10 Aug

How Do Instagram Stories Affect Your Business

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 10.08.16 by John Meloche

Recently Instagram released a new feature called “stories”, where people can post photos that only last 10 seconds on their profile. These photos are available for all of one’s followers to see. This feature has become extremely controversial due to it’s striking resemblance to another social media app: Snapchat. Yesterday we talked about Snapchat and how it could help your business, today we’re going to look at the Instagram story feature and determine where it should stand in your business.

There are currently a lot of mixed views surrounding the feature. A lot of dedicated Snapchat users aren’t happy with the duplication of the Story feature. Due to this mixed reaction, it would be safe to avoid the stories option on Instagram for a bit. Just maybe another week to let the tension die down. Another note, if your business doesn’t have Snapchat then you might want to use the Instagram Story feature as a trial for Snapchat. If you’re getting good engagement numbers on Instagram, then getting Snapchat might further help your business.

Now if your business is on Snapchat, and you’re deciding whether or not you should post more frequently on Snapchat or Instagram, or even if you should use the Instagram feature, then do a test run. Post on Instagram stories and evaluate your engagement, keep track of how many people saw your story and replied to it. After you’ve done this, do the same on Snapchat. Finally compare the two numbers, whichever platform is receiving the most engagement is the platform you should be using more frequently.

Now the Instagram Story feud is still at large. So waiting a couple of days before making your Instagram story debut would be ideal. That being said, Instagram stories do have the ability to bring a Snapchat-like vibe to Instagram, and thus gives the app an increased potential for success.

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28 Jul

5 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Reach Without Paying

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 28.07.16 by John Meloche

Concluding the big three with the most photogenic social media outlet, today we’re looking at Instagram. While this is the last of the big three social media mediums that we are covering, it certainly isn’t the smallest. According to DMR stats, Instagram has around 500 million monthly active users and 300 million daily active users. Instagram has become a cherished social media outlet over the years as people admire that there’s a true place to show their photographic memories. Despite this, businesses are struggling with their Instagram reach. There are easy and free ways to counteract these struggles. Here are 5 free things you can do to improve your Instagram reach:

  1. Twitter and Facebook Shout-outs. Just because you’re operating on all these mediums, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to connect them. If you have a lot of likers on your Facebook page, or a lot of followers on Twitter, then use them to your advantage. A simple reminder to follow your Instagram page could go a long way. Essentially you’re just reaching out to different fans of yours across social media and trying to bring them all together.
  2. Post at the Right Time. Timing is extremely important on Instagram. You have to identify peak times for Instagram audiences. Typically, mornings aren’t too great because people are working, however, late afternoon/early night time is great for posting. Right after work people will go through their phone and check their Instagram feed. Maybe scroll through Instagram on their commute back from work. At night, you can catch audiences scrolling through their phones before bed time. Posting between 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. is ideal for optimizing the reach on your Instagram posts.
  3. Engage your Fans. The whole point of social media is to get your fans further involved in your business. You want them to garner support for your company and act as if they’re in it. So how do you do that? Well, you ask them questions. Comments are your best friend in this case. Get people to comment and share their opinions on your posts. Not only does this get your fans more involved with your business, but it allows you to develop a greater bond with them as well.
  4. Like Others’ Content. We’ve mentioned this before in previous blogs. People love it when you notice their posts. A subtle like or comment can result in another follower. Neil Patel from Quicksprout implemented this strategy and found that for every 100 likes he did of random pictures, he received 6.1 more followers.
  5. Be Careful with your Hashtags. Hashtags are a very contentious matter on social media, especially Instagram. According to Buffer Social, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. Others would argue that you shouldn’t use that many hashtags. Sarah Dawley from Hootsuite, advises against the overuse of hashtags as too many can distract your audience and take away from your message. So what’s a safe number? 5-7 is a safe bet for getting a good reach while at the same time preventing the dilution of your core message.

 

There are a lot of small details, that when considered, can greatly increase your reach. Simply fine-tuning some minor things on your post can help you reach thousands, maybe even millions more people. So get on Instagram, tell your story, and make some friends.

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15 Jul

5 Ways To Strengthen Your Social Media Presence

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media, Synergy Suggestions on 15.07.16 by John Meloche

Did you know that YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter serve as the 2nd, 3rd, and 8th most visited websites respectively? There’s such an immense audience present on social media, but still businesses struggle to direct traffic to their social media pages. Well, fear no more, cause here are 5 ways to strengthen your company’s social media presence.

  1. Constantly Post. This is kind of obvious. People don’t want to follow a plain and boring account. They want to see a consistent stream of interesting content. At least a post a day is good, but if you can post more then that would be ideal.
  2. Change it up. It’s good to post consistently but make sure you’re changing the material. People don’t want to see the exact same post every day. The whole point is you want to keep people interested, steady similar posts doesn’t really achieve that.
  3. Make the Content Relevant. You have to make sure the stuff you post actually relates to your business somehow. Ideally you want to explore different routes that help reveal your businesses’ niche in an interesting way. Also when you post, you want to portray a realistic image of your company. You have to realize that your Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account, etc., are all your virtual representatives. You need to post stuff that your business would otherwise be interested in. You have to conduct yourself in a professional matter over social media in order to maintain a beneficial/good image of your company. People look to social media for pretty much anything, you don’t want them to develop a poor image of your company because of some irrelevant posts; that’s a large market you don’t want to miss out on.
  4. Like Random People’s content. Believe it or not this is a pretty effective strategy. There’s no better way to appear on social media, then on someone’s notification page. People are obsessed with getting likes, some would even go as far to buy likes for their posts. When you like a person’s post, they notice it, and some would even get so happy that they’d maybe even follow you back. Neil Patel, from Quicksprout, used this strategy and found that for every 100 likes he made on random people’s photos, he got 6.1 followers.
  5. Take Advantage of Hashtags. Hashtags have made many marketer’s dreams come true. With a simple hashtag, you can reach millions. However, there is a caveat to hashtags. It’s extremely easy to misuse hashtags. It’s important to stress quality over quantity for hashtags. Make sure your hashtags are actually relevant to your company and posts. Irrelevant hashtags can easily confuse your audience and throw them off your posts. For example, #followforfollow probably isn’t the right thing to say when you’re posting about a big sale.

Social media can open so many doors for your business, but it’s all about using it the right way. Your posts need to be relevant and interesting, otherwise you can say #goodbye to new followers.

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11 Feb

3 Ways To Create Great Visual Marketing Campaigns

Posted in Social Media, Synergy Suggestions on 11.02.15 by John Meloche

Visual Communication“You gotta see it to believe it!” This phrase has been made popular in various advertising campaigns throughout the years. And it’s a statement that holds relevance to this day. At Synergy Marketing, our many years of experience have proven to us that when our clients see our fantastic promotional products, they are immediately impressed. Of course, the same goes for their customers when they become recipients of these fine gifts!

When customers can get their hands on your marketing materials, your promotional campaign tends to have a lot more staying power. There’s a big difference between “feeling” your advertising strategy and just seeing it. That’s not to say that visual marketing isn’t important. In fact, it will never go out of style! Giving your target market something to see that will impress them is an important step in growing your client base. Here are three creative visual marketing ideas.

1. A product collage. On Business2Community.com, Penney Fox suggests that you “make a collage of your products or focus in on just one product that you’re promoting.” This doesn’t take a professional photographer to pull off either, she insists. In fact, taking your own snazzy photo of your awesome products is a great way to make use of your social media profiles. Fox mentions that using your phone to snap a pic and post it to Instagram is bound to get some attention.

She also gives a few details on how to stage the best photos. “Study the layout, the staging (what other objects did they bring into the photo) and the placement of the product (is it being used or sitting on a table),” she advises, “Then have some fun and play with your camera phone’s internal photo options. Experiment with these ideas: shoot from different angles, like going down to the product’s level, close-up shots or wide-angles.”

2. Fan contributed photos. Speaking of using social media, there’s arguably no better way to take advantage of your profiles than to involve your friends and followers in your marketing campaigns. “Think about ways you can start collecting photos of your fans,” suggests Fox, “Try running an Instagram or Facebook challenge and ask your fans to take photos of themselves using your products.”

One of her suggestions is to run a “Before & After contest of your fans using your services.” This can certainly work wonders for such businesses as hair and nail salons, tanning salons, gyms and weight loss programs. Fox also recommends a “monthly customer spotlight.” “Use photos of your customers using your products or services, add in a quick testimonial and you’ve got a great marketing message while spotlighting one of your top customers,” she describes.

3. Creative company images. How many different images out there represent your business? Fox reminds us that no business is represented by its logo alone. There are various pictures that you can post to give the general public a better idea about what your brand is all about. She suggests highlighting your city by taking photos of various places around town. Fox also recommends that you take photos of yourself holding your products during different times of the year.

In addition, she poses a very important question. “What do you love most about your work?” asks Fox, “Show pictures of you doing a personal coaching session or making your next order. Show us something about you so we can get to know more about you as a person, not just someone trying to sell us something.” And, of course, don’t forget to add your company logo to one of our great promo gifts. To order, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884 today!

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18 Sep

6 Free Social Networking Platforms That Grow Your Business

Posted in Social Media, Synergy Suggestions on 18.09.14 by John Meloche

Globe with pointers and network signals, Social media network coIn yesterday’s blog, we continued down our path of “free online promotion” blogs by taking a look at some ideas that small business owners can use to boost their businesses using the internet. It’s a lot easier than you think – and cheaper too! Obviously, it doesn’t get much cheaper than “free”. But, of course, some of the ideas take a bit of effort and creativity. After all, we’re living in a world where people flock to the internet more than ever.

That means that if your brand doesn’t have a strong internet presence, it’s practically non-existent. On SearchEngineWatch.com, Carrie Hill says as much by listing 30 different ways that entrepreneurs can promote their businesses online for free. Among them are ideas to show off your expertise in your field by writing “how-to” articles or better yet, filming “how-to” videos. There are, however, some specific sites that are among the most popular ways in the world to spread the word. Here are our top six.

1. Get on Facebook. This is a tip that we’ve been following for some time now. Facebook is arguably the most popular social networking site in the world. Even Hill admits that “Facebook is so much more robust than it ever was!” and suggests that you “create groups, events, and photo albums. Link to your Facebook profile from your site and allow visitors to your site to like and share your content.”

2. Get on Twitter. Right up there with Facebook is Twitter when it comes to world’s most popular social networking platforms. And yes, this is a tip that we follow ourselves. Each and every business day, we post links to our blogs on both our Facebook and Twitter pages in an effort to drive more traffic to our site. “Start Twittering or start doing it much better than you are now – it’s a great way to network with like-minded individuals,” insists Hill.

3. Get on Pinterest. According to its website, “Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests.” And as Hill explains, “Pinterest is hot right now. If you have visually stimulating content that is relevant to the site’s demographic, you can find great success right now. Be sure you’re using solid practices for marketing on Pinterest as you get started.”

4. Get on Google+. According to its website, “Google+ is a place to connect with friends and family, and explore all of your interests.” “Build a Google+ page for your business and follow businesses that are related to your product or service niche,” writes Hill, “Share informative and relative content and link to your profile from your website. You should also consider allowing users to +1 your content on a page by page basis.”

5. Get on Flickr. In yesterday’s blog, we mentioned how much people love watching videos online. However, that doesn’t mean that the still picture has lost its lustre! Flickr offers “picture galleries available with social networking, chat, groups, and photo ratings,” the site describes. Hill advises that you should “share your photos at Flickr – get a profile, write descriptions, and link to your website. Don’t share photos you don’t own or have permission to use.”

6. Get on Instagram. While this particular tip didn’t make Hill’s list, it should not be left off of ours. Instagram is a widely popular website and app that people use daily to post photos. As the site describes itself, “Instagram is a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends and family.” Take pictures of your products and post them with descriptions of just how great they are. The possibilities are endless!

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20 Feb

Using Promo Gifts To Boost Your Social Media Status

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 20.02.14 by John Meloche

Social MediaReaders of the Synergy Marketing Blog are well aware that we enjoy discussing the many ways in which promotional products can help boost businesses. This blog is also known for championing the use of social media to spread the word about your brand. It all adds up. The use of both promo gifts and social networking sites are inexpensive ways to significantly increase awareness about your company.

But can they work hand in hand? The obvious answer is “of course they can!” But how can one take advantage of promotional gifts and social media at the same time? Can they truly work in conjunction with each other? Carla Frogatt certainly thinks so. On SearchEngineJournal.com, she writes that “a promotional gift lasts longer than a tweet or a status.”

This is because “they are concrete, have utility and are a less disposable marketing tool than many assume,” she continues, “You can use the longevity they offer your brand campaign to increase traffic to, and awareness of, your social media efforts.” So, in other words, using your promotional gifts to enhance the popularity of your social media profiles can greatly elevate your company’s prestige. But how?

QR Codes. Also known as “Quick Response Codes”, these obscure-looking square designs can be found on nearly everything these days. They enable consumers to use their smart phones to scan codes that generally lead them directly to company websites, social media pages or blogs. Once you have one designed, you can have it attached to one of your unique promo gifts.

The benefit to placing QR Codes on your promo gifts is that they are bound to last longer than if they were printed on flyers. As you know, promotional products are useful items that can be used daily and last for many years. The more often they are used, the more often people will think about your business. In today’s internet-crazed world, a promo gift that directs people to your website is bound to grow your popularity.

Frogatt suggests you take the idea another step further. “Incentive your recipients by using the QR code to direct them to a competition,” she suggests. This is a great idea considering that promo gifts are often used as prizes for contests. And contests are always great ways to generate excitement about your business. Consider starting a contest and using your promo gifts as ways to promote it!

Hashtag Campaign. Hashtags are all the rage these days. What was once known as “the number sign”, the hashtag is now a popular way of underscoring a topic of conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+. A few examples that would make sense to use in this very blog entry are #promogifts, #socialmedia and #SynergyMarketing. As Frogatt points out, hashtags are ways of tracking topics or trends on social media.

She suggests that you “devise inventive hashtags to create a buzz around your company or campaign. Puns and humorous phrases work particularly well; keep it light, fresh and ‘social’.” And what better way to promote your new hashtag campaign than to stick one on your new promotional gift? In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll delve deeper into how this concept can help grow your business.

To order your promotional products, call Synergy Marketing at 1-877-748-9884.

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17 Sep

Up Your Online Game To Boost Business

Posted in Synergy Suggestions on 17.09.13 by John Meloche

Online-marketing-signAs Peter Walters says on the Business Review Canada website, promoting your small business isn’t just important, it’s essential to its success. Naturally, this is something that business owners think about on a daily basis. At least, they should be, anyway. It’s important that a business owner’s thinking never stays stagnant. Just being happy to get by is no way to promote longevity.

Walters insists that there are three simple areas that business owners should focus on when it comes to promoting their brands. Interestingly, there is a clear focus on the concept of online marketing. It’s been highlighted many times, in the Synergy Marketing Blog, that a strong online presence is a key component to good business promotion these days.

Website. Too many companies neglect to give their websites proper attention, says Walters. Both the design of the site and the user interface should be addressed. Strong websites can work to both drive sales and boost the images of brands. It’s widely known that most Canadian shoppers enjoy browsing online before visiting stores. Is your website encouraging people to visit you?

“Where do your eyes go first when you get to your home page?” Walters asks, “Is there an immediate call to action?” You website needs to be bright, compelling and able to draw customers deeper in so that they learn more, he continues. The longer a potential customer spends taking a look at your website, the better chance you have of converting browsing into selling.

Email Blasts. Email marketing is still quite popular despite what some strategists believe, Walters reports. It’s important, however, not to get lost in the shuffle by having your emails appear as spam. Therefore, business owners should make their emails seem personal, relevant and “human”, he recommends. That way, they will be a lot more worth reading.

As many business owners know, relationship-building is a major part of any company’s success. Effective email marketing includes messages that treat recipients as people, not just customers who may be willing to spend their money. Email blasts are inexpensive ways to get the word out, no matter how many people are receiving that word. Just make sure that the word is an enjoyable one to read!

Social Media. There is likely no list of marketing tips out there that exclude the use of social media. “If you’re not using social media…wake up!” insists Walters. That includes using such “top tools” as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Each social media site has its own unique purposes. And there are various ways to use them to the advantage of your company.

Using social media is the ideal way to speak directly to your customers. Engaging in conversations and encouraging discussion are big parts of what make social media so successful. Leave comments, post pictures, share stories, answer questions and “like” other pages – these are all ways to garner more interest and drum up more business. Social media offer people free access to the world. Use them well!

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05 Jul

How To Heat Up The Sales This Summer

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 05.07.13 by John Meloche

heatIn yesterday’s blog, we started looking at some savvy summer marketing tips listed by Rachel Hartman on Intuit.com. Naturally, it’s important to market your business all year round. But during the summer, you may need that extra push to pick up sales when they may usually be slow. The weather is hot, so why shouldn’t your business be hot as well? Let’s look at a few more ideas on how to make it so.

Make some noise. And we don’t mean turning the volume up on the radio or investing in a blow horn! It’s time to spread the news about your business at all of the events that the warm summer weather allows to happen. In fact, it’s a good idea to create an event yourself. If you have access to the parking lot of your business, you may want to throw a barbeque there.

Perhaps, you can use a nearby park to host a company party in an effort to generate as much buzz about your brand as possible. The event will be a great place to hand out your promotional gifts, reminds Hartman. Be sure to give out prizes as well. They don’t just have to be from your company. Your event will provide a great opportunity to partner up with other organizations.

Give discounts for spreading the love. We live in a social media world in case you were unaware. Jumping on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is an important part of getting the word out about your business in modern day society. With that said, you may want to offer special deals to those who tweet you or comment upon your Facebook posts. Be sure to include hashtags, as well, to help grow conversations about you.

Go where the people are. Writes Hartman: “Take advantage of places that attract summer crowds, such as local festivals, outdoor shopping areas, and nearby beaches or recreational areas. Bring flyers to pass out or set up a stand and hand out water bottles featuring your company’s logo.” This is one of the best things about summer – there are more people out!

This is also why summer is arguably the best time of year to promote your business. It can also be argued that the summer provides business owners with opportunities that are the most fun to pursue. Be sure to put on your game face when going where the people are. And, by that, we mean a big smile! You are representing your business, so be sure to give the people you meet impressions that look favourably upon your brand.

Show customers your appreciation. This is especially important when it comes to your most important clients. It will go a long way to show them that you value them. Try not to lose touch and use the summer as the time of year when you reach out. “Take them to a baseball game or treat them to a round of golf,” suggests Hartman, reminding us that you may be able to deduct some of the costs during tax time.

You may also want to host a barbeque and invite special “V.I.P.’s” only. No matter what you decide to do, “your gestures will demonstrate that you’re thinking of customers this summer — and will be there for them when the season ends, too,” says Hartman. To discuss some of these ideas and how you can implement your promotional gifts as part of them, give one of our reps a call at 1-877-748-9884.

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04 Jul

Spice Up Your Marketing Strategies This Summer

Posted in Promotional Products, Synergy Suggestions on 04.07.13 by John Meloche

summerSummer is here! And, for most people, it’s quite an exciting time. If you’re a business owner, there’s no doubt that you should be excited. Many of you will be experiencing a spike in sales over the coming months as students are out of school and there’s a lot more time for them to be making purchases. Depending on the industry you are in, the summer may just be your best season.

But let’s suppose that the summer presents more of a cool down for your business than it does a warm up. That means that extra efforts will need to be made in order for your company to succeed between now and the fall. On Intuit.com, Rachel Hartman provides a list of summer marketing ideas to help business owners boost their sales throughout the warmest time of the year. Let’s check them out, shall we?

Lower prices as the temperature rises. It’s hard to argue that customers are attracted to sales and discounts. Hartman suggests that you use the weather to your advantage. One idea is to offer $10 off of every purchase if the temperature reaches above a certain level. It’s up to you to decide what temperature that would be. If you adequately promote this concept, you’ll be doing your business a great service.

Think about it. Each day of the summer, your customers will be taking a look at the weather and thinking about your business at the same time. You may want to consider a few different scenarios so that you don’t give your customers reasons to stay away. In other words, you may also want to offer a special or a discount on any day that it rains, as well.

Reach for the chalk. If you own a storefront, use chalk to advertise special deals on the sidewalk, suggests Hartman. There are a number of other things you can do with chalk including drawing colourful summer scenes or even your business logo. “Chalk art can do more than catch the eyes of passersby,” writes Hartman, noting that it will help increase your reach on social media.

With apps such as Instagram all the rage these days, it will be important to give people reasons to take pictures of your business that include its products and its exterior. The cooler and more interesting your chalk art is, the more likely it is you will be getting people to snap shots of it. With that being said, it’s important to establish and promote your own social media profiles so that you can be tagged, liked and followed!

Give away seasonal items. As always, the lists of tips we locate on the internet include advice on giving away promotional gifts. At Synergy Marketing, we provide the best promo products in the business. Considering that it is the summertime, you may want to consider giving away items that suit the season, just as Hartman suggests. Sunglasses, for example, make great gifts for your most important clients.

Water bottles are also very popular gifts in the summer. Flying saucers are also excellent as they are both a lot of fun and quite inexpensive to invest in as promo gifts. There are various ways to present your clients with these great gifts. Hartman recommends, as one example, that when your clients come in for their appointments that you consider giving them your summer-related items as a “thank you”.

We’ll continue to explore this list in tomorrow’s blog!

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