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My thoughts on Instagram Favorites Aurora Social Co. Aurora Social Media Shree Summerlin

Introducing: Instagram Favorites

And here we go again.

Another update from Instagram will be (possibly) be making its way to its audience soon. This one is called (wait for it): Instagram favorites.

Here’s the lowdown on Instagram favorites:

Apparently, it’s supposed to be even more exclusive than just having a private Instagram account. Basically, you can create a “favorites list,” and then share IG stories and post with just those on your list. Your profile will be rewarded a green star when favorites roll out and then those listed as your favorites will be able to see your most exclusive IG stories and posts. For those not listed in your favorites, your list will show up as empty.

So, what’s great about the new Favorites feature and how can it help your brand?

Here are my thoughts:

Influencers, bloggers and other small business owners can take advantage of Instagram’s favorites feature by having a select group who then can promote exclusive events, parties, and discounts. For example, a brand can offer their favorites feature as a paying service, and then influencers can opt-in so that they can get exclusive offers, discounts and even be invited to some events that are not open to everyone.

I usually love anything exclusive (intimate dinner parties, e-mail lists for resources), but personally, when it comes to Instagram, it’s all about building communities, building a tribe, and in my opinion, sharing our lives with each other. I think that Instagram’s Favorites feature is just going to widen that divide between being “in” and being left out. My friend, Lana, over at Dalry Rose Blog touched on this topic too. There’s already a private option on Instagram to make your profile private so I’m not sure why Instagram feels the need to make it even more private. It seems to me that they can be working on the algorithm, which we’re all constantly hearing about, then testing out new features that are, frankly, well irrelevant.

Bottom line: I doubt I’ll be a fan, but I’m trying to give it the benefit of the doubt. In some way or another.

What are your thoughts on Instagram favorites?

S.

e-mail newsletter Aurora Social Media Aurora Social Co.

Why Your Business Needs an Email Newsletter

Living in a technical world where the algorithms are forever changing can be quite the challenge. Recently, I’ve learned to stop complaining about The New Instagram (no, they will never change it back) and start figuring out ways to manipulate the algorithm to make it work for mine and my clients’ businesses. But sometimes you just need more and that’s where an email newsletter comes in.

When I used to think of a newsletter I thought three words: old, outdated, boring. But even though e-mail newsletters are as old as the internet itself they’ve actually proven to be quite effective (plus they’re inexpensive. Win-win).

So, here is why you need a newsletter for your business:

One

You do not control Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, so if any of them were gone tomorrow, would you still have a way to access all those people you have connected with? Would you be able to reach out and continue to build a brand through them? If you don’t have some way of communicating with them outside your Instagram account (and I mean individually, not through your blog – although that is a great marketing tool), this is a good time to start thinking about that. The great thing about a newsletter is that everyone has e-mail so you’re able to reach them no matter what device they’re on.

Two

Not only should you have an e-mail newsletter in case all these social platforms go away tomorrow, but you should have one because people may not be able to actually SEE your new posts. There are times when I’m scrolling through Instagram and I think to myself,”Wow, I really haven’t heard from so and so in awhile,” and I go to their feed only to see that they’ve been posting twice a day but I have somehow missed it. You do not want any opportunities to slip by where you could’ve been connecting with your audience, gaining clients or giving your audience value. Also, people are busy so if someone is going to subscribe to your newsletter that means that they are investing in you, your company and that, overall, they trust you. That’s another win in my book.

Three

Newsletters work great for compressing all your highlights, discounts, services, and new products into one source directly to your audience. If you do a monthly newsletter, you can do a breakdown of what’s happened that month and what your audience can expect next month – including any discounts, products or services. This is a better method than trying to showcase every little thing on Instagram in hopes that all the right people see it. Also, because you’re able to showcase a variety of things within your newsletter, you’re also able to track its performance to see what’s working and what’s not. Figuring out what’s worked and then using that to improve your strategies will no doubt boost your sales, engagement, and audience, making a happy and productive business.

With all that being said, I would definitely recommend any small business to start thinking about starting an e-mail newsletter. If you need help creating one that is tailored to your biz, contact me and I can certainly help you! We’ll chat about what your goals are, expectations, and what your audience is like so that we can come up with a newsletter that’ll get you noticed: info@aurorasocialmedia.com

 

Google Analytics Business Analytics Aurora Social Co. Aurora Social Media

Analytics + Why It’s Important to Your Business

There are a lot of important aspects of owning and running a small business, but I think one of the most important aspects is analytics.

an∙a∙lyt∙ics /ˌanəˈlidiks/ noun : the systematic computational analysis of data or statistics

It’s the core of your business. You can take all the nice looking photos and create all the content you want but if you’re not checking out the behind the scenes performance of it then none of it matters.

To run a successful business, you need to know exactly what your target market is and how to come up with strategies to market your business better. You can’t do either one of those things without the help of analytics and, unless you want to teach yourself (which is a lengthy process) you can’t do that without some kind of social media/marketing manager.

Google Analytics is the most popular and common analytics web source. It offers free reports on website traffic and allows you to find out who came to your website, what they did when they got there, and how long they stayed.

There are plenty of Google Analytics for Beginners Guides out there (I recommend Pinterest), but this just gives you some idea of how analytics works overall and why it’s crucial to any business. There’s also other analytic sources, including in-app ones like Pinterest’s and Instagrams as well as Facebook Insights.

I offer an analytics report service and with the data I provide you you’ll be able to gain information such as where your audience is coming from, what your demographic is, new and returning visitors, keywords that people searched in order to find your site and much more.

Contact me at info@aurorasocialmedia.com if interested and let’s chat! 💌

Google’s New App, Primer

I recently discovered Google’s app Primer a few days ago when my boyfriend sent it over to me because he thought it would be of interest. I’m always so shocked at the number of projects that Google has their hands in.

Primer is described as a marketing tool that gives marketers and small business owners “bite-sized lessons” to help grow their businesses. Clicking around on the app myself, I noticed that they have courses in e-mail marketing, web analytics (my favorite!), website building tips, business listings, and much more. The best part is is that all the classes are only 5 minutes long so you can do it during your lunch break, at the gym, before your nap, whenever!

Although technically Primer has been out since 2015, there wasn’t much of a buzz about it since it was still in its testing phase, according to Tech Crunch. The main goal for the app now is to help digital marketers by continuing to expand their knowledge and skills offered by keeping us updated of the ever-changing business world.

My Thoughts

I think once the word gets out about Primer business owners are going to realize that it’s probably one of the most efficient and (what I’ve seen so far) accurate tools to use to learn about marketing. The everyday small business owner who is juggling all aspects of the business doesn’t necessarily have time to sit down and learn about hours of e-mail campaigning and analytics, and this app seems to break down exactly what you need to know – excluding all the extras.

As for marketers, I believe it’ll benefit them as well as they’ll be able to brush up on things and keep up with new techniques that are on the rise quickly.

Primer is available on iOS and Android.

Looking For More?

Of course, if you’re looking for someone to manage your overall marketing strategy and social media portals, I can help! I offer a variety of services such as social media consulting, social media managing, analytics, SEO, and ad campaigns. Contact me at info@aurorasocialmedia.com and let’s chat! 💌

I want to know your thoughts about Primer! Tweet me over @aurorasocialco, find me on Facebook here, or send a message over on Instagram!

The Instagram Shadowban

When I came across this article, talking about Instagram’s mysterious new scandal called “shadowbanning,” I knew I had to spread the word. If you’ve noticed a significant decrease in your following, engagement, and change in hashtags this post may be for you.

What is shadowbanning?

Essentially, shadowbanning is when a social channel takes you off the grid without you knowing it. So having your photos just completely not show up within the hashtags, which can not only kill your growth but also makes using hashtags worthless.

Okay, so what causes it?

The original purpose for shadowbanning someone is if they are being spammy or inappropriate, but users that are not necessarily “spammy” are also getting shadowbanned for using the same set of hashtags over and over again on different posts. Apparently, using the same set of hashtags can actually trigger the algorithm and, unfortunately, flag your account which then makes you invisible to others.

Instagram kinda sorta released a statement on said Shadowban on February 28th, but, as I’m sure a lot of users agree, it’s not very comforting. Basically, Instagram has told us all to stop relying on hashtags and worry more about our content and the visual story that we are telling on Instagram.

How to Fix

We don’t technically know how to fix this shadowban, but there are some steps that you can take to minimize being hit.

First off, stay authentic. I personally really dislike when people come onto my Instagram and leave comments with a bunch of useless and (quite frankly) irrelevant emojis as well as not very well thought out comments (i.e. “Great feed!”). If you’re someone who does this, you may want to rethink this. If you’re signed up for one of those automated bot sites, rethink that too. Comments like those are considered spammy and you might get yourself on the shadowban list. In fact, it clearly states in the Instagram Policy that nobody should be participating in any “like,” “share,” “comment” or “follower” exchange and that each comment should be tailored to that specific individual.

Instagram Shadowban Instagram Policy Aurora Social Co.

Growing your business is all about making genuine connections where you can truly offer something to someone. So why take that away by using automated bots?

Secondly, recheck, and recheck and recheck your hashtags. A once innocent hashtag can quickly become a destination for inappropriate photos, and not only do you want your own photo associated with that mess, you don’t want to get your account shadowbanned because of other people’s behavior (yup, it happens). As you can see in this post even hashtags such as “Kansas” and “beautyblogger” can quickly become overrun with inappropriate or spammy images.

Third, switch up your hashtags to avoid being spammy. If you’re constantly using the same set of hashtags on each photo you could potentially be flagged. My usual hashtag strategy was to use the same set pretty much all the time. But now, I go through them with (what seems like) a fine tooth comb and make sure that they are all custom for that individual photo. Some creatives have said that they have just made three separate sets of hashtags and bounce between all of them.

If you want to find out if you’ve been shadowbanned or not, here is what you need to do: have your friend who has an Instagram account hop onto your account and “unfollow” you. Then upload a photo using a hashtag and see if your friend is able to find you within the hashtag. If not, you’ve probably been hit. Not to worry though, try those 👆🏽 tips above and see if it’ll help. If the above doesn’t work for you and you’re on a business account, my friend Lana over at Dalry Rose mentions that some people have gotten their ban lifted by switching back to their personal account.

If you’re looking to grow your social media presence in a genuine way, I offer various services that can help you do that. Contact me at info@aurorasocialmedia.com and let’s chat! 💌

Contact

If interested in Aurora Social Media’s services, please contact Shree at info@aurorasocialmedia.com.