Tag Archive for: Social media

As an extension to a recent Facebook Live Video I did on my Facebook page (check out the video at the bottom of the page), I thought I’d share a little more on hashtags.

To many, it is one of the biggest challenges of social media and blog writing. These are the two questions I get asked the most:

Number 1: What hashtag should I use?

Number 2: Why are they SO important?

Let’s answer the 2nd question first.

Why are hashtags SO important?

You will find hashtags on almost all social media platforms.  It all started on Twitter, but are now common on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Anyone sharing content on any of these platforms needs to be using hashtags. Why?

Think of each of these platforms as a search engine like Google. When you type a keyword into Google Search, you are shown all the content on the web related to that keyword. It is similar with each of these social media platforms. Each is their own little search engine.

When you type in a keyword into the search bar, content related to that keyword is displayed – whether it is on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

If you want your content to show up (duh! of course, you do!), then you need to use hashtags containing the keywords that are most relevant to your business AND that specific post to show up.

More times you show up = more eyes seeing your stuff = more potential business for you!

What hashtag should I use?

This is the #1 question I am asked about blogging and social media marketing! Using the right hashtag is important to make sure your content is viewed by the right people. So these are the strategies I suggest you use:

Step 1: Use different hashtags for each platform.

This is because the audiences are often different, and are in different mindsets on the different platforms. Tailor your hashtags to each platform and where you think your ideal clients or customers might be in their buying cycle on these platforms.

Step 2: How many hashtags to include. 

Yes, there is a certain number of hashtags you should use on each platform. Each of them is different, so use this guide (which is the current ‘best practices’):

  • Twitter – 1 (maybe 2 max)
  • Instagram – 8 to 10
  • Facebook* – 2 to 3
  • LinkedIn – 2 to 3

*The jury is still out on how effective hashtags are on Facebook. Keep including them, but don’t expect a lot from them.

Step 3: Which hashtag keywords to use. 

The easiest method of finding hashtags that are relevant for your business is to look at other people! Take a look at your competitors, industry leaders, and your ideal client audience. What hashtags are they using?

Step 4: Don’t use super popular hashtags! 

I didn’t explain this well enough in my video, so want to make it clearer here.

The more popular the hashtag, the more content and competition there is for that hashtag. You are going to be competing against millions of other people for your content to be shown.

An example of this (from Instagram): I am going to post a photo of my Australian Cattle Dog – Sidney.

Searching for hashtag #dogsofinstagram there are 108,893,600 posts

Searching for #australiancattledog there are only 1,065,643 posts

So if I want my cute pic of my Australian Cattle Dog to have a better chance of being seen, I will use a hashtag that is more specific to the type of dog he is. The chances are much better of his pic showing up in the feed for that hashtag!
Sidney Australian Cattle Dog
Step 5: Find related hashtags.
Using the search function in Instagram, you can find alternative hashtags that are related to the keyword you are searching for. This will give you a bunch of ideas for hashtags that might work for your content. Make sure you check the number of posts for each hashtag and try to find ones that are lower in post numbers.
Step 1: Type in your hashtag into the search field.
Step 2: Click on the ‘tags’ tab to see all the alternative hashtags along with the number of posts for the hashtags.
Marketing search
Marketing hashtag search
Step 6: Resources/tools for researching hashtags.

There are quite a few very cool tools you can use to research hashtags and trends:

So hopefully this has been helpful to you in understanding why you need to be using hashtags when your posting on social media.

While we’re on the topic of hashtags, check out this post about 5 Tips to Leveling Up Your Instagram Game! 

I’d love to hear from you! What questions do you have for me about this or any other marketing topic? Comment below! And I’ll get right back to you!

Oh, and here is my ‘live’ video where I discuss all of this live!

Tips to get more engagement and exposure on Instagram The statistics are staggering: 33% of internet users are on Instagram 60% of Instagram users log in daily Approximately 80 million users reside in the United States Engagement on Instagram is 10x higher than Facebook and 84x higher than Twitter. Are you using Instagram in your […]

Many of us use Pinterest for our personal use, but who is using Pinterest as a marketing tactic for their business?

Read on to for reasons why and tips on how you should use Pinterest for your business.

In 2010, I started a Pinterest account. Not a Pinterest Marketing account for business purposes, but a personal account – for my own pleasure. I pinned recipes, photos, and inspirational stuff like travel pics, etc. Things I was interested in. I created ‘boards’ containing collections of similar things and followed my friends and ‘liked’ their Pins.

I created a business account in 2012 for a business I worked with. I hadn’t really created any Pins myself until that point, but creating Pins was pretty easy and fun!  We saw some success back in those days of using Pinterest marketing for business. We increased our website traffic and even tracked some leads directly from Pinterest!

Fast forward to today…

Pinterest has evolved into a hugely popular search engine, shopping portal, social website, knowledge portal, and so much more!

Pinterest is a great marketing opportunity for businesses to share their knowledge with a larger audience, with the objective being to draw them into their own website where they can continue to share their knowledge, but also showcase and promote their products and services. The ultimate goal – new customers! 

The stats are mind-blowing!

Here are some pretty interesting numbers*:

  • 175 Million active users per month
  • 50 Billion + Pins
  • 1 Billion + Pinterest Boards
  • 81% of Pinterest users are actually Females.
  • 40% of New Signups are Men; 60% New Signups are Women.
  • Men account for only 7% of total pins on Pinterest.
  • Millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram.
  • The median age of a Pinterest user is 40, however majority of active pinners are below 40.
  • Half of Pinterest users earn $50K or greater per year, with 10 percent of Pinteresting households making greater than $125K.
  • 30% of all US social media users are Pinterest users.
  • 60% of Pinterest users are from the US.
  • There are over 75 billion ideas on Pinterest.
  • 87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
  • 72% of Pinners use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline.
  • 67% of Pinners are under 40-years-old.
  • Over 5% of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest.
  • Pinterest said 80% of its users access Pinterest through a mobile device.
  • 93% of active pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest.
  • Two-thirds of Pins represent brands and products.
  • Food & Drink & Technology are the most popular categories for men.
  • An average Pins made by an Active Female User is 158.
  • Recipes: There are more than 1.7 billion recipe Pins.
  • Shopping: Every day nearly 2M people Pin product rich Pins.
  • Articles: More than 14 million articles are Pinned each day.
  • Average time spent on Pinterest per visit is 14.2 minutes.

Are you still wondering why you should add it to your Marketing Strategy?

2 more simple reasons:  

  1. It can be a great lead generator (driving traffic to your website)
  2. It is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) distributing your content and links that drive traffic back to your website. Google loves this.


1. What should I Pin?

One way to see what your niche market likes is by using the ‘search’ tool in Pinterest. Search for keywords that your niche might be looking for – this will tell you what your audience is probably interested in.

On Pinterest, people are looking for ideas and products that inspire to action. So let people find you because of your inspiring content. Build trust by continuing to provide value.

Then make sure your website allows for a smooth transition from Pin to page. That means a beautiful and engaging Pin should link to a beautiful and engaging web page.

A couple of ideas for Pins include:

  1. Memes
  2. Videos
  3. Helpful tips
  4. Infographic
  6. Customer testimonials
  7. Customers using your product
  8. Recipes or methods to create something (step-by-step guides)


2. Add the Pin-it Button

Once you have a Pinterest account and are Pinning to it, make sure you have aPin Itbutton on your website. Make your content easy to find and share to get the most exposure for it.

By adding a ‘Pin It‘ button to your website your brand or business will begin to see more activity and traffic.

3. Boards

To get your account setup and active, create 5 boards of a variety of topics that your niche is interested in.

Make sure the board’s title and description have keywords that are commonly used by your niche, align with your overall messaging for your brand and marketing efforts.

Next, create a series of about 7-10 pins in each board, varying the type of pin (quote, blog post promo, video, etc.)

Now you’re ready to go!

What NOT to do:

Promote yourself, your product or service. Insteadbe of service. Provide great content that is helpful and useable to your niche audience. Don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of other opportunities to promote your offer or service to them once they are further into your funnel (on your website, etc.)

Create pins about you, your team, your workplace. Pinners aren’t looking for that stuff. They’re looking for inspiration!

Be salesy or pushy!  Pinterest will not reward you!  No “10% off” or “50% off today!” or “Buy Today!” And don’t ask people to “repin” your content.

Stress about the number of followers you have! It isn’t that important! Pinterest’s strategy is to be a visual search engine where the importance of posting high-quality, engaging and relevant content outweighs the importance of building follower numbers.

Pin sporadically or infrequently. It’s recommended to post at least five times a day to get optimal results. I know… that is a LOT. But you don’t need to create all this content yourself. Curating and repinning popular content from others works (but make sure you have a good balance of your own versus other’s content).

Also, you can pin the same content to multiple boards – using social media management tools (like Canva – see below) to space out them throughout the day.

Use hashtags! They’re unnecessary and worthless on Pinterest. Save them for other social networks.


Let’s face it – who has time to spend hours on Pinterest every day posting pins? Make sure you use these tools to help you build your Pinterest Pins.

  • To create your pins (they have great Pinterest templates you can use!): Canva
  • For scheduling your pins (schedule your weekly or monthly Pins in advance!): Buffer
  • Great tips and strategies: Pinterest’s business blog


Happy Pinning! 



You’ve probably seen them – the glamorous photos of Instagram celebrities holding a product as the sun sets on a beach in Thailand. Or maybe you’ve seen the celebrities *unboxing their favorite monthly box subscription. They have a name: “Influencer Marketers”. And what they do is called “Influencer Marketing”.

*Unboxing – when you open and reveal contents of a subscription (or product) box in a very slow and dramatic way… with a heap of suspense and over the top ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’.)

Who are these “Influencers”?. They are bloggers, or fashionistas, or online personalities who have built a loyal following on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook. They are trusted by their followers and have an influence on their audiences purchase decisions because of their credibility and knowledge of a particular industry or topic.

Unless you have a massive marketing budget, you’ve probably just ignored ‘influencer marketing’ as a tactic in your marketing strategy. Those celebrity influencers must cost a fortune, right?

Yes, some do! But there is another way!


Ok – what is an influencer?

An influencer can be a blogger, a YouTube video star or someone who posts regularly on social media.

A micro-influencer is an influencer with a smaller reach than big celebrities and influencers.

So how big (or small) is a micro-influencers audience size? There isn’t full agreement on this amongst experts, but I define it as anywhere from 1000-250000 followers.

5 truths about Micro-Influencers:

They’re more engaged!

The lower the number of followers, the more engaged the ‘influencer’ is likely to be!

Think about it – do the Kardashians respond to all their followers and engage with every one of them? They don’t have time for that. But a micro-influencer will.

A 2016 study by digital marketing firm Markerley found that the more followers an influencer had, the less engagement there is on their posts.

Hyper-focused on your niche

It can be much easier to find a micro-influencer who has intimate knowledge of your niche and is likely to have followers who are interested in that same niche.

The bigger the influencer, or celebrity, the harder it is to know what it is that they specialize in or have an interest in. And sometimes they have too many interests and your area of focus (or niche) is just one of many.

People buy from influencers

A 2016 survey by Collective Bias (an influencer marketing research company) found that 60% of respondents had considered recommendations by a blogger or social media post before making a purchase.

They don’t need to be celebrities.

In fact, it is better if they’re not! Collective Bias also found 30% of consumers were more likely to buy a product endorsed online by a non-celebrity than a celebrity. Among Millennials, 70% preferred a non-celebrity endorsement.

It is affordable!

Influence.co, a platform that connects influencers with brands, looked at what influencers were charging for a sponsored post and found that those with less than 2,000 followers charged on average $124 compared to $690 by those with between 250,000 and 500,000 followers. By the way, the cost for celebrities is way higher than this…

So how do you find Micro Influencers?

There are a number of ways Small Business can find micro-influencers. There are agencies, like Collectively, who are focused on connecting brands and influencers. But if your budget is small, then you can do the connecting yourself. All it takes is a little time spent on social media (yes, it is ok – it is ‘work’).

1) Look for people who are appealing to your customer base. Use the search bar and search for ‘hashtags’ related to your product or business. And then start clicking around.

2) Make sure they’re engaging with their audience. Responding to questions, and comments. And interacting. You want to make sure they’re ‘active’ in their account

3) Check through their posts. Do you like what you see? Are there any red-flags? Look for content that will appeal to your customers.

4) Check out these nine tools you can use to research micro-influencers.

How to work with influencers.

Now that you’ve found potential Micro-Influencers, it is time to connect with them and pitch your proposal.

First, make sure you know what your goal is. Is it leads? Sales? Traffic to your website? Or brand awareness? Will you want them to blog about your product? Then promote it on their social accounts? Or just take a video using your product and promote that.

Then ask these questions in your communication:

  1. Who are your followers? Age, location, gender and any other preference data that can help you determine if it is a good fit. Use your own customer profile to match against to make sure that your influencer’s audience matches yours. (If you need help creating your customer profile, let me know!)
  2. Have you worked with any of our competitors? Or brands/products in my vertical or industry?
  3. Have you heard of my brand before?
  4. Which social media platforms do you focus on? And what would be the best fit for my brand/product?
  5. What are your engagement rates on each of these platforms? Engagement rates are a lot more important than the number of followers or likes. Engagement rates show how many of these followers are actually engaging with the content by commenting, sharing, liking, clicking links etc.


You will need to establish how you will ‘pay’ for access to the influencers’ audience. And there are a couple of options you have to do this:

  1. Give the influencer a product or discounts as payment.
  2. Percentage of every sale that comes through the influencer’s network.
  3. Fee for each component of the plan. E.g. blog post, post to Instagram etc.

Long-term plans are becoming more of the norm. The standard rule of needing to get in front of someone 5-6 times applies here, and so having a long-term plan where the influencer is promoting your brand over the course of a few months will be more effective than a one-off mention on their account.

What’s next? Get started! 

Oh, one more thing, make sure that you hold your influencers accountable for disclosing the fact they’re being paid to feature, test and review your product or service. Influencer marketing is all based on trust… so be transparent and require your influencers to be as well!

Happy influencing!


Over the past week or so, there has been a lot of noise in the social media and marketing worlds about the social media platform “Vero”.

There have even been stories in Time and other more mainstream media publications, as well as the usual marketing and media outlets like Mashable.

It is:

  • The most downloaded app in 18 countries.
  • #4 Social Networking app in the Apple store.
  • Topped the iOS app charts earlier this week (but fell to No. 11 on Thursday)
What is all the buzz about?

According to Slate, Vera was founded in 2015. But it didn’t garner that much attention until last week when it announced that it would allow the first million subscribers to have free access for life.

Unlike Facebook and Instagram, the Vero revenue model is to make money from subscriptions, not advertising (for now), as well as transaction fees charged to brands that use the platform to sell products using the ‘buy now’ button.

A free membership announcement was all it took to have people subscribing by the droves, unfortunately crashing the Vero servers.

Note: They have since announced that they have extended the free membership until further notice, due to “service interruptions”.

Mass Migration

Why are people flocking to Vero? The most likely answer is because they’re sick of the rules that Facebook and now Instagram are forcing them to play by.

Facebook is renowned for changing the rules all the time. Just as you get used to doing things a particular way, they go and change the rules on you.

And Instagram’s newest algorithm has changed how posts are ordered. Posts that have more likes, comments or shares will be shown first, instead of in chronological order.

According to Vero “The feed is composed of your posts and the posts of people you’re either connected with or people you follow. We don’t curate it, manipulate it, insert advertising in it, or hold back posts. You see what has been shared with you when it’s been shared with you.”

Well, that is refreshing!

The good

Vero calls itself the “true social” network. A “social network for anyone who loves anything enough to share it – and wants control over who they share it with. Just like we do in real life. ” No constraints.

The user interface (UI) is pretty cool. It is easy to navigate and well laid out. 

You also have more control over the app. You have three segments of contacts – close friends, friends and acquaintances (similar to Facebook’s segmenting model).

But you can pick different avatars (profile pics) for each segment. So if you want to show off that funky side to your close friends, but your clean-cut image to your ‘friends’, you can do it.

It isn’t Facebook or Instagram (which for many, is the only reason they needed to flock to Vero).

Vero screenshots
The bad

With the sudden interest in Vero came immediate issues – the servers crashed under the volume of new subscribers.

The service is also buggy. (But let’s be fair – the service suddenly had 1MM+ new users!)

For a while, the ToS (Terms of Service) seemed to say that Vero could control, copy, take and use any content published on its network. Users were not happy.

ToS Vero on Twitter

Vero has since added a section to their ToS to try to better clarify who owns the content. (Whether or not this is clear enough remains to be seen.)

ToS Content Ownership

There are also stories circulating about the founder of Vero, who is the son of the former Lebanese Prime Minister. Including allegations of inhumane treatment of employees (at another business he owns). Ayman Hariri and his team have refuted those claims of his involvement, stating he wasn’t involved with the company during that time.

leaving in droves?

Yes, people are leaving. Maybe not in the droves in which they arrived, but they are leaving.

Most of them due to the bugs, performance issues, and well, the issues with the founder.

But, for some, leaving seems to provide a whole new set of issues!

It has been challenging to delete an account causing a lot of frustration for already unhappy users. Once you find the in-app ‘delete account’ request (it is in the Support menu), you submit a ‘request’ for Vero to delete your account. Some users have been waiting a while for their accounts to be deleted. But again, to be fair, there has been a massive influx of users in the past 2 weeks. Vero has stated it ‘may’ add an immediate account deletion feature in the future.

Delete Vero

So in Summary…

I think it is a great concept! It is good to see another social network vying for top space that ‘seems’ to care about the user, not about the platform.

The interface is really nice and easy to navigate. There are no ads!

It is still a little buggy and server response times are slow (but they’re working on it).

There is already controversy and negative press, but isn’t that typical when a game-changing product is launched?

Building a community or followers will take some time. You are dependent on finding people through a search of names or hashtags.

It is a great way to showcase books, music, and photography!

Is it worth signing up for Vero?

I think so…

If you are an early adopter of new products or are dissatisfied with Facebook and Instagram then sign up now.

For most average social media users though, maybe wait a little longer until some of the bugs have been ironed out, and until there are more users on the platform.

We have also seen a lot of other social networks come and go, like Secret, Ello, Peach and Meerkat. All had potential. But didn’t break through for one reason or another.

Will Vero follow the same path?

Let me know what you think! Are you going to jump onboard?