Ideas for Social Media Posts

social media postsSocial media can be used to support the many dimensions of a business—products and services, audience and customers, personality and culture, promotions and reviews , and the list goes on. It is a place where businesses can demonstrate their value and build their brand as a part of their greater story. The key to experiencing the benefits of social media
is knowing how to appeal to your audience while staying true to your brand messaging. Here are some ideas for social media posts that add value for both your business and your followers.

Social Media Posts for Expertise

Customers aren’t just looking for the best pricing or customer service. The amount of knowledge you have in your field is a crucial factor in establishing trust, standing out above your competitors, and winning customers. Here are some social media posts to try to demonstrate your expertise.

1. Tidbits

You don’t have to publish long 1000-word thought leadership pieces to provide benefit and value. Quick facts and statistics relevant to your industry make great social media posts, as they are quick, digestible, interesting, and of value to your audience.

2. Interviews

Being connected with other experts shows that you are actively involved in your field and always learning more. Interview an industry expert and record it. In addition to posting it on your website, you can take clips, quotes, and screenshots from the interview and form them into social media posts.

3. Tutorials

While comprehensive how-to’s make great blog posts, mini how-to’s make great social media posts. Compile pictures of each step into one image with text, or show the first few steps and then link to the blog post with the rest of the steps.

Social Media Posts for Audience Engagement

While it is important to show your expertise and offer useful information, you also want to give your followers opportunities to get involved too. These posts can get your audience to act and increase your social media engagement.

1. Fan photos

Use pictures of happy customers engaging with your business, benefitting from your service, or using your product to create social media posts. They will be glad to get some publicity and your audience will see how glad people are to be customers. You can also encourage users to send in their photos for a chance to show up on your business’s account.

2. Questions

Asking questions in social media posts is a great way to engage your audience. Thought-provoking questions spark up an interesting discussions and even create material for future social media posts (just aim for discussion, not debate!) Questions about a product or service provide you with useful feedback and show your customers that you care about their satisfaction.

3. Something of Personal Importance

Create a social media post with a picture or description of something that is important to you or that you can’t live without, ideally with respect to your industry or your role within your business. Perhaps it’s a particular notebook, type of coffee you drink at work, or an inspirational quote you look at every day. Then ask your followers what theirs is. This type of social media post will emphasize the human side of your business as well as your transparency. In addition, it will get others engaging with the post and also help you to gather information on your target audience.

Social Media Posts for Products and Services

While you want to avoid pitching your business on social media, it is okay to educate users on your products or services and convey the value they bring. Here are some ways to do so:

1. Photos of Products or Services

Posting photos of new or popular products can help to raise awareness of what you have to offer as well as to even drive sales of those products. If you are a service-based company, use before-and-after photos, or behind the scenes looks at the process behind the final outcome. As with Facebook ad images, it is best to feature typical end user using the product or benefitting from the service in context.

These social media posts give potential customers a taste of what it’s like to be a client and clarify how, where, when, or why your product is used.

2. Case Studies

Case studies tend to be longer pieces of content, but you can produce summary snippets, photos, or even video clips from them to create social media posts. These posts can then link to the full case study. Just make sure that you have consent of your client to publish the case study—both on your website/blog and on social media.

3. Video Testimonials

If you have long time or loyal customers that are willing to do a video testimonial, you will have great material for a social media post. Testimonials offer social proof, and videos create an even more personable and relatable experience.

Social Media Posts for Culture

By showing the personality and culture of your business, you give people a taste of what it’s like to be a customer, and also create opportunities for a more personal connection with your audience. Here are a few culture-oriented social media posts that can show the more human side of your business.

1. Something Personal

Sharing something that is of value to you personally—as a business owner or in relation to your industry can make for an effective social media post. Whether it’s a helpful website, great book, or favorite quote, you are opening yourself and your mind set up to your followers, demonstrating your values and representing the human side of your business.

2. Behind the Scenes Photos

Behind the scenes photos—at the office, at company events, on delivery routes— are great ways to show the personality of your company. These social media posts encourage transparency and trust among your followers, and give them a closer look at the people behind the products. You might even have a select audience of loyal customers with whom you share exclusive posts through direct messaging.

3. Milestones

Share your excitement over an award, milestone, or something else that you and your company are proud of. Wording these social media posts the right way is important, however, as you do not want to appear as though you are boasting, but rather want to share the excitement with those who matter, keep your followers in the loop, and remind people of your commitment to hard work for their satisfaction.

These social media post ideas are simply guidelines. You can modify them, mix and match them, or even create a series out of just one of them. Then, with Google Analytics applied to your business website, you can see which ones resonate most with your audience and best support your business goals. Get creative in growing your business with social media!

Instagram Direct Messaging Best Practices

instagram-direct-messaging-best-practicesInstagram is a great way to tell your story and express your brand using the power of visual influence. Instagram Direct—a private messaging feature within the app—allows you to take your engagement with your community one step further. Whether you’re offering a discount, expressing your gratitude, or supplying useful information, Instagram Direct enables a personal and visual dialogue with fans, loyal customers, and influencers.

There are many ways to use Instagram Direct messages to grow your business, but only by taking the right approach. Below are some Instagram Direct messaging best practices to ensure that you are using the feature properly and to its fullest potential.

Best Practices for Instagram Direct Messages

Turn on Notifications

The first Instagram Direct messaging best practice is to turn your notifications on. You might think that you’ll remember to check your phone, but let’s face it. You’re running a business, and your day is full of interruptions, distractions and unexpected twists.

One of the benefits of Instagram Direct messaging is that of making more personal connections. If you directly message someone and then go off the radar, you’re not doing much to nurture that relationship. Turn on your notifications so you can reply to people promptly and maintain consistent engagement.

Avoid Messaging in Groups

Many of the benefits of social media for business come from the fact that so many people use it. However, that doesn’t mean your social media marketing should consist of batch efforts. Unless you are connecting people from a networking event, making introductions, or have a group of people who know each other and are related, it is an Instagram Direct Messaging best practice to avoid messaging in groups.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that recipients of a group message can see each others’ comments and responses. If members of the group know each other, this can create an environment for discussion. However, if members of the group don’t know each other, they may not feel comfortable engaging, and will get nothing out of the thread aside from unnecessary and irrelevant notifications.

The second reason to avoid group messages is that once again, Instagram Direct messages enable more personal interaction, and reaching out to people in groups will not make them feel as valued as if you reached out individually.

Don’t Use Autoresponders

Some businesses set up autoresponders to directly message new followers and thank them for following. This is an outdated tactic that was commonly used on Twitter, and made its way over to Instagram. If you want to increase social media engagement in a quality manner, don’t use auto responders! Like group messages, autoresponders are not personal and are more likely to annoy a user than get them to engage.

Be Personal

This Instagram Direct messaging best practice may seem easy and obvious, based on the first three. However, keep in mind that simply directly messaging a person doesn’t make it personal. Connecting with your audience on a personal level is especially important if you are serving a niche market, but applies to marketing in general. When reaching out through Instagram Direct messaging, be sure to reference a previous engagement, message, photo, or hashtag. Also, use language that resonates with that person and information that is useful to them. Instagram Direct Messaging can help you to create lasting connections, but if you come off the wrong way you are likely to cut ties.

Be Considerate

In addition to taking into account the personality of a user and what will resonate with them best, you also want to think about their busy lifestyle. An important Instagram Direct messaging best practice is to reach out to people only when it’s necessary to be private, to avoid filling up their inbox.

Don’t Sell!

Unless you are asked, do not offer, sell, or pitch your products or services through Instagram Direct messaging. This is a best practice for social media in general. The basis for reaching out to individuals should be because you value their opinion, feedback, knowledge, or support, or because there is mutual benefit involved. No matter how genuine you are, the minute you pitch your product, your recipient will not see any of those as your intentions.

Ensure Relevance

While you do not want to use Instagram Direct messaging to welcome new followers or pitch your product, you do want to use it to provide users with a benefit. This could be an offer such as a promotion or coupon; or simply a piece of information that is useful to them, such as about a past event to to those who may be interested in an upcoming event.

Leave After Introductions

One great way to use Instagram Direct messages is to make introductions for others in your network, or to cross promote your partners. However, once you have connected the two users, be sure to leave the conversation. Do this simply by tapping the “leave conversation” button on the top right of your screen.

Avoid “Cold” Messaging

You can use Instagram Direct to message anyone on Instagram, not just those you follow or who follow you. However, it is a best practice to reach out only to people you have already encountered, such as by engaging with your account on Instagram, or communicating with you on a different platform or in person. Your message will be more warmly received if you have interacted with them before.

With careful thought and extra effort, Instagram Direct messaging can benefit your business beyond contests and conversations. By following these best practices, you can leverage Instagram Direct to strengthen your relationships, deepen your connections, and communicate with your followers and customers more effectively.

Best Social Media Practices for Business

best-social-media-practices-businessSocial media is a window into the personality, products, and services of your business, and a venue for interacting with your target audience. These are golden opportunities for marketing, but only with the right approach. Every business is unique, and will have different strategies for success. No matter what your specific strategy is, following the best social media practices for business will help you to hone your tactics and maximize the value you get out of social media.

Social Media Best Practices for Business

Follow the 80/20 Rule

Social media allows you to promote the various aspects of your business in a number of ways. However, it should not be used solely for this purpose; and promoting is very different from pitching. Your main focus in your social media posts should be on educating and engaging with your audience, in a way that brings value to them while raising awareness about your brand and products. A rule of thumb is for 80% of your posts to be appealing, educational, and/or beneficial to your customer, and 20% of your posts to promote your brand.

Create Guidelines

One of the benefits of social media for business is that it provides many opportunities for you to express your brand. Consistency is the key to brand awareness, so it is a social media best practice for business to create some guidelines around your posts. Determine the type of content you want to share, what your writing style is, and how you want to interact with users. This will help keep your messaging the same across social media channels, allowing your target audience to more easily recognize and recall your brand.

Use Calls to Action

call to action is a prompt for users to engage with your business or participate in activities related to your business growth. With all that you can offer to your audience on social media—information, tips and tricks, special promotions, and updates—it is important to use calls to action in your posts to get users to engage with the content.

If you are Facebook advertising, the platform will require you to choose a call to action button, but you’ll also want to use a call to action in your ad copy as well.

Make Time

If you sporadically manage your accounts, then the time you are taking on them, even if it’s small, is wasted; and as a business owner, you can’t afford to waste a second of your time. If you neglect your accounts, you end up increasing the time you spend on social media when you log in, as you have a lot of catching up to do.

Build social media management into your schedule to ensure that you put in the time that your social media strategy needs in order to be effective. Identify the amount of time you can afford to spend on social media, and determine how to distribute that time throughout your week.

Be Consistent

In addition to being consistent with your profiles and posts, it is important to be consistent in your frequency of activity and engagement. This social media best practice for business is not just for businesses that are highly active. It is for all levels of activity. Whether you are on once a week or twice a day, being consistent with your activity will allow you to stay on top of your strategy. It will also allow users to know what to expect from you, which is key as people like predictability.

Mix it Up

Scheduling all of your posts for the week in one session can save you time throughout the week. It also requires you to come up with the posts all at once, which can help you get into a rhythm and produce consistent content in a shorter period of time. Nevertheless, one of the social media best practices for business is to mix scheduled and spontaneous posts. Scheduled posts are practical, but spontaneous posts are just as important in your social media engagement. These posts tend to have more personality and excitement, and give you a “digital pulse” to show your followers that you care about them enough to monitor your accounts.

Be Conversational

Social media is all about personal interactions and building relationships. Therefore, one of the most important social media best practices for business is to be interactive, not just active. Rather than just posting, be sure to respond to comments made on your posts, comment on your follower’s posts, and share valuable content from other users. You might also take your conversations a step further by reaching out to loyal customers or avid fans through direct messaging.

Engaging with your followers and with those you follow makes you a part of a community. It also shows your followers that their voice is heard too, that they are valued, and that you care about more than just your business.

Show Your Personality

Products and services do not attract customers; it’s people who deliver them and the experience they create. Social media platforms can help you to tell your story to prospective customers and provide insight into the experience of being a customer. Therefore, it is a social media best practice for businesses to inject their personality into their posts.

Using language specific to your company when sharing informative content is a great way to be both relevant and personal. You can also show our personality by posting behind the scenes pictures, offering your perspective on something, or sharing quotes or cartoons. Knowing who is involved with and what goes into the service you provide can also earn you respect and appreciation from customers.

Look at the Data

While your intuition and your followers comments can give you a general idea of what they like and don’t like, it is their behavior that has the final say. Sometimes, people don’t even know what they like! That is why it is a social media best practice for business to utilize data and analytics. Most social media platforms have free basic analytics tools. These tools gather audience behavior and show you which posts got the most shares or likes. You might also want to set up Google Analytics on your website and used tracked links so you can identify which platforms are bringing in traffic. These insights can help you to determine what to post in the future, and when the best time for posting is.

Social media encompasses many different channels, networks, and audiences, and every business is unique. It will take some time for you to determine the strategy that works best for your business, but don’t let that deter you from using social media. If you follow these best social media practices for business, you can turn these widely used platforms into low cost, highly effective tools for marketing your business.

Call to Action Buttons: Tips and Best Practices

call-to-action-buttonsCalls to action can occur anywhere. For example, you’ve probably seen “Call today!” in a number of places: on buses, flyers, TV commercials, websites, and search engine ads. Calls to action can appear both online and off, but with the prevalence of digital marketing today, they are very commonly associated with online channels. As such, calls to action frequently take the form of a link that users click, and even more frequently, that link is in the form of a button. Call to action buttons are found everywhere online: on web pages, landing pages, emails, search engines, Facebook ads, and more. This post will go over what makes an effective call to action button, as well as some best practices that will help you increase conversions for your business.

Effective Call to Action Buttons

Effective call to action buttons are ones that get clicks and generate conversions. What makes someone want to click a call to action button? There are many reasons why someone will click a button—a good offer, a strong message in your call to action writing, and vibrant colors are some reasons people will click a button. Overall, people will click on a call to action button because combination of these factors makes seeing and clicking the button a pleasant experience. The user feels confident in their decision, has a clear idea of what is being offered, knows what the outcome of clicking will be, and desires to obtain what’s on the other side.


Just like with Facebook ad images, call to action buttons are eye-catching but not disruptive. Effective call to action buttons stand out from surrounding content so as to draw attention and catch eyes skimming over the screen. To make an eye-catching call to action button, use contrasting or vibrant colors, but ones that are in line with the rest of the colors on the page. Make the text and/or the size of the button large. That is, not huge, but large enough to stick out from other text and elements on the page.


An effective call to action doesn’t tell users to take action, it inspires them to take action. Stay away from boring, vague, or complicated language, and use descriptive and enthusiastic words. Exclamation points are good, but if every call to action button on your website has an exclamation point, the visitor is likely to get overwhelmed. Save exclamation points for your most exciting offers. Also, a call to action button placed at the bottom of a page after scrolling is not very engaging. Keep your call to action buttons above the fold.


The last thing you want is for visitors to your website or [landing page to be left hanging or in the dark on what to do. If people have to figure something out or make a decision, they are likely to bounce. An effective call to action button makes two things very clear to the user: 1- what to do, and 2-what will happen when they do it.

For example, “Click to RSVP” is not clear. On the other hand, the call to action phrase “Click to get your free pass!” or “Buy your tickets before it’s too late!” provides more information to the viewer on what the result will be of clicking that button.

Call to Action Best Practices

Provide Context

Your call to action button may be eye catching and inviting, but it will not get users to click if they are not preceded by supporting information. The information you provide and the story leading up to the call to action button is just as important as the button itself. Using compelling, informative, and relevant content is a call to action best practice that will encourage users to click.

Use Active Words

The call to action button is the one of the first things that sticks out to the eye, but may be the last element on a page that users engage with. Contextual information and visuals help to reinforce the decision, but be sure to reinforce the action you’re asking them to take in your call to action button. Active words like “buy”, “register”, “subscribe”, and “sign up” quickly and clearly reinforce the action to be taken.

Keep it Simple

When including text in your call to action button, keep it short and simple. A long sentence that the user has to read before clicking is likely to discourage them from clicking. It will also take away from the visual appeal of the button and make it look busy or complicated. You want taking action to be easy and simple, and you want it to look easy and simple too. Follow this call to action best practice and limit the words, and even the number of colors and design elements you use in your call to action button. Save the details for your contextual information mentioned in best practice number one.

Use White Space

Not only should the call to action button itself be clean and simple, the area around it should be too. You may have used contrasting colors and large font size, but if the button is squished between two elements or crammed in with other content, it is likely to lose its effectiveness. In terms of design, a call to action best practice is to give your call to action buttons room to breathe and draw attention to them with with white space.

Use Icons

Another way to increase the appeal of a call to action button is to use icons. You can use an arrow pointing downward for download buttons, a shopping cart or dollar sign for purchasing buttons, or even a pen for sign up buttons. Be creative with your icons, but not confusing. Make sure the icon quickly and obviously supports the action you are asking users to take.

Consider Placement

It is a call to action best practice to keep the button above the fold. You want users to see the call to action button in the initial page view before having to scroll. Seeing the button first will help them quickly understand the objective of the page, and will give them something to return to if they have in fact scrolled down to learn more. One of the best places to put a call to action button is at the top right of a page, as our eyes gravitate to the right when reading.


The appropriate quantity of call to action buttons to use on a given page varies. It is a best practice for landing pages to stick to just one call to action, as landing pages are designed to facilitate a single action. Homepages, on the other hand, are designed to accommodate many paths by different user personas, so it may have multiple call to action buttons. Don’t go overboard with them—too many decisions and requests on your business website will confuse or overwhelm visitors. Just stick to a select few, decide which actions are most important, and use size, placement, and language to prioritize those buttons accordingly.
Call to action buttons are an important element of digital marketing. Follow these best practices to create effective call to action buttons that guide users and grow your business!

Benefits of Instagram Direct Messaging

benefits-of-instagram-direct-messagingThere are many ways to use Instagram Direct messages for reaching your small business goals. You can ask for feedback, notify contest winners, provide special deals, and reveal exclusive updates. You can target individuals or groups of up to 15 people. However, there may be more to Instagram Direct messaging than you think. With some additional effort and the right approach, you can maximize the value you get out of this feature. This post goes over some of the deeper ways your business can grow through Instagram Direct messaging, so you can reap the benefits of social media for your business.

Benefits of Instagram Direct Messaging

1. Perform Test Runs

Before launching a new product, service, or campaign, use Instagram Direct messaging to test it out on loyal customers that you know will provide honest feedback. You could even use this method to come up with your new item. Present your followers with a few services and ask them which one they’d be more likely to choose or buy. Or, ask them for feedback on how to improve an existing product or service. Not only will this provide you with important insights before making decisions, it will enhance your relationship with these customers, making them feel as valued as they make you feel.

2. Learn About Your Ideal Followers

Another one of the benefits of Instagram Direct messaging is that you can gain valuable information about your customers and target audience. If there are followers who direct message you frequently, pay attention to their messages and try to pick up on patterns. What kind of jargon do they use? Do they include emojis? These are your most engaged followers, so adopting their communication style can help you to resonate with other people who will be likely to engage.
You can also visit the profiles of users who engage with you via Instagram Direct messaging. Take a look at their interests, what they’re posting about, what their interests are, what hashtags they are using, and who they follow to learn even more about who you are targeting.

3. Provide Better Customer Service

Instagram is not just a channel for puppy posts and beautiful scenery. Instagram users use the platform to express all of their emotions, including negative ones. A disgruntled customer might post photo or screenshot, with a caption that tells about a negative experience with a business. With Instagram Direct messaging, you can effectively respond to the negative review by reaching out to that customer on the platform they are currently using, allowing you to get in touch with them faster and have a private dialogue to resolve the issue.

In other cases, users may not wish to publicize their discontent, but still want to get in touch with you as soon as possible. Another one of the benefits of Instagram Direct messaging is that customers can reach out to your business directly, which may be faster than email, calling, or a customer support form submission.

4. Better Networking

It is a common practice to send follow up emails to people you encountered at networking events. You might want to nurture an existing relationship by saying it was nice to catch up, follow up with a new contact you made, or reach out to a speaker that provided their social handle.

Email may be the go-to channel for this, but why not try Instagram Direct messaging? Include a photo from the event, a relevant hashtag, or refer to a particular moment that stuck out to you. Another networking benefit of Instagram Direct messaging comes from the group messaging feature. You can connect with a group of people you met at an event, and even make introductions to people within that group.

5. Enhance Relationships with Clients

The last of the benefits of Instagram Direct messaging is that of creating deeper connections with your clients through more personalized messaging. For example, rather than posting a picture and a general thank you to all of your customers, you can send individual thank yous to new clients after their first purchase. You can get creative with Instagram Direct messaging, sending holiday greetings, coupons, content, and offers tailored to individual customer needs. This is an especially good practice to use with your niche market.

Rather than providing a small glimpse of who you are to a large number of people, use Instagram Direct messaging to provide a thorough glimpse of who you are to a select group of people. You’d be surprised at how effective they can be in spreading the word about your business.

With the aesthetic and influential power of images, your [business can benefit from Instagram. Take things a step further with Instagram Direct messaging and strengthen both your network and your business!

Examples of Call to Action Phrases

examples-of-call-to-action-phrasesA call to action is an invite to members of your target audience to engage with your business in some way, shape, or form. Calls to action support a variety of business goals and increase the effectiveness of your marketing activities such as Facebook advertising and SEM campaigns.

The call to action ultimately gets distilled down to one instruction or action, but is presented among supporting information that clarifies and encourages that action. These call to action phrases may be sprinkled throughout the material you are presenting. In this post we’ll go over call to action phrases for various types of activities you do to grow your business.

Call to Action Phrases for Lead Generation

A lead is a person that has expressed interest in your business, and has the potential to become a customer. Lead generation is the use of various methods to capture the interest of target audience members, as well as some form of contact information so you that you can follow up with them or continue engagement with them.

There are many ways to generate leads, but one of the most common methods is that of offering something in exchange for a person’s contact information. That offer could be a discount, free trial, or free piece of content. The offer can be displayed in an email, social media post, or search engine marketing ad.
Examples of call to action phrases for lead generation include:

• Try it free for 14 days. No credit card required
• Get 20% off of first purchase—enter your email now!
• First time home buyer seminar! Sign up for insider tips!
• 5 Ways to Make Your Grass Greener! Download the Lawn Care guide!

Call to Action Phrases for Email List Building

Email marketing can be a great way to keep your business top of mind and to nurture leads. In order to reap the benefits of this marketing strategy, you need recipients for your emails! One way to build your email list is to place calls to action on your website, blog, and other publications that ask for users’ emails. Users provide email addresses directly on that site or on landing pages the button leads to.

Examples of call to action phrases for email list building include:

• Get in on exclusive deals and offers! Join our email list today.
• Stay on top of the latest trends. Sign up for our email newsletter.
• Looking for expert tips and tricks? Subscribe to our blog.
• Free resources. Delivered right to your inbox. Join today.
• Join the 2 million+ people who get our newsletter weekly. Enter your email below.
• Subscribe to our email newsletter for useful tips, sent out every Wednesday.

Call to Action Phrases for Form Submission

Oftentimes, there will be more than one call to action for lead generation or lead nurturing campaigns. For example, you may have an offer on your homepage for a free resource, and a call to action to “download the free eBook”. However, performing that call to action leads to a good landing page with a form that visitors fill out in order to obtain the offer.

For submitting the form, you don’t want your call to action to simply be “submit”. It is a landing page best practice to reiterate the offer and maintain the tone and enthusiasm of your original call to action.

Examples of call to action phrases for form submission include:

• It’s easy. Just fill out the form and we’ll give you a call.
Then at the bottom of the form, the submit button can read “Contact Me”
• Claim your 20% off discount now! Fill out the form and it’s all yours.
Then at the bottom of the form, the submit button can read “I’m ready to get 20% off”.
• Get started now! Sign up in 60 seconds.
Then at the bottom of the form, the submit button can read “Start my free account”.
• Fill out this form in order to get company updates and exclusive deals.
Then at the bottom of the form, the submit button can read “Sign me up!”

Call to Action Phrases for Social Sharing

Putting out relevant, useful content to your audience Is a great way to show your industry expertise and thought leadership—not to mention capture leads if the content download requires a contact form submission. In addition, you can extend your reach by asking readers to share your content in their social networks. This is one of the benefits of social media. However, rather than vaguely and plainly asking readers to “share”, inject some excitement and personality into your call to action phrase.

Examples of call to action phrases for social sharing include:

• Like what you’re reading? Share with your friends on Facebook!
• Spread the love! Retweet this coupon.
• Find this guide informative? Share it with your colleagues on LinkedIn!

Call to Action Phrases for Learning More

Sometimes, the main purpose in calling a user to act is simply for them to learn more about your business. You might call new visitors to your business website to learn more about the services you offer; you might call existing customers to learn about a new product you’ve launched; or you might want to help visitors learn which plan is best for them. Calls to action aren’t limited to lead generation and lead nurturing. They can simply be used for helping a person to get better acquainted with your business.

Examples of call to action phrases for learning more include:

• We can help you no matter what stage you’re at. Click to explore our packages.
• We accommodate budgets of many sizes. View our pricing plans.
• Fast service with no booking fee. Learn how it works!
• We service hybrid vehicles too! See our list of services.
• An eco-friendly roof is the way to go! Discover the benefits here.

Call to Action Phrases for Event Promotion

Events are a great way to build your network, generate leads, and strengthen your ties with your community. Promote your event through social channels, via email, or on your website; and use registrations, RSVP’s, and signups to increase attendance and gather the information you need to plan for the event.

Examples of call to action phrases for an event include:

• Get your early bird discount!
• Register now, only a few spots left!
• RSVP by December 19th.
• Don’t get left out!
• Save your spot and sign up today!
• Get your ticket, it’s free!
• Claim your ticket now and get $2 off.

These call to action phrases not only inspire users to act, but provide them with the information they need in order to act.

Call to action phrases are used to support the ultimate action you want users to take, by specifying the action to be taken, reinforcing the benefits of acting, reiterating the offer, and adding elements of urgency and relevance. Use call to action phrases to drive members of your target audience to act in a way that both benefits them and supports your business growth.

Benefits of Social Media for Business

benefits-of-social-media-for-businessWhile the term “social” is commonly associated with hanging out with friends, the “social” in “social media” extends far beyond that. It refers to interacting with the outside world at large, and today, people are using these interactions to make decisions and meet their needs in just about every aspect of their lives. Being so pervasive in today’s society, there are many benefits of social media for business. This post will go over how social media helps businesses to compete in their market and grow successfully.

How Social Media Helps Businesses With Branding

Social media helps businesses by strengthening their image in the eyes of their target audience, through brand awareness and brand loyalty.

Brand Awareness

The first of the benefits of social media for business is that it allows you to tell your story. Creating social media profiles and publishing content are excellent opportunities for you to express your brand. The content, images, and design of your social media profiles will help to convey your brand messaging. What you post to your profile, how you post it, and the comments you make on other posts will show people what kind of business you are, what you stand for, and what is important to you.

Brand Loyalty

While brand awareness enables people in your target market to easily recognize and recall your business, brand loyalty enables you to retain customers over time and despite efforts made by your competitors.
Consistently engaging with your followers and customers on social media provides positive experiences and that will keep them coming back for more. Brand loyalty is one of the benefits of social media for business that provides a competitive advantage.

How Social Media Helps Businesses Through Relationships

Social media helps businesses by improving the quality of its relationships—both with its customers and its broader target audience.

Customer Service

Customer service is one of the newer benefits of social media. In recent years, social media has become a channel for customers to voice concerns and communicate directly with a business. Social media allows you to provide quick and personable responses to negative reviews and customer questions, strengthening your client relationships. In addition, if the conversations are public, you are giving others a glimpse into how much you care about your customers.

Audience Engagement

Another relationship that benefits from social media is that of your business and your target audience. Social media allows you to meet members of your target audience where they already spend a lot of their time. In addition, people go onto social media platforms to interact with others and absorb information. It is easy to increase engagement on social media, because when you come into contact with users there, they are in the optimal mindset—one that is ready to engage or already engaging.

Social Proof

Social proof is behind the third benefit of social media for business. Your business website may help to clarify who you are and what you do, but an active social media account shows that you care about your audience. It also gives people the opportunity to connect with you and post online customer reviews about your business, such as with Facebook.

How Social Media Helps Businesses with Online Presence

Social media can increase your online presence by putting your business in front of more people, as well is in front of the right people.


One of the most obvious benefits of social media for business is that of expanding your reach. You can put your business in front of millions of people in seconds, with the click of a button. In addition, by sharing your content with their audience, your followers are naturally marketing your business for you. They are introducing your business to new people and potential customers that you may not have reached or even thought to reach on your own.


Getting in front of more people is helpful when building your audience, but you want to make sure that your audience is made up of people who are interested in your business and most likely to become customers. Social media advertising platforms such as Facebook advertising offer extremely specific targeting options as well as the tools to identify who to target. Of the many benefits of social media for business, targeting is one that will help to ensure that the people who see your content are those most likely to engage with it.

Website Traffic

Another one of the benefits of social media for business is that of increased website traffic. By promoting blog posts and including links to your website in your social media profiles and postings, you can drive more visitors to your website.

How Social Media Helps Businesses Economically

Social media helps businesses economically. Not only are the most popular accounts free, these accounts can help you to increase sales and obtain more leads at little to no cost.


Perhaps the greatest of the benefits of social media for business is free business promotion. Social media is free (yay!), and a great platform to promote your business’s products, services, and events to your customers. Just make sure you have the proper ratio of promotional versus educational content in your postings. It is a social media best practice for 80% of your posts to be educational, and 20% promotional.


The second of the economic benefits of social media for business is that it can lead to more purchases. People rely on customer reviews and latest trends to make purchasing decisions, and social media is a popular venue for obtaining this information. In addition, businesses can boost purchases by promoting products and services on social media, and sharing discount codes and coupons with followers.

Low Cost Leads

Social media can also help in generating leads for your business at an extremely low cost. In fact, if you gain customers through organic social postings, your cost per lead is virtually zero. One great way to generate leads through social media is by running a contest or giveaway, where the prize is your product or service, free or discounted. Have people enter by providing their contact information, or by reaching out to you directly such as through Instagram Direct messaging.

Since the prize is your product or service, you know that entrants are interested in your business. Now that you have their contact information, you can follow up with them or continue engaging with them to increase their chances of becoming a customer.

Not only do many people use social media, they use it for many reasons and have many different accounts. With such widespread use, the benefits of social media for business will continue to grow as platforms evolve.

10 Facebook Advertising Tips

facebook-advertising-tipsFacebook advertising leverages the benefits of social media and the power of targeting to expand your reach, obtain leads, and gain more customers. It uses the same pay-per-click model as paid search ads, with the cost depending upon the reach and engagement the ad receives. Follow these 10 tips to make Facebook advertising work for your business objectives.

Facebook Advertising Tips

1. Use Landing Pages

Using landing pages is one of the Facebook advertising tips that will help you to increase conversions from your ads. If the link in your Facebook ad goes to your business website’s homepage or a product page, users might get confused on what to do next and might not take action.

However, if your link takes them to a good landing page, designed around the action you want the user to take, they are much more likely to follow through and convert.

2. Take Advantage of Targeting

The Facebook advertising platform offers some of the best targeting for online ads, so the next Facebook advertising tip is to take advantage of targeting! Facebook ad targeting allows you to filter who sees your ad based on interests, gender, profession, geographic location, marital status, age, and more. You can also create lookalike audiences of people similar to those who are already interested in your business. When you know who you are speaking to, you can cater your copy to appeal to and resonate with that demographic.

3. Use Audience Insights

The Facebook ad platform enables targeting by requiring you to choose from various filtering options. But how do you know what to choose? Facebook Audience Insights is a tool that allows you to identify the characteristics that make up the people most likely to be interested in your business, and to create an audience of those types of people.

With this tool, you can look at everyone on Facebook, people connected to your business page, or a custom audience that you created from something like an email list. It then gathers data from Facebook and third party sources to provide insights on that group of people—from demographics, to lifestyles and interest, to purchasing behavior and household information.

4. Create Unique Ads For Each Audience

Targeting a highly specific audience does not mean reaching less people. Rather than shrinking your audience, you are segmenting it into smaller groups that have different needs and interests. As a result, this next Facebook advertising tip is to create different ads for each audience. Even if you are advertising the same product or service to each of your audiences, the most effective language and design to use will vary for each audience.

5. Use Compelling Images

Compelling ad copy should only be one part of the formula for your Facebook ads. While content is best at conveying the message, images are are best at grabbing attention. Using high quality professional photos for your Facebook ad images can get them to stand out in users’ news feeds and make a greater impact.

Another way to make your images compelling is to use people in them that are similar to your target audience, to make the ad more relatable to them.

6. Be Consistent

Make sure the look and feel of your Facebook advertisements is consistent with your brand. Use the same colors, tone, and language that you use in other marketing and advertising material. Everything you put in front of the public represents your brand, so make sure your Facebook ads are an accurate reflection of it.

Consistency is also a best practice for landing pages. Make sure your landing page displays the same look and language of your Facebook ad. The more your landing page meets your users’ expectations, the more relevant the ad will be.

7. Be Specific with Location

If you are targeting a particular location, recognize that people can be in that location for a number of different reasons. The people who are in a particular city could be there because they live there, commute in for work, are there on a business trip, are vacationing there, or spending a night on the town. People in each of these circumstances all have different wants, needs, and preferences. A person visiting Boston is not likely to be interested in plumbing services in Boston, and a person who works in Boston may not be interested in a place to have a family dinner there.

8. Schedule your Ads

Facebook itself has patterns of high and low activity, and specific audiences have their own patterns as well. Think about who you are targeting, then think about not only when they are most likely to be in need of your product or service, but also when they are most likely to be on Facebook. Then schedule your ads to be displayed at those times.

9. Use Reporting

Reporting through the Facebook Ads Manager allows you to look at metrics that reveal how well your ads are performing, in relation to both your target audiences and your business goals. The metrics are updated in real time, and you are able to customize which metrics you see, which date range they cover, and how they are displayed.
Reporting can help you to gain information such as which placement (desktop versus mobile) works best, which groups are converting, and which regions are most interested in your business. This is one of the most important Facebook advertising tips that will allow you to improve your campaigns both immediately and over time.

10. Test!

With such accurate and up to date reporting, our next (and last) Facebook advertising tip is to test. The Facebook ads platform allows you to easily duplicate ads and make slight tweaks. While reporting allows you to see what’s working and what’s not, testing allows you to see what works best. Testing is an essential tool for campaign success. Test the demographics of the audience you are targeting, the type of ad copy or images you use, and more!

It will take some time to get the hang of Facebook advertising. These ten tips should provide some guidance as you learn what works best for your business.

7 Ways to Use Instagram Direct Messages

ways-to-use-instagram-direct-messagesInstagram Direct is a feature of Instagram that enables you to send messages, pictures, and videos privately to users. You can send direct messages to one person, or up to 15 people in one thread. This feature enables Instagram users to engage with others in a more targeted fashion. In terms of your small business, there are many ways to use Instagram Direct messages. If Instagram is part of your social media marketing strategy, then read on to find out how to use Instagram Direct messages to help grow your business.

1. Use Instagram Direct Messages to Reward Top Followers

Among your Instagram followers, you will have a select few who engage with your account the most. They like your posts immediately, share your content frequently, and provide support and feedback through comments. Top followers are advocates for your brand who help to spread the word about your company. Use Instagram Direct messages to express your gratitude! Send a picture of a coupon, express your appreciation, and ask for a mailing address to send the coupon to. Or, if you are messaging a group, simply send a relevant photo and include a promo code in your message.
Keep in mind that you cannot embed clickable links into Instagram Direct messages. When providing links, be sure to send the link in its own separate message with the link only, so that users can simply hold their finger down on the link to copy and paste into their browser to their clipboard.

2. Connect with Industry Influencers through Instagram Direct Messages

Getting popular bloggers and industry influencers to review, feature, or post about your business is a great way to enhance your reach and boost your credibility. Connecting with these industry celebrities can be tricky, and their inboxes are likely crowded. If they are active Instagram users, however, Instagram Direct messages could be your best bet. Sending them a direct message with quick, visual, and bite-sized content could be a powerful way to establish that initial engagement.
When using Instagram Direct Messages to reach out to influencers, make sure to spend some time familiarizing yourself with their accounts. Look at the content they publish—on all channels, not just Instagram. Get a feel for their values, writing style, interests, and what is important to them. This will enable you to show genuine interest in collaborating with them, and communicate with them in a way that best resonates with them. You will also show respect for their time by taking the time to do your homework first.

3. Provide Exclusive Updates on Instagram Direct

One way to use Instagram for business is to post behind-the-scenes photos of your business. Giving followers an exclusive look at your company keeps things personal and helps them to feel special. You can use Instagram Direct Messages to get exclusive as well.
When launching a new product or service, you might have a select group that you want to inform first. Use Instagram Direct Messaging to give special customers a sneak peak at an upcoming product or first dibs on an offer. Putting these customers first is a way of thanking them for choosing your business first, and encouraging them to continue doing so.

If using Instagram Direct messages to provide exclusive information, be sure to make clear what your recipients can share. You may welcome them to share the picture or video after it has been launched, but to keep any promotional codes or passwords private.

4. Run a Contest Using Instagram Direct Messages

Instagram Direct messages can be used to run a contest, which is a great way to [increase social media engagement]. There are a number of ways to use Instagram Direct Messages for this. One way to do this is to post a photo with a description of your contest and a code. The first 15 people to direct message you with that code will get a coupon, discount, or small prize.
Another approach would be to post a photo, and the first 15 people to comment will receive a direct message from you with a coupon code, or details on how to enter a drawing.
A third way to use Instagram Direct messages to run a contest is to have participants enter by sending you a direct message, either explaining why they should win, or providing a photo or video—which you might be able to post later.

5. Instagram Direct Can Generate Leads

Instagram is an easy, fun, and effective way to market your business. But did you know that it can also help you generate leads? With the proper research, Instagram Direct messages makes this possible. Dig in to hashtags and trends to find people who may be interested in your business. Perhaps they follow accounts similar to yours, are posting about problems that you solve, or show an affinity for a product that you offer. You may not have their email address, but you can reach out to them via Instagram Direct messages. You might offer a link to an eBook with a photo of the eBook cover, send them a before and after shot from a case study, or simply introduce them to other accounts that they might like. Instagram Direct messages can allow you to reach out to users in a personal and relevant way, to turn them into leads.

6. User Generated Content and Instagram Direct

Did you know that negative reviews can take the form of Instagram posts? The good news is, just as unhappy customers may voice their discontent over Instagram, happy customers will use it to express their joy too! Someone might post a picture of their bathroom that you just renovated, their beautiful lawn that you serviced, or their child at a preschool you run.
Use Instagram Direct messages to reach out privately and request permission to use their photos or commentary for commercial purposes such as testimonials and case studies. Direct messages are a quick and easy way to ask for what you want without adding another email to their inbox. It also eliminates extra steps such as clicking on the link in an email to get to the post, or downloading a screenshot that you attached.

7. Use Instagram Direct Messages to Ask for Reviews

One last way to use Instagram Direct messages is to ask for online customer reviews. If a loyal customer has posted something about how great your business is, reach out to them through Instagram Direct and ask them to write a review. Include a link to your page on the review site and ask the person to copy and paste it into their browser.

Instagram Direct Messaging may be a feature of many social media platforms, and there may be other ways to connect with customers and followers. However, Instagram Direct messages provide a unique environment for communication, and a visual context that can enhance your interactions. Whether obtaining new leads, reactivating dormant followers, or increasing social media engagement, try Instagram Direct messages for your business objectives.

What Does Call to Action Mean, Anyway?

what-does-call-to-action-mean-propelGrowing your business involves engaging more people, so as to build your audience and attract more customers. However, simply putting your business in front of people is not engaging with them. Engagement occurs when action is taken willfully by a person. Even still, conveying the value of your business and its benefit to people will not lead to action either. In today’s busy, distraction-filled society, if you want people to act, you need to first determine the specific action you want them to take, and then invite them to do so. This is what “call to action” means.

What Is a Call to Action?

A call to action is a prompt to encourage your target audience to engage with your business. The “call” could mean a button, a phone number, a link, or an image. The “action” could mean anything from purchasing a product, to downloading an eBook, to signing up for an event. Calls to action are used on business websites, advertisements, emails, landing pages, and more.

What Makes an Effective Call to Action?

An effective call to action is one that serves two purposes—one for your business and one for your audience. In terms of your business, an effective call to action is one that supports your business goals and objectives. For example, if you are trying to build your email list, an effective call to action would be to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog.

In terms of the audience, an effective call to action is one that provides direction to your audience. If someone comes into contact with your business, whether via your business website, an online advertisement, or even a flyer, they won’t take action unless they know exactly what to do and how to do it. A call to action tells someone how to interact with your business.

Call to Action Writing

Call to action writing can be tricky. When writing an effective call to action, you want to resonate with your audience and inspire them to act, but you only have a few words to do so. Here are some key things to consider with call to action writing.

Be Specific

A call to action inspires a user to act not just because they want what you are offering, but also because they feel comfortable taking that action. Specificity removes uncertainty, which is a barrier to action. Be clear about what you are asking the user to do, and what the outcome of that action will be.

For example, if you’re offering an eBook, “download” is a very general and ineffective call to action. On the other hand, “Download the free eBook” gives users the information they need to make a decision. Being specific with call to actions will support best practices for landing pages as well, as it keeps the user connected with the offer being made.

Add Urgency

An effective call to action doesn’t just get a user to act, it gets them to act now. Use urgency so that users will feel the need or desire to act quickly. You can create urgency with limited time offers, a finite number of coupons, specific deadlines, and more. Inject urgency into your call to action writing with words like “now”, “today”, “fast”, or “instant”. Just remember that urgency relies on importance. You don’t want to hurry people along, you want to convey to them why acting fast is important to them.

Urgency can increase the effectiveness of a call to action button. For example, in a paid search ad, you might include your phone number, but instead of simply saying “call”, you might say “call now” or “call today.” If you are offering a coupon through a Facebook advertising campaign, a call to action that says “Claim your coupon before they run out!” is likely to get more clicks than one that simply says “Claim coupon”.

Make It Personal

Adding a personal touch in your call to action writing is a simple way to resonate with users more. Say, for example, that one of your landing pages has a form for users to fill out to get a free quote. Instead of “get free quote” for the call to action, use “get your free quote”. Or if the action is to sign up, replace “sign up” with “sign me up”. You may also want to use words or phrases that are typical to your target audience to connect with them on a more individual level. This may be more effective as a niche marketing tactic, since your audience is highly specific.

Show Your Personality

Although they are short phrases, sometimes just one word, or even just an icon, call to actions are opportunities to convey the experience of your business. When you use language in your call to action writing that reflects your sense of humor, shows the excitement you feel about your business, or elicits a particular emotion, you can enhance the experience of the user.

For example, when signing up for a free trial, the submit button might say “Let’s do this!”. This creates the feel of a partnership between the user and your business, and adds an element of enthusiasm. Keep your brand’s personality in mind when writing your calls to action. Just make sure that you use language that resonates with your audience and that they will understand.

So what does call to action mean? Call to action means you want passive onlookers to become active users. It means you want interested leads to become happy customers. Effective calls to action inspire people to act in a way that both benefits them and grows your business.