Monthly Archives: December 2019

Dec 30

Do Not Wait For the Clock to Strike Midnight: Start Your 2020 Goals Now

General Info

Don't Wait For the Clock to Strike Midnight: Start Your 2020 Goals Now

Each year, people all around the world set New Year's resolutions to help create a vision for their future. However, these goals are often tasks that people are avoiding. It is no wonder that most New Year's resolutions are forgotten about midway through the month of March. This year, I encourage you to set goals revolving around things you are excited to do, but don't wait until the clock strikes midnight. Start your 2020 goals right now!

In order to set reasonable goals for yourself it is important to reflect on the great things you achieved in the last 365 days. For our company, we had a lot! To name two...

  1. In 2019, AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies added three new team members. As a start-up company, we are proud to add new talent to help service our clients. AmpliPhi has been given the opportunity to service clients all over the world using our proven social media strategies.
  2. One of the best things about 2019 - winning a fourth consecutive In Business magazine Executive Choice Award for Social Media Consulting company, and sharing it with our growing team. 

Most importantly, it is crucial to reflect on the things that didn't quite go as planned and use them as a learning lesson. Every 'negative' event that occurred in the last 365 days has brought you to where you are now and can be used as positive motivation for goal setting.

Here are 5 ways you can most effectively set your goals for the future:

  1. Create a vision board: This creates a visual representation of where you wish to see yourself in the next year. 
  2. Make your goals SMART: What are SMART goals? They are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time sensitive.  
  3. Measure your progress: This can be done daily, weekly, or monthly. This helps to ensure that you are on track to your time-sensitive objective and helps to make sure it actually happens.
  4. Start NOW: Don't wait until a new week or new year to start your goals. If you have a goal in mind, you don't want to look back and wish you had more time to achieve it. Create or cut habits out of your life. For example, cut your caffeine consumption and create a workout schedule.
  5. Be excited and make your progress public: If you share your experience through social media platforms you are held accountable. Get your followers involved and encourage them to join you in sharing their own progress.  

Creating a vision for the future and road-mapping the necessary steps to get there will add more value to each New Year's resolution. Create a purpose for the next year by facing the struggles that are in your way. Leave all of the negativity behind and start getting excited about where those opportunities are going to propel you.

Have you started thinking about your goals for 2020? How have your struggles created a foundation for a better future?

Dec 23

How to Use Instagram Highlights to Enhance Your Profile

Instagram , Instagram Stories , Social Media

Using Instagram Story Highlights to Enhance Your Profile

Instagram highlights have given businesses and social media influencers a new way to showcase their brand. Since the story highlights live front-and-center on Instagram profiles, they are the perfect tool to represent your niche. 

Creating highlights and strategically planning their purpose is just as important as your permanent posts. Although the posts should be candid, each one should be categorized. 

So first...

To Share a Photo or Video to your Story Using the Instagram App:

1. Tap  (or the plus sign) in the top left of your screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed. 

2. Tap  at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and HOLD to record a video. To choose a photo or video from your phone's library or gallery, swipe up anywhere on the screen.

3. Tap  or  to draw, add text or a sticker to your photo or video. To remove text or a sticker, drag and drop it on  at the bottom of the screen.

As you can see here, Instagram allows you to add customized locations, polls, stickers, text, and more!

4. Once you have your story designed just the way you want it tap Your Story in the bottom left.

Instagram stories can be still images, videos, boomerangs, or to be recorded live.

You also have the option to use the 'create' tool which provides themed background wallpapers.

Superzoom is a feature that allows you to zoom in on objects with dramatic sound effects. This feature is available for both front and back facing cameras. 

Hands-free is a story feature which allows you to record without holding the  button at the bottom of the screen.

Unless added to your profile as a highlight, stories disappear from your Feed, Profile and Direct inbox after 24 hours.

Did you say boomerang? Yes!

What is a Boomerang?

Boomerangs are created by taking very short, very fast burst of photos and combining them together to create a mini video. The video will play forward and backwards repeatedly to create a unique piece of content. 

Now that we created the story...

How Does a Story Become a Permanent Piece of Content on Your Profile?

Once a story is posted on your profile you will then be given the option to make it a highlight. After 24 hours, if the highlight is created, the content will still be visible on your profile. The highlights are located at the top of your profile, making it easy to locate them at any time.

To Add a Story to a Highlight:

1. Go to your profile and tap Story Highlights below your username and bio.

2. Tap

3. Tap to select the story or stories you want to add to highlights, then tap Next

4. Tap Edit Cover > Choose a cover photo > Tap Done

5. Enter a story name for your highlight, then tap Add (iPhone) or Done (Android). You can add more photos or videos to your highlight at any time by tapping and holding on the highlight and then tapping Edit Highlight.

Once your story becomes a highlight, you can then edit the cover photo. We use Canva.com to create our highlight images. There is no limit as to how many highlights you can create on your profile. However, only five (on mobile) or seven (on desktop) will appear without scrolling to the left.

Each highlight can contain 100 photos. For example, the AmpliPhi 'holiday' highlight can contain 100 photos of our team celebrating holidays and they will not expire from the profile until manually deleted.  

To Edit or Delete a Highlight:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Below Stories Highlights, find the story you want to delete then tap and hold.
  3. Tap Delete Highlight to remove the story from Stories Highlights, or tap Edit Highlight to add more photos or videos to your story.

To Edit or Delete a Photo or Video from a Highlight:

  1. Open your story highlight and find the photo or video you want to remove.
  2. Tap More (iPhone) or More (Android) in the bottom right of the photo or video.
  3. Tap Remove from Highlight or tap Edit Highlight to add more photos or videos to your story.

Although the exact date of the posted story is not displayed, a rough timeline in weeks is. As seen to the right, our 'Dominos' highlight was posted 12w (or 12 weeks) ago. 

This 'Dominos' highlight is a direct reference to a permanent instagram post displayed on the profile. This can be a great tool for posting longer videos or utilizing different assets of media. 

Other highlight ideas can include testimonials, company achievements, employee advocacy, education, reviews, Instagram takeovers and more!

How have you been using Instagram Story highlights on your profile? Was this helpful? Check out https://help.instagram.com/1660923094227526 for more information on Instagram how-to's. 

Dec 16

HOW-TO Grow Your Following and Increase the Buzz Around Your Brand

Marketing

HOW-TO Grow Your Following and Increase the Buzz Around Your Brand

First things first, you will need to amp up your personal LinkedIn page or create an account. It isn't as daunting as it seems, simply fill out the basics-your current and past companies, education, a photo, and your location.

Reporting this data will allow the platform to suggest other LinkedIn users similar to you, old coworkers, college alum, etc to send a connection* request to. Along with these suggestions, you should search for friends and family to grow your own personal network**. This may seem counterintuitive- why bother to build a following on your own page, this is about your company, right? Yes, however by doing this first, you conquer an inevitable hurdle- that users must first accept you (your personal page) as a 'connection' in order for you to invite them to follow your company page.

         Next Steps...

  • Make sure you are an admin of your existing company page, or if one does not exist, create yours through clicking 'Work' on the top menu bar, and then select '+ Create a Company Page'
  • You navigate to your company page by clicking the 'Me' section arrow (found in the menu below your personal LinkedIn icon) and selecting the correct page at the bottom of this pop up menu.
  • *Connection- Friend

    **Network- Friends List

Regardless if your company page is new or pre existing-take this time to make sure the information and images are up to date, the industry is correctly categorized, and your website is linked and functioning. You do not want to lead users to a company page that is incomplete or misleading. 

Once on your Company Page...

You may see a column appear if in admin mode, that is titled 'Invite Connections' with 3 suggestions LinkedIn has made on your behalf. Or follow the steps below to send invitations to your network.

  1. Select 'Admin Tools'
  2. Under Extend your Reach- click the new button: 'Invite Connections'
  3. A pop up will appear, here you can search for connections NOT already following your page
  4. Make a goal to invite 50 LinkedIn users each day to follow your Company page

How have you utilized LinkedIn? Did you already know how to invite people to like your company page? Leave a comment if we missed anything!

Dec 09

Treat Your Competitors Like Partners? Here’s Why

Business Development

“If it wasn’t for [insert name of your arch rival in business], things would be easy.”

How many times have you said or heard a phrase similar to this one? When it comes to business development, we often blame competitors when we’re not winning deals. Those competitors might have better pricing, better features, or more slick-looking marketing materials. 

Is that competitor the real reason you’re not winning, though?

One company I found called Bendyworks, a mobile and web app developer in Madison, Wisconsin, doesn’t blame their competition. In fact, they embrace them.

Ashley Powell, Business Development Manager of Bendyworks, says it this way:

“Bendyworks competes differently than other companies. We are friendly with our competition, and treat people more like partners than anything else. While we naturally compete with other local firms for projects, we rely on firms to call us when they have more business than they can handle and when we have consultants on the bench, and they count on us to call them when the roles are reversed.”

How refreshing is Ashley’s view? In today’s environment of politicians constantly lobbing insults at each other and CEOs stepping down during a scandal, Bendyworks wants their competition to count on them.

Bendyworks empitomizes the phrase, “A rising tide raises all boats,” through their advocacy of the Madison tech scene.

Again, Ashley Powell:

“We know that driving out the competition means that we’ll have an edge on future business, but we also know that attracting top talent to Madison means creating an environment where senior level developers can see their current job, their next job and the job after that here in Madison.

Realistically, we want people to view Madison as a long term choice.  It’s a great place to raise kids, and it has great up and coming tech and entrepreneurial corridors.  We’re excited about doing our part to continue raising Madison’s profile, which is in keeping with initiatives from the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, who are launching a campaign to “Make Madison” (Make a career, make a life, make a difference.)  

To that end, we invite other tech firms in for our ‘Tech Talk Tuesdays’ to share knowledge, we’ve hosted joint book clubs with competing firms, and we do a TON in the community to bring more people to tech.”

Brad Grzesiak, CEO of Bendyworks says their company mission transcends the Madison tech scene as well:

“We believe so strongly in helping others succeed that it’s built into our company mission: Share Joy and Success in our Craft. And it doesn’t just stop with our industry partners, either; we sponsor and support local and global programs for youth of color, girls, and women. Sometimes that’s just a cash donation, though it’s often more hands-on, like inviting groups of youth into our office or mentoring at hackathons.”

Next time you or those working in business development at your company lament the competition, pause for a moment. What if you could work with your competition instead of against them? Bendyworks continues to succeed and grow through this model, and it’s something you should consider as well.

Dec 02

Leveling Up to 6-Star Service Through Social Media

Social Media

“It’s better to have 100 fans that love you than 1 million fans that like you.” — Y Combinator founder Paul Graham

This was the advice that galvanized Airbnb founder Brian Chesky into creating a paradigm for service beyond five stars. Chesky shared this story in an interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman during a class at Stanford University.

After receiving this advice from Graham, Chesky realized that it would take more than 5-star service to make fans love Airbnb, because 5-star service had become the norm. He wanted the service to be so good that customers would contact the company and demand to award a six-star review instead of the usual maximum of five.

Here’s the excerpt from the show notes, when Chesky explained what service beyond five stars even looks like:

5 star service – You leave the airport, go to the Airbnb, your hosts are in the house, they let you in. This is 5 star. Worse than this is if your host is late (4 star) and the worst is if your host never showed up (1 star).

6 star service – All of the above + your host picks you up at the airport.

7 star service – All of the above + there is a limo waiting for you at the airport and inside the limo are your favorite chips and coconut water.

8 star service – There is a giant parade when you arrive at the airport and you are honored for coming.

9 star service – The moment you step off the plane there is 5,000 screaming fans holding signs for your arrive – we call this the Beatles check-in.

10 star – I could go all the way up to 30 stars – I won’t, but 10 stars would be when you arrive and a Tesla with your name on it is waiting for you and in the car the driver is Elon Musk, and instead of your Airbnb, Elon takes you to outer space.

I exaggerated this to make a point, but the principle is if what you need to do is find 100 people who love you — 5 star is what people expect. For them to love you, you need to do more than what they expect. We play out these scenarios all of the time — once you go up to 10 stars, 6 stars doesn’t seem so crazy anymore.”

You don’t have to be an Airbnb host to provide six-star service to your clients, and thanks to the accessibility of social media, you don’t have to be Elon Musk either.

That six-star service level is what happens when you find small gestures that make a big impact. It’s a level of service that is so good, and so tuned in to the customer’s personal needs and wants, that it borders on weird.

Every business can offer amazing customer service by striving for that 10-star, ludicrously amazing customer review. If you work backwards from the 10-star review, you’ll realize how simple it is to provide above-and-beyond service at the 6-star level or better. And by using social media effectively, you can do it for free.

Here’s what that looks like.

Set aside a couple hours a week to engage with the content your clients are sharing on social media. This includes personal pages and company pages. However, your engagement needs to be meaningful. You shouldn’t go to a client’s page and like every post they’ve shared in the past week. They’ll interpret your actions as a cheap way to draw attention to yourself.

Instead, find a post that resonates with you, and comment, like, or share it with your network, pointing out why you appreciated the post. Make that client look good by sincerely listening to what they’re trying to share, and then helping them get the word out.

You might think that any effort you put into interacting with a company on social media will only be noticed by that company’s social media manager. But in my experience, that’s not the case. C-level executives watch the activity on their social media pages, and they notice when you show them love. As a C-level exec, why wait for customer survey feedback? Just check your social accounts to put your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.

In the service world, when you get asked to submit a proposal for a job, you’re often competing between companies who are all just as capable of providing the service as you are. What distinguishes you is your willingness to go a step beyond in customer service to earn that 6-star review.

The effort you put into social media can earn new business, but even more importantly, it can earn repeat business from your existing customers.

So break it down. What does a 10-star review look like for your business? Give yourself permission to consider the absurd, and simply dial it back a bit.

As an example, our company AmpliPhi, is working toward this model:

5 star service – After a great yearlong relationship, you count AmpliPhi (and our staff) as your biggest fans on social media. You see us continuously sharing your content and highlighting your successes.

6 star service – AmpliPhi commissions a professional video case study highlighting your company’s most notable accomplishments.

7 star service – AmpliPhi pays for your favorite food truck to come to your location and serve both lunch and dinner to you and your staff.


8 star service – Enjoy all 14 tickets to AmpliPhi’s Badgers’ football suite for this year’s Wisconsin vs. Michigan game and Bucky Badger will welcome you at the door.

9 star service – AmpliPhi coordinates and sponsors a private event in your honor for your staff and your top 20 clients or customers including a special performance by Spencer’s band, Myopic Son (original lineup from 2000).

10 star – Mark Cuban comes to your business for a day-long hangout and Q&A session. He observes, provides tips for improvement, shuts down the local restaurant for a private company lunch and joins in for an escape room in the afternoon.

Your company doesn’t need 10 star service, or 9, 8, or 7, for that matter. What about 6 star, though? What would going just a bit further beyond 5 star mean to you and your customers?

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