consumers used to flick through magazines to find inspiration, they now turn to Pinterest — and this is why it has become such an incredible discovery engine for brands. 


Daily Harvest has 5,638 followers on Pinterest. That doesn’t sound a lot, especially when compared to its audiences on Facebook (260k) and Instagram (406k). But follower numbers are just a small part of the equation.

On Pinterest, discoverability is far more important than the number of followers.

Daily Harvest racks up a mouthwatering 4.1m monthly unique viewers on Pinterest — meaning its Pins appear on over four million screens per month, and it does this having just 136 Pins. 

Pinterest trends: Daily Harvest is in the perfect position to succeed on Pinterest. ‘Healthy habits’ is one of Pinterest’s trends for 2019, with searches for nutrition plans +475% year-on-year, showing that health-conscious consumers are using Pinterest to help them hit their goals. 

Its Pins tend to focus directly on Daily Harvest products in its brand style of stunning product imagery against a solid, light background:

According to SimilarWeb data, Pinterest is Daily Harvest’s third-highest refer amongst social networks, driving around 13,000 visits per month

— and much of this traffic is going directly to product pages (the link on each Pin takes the viewer to the corresponding page): 


3. Create a simple-to-navigate website and tell an engaging story to generate backlinks

SimilarWeb estimates that over 30% of Daily Harvest’s traffic comes from search

— that’s a pretty large chunk, and if SimilarWeb’s estimates are correct, that search traffic equates to around 270,000 visits per month for the brand. That’s a lot of potential customers. 

So what can we take away from Daily Harvest’s search success?

Firstly, usability and design are important: 

“The design, first of all, is obviously incredible. While I never consider design to be a direct SEO factor, having a positive experience on a site does make you more likely to talk about and link to it,” says Glen Allsopp, SEO consultant and founder of Detailed.com

And Allsopp certainly isn’t alone in praising Daily Harvest’s design, Unbounce has also featured it in its roundup of companies that have created best-in-class landing pages

But back to SEO… 

Simplicity is somewhat of a theme for Daily Harvest across its website, content and even its products — pre-made, healthy meals that are ready in minutes. 

And this theme carries over into its approach to SEO. 

“I like that their URLs are short and descriptive, which is in line with their title tags as well,” notes Allsopp. “Title tags don’t get much more simple and clean than ‘Lentil + Mesquite Soup | Daily Harvest’.”

Daily Harvest also manages to include plenty of information on its product pages, something that’s not easy to do well Allsopp told me. First, each product has a short description right under the title —

— a little further down the page, visitors can see key ingredients, nutrition information and preparation instructions — essentially everything a customer would want to know about this product, without it feeling overwhelming:

One downside to Daily Harvest’s beautiful imagery is the effect it has on load times. “According to Google’s mobile site speed comparison tool, it’s a lot slower than competitors sites,” Allsopp shared.

But with much of its search traffic coming in via branded searches, Daily Harvest has done a great job building its brand and creating a loyal customer base:

Possibly Daily Harvest’s biggest SEO-win is the quality of backlinks it has been able to obtain from leading publications — something that’s a challenge for almost every business. 

Link building is one of the hardest aspects of SEO — and I have no insider knowledge here — but I’d bet Daily Harvest has never sent out a batch of emails asking marketers to backlink to its site. 

Instead, it does link building the right way, by telling its story… and having a great product.  

“Daily Harvest’s founder, Rachel Drori, has been great at getting quoted in big publications,” Allsopp told me. “Some places that have asked her for comment include CNBC and The New York Times. Those aren’t easy links to get, so they’re likely to help the site for a long time to come.”

Because its products are high-quality and deliver on what it promises, it’s enabled Daily Harvest to be featured by industry experts and pick up links from high-authority sites like MSN: 

“While they still have improvements to make with their on-site SEO, that’s always a great position to be in. Seeing opportunities for improvement there means there’s a good chance of growing organic traffic across the board going forward as well,” said Allsopp. 


4. Use paid social to drive traffic to campaign-specific landing pages 

When Daily Harvest runs ads, it doesn’t direct people to its homepage. Instead, it has a specially created landing page aimed to convert visitors to customers. 

This isn’t a unique strategy. In-fact, creating specific landing pages for ads is a best practice for any brand investing in paid media. But the way Daily Harvest executes it is remarkable. 

Here’s one of the brand’s landing pages:

Keeping in line with Daily Harvest’s beautiful design aesthetic, the page looks super-clean and simple. But when you really dig in, there’s a lot going on.

Here are four takeaways from Daily Harvest’s landing page:

1. The hero copy builds on ad promises

Let’s start by breaking down the hero section at the top of the page: 

Daily Harvest is running a bunch of ads across Facebook and Instagram, and many of its ads are focused on these key messages:

  • Custom food plans
  • Quality, organic fruits and vegetables 
  • Speed of preparation

Here are a few variations of that messaging in ad form: 

Once someone has clicked one of these ads, they arrive at one of Daily Harvest’s landing pages and the copy builds on the key points mentioned in the ads. It reinforces that: 

  • The food is high quality, and good for you
  • It’s ready in minutes
  • Health eating that fits your routine

2. The CTA offer is very clear

In each of its ads, Daily Harvest mentions that new customers can get $25 off their first box using a promo code — 

— and when they reach the landing page, this 25% offer is featured in the hero section CTA: 

This makes the buyer journey feel super smooth as promises that were made in the first part of the journey (the ads) are being backed up as people move through the buying experience.  

3. The copy is all about you, the customer

As the visitor scrolls through the landing page they reach a ‘How it works’ section: 

The first title tag ‘Customize Your Plan’ puts the emphasis on you, the potential customer, and throughout this section of the landing page the reader is constantly reminded that Daily Harvest is a product that can solve your unmet needs.

Here are a few snippets of copy (emphasis mine): 

  • Pick a plan and fill your box with thoughtfully sourced, chef-crafted food 
  • Delivered when you want it
  • Make fruits and vegetables a daily habit

This copy also fulfils a need to let the customer know exactly how the process works. Many visitors want a hassle-free way to consume healthier foods, but prior to visiting this page may not understand how Daily Harvest delivers on this. 

Pay attention to the small details: Microcopy — the small pieces of text that provide extra information and provide context across websites and interfaces — is incredibly important, and can have a big influence on clicks and conversions.

For example, one company found that changing the phrase “Request a quote” to “Request pricing” resulted 161.66% increase in clicks to its lead gen form.

 4. It uses social proof to back up its message

Social proof is a powerful sales tool and helps to build trust. As Alfred explains in his post on the subject:  

“Often in situations where we are uncertain about what to do, we would assume that the people around us(experts, celebrities, friends, etc.) have more knowledge about what’s going on and what should be done.”

As a prospective Daily Harvest customer, I might not be an expert on healthy eating, I just know I want to eat healthier. So to back up its message, Daily Harvest features a range of well-known publishers that have covered its products to help build trust: 

You’re more likely to put your faith in a health product featured by Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Vogue, than one no publisher has featured, right? 

5. Build trust with new audiences through partnerships

Partnerships have become a key part of the direct-to-consumer marketing playbook. 

Why?

In its simplest form, advertising is about connecting relevant audiences with your message. But when marketers focus purely on reach they run into a problem: reach has become a commodity — anyone can now create a Facebook ad and put it in front of an audience.

As Morgan Housel wrote — 

Attracting eyeballs no longer sets you apart. Building trust among those who have their eyes on you, does. Getting people’s attention is no longer a skill. Keeping people’s attention is.

— and this is where partnerships come into their own: Building trust. 

Let me explain… 

When you follow a YouTuber, let’s say Casey Neistat, he’s built up your trust over hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of content and attention. 

So when a brand like Samsung works with Casey, it helps the brand to build trust with Casey’s audience. 

“If Samsung is cool with Casey, it’s cool with me.”

Daily Harvest takes a similar approach to partnerships…. 

YouTube drives significant traffic for Daily Harvest. You might recognize the below chart from earlier, but this time I’ve highlighted the YouTube numbers — 

around 23% of Daily Harvest’s social traffic comes from YouTube

Curious as to why so many people come from YouTube to Daily Harvest I done a little digging… and it seems partnerships have a lot to do with it. 

One the YouTube pages that appears to be sending a lot of traffic to Daily Harvest is from popular YouTuber, Wheezy Waiter (nearly 900k subs!): 

The video (as you can probably guess from the above screenshot) is about the host’s experience trying out a vegan diet for a month. 

And as the video progresses, the host runs into a problem with finding vegan desserts he likes. But Daily Harvest, the video’s sponsor, sent him 24 smoothies to help solve his problem:

Incredible product placement (this video has been watched 1.5 million times and counting) but it doesn’t end there. In the video description there’s a link to Daily Harvest’s website:

The link also has a UTM specific to Wheezy Waiter so the Daily Harvest team will be able to attribute traffic and sales to this partnership: 

https://www.daily-harvest.com/?source=youtube&medium=cpc&campaign=inf&content=wheezywaiter&term= 

Breaking down the UTM: Essentially, UTM codes tell the story of how traffic is arriving at a website. Here’s a breakdown of the Daily Harvest UTM:

  • source=youtube: This tells Daily Harvest the traffic has been referred by YouTube
  • medium=cpc: Says this was a cost-per-click campaign
  • content=wheezywaiter: Lets the Daily Harvest team know exactly which piece of content creator the traffic is came from

This is something Daily Harvest has done with a number of well-established YouTuber’s: 

And:

But Daily Harvest’s partnerships aren’t limited to YouTube. It regularly runs Instagram takeovers with influencers and other brands in its stories — 

— and it also has an ambassador program enabling people with large followings to share exclusive discounts and coupon codes with their audiences

Daily Harvest is also very forthcoming with partnerships. Its website footer features a ‘Partnerships’ link:

This link then takes people to a simple form where they can register their interest in working with the brand: 


5 Takeaways from Daily Harvest’s journey to 100,000+ customers

1. Understand your target customer’s unmet needs:

Daily Harvest has a clear understanding of who its customer is exactly and what problems it solves for them. This influences how the whole business works: From its product lines to how it positions itself in the market.

2. Use Pinterest as a discovery engine:

Pinterest is a discovery engine for brands. People use Pinterest in ways that mirror how they use magazines and catalogs. By posting relevant content Daily Harvest reaches over four million people per month on the platform.

3. Create a beautiful, simple-to-use buying experience:

Consumers are spoilt for choice now, to stand out you need to create great experiences. Daily Harvest’s website does just that. Its focus on story has also helped the company to pick up some very important backlinks.

4. Drive paid social traffic to specific landing pages:

When using paid acquisition channels (especially on social media), Daily Harvest links to specific landing pages that build on the promises made in the ads.

5. Unlock new audiences through strategic partnerships:

When you’re marketing to new audiences, it’s not so much about reach as it is building trust. Daily Harvest works with partners and influencers to help it establish trust with new potential customers.

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Reddit Marketing Strategies for Those Who Don’t Have Time for Reddit Marketing


Reddit is one of the most vibrant communities on the Internet and a powerful source of attention. A positive Reddit mention can mean thousands of visits to your website or your product.

Your audience may be there. Opportunities certainly exist there.

Should you be there, too?

It’s a tricky question to answer because one of the first rules for marketing on Reddit — one of the first rules for marketing on any social media site, really — is that you have to be genuinely engaged and committed to the communities you’re part of.

But there’s good news. You can gain so much from the awesome people at Reddit whether or not you have the time to fully dive in. Yes, there are marketing tactics to drive meaningful traffic. But there are also a handful of other ways to benefit by learning from the community, engaging with the community, and building a thoughtful Reddit strategy.

We’ll talk about it all in this post. Come along!


About Reddit Marketing

Reddit is one of the most vibrant communities on the Internet. And one of the largest, with over 300 million active users. 

To put that in perspective, that’s more than …

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

Yet when you hear about strategies for marketing to social networks, you rarely hear about Reddit. 

This isn’t to disparage all the great guides that people have written about Reddit marketing. They’re really good! These guides have some great tips in them, which we’ll do our best to condense into the most actionable takeaways that you can put to good use today. 

So why does Reddit fly under-the-radar when it comes to social media marketing options? 

Well, one of the key things to note about Reddit is that it’s not exactly welcoming to organic, native promotion. Reddit wants authentic contributions — which of course makes sense. That’s how the best social networks thrive!

This ethos is really well-captured in this phrase from Reddit’s community guidelines:

It’s perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a reddit account.

Hmm, well, all of us brands and businesses are definitely websites. What are we to do?

One great thing about Reddit is that, while its guidelines are protective, they’re not meant to be exclusionary. There are ways for marketers to make use of Reddit in many ways, whether you’re interested in becoming a redditor or not, and whether you’re looking for organic or paid. Even if you don’t have time for full-scale Reddit marketing, there are ways you can gain from the Reddit community.


Reddit Marketing Strategies


1. Use Reddit as a Customer Research Tool to Find the Latest Trends

We believe this strategy can work for all marketers — whether you’re a redditor or not, and even if you only have small pockets of time to commit.

The great thing about this tip is that it doesn’t require you to devote yourself to becoming a seasoned Reddit contributor. Anyone can use Reddit for research, right now. It only takes a few minutes, and there’s a ton to gain for your marketing.

The premise is simple: 

You can gain marketing insight by using Reddit as a research tool to see what people are talking about and what’s trending right now. 

Step one: Find the subreddits that are relevant to your brand or business.

This will come in handy for the Reddit strategies we mention later on, too.

There are a couple different ways to search for subreddits. You can go straight to Reddit and search for the topics that you’re interested in. The search results will show you a list of suggested communities to join as well as a list of the most popular content related to your search term.

Another way to find subreddits is on a subreddit itself. The subreddit “find-a-reddit” is a place for people to ask questions about certain topics and then the community responds with ideas of subreddits to join.

Also, there are some great third-party options for subreddit searches. too.

One of the best is Redditlist which aggregates the most popular subreddits and lets you search for keywords. Also, Redditlist gives you some neat data on the subreddits, like how many subscribers it has and how fast it’s growing. 

Generally, the larger the subreddit, the faster you’ll be able to gain research insights. And of course, when you get into advertising potential, the larger the subreddit, the larger the audience.

Once you’ve found your “people” on Reddit, the next steps for researching are totally up to you.

You can go the super manual way and just navigate to each of the subreddits directly and browse them. If you go this route, I’d recommend setting up a regular reminder to visit things daily or weekly, depending on the volume of the subreddit.

And another way that works really well if you’re doing research or content at scale is to plug your subreddits into a content aggregator like Feedly. We do this for social media content on our Buffer feeds. This will pull in all of the subreddit threads directly into Feedly where you can browse them cleanly all at once. We’ve gained a lot of insights into social media trends by following Reddit conversations over the past months.

The one thing missing from the Feedly approach is going to be the upvotes and rankings for content. You won’t see this in Feedly. So what you can do instead is sort the content using Feedly’s popularity option, which scores posts according to their popularity on Feedly and other platforms. 

Then just like that, you’ve built your research engine. You can use it for things like:

  • Hearing what questions people are asking
  • Noticing what topics are getting the most attention
  • Keeping an eye on upcoming trends and competitor products, and 
  • Catching news stories you might have otherwise missed

While we’re on the topic of research, let’s go to our Reddit strategy number two, which you can also put to use whether you’re a redditor or not.


2. Use Reddit to get ideas on how to write catchy headlines

One factor into why content does well on Reddit — other than the quality of the content itself — is how something is framed or worded in the title. Redditors make great use of this space to show off what their post is about. Marketers can learn a lot from this!

You can observe the copywriting on Reddit to see what kind of styles are resonating with people and getting upvoted. Anything at the top of your chosen subreddits will be good to see. You can also go to the Reddit homepage or the subreddit “all” and check out the most popular posts across all of Reddit.

Then you can use these writing insights to feed back into your blog post headlines and email subject lines, just like that! 


3. Connect with people on Reddit who want to engage with your brand

Though Reddit might not want marketers in their midst, the topics do occasionally shift to products … maybe even your product. A good social media practice is to be present with your customers and audience wherever they are, which means lending a listening ear to Reddit. 

You can do this with a manual search, keeping tabs on any brand mentions that happen to come in. You can also look into some social support tools that have this functionality built in. 

When you’re choosing to respond, be sure you understand the context of the conversation you’re jumping into, then feel free to jump in and be helpful. There’s a fear with marketing on Reddit that the backlash for bad marketing can be swift and severe. But If you approach your conversations with authenticity, then you should be in good shape.


4. Get more traffic from Reddit (the right way)

When people talk about Reddit marketing, they’re often thinking of ways to get traffic from Reddit to their website. If you’re interested in using Reddit for referral traffic, then let’s start with some of the advice we mentioned earlier … 

First and foremost, you must be an authentic contributor to the Reddit community.

There’s no way around this. If you want to drive organic traffic from Reddit, then you can’t just show up and promote your stuff. You have to genuinely take part in the community. 

The only other shortcut to Reddit traffic is through advertising, which we’ll get to in a minute. But for organic referral traffic from Reddit, it all starts with you getting involved. 

And once you’re involved, here are the next steps to follow.

1. Find your ideal subreddits. 

Again, you can do this by searching Reddit or by using a tool like Redditlist.

2. Understand the Reddit demographics

On the macro scale, Reddit’s primary demographic is males between the ages of 25 and 44.  The overwhelming majority of users come from the U.S., in particular San Francisco and Seattle.

But that’s by far not the only crowd that’s on there.

Especially with Reddit’s subreddit system, you can find huge pockets of engaged communities that are specific to your niche. 

So when it comes to your Reddit traffic strategy, you can take a couple of different swings: 

  1. You can swing for the fences and aim to reach the front page of Reddit, where everyone can see your content. 
  2. Or, you can target specific niches on subreddits. These will have lower reach than the 330 million users we talked about earlier, but they do have significant sizes: Many subreddits boast 100,000 and more users.

Here are a couple more things to keep in mind if you’re looking to get traffic from Reddit.


5. Earn karma points by giving value to the community

image via Oberlo

Karma points function as a scorecard for Reddit users and are earned every time you share links and comments. These links and comments can be upvoted or downvoted, which corresponds to the rising and falling of your karma. 

To be successful on Reddit, you need to build up your karma points. At least a few hundred points are needed to show that you’re serious about taking part in the communities. Some subreddits even require a minimum amount of karma before you can post.

Karma points don’t necessarily affect the virality of your content, but they are a good signal to your fellow redditors of whether you’re on Reddit to genuinely be involved or whether you’re just there to self-promote. 
When you’re building up karma points, there are a couple of workflows that can help …

  1. Get involved in popular subreddits like today-I-learned and Ask-Reddit. These are some easy, breezy places to get started with commenting.
  2. And when you’re link sharing, you can build Reddit into your usual content workflow and share to Reddit anytime you would share to Twitter and Facebook, too. 

Ok, now when it comes time to post your content to Reddit, here are some ways to make sure it gets as much traction as possible. 


6. Reverse-engineer the popular headlines of your subreddit

Like many things on social, one of the key aspects will be the title. The same goes for Reddit threads.

Look at the structure of how these titles are created. Notice what gets upvoted and what doesn’t. Then you can take these insights and put them back into the title that you write. 

On the Grow and Convert blog, they talk about a couple of headline formulas that work really well on Reddit.

The first is … 

Need [x]? Here’s [y]

For example, you could say: Tensed shoulders? Try these few stretches (very work-friendly!)

And the second headline formula is … 

[specific time before] I [did something]. I will now [explain to you/share even more detail/teach you how/explain what happened].

And an example of this is: 3 months ago I posted the exact process on how I made $150,000 selling T-shirts on Amazon. I will now explain the exact steps you can take to earn your first $1,000,000 selling on Amazon via the Shopify integration with ZERO inventory.

The Foundation blog also did a study on Reddit titles, and they found some general rules to follow. 

  • Posts with titles between 60 and 80 characters got the most upvotes
  • Posts with titles that were longer than 120 characters or shorter than 20 characters fared the worst. 

And their overall advice probably sounds familiar: The best approach to ensure that you’re writing a title is to review the top 15-20 posts within a subreddit.

The research really pays off!

Additionally, it’s worthwhile to pay attention to some of the trends on Reddit. For instance, the most frequently used phrase in titles is “if you have …” which is very similar to the “need this? try this” formula that we mentioned a moment ago. 

And another favorite topic of redditors is year-end lists or year-ahead posts. Some of the most common numbers in titles are years like 2018 and 2019. 

So if you authentically engage with the community and write good content with titles that resonate, then you stand a great chance of succeeding on Reddit. One last tip we’ll mention is about promoting your content on Reddit … in addition to posting on your chosen subreddit, you can also 


7. Cross-post to other subreddits to make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible. 

When you do this, you can click the “cross post” button at the bottom of your original thread to cross-post it to any other subreddit. One thing to note: You’ll want to use this strategy wisely and not be overly promotional with every post you share. 


8. Use Reddit paid ads to place your content

Reddit advertising is in its early stages compared to other social sites, so there’s still room here to get good returns. 

Reddit advertising works on a cost-per-click basis. You can optimize your campaigns for reach, video views, traffic, and conversions. The video views are especially great because videos are one of the most engaging types of content on Reddit.

For targeting, you can choose to show your ad to all of Reddit or you can focus on certain subreddits. 

There’s a neat case study on how the search engine DuckDuckGo found really stellar success with Reddit advertising.


How to say hello to us

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Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team at Buffer on TwitterBuffer on Facebook, our Podcast homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

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About The Science of Social Media podcast

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing tactics from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode.  It’s our hope that you’ll join our 27,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

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If Likes No Longer Matter on Social Media, Then What Does?

You’ve probably heard the news: Instagram is in the process of removing like counts from posts in the Instagram feed.

At first blush, this might appear to be a massive change. They’re removing one of the most recognizable elements of social proof that’s ever existed. Likes are the way that we measure the world’s most popular posts, they’re a core element to engagement metrics, and they’re the easiest way to react to the people we follow.

It is a bold move, to be sure.

But it is an understandable one.

For I believe social media has already shifted away from the Like as the primary social currency. Yes, the era is of the like is ending, hastened by Instagram’s decision.

But the new era is already here.

And it will be defined by attention.

Keep reading to hear more about how user behaviors have changed and what marketers can do to adapt to the new environment of engagement and attention on social media. We’d love to hear your thoughts, too!


The New State of Social Media Engagement

How “liking” has evolved on social media

The “like” used to be very strong social currency.

We used it to measure popularity for, say, the top tweet of all-time or the number one Instagram post.

We used it to measure the popularity of our own stuff, too, lumping likes together with comments and shares and clicks to form an overall engagement number. Influencers certainly put the like to good use, making it a key part to the appeal of their impact and scope. The more likes, you would assume, the more interest.

But it’s also possible that the like was never really the right solution from the start.

The core challenge with liking is that everyone uses it in a different way.

As Chris Taylor writes in Mashable:

The like button has acquired a panoply of meanings in the social realm. It can be used variously to mean yes, I agree, I hear you, sure, why not, I guess. It can be used as a bookmark. And that’s just scratching the surface; there are a whole bunch of other reasons, personal and political, why we might be giving you a heart or a thumbs-up. 

To recap Chris’s list, a like can mean:

  1. “Yes, I agree”
  2. “I hear you”
  3. “Sure, why not”
  4. “I guess”
  5. Bookmark
  6. And many, many more

I’ve personally used the like to say “This is great” and “kthanksbye” and so many other random reactions. I’ve used it as a read-it-later reminder. I’ve even used it as a mechanic in automation recipes, sending liked posts to spreadsheets.

Likes have been co-opted by communities to mean different things in different contexts. For the most part this is healthy and normal. However, in some cases — for instance, when like-chasing affects mental well-being and self-worth — likes can be dangerous.


The New Engagement Metric: Attention

But moreso , likes have diminished in importance because our behaviors have changed.

We no longer need likes to signal that we are into someone’s content.

We have so many ways to signal engagement now:

  • Old standards: reshare, comment, click
  • Referral traffic that can be tracked throughout the customer journey
  • Shopping on Instagram, Pinterest, and other social sites
  • Following the brand
  • Deep-diving a feed
  • Checking out profiles and stories

And the list goes on and on.

This new era of attention is seen really clearly in the proliferation of Stories and in the way we talk about Stories analytics. When we talk about Stories, we gauge engagement with metrics like:

  • Reach
  • Completion Rate
  • Exits

What we’re really measuring here is how well our content is resonating with our audience. Is it engaging? Is it worth watching? We’re also measuring the affinity of the brand; people are more likely to stay and watch a Story from someone they trust and enjoy.

We also have metrics like video watch time where we can see precisely how long people have stuck with our videos. In the past, a video might have received a like, which tells us very little about whether or not someone stuck with our content til the end. Now, we have stats like Audience retention (a core stat on YouTube) that shows you where exactly people drop off from your videos.

Same goes for algorithms. Likes were definitely a signal of engaging content — but they were one signal of hundreds, maybe thousands. Algorithms take into account so many more data points when they calculate what to show next. Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, they can all assess how long we pause on certain posts, where we hover and what we click, even what our history of attention has looked like with a certain page or profile.

The like was a way to show we were aware of what was happening in our feeds (even if barely). Now, we have so many more ways to measure our attention.


What this means for marketers

The good news for marketers is that, while likes are fading into the background, your key stats have probably already shifted. You’re ahead of the curve.

(To be clear, your audience will still be able to like content on Instagram, and those like counts will be visible within your analytics. Just the like count in the feed is going away for now.)

When you think about successful social media content these days, you are already thinking of it beyond the lens of generic metrics like the number of likes you get. Yes, likes are a signal (one of many). But there is just so much more data available for social media managers now.

Your reporting dashboard will probably be unique for your brand. I bet it will include some combination of these attention metrics:

  • Completion rate for Stories
  • Video watch time and audience retention
  • Referral traffic and attribution
  • Engagement rate (total interactions divided by reach)

At the end of the day, when you use likes for measuring, what are you really measuring?

As we saw above, there are myriad ways that likes are used. You can guarantee that someone saw your post, yes; but beyond that, it’s a bit of a mystery.

What’s more actionable for your brand will be measuring attention. People give attention on social media in many different ways.

Now that we can measure so much of it, the era of attention has arrived for social media marketing.


Over to you

  • How will the removal of like counts affect your brand?
  • Do you agree that attention is the next big thing? How are you measuring this already?

It’d be great to hear your take! Feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter to share your thoughts.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/YcbxZB-8gpE/attention-is-the-new-like

Who’s Driving the Data Movement? Social Media Managers

What if the most valuable data person on your team is your social media manager?

It certainly might not seem that way at first blush. When you think of all the many data roles on a team, social media rarely bubbles to the top. Instead, you think of: 

Data scientists.

Growth marketers.

Analysts and quants.

Or maybe there’s no data team and it’s just you and your closest confidantes, poring over the numbers together. 

Regardless, teams with social media managers are sitting on a goldmine of data and information. And it’s data about the most important people in your company’s world: the customers and the audience. At the end of the day, this group of people will drive results and progress for your brand. They will be loyal to you (if you’re building genuine trust); they will purchase from you (if you’re delivering relevant value). It’s this group of customers and audience where you want the strongest relationship.

Shouldn’t we be listening to the person who understands this relationship best?

If you’re serious about making data-informed decisions for your brand, then give social media managers a seat at the table.

Here’s why.


1. Every bit of social media data is behavioral data

Steve Jobs had a reputation for taking customer research with a grain of salt. It’s a similar refrain to another visionary, Henry Ford, inventor of the automobile, who famously said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse.’” Jobs is known for a related, widely-circulated quote that picks at the same issue:

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. 

Well, on social media, guess what? You are constantly showing things to people!

Your data is REAL data.

It is data based on how people are literally responding to you. They’re clicking (or not clicking). They’re liking. They’re commenting. They’re congratulating. They’re complaining. 

Social media analytics dashboard from Buffer Analyze

If you want your brand to solve problems for people, then social media is going to tell you exactly what problems people have. 

We’ve seen this at Buffer with our social media data, which has informed products like Stories Creator and Shop Grid. We built these in order to solve problems for our audience. Similarly with the content we share, we can tell which content resonates most and what problems are real, today. Some of our most popular posts on social media are about Instagram marketing and data studies. Our audience is speaking to us in replies and comments, yes; but also with their actions.

2. Social media managers can see the future

When you think about all the many signals that social media managers pick up on a daily basis, you begin to get a picture of just how many leading indicators there are. 

Take a typical day in social media, for instance:

Morning: 

  • 8:30-9am: Check-in on all social media platforms
  • 9-9:30am: Measure social results and add to spreadsheets
  • 9:30-10am: Respond and engage with community
  • 10:00-11am: Read and learn
  • 11am-12pm: Content creation (podcast, writing)

Afternoon:

  • 1-1:30pm: Respond and engage with community
  • 1:30-2:00pm: Curate content
  • 2-2:30pm: Read and learn
  • 2:30-3:00pm: Schedule content to Buffer
  • 3-4:30pm: Content creation (video, graphics)
  • 4:30-5pm: Emails and voicemails
  • 5-5:30pm: Check Buffer queue

The very best social media managers are picking up data points all day long: what topics are resonating with audiences today, what posts are taking off and which aren’t, what conversations are people starting, what’s getting clicked, liked, and replied to.

Social media managers can condense all this data into trendspotting. They’re in the perfect spot for it: they’re on social, reading content and making content and talking to people all day long.

One of Gary Vaynerchuk’s best ways to get a pulse for new markets is to track how apps are trending in the iOS and Android stores. Guess which apps are the highest rankers and the movers and shakers? It’s the social media apps! Your social media manager is sitting at center court while the game is being played; they’re in the perfect spot.

Top apps in the iOS App Store, July 2019

3. Social media managers are in the sales pipeline

One of the more recent trends with the role of a social media manager is that more and more these teammates are tasked with directly influencing sales through organic and paid.

You can, of course, run paid ads for product sales on social media. 

Now you have a growing list of options for organic sales as well with shopping on Instagram and Pinterest.

The point is that the data of social media managers is not restricted solely to top-of-funnel, brand-oriented initiatives. Social media managers touch the full customer journey from top to bottom. 

3. Social media managers can optimize

When do you launch a marketing campaign?

When should you plan your tentpole product launches?

Let’s ask the social media manager!

On social media, you get specific datapoints on when an audience is most primed to receive messages, click, engage, and respond. You can look at weekly trends to find the most popular day and time to post. You can look at historic data to see when campaigns were most successful in the past and which trending topics and calendar events are on the horizon. 

Social media insights and answers from Buffer Analyze

At Buffer, we’ve used social media extensively to test headlines, either via an organic series of tweets or a paid ad set with multiple options. 

Social media is a playground for optimization.

4. Social media is one of the few places you get data on your brand

If you follow our weekly newsletter, then you’ve likely seen just how many unique and original social media strategies pop up daily. Brands are doing so much great stuff in online marketing. 

Where it can get tough to measure is how this all impacts the brand perception and positioning. 

Social media managers are one of the few roles with a strong sense for this. Case in point: sentiment.

Sentiment graph from Brand Grader

One of the great things about social stats is that they span the spectrum from micro (clicks on a single tweet, for instance) to macro. Sentiment falls into macro. It’s taking all the social conversations in aggregate and looking at the overall tone of them. Are they positive? Are they negative?

Social media managers can understand this on a gut level because they’re talking to people all day. (Your customer support team will know this data very well, too.) You can also get it from free tools like Brand Grader and Mention.

Beyond sentiment, social media managers can tell brand health by seeing how fast follower growth is happening, how well your ads are received, how engaged is an audience. They’re all signals of brand health, which can often be a tricky thing to measure. This isn’t the case with social media.


15 key stats from social media

Data and creativity are not mutually exclusive, and the idea that you can only create in a total vacuum is a farce. … We’re getting data inputs all the time. In no way is it replacing human decision-making; it’s just giving insights that we historically have never had.

This quote from Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian speaks a lot of truth to the world of social media today (and the world at large). There are so many data inputs. 

Here are some of the ones from social media that could be big differentiators and decision-makers:

Referral traffic — Helps you understand what content drives people to your website

Owned vs. earned — A breakdown of how often the content you share on social media drives website traffic versus the content that others share is driving traffic (word of mouth)

Sales — You can track social media attribution through a typical funnel, or you can check sales numbers from direct social shopping

Sentiment — Are people talking positively or negatively about your brand?

Conversation volume — Track whether you’re being mentioned more or less often and how that’s trending over time

Clickthru rate (CTR) — A useful measure for advertising. Is your message resonating with people enough that they’ll click?

Cost per thousand (CPM) / Cost per click (CPC) — These ad measures tell how efficiently your copy, creative, and call-to-action are performing

Relevance score — Another ad measure. Are your targeting and your creative a match?

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) — Similar to Return on Investment (ROI), this looks at the dollars-and-cents impact of advertising

Budget spend — Useful for noting the trends in how social media and markets are shifting.

Reach rate — How many people does your average post reach

Engagement rate — How many people like, comment, click, and share your content

Completion rate — At what rate does your audience watch all of your Instagram Stories

Swipe ups — Does your Instagram Stories content drive conversion and action?

Followers — A good measure for brand health. Follower counts should rise if the brand is doing well


If You’re a Social Media Manager Looking for a Seat at the Table …

So a lot of this might sound great, especially if you’re a social media manager. Being among decision makers is a great place to be.

Some companies might be ready to embrace social as a key data source right now. Certainly some of the best DTC brands out there are already doing this (Away, Warby Parker, etc.). That being said, you might find yourself needing to give your role a nudge into these discussions.

Step one: Stay data-minded (or get data-minded if you feel that you’re not quite there yet).

Beyond that, there are a couple of different ways to take a proactive approach to advocating for yourself and your role.

1. Report on your area and show what the data says

If you’re not already doing it, start making reports to share with your team and your boss about how social media is performing.

A sample social media report from Buffer Analyze

On these reports, you can include an executive summary: a few bullet points about what you’re seeing in the numbers and how it might impact the business. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of a TON of data. Make it easy for others to see what you’re seeing by listing it out in a shortform summary.

2. Experiment consciously

You can lead by showing.

Begin with the basic systems you have for the way that you experiment and try new things on social media. One of the ways we do this at Buffer is framing our hypotheses in a certain way. The construction looks like this:

If we do this, then this will happen because of this

The key, data-informed part of this sentence is “because of this.” Ideally, your “because of” is based on data and evidence. Not only will this make the hypothesis stronger, it will show good on your abilities to make data-informed decisions with the reams of data you have at your disposal.


Over to you

  • Does this emphasis on data resonate with what youre feeling on social media?
  • Where does social media sit within your company and among your stakeholders?

Id love to learn from your experience and opinion. Feel free to leave me a comment here on the post or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram. It’d be great to hear from you!

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/4m-TGWi6Klk/data-informed-social-media-managers

The Meme-ification of Instagram

Social networks change and evolve, rapidly.

We’re seeing this happen on Instagram today: less polish, more authenticity.

In particular, we’re noticing an embrace of memes — that historically unpolished, yet highly relatable category of social media content.

Recently, we’ve picked up on the proliferation of memes across many major Instagram profiles, and we’d love to share how brands are making the most of this form of visual marketing and what it could look like for you to give it a try with your brand.

Keep reading for examples, inspiration, and directions on the meme-ification of Instagram and how to ride the wave.


The Trend on Instagram: Less Polish, More Authenticity

Especially at scale, there is an art to noticing the trends as social media moves.

One trend on the horizon: A shift in Instagram’s style.

Taylor Lorenz in The Atlantic wrote about the decline of the “Instagram aesthetic:” those images that look well-staged, highly-produced, and dripping with polish. In their place, a new style has taken over, and it’s largely moving in the opposite direction. Instagram seems to be embracing more raw, organic, and natural images on the platform.

According to an Instagram user quoted in the article:

“It’s not cool anymore to be manufactured.”

And Lynsey Eaton who co-founded an influencer marketing agency added this:

“Previously, influencers used to say, ‘Oh, that’s not on brand,’ or only post things shot in a certain light or with a commonality. For the younger generation, those rules don’t apply at all.”

There are a few reasons behind this:

  1. As highly-polished photos have proliferated, the “Instagram aesthetic” has come to feel bland and cookie-cutter.
  2. We’ve spoken before about the red vs. blue ocean strategies, picking a strategy where there is less competition. Staged Instagram photos are achieving mass scale, and it’s harder to compete for attention.
  3. We’ve reached “peak perfection.” Ugly Drinks’ social media and community manager Brittany Zenner calls it “influencer saturation.” There can be too much of a good thing.

The “standard” way to post to Instagram with your very best pictures of your very best self is no longer the only way to get engagement. And with this lowering of the bar comes a welcome to many different types of content.

Memes included.

Having seen memes pop up across social media before, we’ve found there to be a few defining characteristics of what makes this type of social media content so engaging. Memes are …

  1. Relatable. This is a core element of a successful meme. They summarize a widespread feeling that everyone can relate to.
  2. Witty. Memes are clever. They have a way of putting obvious things succinctly in a way that we hadn’t thought of before.
  3. Entertaining. With the combination of relatability and cleverness, memes can be an incredibly fun piece of content, like being in on an inside joke shared with thousands of others.

For example:

"This is fine" meme
The famous “This is fine” meme

It’s especially important to note:

Not all memes need to get a laugh. 

And you can use memes in your feed and in your Stories, in DMs, and anywhere else you communicate with your customers.

Like a customer service interaction with an MVP customer?

 

Because of these factors and more, brands have began experimenting with memes on their Instagram profiles. Here are some examples of memes in the Instagram feeds of top brands.

10 On-Brand Examples of Memes in the Instagram Feed

1. Glossier

The beauty brand has over two million followers and often sprinkles in memes among its standard posts about beauty tips and products. Often times, you’ll see Glossier highlighting messages from its community, like in this tweet-turned-Instagram-post:

View this post on Instagram

✨🕳

A post shared by Glossier (@glossier) on

2. BarkBox

BarkBox delivers subscription boxes of dog toys, treats, and chews. Their Instagram feed is almost all memes. They’ll often add captions to photos of dogs, and these captions speak from the dog’s perspective. BarkBox has taken advantage of trending topics, too, posting memes related to the latest Taylor Swift song or Avengers movie.

Here’s an example of their capitalizing on a popular Instagram meme and featuring user-generated content:

View this post on Instagram

so get your likes in now 🌟⁣ ⁣ @tikatheiggy

A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox) on

3. Curology

Curology, a skincare company, has the best of both worlds on its Instagram. In addition to a collection of beautiful photography and professional graphics, they sprinkle in the occasional meme:

Curology is a good example of a mix of social media content types. They cross-post community tweets as testimonials, they show before-and-after images of their customers, they have marketing graphics and staged photos. And they use the occasional meme.

4. Ritual

Like Curology, Ritual places memes right alongside the more polished studio photography in its feed. Here’s a view of their feed at the moment:

The vitamin company uses memes to get across messages like “take your vitamins” along with empathizing with its audience when you’re just not feeling yourself.

5. Hims

Hims does a LOT of memes on their account. One of their specialties is reposting tweets:

View this post on Instagram

make 👏 future 👏 you 👏 proud 👏

A post shared by hims (@hims) on

Hims does a great job of finding tweets that are relevant to its brand message: Use Hims products to protect your skin, prevent hair loss and erectile dysfunction, and sleep better. These health problems are rife for memes because they’re relatable. As you can see from the Hims accounts, there are lots of examples to choose from.

6. Burrow

This example from Burrow combines the meme trend with user-generated content. The post is a reshare from @meme_love_you_long_time’s account, and it fits with Burrow because the furniture company sells fancy furniture like leather couches.

7. Ugly Drinks

Ugly Drinks has a really stellar approach to brand-building and creating a unique voice on social media. Part of that unique voice is sprinkling in memes to their Instagram content. Alongside pictures of their product (cans of flavored, carbonated water), Ugly adds memes with captions related to bottled water:

8. Slim Jim

The entire Slim Jim account is memes, many of which reference their snack foods directly. Slim Jim has a strong focus on many of its branded hashtags and communities like the #LongBoiGang. This meme below is one of the more obvious Slim Jim CTAs:

View this post on Instagram

Boom shakalaka

A post shared by Slim Jim (@slimjim) on

9. SparkNotes

SparkNotes understands its core audience: students and learners who can resonate with pop culture memes. The company creates study guides for a variety of topics, and their Instagram content is rife with empathy for the experience of the student: what it feels like to study, to pass a test, etc.

The majority of SparkNotes’s memes are related to TV shows like The Office, Arrested Development, and Parks and Rec. Here’s one from The Office:

View this post on Instagram

EVERYBODY DANCE NOW. 📣🎶🕺 #sparknotes

A post shared by SparkNotes Official (@sparknotes_) on

10. Bustle

Bustle, a premium publisher reaching millennial women, has built its Instagram audience with a content stream full of memes. This includes their primary Instagram Feed as well as Instagram Stories, where they routinely get 90%+ completion rates on their Stories content.

Much of their feed is full of Twitter memes or photos that resonate with their audience, like this Monday post:

View this post on Instagram

i am Leslie & Leslie is me 😑

A post shared by Bustle (@bustle) on

 

Resources for Meme-ifying Your Instagram Profile

If you want to hop on this trend, first consider:

  • Do memes resonate with my target audience?
  • Are memes a fit with my brand’s voice and tone?

We’ve found that the majority of brands who make memes work are speaking to a younger demographic of consumers and that the brands themselves have a more personable, casual voice and tone. It’s more rare to see memes used with B2B brands or with brands that have an older demographic … at the same time, it could be interesting to evaluate as a competitive advantage.

Regardless, if you’re interested in getting started with memes, here are a few of the resources we’ve found to help make your meme-finding fast and efficient:

1. Source memes from popular tweets

Twitter can be a useful space to hear about the latest memes as well as find content that you can repurpose for Instagram (note how brands like Glossier do the latter with user-generated content and testimonials). One of the best places to begin is by looking at a list of popular tweets from sites like Zeitgeist.

If you’re thinking about repurposing tweets as Instagram content, then you can rely on a feed of your brand mentions via an engagement tool like Buffer Reply.

2. Source memes from meme aggregators and Reddit

Memebase and Memedroid are just a couple of the sites that collect popular memes. You can get a good overview of what’s trending by looking here. In addition, some of the biggest communities on the Internet are also home to the latest memes. If you check out Imgur and Reddit, you’re likely to find a good pulse on which memes are popular now.

3. See what the top Instagram meme accounts are sharing

Instagram meme channels are a thing, too. You can find a solid list of these IG accounts in this story from Media Kix.

And the number one rule we’ve seen with memes: Tie the meme back to the product.

This can be a direct tie-in like the Slim Jim sample above, or it can be a subtle, emotional one like how SparkNotes does it. Either way, it can be tempting to use memes for the sake of using memes (they are quite enjoyable); the best brands find ways to make memes that engage with the audience and build brand loyalty.

Over to you

  • What are some of your favorite meme accounts on Instagram?
  • Do you find the meme strategy to be effective for brands?

It’d be great to hear your perspective on this. Feel free to leave a comment below or come find us on social media!

https://buffer.com/resources/the-meme-ification-of-instagram