How GoogleMyBusiness Can Optimize Your Visibility

How GoogleMyBusiness Can Optimize Your Visibility

As Google is the top search engine and review platform, it’s important to stay visible and current with your business. Nearly 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information and 4 out of 5 consumers use search to find local information.

Here’s how you can utilize GoogleMyBusiness to increase your visibility and reach.

Use It or Lose It - Appear on Lists You Otherwise Wouldn’t

Without a listing through GoogleMyBusiness, you likely won’t appear on Google Maps, and you risk what is many people’s first option for searching your business having the old or wrong information. GoogleMyBusiness provides a centralized space with all of your information (address, hours of operation, reviews, etc,.)

These are highly prominent listings that stand out to users when displayed and are eye-catching listings you don’t want to miss out on being a part of.

Think Ahead and Create an FAQ

Customers are always going to have questions. Get ahead by pre-populating the questions sections with questions and answers you think may come up for first-time visitors (Is there parking? Is it wheelchair accessible? etc,.) to enhance your business’ listing and ensure that answers are as easy to find.

Include Keywords

Like any and all traditional website SEO, Google uses a variety of signals to optimize search results and help you connect with your audience. Remember to include important keywords and certain phrases in your business's listing. Use these SEO keywords in your description and for any Local Post’s you make to your audience.

Visual Content is Key

Just like any other social platform, you want your content to leave a lasting visual impression. According to Google, businesses with images attached have 42% more requests for directions and more clicks to their websites. Highlighting a key part of your business visually is a great way to showcase your business. Add your business logo, office, products, etc. and boost your visibility.

Don’t Dismiss Reviews, Highlight Them

Google reviews can influence your search results rankings as well as click-through rates. Collect the reviews to boost your credibility and stand among the rest. Encourage your customers to give you a review and respond to both positive and negative reviews when you have the chance.


Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2021

Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2021

The digital marketing landscape changes at a rapid pace, and with experiencing COVID-19, this time will be no different. We may not be able to 100% pinpoint what the coming years will look like, but we can take a few educated guesses of what’s on the horizon.

More Interactive Marketing Content

Alongside the rise of Stories on various platforms, the popularity of interactivity has also risen. People have been starved for connectivity and interaction and many marketing campaigns have begun including more ways to interact with their audience. From various quizzes and polls, AR ads, and 360-degree videos, there are many ways to upgrade your content to the next level and get people talking about your brand.

For example, Google partnered with over 500 museums around the world offering virtual tours including the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Palace of Versailles to name a few.

Chatbots

More and more businesses are welcoming and perfecting the use of Chatbots, with many having integrated them onto their platform already. And the public is starting to accept it more as well, with 69% of customers saying they’re willing to interact with brands using chatbots. Notably, Mastercard created a Facebook chatbot - to interact with their users, respond like a real person would and automate payments.

We believe artificial intelligence will become a more prominent force for many services, including product recommendations, email personalization and e-commerce transactions.

Vertical Video & Graphics

With the release of IG Reels, there will continue to be a push for 30-second vertical video ads supporting that space. For every new video ad placement style, advertisers will need to create content that fits well in that space. In 2021 we will see new levels of creativity from businesses and brands when it comes to this area.

Pinterest & Google Lens (Camera Technology - Access Similar Products)

Remember Google Glass? Google seems to have returned to the concept again recently, as has Pinterest with its announcement of Pinterest Lens - a visual search tool that allows people to take photos of items and find out where to buy them online. They also launched Lens Your Look to help you plot out a future outfit. They've fully automated Shop the Look, a feature that helps users buy products from companies that work with Pinterest, so you can, for example, buy a pair of jeans you see in a picture.

This goes hand in hand with how Instagram seems to be pivoting from less of a photo gallery to an online shopping mall as it refocuses its UI toward the shopping experience.

Website Security

We’ve continued to hear story after story of businesses getting hacked or breached, such as Facebook, Yahoo, and T-Mobile. Only around 25% of consumers believe that most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly.

Since first impressions are everything, if your website doesn’t seem secure within a few glances, it’s unlikely that the customer or user will return. And as more businesses start holding their user’s privacy in higher regard, it’ll only be more important to make sure your website is safe and secure from any chance of breaches.

Long-Form Content (the rise of Medium & Substack)

People seem to have more time on their hands lately and are taking more time to read more long-form content. Posts that are generally 3,000 words or longer have been getting more traffic. This seems to be connected with the popularity of publishing platforms like Medium and Substack, which harkens to the early blogging boom of the 2000s.

This shows that people are interested in reading longer pieces of content by voices that have a lot of insight on a topic. This is something that brands or businesses can leverage by hiring writers to discuss topics related to the industry.

The longer the content, the more likely you can relate it to previous topics your business has covered. A study from Search Engine Journal showed that long-form content gets 77% more backlinks than short articles, which can greatly help in directing organic traffic. Ultimately, this means people will spend more time on your website, foster a stronger trust in your future content and improve your visibility on Google and other SERPs.

Social Audio - Clubhouse & Twitter Spaces

Rumour has it that Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse is just around the corner (aiming for an April release) and supposedly they’ve spent extra time making sure it’s a more welcoming space than its competitor. Many described Twitter Spaces as “more of a conversation,” and the platform houses a wider variety of professional voices. These audio-only social spaces have provided exciting new opportunities for marketers to network and communicate with one another.

How can this be modified to make it a more welcoming space? Provide options to time people out who constantly talk over people (a problem Clubhouse seems to have a problem with)

 

https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2021/


The New "Normal" of Online Consumer Trends

What's Changed in Online Shopping Due to Covid?

Because of the global pandemic, it’s safe to say that “the new normal” has become more and more the norm. Let’s highlight some of the notable consumer trends that have risen out of Covid, and how this can benefit many businesses in the future.

More people are more accepting/trusting of eCommerce

In a study done by Shopify in 2020, 52% of buyers say more of their spending has moved online compared to last year. Because of this shift, online purchases became the safer and preferred option — even as cities removed mandates. 81% of buyers said they planned to continue shopping online by the end of 2020. With improved delivery and pickup options, online shopping is quickly becoming the more convenient option.

Smaller/locally owned businesses are online more than before, and will continue to be.?

Buyers are more conscious and aware of local businesses within their area and are intentionally seeking them out to support them. 46% of buyers in the US and Canada said they made purchases from local, independently-owned businesses throughout the pandemic. Notably, this is also a conscious effort that newer online shoppers are making too. Of that group, 34% reported doing this more often than they did pre-pandemic.

Businesses have noticed this uptick of support, and many local businesses have taken the time to onboard themselves with eCommerce and online options they may not have had initially. This is an investment that many businesses will likely continue to utilize moving forward as mandates are removed.

COVID has accelerated an already steady-growing trend.

Despite the drop in in-person sales due to social distancing guidelines, online shopping via eCommerce saw a large boost and has been growing consistently from the 2010s onward. A study from the second quarter of 2019 shows that eCommerce retail sales have risen 44.5%. This compares with an average year-over-year increase of 14.6% over the past five years. The pandemic has rapidly accelerated trends in eCommerce that have been building for years. This dramatic swing away from in-store transactions and toward eCommerce will ebb, once it becomes safer for in-person shopping. However, we will likely not return to where we were before the pandemic.

https://www.shopify.ca/blog/consumer-trends

https://squareup.com/us/en/townsquare/retail-ecommerce-predictions-2021


The “Stories” Movement and How This Social Media Trend is Good for Business

Young man wearing plaid jacket in an art studio documenting a bird sculpture with his phone.

How “Stories” Can Personalize Your Brand or Company, Even on LinkedIn

Earlier last year as part of LinkedIn’s revamping, the platform announced the rollout of LinkedIn Stories. This may seem like an odd choice for a more professional-leaning platform, but looking at the insights gained from Instagram, we can see how effective this form of communication is for introducing younger professionals and sharing content related to the industry.

Statistically, over half of Instagram users actively use the Stories feature. 62% of those users have said they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after it shows up on their Stories.

One key reason this is so effective is that it humanizes and personalizes the brand or person. Instagram largely defines itself as the “picture-perfect” social platform. Where people capture the perfect moment or the perfect shot, while Stories offer more honesty.

This provides more opportunities to humanize your business or brand. Whether it’s a local brewery showing how their canning process works or some behind-the-scenes shots from a photoshoot. Create visual content that shows off your personality and values.

How “Stories” Make Your Audience More Comfortable Engaging With You

With the popularity of “Stories” making its way on various platforms, it’s important to highlight some of the ways it can be used to boost your content. We’ve already shared how Stories can humanize your brand, so let’s look at another way Stories can foster more interaction with your audience.

Through LinkedIn’s “Question of the Day”? feature, you can get to know your audience better and foster a more connected community. Stories provide a certain sense of privacy that isn’t provided when users engage with what you post. When someone comments on a Story, it’s only the user that sees the response. This privacy encourages more people to interact than if they had to respond on the public feed, where their comment is visible to everyone.

Stories encourage people to reach out or react to your content without feeling like the whole world is looking at them. This is a prime way to ask your audience questions and get honest answers. Experiment with polls and Q&A’s to discover more about your audience and what they connect to the most.

https://www.intracon-spain.com/5-benefits-using-linkedin-stories-b2b/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-use-instagram-stories/

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/linkedin-stories

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/preferred-story-platforms

 


Eating, Drinking, and Supporting Local From Home

While we’re feeling grateful to have the privilege of working from home during these unusual circumstances, we’re also missing the good old days of coming into our office and popping out to lunch at one of the many unique local restaurants and cafés in the Exchange District.

With small businesses taking a hit from severely reduced foot-traffic these last couple of months (shout out to everyone able to stay home to help flatten the curve), we felt that now would be a good time to share a list of our favourite neighbourhood eateries and the ways you can support them from a safe social distance. Delicious food (that you didn’t have to cook) and knowing that you’re actively supporting local businesses? It’s a win-win!

Deer + Almond ?- 85 McDermot Avenue

We’re extremely lucky to be situated right across the street from Deer + Almond. It’s a delightful little spot for a selection of inventive tapas that combine local and global cuisine. While we certainly miss catching up with friends after work over their delicious cocktails and shareable plates, we’re glad they’re offering a special menu for pick up orders!

Photo by @biteofwpg via Deer + Almond

Bodegoes - 211 Bannatyne Ave #102

This flavourful fast-casual restaurant in Old Market Square offers everything from noodle boxes and burritos to flatbreads and salads. Aside from doing pick-up orders and delivery through Skip the Dishes and DoorDash, Bodegoes is also offering a new grocery pick-up and delivery service. You’re now able to purchase affordable produce, pantry items, and frozen food items along with a selection of their house-made signature sauces. Bonus – you’ll get free delivery on grocery orders over $50.

Photo by Bodegoes

Shawarma Khan - 255 McDermot Avenue

This Middle-Eastern joint is a popular Exchange District eatery known for their delicious shawarma options and friendly staff. While Shawarma Khan's McDermot Avenue location is closed for the time being, their Pembina location is still open for curb-side pick-up orders, and they're also offering free delivery through Skip the Dishes and DoorDash.

Chosabi - 100 King Street

Known for their fast, fresh, and casual take on Asian cuisine, Chosabi is the go-to spot for sushi burritos, poke bowls, and ramen. The King St. location that we usually frequent is still open for pick-ups, and they’re also available for delivery through Skip the Dishes.

The Merchant Kitchen - 314 Donald Street

Feel like having some elevated street food, and maybe a drink to go along with it? Although The Merchant Kitchen isn’t technically in the Exchange (it’s a 10minute walk away from our office) it’s one of our favourite spots for to-die-for fried rice and tacos. They currently offer pick-up and delivery orders from their food AND drinks menu. Cheers!

Vicky’s Diner - 58 Albert Street

Craving the homemade taste of classic burgers and fries? Vicky’s Diner on Albert Street has what you’re looking for, and they’ve also got hot dogs, pita wraps, and all the fried sides you can dream of. Currently, they’re offering pick-up orders and delivery through Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats, and DoorDash.

Photo by Daezerae Gil for Vicky's Diner

Parlour Coffee - 468 Main Street

Featuring some of the best coffee in the Peg, Parlour Coffee on Main Street is the perfect quick walk from our office for a morning cuppa – or afternoon break! While their café is closed for the meantime, coffee connoisseurs can still get their fix by ordering imported specialty beans online, with free local delivery on orders over $25. Additionally, Parlour will be starting daily curbside pickups sometime in May, so keep an eye out for that on their social media.

Photo by Janine Kropla for Parlour Coffee

Forth - 171 McDermot Avenue

Another Fusion favourite for coffee, we also enjoy visiting Forth for the change in scenery. Their ample space is great for curing creative blocks, while their extensive menu has something for everyone. Thankfully, they’re now offering delivery for coffees, cocktails, and at-home kits on Fridays, with an order cut-off date of Wednesday at 11 pm. They just gave TGIF a whole new meaning!

Photo via Forth

Little Brown Jug - 336 William Avenue

Not that it’s patio season yet, but we’re already yearning for warm Friday afternoons spent at Little Brown Jug’s shop front for a cold bottle of beer. Luckily, they’re offering delivery in Winnipeg, so you can sip on their signature craft beers from the comfort of your own home.

Photo via Little Brown Jug

Creating Shareable Content

Roughly 2 million blog posts are published every day. Combine that with the billions of photos, statuses, and videos published too, and you’ve got a pretty saturated stream of content. With all the content being created, you need to be able to pierce through all the material that’s being published and make some pretty stellar stuff to get noticed. ?

Here are our top tips to create content that will make people want to repost.

 

Make it Easy

According to a study by Moz and BuzzSumo, videos and quizzes are some of the most-shared content. Why? They’re easy. How many times have you stumbled across a BuzzFeed quiz, taken it, and immediately forwarded it to your 10 closest friends because you need to know what their coffee order says about when they will get married?

Like listicles – which also ranked high in the Moz and BuzzSumo study – these short, entertaining pieces are easy to digest and don’t require a lot of thought or energy to enjoy. Focus on one succinct topic, and do it justice.

Make it Meaningful

Inspirational content is super shareable – and so are pieces that tug at the heartstrings. When you experience strong emotions while reading an article or watching a video, you are much more likely to share it. But don’t make your content too sad; pieces that evoke positive emotions experience much larger share volumes. Think of those rescue puppy videos: would you watch and share if that dog didn’t get to a good home and completely recover? Probably not. But because everything turns out the way we want it to, we’ll hit the share button while awkwardly crying at our desks. ??

People are also more likely to share your content if you retain your sense of humor. No, you don’t need to crack joke after joke, but your piece should sound like a real person created it, while still being polished. Ditch the robotic language and loosen up a little – this isn’t your eleventh grade English paper on Macbeth.

 

Make it Personal

People don’t share articles on Facebook to drive traffic to your website, they share to connect with other people. So what does that mean? Share information that is useful or entertaining for your audience and the people they interact with. A great way to do this is to engage with the community and listen to what they’re interested in. Read the comments people leave, analyze what’s working with your content, and look at what other members of your community are sharing and creating.

 

Don’t forget: these tips are based on the average post. There are always outliers that will perform exceptionally well. So, instead of investing too much time and energy in creating mediocre posts, aim for something better. Creating consistent quality content will not only drive people to your website, it will also establish customer loyalty, instill trust, and help you build your brand’s voice. ?

 


So, Why Pinterest?

Last September, Pinterest announced that it had reached 250 million active users – a new record for the platform. The social network is not new, but if you’re unfamiliar with it essentially users “pin” digital content like inspirational images, helpful tips, intriguing recipes, and more onto digital cork boards.

So what are so many people finding so pinteresting?

 

It’s kind of an anti-social network.

In a world where Zuckerberg owns your life and getting likes on your Instagram pictures rules all, it’s kind of nice to be semi-alone with your thoughts in a space that allows you to quietly explore what other people are thinking and creating, and archive your own inspiration. Pinterest doesn’t actively publicize your activity in the same way that Facebook does, and you often aren’t creating your own original content the way you do for other platforms, which all adds up to mean that the competitive nature of other social networks is notably absent.

In the platform’s humble beginnings, pins were shown in chronological order, but like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter before it, Pinterest eventually put a pin in that model to opt instead for an algorithm-driven feed. However, in a very un-Zuckerberg move, they recently introduced an update for their mobile app that allows users to once again browse through pins in chronological order (insert all of the celebrating emojis here).

Pinterest has also adjusted wonderfully to the growth in usership. While other platforms make changes that are clearly focused on increasing advertising spends, or make changes for the sake of changes that infuriate their users – see Instagram’s recent side-to-side scrolling update that lasted all of an hour before the backlash caused them to revert – Pinterest has gifted us with user-driven features like Pinterest Lens (a visual search engine), new ways to organize pins, and the option to archive old pins.

All in all, the platform manages to feel less like a social network and more like a dreamy collection of beautiful things curated by you, for you.

 

While staying user-focused, Pinterest has also upped its advertising game.

Pinterest has stepped up their game for advertisers by developing a more sophisticated backend for Pinterest for Business users, allowing businesses to boost pins to increase their reach and geotarget users to give the most bang for your buck. But, importantly, the algorithm prevents users from feeling like their feed is swarmed with ads. The improvements earned Pinterest a reported $500 million in revenue last year to go along with an increase of 50 million users since September 2017 – not too shabby.

Riding on the same wavelength, Pinterest provides a really unique selling opportunity to companies. One in two Millennials – a demographic that is now solidly in the workforce and has disposable income – report using Pinterest at least once a month. 93% of users said they use Pinterest to plan for future purchases, meaning users are on the platform because they’re looking to spend money and want inspiration on how to do it.

 

It’s keeping pace with the turtle, not the hare.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, Pinterest has rejected the Silicon Valley model of superfast growth and unnecessary changes, and of breaking the platform and fighting to fix it. While this slower growth model has allegedly upset some (probably ex) employees, it is obviously working. Right now, Pinterest is projected to exceed $1 billion in advertising revenue by 2020– that’s sounds like winning to us.

 

So, are you jumping on board the Pinterest train?

 


7 Inspiring Instagram Accounts to Follow

Everyone hits a creative slump now and again, and in 2018 that means your Instagram sits untouched while you wait to be hit with a stroke of artistic genius, or if all else fails, for a trip to a particularly photogenic location. That's all well and good if your feed is more of a personal project, but if keeping it fresh is part of your job and awaiting inspiration is not an option, we've got 7 follow-worthy Instagram accounts to get you back in the game sooner rather than later.

@fragmentsparis

May we introduce you to the cutest little café in Paris. Not only does Fragments serve what we can only assume from photographic evidence is an incredible breakfast, but they also serve up a lesson in branding consistency on social media. Their food (and coffee, obvs) photography features a consistent editing style and high-quality photos good enough to make you hop on a plane to France just to get a bite of that pastry. Even user-generated content that is reposted stays true to the brand's look and palette, creating a beautiful, cohesive, and very drool-inducing feed.

 

@tinyatlasquartley

Tiny Atlas is a travel magazine with an Instagram feed that makes us want to give up our home base to become world travellers. The key to this feed's success is storytelling –? images featured are so rich and provocative that you feel transported to that harbour in Denmark or rolling landscape in Rwanda.??

Unsurprisingly, they also excel at Instagram Stories, which they use to “follow” someone around a new location – essentially taking you along for the ride.??

 

@thesill

The Sill is a plant seller based in New York City with a cult-like following (300k and counting), and if you share our love of plants?then this follow is going to brighten your feed immeasurably. They've adeptly used?a custom hashtag to build their profile and generate user content – followers happily slap #PlantsMakePeopleHappy on their own photos, giving The Sill a never-ending stream of content which they curate flawlessly. The profile page makes excellent use of Story Highlights, and posts strike an ideal balance between more sales oriented content and posts aimed at engagement.

 

@annasheffield

Now granted, this NYC-based jewellery designer has a leg up on the competition simply due to the innate beauty of the jewellery featured, but they certainly now how to make the most of it. Jewellery is shown off in more styled settings – a studio closeup of a beautiful piece – as well as in real-life scenarios – an engagement ring with proposal story as caption. Think eye-candy alongside a few good tugs on the old heart strings – match made in heaven?

 

@letterfolk

When you make letterboards, you are essentially creating a canvas for more beautiful memes, so the obvious potential on social media is immediately apparent. The folks at Letterfolk make good use of their product and have mastered the art of user generated content with the massively popular #letterfolkquotes. Hats off to the caption writers on task at Letterfolk who regularly make us laugh out loud with their witty captions to accompany the photos.??

 

@andreannu

Andrea Nunez is a lifestyle influencer/blogger in London, England, with a second-to-none feed of gorgeous photos designed to give you life envy. Styling, shooting, and editing are decidedly on-point here – she's living out the personal Instagram feeds we'd all have, given the time and energy. Credit where credit is due!

 

@saveurmag

If you’re reading this just before lunch, be forewarned: Saveur is a magazine for foodies, and you will know hunger and cravings like never before should you choose to check this account out right now. The feed is used primarily to promote recipes from the current print issue of the magazine or online, but they also feature photos of food cooked by other chefs who have tagged them on the ‘gram. Following this feed can definitely inspire you to cook this weekend rather than hopping over to Skip the Dishes yet again.

 

 

Photo from @letterfolk


Why You Need Social Media

It’s clear that social media marketing isn’t just a fad – platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest are shaping the way consumers buy, growing brand loyalty, developing brand recognition, improving SEO rankings, and resulting in higher conversion rates. Not convinced? Let’s break it down.

 

75% of people report purchasing a product because they saw it on social media.

At the end of the day, every company is trying to sell their product – Starbucks wants to sell you coffee, your local restaurant wants to fill their seats, Honda wants to sell you a Civic. Commerce makes the world go ‘round, and studies have shown that social media marketing has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.

 

If you’re not on social media, you’re missing out on a huge customer base.

By the end of 2017, 22.7 million Canadians reported using at least one social media platform, and roughly three-quarters of Facebook users and one-half of Instagram users say they’re scrolling through their feeds at least once a day. Instagram just broke a billion monthly active users, and Facebook has 1.32 billion daily users. And you can speak directly to these users for a relatively low cost when compared to traditional advertising methods.

 

Brand recognition is important, and so is brand loyalty.

Social media platforms are the perfect opportunity to develop and express your brand’s identity, and show what you have to offer. Your profiles, when managed with a consistent and cohesive strategy, make it easier for customers to find you and learn about your brand, while also making you more familiar and accessible to existing customers. Plus, social media is dynamic by nature, allowing you to paint a fuller picture of your company’s culture and values – it’s a win-win.

 

Your competition is already on social media.

91% of retail brands already use at least one social media platform. They’re developing their brand voice and engaging with their audience – if you’re not taking advantage of social media marketing, you’re behind. Not having an active social media presence is like not having a smartphone. ?

 


How Instagram is Becoming the New Facebook for Brands

Brands were recently hit with an algorithmic change on Facebook aptly dubbed “Facebook armageddon,” which prioritizes ?“meaningful interactions” and posts from your friends and family over posts from brands. Of course, mass panic ensued. For years, Facebook has been the spot for brands to advertise and build a social following. Then suddenly, Facebook gathered all of our things and through them into the street like a cruel ex-boyfriend. Big brands owned by rockstar/scientist Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX, have already deleted their Facebook pages – the equivalent to, well, deleting their ex on Facebook.

Luckily, there’s another suitor in town: Instagram. Instagram, though owned by Facebook, may become the new love interest of big brands. It’s young (the majority of Instagram’s users are under 30), adaptable, and its users are fiercely loyal to brands they love (roughly 53 percent of Instagram users follow brands).

So, is it time for brands to cut ties with their cold and fickle ex, Facebook, in favour of Instagram? Maybe – and here’s why.

Adaptability

Instagram has proven its ability to quickly embrace new trends and technology – and does it really well. Take Instagram Stories, for instance. After Instagram blatantly copied Snapchat (RIP) with Instagram Stories, they saw a growth of 300 million users. Then, they stole Snapchat’s filters, effectively digging a knife into the once almighty ghost (afterwhich Snapchat finished the job themselves with their recent ill-advised advertising fiasco). And even after Instagram adopting the algorithmic timeline approach à la Facebook, versus the chronological timeline of the past, the platform’s user base is still growing.

Translation: Instagram’s continually changing interface and dynamic ability to adapt promises sustainable user growth moving forward.

Engagement

Sure, Facebook has 2 billion users making it the untouchable king of reach. But the king better guard his crown, because engagement on Instagram is unparalleled by any other major social media platform – though it has dropped since the decline of organic reach. Recent studies found that brands are seeing up to three times higher user engagement on Instagram than they are on Facebook, and afterall, isn’t engagement what we all want? Why settle for someone passively looking at your content mid-scroll, when you have another audience ready to put a ring on it – metaphorically speaking. Take Mercedes-Benz, for example. They posted a photo of their new A-Class on Facebook and quickly got 10,000 likes. When they posted the same photo on Instagram: 150,000 likes.

Granted, Instagram does have an inherent leg up on Facebook. The visual-based platform, at its core, is a hub for sharing pretty photos – a lot of pretty photos. As users scroll through their feed, the content is right there, making it easy to toss out likes like Oprah giving away free cars. And, importantly, there is no “dislike” button on Instagram.

Embracing Brands

While Facebook is pushing brands away, Instagram is pulling them in for a big bear hug. With the latest algorithm update on Facebook, updates from friends and family are being prioritized over posts and ads from brands. Okay, fair. A post from a brand sticks out like a sore thumb when mixed among status updates from your grandma and your weird aunt sharing photos of her latest sewing venture. On Instagram, however, branded content blends right in – especially content from brands who have mastered the art of gorgeous visuals. Plus, with the Explore Tab, posts by brands can be discovered by users outside of their current followers, essentially rewarding brands with good feeds. Instagram has also added a shopping feature, allowing brands to include a direct link to purchase the products shown in their photos. Can it get any easier?

More Sophisticated Tools

Facebook has long been the platform of choice for advertisers – primarily for its ability to refine your audience down to location, behaviours, jobs, and interests. No other platform could give you that kind of bang for your buck – until Instagram opened up to ads in 2015 and quickly introduced Facebook’s advertising functionality. They have since created innovative ways to advertise, such as opening up Instagram Stories to canvas ads. Not surprisingly, the number of brands advertising on Instagram jumped to two million last year – which, like our coffee consumption, roughly doubled over the previous year. With projected ad revenue of $11 million in 2019, it doesn’t look they’ll be slowing down any time soon.

Need help making the most of Instagram, or figuring out which platforms work the best for your business? We’d love to talk.