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Social Media Terms : Part 1 of 7

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

 

Social media has become more important than ever before, especially for your business as well as personally.  During this CoronaVirus Pandemic, it is a way to stay connected and not feel so isolated.   VAMBOA thinks it will be valuable to our audience to do this series of articles on social media terms to provide a better understanding for everyone.  We hope that you enjoy this series.

 

For many people, posting a tweet, hash tagging an Instagram caption, or sending out an invite for a Facebook event has become a very common and often a daily, practice.  People during this pandemic are spending more time on social media and online.  There are brand new social networks, software packages, and confusing words cropping up every day. Even the most seasoned social media users may find that the new terms and acronyms leave them scratching their heads.

 

In this 7-part series we have compiled a comprehensive list of the most commonly used terms along with their meanings.

 

AB Test

An A/B test is a method of comparing two variations of an ad, piece of content, or other material so you can see which version performs better. This is also known as split testing.  A/B testing involves changing one small element at a time (such as a headline or graphic) to refine your results. During A/B testing, only a portion of your audience sees each test. This allows you to create the most effective content before you release it to your entire following.

 

AMA (Ask Me Anything)

An AMA, short for “ask me anything,” is a type of interactive post in which someone answers questions, usually in real time. The AMA concept began on Reddit, but AMAs are now popping up in other social settings, like webinars, Facebook Live, or Instagram Stories. AMAs were originally text-based, but it can also be effective to answer questions using live social video or interactive stickers.

 

Algorithm

An algorithm is basically a set of steps a computer uses to accomplish a task. In the context of social media, an algorithm is how a social platform determines which content to display at any given time to a specific user. Social networks are notoriously secretive about how their algorithms work, but in general, they use clues based on a user’s social relationships and interactions to determine which content that user will find most appealing.

 

Analytics

Analytics is an umbrella term used to describe both social analysis tools and the information those tools provide. Most social networks include their own analytics tools to help businesses analyze how well their posts are doing for metrics such as reach, engagement, and follower growth.

 

Application Programming Interface (API)

An application programming interface (API) is a communication system that allows two applications or platforms to “talk” to each other. Social network APIs allow these platforms to integrate with other software providers and apps. For example, Hootsuite uses Twitter’s API to publish tweets, and Instagram’s API to schedule posts.

When Instagram wanted to shut down the shady “growth-hacking” apps people were using to grow their audience artificially, they shut down their old API and launched a new one with much tougher privacy controls.

 

Archiving

In the context of social media, archiving means creating an archive of your organization’s social media posts, messages, and associated metadata. Basically, it means keeping a record of absolutely everything. This is often required for regulatory compliance in industries like health care and finance.

An organization’s social media archive includes what was said, when, and in what context. It also shows how quickly customer messages are addressed. This data can be referenced during legal discovery, if necessary, or requested by regulatory bodies.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is the ability for computers, programs, or machines to learn and adapt in ways that resemble human thinking. For example, chatbots use artificial intelligence to communicate and answer questions, while home assistants like Alexa use AI to learn to better respond to your requests over time. The more you interact with an AI program, the more “intelligent” it becomes, since it has more data to work with.

 

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) uses computer-generated effects to augment the reality we perceive with our own eyes and ears. Face filters on social apps like Snapchat and Instagram Stories are the most common examples. Your real face is augmented with graphics (and sometimes sounds) created by the social platform.

When used creatively, augmented reality provides new ways for potential customers to interact with your brand, such as seeing what your products would look like in their home or which glasses look the best on their face.

 

Avatar

An avatar is a visual representation of a person for use in digital contexts.  It is usually a computer-generated image, such as a bitmoji.  On social media, the term “avatar” also refers to your profile picture, the image that represents you on the platform. Most individual users choose a photo as their social media avatar, sometimes supplemented by a digital frame or filter. For brands, the company logo is usually the best avatar choice.

 

Bio

Your bio, short for biography, is the section of any digital profile that tells new or prospective followers who you are. All social platforms offer space to write a bio. It’s the   first thing users see when they discover your profile, and a good one can greatly improve how often you show up in keyword searches.

 

Bitmoji

A bitmoji is a customized avatar that can be added to Gmail, Messenger, Slack, and social media networks. The bitmoji app allows you to create this cartoon representation of yourself, then create different versions of the avatar in different situations. In addition to using your bitmoji as a profile picture, you can use it to create custom messages to share in messaging and social apps. Bitmoji is owned by Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, and is well integrated with the Snapchat app.

 

Block

When you block someone on social media, you prevent them from seeing your posts on that social network. Blocked users will also be unable to follow you, message you, or tag you in photos. Blocked Twitter users will not be able to add you to lists. Blocked users can still @ mention you in a post, but this will not count toward your engagement metrics. Keep in mind that it’s pretty easy even for blocked users to see content you’ve posted publicly. Use the privacy setting on each social network for better control over who sees each of your posts.

 

Blog

Originally a contraction of the phrase “web log,” a blog is a type of digital publication in which one or more authors regularly post content, generally on a specific topic. Many brands use a blog to share engaging content with their audience and establish their industry expertise. The Hootsuite blog, for example, shares up-to-date content about social media marketing and how to use social tools. “Blog” can also be a verb: When you write for a blog, you are blogging.

 

Blogger

Blogger a free blogging platform owned by Google. Blogs using this platform are usually hosted on a blogspot.com subdomain, but the platform can also be used with a purchased domain name. Blogger supports single or multi-user blogs. The word “blogger” can also simply mean a person who writes and publishes a blog.  Many high-profile bloggers are categorized as influencers because their content reaches many people.

Tips to Obtain Your First 1,000 Instagram Followers

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Starting out in social media for any business seems difficult but it really doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Building a large following takes time and effort but it should be fun. There are a few things that you can do to help increase your followers and below are some tips to obtain first 1,000 followers a bit more quickly.

 

  • Hashtags

Using popular hashtags is a great way to gain followers but the catch is the hashtag must be relevant to your business. Additionally, be sure to mix a variety of popular hashtags with some less popular hashtags so that you don’t simply get lost if there is a high level of competition for the tags.

 

  • Eye Candy

If your content is not interesting or visually appealing, people are not going to follow you. Invest some time and effort into the content that you post.  Take time and spend the money to have a professional photo shoot to build a library of high-quality photos to promote yourself on social media. Spur-of-the-moment smartphone photos are great occasionally but followers will be more willing to stay engaged if your content provides high-quality eye candy.

 

  • Engagement

Set aside a small amount of time everyday to engage with your followers such as liking their content, responding to comments, mentions, and private messages. This is also a good time to search for other accounts that you would like to follow. Simply liking a post is not going to cut it. Your like will get lost in the hundreds of other likes and will go unnoticed. Comments force interaction and tend to stay more visible.

 

  • Giveaways!

To build your following, consider a giveaway promotion. Many giveaways have multiple rules that help boost your account, reach, and engagement. Ask your followers to “Follow our account and tag two friends in the comments below.” By having people tag two friends, you will gain more attention and, hopefully, a lot of new followers.  Don’t add too many rules, make your rules clear, make sure to add an end date to the giveaway and keep on top of the promotion to engage those playing.

 

  • Account Setup

If are using a personal account for your business brand, we highly recommend changing it over to a business account. The business account provides you access to analytics and other benefits that are not available with personal accounts. If you are using a personal account and do not want to switch to a business account, make sure your personal account is set to public. This may sound obvious to some but you really need to make sure that your account is not private. Business accounts are automatically made public.

 

  • Instagram Insights

If you have a business account, you have access to Instagram Insights for your account. Instagram Insights doesn’t necessarily provide super in depth analytics, but it does give you basic information that can assist you in understanding your followers, their behaviors, and the best times to post for engagement.

 

In summary, gaining 1,000 followers will take time.  Remember to be patient, post consistently, post quality, and engage your audience!  Remember to leverage relevant hashtags, tag other brands and individuals, and consider hosting a giveaway. Taking these steps will help your account grow and boost your business.

Small Business Instagram Guide

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Why is Instagram so important for your business? The customers you want to reach are using the platform to connect with friends and businesses just like yours. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and most people use the platform to find and connect with business brands.

 

Where to Start:

Instagram is not very accessible using a web browser… so you will need to start by downloading the Instagram app on your cell phone and then set up your business account.

 

A few setup tips:

  • Make sure you create a business and not a personal account.
  • Add a contact button so followers can get in touch with you directly from Instagram.
  • Upload an eye-catching and relevant profile photo.
  • Write a compelling bio including links to your business website and relevant hashtags.

 

What to Post:

Instagram is all about photos and videos! People always notice the visuals before they read your caption.   Quality is what is important and not simply quantity. Make sure that your posts are highly visual, high-quality, and engaging.

 

Post items such as:

  • Your team
  • Your products
  • Your services
  • Your events
  • Your boasts
  • Your giveaways
  • Your specials
  • Videos
  • Customer quotes or testimonials
  • Share user-generated content about your business

 

Your followers want to see content that adds value without being inundated with the same kinds of content repeatedly or overwhelmed by promotional content about your business.

 

When to Post:

Your goal for using Instagram should be to maximize follower engagement and get as many new eyes on your brand as possible. This is easiest when you post at times your customers will be on the platform and most likely to like, comment on, and share your posts with their friends. When is this?  Begin by posting a few times a week at varying times of the day and watch your Instagram Insights.  A clear picture will emerge and provide best times that work for your content and your followers.

 

Users on Instagram value QUALITY over QUANTITY. You do not need to post multiple times a day to achieve your Instagram goals. Make sure you post a couple of times a week and make sure those posts are highly engaging.  This goes further than daily low quality posts.

 

Extra Impact:

  • Be Consistent – Use the same look and feel for all of your posts. This includes filters, colors, fonts, and the overall tone of the post. This consistency builds your brand recognition and keeps your followers familiar with your vibe and voice.

 

  • Be Compelling – You have to capture the attention of your audience in order to engage them with your company. A great photo or video will pull them in, but it’s the caption that will show off the personality and unique voice of your business. Make sure the accompanying text is well thought out and short and sweet. Don’t forget to tell them to follow.

 

  • Use Hashtags – Using relevant hashtags will get new eyes on your business’ content and boost the associated post’s engagement. Instagram users can also follow hashtags as well as accounts that means more engagement for your company. If you use hashtags, people are following. Be sure to place them at the end of your post so they don’t distract from your message.

 

  • Interact – Engaging with your audience is just as important as posting your content. Respond to comments, mentions, and private messages.  This is a great way to get more eyes on you. The followers of other accounts will see the comment you made and just might click over to your profile.

 

The ultimate goal for your business on Instagram is to engage the right customers and build relationships to make you stand out from your competition. Take the time to setup your account properly, post awesome content, use relevant and popular hashtags, and make sure that you interact.

Instagram Tips for Entrepreneurs

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Navigating social media can be daunting for entrepreneurs. You need need to be on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  It is also in your best interest to also be on Instagram if you run a business.

 

Why?  The customers you want to reach are using this platform to connect with friends and businesses like yours. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and most use the platform to find and connect with business brands.

 

Tips for Better Instagram Use and Engagement:

 

  • Follow and Engage with Others:

The best way to gain followers and boost engagement in your posts is to follow and engage with other people! Find and build relationships with current customers, prospective clients, and other like-minded or complementary businesses. This does multiple things for you and your business – it establishes you as an authority, it helps boost your credibility, it makes your company seem more personable and it encourages people to follow you back and engage with you. Don’t forget to respond to comments, mentions, and private messages.

 

  • Hastags! Hashtags! Hashtags!:

Hashtags are searchable keywords that begin with the pound sign (#) and all social media platforms use hastags to search their platform for content. Using relevant hashtags will get new eyes on your business’ content and boost the associated post’s engagement. Instagram users can also follow hashtags as well as accounts; which can mean more engagement for your company if you use hashtags people are following. You can easily find relevant hashtags by using Instagram’s search bar. Simply type in a potential hashtag and you will see not only related hashtags but how many times each hashtag has been used.

 

  • Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories are short-lived posts that receive top billing in the social media interface. This means the post will be the first thing your followers see when they login to their accounts. These posts last 24 hours then disappear. It is a great place to make short announcements, specials, or shout-outs.

 

  • Keep your Brand Consistent:

Be sure to keep your company’s brand consistent when posting on Instagram. Don’t go overboard with the filters and cute little addons. People want companies to be more “real” and approachable.

 

  • Link it in the Bio:

Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in actual posts now but there are ways around this. Simply put the link in your account bio and on your posts state “link in bio.” This also allows you to focus more attention on the link by calling it out.

 

  • Measure it!:

Having a lot of followers (on any social platform) sounds great but if they are not engaged with you and clicking on your links what is the point? Make sure to track the clicks to your personal website using both the in-platform analytics (follows, likes, shares, and comments) and 3rd party analytics on your website (like Google Analytics). Use the data from the analytics to craft your posts to better engage your audience.

 

In summary, make sure what you’re putting up is highly visual and engaging yet consistent with your brand; utilize local, popular, and other relevant hashtags; interact with other Instagram users to get more eyes on your page and brand; and don’t forget to measure the results.

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