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Social Media Trends in 2020

Social Media Trends in 2020

A New Decade of Social Media Trends

2019 has come and gone, and we are ready to welcome in the new decade! Social media trends are sure to change over the years–but what can we expect from 2020? Here’s a quick list of the trends we are excited to watch unfold. 

Instagram Removes Likes

Mid November of 2019, Instagram began removing engagement metrics from public view, or “hiding likes”. Adam Mossari, head of Instagram, claims this move is to “depressurize Instagram for young people.” Currently, the platform seems to be a breeding ground for competition. Instagram believes that removing likes may cause people to post more and spend more time using Instagram for meaningful conversations, rather than superficial interactions. 

But how will the removal of likes affect your business’s social media platforms? By hiding engagement from public view your followers will not be able to see how many other people have “liked” your posts. This means it will be harder to analyze your competitors’ posts, but it will also somewhat level the playing field for brands that can’t pay as much money into paid advertising or marketing. It may also mean that your business sees a decrease in likes overall but you may see an increase in comments, which are really the type of engagements businesses want to see anyways, right? 

Instagram Stories Become Even More Useful to Brands

Instagram Stories offer a unique opportunity to poll your followers. Many brands have experienced success in asking questions and polling their followers already. In 2020, we suggest using Instagram Stories to learn more about your audience and what content they are interested in seeing. 

Stories disappear after 24 hours, which creates a sense of “FOMO” or fear of missing out. Loyal followers will stay connected if brands offer flash sales or other incentives for following stories. Consider how you can convince your followers to share your content on their own stories. 

Video, Video, Video

By 2022, 82% of online content will be video. Clearly, social media users are responding well to video content! You don’t need a large video design team to create social media videos. Instagram Stories is a great way to share behind-the-scenes videos. You can also consider stock footage available online with marketing copy edited in, in order to create a very simple yet powerful video to share with followers. (Need help with video content? Ask us!) 

Social Media Communities Surrounding Brands

In 2019, an algorithm change began to favor engagement in Facebook groups as opposed to sharing Facebook business pages. Don’t abandon your Facebook page, but consider adding a Facebook Group to your arsenal of social media tools. Groups foster comments and natural engagement, which will push your business to the top of group members’ news feed. 

Creating a community around your brand will allow your followers and customers to communicate together, thus creating more brand loyalty. People will be inclined to add their friends to groups with products they love, and your brand will begin to diversify an audience. You can also poll members to get feedback on products and campaigns! 

Social Media Managers

As your business grows in 2020, consider hiring a social media manager! At CAST Design Team, we will watch the trends and mold your social media to best fit your business. Reach out today for more information on our social media packages!

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What is Digital Marketing and What are Its Benefits?

What is Digital Marketing and What are Its Benefits?

Digital marketing is any form of advertising or marketing that occurs online. The world wide web is a great way (and some may say the only way) to advertise your business in 2020. Newspaper ads and radio spots may still work for businesses focusing on hyperlocal audiences but digital marketing allows you to reach the masses around the world. So, let’s talk about how to get your business into the world of digital marketing. 

Why Digital Marketing

With digital marketing, you can reach customers where they are spending most of their time. Online! Digital marketing provides an “in” to the homes of your potential customers! You can also utilize analytics that give you real-time feedback on how people are responding to your ads and marketing content. This allows you to make changes to your marketing faster than traditional marketing options allow. 

Digital Marketing Methods

Social Media

Chances are, your ideal customer is spending a considerable amount of time online. No matter your specific target audience demographics, your business should be seen on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media is a great way to offer quick customer service, provide accessible information, and share sales and deals to your potential customers. 

Sponsored Ads on Social Media

Social media offers the ability to create sponsored posts, which basically pushes your information to the social media feeds of potential clients or customers. With the help of a clever advertiser, you can create snappy copy with a captivating graphic or video that will bring leads to your front door (physical or not). Social platforms also offer the ability to target specific demographics with your ads.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Similar to social media advertising, Pay-Per-Click advertising allows you to target specific demographics that you want to show your ads to. PPC targeting can be even more specific than social media targeting. PPC ads are run on actual websites rather than social media platforms. 

Email Blasts and SMS Marketing

Email and text message campaigns are a great way to use digital technology to send your message directly to your audience. Get creative with your business emails and text messages–ask yourself what information you can offer your customers that will help foster brand loyalty. Send out a series of emails or texts that welcomes new customers, explains how best to use your products, and other useful information for your readers.

Not Sure Where to Start? 

These are just a few of the digital marketing opportunities that are available to your business. If you aren’t sure where to begin with digital marketing, consult a professional! CAST Design Team is a full service marketing and branding agency that covers everything from the design of your website to the copy in your social media posts. Reach out today for more information!

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Facebook Ads for Small Businesses

Facebook Ads for Small Businesses 

Facebook is a great marketing tool, but is it relevant to your business? The answer is yes–when used correctly! The Facebook algorithm has made it difficult to reach customers organically. This discourages business owners from using Facebook because it can feel like a waste of time. 

Facebook marketing is anything but a waste of time. When utilized to its full potential, Facebook can help you target specific demographics, manage your advertisements and sponsored posts, run analytics on how your content is performing, and foster brand loyalty amongst your customers. 

Facebook Ad Targeting 

When creating a Facebook Ad, you can choose to use an image, a video, a blog, or other literature from your company. Once you’ve set up your post, Facebook will help you determine your ad objective and the demographics you want to target.  

Your ad objective may be to get clicks to your website, an app installed, or messages to your Facebook profile. Choosing your objective is important because it helps Facebook send the right customers to the right places. 

Demographic targeting starts with determining the age, gender, location, and language of the ideal customer you want to see your ad. Facebook provides a visual that helps you know how large your audience is as you choose specific demographics. 

Detailed targeting continues into more specific interests and details. For example, you can target specific income brackets, political affiliations, and hobby interests. These detailed demographics will help Facebook use your advertising money to see the best return on investment. 

The Benefits of Facebook Analytics

Once your ads and organic posts are up and running, you can begin to see Facebook’s analytics of your content’s impressions, clicks, and other engagements. Analytics will help you see which content your audience prefers. Maybe photos with graphics work better than blog post links–Facebook analytics will help you find trends in your content compared to engagement. 

Consider checking your Facebook analytics page a day after posting, and a week after posting. See how well your content is doing on a regular basis and make the necessary changes to post more engaging content for your customers. 

Brand Loyalty through Facebook Groups

A Facebook page is a must-have for most businesses, but many businesses are beginning to see the benefit of using Facebook groups. The Facebook algorithm has been pushing group engagement to the top of news feeds because it is more engaging than a Facebook page ad. 

Brands can create a Facebook group centered around their product or brand which helps customers connect with each other and with the brand. Facebook groups create an easy way to solve customer service issues quickly. Customers can communicate with each other about best practices when using your product and you can gather user generated content to share on your social pages! 

Social Media Managers

A social media manager can help you manage your Facebook ads along with other social media platforms. CAST Design Team can manage all of your online marketing and help you create a marketing strategy to engage your potential customers. Reach out today to learn more about our marketing packages!

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The Fool-Proof Guide to Running a Business Instagram Account

The Fool-Proof Guid to Running a Business Instagram Account

Instagram is a key tool in today’s marketing arsenal for businesses. Using Instagram for your business, whether big or small, helps potential customers find easy information about you–this means you need to be strategic about what you post, when you post, and how you post!

Marketing on Instagram shouldn’t feel stressful, instead it should be an exciting creative opportunity! Below we’ve outlined a simple strategy to get Instagram to work for you. If you have any questions, we are more than willing to help you build your Instagram strategy and help you see online success!

Create a Strategy

Many companies make the mistake of using Instagram without a strategy. Your Instagram profile is a reflection of your business and you will want this to be as professional and strategic as possible. Your Instagram Strategy will include information about your audience. Having a better understanding of your audience allows you to post better content that they are more likely to be interested in.

Define your strategy by answering these questions:

  • Who is my Target Audience?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What do they respond best to?
  • Why would they be searching for your product or service and what questions do they have once they find you?

Engage your Audience

People work with brands they know and trust–which means you need to be authentic! Your social media should feel like a real person is on the other side, not a business. Use these tips to engage genuinely with your audience:

  • Like & comment on your follower’s post
  • Like & comment on potential follower’s posts
  • Respond quickly to comments and mentions
  • Ask open ended questions so your followers have something to respond to
  • Showcase loyal followers on your story

Use the Instagram Algorithm to your Advantage

Does the phrase ‘Instagram Algorithm’ leave you scared and stressed? No worries! It is easy to use the Instagram Algorithm once you know what important factors it is looking at to put your posts at the top of your followers’ feed.

The top factors in the Instagram Algorithm are Relationship, Interest, and Timeliness. Use these tips to make the algorithm work for you:

  • Relationship – Instagram prioritizes content based on relationships. If you interact with someone frequently, you’re more likely to show up on their timeline. In your captions, ask your followers questions that will lead to comments.
  • Interest – Instagram prioritizes content based on how much a viewer would potentially like a post. Be sure that you’re posting content relatable to your audience.
  • Timeliness – Instagram shows users the most recent content first, so posting when your audience is online is important.

Use Instagram insights

Instagram Insights is data that helps you understand what is working and what is not working about your social media strategy. Keep in mind that Instagram Insights are only available for the previous week, so we highly suggest that you track this information on the same day each week and save it in a spreadsheet.

The insights will help you learn about:

  • Activity – to see how many people see your content, where they see it, and how many interactions your profile had in views and clicks.
  • Content – to view data on your posts, stories, and ads.
  • Audience – to know who your audience is, where they live, when they’re online, and more demographics.

Social Media Managers

If all of this information sounds a bit stressful–do not fear! You can hire a remote social media manager that can help create your strategy, design and write content, and schedule your social media posts. Reach out to CAST Design Team today and let’s talk about your social media needs!

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Using the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

Using the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

How can you use the Instagram Algorithm to your advantage when scheduling content? This is a question we at CAST Design Team receive all the time. In this blog, we’ll explain three Instagram Algorithm facts that come straight from the pro’s at Instagram.

What is the Instagram Algorithm?

Before 2016, Instagram shared posts in reverse chronological order–meaning the most recent posts appeared at the top of your feed and you scrolled back in time. July 2016 brought a change in Instagram when the company opted for an algorithm. The mysterious algorithm shares posts in what can seem to be a random order. The Instagram Algorithm, however, is anything but random!

A Learning Machine

The Instagram Algorithm is a learning machine. Instagram looks at your past behavior and how you interact with accounts to then show you a feed curated to your tastes and actions. Accounts that you interact with will show up earlier on your feed and accounts that you don’t comment and like as often will fall lower in the feed. There are 3 specific things Instagram uses to decide what posts go where: Interest, Recency, and Relationship.

Interest

Instagram can predict what you are interested in by reviewing past behavior. In simple terms, if you like and comment on Instagram posts about Disneyland, you are going to start seeing more posts about Disneyland in your feed.

If you want to show up in your followers’ feeds more often, find out what they are interested in and incorporate it into your Instagram content, so they are more likely to comment and like these posts. This is a smart way to use the Instagram Algorithm to your advantage and get in front of your audience more often.

Recency

Timeliness of posts is also a factor in the Instagram Algorithm. More recent posts get priority over posts that are weeks old. Companies can benefit from this knowledge by posting regularly to consistently stay in their followers’ feeds. Another great way to use this to your advantage is to track your analytics and make sure you know when a majority of your follows are online this way you can post at those times.

 

Relationship

If you regularly interact with an account’s posts, such as commenting and liking, you will see more posts from that account in your feed. Your relationship with accounts is important to the Instagram Algorithm. Utilize this knowledge by using a call-to-action in your content asking your followers to comment their opinions and experiences and ALWAYS respond to their comments.

Instagram Algorithm Help

Does the Instagram Algorithm still give you anxiety? Don’t stress–contact CAST Design Team today and we can help you master the Instagram Algorithm and get your posts seen by more followers.

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3 Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

3 Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

Facebook is a great place to share your products to potential customers. Creating Facebook Ads that convert can be a difficult task, and it is harder than throwing a link and some text into the program. We’ve compiled our three best tips for creating Facebook Ads that convert.

Share the Benefit

On Facebook, about every 5th post is an ad. Why should a potential customer stop and read your ad long enough to click ‘Learn More’? Entice your customers by telling them not what you sell, but what your product will do for them.

Many people stop at the features of their products, but do not go into the benefits of those features. Instead of stopping at 24/7 support, printable PDFs, or access to a library of video content for life, share what benefits those features will bring your customer. An easy way to share benefits is to use the ‘so that’ phrase. Here are a few generic examples:

“You’ll have 24/7 access to our support staff so that you never feel alone during your purchase.”

“Printable PDFs help you accomplish your goals so that you can see your progress and feel motivated to continue.”

“Have access to the library of video content for life so that you always have the resources you need.”

Use Specific Numbers

It’s easy and boring to say that a customer could save money by choosing your car insurance firm. It’s creative, attention grabbing, and memorable to say that, “[Business Name/Service] can save you 15% or more on your [problem].” Think of Gieco in this example. The simple addition of a specific number has made for one of the most memorable slogans in advertising.

Implement this strategy by gathering data on what you are trying to share in a Facebook Ad and include specific numbers that resonate with your ideal customer. These numbers will supplement your credibility while catching the eye of your customer.

Simplify Your Call-to-Action

You want your customer to click on the link, check out the website, buy the product now, give you their email address, and follow you on Facebook. That is too many things for one customer to take in, so you need to simplify your call-to-action. Decide on one thing you’d like to ask them to do and include that in your Facebook ads. For example, ask them to redeem their 20% off offer now, or sign up to receive a free PDF that leads them to seek you out for more.

We’re Here to Help

Facebook Ads may seem like a daunting task. You are not in this alone! CAST Design Team is here to help when Facebook Ads feel intimidating. Contact us today for a consultation and we can get your Facebook Ads up and running!

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5 things you can do right now to improve your Social Media

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Social Media

Your social media platforms are your businesses community. It’s a place where current and potential clients and customers go to learn more about you, interact with you, and be apart of something bigger than them! It’s important to make sure you give them a safe and useful place to go. Here are a few tips:

  1. Complete your profile
    Go through your profile and make sure that it is complete. If there is a spot for you to put information, it’s probably a good idea to use that spot to promote your brand. Make sure you have included all the company details and that it’s presented in a way that’s suitable for that social channel. Remember, not all social media channels are used for the same types of content. Facebook is a more personal look inside your company, whereas LinkedIn is more for connecting with other professionals and businesses.
  2. Develop 3 avatars of your ideal client
    Who is a client right now that you just love working with? How can you duplicate them? Make an avatar of them and write down as much as you can about them. Once you have at least 3 avatars, create content around what they want to know, what drives them to make decisions, etc. This will give you a firm idea of the direction of future content, and a backbone for your overall tone and content types.
  3. Content themes
    The easiest way to create content for your social media pages is to determine a content theme for each day. For example, if you are a business coach, on Mondays you can give a productivity tip for the rest of the week. On Tuesdays, you announce your new blog post. On Wednesday’s you shout out a client and show how you solved something for them. On Thursday, you post a local business event or workshop. On Friday you close the week by posting a business tool. This can help keep social media posting manageable since you’re trying to keep up with your marketing and running a business and keeping clients happy…the list goes on!
  4. Automate and create a calendar ahead of time
    There are so many 3rd party tools for automating processes online you can’t even count anymore. Social media is no different, to the point where it’s grown so big that these outside services were bound to happen and even evolve. If your company has several social media channels, and you want to have regular engagement and interaction on social medial, automation tools are a necessity.
  5. Engage
    Take at least one hour a day to follow people back and leave comments. The more active you are, the more beloved you become by your fans and followers. It isn’t just about sharing useful content, it’s about responding to questions and comments and showing that you are active in the online social media community.

Sound like a lot of work to do on your own? That’s what we’re here for! Check out our social media packages today.

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How to Optimize your Profile | Pt 3

I bet your profile looks better already! We are starting to get into some more complicated stuff that is going to make you think. You might need to hire a content writer for these two or at the very least bring in a friend to help. Let’s get started!

5. Craft a Mantra

Look at your tagline as a mantra – two or four words that explain why you or your organization exists. For example, ours is “Designs that illuminate your brand”. Here are a couple more to look at:

  • Nike – Just do it
  • FedEx – Peace of mind
  • Google – Democratizing Information

Last thing, make sure that your mantra is the same across all your social media platforms.

6. Tell your Story

This is where the banner is your friend. Your opportunity to tell your story through photos. At the same time you can really hurt your reputation if you do not change it from the standard design. Without a banner you are screaming that you do not have the first clue about social media. You can have more fun with the banner and change it as often as you would like.

 

If you have any questions or need help implementing anything, let us know!

 

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How to Optimize your Profile | Pt 2

Let’s continue with optimizing that profile! Last week we started with two good tips you can start with to make sure people can find you. Here we are going to hit you with two more tips.

3. Focus on your Avatar on Your Face

A good avatar does two things. One, it validates who you are through a photo, so people can visually see who you are. Second, it supports the narrative that you’re likable, trustworthy, and competent. Here is the most important thing: your avatar should not include your dog, family, or anyone else for that matter. At the same time, it should not be your logo, or a design unless the profile is for an organization. A couple of tips: Go asymmetrical in your photo. Make sure to always face the light. Think big. When people scan through comments, all they see is a small avatar.

4. Stick with One Photo

Contrast to popular belief, you should not have different photos for every social media profile. What this does is cause confusion when people search you across different platforms.

 

We will be back with more tips just for you! If you have any questions or need help implementing anything, let us know!

 

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How to Optimize your Profile | Pt 1

Believe it or not when you get a new client the first thing that they will do is Google you. Based on your Social Media profiles they will make a quick judgement within seconds. As a business owner, I cannot express how essential it is to have a fully filled out profile with the correct information. In this segment we will be giving you tips on how to optimize your profile to maximize effectiveness, so let’s get right into it!

1. Pick a Screen Name

More than likely you already have a screen name, however is it something you would like to give away at a meeting? Make sure you use a simple and logical screen name for an easy find. This is not the place for funny or humor, but functional.

2. You have 5 Seconds

They will judge within 5 seconds. With that being said you have a couple of areas you can optimize to make sure you are likable, trustworthy, and competent. Your avatar, banner, summery, and social links should be completely filled out.

Schedule A Consult.

Our highly skilled team would love to consult on your next project, help you reach your next target, or simply provide a professional, outside opinion on your branding or marketing strategy. We will offer creative solutions to your specific situation. If you decide that you need help implementing the ideas, our team is here to help in every capacity. Contact us today for more information and schedule your complimentary consult.