Should You Use Emerging Social Media Networks for Business

ChicExecs Co-Founder/Co-President Kailynn Bowling discusses the factors to determine which emerging social platform is right for you and the social platforms to look out for.

She explains that over time, social networks will fall out of favor and leave room for newcomers. Marketers can’t pursue every social platform they come across; that would be a waste of time.

“Ultimately, you have to look at an emerging platform and decide if it’s a fit for your brand.”

Read the full Forbes article here.

How to Raise Kids in an Instagram World

ChicExecs VP of Public Relations and Digital Media Kristen Wessel shares how parents can safeguard their teens’ well-being with healthy social media practices. She explains that there are plenty of reasons to love using Instagram, however, social media can sometimes cause unnecessary comparisons, dissatisfaction with life, and a feeling of being left out.

“How can we address the problem of social media and teen mental health? It’s time for parents to get involved and tackle teen mental health at home.”

Read her full article here on Red Tricycle.

The Importance and Benefits of Influencer Marketing

The Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Whether you’re looking to implement a new social media strategy or produce a content-driven campaign, influencer marketing is a hot trend brands are embracing to grow their businesses. Marketing statistics show that not only do 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, but 40 percent had purchased something after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. Let’s go over some of the basic concepts of influencer marketing and how they can benefit your business.

What are Influencers?

Sought-after celebrity endorsements are becoming a marketing tool of the past. People want someone they can relate to and an influencer inspires more authenticity. They bring with them a specific group of followers based around a niche, which makes them ideal for brand storytelling. When an influencer shows off a brand in their post, it sends a message of trust. Because there’s already a bond established between a follower and an influencer, or a blogger, they’re more inclined to see your brand or product as credible. 

Bonuses to using influencer marketing:

  • Boost more traffic to visit your website
  • Increase sales
  • Build brand accountability to a new audience

What is storytelling?

Referring to brand storytelling, think of it as the narrative of your brand. You’re doing more than supplying facts. You’re trying to set the tone and capture emotion. The message is more than “buy my product.” You’re telling the audience why your brand matters and exists.

Find Influencers Who Fit Your Product

The key to successful storytelling is finding an influencer who best represents your brand. Followers need to make the connection between your product and the influencer. You want them to visualize how your brand simplifies their needs and makes their life better.

Benefits of Using Influencers

With influencer marketing, you’re reaching your target audience immediately. You’re also getting great brand exposure reaching a large audience with one post. Depending upon the influencer you choose, some have 10,000 followers while others have over 100,000. 

Another advantage is the user-generated content available. Influencers tend to publish stunning lifestyle photos to their Instagram feeds to keep their followers engaged. You now have access to these same photos to repost to your marketing social media accounts.

In addition to bringing you photos, tagging your brand on social media and inspiring their followers to be your potential customers, you’re getting a thorough, positive review of your product instead of taking a gamble on a random testimonial to be posted to your own social media feed or website.

Visit this topic on our YouTube Channel to learn more!

Contact us to see how we can increase your brand awareness and ultimately drive sales with influencer marketing.

 

The Best Photo Editing Apps

The Best Editing Apps for Photos

Every year the cameras in our phones get better and better. Nonetheless, you may still feel the need to edit photos for Instagram. If the amateur photographer in you isn’t feeling like a pro just yet it might be time to invest in a photo editing app. These days anyone and everyone has a phone with a decent camera and knows how to use basic filters so it’s important that your photos stand out. Check out some of these top photo editing apps to help you create stunning photos and get your social media accounts the attention they deserve.

Afterlight 2

Filter fans will rejoice over this app. Choose from an extensive library of filters or use the lighting and color correction tools for precise hues. If you’ve ever used version 1.0, you might notice some changes. Afterlight 2 is a complete overhaul of the original, completely redesigned and redeveloped.

Key Aspects:

  • Create your own filters
  • Zoom while editing
  • Frame your photos with any color or background image
  • Curve tool lets you adjust brightness, color, contrast and shadows
  • Selective tools for hue, saturation and lightness (HSL)
  • Tools for textures and effects

Price: $2.99

iOS & Android app available? Afterlight 2 is available for iOS but only the original version of Afterlight is free to install right now for Android. 

VSCO

With this app, not only do you get editing tools, you can access a whole community of photographers with a membership. The yearly membership also provides some extra photo and video editing tools along with bonus tips, tricks and tutorials. If you’re wondering what VSCO stands for, it’s an abbreviation for Visual Supply Company. 

Key Aspects: 

  • Edit with 10 presets
  • Contrast, saturation and grain tools included
  • Free content to explore photography

With Membership:

  • Edit with 130+ presets
  • Presets for vintage film looks by Kodak, Agfa, and Ilford 
  • Border and HSL tools
  • Video editing tools
  • Weekly photo challenges
  • Bonus member content

Price: Free for basic app, $20/year for membership

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Lightroom

The makers of Adobe Photoshop made sure you had an app for that well-known desktop program. You can capture and edit photos with this program. The range of Lightroom features depends upon how much you want to pay. While the basic app is free, you can pay extra for additional editing, organizing and storage features or choose an Adobe Lightroom Creative Cloud Plan to work with photos across your devices.

Key Features:

  • Take photos in raw format
  • HDR mode to capture brightest and darkest images
  • Five presets allow you to see the effects as you take a photo
  • Edits range from simple one-tap presets to advanced adjustments and corrections
  • Edit color, exposure, tone, and contrast with the tone curve
  • Copy and apply favorite edits across photos
  • Rate and flag photos

Premium Features:

  • Selectively adjust any part of a photo
  • Auto-tag photos
  • Back up original photos on the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Import and synchronize photos to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Access to Lightroom web galleries 

Price: Free for basic app, $4.99 for premium features, Adobe Creative Cloud Plans range from $9.99 to $19.99.

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Colourtone

Using the Colourtone app is the easiest way to apply professional quality filters to your photos and videos. Created by a professional photographer, choose from a variety of preset collections and adjustment settings to selectively edit photos and videos. There’s also an in-app camera that pre-applies the filters.

Key Features:

  • Twelve different adjustment settings 
  • Built-in gallery for the import of photos and videos
  • Reset button to revert to the original image
  • Compare button to see before and after filter effects

Price: Free for basic app. Collection prices range from $0.99 to $3.99

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

Facetune

Known as the original selfie editor, make this your go-to app to retouch and add some artistry to your selfies and portraits. From crooked smiles to skin blemishes and bad hair days, this app has the tools to improve your appearance while applying enhancements to photos overall.

Key Features:

  • Perfect smiles
  • Beautify Skin
  • Enhance eyes or correct red eye
  • Edit hair
  • Reshape facial structure
  • Add makeup
  • Light editing
  • Blur backgrounds
  • Create mirrored image
  • Add textures and custom frames

Price: $3.99

iOS & Android app available? Available for both

 

How to Raise Kids in an Instagram World

ChicExecs Senior Director of PR & Operations Kristen Wessel shares how parents can safeguard their teens’ well-being with healthy social media practices. She explains that there are plenty of reasons to love using Instagram, however, social media can sometimes cause unnecessary comparisons, dissatisfaction with life, and a feeling of being left out.

“How can we address the problem of social media and teen mental health? It’s time for parents to get involved and tackle teen mental health at home.”

Read her full article here on FamilyToday.

 

6 Emerging Trends in Social Media Marketing

ChicExecs Senior Director of PR & Operations, Kristen Wessel shares advice with TotalRetail on why retailers should harness the power of micro-influencers.

“They’re usually in more niche markets with highly engaged and loyal audiences.”

Read the full article here.

How to Get Followers on Instagram

 

How to Get Followers on Instagram

 

If your business is trying to figure out how to get more followers on Instagram, we would love to share some food for thought! Instagram users, and all social media users for that matter, are looking for authenticity as they quickly scroll through your feed. In real life, people are attracted to those who possess both beauty and brains, and someone who provides something of value to them. If you apply this same mentality to your Instagram feed, you too can get more followers on Instagram. Here are five tips to make sure your feed has both beauty and brains, where people can’t help but follow you:

Have a Cohesive Feed

Social media users decide whether or not to follow your business in a matter of seconds as they scroll through your feed. For this reason alone it’s important to pay attention to what your Instagram profile looks like as a whole. Having a cohesive feed means more than creating a beautiful aesthetic. While you’re certain to attract users with an eye-pleasing social media feed, you need to create a niche with your content in the process. You can start by matching your feed appearance to what your account focuses on. For example, does your business sell skincare products? Edit the photos to look crisp and refreshing. Do you have a travel blog? Make your social media feed bright and colorful to connect with the destinations you highlight. You’ll want to make sure you follow this visual theme throughout your feed. The cohesiveness doesn’t stop with the aesthetic. An ongoing strategy is just as important to your target market to make your social media presence look like an online magazine. Taking the travel blog for example, you don’t want your Instagram feed to show photo after photo of captivating destinations to all of a sudden switch to random cat memes.

Purchase or Build a Preset

Another factor that is important in how you get followers on Instagram is creating content that stands out visually. To take your feed to the next level, it’s time to come up with a photo editing strategy. It doesn’t take a professional photographer or time-consuming editing to deliver the photos you’re looking for. All it takes is a simple filter or preset. You might have experimented with Instagram’s filters and found they make your feed look too similar to others or they don’t quite meet the standards of the content you’re posting. By purchasing or building a custom preset, you can create a unique yet cohesive aesthetic and cut down editing time significantly. Adobe Lightroom CC is one app you can use and a personal favorite of ours.

Use Instagram Stories and Remember Hashtags

We’ve discussed the beauty of your Instagram feed, now let’s talk about the brains. As Instagram stories gain popularity, brands are taking notice. You might not think they have as much impact as regular Instagram posts because they disappear within 24 hours but videos are super popular right now. They offer a unique way of engaging your users and showing the “human side” of your brand. Each story still needs to fit into the cohesion of your overall social media feed to build brand awareness and a lasting impression in the minds of perspective followers.

When it comes to posting Instagram stories, don’t forget the hashtags! Adding hashtags and geo-locations helps your story appear to more users because they can watch any recent stories that were published using a location or hashtag sticker, even if they’re not following you. If you feel like a hashtag or location sticker will take away from your content, you can always hide them by reducing the font size, using the same color as the background, or adding a GIF or sticker on top of them.

Engage with Your Followers Using Polls

It might feel like you already put a lot of time and effort into getting more followers on Instagram or maybe you feel like your social media content already brings its “A” game. It’s still important to remember that communication goes both ways, even if you feel like you’re doing all the work. Thanks to Instagram polls available in stories, engaging with followers has never been easier. The possibilities to not only engage with your followers but get a better understanding of your audience are endless. Looking to gauge interest in specific products within your inventory? Create a poll to see which product people like more. Or perhaps it’s time to update your company logo. Create a poll between two options to see which one resonates with your audience more!

Take Advantage of Instagram Live

Why post photos on social media after the event happens when your audience can experience the thrill for themselves when it’s happening with live video? Survey statistics show that 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand than social posts. Don’t be afraid to mix up your carefully planned posts with some live video. It speaks to the authenticity of your brand and makes you more relatable. Don’t be nervous that you’ll make a mistake, it adds to the humanness of it! And be sure to interact with your audience during the live video by asking questions so they can respond in the comments.

Our social media department has so many more tips on how to get followers on Instagram. Contact us today to see how we can help!

5 Reasons We Should Manage Your Social Media

 

You’ve overcome some big hurdles. While your LinkedIn headline might read Founder, CEO, or Marketing Director, what you really wish it would say is “I wear way too many hats!” Being in charge of a business can be a lonely place but you’re not alone in feeling this way.

If one of the hats you wear is managing social media and increasing brand awareness to drive sales, you can breathe easier. If you just don’t have the time to devote to social media or you find the platforms to be confusing and complicated, we would love to help and give your brand the recognition and visibility it deserves. You might have told yourself in the past that a strong social media presence won’t impact your bottom line. We’re here to prove you wrong.

 

Why Should We Take Over Your Social Media?

  1. Get time back in your life

Our founders, who have launched two successful companies, can attest that it’s not easy running a business! Let us help you with the heavy lifting while you focus on more important things. According to a Constant Contact survey, a small business owner — along with another employee — will spend an average of 20 hours per week on marketing. Think of what you could accomplish in this time! You probably hire an accountant to do your taxes and a lawyer if you need legal advice, so why wouldn’t you hire a social media manager if this wasn’t your area of expertise?

 

  1. We’re an unbiased partner with a retail-focused viewpoint

We’re not just an agency, we immerse ourselves in your brand to become an extension of your marketing department. We do a ton of research during the onboarding process to learn about your brand and we build our strategies based on what actually works.

There are more than 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram and 60% of users claim they’ve discovered at least one new product on that platform alone. Hootsuite reports also show 80% of users follow at least one business on Instagram. People aren’t stumbling upon these brands by chance.

It takes time, effort, and strategy to increase brand awareness, which is where our expertise lies. Whether you’re trying to increase your sales or promote your new product line, what we bring to your business as a partner can help you achieve those goals.

 

  1. Stay ahead of trends

We monitor social media algorithms almost daily and try to stay ahead of trends! Do you have someone dedicated to keeping up with it? If you work with us, you have the brainpower of a whole social media team at your fingertips, dedicated to making your business successful. We eat, sleep and breathe social media and we promise to bring our passion to your products!

Speaking of trends, did you know that Instagram reports the time spent watching videos on their platform is up more than 80% year over year? We did, and that’s why we push the importance of Instastories, to drive traffic towards your videos and so you can better connect with your followers.

As a business, posting with consistency is important to keep driving your social media traffic. The top Instagram brands post 4.9 times per week on average. Even our smallest package offers more than that! Lean on us to constantly create and post valuable content that will not only keep up with your followers, but attract new ones.

 

  1. We’ve seen it all

Our clients range from entrepreneurs to large organizations, skincare to men’s underwear… and everything in between! In working with such diverse industries, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to see what works well across all of the brands and capitalize on it. We know our social media strategies are successful because we can provide measurable results through reports and analytics.

We have diverse and well-rounded experience to meet your needs. Looking to change the direction of your brand due to launching new products? We can help by implementing this change across all platforms. Perhaps business is booming and you’re looking to take your company to the next level? If this is the case, let us wow you!

 

  1. Mitigate risks and identify potential opportunities

At ChicExecs, we take customer interaction very seriously. When you put your business on social media, it’s more than just advertising, you’re opening yourself up to a new channel of customer service. By having us focused solely on social media, we are able to quickly address or escalate unhappy customers to help protect your brand. Ignoring customers on social media is more serious than you might have imagined. On Twitter 70% of customer service complaints go unanswered by businesses. We can quickly address unhappy clients and provide them with stellar customer service they’re not getting anywhere else. And since we are in the platform constantly, we are able to identify opportunities with other brands or influencers that can offer follower growth and increased sales.

 

Bonus Reason!

In addition to a rockstar social media department, we also offer so much more!

Want more press? We got you!

Need more Instagram worthy pictures? Let us help!

Always wanted to work with influencers? Yes, please!

Looking to place your products in major retailers like Target, Dillard’s or Nordstrom? We can do that too!

 
 

Let us WOW you today! Contact us for a free quote on how we can turn your social media into a way of increasing brand awareness and ultimately drive sales!

4 Tips to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm in 2019

 

If your social media marketing strategy relies on Instagram, chances are you’re aware of the algorithm changes that rolled out last year. To recap, users now see 90% of posts from their family and friends, which is great when you’re trying to catch up on how Jenny’s kids are doing… but it isn’t as great for businesses posting organic content.

Since you’re reading this, I bet you are wondering what the Instagram algorithm takes into account and how you can outsmart it to show your content more often. Well you’ve come to the right place! As of today, here are the top three factors:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Relationship

Other factors that the Instagram algorithm takes into consideration:

  • Frequency
  • Following
  • Usage

Understanding the factors is a step in the right direction, but if you’re going to take your social media to the next level, here are some tips to get ahead of the Instagram algorithm and stay relevant!

Tips for Outsmarting the Instagram Algorithm

Tip #1 – Engagement Is Key

There’s no rule to engagement, the rule IS engagement. Getting your followers to interact with your brand signals to the Instagram algorithm to put more of your posts in their feeds. High quality content on social media is more important than ever so be sure to use photos and captions that inspire your followers and compel them to interact with you.

Don’t expect your followers to constantly tell you how great your business, product or service is though. Start meaningful conversations with them by posing questions or asking them to tell you about their own experiences! Make sure your message is clear and don’t forget relevant hashtags.

 

Tip #2 – Know Your Social Media Followers

It’s going to sound like common sense, but engaging with your audience means first knowing who they really are. Instagram Insights is a great analytics tool to learn about the demographics of your social media followers. Developing buyer personas is a great step in defining your audience and it comes in handy when you’re building a strategy for writing content. While learning the age and gender of your followers is important, there are often more important things to record like where they live, what hobbies they enjoy, and when they’re most active. Knowing when to post is a perfect transition into our next point.

 

Tip #3 – Timing Matters

The Instagram algorithm takes the fact that followers want to see fresh, new posts seriously. If you know when your followers are the most active, you can make sure to time your posts so that they see it. Instagram Insights can also help you obtain this information. Now more than ever it’s important to respond to your followers’ comments in a timely manner.

 

Tip #4 – Get Organized Then Listen

Planning ahead and staying organized with your social media posts creates a cohesive feed. There are a number of tools available that let you manage your accounts, schedule posts and plan content. You might not be on social media when your followers are, but these platforms can auto-post for you at the most preferable time and they also offer pretty robust analytics.

We at ChicExecs use a platform called Planoly to organize our images and captions then schedule them out, which enables us to focus on strategically adding value to the content instead of live posting. There are also a number of social media listening tools that monitor and track how and where your brand is mentioned in posts, comments and hashtags. Awario and Keyhole are two examples that can save you time researching as they gather data across multiple social media platforms.

 

Contact us today and we’ll drop some more truth bombs about the Instagram algorithm! We kinda know all about it!