Using Instagram/Facebook/LinkedIn as Marketing Tools

A brand’s social media presence influences 73% of those that engage with the brand. When used efficiently, social media platforms are proven to be effective marketing tools. However, many brands misinterpret their functions, which often results in ineffective marketing.

You don’t always need an account on every social media platform. In fact, this can produce adverse effects. When using Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn for marketing purposes, it’s important to understand that each platform delivers information in a unique way. Here are some insights on how to effectively optimize these social media platforms as marketing tools for your brand.

Instagram is an image-driven platform.

Instagram’s character limit is relatively large, but that doesn’t mean that your text should be. To maximize Instagram as a marketing tool, limit your brand’s bio and captions to two sentences. Including a call of action in your text will prompt your audience to participate in authentic engagement. Hashtags are also a great way to encourage audience participation while simultaneously increasing your brand’s visibility.  

Visual elements are meant to replace text. Use Instagram’s function as an image-driven platform to complement the message you aim to communicate with your post. Images and text should be clear, compelling, and consistent with your brand’s image.   

Instagram also has a story feature that allows your brand to post content that is visible to viewers for 24 hours. Stories offer the ability to directly engage with your audience through question forums, polls, and more. Instagram stories are a great way to enable audience participation and further your brand’s engagement. 

Instagram Reels is Instagram’s newest feature and closely resembles the social media platform TikTok. Its algorithm is currently driving more traffic than any other Instagram feature. Instagram Reels is helpful for those looking to increase brand visibility.

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world.

Facebook has more users than any other social media platform. This poses both an opportunity and a threat: Your brand’s range of communication is highest on Facebook, but this places a great deal of power in your audience’s hands. 

Due to the platform’s considerable audience, it’s difficult to get traffic and engagement without paid Facebook advertising. With paid social, you will expand your reach and impressions while targeting specific audiences to ensure you attract those you seek to engage with the most. Bear in mind that the process to create Facebook Ads changes periodically, so be sure to review the guidelines within the Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook allows its users to post text, images, and videos. When utilizing such a wide range of features, it’s crucial to understand that the text of a Facebook post shapes the success of its visual elements. Keep your text brief and informational. Consider the who, what, when, where, and why of your message. An unclear text will confuse your audience and may cause them to deter.

Facebook was the first social media platform to introduce the “like” function. The platform has since developed by offering additional reactions to posts. This tool is especially useful when assessing your audience’s likes, dislikes, beliefs, and values. Use this information to your advantage when crafting future posts. The share feature allows users to share posts with their Facebook friends, which offers a promising avenue for increasing your brand’s visibility.

LinkedIn is the professional network.

LinkedIn operates as a professional social network. It allows users to disseminate and engage with information that advances their professional prospects. LinkedIn remains an invaluable platform for increasing brand awareness and establishing relationships with businesses and consumers alike. 

LinkedIn’s professional nature requires careful attention to credibility and expertise. Therefore, your brand’s content must evoke professionalism. This is best achieved through using both visual and textual elements together. Your text should be concise yet informative and grammatical to complement clean and compelling visuals.

The use of blog posts and articles on LinkedIn allows for even greater use of the platform in that users can highlight their expertise while increasing their reach. Make sure your content illustrates your brand’s capabilities to expand your audience, strengthen your brand’s identity, and encourage consumer and business partnerships.

Maximize your brand’s potential.

Social media has changed the way we operate both personally and professionally by providing individuals and institutions with the ability to communicate to large audiences.

When using social media platforms as marketing tools, it’s crucial to acknowledge that your content is a representation of your brand. Through understanding the functions of each platform, you can help your brand nurture audience relationships, maximize its reach, and achieve its goals. Contact PivotPath’s team of innovative creatives to help your brand maximize its potential.

Not Every Social Media Platform is Needed to Promote Your Brand

Social media is a large part of everyday life, even more so now that COVID-19 has taken away the ability to connect in person. People are beginning to rely on social media platforms to make meaningful and impactful connections.

This can be intimidating for businesses. Promoting a brand on social media is difficult enough, but relying on social media platforms for all communication with your audience is a new challenge. Many businesses are scrambling with their social media strategies, creating accounts on any and every social media platform possible. Though this may seem like a reasonable option, branding on every social media platform can be ineffective, disingenuous, and a waste of time. 

Here, we outline why you do not need every social media platform to promote your brand and ways you can effectively use social media to make meaningful connections for your business. 

Your audience is not on every platform:

Not many people have an account on every social media platform, so why should your business? Your target audience is a specific group of people. They have unique characteristics and traits, and each social media platform attracts distinct groups of people.

Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all popular platforms, but each is used for a different purpose. Most of Instagram’s users are female and between the ages of 13 and 28. In contrast, the majority of Facebook users are above 30 years old. LinkedIn users range in age, but use the platform for work and business related purposes. 

The data collected on each social media platform will help your business understand where to connect with your audience. Whether your business wants to build connections with other businesses, community members, fitness junkies, gamers, etc., it is important to find which platform(s) they are primarily on. This way, you can meet your audience on the platform they use to further enhance your brand awareness and engagement. 

You do not have the time to devote to every platform:

Creating content and a social media plan takes time and organization. Your business is working hard to cover all your bases. But, when you try to cover every social media platform, your work can become sloppy and ineffective.

Without meaningful content, your audience could perceive your communication as disingenuous and calculated. This is not how you want audiences to perceive your brand. If you are going to be spending the time creating content, campaigns, and promotions, don’t you want them to be meaningful and impactful?

Always prioritize quality over quantity on social media. To do this, you need to allocate your time to the most important platforms for your audience. This way, you can spend your time creating purposeful and engaging content that will create a brand image that is heartfelt, personable, and authentic.

How to make a meaningful social media strategy without every platform:

  1. Evaluate and research your target audience– Ask yourself, who are you trying to reach? Where is your audience spending their time while online? What kind of content does your audience seem to enjoy? Does your audience even have social media? Thoroughly research your audience and their behavior. This will help you to alter your social media strategy to include the most effective kinds of content to post on the most applicable platforms.
  2. Focus your time on key platforms– After choosing which platforms are most effective for your business, focus your time on building quality profiles and accounts. Because you have less platforms to work on, you can spend more time constructing unique and substantial content. If your business is large enough, consider creating multiple specialized accounts on the same platform. This will allow you to hyper-focus on each group within your audience to create personalized content that is more relatable and powerful.
  3. Concentrate on building connections– Your business should be creating connections and relationships, not just partnerships or associations. A focused social media plan will offer the ability to create a marketing strategy that is sincere, personable, and authentic. Whether that be by conveying similar interests, interacting with customers, or using relatable humor, audiences are more likely to interact with a brand they feel personally connected to.
  4. Do not hesitate to reach out for help– Above all, do not hesitate to ask for help! Promoting your brand can be a difficult, meticulous process. Use resources that are available to you, like PivotPath, and contact us for a consultation. Our marketing focuses on building connections and relationships. We will be sure to help your business create a brand strategy that is meaningful and impactful!
COVID-19 Christmas

How To Market for the Holidays During COVID-19

There’s no denying that the holiday season is going to look a little different this year – from Zoom holiday get-togethers to Black Friday being primarily online. We’re all adapting to a new normal, and that includes new holiday marketing strategies.

Marketing strategies during COVID-19 have changed drastically. There’s a much larger push for online shopping and virtual events. Additionally, there is an added urgency to advertise these events on social media and other digital platforms. 

Changing digital strategies and shifts in holiday traditions means that your marketing plan needs to adapt to these changes, too. Here are some tips for how to market during this year’s holiday season. 

1. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge hardships

Although it can be tempting to try and gloss over COVID-19 or try and create a sense of normalcy amidst the chaos, consider a different approach. 

Consumers value authenticity, honesty and vulnerability. With COVID-19 impacting almost everyone’s lives, being real and honest with your customers is more important than ever. 

It’s also important to not overdo it, though. For months, people have been bombarded with the harsh realities of this pandemic, so don’t mention it continuously. Instead, try to work it in naturally without reminding customers of what was lost. 

For more on the effects of COVID-19 on businesses, check out our previous blog post.

2. Embrace holiday traditions

With that being said, be sure to embrace holiday traditions as much as possible. Above all this year, people want normalcy. Most won’t have the traditional experience of big in-person shopping days and fun, crowded outings. Instead, you can give them a sense of normalcy by highlighting how to keep traditions in a safe, socially-distanced way. 

Although there is no reason to pretend like everything is fine this holiday season, try to keep the tone lighthearted but realistic.

Instead of taking a view of pessimism or optimism, try one of realism: COVID-19 is changing the way we do the holidays, but some things can still remain the same.

Holiday marketing tips

3. Keep websites and social media updated and accessible during the holiday marketing season

This holiday season, you should focus on your digital marketing strategy above all else. This could be through target social media ads, interacting with customers or clients through social media, or revamping your website. 

The amount of consumers doing their holiday shopping online this year will be larger than others. This means that the bulk of your marketing efforts should go towards these digital platforms. Recent surveys showed a hike in online shopping for Black Friday; that trend is expected to continue into the end of the year. 

Make sure whatever product or service you provide is easily accessible online. This ensures consumers aren’t deterred from buying your product by needing to go to a store. Services like one-day delivery or curbside pick-up are especially efficient for consumers. 

Although your social media shouldn’t be totally focused towards selling your product, make a push to advertise a bit more than usual during this holiday season. Try to naturally work in links to products, blog articles or other content within your social media platforms. Consumers won’t have the same exposure to sales and advertisements that they do traditionally during the holiday season. Make sure to keep customers aware of any sales or exclusive promotions.

You should also make sure your website is accessible in addition to up-to-date. Run focus groups and analyses on how your website performs to understand where you can improve. 

Pay special attention to when people abandon their carts, conversion rates and bounce rates. Simple changes like a more accessible navigation menu can help boost your website and increase sales.

There is nothing normal about the holidays this year, so marketing strategies will look a little different. If you need help figuring out a holiday marketing strategy, contact us for a free audit.

How To Attract Students To Your Institution With Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool that, if utilized properly, can promote your institution.

Studies show that Generation Z is more connected to social media than any other generation before them. Making sure your institution has a recognizable and relatable social media presence can give students a glimpse into what life is like at your institution and potentially show them that your institution is the right fit for them.

But attracting potential students isn’t as easy as simply having an account; you need to make sure you’re appealing to the right audiences and using social media to your full advantage.  

Why Does Social Media Matter?

Social media can be an added boost to promote attention towards your institution. However, it can also be a direct way to introduce your institution to potential students. The right social media presence can have a huge impact on attracting new students and retaining current students. 

If a student sees an outdated or barely-used social media page for an institution they’re considering, it could deter them from exploring your school further. On the flip side, a savvy, fun social media presence could peak their interest. 

It’s important to be relatable in your posts, and that starts with understanding the wants and needs of your targeted audiences. For attracting students, make sure you are highlighting all the best features of your institution, social events and campus culture. All students know what a typical institution is like, so what makes yours recognizable? What makes it stand out?

Making sure your social media presence is recognizable and engaging can help your institution stand out to potential students. Beyond attracting students, using the stats on social media can help you determine if you’re reaching your target audience. It can also show you how many people are interacting with your posts and if your social media strategies are effective.

What’s the Best Social Media To Use?

The three main social medias that will give you the most traffic are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But how can you use them? What’s the best strategy for each one? 

1. Twitter

Twitter is great for written content as well as sharing others’ posts. Use Twitter to livetweet campus games and use hashtags to increase engagement and visibility. Use a LiveTweet App to create a Twitter wall for your events to show potential students what others are saying about your institution.

2. Instagram

Instagram is one of the most creative and customizable apps to attract students. This platform has a ton of features that can help your institution. Features such as Instagram highlights and stories can make information about your institution more accessible. The photo grid on each Instagram account creates the opportunity for you to craft a unique look to attract new students. 

3. Facebook

Facebook should be the most professional presence you have out of all the social media platforms mentioned. Studies show GenZ doesn’t use Facebook as much as older people do, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Even if your content doesn’t reach a potential student on Facebook, it may reach a parent or relative. It’s generally a good idea to share your Instagram posts to Facebook to make sure you’re reaching all your audiences.

Facebook is a good social media for older adults.

4. TikTok

TikTok has the potential to be a great social media platform for institutions because of its “For You” page. The “For You” page uses an algorithm to show the user videos similar to ones they’ve interacted with. It can also show content related to topics they’ve shown interest in. TikTok’s algorithm may help you reach your target audiences quicker. It also means you don’t need to have tons of followers for your video to gain views – giving your institution more visibility.

Not all social media is created equal when it comes to reaching your targeted audiences. It’s worth noting which ones may not be the best platform for your content.

  • Snapchat

Although this is a popular social media platform, your content isn’t accessible to people who aren’t following you, making it harder to reach potential students. Instead, try adding geotags for people to use when they’re in the school’s vicinity. 

  • Pinterest

Research shows that Pinterest is popular with older generations. While some older adults go back to school, it usually isn’t your target audience. Pinterest is also not ideal for content creation.

  • Tumblr

Tumblr isn’t as commonly used as other social media platforms. While it may work to use as a website to promote a service, using a similar photo-sharing app like Instagram will generate more engagement. 

How Can You Promote Engagement on Social Media?

Promoting engagement on social media can help your page gain more traction, and with more followers comes a more recognizable presence..

To promote engagement, make your page as interactive as possible. Instagram stories are a great way to pose questions, create polls or quizzes and interact with your followers. 

Giveaways on social media for school swag are another way to promote engagement. Try making some rules for the giveaway that will increase engagement. Ask followers to tag a friend in the comments or add the post to their story. 

Using hashtags can help get your page on more screens, but be weary of having too many in your captions. Use a few simple hashtags at the end of the post or incorporate them into the caption itself to make it look more aesthetically pleasing.

Gen Z uses social media more than any other generation.

Features To Take Advantage Of

  • Twitter/Instagram Polls

Polls are a great way to promote engagement. You can use the poll feature to ask institution-relevant questions, such as whether your team’s going to win the next game. However, to attract new students, make sure to keep some questions more broad to keep potential students involved.

  • Live Videos

The live video feature is on multiple platforms and is a great way to show prospective students what your school is like in real-time. Whether you want to record a game or other campus event, use this feature to highlight campus culture.

  • Instagram Highlights

Instagram Highlights are a convenient way to organize and archive past Instagram stories. You can use this feature to give a potential student a quick way to access information. Take some time to make well-designed stories that highlight all the best parts of your institution and answer some FAQs. Be sure to keep your Instagram highlights up to date.

There are benefits and drawbacks to any social media you may choose, but each post is a chance to attract a new student to your institution. If you’re looking to create a Real, Recognizable and Relatable social media presence to attract more students, PivotPath can help! Check out our social media management services here.

Alison Roller is a recent graduate of the West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism. When she’s not writing, she can be found wherever her cats are. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

PivotPath’s #SmallBusinessWednesday Feature: FRNTAL

It’s that time again! For #SmallBusinessWednesday this week, we feature Frntal! Frntal is a simplistic peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to quickly list and rent  event spaces & services locally, on demand.

The concept of Frntal was born with a “Friendly Rental” process in mind. The team is devoted to serving those who own high-demand event spaces & services by providing convenience for a short term renter needing a space fast!

When asked to identify TOP challenges of being a business owner, Frntal founders stated:

“This is a great question. A very common theme I think you will hear from most business owners is leveraging your time efficiently in a way that produces effective results. This sounds simple but there are so many components to it. For instance, prioritizing your action items while balancing the load within your team accordingly based on strengths, at times, comes with a dollar cost as well.”

“In our early stages, we initially only provided a mobile platform on iOS and quickly learned marketing to an iPhone-only audience was not as straightforward as we may have thought. When marketing, you’re reaching a wide audience group either in-person, social media, news outlets, and more. You’re not easily able to segment to just an iPhone audience. It appeared we were limiting ourselves by doing so.  We were able to overcome this challenge by implementing a web-platform that allows anyone with webaccess to use our platform regardless of their device. This approached retained more audiences who were interested in our platform.

An important lesson Frntal founders were taught is to understand analytics and traffic channels. By simply tracking where users are coming in from via Web analytics, they are able to track what marketing types have been most effective towards driving users to our website. This has give them insight to know where to spend more of their resources to continue to drive traffic.

To learn more about has Frntal and the services you might need, visit frntal.com.

7 Keys to Facebook Advertising Success

Over the years, Facebook has continued to attract new users. This has become an extremely beneficial tool for data collected and analytics.

When using Facebook advertising tools, here are keys to increase your chances of a successful ad campaign:

  1. Understand your audience: Aligning with your targeted customers is key element when creating a highly targeted campaign. Moreover, leverage specific data captured by Facebook to connect with your audience.
  2. Understand your goals: This helps you analyze what you are tracking or, possibly, where your company might be missing the mark. From there, you can adjust your campaign and as a result, increase accuracy of customer acquisition.
  3. Truly understand the needs of your key audience(s): Users in the marketplace have needs, and your product/service is the solution. Certainly understanding this attracts targeted leads with greater chances of becoming customers.
  4. Targeting Options: Facebook created this tool as a guide to understanding the various options available (here) on the platform. This is based on the analytical metrics specific to your business.
  5. Understanding you Facebook sales funnel: Evaluating this data is critical, as it provides key intelligence to improving current and future campaigns to increase sales and reach.
  6. Optimizing your campaigns: This is extremely important and can increase your ads click-through rates, increase sales, reach more high-return of investment (ROI) audiences, and more!
  7. Call to Action – Who doesn’t love a good CTA? When including one in your advertising, make sure provide clear messaging for customers to put into action (i.e. “Convert More Sells”, “Want Him to Notice You?”, “Free A/B Test Case Study!”)

Facebook may have lost some popularity overtime, but still houses some of the most customer data. Interested in enhancing your Facebook advertising?Contact us today to learn how we can support your company or nonprofit!