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As we learn to navigate these uncharted waters, confusion and uncertainty are at an all-time high. Not only is this situation putting pressure on everyday life, but business owners are also feeling the pressure and impact of these troubling times. 

With people around the world being told to stay home, one of the heaviest hit industries has been the tourism sector. And here in Whistler, we have certainly felt the impacts of this. Many local businesses have temporarily shut down operations including tour operators, hotels, restaurants and more, causing a trickle-down effect to our mountain town.

If your business has been forced to close or limit its services, you may have questions as to what the best practices for marketing during a time like this are. A lot of businesses have chosen to “go dark” and have completely put a hold on all marketing efforts including social media.

But is going dark on social media the right move? In our opinion, no. 

The term “social distancing” has become a staple in our everyday vocabulary as of late. However, we believe the term we should be using is “physical distancing.” This is a time more than ever that we need to maintain connections with people and be social, digitally that is. 

(If you’re more of the listener than a reader, hear more about this topic on our very first podcast, Social Media Marketing During a Time of Crisis. Listen now at: https://bit.ly/2y79Ue2.)

Why You Should Be Posting

With most of our time now being spent at home and away from public situations, people are turning to social media for entertainment more than ever. For some, social media may even be the only social connection they have. Before this pandemic, the average adult spent two hours a day on social media, imagine where these numbers must be at now…

Social media enables businesses to connect with people all over the world. Maintaining a presence during these times will allow businesses to expand their community and maintain the one they have worked so hard to build. Now is the time to establish who your brand really is and invest in relationships rather than transactions.

And with so many businesses choosing to go dark, this could, in fact, be the least cluttered time ever on social media for tourism businesses. Use this time to stand out from your competitors enabling you to be top of mind for when things return to ‘normal’. 

What You Should Be Posting 

As these are unprecedented times, it can be a challenge to determine what posts are appropriate. With so much anxiety and heaviness surrounding the situation, businesses should be focusing on content that is light-hearted and inspirational. 

This is also the time to present the human side of your business. People are looking for a connection more than ever. Tell stories, show personality, find a way to connect with your audience. Be sure to also monitor and reply to any comments — this is a great way to make things personal.

Some examples of what to post:

  • Repost user-generated content
  • Create video tutorials
  • Share stories of favourite past memories
  • Introduce your staff
  • Support any local initiatives or emergency communications

Other Marketing Efforts

So we’ve established that maintaining social media presence during this time is important, but what about other marketing efforts? 

We recommend refocusing any efforts towards achieving conversion goals to efforts that help build community and engagement. This includes turning off any paid advertising across all platforms.

Planning For the Future

Although we hope this will all be over soon, we cannot predict exactly when everything will return to business as usual. We can, however, use this time to start planning for the future and ensure we have a strategy set for when the time comes. Because when it comes, it’s going to come suddenly and those that are not prepared will be left behind.

Create a plan starting at the beginning of the end of all of this. If possible, begin to create quality content to use in order to avoid scrambling at the last minute — Draft posts, create videos, write blog posts, etc. 

We also believe that focusing efforts on regional markets will be more successful at first. It will take some time for economies to recover and travel bans to lift, which may create barriers for international visitors. 

For more on this topic, be sure to listen to our very first podcast, Social Media Marketing During a Time of Crisis where Cloud9 Marketing team members Virginia-Rae Choquette and Hailey Elise discuss how to navigate social media during this current time of crisis. Listen now at: https://bit.ly/2y79Ue2

christmas tree - social media marketing tips for holiday

The holiday season is a time of joy, festive fun and family time! But it’s also considered one of the busiest times for both online and offline sales as shoppers scramble to find the perfect gifts for their family and friends. 

When it comes to marketing, businesses are doing everything they can to inspire shoppers with amazing deals and catchy campaigns. Standing out on social media during the holidays can feel a lot like being the needle in a haystack, or a single snowflake in a snowball to be more seasonally relevant. So, how do you stand out in such a crowded environment? We share some social media marketing tips for the holiday season to help your brand get noticed during this busy time of year.

Holiday Spirit

Show that your brand has holiday spirit by posting holiday-themed images and posts. Use festive colours, imagery and symbols to evoke emotion from your followers. Be sure to include festive captions with your posts including holiday quotes, festive song lyrics and more. 

Storytelling

The holiday season is all about the warm fuzzy feelings and a good story is a great way to trigger those emotions. Storytelling is a great way to show personality and connect with your audience. It’s also a great way to create content that can be repurposed for multiple platforms. Read more about storytelling and what it’s something you should consider adding to your marketing strategy not just during the holidays but all year, here

Social Media Holidays

For social media marketing, Christmas and New Years aren’t the only holidays that you need to post about. There are many “social media holidays” such as #NationalHotCocoaDay or #InternationalMountainDay which are great ways to boost your social media marketing during the holiday season. Now, these holidays may seem a little cheesy, but they are a great way to take advantage of trending hashtags and increase engagement on your posts. Check a full list of social media holidays here.

Engagement

Engaging with your social media followers is important at any time of year, but putting an emphasis on it during the holidays can help your brand stand out amongst the competition. As businesses put a focus on promotions and sales, social media users can start to feel less like an appreciated fan and more like a business transaction. Maintaining engagement with your followers will help build personal connections between your customers and your brand. 

Collaborations

The holidays are a great way to collaborate with relevant and/or other local businesses. As the saying goes “two heads are better than one” and this is true when it comes to social media marketing — working with other brands helps expand your audience and reach a lot more users. 

One strategy for the holiday season could be a group of local businesses working together to raise money, toys, food, etc. for a local charity. It could be a friendly “competition” between businesses or just a nice way to give back to the community. Another great way to collaborate could be a prize giveaway featuring prizes for a group of businesses. 

The festive season is a magical time of year, but it’s also a busy one when it comes to marketing. Be sure to follow our social media marketing tips for the holiday season to make this festive time for your brand merry and bright! 

Facebook logo - latest updates to Facebook

Facebook has been under a lot of scrutiny lately. While most of their time has been dedicated to dealing with issues in regards to privacy, transparency and security, its developers have managed to put out a few new updates.

Although the platform is constantly changing and adapting, we highlight a few of the latest updates to Facebook that we think are the most important for Facebook advertisers.

Facebook Considering Hiding Like Count

You may have noticed a change to your Instagram feed a few months ago — In an effort to improve user well-being, Instagram removed the like count in 7 countries across the world. The thought process behind this was to bring the platform back to its early days of being more about the content and less about popularity. Now it seems that the developers are achieving the results they hoped for and are looking to expand this change to Facebook as well.

This change poses an interesting question for social media advertisers on whether the amount of likes on a post influences users’ decisions and buying habits. Facebook has confirmed they are considering this change, however, no official trial start date has been determined.

Highlighting Stories From Pages

Although the Stories feature on Facebook hasn’t taken off as developers had originally hoped, it is starting to pick up in popularity and is now at 500 million users daily.

Recently, developers began testing a feature that places stories from pages, including business pages, in a new in-feed panel. The Stories panel is already located at the top of a user’s feed, and this added Page Stories panel will highlight branded stories even more, offering a great opportunity for promotion.

New Business Tools for Messenger

Messenger interactions have become increasingly more important for brands as people take their queries and comments from phone calls and in-person to messaging platforms. Messaging platforms offer ease of use and even sometimes, instantaneous answers with the use of bots. Bot technology has improved exponentially over the last few years and will only continue to grow.

Facebook has announced the following updates to its business tools for messenger:

Lead Generation Flows

As explained by Facebook,
“This new template within Facebook Ads Manager enables businesses to create automated experiences to help qualify leads within Messenger. Businesses can continue the conversation with prospects directly in Messenger and integrate with existing CRM tools to seamlessly track leads.”

Appointment Booking

This update will allow businesses to integrate calendar booking software directly into their messenger bot response flow.

“With this feature, businesses can convert Messenger conversations into in-store traffic, online and phone appointments, and more.”

 

As mentioned earlier, the platform is constantly changing and these are just a few of the latest updates to Facebook.

Are you having a hard time keeping up with changes to Facebook? Or not even sure where to start when it comes to social media marketing? Cloud9 Marketing can create and manage your social media campaigns with effective strategies that drive quality engagement. Learn more about our Social Media Marketing services here.

If you own a business or are building a brand, you may be questioning the importance of social media marketing. You may be asking yourself: Does your business need to be on social media? Does social media marketing really work? The simple answer is, ABSOLUTELY!

As of May 2019, there are almost 3.5 billion active social media users worldwide with Facebook leading the pack at just over 2.3 billion users. The average person spends over 2 hours a day on social media.

Today’s consumers are influenced significantly by what they see on social media. In a 2017 survey, 78% of consumers said that companies’ social media posts impacted their purchases.

If you’re not using social media for your brand or business, that’s a lot of missed opportunity!

Here are just a few of the many reasons why social media marketing is important for any brand:

Brand awareness

Social media platforms offer a great opportunity to build awareness for brands. From targeted advertising, hashtags, geo-tags and more, the opportunity to reach new audiences and gain exposure is vast.

Building brand awareness doesn’t always have to come from the brand’s side either — when customers feel loyalty to a brand, they are often compelled to share their love in posts and photos, spreading the awareness even further.

Authenticity

Social media allows brands to show their human side and be authentic. Authenticity resonates well with customers and allows them to feel a personal connection.

Engagement

Whether through comments on posts or direct messages, social media provides a great way to connect directly with customers. Engagement on social media can also improve customer service experience in the event of an issue as customers are able to communicate with a brand instantly.

Traffic Increase

Social media is a great way to drive traffic to a website. There are numerous opportunities to direct people from social platforms to a website such as links in posts, posting blog posts to social media, using product tags on Instagram, and many more. Social media advertising allows even greater opportunity to drive traffic to a website.

Customer Insights

Most social media platforms and social media scheduling platforms offer great analytics tools which can be used to dig into information about customers and followers. This analytical data provides brands with access to real-time data which can be used to improve marketing strategies and increase effectiveness.

 

Looking to boost your brand’s social media presence but are not sure where to start, check out our social media management services here.

With Cloud9 Marketing managing your social media, we boost your brand awareness, improve online credibility, and increase sales and/or customer acquisition.

iphone showing social media

Struggling to find the time to manage your social media platforms on top of your business demands? We have the perfect solution with our Whistler Curated Social Media Content Package!

Did you know that poorly managed social media can actually be more damaging to your brand then having no social media presence at all? Social networks are one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. With a projected 25% annual growth in the next 5 years, proper management of your social media channels is essential.

Stimulating Content

Social media algorithms mirror that of Google. This means that content that is stimulating and gets lots of engagement will show up higher on a News Feed. We want to help you to reach your customers by producing high quality, Whistler relevant content that stands out and looks professional.

Timing is everything

Social Media gives you the opportunity to engage with customers on a new level. We understand that you may not have the time to post regular updates to reach customers at the right moments.

Here at Cloud9, we not only produce high-quality content but also feature events, and weather updates, engaging with a community who ‘wants to know.’ We post as things are happening- keeping your feed relevant so you don’t have to!

Your Competition Is Already Doing It

Today’s generation expects companies to be involved in social media. From ‘Checking In’ on Facebook to Geo Tags on Instagram, you need to show your customers that you are on top of your social media game. If your brand is not appearing in the feed of your customers on a regular basis you’re really missing a massive branding opportunity.

Posting sporadically or seemingly random content can disengage users and even cause them to believe your business has been shut down!

Don’t Have The Time To Manage This Yourself?

We know that devising an effective social media strategy may not be at the forefront of your mind. That’s why our Whistler Curated Social Media package offers you an affordable solution, ensuring your channels appear well managed, professional and timely. Curating content is the process of sharing interesting and relevant content, created by other people. It is a great time saver and really helps to diversify your content.

What It Involves:

We share Whistler photography, engaging videos, professionally designed graphics, event coverage, real time weather updates and more. This allows you to continue to post to your channel brand specific content occasionally without having to worry about it being inconsistent or irregular.

All our content is Whistler focused, sharing a joint goal of promoting all that Whistler has to offer. It is not brand specific, enabling development costs to be split between clients. You will receive the same high quality, professional content as a client who was paying several times this – but for a fraction of the cost!

Anything Else?

But that’s not all.. you also receive a monthly newsletter with photos and blogs that you can post to your website!

What’s Included:

-Regular High-Quality Whistler Content

-Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

-Blog Content & Photos

-Automated Monthly Report

What’s Not Included:

-Brand Specific Content

-Social Media Advertising

-Message or Comment Monitoring

-Strategy or Results Meetings

*Additional Services are always available for a fee.

$250 p/m + GST

Contact us today at: clientcare@cloud9marketing.ca or call: 604-398-4016

The Instagram Story feature lets you share photos and videos with your followers for 24 hours. Although stories, filters, effects and tags may feel trivial and just another thing for you to remember in your marketing strategy, Instagram stories create easy and fast content with many benefits. Allowing you to show off your business’ personality and drive authentic customer engagements, here’s why the Insta story is an integral tool in your marketing strategy.

Tell a great story

Instagram stories are like your own personal TV channel. They’re designed for mobile users to quickly flick through, making them great for businesses who want to spark engaging, casual conversations with their customers. Your business can combine stories and live videos to open up to your followers and reveal what goes on behind the scenes.

Create easy content

What’s great about stories is that there is no set rule for how often you should post. Similar to Snapchat stories, Instagram stories are designed for continuous watching, meaning the more content you put out, the better! Plus, unlike regular Instagram posts, Insta stories are all about being in the now. Instead of curating the perfect picture and caption, you can use your story to humanize your brand and give it some personality.

Take creative risks

The temporary nature of stories makes them perfect for creative risks. You can be spontaneous and test out new content, safe in the knowledge that users are much more forgiving when it comes to stories. By testing and experimenting with new ideas, you can learn what your audience responds best to, and adapt successful stories into permanent posts.

Drive traffic and engagement

Instagram stories make it easy for you to connect with your audience. Not only can they respond to your stories with direct messages, but the poll feature allows you to hear the collective voice of your customers. You can also link to other Instagram profiles and add links to each story through the swipe up feature. This allows you to direct your audience’s attention towards specific blog posts, products, or news articles.

Boost organic reach

Due to the change in algorithm, Instagram sorts your feed by what it thinks you will like the most. Usually accounts with active stories tend to show up higher in the search results. To boost your organic reach and increase your visibility, you’ll need to post regularly to make sure that you’re staying in current feeds. You can also add hashtags and locations that will increase your reach and enable your account to pop up in different search related results.

Like any social media platform, it can take a bit of finessing to master Instagram and use it most efficiently. But don’t let that put you off! With the help of Cloud9 Marketing, we can manage your social media to boost your brand awareness, improve online credibility, and increase sales and/or customer acquisition. Please get in contact to put us to the test!

You don’t have to search for long to see that most businesses in Whistler conduct excellent customer service on social media. But how many businesses consider it to be their main support channel?

As we move further into the digital age, emails and phone calls are taking a lesser role when it comes to customer care. Instead, people are choosing to turn to social media to voice their complaints and complements towards businesses. Offering many benefits to both small businesses and to customers, here’s why social media is the future of customer service, and why – if you aren’t already – you should be consistently and promptly responding to customers online.

The power of social media

Social media already dominates internet activity. With over 1.5 billion Facebook users and 400 million Instagram users, the power of social media is ever-growing, and becoming increasingly accessible to people all over the world. With so many users, brands are able to reach an unlimited number of potential customers.

It’s customers preferred method of communication

90% of users prefer to use social media over other methods to communicate with brands. Understandably, people don’t want to wait hours for a response, or sit waiting on hold. Customers require instant gratification, and now expect companies to use social customer service to answer issues and problems immediately.

Phone conversations can occasionally leave customers with a negative impression of a business due to miscommunication. With text-based customer support, it is much easier for your team to understand and translate a customers issues, simplifying the process for both customers and companies.

It’s an inexpensive solution

Shifting customer service to social media has great financial benefits. On average, it costs $1 to solve a customer issue on social media…with conventional phone calls, solving the same issue often costs 6 times as much. This is partly due to the fact that customer service agents can solve problems much more efficiently through social media, and decrease the time spent on each issue.

It improves and increases brand reputation

Thanks to social media, customer service has become a spectator’s sport. But this can really work in your favour!

If you fail to respond, you’ll give off the message that you are arrogant and have nothing to offer in terms of a solution – all of which, as you can imagine, will greatly damage your reputation. However, provided you deal with situations appropriately and promptly, your outstanding customer service will play out in full view of the public. Your audience will be able to see that you are a trustworthy business that cares about your customers, and brand awareness will grow accordingly.

It benefits an integrated marketing approach

A successful marketing campaign can only succeed if it’s backed up by strong and solid customer service. Nailing the social customer service experience is particularly important for local businesses, as potential customers are likely to look up reviews before purchasing your products or services.

We cannot stress enough the importance of an integrated marketing approach. To create a seamless and positive image of your brand, it’s important to consider every aspect of your marketing strategy from awareness building to how you handle post-sale customer service. If you haven’t already invested in social media, now is the perfect time to get started. Cloud9 offer strategy consultancy and monthly social media services, and we would be happy to discuss all the ways in which you can improve the online customer experience. To get in contact, please click here.

delegate-marketing

We are a marketing agency, so of course we’re going to tell you that marketing your business is important. Unless you are offering the world’s most fantastic product or service, have no competition whatsoever and don’t care to improve performance or profits, marketing should be a priority. But as a business owner you may not have the skills, knowledge or know-how (or interest) to execute marketing strategies that work. It is important to understand when it is time to delegate any aspect of your business for the overall good, and marketing is usually one of the first areas to be handed over to professionals. Not sure if it’s time you left your business’s marketing to the pros? Here’s are some signs.

  1. Your Facebook Business Page Header hasn’t been updated all year

If your Facebook Business Page headers hasn’t been updated in months, if it contains pixelated or cropped images, or is some cheesy stock photo that doesn’t represent your business or brand, it’s a sign you are not using Facebook to its fullest potential. All of this is assuming you have a Facebook Business Page, and if you don’t, stop reading right now and hand over the marketing reigns to a professional this second. Facebook is an excellent portal for potential customers to get to know your brand, and your Facebook header is an opportunity to let them know what is new and exciting with your company, or to explore what it is that you stand for.

  1. Your last Blog Post was in 2011

If you can get past how silly the word ‘Blog’ sounds and get to the underlying function of a Blog, you will see the importance of it and hopefully stop neglecting this crucial part of your website. A Blog is a way to introduce fresh content to your website; search engines like this. Blogging about topics, products and industry news and events can help your business or brand gain authority, can provide value to your customers, and will provide you with more opportunities to be found on search engines. Don’t be that business that blogs once a year and then gives up. A regular and engaging Blog is an important part of every businesses content marketing strategy.

  1. You don’t have an Instagram Account

We know that the world of social media can be overwhelming, and that it’s hard to stay on the bleeding edge of every new social channel and update online. Instagram is now mainstream, and if your business is not using it yet, you are getting well left behind. We can’t think of too many businesses that wouldn’t benefit from an Instagram account. The visually appealing content is a great tool for story-telling and building brand awareness, and is the place to reach the millennial demographic. We get it if you’re scared of adopting new social channels into the mix, let us do it for you.

  1. Your website doesn’t display on mobile phones

Have you recently had someone tell you that your website doesn’t display well on mobile phones? Check yours right now, is it clear and easy to navigate from your mobile? If the answer is no, your website is not responsive, and you are potentially missing out on over half of web visitors because of this flaw. Mobile browsing minutes accounted for 70 percent of all browsing minutes in 2016. Websites should now be designed mobile-first, meaning appealing to mobile users before desktop users because mobile devices are what people are using to browse and buy online these days.

  1. You have no idea what SEO stands for

Do the acronyms SEO, SEM and SMM baffle your mind? If you don’t know what the all-important SEO stands for, it’s time for you to step aside and let the professionals handle your marketing. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Essentially it is how people find your business online (for an in-depth explanation, see here). This is such an important thing for the success and longevity of your business we cannot even begin to explain. Without SEO you do not exist to pretty much everyone on the internet. Period.

  1. You rather do just about everything else but work on your marketing

If you’re not jumping out of bed jazzed about marketing, you likely aren’t giving it the energy and attention that it requires. And why should you? You are running a business and probably have a lot on your plate. A good business owner knows when it’s time to part ways with different aspects of the business. If taking your dog out for a pee in the morning is more exciting than checking your web analytics, it’s time to delegate to an agency.

Lucky for you there are people that dream about digital design, study social media engagement and obsess about SEO. Here at Cloud9 Marketing we get our kicks from helping business like yours kill it online with tailored results-driven marketing strategies that get noticed. Can we help take your businesses marketing efforts to the next level? Schedule a one-hour free consultation and let’s chat.

Facebook Advertising

Whether you are a new start up or a multi-national corporation, Facebook advertising is a tool that can’t be ignored. With 1.71 billion monthly active users and 1.13 billion daily active users in June 2016, Facebook is an undeniable force when it comes to connecting with your target market. With recent algorithm changes organic advertising (posts that aren’t paid for) are seeing a declining reach. Due to the large number of businesses using Facebook as a marketing tool, Facebook wants to ensure people’s timelines are not cluttered with spammy sales pitches therefor serious advertisers now need to pay to have their content seen. The upside to this is Facebook advertising is it’s affordable, laser focused and highly effective. Here we discuss more about what Facebook advertising is, and why you need to be using it.

What is Facebook Advertising?

Advertisements on Facebook are built in a business page, therefor in order to start advertising on Facebook a business and a personal page are needed. When creating a Facebook ad, you are essentially generating a Facebook post which will be displayed in the timelines or the right sidebar of your desired target audience. A new integration also allows you to have your ads displayed on Instagram. Facebook advertising is completely customizable and affordable. You can create an ad on Facebook for as little as $1 a day.

How Does It Work?

Facebook ads can be built via the Publishing Tools tab on a Facebook page, by boosting a post or with a Business Manager Facebook Account. A Business Manager Account that features an Ads Manager portal gives you the most control and insights when advertising with Facebook. When building a Facebook ad, you first select your advertising goal; examples of these include driving more traffic to your website, getting people to download an app, getting more page likes or generating phone calls to your business. Once your goal is defined you can select an audience. Audiences can be selected using location and demographic information, by remarketing to website visitors, targeting those who have submitted lead forms plus many other methods. After defining an audience, the budget and duration of your ad can be selected.  Finally, media (photo or video), and text can be added to create the perfect ad to reach your desired customers or clientele.

Why You Need to Be Doing It?

Simple put, people spend a ridiculous amount of time on social media. In the US, people spend nearly two hours a day on social networks. Organic reach on Facebook is a thing of the past and recent data shows less than .5 percent of Facebook fans will actually see your posts and updates. Facebook offers laser targeting allowing you to reach motivated customers when they’re online. Businesses can target location, demographics, age, gender, interest behaviour and connections. To get even more granular recent purchasing behaviour, life event targeting, look-a-like audiences and remarketing ads can also be used. Never has advertising been so cost effective and precise as what we are seeing with Facebook advertising.

Businesses around the world are seeing enormous results with Facebook advertising. If you haven’t started yet what are you waiting for? Let us help you achieving your online goals and reach your target market through Facebook ads. Contact Cloud9 Marketing today to learn about our affordable and effective social media packages for companies big and small.

digital marketing ipad

How to use Hashtags

There is a lot of confusion surrounding hashtags. They seemed to pop up out of no where and now have over run the social media space. Hashtags done properly can be immensely powerful marketing tools but when used carelessly can be extremely annoying and possibly detrimental to your online reputation. We could sit here and bore you with the history of the hashtag, and how they’ve evolved in the digital space over the years but we will leave that to PaultheTrombonist in his hilarious video History of the Hashtag # while we enlighten you on how to apply hashtags in each of your social channels like a Pro.

What the #eck is the purpose of a hashtag?

Love them or hate them, hashtags are here to stay. There are many examples out there of hashtags done well (and probably even more of hashtags gone bad) but overall they serve three main purposes:

  1. To filter and categorize information
  2. To connect with people and unite messages
  3. To add to a brand

Here at Cloud9 Marketing, we represent a lot of businesses in the tourism industry here in beautiful Whistler, B.C. We obviously want people across social media platforms who are interested in travelling and visiting places like Whistler to view our posts. Because of this, we always ensure to append #Whistler to our posts. Other common hashtags we use are #ski #snowboard #adventure (you get it).  By doing this people interested in these topics can simply click on one of the above hashtags and all of our beautiful and engaging photos and posts will appear. If you went on Twitter or Instagram right now and typed in a hashtag that interested you (like #winewednesday for example), you will see thousands of posts all displaying the hashtag and theme.

If you run a business and want to connect with potential fans and followers, hashtags are an excellent way to do so. Say you have an online dog treat business and want to get more people following you on social media and ultimately order dog treats on your website. Conducting initial research on popular hashtags used in your industry on sites such as Tagboard will give you a good idea which tags will be popular with your target market. By consistently appending these hashtags to your posts you will get more likes, comments, shares and retweets simply by people interested in and following those hashtags.

Hashtags are also great tools for branding. If you have a promotion you are running or want to communicate your slogan or brand strengths in your posts, appending them as hashtags is a great way to communicate the message to your fans and followers. Take Coca Cola for example, their recent Share a Coke campaign has penetrated the social realm and the hashtag #ShareACoke has been appended to all of their relevant posts. The more your social community notices branded hashtags the more likely they are to engage with them.

Are they for all social channels?

Hashtags were born on Twitter, and are still important additions to any post on this channel although generally only one or two can be included due to the character limitations. Instagram is also the perfect platform for hashtags and relevant and trending hashtags are sure to increase engagement of your posts. Instagram has a maximum of 30 hashtags per post but it’s recommended to insert 5-10 relevant, trending and catchy tags. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, where hashtags unite the entire community of users, Facebook hashtags generally only unite current friends and followers, or large brands who don’t have their setting set to private. For that reason, individuals don’t use hashtags as much on Facebook as brands do however if you’re going to use them, it is suggested to keep them minimal, 1-2 shows the most engagement.

Hopefully now we’ve demystified the hashtag and you are ready to put them to use in your own social media strategy. Still confused or need help with your online marketing- we are here to help! Contact Cloud9 Marketing today and find out how we can assist you.

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