SMM – Practical Instagram Tips for a Small Business

Social Media Marketing can be an important tool for any small business and whilst money may not be a factor (for a change in a marketing campaign!) as posting is free, there are practical tips to using Instagram which really only become obvious once an account is up and running. Some are intuitive and others follow unpredictable paths as the audience grows and engagement increases.

Be Attentive

Posting is not meant to be a one-way ‘push’ of data. As a business looking to build a client base or strengthen the existing relationship with customers: monitor the posts, check for comments and then respond in a timely manner. Starting a dialog builds trust and shows that you care about your audience. This gives an opportunity to further showcase products and point potential customers towards the product which might best suit their needs.

Use an Instagram business account

Don’t cross over between personal accounts and business accounts. Keep the two separate to maintain a professional profile. In addition, it will be easier to contact you through the business account by clicking on the ‘contact’ button which appears when an account is changed from ‘personal’ to ‘business’.

instagram business account blog

Switch up the hashtags

If you are using hashtags to attract new potential customers, try new ones sometimes. Instead of throwing out all of the regular ones you use and totally reinventing the wheel, try out new #s sparingly so it takes less time to see which new tags are working for you. What are you looking for? Using a new hashtag could connect you with a new target audience and some of those people new to your content may like what they see. That will hopefully turn into new people following you so it may look like this:
instagram new followers

Remember that increasing the number of followers is only a tangible benefit if they are looking for a company like yours so keep new #s relevant and on point.

Be Inquisitive

When you get new followers and it isn’t clear how they found you, take a look at some of their posts to see what hashtags they use. Chances are you’ll find one of yours matches one of theirs. It could be relevant to one aspect of your business that you share. That is the perfect time to scope out the other hashtags they are using to see if it sparks any new ideas for you and your business.

Be Creative

There are so many filters and photo editing apps about that it can be hard to stand out in a crowd. Don’t be afraid to create an eye-catching visual that will grab a viewer’s attention.

PPC advertising blog

This example uses a color filter, a lens flare, ‘instafill’ and different types of text (a bubble and normal text).

Great pictures can be recycled over time or edited to bring a different ‘look and feel’ for instance, take a great product picture and convert it to a black and white image.

Location, location, location

If your business is looking to attract local clients or you know that potential clients are watching your location (think a popular beach resort or a newly opened restaurant), make sure to use the location when you post and perhaps even consider #placename in your post

 

Social Media Marketing is not magic, it can reach new prospects and can bolster your brand however it takes direction and purpose to steer it in the right direction. For companies looking to start (or improve) their SMM, Trulium has the experience to improve brand visibility and build awareness. For internet marketing strategies to take your business to the next level, contact us today.

 

 

SEO Competitor Analysis and Beyond

One of the components of a good SEO campaign is competitor analysis. It’s a common-sense approach to help find your own niche in any market where competition exists.

An example outside the online world may be the startup of a sandwich shop. Before opening for business, a potential location would be scouted and the nearby competitors would be identified. At the outset, if many similar establishments were found within a one-mile radius, it may seem like a deal-breaker – the marketplace is already outwardly overpopulated and it would be too difficult to make a good return. Closer inspection may turn this assumption around in many ways:

  • Nearby offices or schools bring a reliable source of hungry foot traffic
  • The very reason other establishments set up there is the high volume of passing traffic
  • Although there are many other vendors, nobody offers quite what you want to offer
  • The other products are at a higher price point

The same concept applies when setting up a website or launching a campaign to rank higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). In an ideal world, this analysis would be done before designing your strategy, but the real world is constantly changing so even if a ‘gap in the market’ is identified, it could disappear in the time it takes to get a site up and running. For this same reason, even when a site ranks well and is attracting business, that platform can be undermined through the actions of others who encroach on your set of keywords. What follows is a constant shifting between companies in search engine results over time.

For these reasons SEO analysis is an important component in researching your competitors but should not be taken in isolation.

SEO Analysis of a competitor could include:

  • Checking ranking results
  • Checking the number and quality of links
  • Checking the targeted audience
  • Check domain authority
  • Social Media Activity
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Keyword analysis
  • Content analysis

SEO Competitor Analysis

Valuable insights, although to get the complete picture, the following should also be considered. It’s impossible to program an online search to check off all the considerations a person takes into account when choosing one supplier over another. Some of these factors could include:

  • Customer Reviews & Testimonials
  • Quality and style of promotional material
  • Website design
  • Ease of navigating the website
  • Price check of product or services
  • Small print/refund policy
  • Rewards programs offered
  • Frequency and attractiveness of sales
  • Quality and style of images
  • Awards and recognition
  • Affiliations
  • Brand recognition
  • Community involvement

This list is much broader than SEO but ‘the big picture’ is valuable and sometimes being too technical overlooks the more aesthetic appeal or the value of trust conveyed by an A+ business rating.

When looking to attract more customers online or offline, competitor analysis makes sense and should be an ongoing process. Standing still and not considering this data may work for a while, but who is looking at you as their competitor and looking to jump ahead by analyzing your strategy?

We don’t claim to be able to help with everything, but we at Trulium can certainly help with the SEO competitor analysis. If you want to benchmark yourself and build from a starting point of solid data, contact us today.

SEO Rankings – is #1 your only goal?

Rankings are a big part of every SEO effort and it is great to see numbers change and watch SERPs display your site nearer to the top.
It’s widely understood that viewers tend to click on sites near the top of the page but here we take a closer look at the fickle world of rankings from a few different angles.

It’s more than a number

Discerning customers use the web so regularly now to shop for products and services that it only takes a glance at a page and a quick skim of the text to decide where the next click is being taken.
This means that the top choice is maybe first to be skimmed through but maybe doesn’t win the next action. Think about when you search the web yourself, do you scan the page first before clicking? So what other factors could be overriding the top position?
  • you recognize a brand name you like in a lower position
  • the title or description of the top ranked page doesn’t resonate with you or your particular search
  • a title or description of a lower ranked page grabs your attention
  • a site looks unprofessional (perhaps the title or description are truncated)
  • the site is not mobile friendly and you’re currently searching from a mobile device
  • the title or description are ambiguous and another ad sums up the service you need better
  • the site looks annoying because some of the text is in ALL CAPS
  • the text is clearly out of date – perhaps it has an old date displayed or is promoting an event which has already taken place.

seo rankings blog

All this scanning is done very quickly. The key takeaway is that first impressions count. If your keywords are showing great rankings but that is not converting into clicks there are a few things to check immediately
  • Are those keywords (or strings) still right for your business (in other words, are they still relevant enough to invest time in further investigation)
  • How popular are those keywords
  • Is your ranking analysis accurate
If your keywords are no longer relevant then a keyword review is long overdue. It’s better to start off with a new list and let go of the old reports with their months of historical data.
If the keywords are not popular then ranking at number 1 may sound nice but is not going to generate much interest. The logical step is to look for a new string which you can focus on in the rankings which maybe has a bigger share of the searches.
Double check your rankings and look at which search engine they are being recorded from. (Ranking #1 on Yahoo and bing is a good start but are those engines the main funnel into your site?)
It is normal for rankings to fluctuate so also look for a trend. In the absence of an SEO toolkit to report on rankings, just key in the searches on your own device and see how your business is presented on the search engine results page.

 

The aim for a business is not to rank highly for a string of 10 or 20 keywords. The aim is to attract new potential clients to your site, so when rankings are looking good but traffic isn’t being won, it’s time to dig deeper and understand the data. A good SEO agency will take the time to understand your business to tailor a plan for you. There is no ‘one size fits all’ and ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the keywords and their rankings should be a part of the discussion. If you are ready to explore a new SEO strategy and pin down the keywords which will work for your business, contact us today.