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Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories (download) | Rhea Freeman

5 easy ways to Instagram StoriesHello there – today it’s all about Instagram Stories (I know, I know, I’m addicted), but not just this – I have a freebie for you! Yes, I have launched a downloadable PDF freebie that talks you through the different styles/types/modes of Instagram Story AND five easy ways to use Instagram Stories.

Why have I created a freebie about Instagram Stories?

Because I love them. No, it’s more than that. Instagram Stories can be HUGE for building businesses and brands and, now, they have the added bonus of allowing you to link to Instagram TV. Even if you have less than 10k followers, you can ‘taste’ the joys of swipe up!

Instagram Stories are very, very different to the highly curated content we seen in the main feed. Because of the options available and how the Story is only there for 24 hours (unless you add it to Highlights), you CAN be a bit more spontaneous, fun and natural. It’s a great place to test new ideas and see the response. It’s a fab place to ask your audience questions using the poll feature. It’s a great place to ask opinions using the slider feature. You can also use it to promote your feed posts too (you can share from your feed easily). It’s great. But I just don’t think it gets the credit it deserves. The potential is HUGE.

So what’s the freebie about?

I know that many people feel a little afraid of Instagram Stories. It’s not edited. It’s raw and real. What happens if you made a fool of yourself? OK. Let’s stop. You CAN edit clips if you want (you can record using the Camera and then edit before uploading), it can be raw and real- but you can also apply filters and edit. And what if you make a fool of yourself? Delete it, don’t post it… or rest safe in the knowledge that in 24 hours, it’ll be gone.

I created the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram’ freebie to give people a little bit of a kick to explore and have a play with this fab free marketing tool. And I thought providing five ways that you could use Instagram Stories would be a good way to do this. But don’t feel that the freebie is trying to clip your wings – it is not. It’s a basic foundation for you to explore, play and create your own amazing Instagram Stories. These are just five easy ways to use Instagram Stories. There are soooo many more.

How to download the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories’ freebie

I’ve created this freebie for my email newsletter list subscribers, but I’ve also added a freebie page here that will allow you to download the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories’ freebie at any time you want to join my mailing list. My fabulous email subscribers receive these kind of guides and videos first, so if you want to improve your PR, marketing, social media and grow and develop your business, it’s a great list to be signed up to. If I do say so myself!

If you use any of the tips or ideas in the freebie, I would love it if you tagged me so I can see what you’re creating (I’m @rheafreemanpr on Instagram) – no obligation to do this, I’d just love to see.

So there you go – Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories – enjoy!

How to mute someone on Instagram (and why you might want to)

How to mute someone on InstagramIn May 2018, Instagram announced the introduction of the mute feature. In the last month, Instagram has announced some ginormous changes, granted, but this one, I think, is an important one. First, I’m going to tell you how to mute someone on Instagram, and then we’ll chat about why…

How to mute someone on Instagram

I believe there are two ways to do this: one from an image in your feed and one from their profile. Both seem to work in a similar way- tap the three dots, select ‘Mute’ and Bob’s your Uncle. It’ll give you the option to mute just the posts on the main feed or the posts AND story. And it really is just a few taps away. From the reading I have done, these people will be completely unaware on their new muted status too… so that’s a win,

The other thing is, it’s really, really easy to unmute. Just visit the profile, tap the three dots on the right next to their name and select unmute. You can unmute stories, posts or both. It’s really very easy.

Why would you want to mute someone on Instagram? Why wouldn’t you just unfollow?

This is a very, very fair question and I have been giving it a lot of thought.

Instagram has said that mute has been introduced to allow people to personalise their feed more, to see the content that they want. And before you think ‘well, I’ll just unfollow’, don’t forget that Facebook has offered the ‘unfollow’ option for a long old time now… and lots of people use it. Mute might be new to Instagram, but to social media it isn’t.

I think that, in today’s social media and digital world, unfollowing someone is like a virtual slap in the face and being told that they don’t want to be your friend anymore. It’s a bold statement. Realistically, it’s a click, but people take it really badly and it’s used as a gauge for someone’s like/dislike of you… sad but true…

So – a few reasons why you might want to mute someone on Instagram:

  • Maybe your friend is doing something seasonal you have no interest in and although you love them, you just don’t want to see all the images of something you have no interest in.
  • Maybe people are posting too much and it’s drowning out the content from friends and family members you really, really want to see.
  • Maybe you follow a large number of people because they’re clients or even potential clients and even though you like to keep in touch and see some of their pics, you don’t want to see all of their pics.
  • Maybe you like their Stories but not their posts. Or visa versa.
  • Maybe you’re trying to become less addicted to your phone and Instagram feed and want to give yourself less to be distracted by
  • Maybe you’re suffering with a horrible case of comparisonitis – you know it’s your issue but you need a bit of space away from everyone’s shiny Instagram feeds…

I kind of think I see muting someone as a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing. What your friend/the person you’re following is posting is not wrong, and you don’t like them any less as a person (you’d probably unfollow in both these cases), but you just don’t see their content in the same way as before. You’re still able to go and visit their profile and like/comment away whenever you like, so it’s not so much a ‘go away’, more a way to give yourself a little bit of mental space.

I know there are conflicting views on the mute feature – personally I can really see where it can add value. But I do also agree with the fact that you shouldn’t follow people just for the sake of following them… and then mute them. If you want to build genuine engagement on a genuine account, when a follow from you actually means something, use mute wisely. And if you don’t want to build this kind of account, I’m not so sure that social media is the place for you to hang out… because the ‘social’ part is really important!

Are you on Instagram? I’m @rheafreemanpr – come and share your views on ‘Mute’ over there…there’s a Tip Tuesday post all about it.

How to use polls on Instagram

how to use polls on instagramSo, quite a while ago, Instagram added a poll feature to Stories. Everyone went mad about it and there were polls about everything, everywhere. I reached my poll limit very quickly and made a small protest about using them. Because I didn’t want to be just someone else asking a question. Because I wanted to use any poll I created to actually influence a change, or relate to something relevant. And not a lot of people were doing that. But now the initial excitement about polls seems to have worn off, I’ve embraced them a little more. Here’s five ways to use polls on Instagram.

How to use polls on Instagram

First of all, let’s just remember that at the moment, polls can only be used on Instagram Stories. This isn’t a problem (in fact, I think having a pretty ugly looking poll on a main feed image would look wrong, but maybe I’m just a bit old fashioned?), but it’s something to be aware of. Like any other Instagram Story, a poll will exist for just 24 hours…

Here are five ways to use polls on Instagram…

  • Market research – can’t decide whether to stock a product or not? Want to make sure there’s a demand for something you’re planning to sell/offer? A poll is a great way to do this.
  • To show options. If you offer two colours in a product, or offer personalisation, or can wear something two ways, a poll can be fab. Create an image (if you don’t have fancy graphic design software, look at Canva) and then place your poll on the image (in the app). It’s a nice way to show what you have to offer.
  • Engagement. Oh yes. Stories tend to get good a good number of view in relation to the size on an Instagram following (especially if you use hashtags and geotags… but that’s a different blog!), but do these people merely look at your content and swipe on, or do they actually care? Asking someone’s opinion can make them feel important and enhance a connection, which is important.
  • Test an idea. Want to try something new on your blog or vlog? Then you can ask your following what they think or even what they’d like to see. Ok, you can only give them two options, but I recently did this and I found the results really interesting. For example, I asked whether people would like to see more brand information (which I see as people behind the brand, how it developed, etc) in contrast to product information. Of course, you can’t see the why with a poll (and it would require greater input by the person who’s been kind enough to get involved), but the information I gathered has given me food for thought and I will be using this feedback.
  • Share an opinion. This might be on something tame (I did one about the weather!) or it could be something a lot more daring. If you have a strong opinion you want to share, and you want to see if you’re alone in your thinking/find people singing from the same hymn sheet, a poll can do the job. However, if you’re planning to share a strong opinion, as with doing this anywhere, be aware that you might have push back.

So, there are five easy ways to use polls on Instagram. However, I would still urge people not to overuse polls as, like anything, they can become a little boring. However, when used well, they can be a positive addition to an Instagram Story, for that day at least.

If you want to join other small businesses and chat about all things social media, marketing, PR, sales and a lot more, make sure you check out my free Small & Supercharged business group on Facebook… if you liked this article, I think you’ll love it!

Should you try Vero?

Should you try VeroAnother day, another social media platform has come into our lives (and, potentially, stolen a teeny bit more of our time). What was your first thought? ‘Not again’ or ‘Ohhh… sounds interesting!’. If you’re the latter, you will have probably decided to sign up, but if you’re sure, I hope to answer the question – should you try Vero?

Why is Vero different?

I’m not going to lie and say I’m an expert on Vero. I signed up a few days ago and have done a fair amount of reading and video watching since then. So I’m going to tell you how I see it.

The main idea behind Vero seems to be to promote real, genuine and true content… and the main part of this being that the content isn’t filtered or impacted by an algorithm. The algorithm of any social media platform is what ‘decides’ what content you as the user will see, based on various factors. The algorithm restricting reach on posts has been the source of a lot of people’s annoyance… and I can completely see why. You pour your heart and soul into a post, or spend hours on the perfect pic… and then next to no one sees it. And it’s gutting. And the algorithm gets the blame. And it is to blame… but it doesn’t have an easy job. Generally, the aim of an algorithm is to rank posts in order of importance or relevance rather than time, to allow you to see the most relevant and engaging content. It doesn’t always work like that, granted, but that’s the idea. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. It’s not just relevance that influences the algorithm and what you can see… but I digress.

One of the key things that makes Vero different is that there is no algorithm reordering your posts. And the business model means that there are no ads either. Two things that users of social media have become increasingly frustrated by on other platforms.

How does Vero make its money?

Subscriptions. That’s how Vero plans to make its money. As of yet, I can’t find how much the subscription will be and I can’t see it online. The first one million sign ups will not have to pay for their subscription, for life, according to Vero’s Manifesto.

First impressions of Vero?

At time of writing, I haven’t been on the platform a lot… and that’s mainly because the server keeps timing out. At the moment, it is a bit glitchy in my experience BUT let’s not forget its age. We’re used to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter – platforms that have been around for a long time are now fully fledged adults in this social media life. Vero has recently got a lot of attention on social media and online, and based on the Twitter feed, this sudden influx has caused them some issues. It’s good they have been open and communicative about the issues and it does look like (again, according to Twitter!) that these are being resolved. There will be teething problems, there always are, with any new thing.

I also have found it a bit overwhelming. I think that while we like to moan about the algorithm, it has actually removed a LOT from our feeds. When you look at Vero, you’re greeted by everything that has been posted from people you follow or have connected with. And that can be a lot… even in the early stages. I think it’ll make me very careful about who I follow as I just won’t be able to process everyone’s posts. And that will mean that the things that are the most relevant to me will get lost. And then I start thinking that the various algorithms have, perhaps, done me a favour? Maybe?

What about the founders?

I have to address this issue. I’ve read about one of the founders and the issues that he has had with another business (and I appreciate that ‘issues’ doesn’t do the problems justice in many ways!). This doesn’t make me 100% comfortable BUT I am also aware that stories can be spun. I’m not saying the information isn’t accurate, but what I am saying is that I personally haven’t done enough research to discount a platform that some seriously big influencers are supporting. I also think that the press can twist things to suit. And that these stories have only started to surface since Vero became popular. I’m reserving judgement. And I haven’t dug deep into the other social media platforms, their founders and all previous businesses/current business dealings either. That’s not belittling the issue and I wouldn’t want you to think that at all. It’s just my honest view on it. As I read more and learn more, I might decide that everything reported seems to be accurate and it’s not something I want to support… I’m not pig headed enough to never change my mind when evidence supports that change.

Should you try Vero?

Should you try Vero? It’s completely up to you. And if you want to, do your own research, read all the Ts and Cs and then decide. I have – here’s why. We all know that early adopters to any platform have the greatest chance of success on it, so that’s that box ticked. The idea is interesting too.

Now, you might be thinking ‘but what if it doesn’t last or changes?’… and my answer would be ‘and?’. See, for the first million sign ups, it’s free, so you haven’t lost any money. You will lose some time if it doesn’t work out, but I see it as research and learning… and really the amount of time involved to learn about this new platform is minimal… and can be controlled by YOU. If you want to get on it and spend five mins messing around, good for you. You don’t have to commit to the next three weeks solidly. The choice is yours – as it is with all social media. And if you hate it for whatever reason, you can delete your account.

And if it does become the next big thing, then you’ll be an early adopter and that’s a great position to be in.

What do other people think about Vero?

A lot of people seem very excited about it on other social media platforms, but I first heard about it through Sara Tasker of Me and Orla fame. Sara is an Instagram legend and produces a superb podcast called Hashtag Authentic that I would recommend anyone in a creative industry listens to. I asked Sara what she thought about it and why she got involved. She said: “I like the premise of algorithm free – I genuinely miss that on all my social media. Plus it’s the first platform in ages that enough people have adopted to make it worth being on!”

And if that’s not enough of a nudge to give it a spin, I’m not sure what is. I’m just keeping everything crossed that it starts working a little more reliably for me…

Ego vs. engagement on social media | Rhea Freeman

ego vs. engagement on social mediaEngagement on social media is a funny thing… and one that our ego can fight against. On Instagram, so many of us get pangs of delight when we see the likes flood in when we post. And a like or even love on Facebook is magic, isn’t? Now, I’m not denying that all the above are nice, but engagement actually matters more. Our ego might not agree, but it’s wrong on this one.

Ego vs. engagement on social media

Egos tend to like numbers. More followers, more likes, more loves, etc. Now, I’m not going to say that this is wrong as such, but it has to work hand in hand with engagement to be useful.

On Instagram, for example, you can follow a load of people, especially those using certain hashtags, and you’ll get a load of followers in return. Great, hey? Or is it. Because these kind of followers aren’t actually that ‘useful’. And I mean ‘useful’ in the best possible way. I mean ‘useful’ in terms of forming any kind of connection with you or your business or having any interest at all in your business and you. When I follow an account, I do it because I have an interest in the person and the content they are creating. To me, that makes me a useful follower. I’m likely to like the odd post… I might even be compelled to leave a comment or two on posts. To me, that cements my usefulness. That didn’t come from merely following the page though. It came from caring about the content and engaging with the content.

See, ego wants the followers. Left to its own devices it would seek out the #followforfollow hashtag and follow these accounts like crazy. Ego would have us put out our best content with this hashtag too, to attract likes… but largely from people who don’t really care. Not their fault. They’re just not ‘our people’. And that’s where ego is wrong. Ego might also want to buy followers to achieve its objective… but we know buying followers is a bad idea.

It’s all about engagement

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I don’t watch the number of likes a post gets and it doesn’t concern me. It does. But there’s a lot more to it. See, some of the best posts I’ve had for my business, for DMs, for people actually reaching out and connecting to me, haven’t necessarily had the most likes. Pretty pictures and quotes tend to do well on Instagram, and I love both of these a lot, but when I share something relatable, the engagement goes up. This isn’t me being calculated, it’s just fact.

Earlier this week, I shared a selfie. I don’t hide the fact that I hate selfies… I’m always squinting/looking the wrong way/looking tired/crazy hair/sheep wrinkle… so much I don’t like. I have no real issues with video, but a still image doesn’t sit well with me. But this year, I’ve decided to blummin well get over myself… because it’s important to me to practise what I preach. I encourage my clients to get out there and own their brand all the time, yet I hide away from things that make me feel uncomfortable and stop me really owing my brand? Nope – I can’t do that. So I’m challenging myself to put my imperfect face out there more. And I have to say that the reaction has been so lovely that I’m feeling a bit stupid for building it up in my head… but that’s another story. Now, what’s interesting about the selfie sharing is that I am far from alone in this. So many people have commented on the selfie post saying that they feel the same. Getting that engagement was important to me. It made me feel a whole lot better on one level, but you know what else? I had a DM from someone who had been worried about using Instagram Stories and showing her face. My post gave her a nudge and made her realise she wasn’t alone. And she posted an Insta Story… and it was flipping brilliant! THAT’S what matters.

Engagement on social media

So many people have moments when they forget the social element of social media. Yes, we want our content to be liked, maybe even loved, but the whole point of these incredible platforms is ENGAGEMENT. It’s making those real connections with people. It’s sharing a joke, giving someone confidence, getting a little support, sharing a win or a crushing blow. And having someone who cares, because they know you through you content, connect. The same applies to business. Engage with your customers and prospective customers. People buy from people. Show them you care, help them with their issues, respond to their comments and engage with them. Engagement on social media is king. The rest is ego. And while we can all give our ego a little free rein from time to time, we shouldn’t do so at the expense of engagement… it negates the whole point of the platforms we spend so long cultivating. Don’t you think?

Five ways to use social media to grow your equestrian business

5 ways to use social media to grow your equestrian businessDo you want to grow your equestrian business? Do you have a limited budget? Fear not, there’s never been a better time to market your business to your target customer with a limited budget. There are LOTS of ways to promote your equestrian business to your target customers, and you’ll find lots of hints and tips in this blog. I have dealt with (and spent) really sizeable sums of money on behalf of clients, and although I am not against advertising (this should be followed by a star and list of exceptions!), I also appreciate the value of money. If you’re spending any money on advertising in the conventional sense, you need to make sure you are getting maximum bang for your buck… but that’s a whole different blog. This time, we are looking at how to use social media to grow your equestrian business. Actually, we’re looking at five ways to use social media to grow your equestrian business. Are you ready? Then let’s get going…

Five ways to use social media to grow your equestrian business

  1. Use it. Obvious? Of course it is, but I mean really use it. If you want to use social media to grow your equestrian business you need to really grasp this point. Go beyond just getting accounts on all the platforms you can and actually learn how to use them, one at a time if need be. Find the sweet spot in terms of how often you need to post, what kind of content engages your audience more than any other, and get to know them. Getting to know your audience on social media is something that is massively underestimated. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, how can you create content that they’re going to like? Consistency also falls into this bracket too. Although getting to know your audience is key, acting on this information is essential. Posting regularly (and I mean at least once a day kind of regularly, not once a month regularly!) can really change the game.
  2. Strong images. With social media being so visual nowadays, using strong images is a must. If you’re looking to use social media to grow your equestrian business, you need to invest in strong pics. Even if you’re not a photographer. Although when we think of photograph led social media platforms, we might thing of Instagram, posts with good images do better everywhere. It’s just a fact. You don’t have to invest in getting images done by a profession if you don’t want to, but I would urge you to put some time and energy into learning how to take better pics yourself.
  3. It’s not all about you. A key way to use social media to grow your equestrian business? Remember who it’s all about. Your customer. Yes, the content you’re creating will be to promote some element of what you do, but that’s not where it ends. If you’re a photographer, you will be looking to show your photography expertise alongside your images and what you can do for people. This combination of content will help to inform, educate and inspire… and isn’t that what all of us want to do for all our customers?
  4. Create value. Yes. Give your clients and potential clients stuff for free that they can actually use. So, for me, although I coach people on social media and how to leverage it, I put a LOT of energy into creating content. Why? Doesn’t it hurt my business? Nope. First of all, it helps people to see that I really do know my stuff. Secondly, it actually give potential clients something to try and test that will help their businesses. Thirdly, not everyone is my client, by which I mean you might be at the start of your journey with next to no budget. Does this mean that I shouldn’t help you? No. You might not be able to afford a one to one coaching session, but you might learn something from the content I put out. You might tell a friend. You might join my Small & Supercharged Facebook group (it’s free). Your business might grow/we might work together… or you might just read this and carry on with your life. That’s fine too. Content can work in weird ways, and the more I create and learn, the more surprising it is. Never underestimate the value of creating value on social media.
  5. Use video. Yep – we all knew that video would have to be one of my five points. Video is huge on social media and is set to continue to grow. It allows people to connect with you as a person. It allows your personality to shine. It allows your knowledge to come out too. And it’s SO easy to do now. If you have smart phone, you can Live Stream straight onto your preferred social media platform, just like that. If you want to create a video for Youtube, let’s say, you can record, edit and upload from your trusty smart phone too. You have everything you need in the palm of your hand. Honest. Give it a go. If you want to use social media to grow your equestrian business and you’re not using video, you’re doing yourself and your brand a disservice.

Of course, there are more than five ways to use social media to grow your equestrian business, but here are five ways that you can implement today, without spending a penny. And they’ll work. I have used these methods time and again with clients and I promise you that if you are consistent with all of the above, you’ll reap rewards.

Why buying followers is a bad idea

why buying followers is a bad ideaA few weeks ago, a lady called me to ask for help with her social media. She was finding it hard to grow a following and wanted advice. We chatted and then the dreaded question came. You know the one, don’t you? ‘What about buying followers, is that a good idea?’. I get asked this a lot and my answer is always the same. Always. And here I’ll explain why buying followers is a bad idea.

Why buying followers is a bad idea

Having lots of followers on any platform is nice. It’s nice for our egos, let’s be honest. We don’t know each and every person that follows us (I mean, you might do, but I don’t), but the numbers keep increasing and that makes us happy. So could we shortcut this process by throwing a bit of money at the issue and buying a load of followers? Well yes, in theory we could, but it would completely defeat the whole object of growing a following for me. And if you’re using social media properly, it would kill it for you too…

But buying followers gets more followers… isn’t that what it’s all about?

Nope. Getting more ENGAGED followers is very much what it’s all about. Getting more followers who don’t care about you, your product, your service, your industry and will never ever be a customer or interested in your content? Nope. That’s just feeding your ego. And I don’t mean to be boring here, but I don’t have a huge amount of time for that.

See, I do work hard on my following on all platforms. Could I grow my following more quickly? Absolutely. If that was the sole objective, my followings would be much higher because there are lots of ways to do this. But I don’t want to do this. I want to grow my following on all my platforms, but I want to grow them with genuine followers.

Why do genuine followers matter?

I put a LOT of time into creating content online for my social media platforms. One of the aims of my social media activity is to increase my visibility to people who are a) interested in me and my services or b) interested in my PR and coaching clients (because I share a lot of pics and content from them too) c) interesting or inspirational to me. If I want to achieve any of the objectives above, I need to make sure what I am putting out into the world appeals to these people and gets seen by them. One way to do this is through social media. And that’s why the genuine follower thing is key. As you probably know by now, I’m very into anything country and equestrian. So if I have thousands of followers who are into, I don’t know, baseball, we are probably going to have a disconnect. And although they’re following me, they’re never going to show a real interest in what I’m doing, be interested in me or my clients, will never read a blog or mine (I mean, why would they)… you see what I mean. So the numbers look good BUT the engagement rates would be horrible. And any conversion would be a flipping miracle.

If you buy followers, the chance of you getting followers who have any interest in your business at all is slim. Your ego will like it (well, depending on how your ego works, mine would also feel a bit embarrassed, but that’s just me!), but your following won’t do any more than that. Follow. Withoit any true connection.

Most of us use social media as a way to help promote our businesses. And if the following you have gathered, the audience you are promoting to, couldn’t care less, is there really any point in creating the content and putting in the effort?

Why I love… Twitter

Why I love TwitterYes, today it’s a big one – why I love Twitter… and why you might love it too… even if this love for Twitter has eluded you before!

What’s Twitter? And why should you care?

Well, I am sure you know what it is, but just to recap, it’s a micro-blogging social media platform. There are a few things that make Twitter different. The first is the length of the posts or updates. They’re limited. And limited to 280 characters (although it used to be 140). You might think you can’t say anything in that many characters, but you’d be surprised. It teaches you to be concise. Anyway, there are other differences too. The Twitter algorithm is different to Facebook, although it isn’t quite what it used to be. Historically, your timeline was a very very fast moving feed that was more chronological than anything else. This was great in some ways, but there was the possibility of missing tweets from your favourite people, and that’s what the Twitter algorithm aims to avoid. This shouldn’t happen as much now. Which has got to be good. Well, I think it is. Personally, I have noticed the changes on Twitter, but I haven’t felt it’s hindered my user experience. But maybe that’s just me?

I should say that, quite off piste, that I do have a bit of a thing about when social media networks announce changes in the algorithm. You know everyone goes into a panic, creates really naff blog posts and content about how Facebook is screwing us over, or Instagram has turned into the devil? Yeah. I like to wait and see. And even then I know it’s a borrowed platform, by which I mean I don’t own it. So I can’t control it. I just need to work with what I have. But that’s a whole different blog…

Why do I like Twitter?

I like Twitter. Yep. I said it. I recently asked my followers on Facebook and Instagram whether they preferred Twitter or Facebook. And Facebook won hands down. But the people who came forward and said they preferred Twitter did really love it. I like it because I enjoy the chatter and the fast moving pace, and I really like the conversation. Unlike Facebook, I think Twitter is ALL about the chat. The tooing and froing. The chatter. With Facebook you make a statement and then address comments (in general), but with Twitter, you can say something and that can lead to more of a chat. I also like the hashtag function. You want to see what’s going on in the Great British Bake Off (I know it’s finished!), you type in the hashtag and you can see and join in the conversation. In some ways it’s higher maintenance than Facebook or Instagram, but it’s a lot more interactive and a lot more friendly. I also think that, as I’ve been on Twitter for so long, I kind of love it. Like a jumper I’ve had forever.

From a business point of view, I have made really good connections through it, responded to the #journorequest hashtag and been featured on various websites, and I have also got clients and work through Twitter. But these things don’t happen overnight. they take time.

Why should you like Twitter?

To be honest, you don’t have to, and that’s fine. At this stage, Snapchat isn’t my favourite platform. And that doesn’t bother me, it’s just the truth. I’m not saying it’s a bad platform but it’s not my favourite. I understand it and I’m on it, but others have a bigger space in my social media heart. You might feel the same way about Twitter. And that’s fine. However, if you fancy giving it a go, then you might just love it. Here are a few tips…

  • Get yourself an account – it’s free
  • If you have a business, do your best to make sure your Twitter name is the same (or as close to the same) as your other social media profiles
  • Follow some people you’re interested in. These might be celebs, websites, magazines, friends, etc. And it’ll help you find some people you might like to follow too.
  • Get involved. Respond to people’s comments, put your own tweets out there, share some pics.
  • Give it time. If you’re serious about Twitter, give it time. It gets more interesting as your following grows, you get the hang of it, and the more really interesting people you follow.
  • Search by hashtags. This will help you find content that might be of interest to you. #horsebloggers is a great one for equestrians, as is #247equestrian, but events and shows also have their own hashtags you can follow and participate in.

And, if you’d like to get more involved and are looking to follow some people, then you can find my Twitter profile here. 

 

Why I still love Youtube

Why I still love YoutubeIf you’re part of my Small & Supercharged or Small & Supercharged VIP group, or if you’ve just seen my Tip Tuesdays on Facebook and Instagram, you might have picked up on my ‘thing’ for posting video natively. But if I’m nuts on native content, does that mean I’ve fallen out of love with Youtube? Nope. Not even a bit. YouTube still has a very prominent place in my social media heart.

Why YouTube -surely Facebook wins?

Saying Facebook is better than YouTube (or visa versa), in my mind, is like saying Spiderman is better than Batman. They’re both good. They’re both really good. But they’re both quite different and you want both to have your back, don’t you?

I make a vlog a week for YouTube and create content for it – have a look at my channel here (and if you’d like to give me a little subscribe, I would love that too). The content I create for my channel often gets shared on Twitter and Instagram, and on Facebook too, but I know if I want to get maximum eyeballs on my video (in contrast to drive traffic to YouTube), I need to upload natively to Facebook too. I did produce a lot of content this way and will start on a new content plan for this. Uploading natively to Facebook gives you more options and it just works better TO THE FACEBOOK AUDIENCE. But uploading just onto Facebook and ignoring Youtube isn’t a great plan.

Why bother with YouTube? Everyone is on Facebook!

Well, yes and no. The platforms are very, very different. So, Facebook has over 1.9 billion users per month. That’s phenomenal. BUT over a billion people use YouTube, and it’s the second largest search engine in the world with some other amazing facts around it too. People use both platforms for different things. If you’re looking to ask a specific question – maybe how to do something, or you’re looking to research something, I bet you’d go for YouTube over Facebook? Yes? So why wouldn’t you put your content over on YouTube, so it’s there when people are looking for it? Yes, posting natively to Facebook is good. But so is posting to YouTube. And that’s why I still love it.

 

Two fabulous Instagram takeovers

Harriet Edwards and Sophie CallahanIf you follow me on social media (and, if you don’t, I’m on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook here), you may have noticed that last weekend, when The Game Fair was on, I promoted two Instagram takeovers, and I wanted to explain a bit about these and how they work. Firstly, because Harriet Edwards (aka A Girl About Country) did an amazing job for Mackenzie & George, and secondly because Sophie Callahan (of Sophie Callahan Photography) did an amazing job for Hiho Silver. Despite really dodgy Wifi…

What’s an Instagram takeover?

An Instagram takeover is, usually, where a brand ambassador takes over a company’s Instagram feed for the day. More recently, the Instagram Story is where most of the takeover content happens, with perhaps a scattering of posts appearing the main Instagram feed.

Why are Instagram takeovers good?

A few reasons… and reasons that I will go into in a whole heap more detail on in the future. However, Instagram takeovers can be…

  • A great way to utilise your brand ambassadors
  • A nice way to promote brand ambassadors, so they get exposure to the company’s following, to help grow their own
  • A superb way to generate new, exclusive content taken by a different person in a different way
  • A fun way to explore events when most of the company’s team is stand bound or not at the event at all!
  • …and more…

So what did Hiho and Mackenzie & George do?

Mackenzie & George’s Instagram takeover involved the lovely Harriet Edwards, Now, Harriet is a brand ambassador for M&G (as well as Hiho and others) and has a really good, engaged following on Instagram. Harriet set off with a plan for the kind of content she wanted to capture on her Instagram takeover and, despite having Wifi nightmares, absolutely nailed it. She interviewed Melanie, joint owner and founder of Mackenzie & George about The Game Fair and her favourite pieces, and also spoke to members of the team too. In addition, we got to see the machine that personalises the company’s lovely leather products in action… and I love that kind of thing! The company extended this further by giving Harriet cards with discounts on and when people found her around the event and asked her, she gave them a card. She also gave Sophie Callahan who was taking over Hiho’s Instagram, a shout out… and that made me smile a lot.

Sophie did a great job for Hiho, taking pics from around the showground, despite the dodgy Wifi signal! She captured the stand, gundogs in action and also met up with Harriet on the Hiho stand (and posted a lovely picture to Instagram that I have borrowed for this blog!). Sophie also gave Harriet a shout out, which was really lovely.

Why did it work?

Both ladies really understand the brands that they’re representing and, more to the point, understand how to represent themselves too. They’re professional but fun and also understand the brand values of the companies that they’re working with… so much so that the companies involved are happy to give them free rein on the content. Because they trust them, because they have put the time in to building the relationship. And when you see a takeover like this, it makes good ambassadors worth their weight in gold. On to the next one!