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7 Ways to Grow Your Brand On Instagram

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Business
7 Ways to Grow Your Brand On Instagram

Are you looking to make the most of Instagram and want to use it to grow your business? Here are some clear tips you can engage with to do just that.

1.  Finding the right time to post

The time you decide to post your content is going to have a big impact on how it performs. The decision of when to post becomes overwhelming for most because there are 24 hours in a day and seven days a week, which means they have a lot to choose from. If you want to avoid going through all that, it is a good idea to do a simple online search because it is going to help you in figuring out your content schedule.

Many social media management tools and social media blogs have already done the research and determined the best time to post on Instagram. This allows you to start posting on Instagram feeling confident without spending a lot of time and resources researching on your own. You shouldn’t depend on what they have recommended; it is a good idea to put in a little time because the audience is different. There are times when the time is opposite because of the nature of the audience. The data should become the foundation of the schedule, then you adjust the times you post then see which times work the best. Fine-tune your schedule until you end up with something that works well.

When you are starting out you can buy Instagram followers, be sure to take this into account with your analytics. Buying Instagram followers can be a great way to give your brand that initial push and really kick things off. Trusted sellers such as Social Plus are a great place to start.

2.  Being smart with hashtags

Hashtags are great when you want to reach new audiences on Instagram. But it is not enough to just choose random and popular hashtags. The hashtags are going to do so much; the good thing is there is a type of hashtag that is going to help you grow your followers on Instagram.

This type of hashtags is known as “niche hashtag”. This is a hashtag that focuses on a specific interest. A photographer in Los Angeles can use the hashtag #losangelesphotographer in addition to the popular #photographer (this has been used on more than 168 million posts). When you put niche hashtags on your posts, you are going to gain followers who are interested in your content and also increase awareness of your brand.

3.  Going beyond the typical post

Don’t limit yourself to photos, there are a lot of features on Instagram that will help you create a great experience for your audience. When you use features like IGTV and video, your followers are going to have more ways of interacting with your brand.

IGTV is great for trying out long-form content on Instagram and you will know how your audience prefers engaging with your brand. Don’t feel like you have to start by posting seven-minute-long videos. Start by posting a video a week, then seeing how followers interact with the video compared to your normal posts. The findings from this will help you update your strategy and make sure you are up to date.

4.  Make use of geotagging

Location is one of the most important things when it comes to real estate, but it is also important for your Instagram strategy. The geotagging feature is good because it allows users to store content at a specific location and tags. The coordinates are going to be linked with your content. This is going to make the posts more visible to users searching in that given location.

Geotagging features can be used beyond the standard posts. You are also given the option of geotagging through Stories or Stickers. Are you curious about where the brand is talked about the most? The Instagram explore feature to search your brand name or physical storefront if you have one. Go to the “place” option. Through this, you get to know more about the followers talking about you are from. You will know the reach of your brand geographically.

5.  Upgrading your photos

Instagram is mainly driven by visual appeal, which makes it important to ensure your photos are high quality especially when you are competing with other brands. You don’t have to have a professional camera to produce quality photos, your smartphone is good enough. Your phone can produce quality photos, provided you use it correctly. Most people on Instagram use their phones to take photos and videos, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to do it.

There are some tips you can find online that can help you improve the quality of your photos. The camera on the back is a good place to start because it is easier to steady your camera and the quality is also better. Lighting is also important, make sure it is not too bright or too dark. It is best to use natural lighting because it isn’t too overpowering.

Play with different angles to make the photos eye-catching to users as they scroll, and also balance your photos using gridlines. Don’t over-edit your photos before you post because people can easily tell that the photo isn’t real. You don’t need to do a lot of editing when it is a good photo.

6.  Partnering with other brands

It might seem counter-intuitive to work with those you consider your competition, but working with others can help you gain access to a different audience. When you partner with a brand on Instagram, you are introduced to a new audience through their followers, which is going to grow your reach.

If you have never partnered with another brand or are new to Instagram, don’t worry. It is not hard to reach out, and it is going to be the most important step. Start by identifying brands that your audience is most likely interested in. Make sure you double-check their brand value so you can be sure that their values align with yours. When you do this, you prevent issues coming up later that could harm the partnership.

Once you find a brand you think is a good fit, reach out to them and find out whether they might be interested in partnering. If you partner with another brand, take advantage of the new exposure by creating content that is going to showcase both of your brands. You can create a hashtag specific to the partnership, or a giveaway to get the interest of the followers. The goal of such a partnership is to promote both brands, which results in new followers that could be converted to customers.

7.  Gathering feedback using Stories

Most people love feeling the brand cares about their opinion, and this same can be said about Instagram users. Instagram has made it easier for users to easily get feedback, and one of the tools is Stories. Polls are great when gauging interest or the question sticker when you want suggestions from your audience. You get to learn more about your audience. The engagement is going to improve when you give your audience the content they asked for.

When you get feedback from your audience, use it to improve your Instagram content and engagement. This will help you gain more followers on your account. Consistently ask for feedback. Instagram changes fast, and it is important to stay relevant by asking for feedback from your audience.

2017: The Year in PR

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Business
2017: The Year in PR

For the last show of 2017, The Brand Ambassadors, Merritt Allen and Gary Potterfield look back at the most significant PR events of the year. From disaster relief, to corporate scandal, to Hollywood blowing up over #metoo, The Brand Ambassadors will pick the winners and losers in communication for 2017. Send your ideas for the best and worst PR and communications campaigns to brand.ambassadors@voxoptima.com!

Building a Brand Ethos – It’s Personal

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Business
Building a Brand Ethos – It’s Personal

This week’s episode of The Brand Ambassadors continues the discussion of workforce engagement and motivation. Hosts Merritt and Gary welcome guest Jeffrey Candelaria of Konnection Now. Jeffrey helps businesses get the most from their employees by deploying Authenticity and Action. We’ll talk about how to demonstrate executive commitment, foster employee buy-in, and drive improved operations through authentic communication.

Join us at 9 am EST this Friday for The Brand Ambassasors!
www.voxoptima.com
www.KonnectionNow.com

Building Your Brand Culture From The Inside Out

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Business
Building Your Brand Culture From The Inside Out

Join the hosts of the VoiceAmerica show, The Brand Ambassadors, this Friday at 6 am PST for their latest tips on building corporate culture. Andrew Barlow of Overflow Communications will join Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield to tell our listeners how to imprint their brand on their corporate culture. Brands begin from the inside out – your employees have to know the culture and brand values to relay them to you customers. Andrew, Merritt and Gary will share tips and techniques to make your employees feel part of the team and to serve as your best possible brand ambassadors.

Andrew Barlow has spent his career quietly helping leaders sound their best. Leaders ranging from Navy battlegroup commanders and bank presidents to hospital CEOs and the top elected officials in Texas have benefited from his unmatched writing talent, intuitive communications skills and dry sense of humor. During his career, he served his country as an officer in the U.S. Navy (including a wartime Tomahawk-firing deployment), an associate pastor at a startup church he helped grow from 150 to 3,000 in Sunday attendance, speechwriter to the Texas Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other elected officials and founder of his own communications firm. At every stop, he has found the creative way to tell a story, change perspectives and precipitate effective action. Andrew focuses on creative approaches to effective communication: challenging norms, identifying opportunities and keeping our company and clients thinking big on the way to powerful results.

Merritt Hamilton Allen believes that every employee in every business can help promote that business. Merritt has leveraged unique stories and perspectives to persuade and inform those around her. She turned this personal brand into the company Vox Optima in 2005, and has since been awarded over $25 million in PR contracts. Vox Optima’s public relations clients include multi-billion-dollar organizations, start-ups, and everyone in between.

Merritt grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, where she got her first job in radio at age 13. She attended the University of Notre Dame on NROTC and National Merit scholarships. After graduation she served as a Navy public affairs officer for eight years, and led the Navy’s communication strategy for environmental, personnel, medical, and acquisition issues. Merritt is a disabled veteran.

Vox Optima closed its first year with a $1 million task order from the U.S. Navy. Vox Optima currently has 15 employees, offices in Albuquerque and the DC Metro area and its client roster includes NATO, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, BAE Systems, the Census Bureau and several national trade associations

Merritt was honored as a Woman of Influence by NM Business Weekly in 2012. She was named the top-performing media and marketing CEO in New Mexico in 2013 by Albuquerque Business First. Vox Optima has been listed in the top five PR firms by revenue in the state for the last four years.

Organizational Culture: The Foundation for Success By Dr. Kas Henry

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Empowerment
Organizational Culture: The Foundation for Success By Dr. Kas Henry

 

Organizational culture is the synthesis of values, beliefs, language, and norms that exists within an organization that ultimately shapes its thoughts as well as actions.  It is quite possible for sub cultures to exist within a larger organizational culture.

  • Culture is influenced by leadership and tone at the top to reflect on team dynamics
  • Culture informs and shapes the strategic thinking and frames the assumptions within an organization
  • Assumptions within the existing cultural framework drives organizational behavior
  • Behavior over time culminates in results and employee morale
  • Results and morale over time established performance standards and innovation
  • Performance over time yields organizational strategic direction and change

This clearly illustrates the permeating influence of culture on business strategy and business outcomes.

 

 

However, investing in building and harnessing an ethical organizational culture that is capable of delivering sustainable economic growth alongside building an authentic brand, market trust and employee loyalty is often overlooked because of its complex psychological component.  When building the right culture is ignored, growth, change, performance, innovation and execution all become casualties.

 

 

 

A recent 2-year longitudinal study conducted by Google on 180 teams demonstrated that there are 5 key elements that successfully develops high performance teams.  These 5 elements are:

 

1. Dependability

 

Team members get things done on time and meet expectations.
2. Structure & Clarity High performing teams have clear goals, plan and have well-defined roles within the group.

 

3. Meaning

 

The work has personal significance to each member.
4. Impact

 

The group believes their work is purposeful and positively impacts the greater good.

 

5. Psychological Safety

 

A situation in which everyone is safe to take risks, voice their opinions, and ask judgment-free questions. A culture where managers provide air cover and create safe zones where employees can let down their guard.

 

 

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) is a process by with organizations buy and integrate other organizations.  Think of it as the Brady Bunch family integration for organizations where “His” and “Hers” brought together to create the new “Theirs”. This is a grave time of transformation for organizations and getting the new organizational culture just right is vital for the viability of the new entity.

 

During growth, steady or maturity stages of an organization this same organizational culture plays a vital role.  Employee morale, innovation, learning and growing are all positive aspects that can come about only in a safe zone culture.  These are not metrics measured in spreadsheets but built though deep understanding of human psychology.  Building an organization with a positive culture therefore requires the leadership to be decisive in eliminating toxic elements and personalities before the cancerous nature of their negative impacts take root to rot the organization from the inside out.

I invite you to join me on August 3rd to explore the various aspects of organizational culture through the use of specific examples with my guest William R. Stark, Practice Leader and M&A of Maverick LLC.  You will be sure to enjoy listening in on the conversation and use the experience based guidance to getting your own cultural change just right!

How to Moonlight Without Losing Your Day Job By Marie Zimenoff

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Business
How to Moonlight Without Losing Your Day Job By Marie Zimenoff

career_pro_shoot-1041

Most professionals today are doing more than one job – building portfolio or hybrid careers to improve their earning potential, develop skills they enjoy using, or work toward the new definition of retirement. In most cases, this moonlighting or consulting is a healthy habit at all stages of one’s career. On this episode of the Career Confidante, host Marie Zimenoff welcomes vocational expert John O’Connor. John shares his expertise and help you design your hybrid career while protecting your online brand, marketing without looking distracted, and keeping your day job.

marie-head-shot

Presenting Powerfully

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Business
Presenting Powerfully

Debbie Lundberg

Rick A. Morris interviews Debbie Lundberg, author of 9 books and the Principal of Presenting Powerfully.  They will be discussing key skills in presenting yourself powerfully.  This will not be a discussion about making presentations, rather this is about how each aspect of us: our style, our language, our approach, and our expressions are what becomes our “package” or our presentation of self each day.  We sometimes forget that other’s impressions of us do not start when we see them, rather it begins when they see us…via email, social media, in a meeting or one-on-one…even in a parking lot.  Have some fun with how presentation is perceived and think about ways to increase and optimize your overall impact and brand…and leave armed with ideas, actions, and even attitudinal tools for making the “right” presentation for being remembered well!

Tune in every Friday at 2pm PST to The Work/Life Balance

MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?? — Please?

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Business

horn

Cheryl Esposito welcomes Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and TEDx speaker, she coaches entrepreneurs, executives, and authors how to craft concise, compelling communications that connect. Whether you are creating a brand, pitching an idea, or making acquaintances, you have 60 seconds – max – to capture people’s favorable attention. (Sam says “goldfish have longer attention spans than most of us do!”) And…if you can’t get people’s favorable attention, you’ll never get their business. Practicing what she preaches, Sam has cracked the code – she is an award-winning keynote speaker who has presented to more than half a million people worldwide, and has authored 6 books. Got Your Attention? Join Cheryl Esposito & Sam Horn on ‘Leading Conversations‘, 8/14 at 10am PST, as she reveals her “secret sauce” to Create Intrigue and Connect with Anyone!

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