Social Media Marketing Blog - Page 4 of 17 - Grow Your Business With Social Media

21 March 2016

5 Advanced Strategies To Start Monetizing Periscope

Hi its Gary O’Toole here with Sociocaster! I have talked about Twitter’s awesome live streaming APP, Periscope in several past blog posts. In the previous posts I introduced Periscope and explained why you need to be using it, how you can integrate it into your existing digital marketing plan and gave you some basic strategies to get you off to a great start.

If you have read the previous post on Periscope feel free to skip to the 5 strategies – however for the benefits of those who have not had a chance to read that post, all will be revealed below!

So What Is Live Streaming?

Live video streaming (or live streaming) is exactly what it says it is – simply video that is being streamed live in real time! Private video streaming via webcam has been around for quite a while – Skype, Ovoo and other services like that are all live video streaming. Broadcast streaming via webcam has been around for a few years as well in the form of Ustream and other similar services.

What Is Periscope All About?

Continue Reading

18 March 2016

Promote Your Local Business On Facebook In 5 Minutes Or Less

Hi Gary O’Toole here with Sociocaster in this weeks video – I am going to give you a quick run through of Facebook’s paid “Promote Local Business” Ad type. Using this type of Ad you can promote your local business (or a clients) to targeted audience within the area you serve and it only takes 5 minutes to set it all up!

Have A Great Weekend & I Will See You Next Week!


16 March 2016

A Beginners Guide To Instagram

Its Gary O’Toole here with Sociocaster and today we are going to take another look at Instagram.  Instagram has always been a hot topic but in recent weeks – I have seen a huge surge in interest. Almost everyone in the digital marketing community knows that Instagram is amazing source of free targeted traffic, but very few people understand how to utilize it effectively, so in today’s post I am going to give a beginners guide to Instagram so your armed with all the information you need to successfully implement Instagram into your over digital Marketing strategy.

This guide is written with absolute beginners in mind – but contains valuable info that will definitely benefit more experienced users as well, so feel free to skip any sections you feel your already familiar with and just dig in the info that is going to benefit your growth the most!

Part #1 What Is Instagram?

Essentially then, Instagram is a Facebook owned, image driven social networking platform. A very simple description of Instagram would be that it is an image sharing site but not in the conventional sense (such as imgur or Photobucket – remember those guys???). Instagram is a mobile first platform,so the image resolution is relatively low! Instagram is about creating a a really personal experience, its not a platform you would use to share images for client projects for example.

Instagram in an inspirational platform for telling your story from your prospective and finding the beauty in everyday life. Its all about keeping your followers up to date with what is going on in your world. As I said in a previous post if you had been to a wedding, you might upload all of your camera roll from the event onto Facebook but on Instagram you upload only the most stunning and captivating images for the world to see. If Facebook is like life’s highlight reel – Instagram is the about capturing the most amazing moments life gives us in the most captivating way possible.


Instagram is about expressing yourself – the relatively low image resolution and wide range of filters available create a unique Lo-Fi image quality that is incredibly charming and emotion invoking. Instagram has rapidly evolved to become way more than just an image sharing app – it has become a way of life for a lot people! Instagram has come so far that has become both a verb and a noun just like Google!

You begin the Instagram process by either selecting an existing image from your camera roll or taking a new image then cropping the image into a square. Once you have cropped the image into a square you have the option to apply filters that can digitally manipulate things such as:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Structure
  • Saturation
  • Warmth

Images can be altered to take on a vintage appearance, colors can be brightened or toned down. These effects allow you to dramatically alter the emotion and feeling that your images convey. Once your satisfied with the edits you have performed on your image, you then have the option to add hashtags. You are probably already familiar with hashtags by way of  Twitter – quite simply they are descriptive tags that allow your content to be easily found in the Instagram search engine. Hashtags can placed directly inside your Image description. An example of hashtag usage is if you were enjoying a BBQ (I know I can’t wait either!!!) you might use tags such as:

#bbq #bbqribs #bbqsauce #KoreanBBQ #bbqlife #bbqporn #bbqchicken #bbqtime #texasbbq #kbbq #BBQs #manmeatbbq #bbqpork #bbqparty #bbqbeast #bbqbeef #instabbq #bbqfood #kcbbq #beachbbq #bbqbrasil #bbqbrethren #ausbbq #woodyardbbq #BackyardBBQ #bbqlovers #BBQRIBTIPS #aussiebbq #stlbbq #bbqseason


Part #2 – Instagram: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Business Or Personal Style Account?

This is a very good question and an extremely common one too! One of the most important things you need to do on any platform you are using is present it with a clear purpose – so your visitors know instantly exactly what they are seeing. All to often (in the internet marketing Niche especially) , I see people crossing over a personal social media account with business – this is a bad idea and looks totally unprofessional.

As The Saying Goes – “Never Mix Business With Pleasure”

To take this a step further, its crucial to remember that if you have multiple businesses (just like Facebook or Twitter) you should have an individual account for each business.

A separate account for each business allows you to keep you message sharp, clear and laser targeted.

Check out these examples of how you can use individual Instagram accounts for each of your businesses:

Account #1 – Organic Wooden Furniture (Hand Made/Eco Related)

Account #2 – Dog Walking Business (Pictures of Dogs & Accessories)

Account #3 – Digital Marketing (Inspirational Quotes Linking Back To Other Content)


This is also a great starting point for your journey into the world of Instagram, create a list of niches that you are currently working in. I am not going to suggest that you create an account for every single niche but try to group similar niches together so you can target several related niches from one account.

IE: You Could Combine Organic Furniture With Organic Handmade Home Decorations 

Do I Really Need An Instagram Biography?

Biographies are not currently searchable via Instagram – however that does not mean you should skip it! Rule #1 on all social media platforms is to fill out all of the sections to completion – this shows other users that are active and serious about using the platform in question.

You Have 150 Characters – Make Them Count!

I would advise that you take a look at other accounts in your niche that already have strong followings and look at how they have put their Biography sections together. Ideally you should include some Emojiis and keep it fun and interesting. Please be advised that hashtags are not really as effective in Biographies as they are individually.

Maximize Your Impact : Fill Out Your Biography

You must remember to include a CTA (Call To Action) at the end of your biography – this maximizes the chances of your visitors actually taking some form of action after visiting your account – ideally you should be directing them to a landing page – where they will be given the chance to sign up to, download or buy something.

So How Do I Send Traffic From Instagram To My Landing Page/Salespage/Website?

I highly recommend you invest in domains that match the accounts name,if your Instagram account was called “bodaciousbbq” and was about BBQ culture – I would recommend buying a domain like

Your only able to embed one link into your Instagram biography – so again make it count.


I would advise you to find the shortest domain possible and brand it as specifically as you can. One thing to remember it always looks a lot more professional and authoritative when you use your own custom domain! Domain can be bought for a $1 and there are hundreds of videos explaining how to set this up on YouTube. So no excuses – get on the case!

Do I Need To Follow All My Followers?

The short answer is – the more people you follow the more of other peoples posts will show up in your newsfeed. Not everyone who follows you will be relevant to your account – so just follow accounts that are posting content that is appropriate to your niche. There is no right or wrong answer to this question but I recommend keeping it nice and focused for a better experience.

How Can I Engage With My Followers?

All social media platforms are fueled by engagement and engagement is fueled by notifications!

You can @ people with their user names (IE: to thank them for their comments and interactions – its very similar to Twitter in that respect.

All social networks like to keep their content display algorithms highly secret – but it goes without saying that content with higher engagement will show up in news feeds more frequently!

Make sure you are engaging with your followers and tagging the relevant people on a regular basis! 

What Kind Of Frequency Should I Observe When Posting?

If you are doing all of your posting manually you can post a fair bit more than if you are using some kind of automated software. Either way I recommend you use the following schedule to start of with:

Weeks 1 -2 : 1 -2 Posts

Week 3 – 4 : 2 – 3 Posts

Week 5 – 6: 3 – 4 Posts

You can scale that up in a natural and organic fashion over time – do not attempt to start posting 10 posts a day from a fresh account using software – you will only end up getting your account blocked and banned!

So How Many Of These “Hashtags” Do I Need To Use?

Your able to use up 30 hashtags per post – but its better to use relevant and specific hashtags than every hashtag under the sun.

I would suggest using around 10 – 15 highly targeted hashtags.

What Is The Best Kind Of Post To Create If I Want To Try To Go Viral?

Quotes are huge thing on Instagram and have been for quite some time. Posting other peoples quotes is great and will always pick you up a few followers – this is definitely one of my top tips for beginners! However for maximum impact its best to create your own branded quotes – which other people can “steal” and repost – this is great because they are spreading your branding for free!

Part #3 : Instagram Rapid Growth Strategies

Run A Contest

One of the greatest ways to encourage natural engagement is to run a contest that rewards engagement! Here are some tips for creating your first contest:

  1. Create Rules & Regulations – The Most Obvious One Being They Need To Follow You
  2. You Could Create Small Prizes (Digital Downloads or Credits Maybe) And Larger Prizes – For Smaller Prizes Simply Following Or Commenting Could Be Enough To Win But For The Main Prize You Should Encourage Them To Visit Your Landing Page and Opt In!
  3. Link Up With Influencers In Your Niche And Work Together To Create A Mega Competition With A Huge Prize Contributed By All Involved!
  4. Keep The Steps To Get Involved Minimal And Make Sure Its Easy To Do Them From A Mobile Device!
  5. Make Sure Your Landing Page Is Mobile Friendly or Designed Specifically For Mobile If Possible As All Traffic Will Be Coming From A Mobile Device!

Use Shoutouts To Gain Attention

Spend time researching and find Instagram accounts that have huge followings consisting on your ideal target audience. Do not comment spam accounts looking for Shoutouts – it makes you look desperate, cheap and unprofessional – to add this it is highly annoying and will just leave you looking stupid and feeling frustrated when you get no response back!


Have some professional decorum and make sure you contact the account owner via Direct Message or Email. Think realistically – find accounts with equivalent number of followers or be prepared to pay for the shout out. No one is going to give you a shout out for nothing in return – this is business remember!  Just make sure their following is:

  1. Real
  2. Active
  3. Engaged

You need to use your professional judgement and due diligence here to establish if an accounts following is real or not – the key metric to measure is follower to engagement ratio. If someone is has 100k followers but less than 10 comments per picture – its pretty obvious that the followers are fake!

Use This Mind Map:

Check out this mind map below to give you some clear direction and inspiration for moving forward with your Instagram marketing. There are also a number of really helpful Facebook groups that a focused on helping you find your way through the Instagram Maze! Its worth checking out some of these groups as they do contain some really useful information and you can ask Instagram experts questions – which will save you significant time figuring stuff out on your own! I do however recommend running a few google searches as there tons of really useful resources out there to help you get started on your journey today.


I have been Gary O’Toole with Sociocaster and I hope this guide has given you some useful insight into Instagram – I’ll be back on Friday with a brand new video on Facebook proximity marketing!

Have A Great Week


14 March 2016

Where Is The Most Effective Place Spend Your B2C Social Media Marketing Budget?

Do you have a clear idea of where you should be spending your social media marketing budget?

Do you ever stop to wonder, where other businesses working within your space are spending their budget?

In this blog post we we will look at recent research on how effective paid social media marketing is and what is currently working in the world of small to medium sized businesses, who have limited budgets and need every dollar spent on social media to bring an effective ROI.

Most Business To Consumer Marketers Rate 4/5 In Terms Of Effectiveness

Back In Autumn of last the well renown Content Marketing Institute (In association with Marketing Profs) surveyed nearly 4000 marketers from all corners of the globe about their content and digital marketing successes. It turned out that just 236 of the respondents identified themselves as Business to Consumer marketers and business owners, but the information that shared provides us with some extremely useful insight.

If you take a look at the chart below (Source: e Marketer), seventy six of the B2C respondents told the Content Marketing Institute that they used promoted posts (IE: Boosted Facebook posts, paid promoted Twitter tweets and promoted Pinterest pins), 61% of these stated that they found promoted posts were an effective strategy. On average they were rated 4 or 5 on a 5 point scale of effectiveness, where 1 was totally ineffective, 3 was considered neutral and 5 was considered highly effective.


You can see back in 2014 only 59% of the respondents were using promoted posts and less than half rated it as an effective marketing technique, in the space of a year this has jumped to 76% of respondents reporting its use and over half of them finding it effective.

With LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter Ads (as well as other platforms)59% of respondents rate these 4 or 5 on the 5 point effectiveness scale – 59% reported using them.

Something interesting to note is that difference in the marketers perception of how effective these kind of Ads are with a 10% increase between 2014 and 2015.

The marketers interviewed all agreed that Facebook reigns supreme at being the most effective channel for B2C social marketing.


As you can see this data covers content marketing trends in North America and its reflective of similar statistics in other English speaking westernized countries such as the UK and Australia. YouTube is rated as a the second most effective platform – which is hardly surprising given the fact that most consumers prefer to watch a video to find out about a product or service.

So the key point here is to know that the four biggest platforms for marketing to a B2C audience are:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

So lets look at each platform individually and identify some key things to remember when running paid ads.


Anyone can create a Facebook Ad in just a few minutes – but if your going to be successful its worth bearing a few things in mind. If your new to paid Facebook Ads – I highly recommend you check out my earlier posts which explain the basics here and one on video Ads here.


1.) Mobile only ads – Around 75% of all Facebook users will access Facebook using a mobile device. Facebook offers you the opportunity to create and manage mobile ads separate. One strategy that many advertisers are using is to split their targeting between their mobile campaign and desktop campaign rather than creating a separate campaign for each.

2.)Ads for your mobile app – If you have a mobile app for your brand, Facebook gives you the ability to track your app downloads. This is very effective! Especially if you want to create your own community. With each download you will be able to organically reach those users. As a new startup that is attempting to drive users that are engaged in their product there is tons of potential here.

3.)Retargeting – It seems in recent times re targeting has reached new heights in the marketing world. This is the type of ad that will follow you around the internet. For example, let’s say you are on a site that sells shoes, whether you make a purchase or not, it’s highly likely that you will see ads for the shoes you were looking at all around the edges of the internet as you visit other sites.

Facebook provides a powerful way that you can retarget using custom audiences. This tool provides you with a simple way to reach highly specific audience groups through the use of a combination of Facebook interest data and prospect data that Facebook advertisers own.

Another method that can be used to retarget is for you to create an audience using the power editor. You will need to install the Chrome plug in to be able to use this, but it will let you upload a list of customer email addresses from one of the many email marketing platforms or from an Excel spreadsheet.

4.)Experiment with your page posts – When you create a Facebook ad, you as the advertiser might decide to promote a post that has already been published on Facebook or you might decide to create a new post that has never been published before. You should always promote organic page posts that have had a high degree of engagement and sharing among Facebook users. This will instantly add social context to your target audience and provide the highest ROI.

5.) Create a Facebook Canvas and create a fully immersive experience for your audience, you can check out an in depth post about Canvas , I created recently here.


Of course everyone knows what YouTube is: it’s the video sharing platform owned by Google that you can use to upload videos, watch other people’s videos and comment on videos or subscribe to your favorite creators. What many people don’t realize though is just how massive YouTube is.


YouTube has over one billion users and nearly a third of all people online have signed up for it. Every single day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of content. Through mobile alone, YouTube manages to reach more people between 18-49 than any cable TV network in the US.

To Put It Simply: Youtube Has More Reach Than The Biggest US TV Neworks!

YouTube is today the world’s second biggest search engine. It has a huge untapped traffic source. It boasts of over a whopping 30 million visitors each day.

All This Means Nothing If They Can Not Find Your Videos!

As Youtube is such a huge platform – it does have a huge amount of content on it, which means it can sometimes be very difficult to stand out 0r be found. Most people know how to upload a video to Youtube – but what most people do not know is how to label it correctly to ensure it search engine optimized and easily found. Check out the tips below to help ensure your videos reach the most people.
Identify Your Keywords

Just like anything that has to do with SEO, you need to do keyword research. The goal here is to find the keywords whose results feature on Google’s first page. These ones are called video keywords. Optimizing your video for keywords that do not have any video results in Google will mean that you will only get traffic from people who will be searching on YouTube. Conversely, if you correctly optimize for video keywords, then you will get targeted traffic coming to your video directly from the first page of Google.

The best way to find the much-needed video keywords is to conduct a search for keywords specifically in your niche. After finding the keywords, use Google’s Keyword Planner to find out whether the keyword has enough search volume every month. The threshold that the search volume of any specific video keyword should meet to qualify as enough is usually three hundred searches every month. If a keyword gets at least three hundred searches per month, then that means it gets decent amount of searches in YouTube itself.

Also check out my video, where I give you 2 additional YouTube tips here.

Make High Quality Videos That Engage

The most useful YouTube ranking signal is user engagement. No matter how much you try to optimize your video for search engines, if it is a poor quality video, then it will not rank. YouTube judges your video usually based on how YouTube users interact with it. And how does YouTube etablish this?
There is a range of metrics that YouTube uses to determine if your video is of high quality or of low quality. For example, it considers video retention, comments, people who subscribe after watching, how many people share your videos across social media sites, how many people favorite your video, and how people use the thumbs up and thumbs down feature. You can agree that these things will reveal a lot about the quality of your video. Therefore, produce high quality videos that will enamor users to your videos, and your users will thank you.
Create An Accurate Description 

The YouTube video description is very important. Google and YouTube relies on the text description of your video to determine the video’s content in order to rank it. You should bear these points in mind:

–Put your link at the topmost area of the video.

–The description should be at least 250 words.

–The first twenty five words of the description should contain the keyword.

–Include the keyword 3-4 times in the description.

Equally important are tags, video title, and video filename. Use them with SEO in mind.


If you do these things well, you will see an exponential growth in the numbers of your audience as you will rank well both in Google and in YouTube itself.


As you probably know, Twitter is a social networking website where users post “tweets” (essentially a short message or ‘status update’) about what they are doing at a particular point in time.
A “tweet” can only be up to 140 characters in length, so the messages are very short – ie. It is micro-blogging, rather than full length blog posts.


A tweet can be a short message or a message to another user, and it can include words, numbers and even hyperlinks.

Twitter is used by all kinds of people – from individuals who use it to keep track of their interests and follow people they know, through to celebrities who use it promote themselves and communicate with fans, and businesses of all sizes – from small local firms through to global multinational organisations.

Here are my 3 top tips for creating a storm with your next Twitter paid Ad campaign.

1) Target the followers of Influencer accounts

Use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out who the influencers are in your niche and target the followers of that account – that way you know your ad is going to be shown to people who have already displayed an interest in your niche – increasing your chances of success.

2) Target by device

Quite simply target your campaigns by device to ensure that they can easily follow your CTA using the device they are on – if your CTA requires them to visit a page where they need to enter lots of text you might want to target desktop only! Think about what you want to achieve – another example might be generating APP downloads for android – so you would target Android users only (desktop and iOS users would be pointless)

3) Set Your Own Bid Prices

Do not be tempted to accept Twitters bid prices for Ads – I have found that they are ridiculously high compared to what you can get them down to if you try to set your own prices. In some cases I have managed to lower to 10% of what Twitter has recommended to me!


It can be all too easy to forget about  Instagram in the mix. Compared with Facebook, Instagram has significantly less users and  it’s not as clear how it can be directly  monetized. There’s no written content in an image and people don’t react to pictures in their Instagram feed telling them to ‘buy now’ or sign up to their  mailing list…

Instagram Is King Of Social Engagement!

So with all that in mind, why would you invest a lot of time or money into the platform?  Well there are a ton of good reasons. When used correctly, Instagram is a  fantastic way to promote products and services, to increase your brand’s visibility and to  position yourself as a hip and artistic organization. Instagram is bigger than Twitter and its users are far more engaged and far happier to buy products  – even when compared with Facebook itself!

Check out my 3 top tips to get you off a to flying start below:


1.) Be Aware Of The Full Range Of Ad Options

Advertising on Instagram is relatively new however there are already quite a few options available, here are the four main Ad types you should look out for.

  • Photo Ads  – these are what we are most used to seeing. These appear in the format of a single image with the word “sponsored” on them.A variety of Calls To Action Are Available: Install Now, Use App, Book Now, Download, Learn More, Listen Now, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up, Watch Video, and Watch More.
  • Carousel Ads – allow brands to include multiple images within an ad in a horizontal scrolling format. These were created to allow brands to tell stories. See the video below for a better explanation.
  • Video Ads – If you have read any of previous posts you will know that I am a great believer that video is  the most powerful form of advertising currently available. It has been proven time and time again to bring the highest levels of engagement.
  • Marquee Ads – are a one day Ad format that offers guaranteed impressions and placement in the top ad position of Instagram’s feed. With the Marquee format, brands can show an ad with a changing creative to the same user , multiple times up to 3 time a day.

2.) Make Sure Your Creative Visuals Are Inspiring

As I have stated before on numerous occasions – Instagram is all about inspiring people. If you want people to follow your call to actions – they need to feel inspired. Use high quality images to inspire people to take the action you want them to take.

3.) Use Facebook Targeting 

One of the greatest thing about Facebook owning Instagram is that you can use your Facebook targeting on your Instagram Ad campaigns! You can even run Facebook and Instagram Ad campaigns simultaneously to cross promote your product or service on both platforms at once.

If you not on Instagram – you need to be its an absolute game changer. If your new to Instagram and want to learn about creating an awesome presence please check out my post about that here.

So The Answer To Our Original Question Is: Facebook (Followed by Youtube, Twitter & Instagram)

Well I hope you have found this post useful and gained some more insight in to whats working in the world B2C social media marketing! I highly recommend reading through all the previous blog posts I have linked to here – you will gain a full understanding of everything you need to know about the most active and engaged platforms your audience is currently using.

Have a great week and I will be back on Wednesday with another in depth blog post.


11 March 2016

My Business Story: New Facebook Feature

Its Gary O’Toole here with Sociocaster and in this weeks video we look at a new feature called My Business Story. Facebook have launched this feature to celebrate the fact that over 3 million businesses worldwide are using Facebook for paid advertisement. Check it out and try your hand at telling your story.

Have A Great Weekend,


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