Archive for the ‘Strategy and Brand Building’

10 myths about Instagram for business (Infographic) 0

Posted on December 10, 2017 by Lucy Benton

Instagram for business myths

Over 2 million businesses use Instagram for business.

Known for photo sharing and fueled by the popularity of Instagram Stories, roughly six-in-ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram, nearly double the share among 30- to 49-year-olds (33%) and more than seven times the share among those 65 and older (8%) according to Pew Research.

Instagram is largely made up of urban, youthful demographics, with a significant skew toward women. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, reached 9.8 million people in the U.S. aged 18 to 35 in eight days according to Business Intelligence.

Here are 1o myths about Instagram for business.

  1. Instagram is not for service-based businesses.
  2. Only professional photos should be used.
  3. Follow others to be followed.
  4. I don’t need a strategy for Instagram.
  5. Marketing results are not measurable.
  6. You don’t get leads from Instagram.
  7. Posting once a week is an effective strategy.
  8. A lot of images produces engagement.
  9. Small accounts cannot reach target audiences.
  10. Only businesses with a huge base of followers can make money.

Scroll down the infographic to learn why these myths are not realities about Instagram for business.

instagram for business

Instagram marketing is still a fairly new concept for brands and many businesses overlook its full potential. The reason for that might be the most common myths that stop businesses from using Instagram for marketing are not really realities at all.

Despite the fact that Instagram is now being used by 48.8% of brands  many businesses have yet to implement an Instagram marketing strategy. Unfortunately, there are still many myths that have created hesitation among businesses when it comes to using Instagram for marketing purposes.

Is your business one of these businesses? Do the explanations for these myth convince you of the the business building potential of Instragram? Does your brand need help with Instagram for business?

Lucy Benton - Facebook Ad Designs

Lucy Benton is a website content writer living in New South Wales, Australia.

9 social media trends that will take over in 2018 0

Posted on December 04, 2017 by Rob Petersen

social media trends

Social media trends and new technology go hand in hand.

Many forms of content on social networks that now account for the majority of views, likes, shares, re-tweets and comment didn’t exist 5 years ago. In fact, some of the social networks they are seen on didn’t exist either.

Social media trends help us know not only what’s going to occur on social networks but the internet in general. The people at  Filmora have created an infographic to show and tell you. And they have substantiated it with research and hard numbers that make predictions real.

Here’s a brief summary of social media trends for 2018 from their infographic with just a smattering of the research they’ve compiled in the inforgraphic below.

  1. VIDEO TAKES CENTER: 95% of the message in a video is retained by viewers vs. only 10% for text
  2. EXPANSION OF LIVE STREAMING: Facebook Live videos are watched 3X longer than regular ones
  3. DOUBLING DOWN OF EPHEMERAL CONTENT: Ephemeral means short lived, fleeting or passing and describe the nature of media on social networks accessible for up to 24 hours
  4. RISE OF AUGMENTED REALITY: In April 2017, Facebook Camera Effect’s platform is designed. And it’s for AR hardware
  5. AI AND CHATBOXES ARE WIDELY USED: 30% of chat conversations will be chatboxes in 2018
  6. FOCUS ON GENERATION Z: Generation Zers, born between 1995 and 2012, are “true digital natives.”
  7. INCREASED INVESTMENT IN INFLUENCERS: 94% of those who have used influencers believe it is and effective strategy
  8. MOBILE READY CONTENT: More content will be made specifically for mobile as the majority of viewership and virtually all social networks is already greater on mobile than desktop
  9. INCREASED BRAND PARTICIPATION IN MESSAGING PLATFORMS: Each of the top five messaging platforms has 255 users or more already

Scroll down this infographic made by Filmora. And get to know more about the hottest social media trends in 2018 and feel free to let us know what you think in the comments section.


social media trends in 2018

Do you think these are the top social media trends for 2018? Do you have any more to add? Let us know what you think.

Social Selling vs Social Spamming. 10 best and worst practices 0

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Rob Petersen

Social Selling vs Social Spamming

Social Selling vs Social Spamming. They represent polar opposites. One is a best practice and the other a worst practice for developing business using social media.

Social Selling is the use of social media to interact directly with their prospects. The interaction is through thoughtful content and timely answers to a prospect until he or she is ready to buy. Social Spamming is unwanted spam appearing on your social networks or email.

The former requires business acumen, people and social skills. The latter uses none of these. Many people think they are Social Selling when they’re Social Spamming.

So you know when it’s Social Selling vs Social Spamming, here are 10 best and worst practices.

  1. AUTHENTIC VS AUTOMATED MESSAGE: One begins a relevant conversation. The other is a bad sales pitch. When it is apparent in the first couple of sentences of a post or email someone has taken the time to get to know something about you or done some research, you are likely to read a little further to see what comes next. That’s Social Selling. It’s spam when you’re in receipt of a bulk message, even though your name may appear at the beginning,
  2. OFFER VS PITCH: The first rule of Social Selling is to offer something a prospect is going to value rather than launch into a sales pitch. It could be a download of relevant information, trends or forecasts for your industry. Or an invitation to an event you would go to. It may require your email address and a follow up call occurs. But someone has given you something of value and you took the first action. It’s spamming when nothing is offered; rather someone asks something of you that is purely for their benefit.
  3. ABUSE OF INMAIL: How many of you have received an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn or someone has followed you on Twitter? And you think, what the heck, I’ll connect or follow back. Then, within minutes, you are sent an Inmail or Direct Messaged. And it’s something they are selling or want with an inflated description of themselves or their product. Unfortunately, it is occurring more and more, especially on LinkedIn.
  4. LINKS IN COMMENTS: Links in a comment are a bad and potentially malicious spamming practice. At best, someone is taking advantage of content someone else has created to insert a self-promotional message about themselves. Or worse, they may be spreading malware that contains a virus or scrapes personal information. Don’t click. Delete.
  5. BRAGGING VS ENGAGING: When a message begins with a boast about a product, company or themselves, run for the hills. An expression of thoughtfulness is much different. If the message is sincere and the offer has value, it’s Social Selling vs Social Spamming.
  6. STARTING A 2nd COMMUNICATION WITH “DID YOU GET MY 1st COMMUNICATION”? A drip campaign is a method used in direct marketing to acquire customers through lead nurture programs. It involves sending marketing information to prospects repeatedly over longer periods of time in order to nurture prospects or leads through the marketing funnel. A 2nd message that asks if you got the 1st message isn’t even a drip, it’s spam.
  7. ASKING IF YOU HAVE “JUST 10 MINUTES”: Some Social Spammers think just cutting straight to the call will bring results. How many of you have gotten an email where the subject line ask for “Just 10 minutes” or “Time for a call today?” My hope is the kind of people who reply “yes” and have this conversation are as obnoxious as the senders.
  8. UNSUBSCRIBE VS NO ABILITY TO UNSUBSCRIBE: Even if someone has opted in or purchased in the past, you must have a way to unsubscribe when sending commercial email. Many email marketing platforms require and enforce an unsubscribe link for all messages. That’s Social Selling. But it’s spam if the message is emailed from a personal email account like Google Apps, Outlook or from their company’s mail server and you don’t give people the ability to unsubscribe. It’s also a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act, established by the Federal Trade Commission.
  9. ENDING WITH CALENDAR LINK Some Social Spammers are brash enough, after their obnoxious sale pitch, to put a link to their calendar to schedule a call at the end of their message. Maybe they think it only takes one to make this tactic worthwhile. But I wonder if they get none.
  10. TELLING SOMEONE YOU WON’T BOTHER THEM AGAIN: The type of Social Spammer who keep sending messages that don’t receive a response, eventually are reduced to try and evoke an action by saying something like “if you are not interested, let me know and I won’t bother you again.” I, of course, don’t respond. I just think “good riddance.”

Do these examples help you see the difference between Social Selling vs Social Spamming? And  they best and worst practices to you? Do you have any more to add?

7 lessons learned from 9 years since starting a business 0

Posted on November 20, 2017 by Rob Petersen

starting a business

Starting a business can be one of the best decisions a person makes in their life. But most go through what Seth Godin says is “the dip.” – a temporary set back that can be overcome with persistence if it’s worth pursuing. At least, this was the case for me.

Last week, LinkedIn congratulated me on my 9-year work anniversary of starting a business. According to The Telegraph, the average person spends 4.6 years at a job for company in the U.S. My milestone was 2X longer than the average person who work for a company.

To help anyone who is on or considering this journey, here are 7 lessons from 9 years since starting a business.

  1. IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Most experts say, when starting a business, to never quit your day job until your financially secure enough to go out on your own. Great advice. But not everyone has the luxury of the best of both worlds until the right time arrives. Many people start a business because they are on a road to nowhere where they work or get downsized and lose their job. Equally important to any successful venture is the belief in yourself and your ability to do something extraordinary. Unlike waiting for the right time to arrive, this is a moment to be seized or it passes.
  2. INVEST ONLY WHAT YOU HAVE TO: When starting a business, you spend money before you make it. Minimal or major. It involves costs and services ranging from a lawyer, registrations, subscriptions, insurance, staff, office space and travel. Your investment strategy when starting a business sets a philosophy about how you treat money. You will carry it with you and it will make a long-term difference in the company operations.
  3. BEING BY YOURSELF: For anyone starting a business, even if you have partners, you spend time by yourself. This is an adjustment for anyone. Because most of us can’t stand to be alone. A recent study in the journal, Science, shows people would rather give themselves electric shocks than be alone with their thoughts for just 15 minutes. But there is a difference between loneliness and being alone. And being along, or solitude, can be great for boosting creativity, learning self-reliance and carving a sense of self. It takes time to learn to be by yourself but, ultimately, it’s one of the great personal benefits from starting a business.
  4. LEARN FROM MISTAKES (WHICH YOU WILL MAKE): Even with a business plan, outside advice from people who started a business, online marketing and a clear vision (or so I thought), I made mistakes. And no shortage of them. In my case, my business is a services company. Our revenue is from recurring services with clients who we generally have a six-month or a year contract, renewable each year. But when starting a business, tt was not easy to convince someone, no matter how much I believed in what we did, they should sign a six month or a year contract with a fledgling company. So I offered an analysis of the business with recommendations at a nominal rates. I made lots of mistakes with the wrong types of people and businesses before the right ones surfaced.
  5. BE FAIR TO YOURSELF AND AFFORDABLE TO YOUR CLIENTS: From my mistakes, I learned pricing, positioning and the right business model. All of these elements were in my business plan, but it was only through trial and error that I was able to make it work. I also learned how to determine if trust was going to be in the relationship. This latter proved to be as important, if not more, than the former. These tangibles and intangible came down to being fair to yourself and affordable to your clients.
  6. RECOGNIZE DEFINING MOMENT: Certain events, people and collaborations have a big impact on business growth even if they don’t produce major financial rewards. An example, in my case, was being invited to join the MBA faculty of the Rutgers Business School Executive Education where I have taught for 7 years. From this experience, I found a new skill, revenue stream, friends and colleagues and referral generator. And it gave me a competitive edge from other company heads in businesses like mine. This probably never would have happened if I had not gone out on my own.
  7. REMEMBER WHY YOU BEGAN: Regardless of how successful your business is or isn’t, or how long it takes, it soon seems pointless if results don’t produce a better work and life balance. Celebrate successes when they happen. With yourself, your team, clients, friends and family that helped you get there. The goal of starting a business is to be personally as well as professionally enriched and achieve an independence that worth persevering for. This is something you should remind and reward yourself every once and a while.

Were these lessons helpful? I hope they give you direction if you’ve started or are considering starting a business.

15 persuasive findings on baby boomer social media use 0

Posted on November 13, 2017 by Rob Petersen

Baby boomer social media use

Baby Boomer social media use would seem to run a distant second to Millennials who seem constantly connected to social channels.

But, for a variety of reasons, Baby Boomers are the hugest opportunity of any generation. Trends show Baby Boomer social media use, even when compared to Millennials, is growing faster and is more likely to trigger buying behaviors.

Here are 15 persuasive findings on Baby Boomer social media use.

1, BABY BOOMERS ARE THE FASTEST GROWING SEGMENT: Young adults were among the earliest social media adopters and continue to use these sites at high levels, but usage by older adults has increased in recent years with 50+ growing fastest. (Pew Research Center)

baby boomer social media use

2. BABY BOOMERS SPEND MORE TIME ONLINE: They spend 27 hours per week online, 2 hours per week more than those between the ages of 16 and 34. (Colorado University)

3. VIRTUALLY ALL BABY BOOMERS USE SOCIAL MEDIA, MOSTLY FACEBOOK: 82.3% belong to at least once social networking site with Facebook being the most popular. (DMN3)

Baby Boomer Social Media Use - Social Networks

4. BABY BOOMER SOCIAL MEDIA USE RESULTS IN ACTIONS: This segment takes action based on what they see on social media, and most of the time it’s focused on finding more information. More than half of Leading-Edge Boomers visit a company website or continue the search on a search engine after seeing something on a social networking site. (DMN3)

Baby Boomer Social Media Use - Social Actions

5. BABY BOOMERS LOVE TO SHOP ONLINE: 72% of adults aged 55-to-64 shop online, and Boomers outspend younger adults online by 2-to-1 each year. (Forrester)

6. BABY BOOMERS FOLLOW BEFORE THEY BUY: Majority of Baby Boomers (55%) follow a brand before they buy from it and 51% say they are likely to buy from a brand they follow. (Sprout Social Index)

7. DEALS, OFFERS AND PROMOTIONS FIGURE INTO BABY BOOMER SOCIAL MEDIA USE: 60% of baby boomers are looking for promotions on social media (Sprout Social Index)

8. BABY BOOMERS ARE QUIETER AND OBSERVE MORE THAN OTHERS: On a monthly basis, 32% of Gen Xers engage with a brand they follow. That percentage drops slightly to 30% for Millennials. When it comes to Baby Boomers, they’re mainly observers. Only 14% are regularly starting a dialogue or interaction with your brand. (Sprout Social Index)

9. BABY BOOMERS DON’T LIKE BEING OVER-MARKETED: Baby Boomers are most likely to unfollow if they find brands’ posts to be spammy. (Marketing Profs)

Baby Boomer Social Media Use - Spammy

10. BABY BOOMERS SHARE MORE OFTEN: Boomer women, in particular, are even more predisposed to sharing, with a 26% greater likelihood, well above the generational average of 19%. Compared to other generations, the types of content besides news that are most likely to get shares are food snapshots (10% more) and cute videos of babies and animals (18% more). (Nielsen)

11. VIDEO IS THE PREFERRED CONTENT FORM FOR BABY BOOMERS: 27% regularly watching video on Facebook. And as is common across the board, short-form video is the most preferred, with 70% wanting video under five minutes and over a third saying they want videos under three minutes. (Neilsen)

12. BABY BOOMER SOCIAL MEDIA USE MAKES THEM THE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT SECURITY THREATS: Baby Boomers are the age group that has the least confident that they were protected from a range of security threats. Boomers’ concern for privacy on social media is reflected in their being the most likely to respond “I only allow trusted people to see anything I post and employ a lot of privacy restrictions” when asked about their use of social media for personal reasons (32% to 37% for boomers, 19% to 28% for everyone else). (Forbes)

Baby Boomer Social Media Use - Security Threats

13. BABY BOOMERS USE LINKEDIN LATE IN THEIR CAREERS AS OFTEN AS ENTRY-LEVEL WORKERS: 13% of internet user 65+ use LinkedIn. This is nearly the same rate as the 18-29 age group. (Post Control Marketing)

14. BABY BOOMERS HAVE THE NUMBERS AND THE DOLLARS:  Adults 50+ represent 50% of the U.S. population but shis 50+ year-old population controls 70% of the United States disposable income, and will inherit $15 trillion over the next 20 years. In addition, Baby Boomers spend the most money across every product category out of any other generation, but are only targeted by 5-10% of marketers (AARP)

baby boomer social media use - aarp

15. BABY BOOMER LOVE THE INTERNET: Boomers were the least likely to respond that they use the internet infrequently. For example, 7% of older millennials (ages 25 to 34) and 9% of Gen X’ers aged 35 to 44 described themselves with the statement “I go online very infrequently (some weeks I may not go online at all)” as compared to 2% of those 55 and older. (Forbes)

Do these fact Baby Boomer social media use persuade you about the opportunity. Does your business need help in marketing to baby boomers?


  • About

    BarnRaisers builds brands with proven relationship principles and ROI. We are a full service digital marketing agency. Our expertise is strategy, search and data-driven results.

↑ Top