Miss Topsy? Here are the Top 3 Topsy Alternatives

It’s no longer news; Topsy is dead.

Back in 2015, Apple shut the tool down after purchasing it for $200 million two years before. Hardly anyone saw the end of Topsy coming, but well, it happened. 

So what now? Of course, you can’t abandon your social media marketing job because Topsy is no more.

You need a Topsy alternative that can perform the same function it did – or go beyond it.

And you’re at just the right place to find that; here are the top three Topsy alternatives you can use:

Read moreMiss Topsy? Here are the Top 3 Topsy Alternatives

The Best Digital Agencies in New York

Traditional channels of marketing and branding have dominated the corporate world for a long time. However, in this day and age, digital marketing is an indispensable part of the strategy – no matter how an organization chooses to promote its brand, and you may need some support.

Once you have decided to opt for a digital agency over a traditional creative agency, the real challenge begins – which digital agency should I choose? The ideal way to answer this question is to explore your own needs, budget, and expectations, and set off on the chase for your perfect match. If you are currently on the hunt for the best digital agencies in New York, then you have come to the right place!

Take Your Pick – The Top New York Digital Agencies

While traditional creative agencies are known to rev up the engines of their PR machines and pay specific attention to the aesthetic elements of advertising campaigns and collateral, digital agencies take the concept of marketing up a notch by integrating techniques such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and web design that are required by companies to carve a niche for themselves or ward off intense competition.

These mid-sized agencies based in New York have clients that belong to a wide array of industries and strongly stand by the high quality of services offered by them.

1. Ueno

Ueno About us page

Founded in 2014, Ueno is a full-service digital agency which has a motto of ‘creating brands, building products, and marketing things’. They take advantage of their specialities in the fields of:

  • Web design and UI/UX development
  • Creating unique brand strategies, identities, and tones
  • Constructing memorable digital experiences

Ueno has spearheaded the launch and relaunch of a plethora of celebrated brands on a massive scale. Names such as Uber, Airbnb, Lonely Planet, and Dropbox are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their influential clientele. Perhaps what sets Ueno apart from other leading agencies in the cosmopolitan city is the fact that it offers high-quality, tried, and tested services under one roof.

If you’re seeking to develop a web or mobile app as an extension to your existing product, the creative and technical teams at Ueno can devise a solution which retains the essence of the brand identity which is something that often gets lost in translation when a company has to deal with multiple digital agencies to get different things done.

What’s even better about Ueno? The agency’s team has proven its potential to seamlessly integrate within the existing marketing teams of small, medium or large scale enterprises and has been decorated with rave reviews for doing so.

The ability to do so is particularly important when it comes to launching advertising and digital campaigns as there needs to be a strong connection between the agency and in-house marketing team to achieve shining results. Whether you’re launching a project from scratch or have already come midway but need a dependable partner to steer you towards success, as one of the best digital agencies in New York, Ueno can crack your biggest marketing conundrums.

Website: ueno.co

2. Socialfix Media

Crafting results-driven campaigns by utilizing specialized skills and knowledge is the forte of Socialfix Media, during the course of a thrilling journey which has already lasted more than a decade, the competent and experienced team at the agency has served customers within the capacity of brand architects, content managers and digital engineers.

The company possesses expertise in:

  • Data-driven brand planning and strategy
  • Optimized and responsive website design
  • Scalable mobile app and web development solutions. 

Another significant element of their vision as a 360 degree marketing entity is creating unforgettable digital experiences which reach a broader customer base and enhance loyalty levels like never before. The key services which aid in the achievement of this goal include – e-commerce optimization, search engine marketing, and social media optimization.

All top New York digital agencies acknowledge and recognize the rapidly growing significance of video content to engage a global audience or simply start a conversation; Socialfix Media has also stepped into this realm and has a track record of producing captivating video content for influential customers. If you have a small or medium sized company that is often let down by the extravagant rates of top digital agencies, Socialfix Media vows to provide affordable packages and is always willing to negotiate to on the pricing if a service does not fit your budget.

Website: Socialfix media

3. Socialfly NY

Socialfly_screenshot_keyhole

As a full-service digital marketing agency based in New York, Socialfly has been able to carve its own niche in the sphere of influencer marketing which many believe is the ultimate digital direction for the brands of today. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook have given birth to several online personalities who have amassed a global following comprising of millions of fans from all age groups, that are willing to buy any product or service which they promote at the drop of a hat.

Socialfly leverages the potential of influencer marketing and integrates it with a range of creative services such as:

  • Social PR
  • Paid media
  • Social media strategy
  • Social media management
  • Consultancy

To help brands secure a prominent place in the industry and lift up their online presence like never before. By developing a one-on-one association with customers, the agency creates platform specific brand stories and delves into the development of cost-effective advertising campaigns which boast of an extremely high ROA.

The team at Socialfly NY is also known to be an expert in benchmark community management practices to aid your brand in acquiring loyal followers who can spread positive word of mouth on online platforms and threads. The agency enjoys close ties with popular influencers and social media stars whose influence can surely launch sponsored campaigns that are destined for success. 

Website: Socialfly NY

4. WebiMax

Webimax_screenshot_keyhole

WebiMax has one of the most diverse talent pools which you can expect to find in a digital agency with highly skilled professionals that are willing to take on diverse challenges every day and have been doing so since 2008. The collaborative working environment which is a part of the organization’s culture enables its human resources to lead exciting projects by offering services such as:

  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Web design
  • Reputation management
  • E-mail marketing
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Online PR and many more!

With its longstanding influence in the industry, the agency has become a top-pick for customers that are looking to fulfil their digital needs. By launching a transparent marketing effort which guarantees that all customers remain updated about the next step of their plan for victory, WebiMax has successfully advised a variety of clients on the next avenue for their online marketing strategy.

The standout characteristic of the agency is its principle of keeping clients involved in decision-making and showing them real-time results. The propriety tracking and analytics tool offered by the agency makes this a reality by providing improvement metrics on the go to cement customers’ trust in WebiMax.

Website: WebiMax

5. MediaForce

Mediaforce_screenshot_keyhole

With over two decades of experience under its belt, MediaForce is the oldest agency on this list and let’s just say that the team’s work is a testament of their longstanding contribution to the field. The organization’s approach is based on three pillars which are that of digital marketing, analytics and AI which automatically means that they are a step-ahead in comparison with other NYC digital agencies. The smart marketing services championed by MediaForce to promote growth include:

  • Search marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Display marketing

Moreover, the integration of AI within the scope of their portfolio helps develop digital experiences like never before to increase conversions and achieve cost-efficiency by getting the right message across to the customers in a way that has never been done before. The agency strongly believes in the maxim of providing a personalized service and is always willing to offer advice for aiding the growth rate of your account through the incorporation of creative and imaginative ideas which capture the audiences’ attention on the very first look.
MediaForce is a Canadian agency which operated in NYC.

Website: MediaForce

6. BOP Design

Bopdesign_screenshot_keyhole

As soon as you type in ‘NYC digital agencies’ into a search engine, it is rather common to come across hundreds of results showcasing the success stories of firms that cater to B2C clients. However, it takes a unique team and a special agency to truly understand the demands of B2B customers that market their products and services differently in comparison with a company that appeals to mass audiences. Fortunately, BOP Design is an agency which understands the fact that customer acquisition in the B2B arena is an entirely different ballgame. Under its extensive marketing umbrella, the agency offers the following services to its customers:

  • Logo Design
  • Marketing Materials
  • B2B Web Development
  • B2B Branding
  • B2B Content Marketing
  • WordPress Web Design
  • Blog Content
  • Copywriting
  • SEO

With a wide clientele that spans across industries such as technology, healthcare, software, accounting and engineering to biotech. The seasoned team at BOP Design has mastered the tactics of how to create compelling and comprehensive marketing campaigns for B2B companies. Their impressive track-record and personalized service touch makes this one of the standout digital ventures on this list with a passion for growing with the clients!

Website: BOP Design

7. Radish Lab

RadishLab_screenshot_keyhole

Radish Lab believes in the philosophy of fostering mutual beneficial relationships with clients that are on a quest to change the world! The scope of services that this agency cover comprises of four distinct pillars which are:

  • Creative partnerships
  • Strategy and communications
  • Branding and design
  • Websites and interactive experiences

Under the banner of creative partnerships, the agency provides custom packages for clients that wish to work with them on a long-term basis and truly benefit from the skills that they can bring into their business. By bringing Radish Lab onboard, companies can experience the unparalleled expertise of the agency’s innovative minds by making them a part of their in-house teams, whether you need to fulfil design or content creation needs, Radish Lab serves its customers in the best way possible.

Another unique service provided by the agency is called Radish Care which works like an affordable insurance plan for a company’s digital products by catering to all its IT maintenance needs. The strategy and communications wing of Radish Lab strives to take the client’s vision to the next level empowering the firm to make the best decisions by exploring all possible alternatives and solutions. Columbia University, American Museum of Natural History, BMW Foundation and UNICEF are just few of the many high-profile and renowned clients of this top-notch agency.

Website: Radish Lab

8. Saypr

Saypr_screenshot_keyhole

Saypr’s motto is to craft digital excellence by leaving a positive impact on clients that belong to a wide array of sectors and industries. The premise of their service vision is based on providing high-quality tailored solutions that are rooted in the belief that each customer has a unique and compelling story to tell which cannot be replicated. Saypr helps customers execute the digital projects of their dreams by offering services such as:

  • Digital strategy
  • Brand strategy
  • Social media integration
  • Facebook Ads
  • Analytics and SEO
  • Rapid prototyping
  • UI/UX design
  • Ideation workshops
  • Mobile development
  • AR/VR

The stellar resume of Saypr comprises of several marketing campaigns that were launched on a massive scale and also had the honour of receiving industry awards such as THE FWA, an example of this is Reebok’s Be More Human campaign which was well-received by critics and audiences alike. Moreover, the team at Saypr has also collaborated with Google to work on the successful expansion of its Google Fit platform.  The agency is known to transfer its unique traits into each project by relying on the prowess of a highly-motivated team of professionals.

Website: Saypr

Avex Designs

Avex_screenshot_keyhole

Avex Designs pledges to be more than just a digital agency by crafting brand stories on multiple virtual platforms in a compelling and engaging manner. The core competencies of the enterprise consist of three major elements which are that of strategy, technology and creativity. The firm has partnered with several high-profile clients belonging to the realm of fashion, entertainment, technology and lifestyle to execute projects that have made a significant impact in terms of client conversion and engagement rates. Avex Designs boasts of a service portfolio which comprises of:

  • Website design
  • Digital production
  • Print and graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Branding and identity
  • Lead generation
  • Digital marketing and SEO
  • Ecommerce development
  • Mobile app development
  • Retail design experience

The company prides in itself for working closely with each client and collaborating with them to generate results that both parties can be proud of. The goal of the agency is to strike the perfect balance between design and technology to bring value to customers and create customer experiences which leave a long-lasting impact. With results that prove their mettle, Avex Designs has been consistently ranked as one of the best digital agencies in New York.

Website: Avex Designs

10. KOUNTERATTACK

Kounterattack_screenshot_keyhole

Kounterattack is a full service digital agency that brings ingenious and unconventional ideas to the table and knows how to make them work. In the current business space, originality is the key to leaving a long-lasting impression in the customer’s minds and this is something that the agency understands and knows how to deliver. The firm has a unique yet effective working strategy which is based on working in small cross-functional teams along with the clients to make sure that their voice is heard and that their needs are met. Kounterattack’s capabilities include:

  • User research and insights
  • Social media strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Innovation strategy
  • Visual design
  • Interaction design
  • Copywriting
  • Client-side development
  • Ecommerce systems
  • Mobile and emerging platforms
  • Display advertising
  • Influencer outreach
  • Community management
  • Story development
  • Web analytics
  • Business intelligence

With a comprehensive list of services, the agency is a truly one-stop solution for a company that is seeking to make a mark in its respective industry or truly reinvent its marketing strategy by using the proficiency of digital creativity and technology.

Website: Kounterattack

11. Weareunderdog

Underdog_screenshot_keyhole

Weareunderdog is specialized branding and rebranding strategy agency that focuses on startups and how to make them successful like a bigger brand.

The branding agency Weareunderdog leverages their talented and experienced team to propose range of creative services such as:

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand identity
  • Messaging
  • UI/UX Design
  • Animation
  • Site Design
  • Frontend Dev

Website: Weareunderdog

Stepping Into the Realm of Success with the ‘Right’ Digital Agency

The best digital agencies in New York are those that are willing to become your established partners in the process of brand building across numerous channels and are eager to staying on trend with the latest developments in the field so that your brand does not lose the race to the finish line. By exploring your own needs as a business, having a budget in place, and setting the objectives that you intend to achieve, you can freely proceed to set up a meeting with any of these agencies and discuss the game plan for establishing a mutually beneficial association which is based on trust, accountability and transparency.

Keyhole Instagram Analytics Social media monitoring hashtag analytics

Changes to Instagram API: What You Need to Know

We want to keep you in the loop, so we are updating this post as things evolve with Facebook and Instagram and new information becomes available.

As of December 11th, Instagram put new API changes into effect that affect the way all analytics products like Keyhole access user data. Some of these changes will impact Keyhole functionality.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. You will not see user data at large when tracking hashtags on Instagram. However, you can add filters to specify which Instagram Business users you’d like to get posts from, and get much more in-depth data about those users. Here’s how to add these Instagram account filters.

2. Instagram Business Account tracking is here, and it gives you even more powerful insights than Personal Instagram account tracking does. Read on to learn more.

Hashtag Tracking on Instagram Moving Forward


All unspecified user data has been removed from Instagram Hashtag Tracking. This means you will now see overall post counts and post analysis data, but won’t be able to directly identify the users behind posts.

No specified users on timeline
Instagram Business Insights without specified users

On the bright side: If you’re interested in seeing how specific users are contributing to a conversation or campaign, you can specify that you’d like to fetch posts from those accounts. Plus, in so doing you’ll be getting more in-depth data about those users, like real-time follower counts, profile pictures, and more.

Specifying Users on IG Timeline
Instagram Business Dashboard with Specified Users

Account Tracking on Instagram Moving Forward


Personal Instagram Account Tracking will continue to be available on Keyhole as always,
and much more robust Instagram Business Account tracking has been added as well. 
To be able to get in-depth follower insights, as well as Instagram Stories insights, you can switch your trackers to Instagram Business trackers.

The Good News about Instagram Business 🎉

Switching your Instagram Accounts over to Instagram Business has its perks!

1. Instagram Business gives you more in-depth account analytics

By authenticating your Instagram Business Accounts, you will get access to in-depth Follower Insights and demographic information about all of your followers, like Age, Gender, and detailed location data.

Instagram Business Follower Insights
Follower Insights Dashboard

Where can I find this data?

2. With Instagram Business comes Instagram Stories

That’s right. By authenticating your Instagram Business Accounts on Keyhole you gain access to insights about all your Instagram stories. 

Stories Insights
Instagram Business Stories Insights

How do I access Instagram Stories?

3. Account Spying is Coming Back thanks to Instagram Business

In the near future, you will be able to track your competitors and any other Instagram Business account through Keyhole. Unauthenticated accounts don’t reveal follower information, but they do give you great insights like their engagement rate, top posts from the account, follower growth over time and more. We will keep you posted on this new feature.

A quick cheat sheet of the latest changes and how they affect Keyhole:

Instagram Tracking moving forward

April 4th Updates

As of April 4th, Instagram put some API changes into effect that change the way we (and all other partners) access user data. Some of these changes will impact Keyhole functionality.

Here’s what you need to know:

Read moreChanges to Instagram API: What You Need to Know

5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns

Christmas for most is presents and jingles, but for social media marketers, it’s a season of frenzy.  For most businesses, the Christmas season is the most hectic and busy time of the year, and a time when sales skyrocket through the roof. The catch, however, is that during the Christmas season, the competition among brands of getting seen becomes tougher. Everyone is trying to get the attention of their audience all at the same time, and so cutting through the noise and standing out from the crowd is becoming more of a challenge – even though customers buy more than ever.

With consumer spending increasing dramatically during the Christmas season, you obviously also want to be a part of the fun, and enjoy increased sales. Like most things, though, this is easier said than done. As the competition among brands increases, you need new and unique ways to approach and reach your customers when the competition is the highest.

An effective, and often underestimated way of reaching your customers during Christmas is social media.

In this article, we’ll, therefore, share with you 5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns and how you can succeed with social media during the Christmas season. With these hashtag campaigns, we’re going to take inspiration and advice, in order to leverage by the time you’re ready to set up your own Christmas hashtag campaign that yields you tremendous marketing results during the Christmas season.

The power of social media

Today, social media has become a natural part of many brands’ marketing strategies. This makes sense considering the fact that 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media, according to Social Media Week.

During the Christmas season, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and convince them to buy from you, and if you aren’t leveraging it, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities.

What’s even better is the fact that during the Christmas season, many people tend to always scout for gifts to buy to their friends and family, and oftentimes, you stand there with no clue on what to buy. As a result, many people go to social media in search of inspiration. If you can effectively reach your customers through social media during this time of year, there’s a greater chance that they’ll buy, and this is exactly what you can do with the help of a Christmas hashtag campaign.

How to run a Christmas hashtag campaign

First thing first, let’s start with the basics.

What are hashtags and how do you use them?

And maybe most importantly, how do you run a Christmas hashtag campaign that dominates and generates worthwhile results.

Well, to begin with, hashtags are ”a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.” Think of hashtags as categories for your social media posts with which you allow your post to be showcased for other people who look at the respective hashtags that you choose to use on your post. The hashtags you use should be aligned with the content of your social media post, because this allows you to reach the correct people, since, people who look at ”Christmas tree” hashtags are probably not looking for photos of beaches and blue water (unless it’s a Christmas cruise!).

A great thing about hashtags on social media is that they increase your reach and your social media engagement. The more places your social media posts are showcased on, naturally, the more people you’ll reach, and thus the better results you’ll generate.

Simple, right?

Now, when it comes to Christmas hashtag campaigns, the way you set up such is a bit different from only incorporating them into your posts. With a hashtag campaign, a specific hashtag decided and created specifically for that campaign will be used, and it will be the center of attention in the campaign.

When using hashtags like this, as part of a social media marketing campaign, you’re using the hashtag in order to engage your audience, make them a part of the campaign, and/or gather content from your audience around a specific topic.

The way a Christmas hashtag campaign is set up, and the goal of one can vary, and this is also why the Christmas hashtag campaigns that we’re going to share later on in this article as inspiration vary as well.

What hashtag to use?

When brands create a Christmas hashtag campaign or any campaign for that matter, they normally create a ”new” ”unique” hashtag for that particular campaign.

The hashtag is created to work as an album that only contains posts that are relevant to a specific campaign (in this case a Christmas hashtag campaign) and this allows both the brand and the audience to easily go through all the posts as it significantly helps with discoverability.

Second of all is that with the campaign, as a brand, you want to have a hashtag that is relevant to the specific campaign, but also that is relevant and aligned with your brand and brand name.

It’s also worth having in mind that the hashtag should ideally be short and easy to spell so people don’t misspell it.

If you create a Christmas hashtag campaign and the idea is to gather a collection of posts from your audience, using a new hashtag that is created specifically for that campaign, and which has no previous posts will allow you to get a better overview of the posts that are part of the campaign, but also to have a keyword that is actually relevant to your brand.

Also, it can be good to have in mind that since you are running a Christmas campaign, it is a good idea to use a hashtag that is related to Christmas in one way or the other, that allows people to know exactly what your campaign is about. And as with all personalized hashtags, you want to include the name of your campaign or the name of your brand.

For example, if your brand name is Apple, and you have a Christmas giveaway, it makes sense to create a hashtag such as #AppleChristmas or similar.

You’ll also see examples of this below.

Giveaway/contest

A very common type of hashtag campaign, especially during the Christmas season, is a giveaway or contest.

Now, what does this have to do with hashtags? Well, often times when it comes to this type of hashtag campaign, the hashtag is used in order to gather and collect posts from the audience and customers on one place in order to more easily get access to the posts, but also to make the campaign accessible for everyone.

The best part is that doing this will allow you to run a marketing campaign – a Christmas hashtag campaign which will bring you two or even three marketing benefits at the same time.

First off, you engage your audience and customers and make them a part of your contest. Normally, the criteria for a hashtag campaign like this, and to take part in the giveaway is that the customer has to share a picture/video of something related to the campaign, share it, and include the hashtag. This is great because it means extra exposure for you as a brand, and when people take part in your campaign, they spread the word about you and your campaign. Second of all is that the content that your audience create is content that you can use as part of your own marketing in the future because creating good content demands time and resources. What’s more, 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising.

This means that by leveraging the user-generated content which your audience has created, you can generate even better results than with your own professionally-created content.

Lastly, by running a giveaway/contest type of Christmas campaign, you make people a part of the campaign, which tends to engage people more, as opposed to just running a campaign and marketing to people. With this method, you promote with your audience.

Have in mind that when people have an incentive, they are more likely to do something. As such, the better the incentive is, the more people will join your Christmas hashtag campaign.

User-generated hashtag campaign

Another common hashtag campaign is quite similar to the giveaway example, however, the difference is that there is no monetary price. Instead, people are meant to be encouraged to create user-generated content for the campaign for a ”sense of belonging”, but also because they get something out of it that is non-monetary.

Daniel Wellington is a great example of this. On their Instagram, they have the hashtag ”#DWPickoftheDay”. The brand encourages people to share a photo of their watches, including that hashtag, in order to have the change of being featured on their Instagram page. Furthermore, the brand has also created a particular ”fan photos” section on their website where they showcase these images.

Both of this things are great examples of incentives which are non-monetary that you can leverage for your Christmas hashtag campaign. This method, of course, brings a great exposure for Daniel Wellington, and the best of all is that it is completely free!

Read more5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns

Social Media Content Distribution Tactics that Work Like Magic

I’m sorry to say this, but you’ll never stand out like a digital peacock in the social media realm — that is, if you’re oblivious about how to distribute your content effectively.

If you’re into the whole publish and pray strategy — if you can even call it one — then your content will easily be drowned out by the millions of posts published on social media daily.

For you to succeed, you need to have a carefully crafted content distribution tactic when publishing your posts in social media.

Allow me to share with you four tactics that you can use for just that.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Build strategic partnerships with influencers.

I’m not really a huge proponent of the whole, “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know that counts” rationale. However, when it comes to marketing your content on the internet, I have to admit that it’s hard to ignore this reality.

Such is especially the case when you’re operating in the social media space where a single tweet or share from an influencer, can easily skyrocket your content views and even online sales.

That being said, it’s crucial that you pair your social content distribution endeavors with influencer marketing.

To find the right influencer, you can use Keyhole.co to gain a bit more insight into the influencer that you’re thinking of partnering with.

Here are some of the data points you can learn about an influencer if you run them through Keyhole.co:

  • Average likes
  • Average retweets
  • Average number of posts
  • Average engagements
  • Their top posts based on engagements

Here’s a glimpse of how Keyhole.co looks from the inside.

Neil Patel Influencer Tracking Statistics - Name, description, handle, total posts, followers and followings, as well as metrics: Average likes, average retweets, average engagement rate

(An overview of the influencer.)

Keyhole Account Statistics, showing number of social media posts over time in a graph, layered with Average engagements over time
(The account statistics.)

Keyhole Top Posts by Engagement - chart showing the content of the top posts created by the account being tracked, together with number of likes and retweets. Content Optimization tool.
(Top posts by engagement.)

These are just some of the many things you can learn about your prospective influencer.

When you have these details, you can judge better if the person is an ideal partner to help you distribute your content through their followers or not.

2. Leverage employee advocacy.

Before anything else, let’s define the phrase “employee advocacy.”

According to Smarp.com, it is “the promotion of a company’s messages by its employees.”

Based on the definition alone, I hope you can see how this can be important for your content distribution on social media.

Let’s face it: Your target audience might not support you immediately when you reach out to them. After all, they don’t know your company through and through so it’s quite normal for them to have doubts about you.

The same can’t be said when you ask your employees for support, however. In most cases, they will welcome the idea since they are proud to be a part of your company.

That’s why employee advocacy is crucial in your social media content distribution endeavors. You’ll barely need to convince any of your employees to help you with sharing or promoting your company’s message.

The good news is, there are online platforms that can help you streamline your employee advocacy efforts.

Smarp is one of them.

You just need to create an account, do your initial setups like creating your channels and adding people to it, and you’re pretty much set to start posting.

Here’s how the platform looks from the inside.

Creating more channels button
(When creating new channels.)

Tweaking channels
(When editing/tweaking your channels.)

New subscriber
(When adding subscribers or employees to your channel.)

Add posts
(How you can add your posts.)

With the help of social advocacy platforms, it’ll be easier for you to manage your marketing efforts and even measure the results you get out of them.

3. Leverage social scheduling.

There are a plethora of benefits to be had from using social scheduling platforms when distributing your content via social media.

For one thing, it enables you to repost your content multiple times. Also, you can control when your posts are published.

Both aspects are crucial for succeeding in the social media space.

After all, your target audience is most likely flooded with truckloads of content every day, that’s why you need to repost your content multiple times.

Also, as you study your audience, you’ll realize that there are certain times in a day where they log in. As you uncover this information, you can use the social scheduling platform to schedule your posts at the most optimum time.

4. Find out where your audience is.

Before you even start distributing your social media content, you need to know where exactly to distribute them.

I mean, sure, you can certainly post all of your content in your social media pages. However, that alone won’t do you much good.

You need to go out there, look for your audience, and distribute your content in places or groups where they frequent on.

Remember, where your customers are, there you should also be. This is a timeless lesson that businesses or marketers should never forget.

To help you with finding your audience, one of the best tools you can use is Facebook Audience Insights.

From your Facebook’s personal profile, click “Ads Manager” > the burger menu on the top left part of the page > hover to “All Tools” > click “Audience Insights.”

You will then see this page.

Facebook Audience Page

After you enter your interest and hit “enter,” click the “Page Likes” tab. (For this example’s sake, I entered the keyword “pastry” in the “Interest” section.)
Image of Facebook Audience showing where to click for Page Likes

You will then be able to view the pages relevant to your niche (and their audience sizes) as you scroll down.
Image of Facebook Audience Page showing other relevant pages

At this point, you now have access to the list of niche-relevant pages where your audience is most likely hanging out online.

The only thing left for you to do is engage, build relationships, and distribute your social media content in these pages.

It’s worth pointing out that Facebook Audience Insight has several more features that you can use to help you with your content distribution. Be sure to check out the tool and experiment with it.
What’s next?
You don’t need to have decades of experience to succeed in the social media space.

Just by following the tried and tested strategies that seasoned social media marketers are using, you’d be able to formulate your very own system of distributing your content effectively (and efficiently) via social media.

If you follow the tips that we covered — or build on them — you’ll be able to get better results out of the content you’ll publish in your social media accounts.

If you have questions and ideas that you’d like to share regarding content distribution in the social media space, feel free to add them in the comments section below. Cheers!

Man looking at whiteboard influencer marketing keyhole

How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

Influencers have the power to win the hearts of consumers, so it is no surprise that we are seeing some of the biggest brands in the world using influencer marketing to promote their products and services. Influencer marketing is clearly effective, but the problem is small brands often don’t have enough cash in their pockets to afford a top influencer for promoting their products and services.

Fortunately, there are micro-influencers out there on whom these brands can rely. Micro influencers are everyday consumers who possess a large social media following; generally between 1,000 and 10,000, though some have up to 100,000. These influencers offer better access and higher engagement than macro influencers at a fraction of the cost. Micro-influencers are active on various social media websites and you can partner with them to promote your brand wherever your customers and prospects are most active. One major social media website on which you can easily find micro influencers is Instagram. In this post, we’ll demonstrate how you can use micro influencers on Instagram to boost sales and how you can find Instagram influencers.

Micro-Influencers should be Relevant to Your Niche

Influencer marketing can be used for achieving different goals, such as driving engagement, increasing brand awareness or sales. But to be able to achieve these goals, you must promote your content to a relevant audience.

This means that you must work with influencers on Instagram who are relevant to your niche and have a significant following. Ideally, you should find an influencer who is considered an expert in a subject that is relevant to your niche. If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to reach your target audience and there will be no point in using influencers to promote your brand.

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro-Influencers

When consumers see a compelling picture of a certain product, they may become interested in trying that product. But, in order to make a major impact on your audience through micro influencers on Instagram, you must showcase their experience of using it. This can compel followers to enjoy the same experience themselves.
For example, if you want to promote your product, you can have the influencer use it and share their reviews about it with the audience. Micro influencers on Instagram can make a video of your product, share stories or simply post a picture with an inviting caption. The goal here is to demonstrate how your product is enhancing an influencer’s experience. Because the influencer’s following trusts them, this will compel the audience to try your product themselves. In a similar fashion, you can promote your services too by having the micro influencer show to their audience how your services enhance their experience.

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Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when working with micro influencers on Instagram. The reason why micro-influencers have managed to grow their audience is that their audience trusts them and they know the right words that attract the audience. They know their followers, so they know the type of content that will appeal to and engage their audience.

Therefore, you should never control what a micro influencer on Instagram says about your services or products. Let them give honest reviews about your product and allow them to promote your brand in their own way. If you control the content that an influencer shares about your product or services, there is a risk of the audience losing their trust in the influencer and if that happens, you won’t be able to successfully promote your brand.

These are the three best ways through which you can use micro-influencers on Instagram to boost sales. Now that you know how to use micro-influencers, will you promote your brand through influencer marketing? If so, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle. I still haven’t told you how you can find Instagram micro influencers.

ii-img2Photo by Gavin Whitner

Finding Instagram Influencers

Turn to Your Audience

When finding Instagram micro influencers, you should start with your current fan base since you know that a connection already exists. Since they’re already interested in your content, you should look at their interests by looking at the pictures they post and the people they follow, then you should analyze what’s similar among your fan base. Do they all follow the same influencer or brand? Or, does your analysis show that a lot of the Instagram pages you’ve looked at have a common picture? Whether it’d be a picture related to fashion, and if you could look deeper into it you might be able to discover that most of your fan base post pictures of handbags, jewellery, or even hats, etc. By finding these common interests, you’ll be able to create a target lookalike audience to draw connections with others like them. If any of your followers themselves have a large following, it is an added bonus for you. Reach out to them and recommend an exchange of service or product for a review or Instagram post, it’ll be easier to convince them as they already know who you are.

Use Hashtags

The best method to find the right influencer is to simply search for the correct hashtag or keyword that’s relevant to the product you’re trying to promote. For example, if you want to promote a fashion product, you can run a hashtag search for things like #ootd or #instafashion. You can then determine how popular an influencer is by looking at how much engagement their posts are getting or their follower count. Are they gaining likes and comments on their posts, and if so, how persistent are they at posting?

Note: You can get a lot of micro-influencers who just purchase their followers and barely get any engagement on their posts, these are to be avoided so keep an eye out for them.

There are various tools, like Keyhole hashtag and Keyword tracking, which can help you easily find influencers who have published posts with the hashtag or keyword you’re searching in a simple list format with needed and additional information such as ‘Sentiment’, which basically shows you the types of emotions the post’s wording is giving. If the content they are posting is relevant to your niche, you can reach out to them to market your products or services.

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In addition, you can also track all posts that contain your hashtags in real time. This way you can analyze the engagement levels of the audience in your niche with influencers on Instagram. You can determine the influence of influencers on their audience through insights about engagement levels.

The hashtag you choose for search must be specific to reveal satisfactory results. For example, if you wish to search for Persian cats, a hashtag search around #Persiancats would yield much better results than just #cat alone. Alex of VM Interactive says that the more specific your hashtag is the more actionable results you’ll get.

With the help of an Instagram hashtag analytics tool, you can simplify your research. You can use specific keywords relevant to your niche to pinpoint conversations related to your business and target audience.

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Conclusion

Follow the advice we have provided to use influencers for promoting your brand. Remember to give influencers the freedom to be creative and find the ones that are relevant to your brand!

Image Credits
https://negativespace.co/man-working-desk-office-minimal-white/
https://negativespace.co/fashion-travel-accessories-sunglasses-bag-camera-watch/
https://negativespace.co/musician-guitar-speaker/

Keyhole How to Avoid a Social Media Crisis crises 6 steps how to

6 Critical Steps to Avoid a Social Media Crisis

Social media is an enormously powerful tool for managing customer relationships, broadcasting positive brand stories and introducing new products. But while the benefits of this free, fast and intuitive marketing channel are virtually limitless, it also has some potentially serious risks.

But there’s good news; with proper planning you can avoid the most common mistakes that lead to a social media crisis.


What Causes Social Media Crises?


Common Mistakes — Just about anything can spark social media outrage and bring out the trolls, but the most common slip-ups include:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes made by professional organizations
  • Accidentally liking an inappropriate post
  • Tweeting a personal message from a professional account
  • Unintentionally making an offensive statement

Serious Problems — Employee sabotage and hacking are much more serious offenses. While businesses can, and do, shift responsibility for the malicious post, they’re often criticised for allowing their login credentials to be compromised.

Catastrophic Events — Intentionally racist, sexist, or malicious comments made by companies or individuals ignite the worst type of social media crisis. These statements can significantly impact a brand’s revenue and reputation, and recovery could take years.

Look no further than Roseanne Barr for a trending example of how powerful one tweet can be.

In the days following her comment, Barr’s television contract was canceled, her reputation was heavily damaged, and she lost an estimated $3 million in revenue.

So, how can you avoid a social media crisis? Here are 6 steps you can take.


1. Have a Crisis Communication Plan


Image of a Man in Front of a Whiteboard with a Plan Structure

The most important steps toward preventing a social media disaster are understanding what crisis management means for your business and creating an action plan to address your risk factors.

While you can’t predict every crisis, you can train your social media team to prepare for, and effectively manage, potential problems.

Since social media is your front line of communication during a crisis, your plan should include specific guidelines to protect your brand. Most importantly, always have a second set of eyes on every post before it’s published. Companies should also train more individuals in crisis communications and social media management than you think you’ll need.


2. Monitor your Social Media for Trouble!


Identifying problems as soon as they arise is critical to crisis prevention. Unfortunately, you may never know about the biggest issues facing your company because 96% of angry customers don’t complain to brands directly. Many of these upset customers prefer posting about their poor experience on their own timeline. These “dark” complaints could go unnoticed, causing negative impact, without proper tools and training.

Social listening tools allow you to monitor keywords and indirect brand mentions as well as direct mentions. This gives your company a much more holistic view of what your customers are saying across all social platforms.

Keyhole’s Intelligent Notifications feature is an excellent example of how brands can set up alerts to detect direct and indirect (‘dark’) posts with negative sentiment.

Keyhole AI detects any tracked posts with negative sentiment made about your brand, and you automatically receive an Intelligent notification in your inbox, which allows you to react to the post before the negative sentiment escalates.

Keyhole Intelligent Notifications Dashboard With Negative Sentiment Alerts Turned On

For instance, United Airlines would have seen this tweet and its volume, the first mention of the United Flight 3411 incident, with Keyhole.

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This would have given the airline an ample runway to handle the crisis before it escalated.


3. Always Engage with Your Audience


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Social profiles are frequently viewed as sales tools instead of powerful customer service platforms for building brand loyalty and customer care. By solely pitching products rather than having meaningful conversations with your followers, you could miss opportunities to address customer experience problems early on.

According to Maritz Research, 49% of customers expect companies to respond to Twitter complaints, yet only 29% of those who complained received a reply.

Additionally, customers who complain expect a response within 4 hours, while the average brand response time exceeds 10 hours.

It’s crucial to respond quickly and professionally when negative comments about your company are discovered. Ignoring criticism, even when it isn’t posted directly to your page, sends a message to your followers that you don’t care enough about them to respond.


4. Respond to Criticism Professionally


Knowing how to properly handle criticism in a public forum is essential to protecting your reputation. A single rude response to a genuine complaint will do far more damage to your image than the original comment could.

Deleting comments and blocking users may seem like the quickest way to fix a problem, but doing so could cause your customer to become more outspoken. Instead, make an effort to understand what caused the situation and show a willingness to make things right.

Consumers typically complain on social media when their problem has not been properly resolved. You may be able to prevent your customers from complaining in public by providing a seamless resolution process on your website or over the phone.

Angry customers want to express their frustration quickly, so they usually avoid email. Adding a simple feedback button to your site may prevent them from firing off a raging tweet for all to see. Just make sure it’s easy to find and effortless to use. You could even offer visitors incentives for leaving feedback if it they’ve been poking around your site for a while.


5. Choose the Right Person to Manage Your Accounts


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Assigning your brand’s social media strategy to an intern or an inexperienced employee may save you money, but it could also be a recipe for disaster.

A great social media manager has a level head, is capable of handling a crisis, and is well-organized and detail-oriented. Finding someone with public relations experience adds another layer of insurance against mistakes.

Prefer to outsource the work? There are many companies specializing in managing social media accounts for businesses. This option may be the most impactful if you have room in your budget.


6. Draft an Employee Social Media Policy


Most people might think their private social profiles are safe for ranting about work stress, but negative posts can have serious consequences if customers or coworkers see them. Distribute guidelines about how to reference your brand online, but don’t scare your team away from posting. Happy employees are some of the best recruiting tools you can ask for!

Closing thoughts

The benefits of using social media intelligently will always outweigh the risks. Remember to monitor for problems, listen to your followers, react quickly and compassionately, and plan ahead, that way you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of this channel while avoiding potential crises.

kids tweeting on phone Keyhole Twitter Analytics

4 Tweets That Went Viral…For The Right Reasons

The importance of social media virality simply cannot be overestimated; it can bring you fame, infamy, pain, and prosperity.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media outlets on the planet and a viral tweet can bring many thousands of dollars worth of publicity to your business.

Below I’ve looked at 4 tweets that went viral for the right reasons and run through why they are examples that your brand should learn from.

Recommended reading:How #CMWorld Tweets Reached More than 45 Million Users in 4 Days

1. Support against tragedy

Hurricane Harvey was a disaster; it caused $125 billion worth of damage, created a landfall, and led to apocalyptic flooding. But the greatest tragedy was the 30,000 people who were displaced and 108 who were killed as a result of Harvey.

Pennsylvania State University Interfraternity Council tweeted their support and offered their help to the people affected by Harvey, by pledging $0.15 in aid for each retweet. Its retweets were among Twitter’s highest of 2017 and saw Pennsylvania State University IFC donate thousands of dollars to help repair the damage caused by Harvey.

Showing your support for the victims of a tragedy by putting your money where your mouth is not only helps those affected, it also offers your brand the chance to put your name out there to a wider audience – while there is certainly such a thing as bad publicity, showing your brand to be a goodwill ambassador is among the very best attention you can get.

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2. Despite what you think, 2017 was a good year

As with any year, there was much that was bad about 2017. While your temptation might have been to dwell on this as the year reached its close, a 20-year-old biology major, studying at University of Iowa, took Twitter as his platform to remind you that there plenty of good things happened in 2017.

Jacob Atkins, created a thread with no less than 11 wonderful moments from 2017, with no strings attached other than the desire to pull on the ones that operate your heart. Jacob’s thread was retweeted 242K times.

People’s engagement levels are heightened when they read a story that promotes positivity. If your brand can find a way to shine a light on the good things that are happening around your followers, you can position yourself as a beacon of positivity in your their’ lives.

You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time each day devoted to looking for news that will put a smile on your audience’s face. If you allocate one day a week to searching for feel good stories you can queue up your tweets and spread them out over the course of the whole week.

You can make the whole process even easier through time-saving tools. Twitter Feed is a brilliant tool that helps you to compile the best tweets from the web. If you’ve used an online store builder to create the website for your brand, it will take you minutes to add and could save you hours of time every week.

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3. Newsjacking + hilarity = virality

Whatever your political leanings and feelings are, there’s no denying the enormous social media reach of America’s 45th President, Donald J. Trump. Twitter is his vehicle for connecting with the world and people hang on the edge of their screen to read his comments. It’s fitting then that one of our tweets which went viral features the man himself.

Freelance legal/tech reporter, James Doleman uploaded his tweet in April 2017 and offered nothing beyond humor – no overt political agenda, no cutting put down, and no inflammatory commentary. However, with Trump being a figure of such interest, and a perennial topic on trend, he secured just shy of 134,000 retweets.

So, why did this go viral for the right reasons? Doleman noted that if you tweet about an individual with a huge following you have a significantly greater chance of accessing the numbers needed to go viral. But not only that, he knew that humor is one of the best tools at your disposal to drive audience engagement – Doleman didn’t get political, he just played Twitter right.

Your brand may not want to enter into a discussion about a political figure and that’s not a problem – we’re not throwing our support or opposition behind any political agenda here, we just love Doleman’s mastery of Twitter.

However, if you can add your name to a topic which people have strong opinions about, and do so with humor, you give your brand a great chance of picking up virality. The key thing is to pick your topics wisely, as putting yourself into a testy area could bring you virality for all the wrong reasons.

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4. #Metoo

OK, so the initial tweet might not have reached the virality of some of the others to feature in this article. However, the earthquake that came in the aftermath of Alyssa Milano’s call-to-arms against sexual exploitation was seismic.

The phrase was coined by American civil rights activist Tarana Burke in 2006, as a rallying cry against sexual assault and abuse. But it was the sexual misconduct allegations against the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein that saw Milano publish her tweet, which led the #meetoo movement to explode.

The movement created a tipping point, with wave of global reckoning leading to countless women who had been the victims of sexual assault given the courage to come forward and name their accusers.

It can be difficult to make a stand in social media; the Internet’s not written in pencil, it’s written in ink and that means if you take on the establishment your brand may receive a series of punches back from them.

But the flip-side is true; if you see oppression and let your followers know, they will fight alongside you and see your brand as the champions of a higher cause: moral decency.

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With 319 million monthly active users, and 24% of US adults using it each day, Twitter remains one of the most powerful social media tools on the planet.

While there are other social media platforms you should also target, going viral on Twitter is a skill that every brand would love to master, as doing so can raise your profile and your revenue in one fell swoop.

My 4 examples show how you can achieve virality in the right way. There is plenty that you can learn from them and apply to your own social media strategy.

However, the most important lesson to remember is that going viral for the wrong reasons could cost you big – just ask Snapchat, whose $1.3 billion share price loss is said to be the result of just one viral tweet.

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she covers marketing, content writing, and how brand’s can evolve their social media strategy to meet their ever-changing needs.

Attention: These Keyword Research Tips can Skyrocket Your Website Conversions

Website getting traffic but still not getting conversions?

If you think your content’s fine, then perhaps you need to take a look at your keyword strategy?

Yes, you sometimes need to go all the way back to make sure you’re drawing in quality leads from the right channels.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most brilliant and engaging pieces of content in the world. If you targeted the wrong keywords, none of your PPC, SEO, or content marketing strategies will consistently produce profitable results.

The good news is, keyword research doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely difficult. With the right tools and tactics, you can definitely discover lucrative keyword opportunities without breaking a sweat.

In this post, we’ll show you the best ways to do keyword research so you can bag winning keyword suggestions every single time.

Let’s get started.

1. Turn Seed Keywords Into Long-Tail Keywords

Regardless of niche, keyword research always starts with a seed keyword that’s too broad and competitive to be feasible.

That’s why you need tools like Ubersuggest to expand your seed keyword into hundreds of long-tail keyword ideas. These are keywords that are at least 3 terms long and target a narrower audience.

To use Ubersuggest, simply enter your seed keyword and click “Look Up.” Don’t forget to adjust the localization of your keyword to generate suggestions that are relevant to your place of business.

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Within seconds, Ubersuggest will generate hundreds of long-tail keywords as well as present the metrics that can determine their profitability.

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To keep things short, here is a brief explanation of each of the three metrics you’ll encounter in Ubersuggest results:

Search Volume
The first metric measures the average monthly searches. This can be directly used to gauge a keyword’s popularity and demand.

CPC
Short for cost per click, the CPC metric denotes the average amount that advertisers are willing to pay for PPC advertisement actions. A high CPC often signals that a particular keyword can be monetized and converts well.

Competition
Lastly, Ubersuggest measures the competitiveness level of keywords on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0. For faster results, it’s recommended that you target keywords with a competitiveness score of around 0.4 or less.

At this point, you should be able to come up with a fresh lineup of long-tail keywords (whether for PPC or SEO) based on the initial results.

But don’t get overexcited — there’s still much work to be done to make sure your keywords lead to conversions.

2. Pluck Out Commercial or Transactional Keywords

A rule of thumb when doing keyword research is to find the balance between search volume and competitiveness.

Of course, you don’t want to target keywords with barely any demand at all. You shouldn’t go with the flow and pick up a keyword that everyone else uses, either.

What you want are long-tail keywords that pertain to a user’s desire to take action.

You can do this by injecting commercial or transactional terms into your Ubersuggest keyword suggestions. Just enter terms like “buy,” “price,” “service,” “shop,” or whatever term makes sense for your seed keyword in the “Filter Results” field.

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After applying your filters, Ubersuggest will then refine and drastically reduce the number of keyword suggestions. This makes it much easier for you to spot profitable keyword opportunities:

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3. Track Trending Keywords on Social Media

If you’re trying to build traffic through social media, then you’ll need a slightly different approach when doing keyword research.

The main issue is that social media networks use internal search engines that don’t use the same keywords as web platforms like Google. As such, you need to use a keyword tracking tool that’s specifically tailored to social media networks.

Keyhole is, without a doubt, an excellent tool for this job. It allows you to find and monitor trending keywords as well as hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram — two of the biggest social media networks in terms of user engagement.

Just like Ubersuggest, you can start using Keyhole by entering a seed keyword. This time, however, you need to specify if you want to track a hashtag, keyword, URL, social media account, or brand mention.

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To fine-tune your keyword tracker, click “Advanced” to reveal the filters you can use to refine results. For example, if you want to ignore posts from a direct competitor, click on “Ignore posts” and fill in the rest of the details.

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Let’s say you want to track the keywords “WordPress,” “web design,” and “blogging.”

After the initial data is produced, you should be able to see pertinent information, such as the number of posts with your keywords, their collective reach, and even the overall sentiment of users.

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Before you save your tracker, don’t forget to specify how you want to receive alerts. This will enable you to be always in tune with social media users when it comes to your target keywords.

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Remember that tracking keywords on social media can improve conversions in two ways.

Apart from letting you gauge the demand for a keyword, it will also give you opportunities to initiate and close conversions yourself whenever your brand or product gets mentioned. For this, simply, track your brand name or social media handles via Keyhole.

4. Get Suggestions from the Keyword Cloud

Once your Keyhole tracker is up and running, it’s time to snag yourself some keyword ideas.

From the main dashboard, navigate to “My Trackers” and select the tracker you want to work with.

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This will pull up real-time data based on the tracking options you’ve set earlier.

Now, to locate new keyword opportunities, scroll down to the “Related Topics” section to view the hashtag and keyword clouds. Here, you can visually observe the popularity of keywords that are related to your seed keyword:

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How can social media keywords boost your conversions?

Good question.

Remember that most if not all online users only transact with brands they trust.

By participating in conversations and offering your expertise to social media users, you slowly build your brand’s authority in your niche. Of course, researching hashtags will also allow you to extend the social reach of your content whenever you share something.

To learn more how to leverage social media networks to win your audience’s trust, you can refer to more guides here.

Conclusion

Keyword research is a fundamental piece of online marketing that marketers love to overlook.

Hopefully, the guide above put keyword research in a new light. It’s not necessarily the most difficult aspect of online marketing, but it can have the biggest impact when it comes to the visibility of overall profitability of your website.

Do you have other suggestions on how marketers should perform keyword research? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Using Popular Hashtags To Grow Your Business

Do you use hashtags — catchy, attention-grabbing conversation anchors that people want to be associated with? If not, you can learn how here.


Hashtag 101– If you already know what hashtags are, skip this part and proceed to advanced hashtag uses below.

How hashtags work: When you use a #hashtag, you are adding your post to a list of all other posts that use this tag on that social platform.

For example, if you post a picture of your dog with #puppy in the caption or description, your post is now grouped with all other #puppy posts. Whenever someone searches #puppy on instagram for example, they will see all #puppy posts.

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Popular hashtags are a major deal. They engage social media users on a higher level.

No wonder Instagram images or videos with at least one hashtag generate 12.6% more engagement than posts without hashtags, and tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than tweets without them.

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Image source

This doesn’t mean hashtags are an automatic ticket to social media success, but they can and do engage people by allowing them to become part of something larger than themselves.

Hashtags impart a sense of belonging — and encapsulate people’s beliefs, cultures, and professional brands. In an article on Salesforce, expert digital marketer Ann Smarty listed three hashtags that people follow for news on social: #twitternews, #socialmedianews and #socialmedia.

When people use or follow hashtags like these on social, they get to feel they’re a part of some huge; that’s the power of hashtags.

There are two main ways to use popular hashtags to grow your business:

  • Start your own branded hashtag and make it popular. Or…
  • Latch onto already popular unbranded hashtags and exploit them to grow your business. The three hashtags I mentioned from Ann Smarty are good examples of unbranded hashtags.

I’ll be sharing how to use these two different hashtag types to grow your business in this post.

Ready?

Let’s begin with unbranded hashtags.

These are usually popular hashtags that weren’t necessarily started by your brand.

They’re often industry hashtags like #marketing, event hashtags like #SXSW or day-related hashtags like #MusicMonday or #TuesdayInspiration. These are the basics. Tagging your posts with relevant industry, event and day-related hashtags will help you be a part of key conversations for your brand.

Here are three more advanced strategies for using unbranded hashtags to grow your business:

1. Look out for CTA (Call-to-Action) hashtags

Just as its name implies, CTA hashtags encourage people to take an action. Example: #BeYourOwnBoss or #StartABusiness.

These hashtags tend to work well because they encourage people to participate in something fun or rewarding — and everyone likes fun and rewards. More importantly, they persuade people to take an action on your tweets or posts.

You want to look for popular CTA hashtags that are related to your brand or product and engage prospects with them. These hashtags are especially rampant on Instagram and Twitter.

Example: Call-to-action hashtag #tagafriend skyrocketed Twitter engagement for Chocolate Picture:

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Of course, it wasn’t just the #tagafriend hashtag that drove this level of engagement for the brand. Chocolate Picture added some other hashtags and, perhaps more importantly, asked tweeters to follow and RT to get a chance to win the contest promoted in the tweet, which contributed to the success of the tweet. (Note: while hashtag functions are available on most platforms, they are particularly effective only on Twitter and Instagram)

The CTA hashtag #tagafriend, however, encouraged people to take an action — tag their friends.

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Plus, the CTA hashtag exposed the tweet to an audience that follows the #tagafriend hashtag and who may not have heard about Chocolate Picture before.

2. Twitter trending keywords and hashtags

Twitter gets over 300 million users per month, and the platform has a section called Trending. On a smartphone, Twitter Trending can be found once you click the search tab in your Twitter app. And it’s either on the left or right side of your desktop screen.

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These keywords and hashtags represent what people are talking about at any given time on the platform. You can see how this easily creates an opportunity for you to chip in your tweets on the matter discussed, and expose your brand to a new audience.

How you chime into these trending conversations, however, can make or break engagement for your tweet. Your tweet needs to be timely and relevant to the topic being discussed. Any irrelevant or untimely tweets will be ignored by tweeters and get buried under other tweets.

This doesn’t mean you can’t participate in conversations outside your industry; you can, but you need to ensure it’s relevant to the topic being discussed.

Example: when #FashionWeek was trending, sometime in 2013, cookie brand Oreo sent out a tweet with the hashtag:

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Image source

Oreo has nothing to do with fashion or Fashion Week; they’re clearly not a clothing brand, but they promoted their brand using the hashtag while making sure it’s related to the topic being discussed. Pretty clever.

Remember, Twitter trending tweets can stop trending at any time — they might be popular anywhere between minutes to a few days. You want your entry into trending conversations to be relevant and timely.

Another classic example is how duo music band Facing West took advantage of #MusicMonday on Twitter. The band used the hashtag to promote their new song on a Monday — March 5 — when the hashtag was trending:

Facing-West

This exposed their brand and music to a new audience and enthusiasts who follow the hashtag.

Twitter users use the Twitter Trending to stay abreast of what’s hot right now. They want to be in the know and not the last person to hear about some hot news. Do your brand a huge favor by chiming in on trending conversations and taking advantage of the lively engagement there.

3. Popular niche hashtags

Hashtags are crazier on Instagram than they are on Twitter, or any other social platform for that matter.

“…consider using popular hashtags like #tbt (throwback Thursdays) or #instagood (a showcase of a user’s best photos) to attract new followers. — Bryan Kramer

Using more than two hashtags on Twitter can make your engagement rate plummet. But on Instagram, the more hashtags, the merrier your engagement.

Head of Social Strategy at Canva, Peg Fitzpatrick, recommends adding your hashtags in multiple comments under each Instagram post:

You can use up to thirty hashtags on each post. I’d recommend sticking to three or four in the comments and then adding more into a comment below. It seems strange, but this is acceptable on Instagram.

If you want to use eleven hashtags in total per post, that works best on Instagram.

Enter niche hashtags. These hashtags are often used by people who are not just in your industry, but are in the same niche with you.

For example, #foodstagram is used by everyone and every business in the food/restaurant industry on Instagram. But a niche hashtag in the same food industry would be narrower. Take #foodblogger; the hashtag is apparently used by food bloggers on the platform, not every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the industry:

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Instagrammers who are interested in seeing pictures from food bloggers — but not restaurants or random food lovers — they’ll use the #Foodblogger hashtag to narrow down their search that finds just the food bloggers they’re looking for.

Your industry hashtags are often used by everyone in the industry, so they naturally get more impressions than niche hashtags. But you want to use niche hashtags to engage with your own target customers.

To see what hashtags are relevant to your specific industry of brand, tools like Keyhole can be very helpful. You can insert a trending #hashtag or keyword into our tracker, and the Word Cloud feature within the main dashboard will show you what other hashtags or Keywords people are using along with it.

For instance, our WordCloud shows that when using #foodblogger, people also use these hashtags:

word-cloud

Now, branded hashtags.

These are hashtags started by your company. You know, the one you can lay a 100% claim to and enjoy all the benefits.

Branded hashtags don’t have to have your brand name in them, even though they sound like they should. But they should be related to your product or campaign name — so customers can link the hashtag to your business ultimately.

And if done right, they can become very popular hashtags that will take your brand to a higher level. Here are three strategies for growing a business with branded hashtags.

1. Require customers to use your brand hashtag to qualify for entry to promos and contests

This is one of the most common hashtag marketing strategies out there. You start a contest and require target customers to use your hashtags in their posts to qualify for the contest.

It’s like you’re starting a party and you’re asking everyone to come and eat. Everyone loves free food and drinks, right? That’s the idea.

Where it gets a little difficult is coming up with the perfect hashtag that people can relate to your business. One of the most successful branded hashtag so far is #ShareACoke — though, it wasn’t exactly a contest as we’re discussing here.

-shareacoke-ig

Three things make this hashtag awesome:

  • The hashtag is simple, which makes it memorable.
  • It clearly flaunts the brand’s name.
  • It’s a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag — as it encourages people to take an “fun” action, share a coke.

You can learn from this and make an effective and memorable hashtag for your business. Make it reflect your brand name clearly, make it simple and make it a CTA — you know, like #DoSomethingFun.

To get even more juice from this, you can ask contest participants to tag your business handle in their entries.

This may reduce the amount of people participating in your contest since you’ll be stressing them more by asking them to do more tasks. But you’ll be getting more bang from your investment — 54% of users surveyed by Twitter reported that they had taken action after seeing a brand mentioned in Tweets (including visiting their website, searching for the brand, or retweeting content).

In plain English, you get more ROI when users tag your brand in their entries for your contest or promos.

2. Ask event attendees to share, using your hashtag before and during the event

If you’re organizing an event, you can create a hashtag and ask your event attendees to share the post on social using your event’s hashtag. Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios says it’s best to announce your event hashatag right at the start of the event:

“Tell the audience about it before the opening keynote.”

This means that you must have planned this hashtag ahead of time — it should have been ready long before the event day. In fact, planning it out long before the D-day gives it greater chance for good publicity.

Before the popular Social Media Week starts in every country, the #SMMW18 hashtag always has enough time to get in the hands and consciousness of people. Perhaps that’s because the hashtag has been planned and publicized months or weeks before the event starts.

And it’s one of the main reasons why virtually all marketers in many countries don’t miss out when the event date finally hits.

event-hashtag
Image source

The beauty of this is that once multiple people start tweeting with your hashtag during an event, Twitter notices the spike for that hashtag and adds it to their Trending list — which exposes your hashtag to Twitter users who like hot news.

This means more people will be seeing your hashtagged posts. It can lead to a massive explosion and brand awareness for you. And you may also attract people who haven’t heard about you or your hashtag before. They can become curious as to who you are why you’re trending on their Twitter.

3. Get people to like your hashtagged tweets and posts

Social networks want to feed their users with the best content their platforms offer. And it’s the same for your business. You want your best content consistently visible for optimal customer engagement.

Google, Youtube, and most other platforms also operate in this way. They all have top posts in a category on their platforms so more users can find them. When your tweets or Instagram posts get significant engagement, they are ranked in the top sections of the platforms they’re on for the hashtag(s) they contain.

For example, if your your post on Instagram with #musicmonday gets healthy engagement, say 200 likes and 20 comments, it can get ranked on the top posts section of Instagram.

-musicmonday-ig

If you’re already a popular brand, your hashtagged posts will naturally get hundreds and thousands of Likes or Favs, retweets, and replies in no time. And this will move your posts to the top sections of social networks. And, to amplify your reach, you may use influencers.

But if your brand is not so popular yet, you need to go to a little more work. You especially need influencers who will spread the word about your brand and hashtag. Ask your network — existing followers, customers and friends — to Like your posts so they reach more people.

Conclusion

Popular hashtags are a big deal. They raise an entire village of brand advocates, like what’s happening with Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke today.

The drink company is still enjoying all the brand awareness and sales that come from the hashtag, as many of their customers are eager to take fancy pictures with a bottle of coke and share it on social using the hashtag. It’s the same for every other brand that has worked to create popular hashtags.

Businesses that latch on to unbranded hashtags they didn’t create themselves also enjoy some level of success as seen with the Oreo example above. In the end, whether you create your brand hashtag or latch on to unbranded hashtags you didn’t create, your business is bound to see an uptake in engagement and sales if you hit the right combination.

Take a chance and experiment with hashtags. Learn to capitalize on what’s trending and help your business by becoming part of the hashtag trend.

Life is short and the internet is vast.