When You Should (or Should Not) Follow Back

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“Follow for Follow?”

“Please follow me!”

“Can I get a Follow?”

If you’re a brand on social media, you’ve probably seen these tweets (and countless others like them) where consumers are begging for a follow back. Whether they are asking because they truly love your brand, or just love their own follower growth count, it can be tricky to determine who should or should not get a follow back from your company. 

Who your company follows on social media is a very personal decision unique to your own mission, but here are some ground rules for who you should or should not give a follow to online. 

Should
When you are first establishing your account, no matter the platform, you should be mindful to follow back customers that are actively interacting with your brand. When you take the time to hit that follow button, you let consumers know that they are seen, and important to your brand. Not to mention, when you as a company follow back individual audience members, you become much more approachable, and able to build lasting, personal relationships that are vital to the health of your business. People want to feel connected to the brands they buy from, which is why a simple follow back could mean big results when it comes to customer loyalty. 

Should Not
While it is a great idea to follow back new audience members, that may not be the best idea in some cases. For example, never follow back spam accounts, people who follow and then immediately unfollow you, or any account that is harmful to your brand’s image. Be aware of who you are following as a company, and keep your image consistent. Following back can be a great strategic move for brand awareness, but sometimes not giving a follow is even more important. 

No matter your personal criteria for following back individuals, always keep in mind that you should never buy into programs that auto-follow people back on your behalf. Not only is this dangerous territory with spam and other inappropriate accounts, but it also makes the process impersonal and scripted. Consumers can tell when you are being genuine or not on social media, so never take shortcuts. 

How do you manage who you follow back on social media? 

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3 Ways to Write More

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We all wish there were more hours in a day. Between our jobs, chores, and MasterChef Jr., we tend let goals slip away, blaming a hectic schedule. 

Writing is a goal that many of us have, but few are able to squeeze into our daily schedule. Between forming ideas, finding inspiration, and actually putting pen to paper (or more realistically – fingers to keys), it can seem impossible to carve out more than a sentence or two in our limited time. 

Finding the time to write more doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, these three practices will have your project complete in no time. 

Set a Timer
Set your phone’s timer for 20 minutes, sit down, and write. 20 minutes may not seem like a lot of time when you are binge watching Netflix or talking on the phone, but if you just focus on getting words on the page, 20 minutes will help you meet new word count goals, or even give you the inspiration breakthrough you need to finish. 

Turn Off Your Wifi
It may sound simple, but turning off your wifi will make you much more productive. Wifi is the causing force of all procrastination, and by eliminating it, you will be able to use those extra precious minutes to write. Think wifi is vital to your research? It very well may be, but granting yourself this time without it will help you to think of new ways to approach problems and their solutions in your work. 

Take Advantage of Down Time
Much more of our days are spent waiting than one might think. Whether it is at the doctor’s office, on our lunch break, or during commercials, waiting steals time away from our goals little by little. Instead of losing that time, be prepared to write during it instead. Download a word document app on your phone, carry a notebook, or even record yourself talking through thoughts and plot points. Having the tools you need with you at all times will help hold you accountable for your writing goals. 

Everyone has time to write, whether they realize it or not. Trade your 15 minutes of Candy Crush for a short word sprint, or even write a chapter before bed instead of watching YouTube. Little adjustments in your lifestyle will result in big written accomplishments. 

What are your favorite ways to sneak some writing into your day?

6 Tips for Instagram Success

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Instagram is quickly emerging as the top social platform for brands. With a more aesthetically pleasing newsfeed than Twitter, and a cleaner algorithm than Facebook, Instagram is vital to the digital health of any business. 

However, Instagram is about more than just posting selfies and getting a handful of Likes. Here are 6 ways to get the most out of your company’s account today: 

Complete Your Profile
The first step in even setting up your business’ Instagram account is to complete your profile. Craft a sentence or two highlighting your mission, and always include both a website, and a direct way for consumers to contact you. The more thorough you are, the more trustworthy and reliable you will appear. 

Post Quality Content
While memes may get a lot of engagement on Facebook, Instagram should focus on original content created by your brand. Don’t reuse photos, and always be sure to keep the overall theme of your profile in mind when posting. A cohesive theme will help attract more followers than a timeline full of random shots. 

Interact with Comments
No, you don’t have to reply to every single comment (especially if they are generated by spam), but giving comments Likes, and even responding to questions will help to build important trust between you and your followers. This trust will make consumers more likely to shop with your business, because they feel a personal connection. 

Embrace Hashtags
Hashtags are vital to getting your content in front of audience. No matter the number of followers you have, these tags will help to bring new eyes to your platform, and consumers to your company. Be specific with the hashtags you use, and always aim to include between 11-30 on every post. 

Follow People Back
Especially when first establishing your Instagram account, be sure to follow people back. By doing this, you are more likely to gain and maintain more followers over time, and build those great consumer relationships, since buyers are more likely to stick with a brand they feel connected to. 

Use Outside Apps
Don’t be afraid to get creative with the apps you use to generate content for your page. Learn how to use Boomerang for trendy videos, or create beautifully edited pictures with PicTapGo. Improving your content with the help of outside apps can boost your account’s value easily, and often for free. 

Instagram is a leader in digital media, so do your research and start perfecting your profile today. 

What are your best tips for Instagram?

How to Hashtag

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The term “hashtag” has become quite the buzzword over the past few years. With the explosion of social media and the popularity of becoming “insta-famous”, hashtags are more important now than ever when it comes to getting your digital content seen. 

But what is the right way to use hashtags? Depending on the platform you are posting on, best practices for this tool vary widely. Take the top three social platforms for example:

Twitter
The first social platform to really use hashtags to its advantage, Twitter content performs best when 1-3 hashtags are used per Tweet. Hashtags also are best used on this platform by being as specific as possible, and are even more worthwhile when you use a “trending” tag. When you use popular hashtags that people are already searching through, it becomes more likely that your content will reach and have an impact on a larger audience. 

Instagram
As Instagram gains momentum as one of the top social platforms, hashtags will help you build your brand and consumer base. On Instagram, posts with upwards of 11 hashtags see the most interaction. While this may seem like a lot, this excess of tags gives you the chance to get creative and get your content in front of new eyes searching through the platform’s photos. Don’t overdo it though – best results are seen with posts that have less than 30 total hashtags. 

Facebook
The original social network, Facebook actually favors posts that have no hashtags at all. In fact, Facebook’s algorithm gives priority to content that does not use any hashtags. This can be frustrating to social managers just wanting to get the word out about a company or product, but if you play by Facebook’s rules, you will reap the rewards. 

Hashtags are an easy way to get your brand in front of a large group of people quickly and effectively. Strategize and tailor your posts on each platform to abide by hashtag best practices, and start growing your audience today. 

What are some of your favorite hashtags?