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Social media marketing skills are critically important today. It is through social media channels that people gain their perception of a brand and social media managers have a lot to do with forming it.

If you want to be a successful social media manager, there are certain skills you will pick up through certification but you have to go way beyond simply creating social media pages and posting content. Here are some of the skills you will need.  

  1. Communication

As a social media manager, good communication skills are most important. You have to engage with customers and represent your brand. You also need to relate well to colleagues and reach out to influencers.

Studying how to become a social media manager is just the first step. You need to be able to understand the audiences you’re connecting with on social media and find ways to resonate with them.

For example, you may have studied how to become a life coach but you’ll be a poor one if you’re unable to establish empathy with your clients. As a social media manager, you need to be able to build connections on social media and create a community.

All the biggest brands have one thing in common on social media – a community. If you find ways to resonate with an audience, you can build a community.

  1. Project management

As a social media manager, you need to create publication schedules and maintain social media profiles. You need to keep abreast of all the social media conversations and track contacts.

You need to produce reports, manage budgets and co-ordinate with writers and designers. Your project management skills will help you to stay on track with your wide range of responsibilities.

  1. Creativity

Creativity is a very important attribute for social media managers. To prevent content from becoming boring or repetitive, you must constantly come up with fresh, innovative ideas. From posting engaging videos to coming up with Facebook contests, you have to find ways to attract attention away from your competitors.

  1. Content curation

Curating content is an important part of the job. As a social media marketer, you have to know what to share as well as when and how to share it to achieve the most impact. This means being familiar with different social media platforms, sources of content and the preferences of audiences.

  1. Flexibility

Change is a constant when it comes to dealing with social media. You must be flexible enough to respond to what’s happening, whether good or bad, and make adjustments where necessary.

  1. Strategic thinking

You need to cultivate your ability to think strategically and plan carefully instead of posting in a haphazard manner and expecting results.

  1. Analytical skills

Analytical skills are crucial if you want to know whether your strategies are working. You need to be able to check data and make sense of it. This enables you to make informed decisions instead of relying on guesswork.

  1. Sociable

The best social media managers are usually those who love being sociable and participate on various social media channels in a personal capacity. If you know the ins and outs of the different channels and can use the vernacular suitable to each one, you will fit right in instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

As a social media manager you need a diverse set of skills. Few people have all of these attributes but a good combination can make you the right person for the job. It can be an exciting and rewarding position, especially if you consider the impact you can have on the bottom line of your company.

The post 8 Skills a Social Media Manager Must Have appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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You can have the best ideas in the world, but they will go to waste if you don’t present them the right way. Even if you worked for months to close a deal, the business proposal is still the most important stage of the process.

It’s the finishing touch of a long journey. Let’s explore how to create a proposal that sells and that clients will have a hard time saying “no” to.

Gather all the information beforehand

One thing entrepreneurs always forget is to go for that extra mile. Even if you put everything on paper, there might still be questions that you have to address. Remember, clients will be investing money and effort into your venture. Not coming prepared and not addressing all the question marks is enough to make even the most benevolent client walk away.

Structure the proposal like a tree. Make the main selling point the root, as well as the niche and experience of your clients. Act as you know them and like you are already certain that they need your services.

Focus on the scope

The “scope” of a business proposal is, by all means, a summary. It is the first thing your clients will read and the most important factor in making a good first impression.

Make sure you address the essential questions (what, who, where, how, when and why). An ideal business proposal that wins clients expands. With the scope coming in first, clients will feel like they already know what you’re talking about.

Leave the descriptiveness for later sections. The scope is to draw in and make an impression while providing an intro for more detailed parts.

Always overestimate

A common mistake in business proposals is that people underestimate costs and work hours. For example, if you’re offering to transform a brand and their website, don’t write the real number of days you need to do it. If you are positive that you can do it in two months, write three months just in case. Why, exactly?

You can never effectively predict all the possible obstacles that hinder the work plan. You will meet the three-month goal and you won’t be late, despite the obstacle. The best thing that can happen? You will finish in two months and knock your clients off their feet.

Don’t forget the caveats

Caveats are the “terms and agreements” that the service provider states in a business proposal draft. By signing the proposal and the contract, the client accepts these terms as valid and is legally bound to abide by them. Having a strong caveats section sends a message of determination, which is something every client loves.

Avoid making yourself liable for things you weren’t brought in for. Putting phrases like “[name of your company] is hereby not responsible for any technical issues, problems and obstacles that don’t relate to [the project you’re proposing].” A client-business relationship is important, but you shouldn’t accept other people’s blame.

Closing it strong

Perhaps the most underutilized part of every business proposal is a conclusion. Here, you have a chance to repeat all the key points and emphasize your goal. Highlight what’s in it for the client and how will their brand/business/venture/company benefit from this particular proposal.

In the end, add a single call to action that urges them to contact you and to learn more. Be open for further communication, questions and proposed changes. Congratulations, you know how a business proposal that will win clients over, regardless of the situation.

The post How To Build a Business Proposal That Wins Clients appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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The packaging of a product plays a huge role in consumer decisions. Although we may not notice it, subconsciously, we are all intrigued by unique, distinctive packaging. Packaging communicates a lot of information, even at first glance. It’s a huge part of your brand identity. It’s a marketing tool, instantly giving off a first impression.

Packaging isn’t discussed nearly enough, so here is a quick overview of why it is an important part of the process.

Packaging equals identity

Think about some of your favorite brands. All of them share one thing in common – they are memorable. Packaging is both the first and most important element of brand identity. Everyone can spot a can of Coca-Cola instantly on a supermarket shelf.

It’s important to stand out. Copying the competition or already established products will only result in a forgettable impression. Your product should distinguish itself when it comes to packaging that can either be done via color, design or container shape.

Go a step beyond and conduct some research. If you’ve established a target demographic, get a focus group to get some feedback on different colors or packaging ideas. That data will be invaluable for designing a perfect first impression.

Proper packaging increases profits

The worst possible thing that can happen to a customer is ordering a product only to find that it has arrived damaged or unusable. Proper packaging can help you increase profits in a plethora of ways.

The most obvious point is that packaging influences our perception of the value of the product. Well designed, sophisticated packaging can make a higher price-point seem justified. You still have to deliver quality – but customers do a lot of thinking with their eyes, and this can be used to your advantage.

When properly packaged, products generally fare better in shipping. This has a two-fold effect – you will strengthen your reputation as a reliable business, and fewer products will be returned. This is a win-win situation for you. Fewer expenses and more positive reviews make this a worthwhile investment.

Products with quality packaging are easier to ship, and this will improve delivery time. If you can, try to use more environmentally friendly packaging. Customers are increasingly showing a preference for eco-friendly solutions.

Packaging as a marketing tool

Packaging can give us an impression of quality. Take a look at Vaping360. The products you will see are sleek and minimalistic. They evoke a sense of quality and durability. Tapping into those impressions can help you foster a reputation which will only serve to drive sales upward.

Packaging is the point of first contact with a potential customer. Research has shown that as many as two-thirds of purchase choices are made when customers are already in the store.

Because of this, it’s important to utilize packaging as a marketing tool. Packaging must be informative. It should answer common questions – who made this product, and what is it for? Where is it made and why should I use it?

Packaging imparts intangible feelings that you can use to your benefit. When looking at certain packages, people get a certain feeling – it can “value,” “luxury” or “quality.” Expectations are tied to packaging – use that to your advantage.

The truest test of packaging as a marketing tool comes after the purchase. If you can manage to get people to save the packaging of your product, it will continue to serve as a rent-free advertisement on their shelves or desks. And what drew them to your product will invariably draw others too.

Concluding thoughts

Packaging is an often undervalued way to improve your business. It has the potential to help you reach your goals in many ways.

In the end, consider the trend of viral unboxing videos. People are obviously paying great attention to packaging – and you should, too.

The post Why the Packaging of Your Products Matters appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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Social media provides an invaluable way to boost your career success because it gives you the opportunity to build a strong network. Being proactive with social media can position you so that you’re ready for any career changes. Here’s how to go about using social media in a way that facilitates career success.

Conduct an audit of your profiles

Think about each social media profile as a landing page. It could be the first impression someone has of you. Your bio is a good opportunity to explain what you’re all about in a concise and clear way.

If you already have profiles, see if you can improve them. Is there any information you would rather a colleague or client didn’t see? Are there strengths or skills you could emphasize in order to stand out? Your LinkedIn profile in particular should be comprehensive and kept up to date with your recent employment information.

Your social media profiles should include keywords in your bio, job title and other information sections if you want them to show up when people use those search terms to find professionals in your industry. You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find appropriate search terms or keywords.

Decide on your strategy

You may decide to keep your professional and personal contacts completely separate by reserving one social network for family and friends and using the others for networking.

If you decide to mix your personal and professional life, you will need to be careful to post only carefully curated content.

You may decide to manage your content and your audience by posting specific content to different circles of people.

Regardless of which strategy you choose, you need to make a conscious decision about how to approach and use social media with an awareness of the risks. It’s important to keep track of what you’re sharing and with whom.

Choose the right platforms

Facebook and Instagram are more personal in nature whereas LinkedIn and Twitter are more professional. Find out where other professionals in your industry are networking. If most of them are on Twitter and LinkedIn, using these platforms will help you most. For example, the best platform on social media for accountants would probably be LinkedIn.

Make connections

Start by making connections with people you know, such as old classmates, colleagues from previous jobs and so on. Follow organizations and influencers you’re interested in and like and share posts. Post useful comments where appropriate.

Building a wide network is beneficial to your career but randomly adding people you don’t know can backfire. It’s far better to build relationships organically. A way to get to know more people is to participate in Twitter chats or LinkedIn groups.

Use social media for informal learning

You can use social media to gain industry-specific skills. If there’s a specific topic you want to learn more about, you can find related hashtags and follow industry thought leaders. You can also ask questions on platforms like Quora and get feedback or give others useful feedback on questions they ask.

Set daily, weekly and monthly goals

Think about what you hope to accomplish on social media and break your main goal up into things you can do every day. For example, you may decide to follow one new influencer in your industry every month and post a quality industry-specific article every week.

Conclusion

Finally, keep in mind that developing a professional presence online does not happen overnight. It’s an ongoing process that can’t be rushed. You need to take the time to learn what works best for you.

The post How to Utilize Social Media to Improve Your Career appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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With an average of 1.47 billion people logging into Facebook every day, almost 50 million businesses continue to use the 13-year old social networking platform for attracting new customers and interacting with their existing audience. According to Hubspot, 76% of Facebook users use their feed to discover content that aligns with their interests, which has lead to the creation of more than 4 billion posts per day. With a 4:1 ratio of posts to people, there’s simply too much content up for consumption and with the rapidly decreasing organic reach, Facebook algorithms have been pushing businesses to invest in paid advertising for a while.

Pick a post frequency and publishing time that works:

Buddy Media’s study found that out of the 86% posts that go live from Monday to Friday, the user engagement tends to peak on Thursdays and Fridays. Content published between Monday and Wednesday recorded a 3.5% below average engagement rate. KISSmetrics suggests that 1 pm is the best time to make a post on Facebook if you’re looking for shares, whereas, 3 pm is perfect for businesses aiming for higher click-through rates.

Depending on the industry you’re in and the kind of product or services you offer, your recommended timing may vary. For example, according to Argyle Social, B2C businesses are expected to achieve better engagement rates on the weekends.

Adopt a ‘trial and error’ approach to see what resonates with your audience to create a publishing schedule that your team can adhere to. Use ‘Facebook Insights’ to determine when most of your followers are online to increase your number of likes, comments and shares.

Invest in native videos:

A Socialbakers research study that included 4,445 business pages and more than  670,000 posts concluded that video content drives 2x more traffic (compared to images) by garnering an average organic reach of 8.7%.

Facebook users watch nearly a 100 million hours worth of videos every day,  which also explains why 73% of marketers are now spending their time producing engaging video content to grab eyeballs. Whether you want to take your customers behind the scenes or experiment with educational content, videos are easily the key to ensuring better engagement rates for your brand.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Concentrate on quality right from the first frame: Since most Facebook users opt for the auto-play functionality for the videos that appear in their feed, you should lead with visuals or imagery that’s sure to catch the viewer’s eye.
  • Invest in exclusive video content: While you can upload videos from other creators (with permission) to your page, post exclusive video content ideated and created by your team attracts more viewers, since they are rewarded with something that’s difficult to find anywhere else.
  • Offer appropriate context: Pull out a key moment or quote from the video and use it as a text component for your post to set expectations for the kind of content the viewer can expect if they were to continue watching.
Use Facebook Live to receive 3x more views:

On average, people spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live session compared to a native video, resulting in higher conversion and engagement rates. Between January and May 2016,  there was a 300% increase in media companies that were using Facebook Live to push unique, attention-grabbing content to hype up their product releases, create awareness around upcoming events, connect directly with their audience in real-time and drive traffic to their landing pages, among other things.

For example, Target used Facebook Live to host an unscripted talk-show to encourage conversation about college dorm decor during the back-to-school season.

On the other hand, The Weather Channel uses Facebook Live pretty often to answer questions from viewers regarding a specific tornado or hurricane.

Analyze your content performance to optimize your posts:

With Facebook Insights, you can get an in-depth understanding of your audience,  measure the success of your content, track page views, monitor post reach and stay on top of metrics important to you. With all this data in hand, you’ll be in a better position to determine the exact type of content that resonates with your audience, so you can make informed decisions about your social media strategy.

Whether you’re aiming to create brand awareness, drive traffic to your eCommerce platform or promote events, building and maintaining consistent audience engagement on Facebook goes beyond ‘try everything and see what sticks’. When you have access to more meaningful insights related to your content and audience, you’re better equipped to tailor your posts to be more successful. For example, if your target audience is both women and men, but you find that women engage more often with the content you publish, then you can focus your time, resources and efforts on the audience sub-set that’s more likely to ‘convert’.

If you’ve been struggling with driving engagement on your Facebook page, we hope the above pointers can help you change things up for the better. Remember, you might not see instant results with these tactics, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t see a noticeable increase in engagement immediately. While understanding current trends and best practices in marketing is recommended, don’t be in a rush to incorporate an approach that a competitor has successfully implemented. Keep an open mind and experiment with content frequently to find what works for your brand.

The post 6 Ways To Increase Engagement on your Facebook page. appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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Ever since the first chain mail went, to borrow from a term that wouldn’t be coined till a century and a half later, ‘viral’, marketers have been intrigued by the prospect of hard-coding social momentum into the design of the product. Popular examples of these are referral systems that earn you incentives for sharing it with your friends.

Virality vs Word of Mouth

Now, before we tell you more about this. We want to make sure you understand that virality is often confused with Word Of Mouth. Word of Mouth is when a product’s design, or customer experience is so good that people can’t stop recommending it to their friends or writing about it. For example, if my food delivery app makes it very easy for me to find my favorite snacks, I’ll talk about it to my friends. That is word of mouth.

Virality, on the other hand, is a term that is used to denote people sharing a product in the context of using it. If I share the news of the day on Twitter, it doesn’t mean that I particularly love Twitter. It means that I can’t get that kind of outcome on any other platform.

What is Viral Product Design?

Viral product design is a blanket term for incorporating both features and core characteristics that drive peer-to-peer interaction and encourage more people to adopt the product. The broad umbrella term of design can be further broken down into characteristics and features. Viral characteristics mostly have to do with the core design elements like content, UI, UX, value, and the psychological effect it has on the user. Viral features mostly have to do how a product is shared and how the experience of it is expressed to other prospective users.

Viral features can include a variety of things not limited to generating notifications about other users activities, enabling communication with other users, and personalized user experience. Some of the popular viral product features are personalized referrals and automated broadcast notifications.

Characteristics that lead to Virality

Often, product development and marketing are seen to be separated by a firewall. This leads to a disconnect between the product’s core use case and its marketing needs. Hence, a well known bias known as the Valence effect comes into play: where product managers believe that the virality of a product comes solely from quality, and hence if the product is of sufficient quality, virality will naturally ensue. Unless, there is an external amplifier of the product, this isn’t the most efficient way to go. In order to guarantee widespread adoption, the product development and marketing considerations need to work in tandem.

  • The utility of the product is enhanced through interaction: Simply, the product becomes better when your friends are on it. Imagine what Facebook would be like if none of your friends were on it. The need for interaction in order to enhance the core value is what incentivizes people to share it with others and have their friends sign up for the service or product.
  • The product’s users benefit from networks synthesized as a result of its connections: The product gives the user access to broader networks that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. In fact, a core component of the value that a user derives from the product will be rooted in the vast networks that they synthesize on the product. The product hence, incentivizes people to grow communities around common factors, life experiences, professions, or anything else.
  • The product benefits from its existing networks and adds value to the users’ existing connections: The product does more than enable high quality interaction between users. A product derives its virality from its ability to incentivize people to connect with networks. Even if the user doesn’t personally invite anyone, they should be able to connect with the existing networks and derive as much or more value than they could have from the user’s own personal networks.
  • The product exhibits high user retention: The product has a unique ability to not only get people to join, but also to get people to stay. Products with viral design usually have a low attrition rate. Users typically don’t invite their friends on to a product if they’re not personally whole-heartedly invested in the product. The fate of a viral design is usually contingent upon how confident a user feels in approving their own personal seal of approval on it.
  • The product’s utility is ubiquitous and instantly recognizable: A product’s virality also depends on how much of a market need the product’s problem statement really is. It is more likely to be viral if it addresses a gap that the market is already talking about. That leads to the marketability of the gap directly translating to the marketability of the product.

Product marketing is a question that has long flummoxed marketeers, and although strategies pushing virality have been around as long as communication itself, it takes a whole new meaning with the continuously evolving landscape of digital media. In order to fully take advantage of their resources, marketing needs to be a much more integral part of the design process. The marketer must own not only the UI/UX, but core functionality also. While we regret the inevitable increase in the workload of the marketer, it presents a great opportunity for Joe McMarketer to justify marketing budgets next quarter.

The post Marketing Through Viral Product Design appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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More than 250 million people visit Pinterest every month to explore new ideas and products. In fact,  84 percent of them browse the platform when they’re unsure about what to buy and almost 77 percent end up discovering a brand they like on Pinterest.

In today’s competitive landscape—where companies everywhere are trying to establish a unique brand identity to connect with users, Pinterest offers a fun, and upbeat space for relaying advertising messages. How? Let’s take a look:

Tell an interesting brand story

The primary appeal of Pinterest lies in how exceptionally easy to use it actually is. All users have a board of their own where they can pin images that cater to their individual interests. that are all the same size. As a business, you should aim to mimic Pinterest’s “uncluttered aesthetic” by ensuring that your boards are simple, elegant and largely minimalistic. Include a link to your website/landing page with each photo you pin. Pinterest was responsible for a dramatic increase in page views for Hana Abaza, the CEO of Wedding Republic. Her overall social media efforts led to a whopping 75 percent increase in traffic, and she credits Pinterest for causing most of that.

More than anything else, creating content that’s on-trend, engaging and relatable will bring you closer to your goal. Focus on the story you want to tell and use compelling imagery and descriptions to make your brand account stand out.

Build relationships with influencers

Just like any other social media platform, Pinterest has its fair share of influencers—people who have thousands of followers and produce relevant content on the daily—and they can be your key to boosting conversions, if you play your cards right. For starters, invest time in researching Pinterest accounts that align with your brand and are popular with your target demographic.

According to Jason White, owner of Quality Woven Labels, “The key is to build relationships with those who are known for quality “pins” at the site. Once these movers and shakers get to know you and your business, they will be more likely to post about your product.”

He also advises brands to “focus on the users who get the most likes and repins” or the influencers, as they “make it easier to take the conversation to Twitter or Facebook”.

“Be real and show your true self,” he adds, “Authenticity is hugely important.”

Create non-promotional content

One of the most common mistakes that businesses make on social media is posting only promotional messages about their products and nothing else. Although the end-game is to direct traffic to your website and encourage people to buy your products, most users aren’t pleased or very responsive to in-the-face-promotional content. For example, Giselle Gonzalez’s brand Cakestyle offers wardrobe suggestions for women, and believes in posting “interesting news tidbits, tips, and products from other companies” because users are quick to spot and dismiss,” a board that is too self-serving and only posts product photos”.

Ensure that your brand’s the right fit

While this may seem obvious, a lot of brands are quick to jump on the hype train without stopping to question if they actually stand to benefit from the new trendy thing that everyone’s doing. Remember, Pinterest primarily caters to people interested in recipes, home décor ideas, fashion/beauty tips and do-it-yourself crafts. If your business sells 3D printers, the platform will not do you any good. You’d probably end up spending your time, money and resources on Pinterest with no discernable results simply because your target demographic is not on the platform.

Promote your Pins

Pinterest offers paid advertising options where you can spend money to ensure that your otherwise regular pins are seen by more people. Regardless of how big or small your business is, Pinterest ads are flexible and put your products in front of the right people at the right time. Considering that 83 percent of weekly users on the platform make a purchase after seeing a pin from brands, you can fulfill a variety of business objectives using the different types of campaign formats available.

Pinterest reportedly crosses 250 million per month in 2019. While we still don’t have a feature or mechanism that lets potential customers buy products directly from the platform—the marketing potential continues to remain endless.

The post Embracing Your Brand On Pinterest appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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How many times in a week do you encounter ads that promise you ‘real’ followers for as low as $5?

As a business, getting online traction can be difficult—especially when most social media websites today are pushing for paid advertising. Often times, brands give in to the temptation of these unbelievable deals to reach more customers and increase engagement on their account. While this may seem like a good idea, there are valid reasons for why you should not spend your money on buying Instagram followers.

Let’s take a look at some of them:

Fake followers do nothing for long-term engagement

Most of the followers you buy from unreliable third-party providers aren’t real people and happen to be bot accounts. The best engagement you will manage to get from them is an automated great picture” comment. As a brand, you have little to no use for followers who are never going to actually engage with the content you post. If nothing, you at least want your followers to see the posts your male, right? Here’s an obvious revelation: Bot accounts or fake followers never see what you post—ever.

So, how do you spot fake followers? It’s rather simple. These accounts usually include a blank profile picture, few or no images shared, and a general absence of creative interaction.

Fake followers are often spammers

While most of the followers you buy are entirely fake, there are some that were created for spamming. When you purchase followers, you are opening up your brand’s account to a slew of spam posts. Not to mention, if you shared your email address with the third-party provider while making the transaction, you have just handed these people another opportunity to spam you for the rest of your life—and the spamming doesn’t stop at you either.

With fake followers, you’re risking your genuine followers who did not sign up to be messages about a snake oil scheme over and over again. Once your genuine followers realize that the spammers decided to target them because of you, they will promptly unfollow you. So, not only are you being spammed by bot accounts, but you’ve also any real followers you managed to attract.

You might get banned from social media platforms

All the popular social media networks—Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter actively discourage anyone from buying followers in large numbers. These platforms also regularly purge fake followers, which means you can lose hundreds and thousands of followers (that you paid money for) overnight. Most importantly, they reserve the right to ban your account once they get a whiff of you being involved in external follower buying practices. This will reflect poorly on the credibility of your account. Customers will be less likely to engage with you if you’re caught using dodgy ways to get popular.

Most platforms will issue you a warning when you’re caught the first time, however, there might not be a second time for you.

Fake followers don’t contribute to your bottom line

As a business, you’re obviously using these social media platforms to increase traffic and conversions. Since we already established that fake followers are not real people, they will never go to your website and make a purchase—which completely defeats your purpose of creating engaging content to attract paying customers. Therefore, it’s rather pointless to try and boost your follower count, when you’re not going to benefit from these numbers in the long-run.

Hootsuite actually carried out a social experiment to prove a similar point by setting up an Instagram account that was aptly called @fruitless.strategy. They purchased followers for their account and made a few posts to see the results. As expected, they got no engagement for months and discovered the the followers they bought were “a bizarre mix of teenagers posting shirtless selfies, accounts with no posts at all, and more than a few bots peddling webcam porn.” 

The post The Dangers of Buying Followers appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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Many scammers use websites like eBay and Amazon for selling counterfeit items. Since online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, consumers need to learn how to avoid buying these items. Keep in mind that no matter what you’re looking to purchase there’s a good chance that there is a fake version of it online. Although you may think this doesn’t apply to cheap and common products, a lot of them aren’t really authentic.

In some cases, you may be able to easily notice whether certain products are fake. However, this usually applies only for cheap items like batteries or T-shirts. People who usually buy them don’t even care that they aren’t authentic since they’re getting them at a cheap price.

Nevertheless, when it comes to products like high-end beauty products, watches, and sneakers, it can be difficult to see whether they’re real. According to a recent report published by the Government Accountability Office, more than 40 percent of products bought on five major e-commerce websites are fake.

The main issue with counterfeit items is that they may hurt you, since they’re made using harmful materials. This is especially the case with beauty products, as they can contain substances like mercury and cyanide. Unfortunately, you can never know what they actually put inside these products just so they cost less to make. When it comes to safety and electrical products, you shouldn’t take any chances. Buy these products only from retailers you know. Despite the fact that websites like Amazon and eBay have strict protocols and prohibit the sale of counterfeit items, many of these products constantly get listed.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development notes global trade in fake goods is worth almost half a trillion dollars per year. This accounts for around 2.5 percent of global imports. With so many fake products being sold every day, it can be hard to spot what’s authentic. However, there are certain things you should pay attention to in order to ensure you don’t get scammed. Of course, the first thing you should look at is the price. In case the product you’re searching for is being sold for just a small fraction of the full price, chances are that it’s fake.

There are also countless websites that offer counterfeit items as well. Before you purchase anything you should always research the website to see whether it can be trusted. Make sure you call their customer service phone number and ask some questions regarding the product. It’s also a good idea to Google the company and see whether they have a strong online presence. Note that most scammers usually shut down their websites shortly after starting them.

If you have the option to buy something directly from the manufacturer, you should do it.

Otherwise, it’s important to learn how to spot fake items by looking at photos. Let’s say you want to buy a luxury watch and find a great deal online. Before putting in your credit card information, it’s recommended you really get familiar with what the watch looks like. For example, if you’re buying a Rolex, you should know that this company only uses platinum, stainless steel and 18k gold to make their products. In case any other type of metal is used or if it has any engraving on the back, it’s a fake Rolex.

Another good strategy for spotting counterfeit products online is to learn how to tell whether the reviews are fake. In case you notice a slew of positive reviews posted within just a few days, there’s a good chance it isn’t authentic. Know that some sellers hire people to create fake account, purchase items, and leave excellent reviews. Because of this, an incredibly high number of 5-star reviews is a red flag.

The post How to Spot Fake Products Online appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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With 8 million business pages, Instagram continues to be an excellent advertising avenue for brands to attract new customers and engage with the already existing ones. When a potential customer lands on your profile, they should be greeted with a bio that’s reflective of your brand’s personality and piques their interest.

An ideal Instagram bio should mainly serve the following purpose:

  • Communicate effectively about what your business is about.
  • Indicate how a potential or existing customer can get in touch with you.
  • Showcase your brand’s overall personality.
  • Compel the customer/reader to take an action.

You Instagram bio should contain the following components:

Profile Picture:
For starters, your profile page must incorporate a profile photo (for example, your logo or a product image) that’s relevant to your organization. Regardless of what you pick, make sure the picture not only looks appealing when somebody visits your profile, but also draws attention when it’s minimized in the feed. A few well-known brands and public figures also have a verified badge (the blue check mark) next to their profile picture to distinguish them as the ‘official’ account for easy recognition and to prevent impersonation.

Username & Name:
Your username appears at the top of your Instagram profile page and comes in handy when your customers or other business pages want to tag you in a post, caption or comment. While a lot of users experiment with their usernames by coming up with a funny wordplay or a unique phrase, as a business, you’re expected to be professional and easy to search for. Hence, it’s in your best interests to use the actual name of your business or an abbreviation of the same as your username. On a side-note, you can also change your username whenever you want – a feature that comes in handy if you revamp your brand identity in the future.

Your name shows up in a more noticeable spot right below your profile picture in bold characters.

Bio:
Instagram allows you to use exactly 150 characters to talk about your business. Don’t worry about including your contact information or address here, as business accounts are offered additional space to include those details. When you click on ‘edit profile’ followed by ‘contact options’ – you will come across the three separate fields to enter your phone number, email and location of your physical store/office. For example, let’s take a look at BlueStarDonuts’ Instagram profile to get a better understanding.

When a customer clicks on the ’email’ button, they are automatically directed to the default email app on their phone. Similarly, the ‘call’ and the ‘location’ buttons trigger the dialer and the map app, respectively.

Note: If you are not able to spot this particular feature in your account settings, you might not have upgraded your page to a business account.

You can also add hashtags (#) and link to your other social media handles in your bio, as well. If you have multiple Instagram pages (for example, Walmart Texas, Walmart Seattle and so on) people will be able to find all your ‘original’ profiles in one place, instead of searching for them individually.

For example, several ‘knock-off’ accounts on Instagram use ‘Adidas’ in their username, making it difficult for the official Adidas to stand out. Including their other accounts (based on location and products) in the bio helps to establish legitimacy. That being said, as a brand, you wouldn’t want a knock-off account to add links to your official account in their bio. The good thing is Instagram notifies you every single time someone tries to insert a link to your official profile in their personal bio, which you can choose to accept or deny. If you click on deny, your profile link will still show up in the other account’s bio, however, it won’t be hyperlinked.

If you want to direct your audience to a specific campaign you’re running or have run in the past, you can simply tag the post with a ‘branded hashtag’ and include it in your bio. Now, whenever someone clicks on the branded hashtag in your bio, they will be able to see all the posts that are associated with it.

While crafting your Instagram bio, don’t hold back from playing around with different designs, formats and structures to understand what goes well with your brand image. We highly recommend that you also track your profile analytics to find out the number of hits your website or a specific landing page is getting from the platform. In conclusion, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ for Instagram bios. What works for a competitor might not work for you, so change things up every once to find something that appeals to your target audience.

The post Instagram Bio: What to Put and Why appeared first on SocialMedia.biz.

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