Category Archives for "Social Media"

Mar 09

How to Decide on the Best Budgets for your LinkedIn Campaigns

LinkedIn

When venturing into social media advertising the explanation given behind the elements can be dry. You will find definitions for the various factors involved in creating and running an ad campaign, but what you are likely wondering is: "How does budget affect who sees my ad?" "How does this work?" At AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, Client Success Manager, Lauren Miles has gained extensive knowledge on the process of running these social media ads. Lauren gives an inside look to running ads on LinkedIn and some of the best practices to answer these questions.

When venturing into social:

How does budget affect who sees my ad? How does this work?

Imagine an auction being run behind the scenes in cyberspace. This is like what happens during the ad bidding process on social platforms. Each time we refresh our home pages, this auction is run and WE are the items advertisers are bidding on. A number of paddles go up to ‘buy’ someone seeing an ad, which will determine how high the winning bid is. In larger markets like New York or LA, the cost to reach a 21+ year old woman who is interested in Joanna Gaines and wine will be higher. There are additional advertisers in these markets who likely have more money to spend and can beat you out during the bidding process.

This is why we encourage the use of data-driven audiences. Once you begin to understand the custom audiences of users (for instance, those who may have engaged with your company on Facebook), you move up higher in their propensity to enjoy or relate to your content, therefore giving you a leg up in the auction process to achieve them at a lower cost.

Social platforms do not want to show us ads we aren’t interested in. Clicking and buying that item we saw on Instagram matters less than if we click to 'hide ad'. If users stopped seeing relevant ads (for example, showing diaper ads to someone who doesn’t have any children), then the platform's members may start to use the platform less and advertising dollars would dwindle.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn allows for both a daily budget AND a lifetime budget. 

Daily Budget: When a campaign is set to a daily budget, the platform will stop showing the ad once you reach your spend threshold for a specific day. This means that if you wish to spend $5 a day for 30 days, you can be sure that the ad will run for those 30 days, and will be at or around $5 each day*. This type of budget is best for long standing ads that promote brand awareness.

The downside to limiting yourself to a daily spend means missing out on potential targeted audience members who could see that ad if you’ve already reached your budget for the day. 

*LinkedIn Note: There may be a short period of time after your budget is reached when your ads continue to display. You will be charged for clicks or impressions that are delivered during that time up to 20% beyond your daily budget.

Lifetime Budget: Selecting a Lifetime Budget is the best option if you wish to get your ad to as many people in your audience as quickly as possible. You set your auction limit and the platform goes to bat for you in an attempt to win as many individuals in your target audience as your budget allows. Once the platform spends your budget, your ad will stop running.

With LinkedIn allowing for both a Daily and a Lifetime budget you can have the peace of mind that knowing that your ad will not spend more than your allotted daily amount, but also will not exceed a certain overall budget.

When searching the internet for advice on how much to spend, or how often to post, I’m sure you have become frustrated that this information-these magic numbers-do not exist. Research your area and take the time to learn what works and does not work for you.

Have you tried LinkedIn ads? How have you become more comfortable when deciding on a budget? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

Mar 02

Effective Event Marketing on Social Media: What We’ve Learned Over the Past Decade

Marketing , Social Media

For this specific conversation, we’re talking about event marketing in the context of promoting an actual event (versus marketing of a brand, service or product through promotional events). Client Success Manager Erin Schleicher from AmpliPhi has become experienced in the field of all things event marketing and Facebook audiences. A recent interview with Erin will teach you more about promoting your events, business and how to use audiences to target those you want to see your marketing efforts. 

What are common types of event marketing?

  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Other Digital
  • Print
  • PR
  • Cross-Promotion

How can you plan and prepare for event marketing?

  • Utilize past event data/surveys to understand what is most important to your consumers
  • Develop consumer personas and use personas to define strategy
  • Visually map out the customer journey to help guide strategy
  • Create a marketing plan and budget that aligns with your goals and strategies, and    allows for measurable success or effectiveness
  • Define Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) to generate content and copy

What are the best ways local businesses can promote their events?

  • Some ideas for free promotion:
  • Reach out to local groups who share a similar demographic and offer a discount to their members in exchange for event promotion (i.e. Mom’s blog for a family-friendly or kid-focused event)
  • Create listings in free event calendars
  • Offer cross-promotional opportunities to events, businesses, etc. who have similar audiences or demographics
  • Share event information with local news sources – include unique event details, special opportunities, etc.
  • Ask sponsors or charitable partners to share event information with their followers

What are Facebook custom audiences?

You can create Facebook Custom Audiences using existing audiences from lists, website visits, social engagement and/or demographics you define, such as location, age, gender, interests, behaviors, etc.

What are lookalike audiences?

Lookalike audiences are created from a source audience (a custom audience of at least 100 people, previously made by you). Facebook finds new people with similar qualities (like demographics or interests) to your source audience and make a new “lookalike” audience for you. People from your initial source audience will not be included in the lookalike audience (unless you use a pixel as your source).

How can you ensure audiences are going to work?

You can never ensure that an audience will work, but as long as you are doing thorough customer research, testing various types of audiences, putting out high quality content, and consistently monitor your ads – you’re on the right track!

What are some sources you can use to crate audiences for events? 

  • Current attendees/consumers
  • Previous attendees/consumers
  • Email list
  • People who have engaged with your social media
  • Website traffic
  • Lookalikes of the above

What sources should you not target?

For a one-time/one-purchase event, I personally always exclude current purchasers from my ad targeting for two reasons. First, so you are not paying to market to those who have already purchased an entry to your event. Second, we often promote a special offer during the customer journey, and do not want people who have already purchased to take advantage of that offer (by having to offer them a refund). However, I have heard the argument that some advertisers want their existing consumers to see an ad and share it or tag a friend. It is ultimately up to you and what works best with your strategy and budget.

Have you tried using Facebook for your marketing efforts? Do you agree with Erin’s assessment? Let us know in the comments below!

Feb 24

Social Media Video Tips From Someone Who Does the Work Every Day: Mike Schmitz from AmpliPhi

Social Media , Videography

Team Member Mike Schmitz is an experienced videographer who makes both us and our clients look really good here at AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies. A recent interview with Mike explains why you should invest your time creating video content to share on your social media channels. Mike gave us an inside look to his job and the best free tools he uses to enhance his work! 

Why is video better for engagement on socials than images? 

Videos are becoming more and more popular to use on the web and social media. As a marketing agency, we find them extremely important to use it to enhance your business or even your personal brand.  

 Videos are incredible attention-grabbers. As humans, our eyes are naturally drawn to movement. How many times have you stopped scrolling for a video rather than an image with text? You could have better post engagement, drive more traffic to your website, and even increase conversions on ads.  

 Since video is not only visual, but auditory as well, you can have a deeper connection with your audience. By choosing the right audio to pair with your video, you can create a production that tells a story to the audience. This lets you evoke more emotions and encourages your audience to like, comment, and share more than a generic picture with text. 

 Videos are more personable. They allow for the viewers to get a sense of the personality behind the camera as well as on the screen. When talking to your audience on camera, rather than through captions or ad copy, you captivate the viewer and he or she will want to learn more about you.

 Videos often convert viewers to fans and this increases loyalty. If the engagers watching the video feel like they know you, they will become interested in exploring more of your content. This loyalty helps to increase overall engagements on your posts and helps for new engagers to become fans as well. 

What are the 3 best free tools to help you create videos for social media?  

Some of my favorite free tools for creating social media videos are Pexels (free stock video), YouTube Audio Library (free music library), and Adobe Spark (editing platform). With only these tools you can start producing social media content without spending a dime.

1. Pexels - https://www.pexels.com/videos/ 

Pexels offers high quality pictures and videos for free, no strings attached, to any content creator. They offer a wide variety of photos and videos. It often fits my projects needs no matter what I'm working on. Pexels gets its content from anyone who chooses to upload their pictures or video, but only accepts the highest quality. This ensures you will never download poor quality photos or videos.  

2. YouTube Audio Library - https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music?nv=1 

Finding free music for videos can be incredibly difficult and good free music is few and far between. YouTube has created a library of quality tunes cleared for use in any production. This is in my opinion the best free resource for free music. 

 

3. Adobe Spark - https://spark.adobe.com/

Adobe Spark is a versatile tool which you can use to create content optimized for any mainstream platform. Adobe Spark offs great typography, custom themes, and a limited stock photos/videos library. You can access Adobe Spark on any mobile device, or you can find it on the web.  

Through video you can help to tell a story about your business, share testimonials, or simply create entertainment for your followers. Your videos don’t need to be overly complex in the production process. If a video has good content and a solid message, it doesn’t matter if it is filmed on the top video equipment or simply through an iPhone. To read more on why your video does not need to be overly complicated click here: ‘Un-produce It’ Blog.

What are your favorite videos to share on your own social channels? Can you think of something we missed? Let us know in the comment below! 

Feb 10

What Will Work on Social Media in 2020?

Facebook , Instagram , Instagram Stories , LinkedIn , Social Media , Twitter

When I was still wholesaling 401(k) plans in 2013, I was on an advisory board tasked with helping to devise our company’s social media strategy. 

We bought a software system that allowed our field sales reps to push a button and share company-approved social media content. Back then, that was the “safe” way to incorporate social media into our sales process, and it was frankly the only way we could actually use social media to share content. This option was definitely better than nothing at all. For those of us in business development, we all know that the “fortune is in the follow-up” – when people think about you more often than not, you get more shots to win business.

Today, financial services entities allow their registered reps and company staff to do much, much more than just push a button. Many of us are permitted to use social media in ways that are both personalized and specific to our business objectives. For this column, I interviewed three such people who use social media to drive their marketing and business development goals. 

Kate Barton, Marketing Manager at Clearview Advisory 

“In our strategy for social media, we use LinkedIn as a way to stay in touch with people we’ve met or want to work with,” says Barton. “We incorporate it into our drip marketing campaign. We work with small to mid-sized businesses, and some may not have worked with an advisor before. They can be hesitant to sign on the dotted line, and we recognize it takes a while to gain their trust. It’s a big decision to hire an advisor!”

She adds, “LinkedIn and social media allow us to interact with people on a neutral platform and build a relationship over time. We use our own photos and original content almost exclusively and we hire a photographer every couple of years to take fresh photos.”

To highlight two of Barton’s key points:

  • As she said, LinkedIn and social media can be considered “neutral” platforms. In addition to the direct one-on-one follow-up in which we all participate, social media allows us to stay in front of people in an indirect manner. More exposure for you = more people thinking about you = more opportunities.
  • Using their own photos allows Barton and her firm to distinguish themselves from similar firms. I call this “anti-stock” photography. Instead of featuring nameless people on your website, brochures, and social media posts, highlight the people who actually work there. The main thing that differentiates your company from others? Your people. Make sure you show the public you’re real people. 

Derek Notman, CFP 

“I leverage social media by creating a series of short videos that build upon each other to tell a story and take viewers on a journey, which ultimately led to my website which offered even more value, (e.g., a webinar and eBook),” Notman says. “I also made it a point to create a lot more original content that wasn't about selling anything but focused on the benefits and outcomes of my services. Both of these led to exponential growth and sales.” 

He adds: “A strategy I would recommend using: create short, personalized videos to send as direct messages and via email. My response rate was drastically higher, and I also receive a lot of positive feedback about how personal and different my approach is.”

Notman does a great job here of highlighting the power of video. Fifteen years ago, YouTube didn’t exist, and even if you were lucky enough to have good-quality video to share, how would you have shared it? Today your website and social media accounts allow you to distribute video for free, and what better way is there to have people “experience” what you’re like in real life? So consider adding video to your marketing mix in 2020 if you haven’t already.

Alyssa Rock, Bolder B2B Marketing

“I partner directly with our top sales executives and internal thought leaders who have the best LinkedIn networks (clients and prospects) and provide the correct content, hashtags, and even emojis for them to post on their profiles, Rock says. “I prefer using their personal pages instead of LinkedIn company social media pages/showcase pages.”

The point of social media “is to be social and spark engagement,” Rock points out. “We convert leads faster when the content is shared on the personal profiles of those with boots on the ground. I leverage these tactics heavily around trade shows and webinars and consistently outperform any paid placement.”

She hits the nail on the head. You’ll never meet someone who loves LinkedIn company pages and the ability to hyper-focus on targeted prospects with LinkedIn ads than Yours Truly. However, as much as we all love our company’s brand, our clients and prospective clients prefer connecting with individuals – like you.

Is what Rock suggests scalable? Nope. And that’s the point. Personal touches (i.e., the thing that best drives business and engenders trust) outperforms robo-messaging, and it will continue to do so. Rock acts as an accountability partner of sorts for her executives. They know they need to participate in the content creation process, but not take on that burden entirely themselves.

In 2020, your clients and prospective clients will use social media more and more, and if you’re not showing up in some capacity, you’re going to miss opportunities to win business. Here’s my top suggestion for implementing a strategy that will take hold and stick: First create a “not doing” list and write all the tactics down that you’re knowingly not implementing. Not on Twitter? Great! Give yourself credit for something you’re not doing. Instagram? Is that a thing these days? Nope, not using it.

Once you create a long, long list of what you’re not doing, list three things you’ll actually do in 2020  like weekly LinkedIn posts, monthly videos or a one-time photo shoot, for example. The revisit your list of “not doing” items, feel great about them, and focus on the activities that drive results. 

Jan 13

You Are Ruining Your Reputation- Buying Instagram Followers

Instagram

It seems that today everyone wants to be the next famous Instagram influencer. Brands now commonly market their products on social media platforms by using influencers as their 'celebrity' ambassadors. This has lead a lot of Instagram influencers to make a quick buck just for promoting a product. But how many of these influencers are being genuine? Would you buy your way into the fame and fortune that comes with being an influencer?

Do the numbers really matter?

Unfortunately, yes. The number one way firms recognize success on social media is an increase in social following. Followers represent the number of people who see your content and the higher the number the bigger audience you are reaching through marketing efforts. Having a high following somehow creates a sense of trust in the audience that the account creates great content...content they NEED to see or they are left out.

To think of it simply:

Followers + High engagement= perceived popularity and brand deals

Why Buy Followers?

Organically gaining attention to individual profiles has become more and more difficult because social media platforms have become saturated with the number of users. Unfortunately, the numbers get bloggers noticed, not the content. The number of followers has become an indication of success, popularity, and importance. 

Once a blogger has obtained a following, this is when the brand deals start rolling in. Free products, paid sponsorships, and promotional offers are given to influencers to display to their followers.

You can charge brands up to $2,700 USD per post according to Financial Times. Four to 20 million followers can charge up to as much as $17,500 USD for every sponsored post they upload. So buying followers can be perceived as a good investment for a long term return.

Sounds pretty good right?

Wrong.

Buying Followers is a Dirty Business

Ethics and moral codes are sacrificed the moment followers are purchased. The brand deals, paid sponsorships, and other perks from having a public following are not given because of the hard work put into the content. In fact, the content is no longer being shown to an audience that is going to engage with your posts, but is advertising to bots and spam accounts.

The business that has made a brand deal with these blog accounts are not reaching the audience they intended on. The money spent to have their product market was wasted and essentially they were scammed. 

Buying Followers Actually Damages Brands

By buying followers brands are actually damaging their reputation. If people can recognize that you are purchasing your followers, the sense of trust they once had in you is broken. Influencer fraud ruins the authenticity of your following.

Not only does it make you look bad, but it skews with your numbers. A brands own marketing efforts will be damaged after purchasing followers. Bots that generate comments or engage with content are not actually going to purchase a product or service. 

But no one can tell when followers are purchased, right?

Wrong, again.

5 Ways People Can Tell If Followers Have Been Purchased


1. Fake Instagram Followers Don’t Engage With Your Account

2. Sudden Spike in Followers or Likes

3. Bot Comments on Posts Do Not Make Sense or Are Inappropriate

4. Spam Comes with Bought Followers 

5. Accounts That Follow You Have Very Few of Their Own Followers and No Postings

Instagram recognizes and purges fake followers so there is commonly a lot of fluctuation in followers of accounts with influencer fraud. Not only is it wrong morally and ethically, but buying followers is against Instagram Terms and Conditions and can get your account permanently suspended.

Markerly analyzed Instagram influencers and found that out of the the 2 million accounts analyzed this was the average engagement ratio:

  • < 1,000 followers average about 8% engagement
  • 1,000 – 10,000 followers average 4% engagement
  • 10,000 – 100,000 followers average 2.4% engagement
  • 100,000 – 1 million followers average 1.8% engagement
  • > 1 million followers average 1.7% engagement

It is a big red flag to followers of a brand if your likes-to-followers ratio on any post seems too high or disproportionate. If a brand gets thousands of likes on its content, but not a single comment it is clear to the audience that the likes have been purchased.

So How Can a Brand Become a Successful Influencer without Fraud?

Focus on creating content for a specific audience and make that your niche. Whether it is marketing, account, beauty, fitness, make one topic your focus and run with it. Niche accounts will build an organic following when they provide value to their audience. 

You have to pay to play. Market your brand by running ads on social media. Your brand can target specific audiences and ensure that the numbers will not be skewed when analyzed. 

Show content that speaks for itself. If your profile looks really insightful and valuable to the viewers, the numbers tend to matter less. Gain the right audience by giving them content they did not know they needed until they realized they were not seeing it. 

Focus on engaging with people's posts that you enjoy and supporting other accounts. By showing support you are likely to receive support back. Like, comment, and share your favorite content and focus on being thoughtful with your engagements. 


Have you found ways to gain an organic audience through one of these techniques? Have you been turned off of a brand because of influencer fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Jan 06

How to Take Your Instagram from Personal to Professional

Instagram , Instagram Stories , Social Media

Today, utilizing social media can be the number one way to get your business started. The large number of users over social media platforms makes it possible for your business to gain recognition quickly. Not only is Instagram saturated with users looking for content to follow, but Instagram allows for personal pages to become specific for business.

How can you make your personalized Instagram professional?

Follow these eight steps:

  1. Go to your profile and tap  in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Tap Switch to Professional Account.
  5. Tap Business.
  6. If you'd like, you can follow the steps to connect your professional account to a Facebook Page associated with your business. This step is optional, and will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses across the Facebook family of apps. At this time, only one Facebook Page can be connected to your professional account.
  7. Add details, like your business category and contact information.
  8. Tap Done.

By creating a professional account, you are able to gain access to business features and Instagram Insights. These insights help you as a business owner to better understand the demographic of your audience. Understanding your audience can help you to create better content to resonate with those users. By clicking the '39 profile visits in the last 7 days' at the top of the page, you can then access your Instagram business insights.

    Another way to view your insights:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap .
  3. Tap Insights.
  4. Select specific posts, stories or promotions you'd like to view insights on. You can also learn more about your audience.

You also have the option to display or hide your business category and contact information on your profile. After setting up, go to your profile and tap Edit Profile. Go to Profile Display under Public Business Information to choose whether you want to hide or display your category label and contact info. Then, tap Done.

Create Ads directly from Instagram:

The most convenient feature Instagram offers after creating your business page is running ads directly from the app. You can use the promotions button to run post ads or story ads.

Creating a promotion can also be accomplished by selecting the post on your profile you wish to promote. You then can select the blue 'promote' button on the right side. This will then redirect you to selecting the promotion details.

To Create an Ad from Instagram:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap Promotions.
  3. Tap Create Promotion at the bottom.
  4. Choose a post you'd like to promote.
  5. Tap Next at the upper-right corner.
  6. If you didn’t link to a Facebook Page when you set up your Instagram professional account, you will be prompted to connect a Page. You can choose an existing Page or tap Skip.
  7. Fill in the details of your promotion by setting things like Destination (where to send people), Audience (who you want to reach), Budget (how much you want to spend daily) and Duration (how long you want your promotion to run). Tap Next once you've completed these details.
  8. To complete your promotion, tap Create Promotion under Review.

Instagram will then put your promotion into the 'review' process. Once reviewed and approved, your ad will then begin running on the Instagram platform. Your promotion must meet their ad policy requirements in order to be approved in the reviewing process. Once your promotion is running, you can review its insights by selecting the Promotions button.

    To Delete your Promoted Post on Instagram:

    If you wish to delete a promoted ad from your profile, you must first delete the original promotion. If the promotion has already ended, you must first delete the original promotion.

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap Promotions.
  3. Tap View Insights under the promoted post you'd like to delete.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap Delete Promotion.
  5. Go back to your profile.
  6. Tap the post you want to delete.
  7. Tap ...
  8. Select Delete and confirm that you want to remove this post.

There are many more features that your business can use to enhance its Instagram account such as:

  1. Control your viewers age
  2. Change your call-to-action button
  3. Connecting to Business Facebook 
  4. Promoting your website

These steps can always be reversed and your account can be switched back over to a personal account.

For more information and helpful tips on Instagram visit: https://help.instagram.com/

Is your business Instagram set up to be a professional page? Did you know you could access the insights from within the Instagram app? We hope this was helpful!

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 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?

Nov 11

Social Media Image Sizes to Use in the Year 2020

Social Media

Facebook Image Sizes

Business Page Profile Picture: 180 x 180 

Photo will appear on page as 170 x 170 pixels on desktop.

Cover Photo: 820 x 312 

Anything less than 820 x 312 pixels will be stretched.

Have a video that you want to highlight? Use it here instead of a photo to grab the attention of potential customers.

Shared Image: 1,200 x 630

Sharing an image is one of the most popular ways to get your posts seen.

Share photos of events happening around the office, or invest in having someone take “stock” photos of your company.

Shared Link: 1,200 x 628

Facebook prioritizes links to fast-loading web pages, so ensure your website is up to date.

Highlighted Image: 1,200 x 717

Has your company recently been nominated for a local award? Choose to highlight a post to keep it at the top of your feed so that more people will see it.

Event Image: 1920 x 1080

Event images provide a lot of screen space to work with, so make sure your image is eye-catching in order to attract more views.

AmpliPhi Facebook Quick Tip:

When running Facebook ads, make sure that your ads’ images are not covered with more than 20% text. Ads that break this rule may be rejected by Facebook, or shown less frequently to your audience.

LinkedIn Image Sizes

Personal Profile Image: 400 x 400

Recommended between 400 x 400 and 20,000 x 20,000 pixels.

Minimum 200 x 200 pixels. 

Company Logo Image: 300 x 300

Be sure to use high- resolution versions of your logo when uploading to social platforms.

Square Logo: 60 x 60

This is the logo that shows up when your company is searched. This can be the same one as your main logo, or a logo that complements it. Just make sure that it is recognizable as part of your brand.

Company Cover Image: 1536 x 768

Appears as 1400 x 425 pixels.

Banner Image for Company Pages: 646 x 220 (Minimum)

This image appears when a user visits your brand’s homepage, and is a great way to highlight your brand.

Shared Image or Link: 1200x627

Appears at 552 x 289 pixels.

AmpliPhi LinkedIn Quick Tip:

Don’t overthink your posting. Share what you know and be genuine about it.

Twitter Image Sizes

Profile Photo: 400 x 400

Make sure your logo is high-quality as it will be seen in the following places:

  1. On your page
  2. In-Stream
  3. Who to follow

Header Photo: 1,500 x 500

Be sure to use high- resolution versions of your logo when uploading to social platforms.

In-Stream Photo: Minimum 440 x 220 (2:1 Ratio)

Recommended aspect ratio is 16:9.

Can tweet up to 4 images at one time.

AmpliPhi Twitter Quick Tip:

Twitter is great for directing people back to your website. If you create content, craft a tweet with a link to the blog post. It’s a free way of sending traffic to your website.

Instagram Image Sizes

Profile Picture: 110 x 110

Use your company’s logo or make sure your profile image is recognizable so users can find you easier through search or explore.

Photo Thumbnails: 161 x 161

These smaller images and videos will expand when clicked and include a place for people to comment.

Photo Size: 1080 x 1080

Square or rectangle photos: maintain an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5 ratio.

For portrait (4:5) photos, recommended dimen- sions are 1080 x 1350 pixels.

Instagram Stories: 1080 x 1920

Minimum resolution is 600 x 1067.

Aspect ratio is 9:16.

AmpliPhi Instagram Quick Tip:

If your video is too long for an instagram profile upload (longer than 60 seconds, utilize IGTV. Upload a vertical video with an aspect ratio of 9:16 or a horizontal video with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Oct 21

What’s The Real Cost of a ‘Like’ on Social Media?

Social Media

What’s The Real Cost of a ‘Like’ on Social Media?

Now that it’s possible to buy ‘likes’ by investing in paid reach on social media, some brands have almost completely abandoned their organic social media efforts. They’re focusing on optimizing their ads and targeting the right demographics, and they’re obsessed with the ROI of each like they receive.

Anyone who has just run a major Facebook advertising campaign can probably spit out the average cost of each like gained throughout the campaign.

Sure, that’s the cost of buying a like.

But what’s the cost of giving a like?

Social media is still, at its core, a community. No matter which platform you’re on, it’s a way to use technology to have one-on-one conversations at scale. And conversations require two-way communication.

Think about the best conversationalist you know: Is she a great talker, or is she actually a great listener who makes you feel valued when you speak with her?

One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. — Bryant H. McGill

The best social media strategy puts more emphasis on listening and engaging with others’ content than it does on promoting its own.

The policies of Reddit — a social network focused on sharing, rating and discussing news and other website content — illustrate the crucial role listening plays in social media. It’s almost impossible to spam a forum on Reddit because you have to earn your way into the community by liking, commenting, and appreciating others’ content before you can start sharing your own. If you haven’t proved your commitment to the community and to supporting others with upvotes and comments, most of your own posts will never get approval.

What Reddit understands is there’s a huge value in protecting the entire ecosystem it has created. People use Reddit because they trust the conversations that are going on there.

You cannot succeed on Reddit unless you are a true Reddit native.

And even though other platforms aren’t nearly as quick to ban you from their community as Reddit if you blatantly try to use the platform for your own gain, the principles are the same. You can’t truly succeed on any social media platform unless you bring real value to the community.

Think about it from a psychological perspective.

People often fear putting themselves out there. So when they finally put in the effort to share a piece of their own original work, but no one reacts to it, it’s almost worse than if someone said something mean.

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. — Harvard psychologist William James

Social media offers you a platform to satisfy the deepest principle in human nature. And the best part of it? It doesn’t cost a thing.

You can’t underestimate the value of expressing your honest appreciation for the content that people in your network are producing.

I’ve noticed that many people who are wonderful listeners in person haven’t connected the dots to realize that social media is all about listening as well. The number of people who view a post compared to the number who like it is drastically different.

I’ll see people at networking events who will say, “I saw that thing you put out on LinkedIn the other day.” I’ll say, “Oh you did? I didn’t see you like it or comment on it.” They’ll respond, “Oh I don’t really ‘like’ things on social media. I don’t do that.”

Part of me wants to shake them. Many people have this hesitation to signal that they like something or support it on social media. They prefer to just observe. Sometimes, they’re too busy putting out their own content to spend any time interacting with others.

There’s a huge opportunity here:

If you’re the one organization that’s actively engaging in and liking other people’s stuff and letting them know that you value it, you will become valuable to them.

My own experience with Instagram proves the value of building your social strategy around giving likes first. My personal account has grown to about 4,000 followers after 400+ posts. The posts reflect both my personal interests and some insights on social media marketing, and I’ve never followed a specific strategy to gain more followers.

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Another account I own, Law Marketing, has many of the same posts as my personal account. But on Law Marketing, I hit 3,000+ followers with only 50 posts. Since the content is similar, I attribute that difference to my activity on each page.

On my personal page, I’ve focused more on putting out my own content and waiting for friends to react. On Law Marketing, I made a concerted effort to find other accounts producing content that I valued and to show them my appreciation. I would set a timer on my phone for five minutes, and then I would search law-related hashtags and spend that five minutes liking other people’s posts.

My strategy worked because of a basic fact of human nature. When we receive a compliment, we usually view the giver of the compliment in a positive light.

The world is full of people who are great at receiving compliments. What the world needs is more people who give great compliments.

It used to be a lot harder to publicly show your support and appreciation for your clients or partners in business. Before social media existed, taking out an ad in a magazine, newspaper or TV network was the only way to brag about your clients or partners publicly, and it was prohibitively expensive. A half page full-color ad in the Wall Street Journal costs $192,921 for one day.

With social media, we can help other people feel good by publicly acknowledging their good work. And we can do that for free. It’s the modern-day equivalent of showing up to an open house to fill the room and show your support. By listening to the voices in your network, showing your support and helping to amplify their voice, you will earn their loyalty, respect, and engagement, and it won’t cost you a thing.

The cost of giving a like is nothing, but the value of a like is priceless.

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