Tuesday Teaching Tips: Instagram Videos

Videos engage. Videos tell a story. Videos sell a product or service. And they are all over the place! In a 2019 WyzOwl survey, 87% of businesses confirmed they now use video as a marketing tool. But there is the downside; 90% of businesses say they also feel competition and noise are on the rise. So, how is your small business to compete? Find the best tutorials. After all, it’s your time & money being spent on these videos.

And just about the hottest place for videos is Instagram, since eMarketer just concluded that in 2020, Facebook and Instagram together will account for about two thirds of social video ad spend. That’s more than YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat combined!

HootSuite just posted an in-depth but easy to follow Instagram video tutorial by Paige Cooper. Not only does it provide explanations & examples of Stories, video posts, Instagram live, and IGTV, but there are also specs, such as lengths and aspect ratios.    

An interesting tip offered suggests that you kick off your Instagram video with the most engaging 2-3 second clip— even if it doesn’t really show up until later in the video! Think of it as the headline of a long article; it gives readers/viewers a solid clue as to whether the video is worth their time investment. People scroll fast, and are conditioned to skip anything that looks like an ad. 

Why video? Why Instagram? Why are you telling this story now? If you have compelling answers, then this HootSuite tutorial deserves to be in your marketing tool chest.

TikTok, Time for Your Biz to Check Out TikTok

There is always a shiny new toy on social media. That’s a given. The variable is if as a small business owner you pick the right one to get on board with. Case in point: TikTok. Yes, the app that gives users the chance to create and share funny videos while singing, dancing, or lip-syncing to their favorite tunes. TikTok already has 500 million active users worldwide; 41% of those users are between the ages of 16 and 24!

Do you want some of those eyes on your products, services and words? Gen Z is where you want to be! But if you think being late to the party means a delay on building a following or you are too busy running your business, consider 3rd-party growth strategy tools.

Some use hashtags, bots, or targeted follow/unfollow actions. But take care that you pay attention to TikTok’s terms of service— otherwise, your account will get blocked, you will be shadowbanned, and you won’t be able to interact with other users, regular and new ones. 

To help you out, here are 10 services pre-screened and broken down by Robynne Jones of the Jeff Bullas team: TokUpGrade, TokSocial, AutoTokker, Tok Growth, QuikFlok, Jeffrey, Vire, Ektor.io, Instamber, and TrendGrow.

Why TikTok? Why now? Why for your business? When it comes to daily user time, the current average is a phenomenal 52 minutes per day! And the more time people are spending on this app will translate into a stronger chance that they will see your ads.

Taking Active Advantage of Competitor Media Coverage

Ever see an article or post online about your industry and a competitor is mentioned, but not your business? Have visions of potential customers on wings floating out of your grasp into the hands of your competitor? You can turn this disadvantage to your favor. It is called “earned media in content marketing.” 

The most obvious option is to respond directly to the article. Add something in the comments section to up social proof that you are an expert, and by association, your business is the place to go for services or products. Or write a rebuttal— carefully— with facts or experience to contradict opinions of your competitor to give potential customers food for thought. 

Still another option is to write a blog on your website, referring to the post. Compose your own version on the issue, using quotes from the story. And, of course, provide a link to the original article. Then promote the blog on your social media channels.

Don’t have the time or skill to do all this writing? That is where someone like me comes in. I am not a social media manager. No interest in convincing you to buy ads on Facebook or burrowing through Instagram and YouTube video stats. I am here to write so you can focus on running your business.

Managing your small business’s reputation is what you do every day selling quality products and services. But in this 2.0 social media world, your current & potential customers have much more access to info about your business than they used to. You need to control the narrative, wherever and whenever you can.

Tuesday Tech Thoughts: Not 1, Not 2, But 20 Excel Tips

If only you could run your business from the front. But “running” the business means being in the office as well. It means going over the books. It means hovering over Excel sheets on your computer. How well do you know Excel? Would 20 tips help you get your work done more quickly so you could get back to engaging with the customers?

For example, do you know how to use Excel to calculate the hours worked for any shift? Duh? Just subtract start time from end time! But what if your business shifts also involve “noon” or “midnight?” 

Think military time. But you also need to know what data to use for tabs and cells.  And most importantly, a formula that makes it all work. Now you do.

Other tips include: building dynamic charts that update before your eyes, adding a drop-down list to an Excel cell, and using XLOOKUP which is an easier way to retrieve info from Excel spreadsheets.

There is no denying the fact that you need to be in the office; it comes with the territory of being the person who signs the checks. But you are also the face of your brand. You need to be out there with the customers. Hope these tips help.

Fast Food Customers Looking for Technology to be on Menu

When you think of it, it is a no brainer— customers who go to a Quick Service Restaurant (fast food of any size) want to place, receive, consume, and depart as quickly as possible. It is no surprise that 71% of diners say they would be “amenable” to more AI in their restaurant experiences. 

That is according to an interesting recent article from PYMNTS which contradictorily adds that “A report found that 29% of restaurant operators think they are lagging in adopting technology. Many of them blame prohibitive costs or doubt that adequate demand exists.”

Is your dining establishment losing customers because of this backward thinking? Demand exists. In fact, reports PYMNT, on-site kiosks are becoming a major attraction to QSR diners. Designed to decrease congestion, automate the ordering process, and offer multiple payment options, self-service kiosks  “can lead diners to spend 15% to 20% more on orders.”

There have been some stumbling blocks, such as when MacDonald’s rolled out kiosks that did not take cash. Check out the PYMNTS article for more on that.

Bottom line, kiosks or tableside tablets— whatever allows your customers to place orders and pay without having to wait for paper bills— should be a consideration for your menu.

Social Media Slice for December 23, 2019: Taking a Holiday Break


MAIN SLICE

We are going to take a break during the holiday season. Enjoy good times and fellowship with family members and friends. See you in the new year!


WELCOME SLICE

SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Small Business Owners make sense of all the day to day social media news. Bypass the fluff. Focus on the good stuff.


MOTIVATIONAL SLICE

Our #HappyHolidays cover image is from a tweet by Barry Gray @barrygrayauthor


What is one of YOUR biggest social media pain points? The blogging process? You KNOW you need blogs for improved SEO on Google, but researching, writing, revising to include keywords, and then editing are very time-consuming tasks. Make better use of your time. Tap into my over 40 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and free-lance community writer to generate your creative content. – Anthony Scialis, Managing Editor, SoMe Slice

Social Media Slice for December 20, 2019: “123456” Worst Password of the Year Again; Top 5 Blockers To Your Productivity; How To Create Facebook Augmented Reality Ads


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📌”123456″ Worst Password of the Year Again-
Seriously? Yes, apparently people dont learn. And hackers are quite happy. According to SplashData’s Annual Worst Passwords List “123456789” took second place, rising from third last year.

“Almost 10% of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, according to SplashData, while nearly 3% have used the worst password “123456.” The more than five million leaked passwords that made the 2019 list were used mostly by people in North America and western Europe.” – Lance Whitney, writing for Tech Republic

👁 More


WELCOME SLICE

SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Small Business Owners make sense of all the day to day social media news. Bypass the fluff. Focus on the good stuff.


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

📌 Top 5 Blockers To Your Productivity (And How To Hack Each One)-
Whatever is holding back your productivity, there are ways to analyze it and work through it. Your client’s need you at your best.

“The bad news is that no one becomes a productivity pro overnight. The good news, however, is that there’s still hope for even the laziest among us. Leveraging known frameworks and results from social science can help you to reach beyond your own innate productivity abilities.” – Lauren Moon, writing in Trello

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SLICE INGREDIENTS

📌 How To Create Facebook Augmented Reality Ads-
Would you like to encourage users to engage with your client’s products in new and interactive ways, including driving them to make a purchase? Facebook says try Augmented Reality Ads.

“To use Facebook’s new augmented reality ads, you will either need to partner with an authorized AR producer on Facebook’s Spark AR Partner Network to create and upload AR effects on the Spark AR Hub or create your own. Then, you can create your ads with a few clicks in your Ads Manager.” – George Carey-Simos, writing for WERSM

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MOTIVATIONAL SLICE

Our #FridayFeeling cover image is from a tweet by Living Dead Girl @Livindeadgirl00


What is one of YOUR biggest social media pain points? The blogging process? You KNOW you need blogs for improved SEO on Google, but researching, writing, revising to include keywords, and then editing are very time-consuming tasks. Make better use of your time. Tap into my over 40 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and free-lance community writer to generate your creative content. – Anthony Scialis, Managing Editor, SoMe Slice

Social Media Slice for December 19, 2019: FBI Tech Tips for Safe Holiday Travel; Marketers Need to Know the Difference Between Millennials and Gen Z; How to Add Holiday Hours to Google My Business


MAIN SLICE

📌 FBI Tech Tips for Safe Holiday Travel-
Whether you are traveling on social media business or pleasure this holiday season, the Cyber bad guys are working overtime to invade your security. The FBI has some advice.

“If you’re at a hotel, airport lounge, restaurant, or anywhere else with a secure Wi-Fi network reserved for guests, you’re still not safe: An enterprising criminal with a spare Wi-Fi access point could configure a network with a similar name in the hopes of tricking travelers.” – Brandon Vigliarolo, writing in Tech Republic

👁 More…


WELCOME SLICE

SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Small Business Owners make sense of all the day to day social media news. Bypass the fluff. Focus on the good stuff.


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

📌 Marketers Need to Know the Difference Between Millennials and Gen Z-
You haven’t been lumping these two groups together in your target marketing just because they are considered young adults, have you? 🤔🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏻‍♂️Read on.

“As the millennial sibling of a Gen-Z sister, I’ve seen the differences between our two age groups first hand. While my sister, born in 2001, is always posting on her Finsta and TikTok profiles, I’m still sharing early-2000s memes on Facebook. And, while she’s just starting college, I’m budgeting to pay off my student loans. The list of differences continues and will only grow as we reach different milestones in our lives.” – Pamela Bump, writing for HubSpot

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SLICE INGREDIENTS

📌 How to Add Holiday Hours to Google My Business-
Do you go the extra mile for your small biz clients and update their Google My Business listings for holiday hours? Didn’t know you could? Now you know something their competition doesn’t!!!

“In this post, we wanted to lay out a full tutorial of how to set specific hours for the holidays on your Google listing. This is an essential element if you own a brick and mortar location, as users will be notified when searching for your business of these special hours. It avoids confusion and ensures that potential customers won’t become frustrated with misinformation or guessing games.” – Jessica Media, writing for EZY Marketing

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MOTIVATIONAL SLICE

Our #ThursdayThoughts cover image is from a tweet by Linda Gibson @lgibson12397 (background graphic added).


What is one of YOUR biggest social media pain points? The blogging process? You KNOW you need blogs for improved SEO on Google, but researching, writing, revising to include keywords, and then editing are very time-consuming tasks. Make better use of your time. Tap into my over 40 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and free-lance community writer to generate your creative content. – Anthony Scialis, Managing Editor, SoMe Slice

Social Media Slice for December 18, 2019: Instagram to Flag Potentially Offensive or Bullying Captions; How to Use Google Search Console to Boost Business; 42 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020


MAIN SLICE

📌 Instagram to Flag Potentially Offensive or Bullying Captions-
Let’s be clear. Instagram won’t block your caption. It just will nudge you that similar wording has been flagged previously. So watch out!

“In addition to helping reduce online bullying, Instagram hopes the feature will also help to educate users about what sort of things aren’t allowed on Instagram and when accounts could be at risk of being disabled for rule violations.” – Sarah Perez, writing for Tech Crunch

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WELCOME SLICE

SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Small Business Owners make sense of all the day to day social media news. Bypass the fluff. Focus on the good stuff.


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

📌 How to Use Google Search Console to Boost Business-
Although this article overly hypes Google and is a promo piece for Boostability Agency, it is full of useful info on what Google Search Console is, all its parts, and how to Use them to improve your client’s website.

“At first glance, GSC closely resembles Google Analytics. Some people might even say it looks like a watered-down version. This is not actually the case, however. If you used Google Analytics before, then you know it provides detailed information about website traffic. In contrast, Google Search Console provides information on current website SEO performance and how to improve it. Without this information from GSC or some other source, it would be impossible to find out what areas to work on to boost search rankings.” – Colton Miller, writing for Boostability

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SLICE INGREDIENTS

📌 42 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020-
Yes. 42 trends. This is a LONG comprehensive look at digital in 2020. Definitely a 2nd ☕️reading if you and your client have any intention of remaining competitive in today’s online landscape

“Make no mistake: We live in a time when marketing technology moves fast and consumer interests and behaviors are hard to predict. Marketers can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever.” – Nidhi Dave, writing for Single Grain

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MOTIVATIONAL SLICE

Our #WednesdayWisdom cover image is from a tweet by Inspired Motivation Quotes @IMQuites_Videos


What is one of YOUR biggest social media pain points? The blogging process? You KNOW you need blogs for improved SEO on Google, but researching, writing, revising to include keywords, and then editing are very time-consuming tasks. Make better use of your time. Tap into my over 40 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and free-lance community writer to generate your creative content. – Anthony Scialis, Managing Editor, SoMe Slice

Social Media Slice for December 17, 2019: Just Say No to Public Charging Stations and Wi-Fi; Kim Garst’s Top 10 Social Media Trends for 2020; How To Measure Your Brand’s Impact With A Facebook Brand Lift Test


MAIN SLICE

📌 Just Say No to Public Charging Stations and Wi-Fi-
You are a busy Social Media Manager. Driving to clients. Flying to conferences. But oh-oh look at your phone or tablet and that evil red light is on. And you forgot your charger? 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏽‍♀️ Opting for a public charging station or Wi-Fi isn’t always safe.

“Most people assume that a public USB station is only used for providing power to a mobile device. However, a malicious USB charging station could use a device capable of reading data from a user’s phone or mobile device. In addition to stealing data, a USB charging station could transfer malicious software to the charging device.” – Craig Smith, a cybersecurity expert and intellectual property attorney

👁 More


WELCOME SLICE

SLICE is a M-F news digest targeted to assist Social Media Managers, Virtual Assistants, and Small Business Owners make sense of all the day to day social media news. Bypass the fluff. Focus on the good stuff.


SLICE SPECIAL OF THE DAY

📌 Kim Garst’s Top 10 Social Media Trends for 2020-
Everybody is going to want to share their insights for the coming year. Here are a few from someone whose opinion we have valued for years. Top influencer Kim Garst on what’s ahead in the social media and digital marketing space.

“As a business owner, knowing what’s ahead isn’t just interesting – it’s a must. Knowing how to prepare, where to put your money, and whether/how you need to shift your focus is KEY to not just keeping up with the competition…but to leaving them in the dust!

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SLICE INGREDIENTS

📌How To Measure Your Brand’s Impact With A Facebook Brand Lift Test-
Would you like to measure the impact of your client’s brand? Delve into how the marketplace perceives your client? Facebook has a little test for that.

“Facebook’s Brand Lift Test is a solution that combines a brand campaign with polling. The methodology isn’t complicated. Facebook divides your audience into two groups:
a. Users who see the Facebook and Instagram brand campaign
b. Users who don’t see your brand ad on Facebook or Instagram” – George Carey-Simos, writing for WERSM

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MOTIVATIONAL SLICE

Our #TuesdayThoughts cover image is from a tweet by DeepikaA @DrDeepika_DP7


What is one of YOUR biggest social media pain points? The blogging process? You KNOW you need blogs for improved SEO on Google, but researching, writing, revising to include keywords, and then editing are very time-consuming tasks. Make better use of your time. Tap into my over 40 years of experience as a reporter, editor, and free-lance community writer to generate your creative content. – Anthony Scialis, Managing Editor, SoMe Slice