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How to use Instagram effectively for business

People say that brands that are visually appealing, such as food and beverage businesses or companies in the fashion industry are the only way you can succeed on Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms. I think they’re wrong. Not having a visually appealing brand doesn’t mean you can’t get involved with Instagram. There are plenty of ways that your business can benefit from using this platform, especially with the use of trending topics and hashtags.

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Everything you need to know about Twitter’s 140 character update

Twitter has made a big change to the way tweets work: longer tweets are here!

Last month, Twitter cut back on what types of content will use its 140-character limit. Now, media attachments (e.g. photos, videos, GIFs and polls), quoted Tweets and @names in replies are no longer counted against the 140 characters that make up a tweet. This means people can attach media to tweets without sacrificing characters, and it’s made public conversations a lot easier.

Full details on what’s changed

  • Media attachments: A URL at the end of Tweets is created from attaching media files, and will not count towards the character limit (the URLs in the Tweet will be counted towards the character limit as they do today).
  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names won’t count towards the 140-character count (this update is yet to be rolled out).
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: You can now Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself if you feel like a good post went unnoticed.
  • No more “.@username”: New Tweets that begin with a username will now reach all your followers (meaning you will no longer have to put the “.” before the “@username”, which is what people had been doing to broadcast Tweets broadly.

4 ways to make use of Twitter’s 140 characters

  1. Provide more context in replies

One great benefit of this update is that @names will no longer count against your characters. This opens up more space to provide additional text that might have taken a couple of tweets previously. If you’re responding to a customer query, you could share your reply in 140 characters but also add a GIF or image saying “Thank you for contacting us”.

  1. Use visuals more often

Studies show that visual and media attachments on tweets are a great factor in boosting engagement and retweets. One study by Twitter found that photos average a 35% boost in retweets and videos get a 28% boost.

It has been hard to convey your message in your tweet text in 140 characters when also including a media attachment. But now, Twitter users can utilize the full 140 characters and still include media. For business owners and marketers, this means more opportunity to include stunning visuals, product demo videos, and more.

  1. Quote yourself to share longer thoughts

It’s common to break up a tweet into a couple of sections to completely elaborate and share thoughts. But with Twitter’s quote option, you can share two tweets that are intertwined and easy to follow – meaning users won’t have to visit your profile or scroll through their timeline to see the first part of your tweet.

How does this work? Just post your first tweet, and then quote that tweet and add the rest of your message in the 140 characters available to you in the second tweet.

  1. Opportunity for better conversation

Twitter is all about conversing and connecting with others. One of the biggest factors in this update is that we can fully embrace the 140 characters available to us, giving us the opportunity for better conversation.

At Belluber we have set up and run Twitter profiles for lots of different types of companies. If you’d like to find out more on how we can help your business, get in touch.


Download our free social media whitepaper

“Using hashtags effectively on social media”

Click here for more info and to download.

7 recent Facebook changes affecting Facebook advertisers

In the past few months, Facebook has made a lot of changes. These include:

  • News feed updates
  • Control the ads you see
  • Blocking ad blockers
  • New video metrics
  • Redesigned pages
  • Custom audiences based on time on websites
  • Updates to lead ads
News feed updates

Showing more personally informative stories

Your news feed will now favour stories that are “personally informative”; determined by your own actions.

What is “informative”? Generally, anything that is related to your interests, contains news about the world around you, and engages people in broader discussions. Facebook says:

“That could be anything from recipes, to local issues, to global current events. The stories rate as informative and help create a new prediction about how informative we think you’ll find each story.”

Facebook then looks at how that story might be “personally” relevant to you:

  • What is your relationship with the person who clicked on it?
  • What do you click on, comment on, and share?

This adjustment could bring back some of the reach and engagement that news and media companies lost during other news feed changes.

Control the ads you see

Facebook has officially announced improved control over the ads you see. You can now view what interests advertisers can use to target you with ads via your ad preferences. You can remove or add interests to improve the relevance of ads you see.

This does not mean that users can completely opt out of ads, it just means they have more control of what ads they see.

Blocking ad blockers

In the same announcement as controlling the ads you see, Facebook also announced that ad blocker software would no longer work when users accessed the social network from desktops:

“As we offer more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software.”

If you aren’t aware, software like Adblock Plus has been created for people to add a plugin to hide ads from their newsfeed. This certainly affected Facebook’s revenues, but it also impacts the advertisers who leverage its audience to drive their business.

Within two days, Adblock Plus came up with a workaround – although Facebook immediately addressed it. This is like a cat-and-mouse game between the two companies, but one where Facebook is the cat.

How does this affect advertisers? Well if Facebook is successful, it means increasing distribution on desktop placements. With increased distribution, costs may lower.

New video metrics

Facebook has brought out several new metrics to help publishers measure the impact of their videos.

Audience demographics

Publishers can now see metrics for minutes viewed by gender and age, as well as geographic locations. In each case, they can compare demographic engagement of a video to that of the typical video posted by that page.

View engagement with live video

Publishers get a graphical view of engagement as it happens during a video. See at which points there are the most reactions, comments or shares.

Video viewing from shares

Publishers now have access to reports of views and minutes views from their original video from those connected to the page, versus those who viewed it from a share.

Redesigned pages

After testing changes to the page layout all year, Facebook has made an official update. Here are the main changes to expect:

Updated layout

Your profile picture no longer overlaps with your cover photo. So if you’ve done something creative that links the two, this is a heads up – your profile picture is now positioned on its own at the top left of the page.

The cover photo dimensions are the same (828px x 315px) with the profile picture being square (160px x 160px). The page name and username are now underneath the profile photo instead of being an overlay on top of the cover photo.

More prominent buttons

If you’re using the call-to-action button, it is now bigger, brighter and more prominent.

Improved navigation

Tabs now appear as a list of links down the left hand side.

Overall, this design is much cleaner. Other items that were on the left side previously are now on the right. Facebook has also removed ads from the right side of pages.

Custom audiences based on time on websites

An exciting update: publishers can now create audiences of people who are most active on their websites.

This was previously only available through the ads API, but some advertisers now have access via the Facebook Ads Manager interface.

Updates to lead ads

These are the following updates to lead ads:

Download links in Power Editor and Ads Manager: One complaint from advertisers is not knowing how to find the lead once lead ads are running. They are otherwise buried within the Facebook page publisher tools.

Download only new leads: Instead of having to download the entire file again, advertisers will now have the ability to download only the new leads captured during a specific date range.

Lead ad custom audiences generated automatically: Facebook recently introduced lead ad custom audiences. These are brilliant, allowing advertisers to create audiences who have opened, submitted or opened but didn’t submit a form. But now these people will be generated automatically.

Scrollable forms: A user engaging with a lead ad form used to need to click multiple times before submitting. But now with the scrollable form, Facebook say this will result in an improved user experience and a higher conversion rate.

Not all of these updates are available to everybody yet. But they will be soon!


Download our free social media whitepaper

“Using hashtags effectively on social media”

Click here for more info and to download.

How to set up a Google+ page for your business

With over 343 million users, Google+ is one of the biggest social networks and can be a great place to connect with your target audience.

So how can you make it work with your business? Here’s a step-by-step guide; follow this and make Google+ an effective part of your marketing strategy.

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The 5 biggest digital marketing trends that will dominate this year

The digital marketing industry is complex and constantly developing, but is exciting for anybody who is interested in modern trends. 2016 looks like another great year for online marketing, and these ­­­5 trends are likely to shake up the industry:

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Website strategies seminar

We held a seminar covering website strategies that get results. For those of you who didn’t attend, this post gives an outline of what was covered.

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An easy way to create, manage and update your business operations manual

Why does your business need an operations manual?

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5 ways to attract potential customers in 2014 with no cost

Do traditional advertising methods still work? The old marketing methods like cold calling, direct mail, magazine advertising, flyer hand outs, email blasts and pop up ads, have been affected with caller ID, clever junk mail filters and pop up ad blockers. These ways of marketing can annoy people and interrupt them. They distract and can overwhelm people, not to mention that you compete with many other companies demanding their attention. These old ways can work but are expensive and also could lose you leads that may well have bought if you’d approached them another way.

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