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Instagram is testing changes to the visibility of likes

We are about to find out how much value the almighty Instagram ‘like’ really has, both as marketers and as regular instagram users. For some of us in Canada, we are already getting a taste of an Instagram where we are unable to see how many likes a post is getting. That’s right, we get to be the test pilots for the most significant change the world’s fastest growing social network has seen since the advent of stories. As we have seen in the past, such test changes usually end up being rolled out universally on the platform. In our opinion, taking likes out of the equation is a good thing, and we’ll tell you why.

What do likes really mean.

One of the reasons we are excited about Instagram concealing likes is the possibility that we as marketers can shift our focus to creating great content instead of trying to play the game of producing content that garners the most likes. Some will argue that likes on a platform such as Instagram don’t have the same viral impact that they do on Facebook. The difference is, that on Facebook, our interactions with posts cause them to be shown to our network. This isn’t the case for Instagram. The problem with likes, aside from the negative role they play in causing users to determine their self-worth based on the quantity of likes they receive, is that likes don’t necessarily equate to engagement. For anyone who has ever watched another person scroll Instagram (particularly teenagers), it’s a blur of scrolling and double taps—mindless likes being doled out with little regard to why. Overall, there isn’t much in the way of ROI to be had based solely on the number of likes.

Influencers and the numbers game.

Influencers are likely the ones who will be significantly impacted by this change in the short term. For influencers, likes are how they communicate ROI to the brands paying them. Influencers have been cashing in on the instagram likes gold rush. Truth is, many influencers inflate their follower base and likes through shady practices and bots. It’s been well known that twitter and instagram are both subject to an infestation of bots and like-farming. What this change would mean for influencers is they would need to show better and more qualified engagement to warrant their rates. Their content would potentially need to show a more direct connection to sales or other important results based metrics.  Removing likes as the primary metric for ROI is a potential win for everyone as it motivates influencers to create better content, resulting in a more engaged audience for the brands they are working for.

So, what metrics matter if likes disappear?

Something we hear all the time from brands is “how many likes did our post get?” They are attributing ROI to the number of likes they receive. But as we have discussed, likes aren’t really that valuable as a measurement of ROI. Some metrics that actually have value are things like reach, which tells you the total number of people who have seen your post. Likewise, the number of impressions content receives is useful in telling us how many times the post has been viewed. That’s the goal after all: to get your content in front of your desired audience. The next big metric is engagement or comments. Not only is it important to keep an eye on what type of comments your posts are inciting, but knowing how much engagement and reach your content has can tell you a lot about how your follower base and if they are getting anything from your content. This is social media after all.

Should I even be using Instagram then?

Without question, yes. Take a look at stories as an example of why likes don’t have the impact that we may think they do. You can’t see how many likes a story gets. We aren’t engaging with that content based on inflated popularity. Instead, the ephemeral nature of stories is what makes it so hard to resist. We want to see it before it’s gone! The transitory nature of stories enhances their allure, and has broadened the reach of content in a whole new way.

Facebook and Instagram have already laid out plans to make stories the core of their platforms, and certain brands are already taking it seriously. The posts in an Instagram feed are where the brand image can be carefully curated to communicate the values and culture of the brand’s essence. While, the stories are the playground where users engage in an ongoing unfoldig a brand’s story.Take a peek at brands like Mountain Equipment Co-op or Coca-cola, and you will see branded feeds that carefully tell a brand narrative. Why? Because this sort of strategy plays into the Instagram algorithm.

Beyond creating relationships with your audience through social media, being active on instagram and other social networks continues to play a growing role in how search engines rank your website in organic results. So if ranking on the first page of Google’s search results is important to you, you’re going to want to get active and consistent on social media.

The take-away?

Creating great content that tells your brand story will establish your brand culture online and keep your audience engaged. Go ahead and leverage stories. Use them to get in front of your audience in a meaningful way. It’s not all about likes anymore. And at the end of the day this is social media, so let’s be social.

If you need help managing your social media or getting your strategy on track, drop us a line. We’re here to create great content when you don’t have time to.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 07 July 2018 14:03

Is Your SEO Affected By Social Media?

Social media is part of our daily lives, this we cannot deny. However, there are many business owners who still wonder what the benefits are of having a presence on social media platforms.

There are a number of ways social media affects your business, but we are going to focus on one of the most important areas: what social media does for SEO.

It is important to understand that while social media signals such as likes, reviews, and shares do not directly affect search rankings, they do have an effect on your SEO efforts. For one, having a social media presence helps increase your online visibility and improves brand recognition. It also broadens content distribution and gives your content a much longer lifespan. Most importantly, being active on social media drives traffic to your website.

So, "Is your SEO affected by social media?" Yes. Yes, it is. Read on to find out exactly how.

Social Media Boosts Online Visibility and Brand Awareness

The whole point of marketing is to increase leads and ultimately, sales. The more that prospective customers see your products and read about your services, the more opportunities you have to successfully convert them. Now, think about the last time you "Googled" a certain brand or company. If you remember, the first page of results displayed the brand's actual website. What else? Yes, it also showed links to the Facebook reviews about the brand, tweets, and YouTube videos, among others. What does this tell us? Social media results also show up on Google's search results and they are often on the first page. This gives your online visibility and brand recognition a significant boost.

Social Media Extends the Life of Your Content and Its Reach

On average, there are 1.45 billion daily active users on Facebook. Yes, that's how many people are consuming and sharing content.

The lifespan of a published blog post largely depends on the algorithms of search engines, as every article you post competes with thousands of similar articles. Social media gives you an edge here. Reposting blog articles on social platforms allows you to control distribution and even extend the life of your content. Through social media, people can discover and share your content, content that they may not have otherwise found.

As you can see, having a social media strategy in place can positively affect your SEO as it can help improve your rankings and brand recognition, as long as it is executed the right way.

 

A few recommendations to improve your platforms are below:

- You should not just have a profile on one platform, but at very least all the major ones.
- You want to make sure that you optimize your profiles by using keywords and of course, linking back to your website.
- Update your contact information so that it’s accurate.
- Most importantly, interact with your clients and prospects by responding to comments, whether they're negative or positive, and answer queries with a friendly, yet professional tone.

Now that you know about social media's importance in SEO, what should your next step be? Reach out to Danger Dynamite and we'll talk about what we can do to help you with your SEO and social media marketing! 

Published in Blog
Friday, 17 August 2018 17:19

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Recently, in our local social media scene, we watched a local business get burned in a most glorious fashion when trying to go to battle with a customer who left a negative Facebook review.  Not only did the business embarrass themselves, they inadvertently recruited a legion of opponents and lost scores of existing and potential customers. No business owner wants to end up in that situation, and it can be easily avoided by following these five simple steps:

1. Own your shit.

Even if you truly have done no wrong, owning the fact that you didn’t come thru in your customers eyes is important. It will validate their experience, and show other potential customers that you actually care about how each person experiences your business.  Showing your customer you are willing to own a mistake and at least try to make it right will earn you some legit street cred.

2. Stay humble. Don’t get defensive.

Nobody cares how right you think you are, all they will see is how defensive you have become.  Once you go on the defense, you’re typically on a one way path of escalating conflict and pitting yourself against a customer. You will only end up looking like the bad guy. It’s best to swallow your pride and take the high road.

3. Offer a solution.

Here is a chance to both market yourself, save some face and do the right thing.  Offer up a solution in the form of solving the issue, providing compensation, or comping their next experience. This is a great way to convert an unhappy customer to a happy one, allow you the chance to create a positive experience on the second try, and maybe even recruit a word-of-mouth evangelist for your business.

4. Take the conversation offline.

Keeping a conversation online does little but create more opportunity to make a mistake and look bad.  Besides, the more things carry on online, the more likely you are to get trapped in a defensive roll and escalate into a conflict state.  Taking things offline. Make a phone call or schedule an in person visit. This helps to diffuse any simmering animosity as having a voice conversation or in person conversation humanizes the whole thing, making it unlikely anyone will stay hostile and angry.

5. Keep it super simple. (K.I.S.S.)

Long winded responses are not what anyone but an internet troll is trying to get out of you, and when you give one, you might just be feeding the troll. Keep your response short, concise and with a definitive goal of finding a resolution to mitigate the opportunity for escalation. You’ll also save everyone involved a ton of time.

So, when you get one of those stinging one star reviews that gets under your skin and makes you want to lash out – don’t. Take a deep breath, walk away for a few moments, and when you come back to it, follow these five steps, knowing that everything will be okay. You can do it the right way. And if you need a little help, thats where an agency like ours is only a phone call or email away.

Published in Blog

For years we viewed social media platforms as somewhat "personal" and as a business owner, you've always stuck with marketing platforms that you believe are more "professional”. However, social media cannot be avoided any longer. No matter how much you try to deny it, the truth is: we are in the golden years of social revolution - and you can't afford to miss out. Social media is here whether you like it or not. The thing that you should consider now is how you can use it to your advantage.

If you have been living offline, or perhaps your business really is brand new, you're probably itching to ask: Where do I begin?

To help you out, we'll discuss some of the basics of social media that you should learn and understand as a business owner.

First of all, social media is not traditional advertising.

Here are some factors that you need to consider before you get involved in social media as a business:

* You should humanize your brand. Show your brand's personality to people. This is the perfect platform for you to show everyone what you're all about. Your brand should be known for a certain characteristic - are you witty, funny, inspirational? Be creative but be consistent too.

* You have to be here for the long haul. It's not something that you just do in one weekend. It's an endless responsibility. But that's just as well because it also delivers endless opportunities for you and your brand.

* Be open and, more importantly, be honest with what you share. People are in social media to connect, to find support, to find people with the same ideals and interests. You should be open to providing advice, especially about your industry. Be as honest as you can when giving your opinion as well.

Social Media Platforms to Choose From

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Linkedin - there is a social network for every type of audience. What you need to know is where your customers are. This would require some research. Do not just guess. You don't want to waste your social marketing efforts on a platform if your target audience is not going to be there to witness those efforts. Choose networks that will allow you to reach and gain potential customers. Know where your people hang out and once you do, it's time to make your appearance on those popular spots.

Social Media Offers Equal Opportunity

Unlike television ads or billboards where only big brands with big budgets can get their prime spots, everyone is on equal ground in social media. It doesn't matter if you're a multinational corporation selling a household-name cookies or a small-town bakeshop who wants to tell the world about your amazing cupcakes. In social media, you can reach the audience you want whenever and wherever they may be. It doesn’t even cost much!

Social media has, indeed, become one of the best tools for businesses big and small. And there's no reason for you to miss out on an opportunity to grow your business by establishing an awesome digital presence! Sure it can be overwhelming at first, but trust us, everything is going to be fine. The good news is you don't have to do it all on your own. You can contact Danger Dynamite and we can help you start and maintain your social media platforms to make sure that you're reaching the right audience when you need to reach them. Let's talk strategy!

Published in Blog