Paid vs. Organic Social Media: How to Integrate Both into Your Strategy

Weighing the options between paid vs social media? We’ll save you some legwork: you’re probably going to want to do a bit of both.

Paid and organic social are different beasts best harnessed for different goals. But for a holistic approach that balances awareness with conversion, it pays to know the pros and cons of each.

If you’re new to paid social, 2021 is an interesting time to get started. Confinement during the pandemic had people using social media more all over the world, greatly increasing the number of people advertisers could reach.

And while ad spending initially slowed at the beginning of 2020, it has rebounded to new heights in 2021 — this despite Apple’s famous iOS 14.5 update, which resulted in substantial targeting limitations for Facebook and Instagram users on iOS devices.

On the other hand, algorithm updates have made organic social media highly competitive. And many businesses are finding that spending at least a portion of their social media budget on advertising is no longer optional.

So where does that leave your brand’s social media marketing strategy? Well, it depends on your overarching goals. Read on to learn more.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

What is organic social media?

Organic social media refers to the free content (posts, photos, video, memes, Stories, etc.) that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds.

As a brand, when you post organically to your account, you can expect that the people who will see it are:

  • A percentage of your followers (a.k.a. your ‘organic reach’)
  • Your followers’ followers (if people choose to share your post)
  • People following any hashtags you use

It sounds pretty simple, but the reason that organic social media is the foundation of every digital marketing strategy today is because it’s the best way to nurture a connection with your customers at scale.

For example, brands use organic social to:

  • establish their personality and voice
  • build relationships by sharing informative, entertaining, and/or inspiring content
  • engage customers at every stage of their buying journey
  • support their customers with customer service

Here are a few examples of typical organic content from businesses:

This hairstylist keeps his clients inspired and informed with a steady stream of portfolio shots that simultaneously give prospective clients insight into his aesthetic, while also reminding current clients how desperately they need him.

This ecommerce furniture shop often shares user-generated content about their products out in the wild. This couch just happens to be in an influencer’s home, no big deal.

Pro Tip: Though the two are not mutually exclusive, paid social generally does not include influencer marketing, which is typically arranged directly. Read our full guide to influencer marketing here.

Here’s a flowy dress company posting content with no flowy dresses in sight. (The mood still screams flowy dresses.)

organic Tweet by MoonPie

Source: MoonPie

This snack cake brand likes to Tweet warm-hearted jokes as if it were a person, not a snack cake, which draws attention and interaction from other official brand accounts, which generally pleases everyone.

But of course there is a downside to organic social. The reality is, because all the major platforms use ranking algorithms, only a small percentage of your followers will see your organic posts.

For instance, the average organic reach for a Facebook post is about 5.5% of your follower count. For big brands with large followings, it’s often even less.

Declining organic reach has been a fact of life for a few years now, as the world’s biggest platforms reach saturation, attention spans shorten, and platform CEOs prioritize “meaningful” or “responsible” user experiences. In other words: it’s harder than ever to get your brand’s content seen by your own audience, let alone new eyes.

This is where paid social media comes in.

What is paid social media?

Paid social media is another word for advertising. It’s when brands pay money to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. in order to have their content shared with specific new audiences who are likely to be interested, either through “boosting” their organic content, or designing unique advertisements.

Paid social is experiencing a rebound after the uncertainty of 2020, according to eMarketer. Users have not only increased the time they spend on social media, but they are also now, more than ever, accustomed to online shopping via ecommerce or social media stores. This makes ads seem like a more natural part of the social media experience, especially when they are designed with care.

Chart: US Social Network Ad Spending Projections 2018-2022

But B2C retailers aren’t the only industry focusing on social advertising. More so than organic content, paid posts are the best way for brands to target new audiences on social media, and convert them to customers. Businesses and organizations use paid social to:

  • raise brand awareness and attract new followers
  • promote their newest deal, content, event, etc.
  • generate leads
  • drive conversions (including e-commerce sales)

Here are some recent examples we’ve noted.

contentful Facebook ad

Source: Contentful

Cloud-based CMS company Contentful used Facebook leads ads (ads specifically designed to, you got it, drive leads) paired with a cute illustration and direct, simple copy to get prospects to download their Digital Playbook.

London review of books paid ad

Source: @londonreviewofbooks

A traditional approach is to target users who have already proven their interest in your niche. The London Review of Books, for instance, uses a tried-and-true formula: target people who follow similar accounts (in this case, FSG Books, Artforum, the Paris Review, etc.), offer them a substantial discount, and direct them to a frictionless landing page using Instagram Shopping.

Zendesk LinkedIn ad

Source: Zendesk

One of the most common types of ads you’ll see on LinkedIn are Sponsored Content posts. Since they are most often organic posts that someone decided to boost, they blend right into your feed, so you often don’t even realize you’re looking at an ad.

This case study video by customer service Saas company Zendesk is being promoted to reach potential customers who don’t already follow them on LinkedIn. It is exactly the same type of content it typically shares on its LinkedIn page.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Get the free guide right now!

Paid vs organic social media

Organic and paid social strategies each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s summarize them.

Chart: Benefits of paid vs. organic social media

An organic social media strategy nurtures your relationship with your customers or audience. It helps you:

  • Establish and grow your brand’s presence where people are already spending their time
  • Support and retain existing customers
  • Convert new customers by showing them what you’re about

However, organic is often slower to reach business goals, and while it’s technically free, it takes a lot of time, experimentation and/or experience to get right.

Meanwhile, a paid social media strategy is how you connect with new customers or audience members. It helps you:

That said, it requires a budget, and its own form of expertise (those ads don’t monitor themselves).

In short, while organic activity is necessary for relationship-building, it’s also true that network ranking algorithms mean pay-to-play is a fact of life on social, now.

How to integrate a paid and organic social media strategy

The foundation of the majority of integrated social media strategies is using organic to serve and delight your existing customers, while attracting new eyes with paid ads.

Here we’ll outline the fine print on how to go about it.

1. Not all promotional posts need to be paid

First things first: only pay for ads when they can actually help you hit your KPIs and ultimately reach your business goals. Ads aren’t always the answer on social. (And even if they were, never forget the power of a well-crafted organic post that people want to share.)

For instance, when you’re announcing something new—whether it’s a partnership, a pivot, or a new iteration on your flagship product—your existing followers need to be informed. A creative, original, organic campaign will build buzz all on its own. Craft a compelling post, pin it to your profile or drop it in your Stories highlights if it’s big enough news.

For instance, Netflix launched the highly anticipated Princess Switch 3 as an organic post on Instagram.

All that said, if your organic activity isn’t getting the reach or impressions you’d hoped for, then it might be time to open the (corporate) wallet.

2. Boost your best organic content

Your top-performing posts aren’t just here to puff up your vanity metrics. Probably the easiest way to dip your toes into the pool of paid advertising is to identify content that has really resonated with your audience, and pay to show it to new eyes.

This is generally considered an entry-level tactic because it’s low-risk—you don’t need to come up with an ad, let alone an ad campaign. But most social media pros will tell you that when they notice they’ve got a hit on their hands, it’s time to consider supporting it with spend.

For instance, you could start by allocating a small budget to the top weekly or monthly post whenever you run your analytics report. Don’t just pay attention to likes, but also conversions, profile views, etc.

Pro Tip: With Hootsuite’s Boost tool you can customize triggers to automatically boost posts that are snowballing (for example, whenever your post gets shared 100 times.)

3. Optimize all your posts using A/B testing

We say it all the time, but in our experience split testing is a step that’s skipped way too often.

Before you allocate your entire social media budget to an ad, run versions of it by a smaller audience to see if it’s any good. Test your CTA, your copywriting, your visuals, and the ad’s placement, format, and even the audience targeting. You can also test it among different audience demographics (age, location, etc.) before you commit to a larger spend. The benefit here is twofold: a more memorable, enjoyable and successful ad for your audience is also a cheaper one for you.

Meanwhile, for organic posts, you can set up manual split tests and track results by using UTM parameters in your links. Our complete guide to A/B testing on social is over here.

4. Target your ads to people similar to your organic audience

The more you’ve grown your social presence organically, the more data you have about your ideal customer or audience. Where do they live? How old are they? What are they interested in? What problems are they facing in their lives? How are you helping them?

Capitalize on all this information as you build your ads. This is the place where all your hard work building quality relationships with your audience pays off.

For instance, most social platforms offer the ability to create lookalike audiences based off of your best customers, as you describe them. Perhaps these are your newsletter subscribers, or people who have engaged with your profile or content, or people who’ve bought a product in the last year. A lookalike audience will be composed of people with similar demographics and behaviors, but who haven’t been introduced to your brand yet.

5. Use retargeting ads to stay connected to your organic audience

Retargeting campaigns can be highly effective at a relatively low cost, because you’re reaching out to people who already know your business. Often, these are people who’ve come to your social or web presence organically. Maybe they visited your profile or website, or even abandoned a shopping cart.

The idea here is that they may just need a reminder to come back and convert, and the right ad can convince them.

6. Look at your data, and measure your results

Watching a campaign flop is equally painful whether it’s organic or paid, but if you pay attention to your social analytics tools, they’ll tell you where you need to make changes to get better results.

If you’re running paid and organic campaigns simultaneously, you’ll want to make sure you measure apples against apples, and oranges against oranges. To that end, Hootsuite Impact allows you to separate and visualize your data into paid vs organic so that your ROI is crystal-clear for both prongs of your strategy.

7. Automate as much as possible

The bottom line with combining paid and organic social is that it’s more: more money, more time, more know-how, more assets, and just more posting.

Whether you’re a team of twelve or a lone-wolf consultant, the key is to keep the busy-work to a minimum so you can focus on what’s important. To that end, automate as much of your everyday workflow as you can:

Use Hootsuite to easily integrate your paid and organic social marketing efforts. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, boost top performing content, create ads, measure performance, and much more. Try it for free today.

Get Started

The post Paid vs. Organic Social Media: How to Integrate Both into Your Strategy appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

The Best TikTok Hashtags to Use to Grow Your Views and Reach in 2021

Creating great TikTok content is one thing; getting people to actually look at it is another. But harness the power of TikTok hashtags to complement your editing techniques, and you’ll be set to conquer the TikTokosphere (a cool new phrase that is not taking off at the rate I want it to).

If you’re here reading this, you probably already are more than aware TikTok is the social media app that’s swept the world’s smartphone users off their feet. It’s been downloaded more than two billion times and is available in more than 200 countries. TikTok is jam-packed with content and users, which means that it takes some effort and intention to make your videos stand out from the crowd.

Here’s how to master the fine art of the TikTok hashtag to ensure your TikTok marketing strategy will make a splash in the thrashing white-water rapids of today’s hottest social network.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

What are TikTok hashtags?

A hashtag is a # symbol, followed by words, acronyms, phrases, numbers, or sometimes even emoji. (Think #halloween or #dancemom or #y2kstyle.)

Basically: hashtags are a way of categorizing content to make it easy for others to find — and for social media algorithms to understand.

TikTok users add hashtags to video captions to help label their content. Importantly, these tags are clickable: if you tap one hashtag, you’ll be taken to a search page with other content that also is labeled with that hashtag. All your #studywithme content in one place, finally.

Why use TikTok hashtags?

Hashtags are important to use on TikTok because they can extend your reach beyond your followers.

Hashtags can help the TikTok algorithm decide who would be most interested in seeing your content on their For You page (FYP).

They can also get your content discovered by people interested in a particular topic, who might be searching for a specific phrase or tag. For instance, if I want to watch some videos about dinosaurs (and who wouldn’t?), I can just search for videos tagged #dinosaur and then gorge on triceratops content for the rest of the night.

TikTok dinosaur hashtag

TikTok users can follow specific hashtags, so you can wind up in their feed even if they aren’t following your account directly.

One more reason to embrace the #hashtaglife? Hashtags can be a good way to build an online community. Encourage others to use a specific branded hashtag, or find and comment on other popular content that’s labeled with relevant hashtags to immerse yourself with the movers and shakers out there.

(Curious about how Instagram’s hashtags work? We’ve got you covered there, too.)

100 top trending TikTok hashtags in 2021

Consider this list a good starting point, but TikTok hashtag trends tend to rise quickly and change often, so keep your eye on the Discover page regularly to see what’s hot now.

  1. #fyp
  2. #foryoupage
  3. #tiktokchallenge
  4. #duet
  5. #trending
  6. #comedy
  7. #savagechallenge
  8. #tiktoktrend
  9. #levelup
  10. #featureme
  11. #tiktokfamous
  12. #repost
  13. #viralvideos
  14. #viralpost
  15. #video
  16. #foryou
  17. #slowmo
  18. #new
  19. #funnyvideos
  20. #likeforfollow
  21. #artist
  22. #fitness
  23. #justforfun
  24. #couplegoals
  25. #beautyblogger
  26. #music
  27. #recipe
  28. #DIY
  29. #funny
  30. #relationship
  31. #tiktokcringe
  32. #tiktokdance
  33. #dancer
  34. #dancelove
  35. #dancechallenge
  36. #5mincraft
  37. #workout
  38. #motivation
  39. #lifestyle
  40. #junebugchallenge
  41. #canttouchthis
  42. #fashion
  43. #ootd
  44. #inspirational
  45. #goal
  46. #quotes
  47. #behindthescenes
  48. #weirdpets
  49. #memes
  50. #savagechallenge
  51. #fliptheswitch
  52. #love
  53. #youhaveto
  54. #reallifeathome
  55. #tiktokmademebuyit
  56. #tiktokindia
  57. #like
  58. #featureme
  59. #dog
  60. #mexico
  61. #handwashchallenge
  62. #food
  63. #cat
  64. #swagstepchallenge
  65. #tiktokbrasil
  66. #family
  67. #football
  68. #foodie
  69. #usa
  70. #uk
  71. #travel
  72. #singing
  73. #beautiful
  74. #cooking
  75. #makeuptutorial
  76. #photography
  77. #lifehack
  78. #dadsoftiktok
  79. #momsoftiktok
  80. #mentalhealth
  81. #eyeslipface
  82. #skincare
  83. #lol
  84. #learnontiktok
  85. #happy
  86. #soccer
  87. #fypchallenge
  88. #basketball
  89. Halloween
  90. #tiktokfood
  91. #loveyou
  92. #animals
  93. #korea
  94. #howto
  95. #happyathome
  96. #prank
  97. #fun
  98. #art
  99. #colombia
  100. #girl

Some food for thought: the most popular TikTok hashtags will be getting the most attention… but you’re also going to have the most competition for that attention. (Everybody and their mom—literally—are getting on board the #arrestedtrend train!)

@jaimeeemilyy

Lock her up. 👮‍♀️#fyp #foryoupage #baby #momsoftiktok #arrestedtrend

♬ son original – FYP🖤

So, yes, it can be helpful to wedge yourself into a trending conversation, but a good rule of thumb is to balance out high-use hashtags (#FYP) with more niche ones (#tiktokwitches), so you’re hitting a nice blend of broad and specific audiences.

How to find the best hashtags for your TikTok videos

Of course, you can just go with your gut and use the most descriptive tags that pop to mind to label your TikTok masterpiece (#howtomakeapeanutbutterandbananasandwich). But a solid hashtag strategy involves a little less guessing and a little more studying.

Take a cue from the competition

We don’t want to play copycat here, but it’s important to peep the competition. Seeing which hashtags they’re using can offer some insight into what others in your industry might be doing and inspire you to try reaching audiences or using search phrases you might not have considered.

Cheerios, for instance, might want to know that Magic Spoon is getting some reason traction with the tags #cerealgourmet and #fallbaking.

@magicspooncereal

39 days until Halloween but who’s counting… 🎃👻 #fallbaking #cerealgourmet

♬ original sound – 🥖

Or, there’s the opposite benefit: checking in on your rivals can offer a roadmap for what not to do, or what hashtags to avoid so you’re not in a head-to-head competition for eyeballs.

Study your audience’s hashtag habits

What hashtags does your audience use already? Scoop some inspiration right from their videos to wedge yourself into the same conversation. Chances are, other people just like them are using or searching for the same words or phrases.

Members of the bookworm community on TikTok (a.k.a BookTok) regularly tag their fave reads with hashtags like #booktokFYP, #bookrecs, and #booktok, but you might also find specific tags related to series, events, or seasons… like #booktober in the fall.

@katie.books

As you can tell every book that has enemies to lovers is 10/10 to me! #booktok #bookish #booktoker #booktokfyp #popularbooks #acotar #bookrecs #fypシ

♬ friends – favsoundds

Tapping into these pre-existing TikTok communities is an opportunity to expand your reach, so spend some time combing through your top followers’ videos to collect some key hashtag inspiration.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

Get the full report now!

Got some time to dive deeper? Look into who else those followers are following, and what hashtags those accounts are using. You might learn something about your own fan culture or industry along the way.

Create a branded hashtag

While it’s important to use pre-existing hashtags, you also have the opportunity on TikTok to create a branded hashtag of your very own.

Cookware brand OurPlace uses #alwayspan in posts about its best-selling skillet. Click through, and you’ll find all the account’s pan-related TikTok videos in one place… plus content from fans who also want to, uh, fry up some conversation.

@ourplace

tag bestie #pov #alwayspan #ourplace #fyp #cooking #food #IKnowWhatYouDid #TreatiestCupContest #ForYouPizza #slippingthroughmyfingers #yum

♬ original sound – Our Place

A branded hashtag is just a hashtag that you invent to promote a campaign, product or your whole brand. This is something you can start adding to your TikTok videos. The dream, of course, is that fans and followers start organically using your hashtag and that you collect user-generated content in the process, but you can always try running a full-on contest to help popularize its use.

How to use hashtags on TikTok: 7 tips and tricks

Make the most of your new hashtag wisdom by studying these pro-level TikTok tagging skills and insights.

How many hashtags to use on TikTok

TikTok’s limit for captions is 100 characters, and you can squeeze as many hashtags in there as you’d like. There doesn’t seem to be any disadvantage to maxing out your hashtag count, so have at ‘er and squish as many as you can in there.

How to reach the most people with hashtags on TikTok

The secret sauce to maximizing your reach with hashtags is to mix popular hashtags with niche ones. As mentioned above, this spicy brew will help you reach both broad and narrow audiences.

Canadian sketch comedy show This Hour Has 22 Minutes is trying to maximize the reach of their videos with both the wide-reaching #canada hashtag, and one that zooms in on the topic of this sketch: #potatoes.

@thishourhas22minutes

when life gives you potatoes, make milk #sketchcomedy #canada #potatoes #22minutes

♬ original sound – thishourhas22minutes

On the one hand, with top TikTok hashtags, you’ll get more people searching for the term… but you’ll also be just one post among many. Niche hashtags might have fewer people searching for them, but you can bet the people who are looking for #sonicthehedgehogfanart are going to be thrilled to discover your content.

How to create a hashtag on TikTok

Want to make your own hashtag on TikTok? Just type your perfect combo of letters and numbers into your caption, post your video, and like magic, you’ve birthed a hashtag out into the world.

For best chances of other people hopping on board your cool new tag, try to create something with simple spelling that’s easy to remember and is self-explanatory. Something that incorporates the name of your brand or product is typically a good idea, like #liveinlevis.

@levis

@everettwilliams getting straight A’s from Felix University with this fit 💯 #felixthecat #liveinlevis #tiktokfashion

♬ THE YEAH SONG – Gregg Allen

How to create a hashtag challenge on TikTok

Encourage people to use your custom hashtag by promoting it with a challenge. In other words: give your followers a specific task to accomplish or ask them to show off something particular. That could be a dance move, a makeover sequence, a dare (someone please bring back coning), a product demo, whatever!

Get creative, and you could have the next #twotowelchallenge on your hands.

@vorostwins

It is possible!!! #fyp #twins #twotowelchallenge

♬ Iko Iko (My Bestie) (feat. Small Jam) – Justin Wellington

How to increase the number of TikTok hashtags

If you run out of characters in the caption, here’s a little trick: add even more hashtags in the comments.

The algorithm doesn’t prioritize these hashtags to the same level as those in the caption, but it is a way to boost your opportunity for discovery in search… so it certainly can’t hurt.

How to save hashtags for future use

Find yourself using the same hashtags over and over again? Save time by saving your faves in the notes app on your phone so you can simply copy and paste them into your caption for your next video.

If you’re sharing different types of content that each have their own set of use-specific hashtags, make a few different lists that cover all your bases: one list for your how-to videos, one for your behind-the-scenes content, and so on.

save hashtags for future use on notes app

Now that you’re brimming with#hashtagconfidence, go forth and tag fast, tag furious. Show that TikTok just what you’re made of! You’ll be lighting up the For You page and racking up TikTok followers in no time.

The post The Best TikTok Hashtags to Use to Grow Your Views and Reach in 2021 appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

How to Go Viral on TikTok: 9 Pro Tips

Going viral on TikTok isn’t just for dancing teens anymore. The platform has emerged as one of the most vibrant social media communities of today. It’s also one that makes going viral accessible in a way that few other social media networks do.

Anyone can blow up on TikTok, whether they have 2 followers or 200K. It’s not by accident. The app’s algorithm provides an equal opportunity to all users to go viral and build an audience over time. It’s the rare social media meritocracy.

Still, just because TikTok provides a level playing field for its users doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to push a video closer to virality.

Keep reading to find out how to set your TikToks up for viral success.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

How does content go viral on TikTok?

Like any social media algorithm, TikTok curates content for its users by recommending videos similar to the ones they’ve already engaged with.

The platform’s recommendation system looks at the videos users have watched, liked, shared, and commented on, and breaks down attributes like video content, text used in the video, and background music. It then goes on to serve them similar content from TikTok users they may not already follow. This goes down on the FYP (or For You page) feed.

Think of it as good old-fashioned channel surfing, only you have a different cable package every time you turn on the TV.

One thing the TikTok algorithm doesn’t factor in is a TikTok profile’s follower count or prior engagement numbers. You’re as likely to see a post with a few million views as you are a video from a brand new user.

Additionally, every single video on TikTok gets the opportunity to go viral through the For You page. When you post a video, the app surfaces it on a small curated group of users’ FYP. Depending on its performance there, it may then get boosted to a larger audience.

Not every video is going to land this way, but this function of the TikTok algorithm gives every upload the chance to make an impact.

How to go viral on TikTok: 9 tips

Despite being a generally democratic system, there are still ways to create content primed to go viral on TikTok. In fact, the best ways to make a post blow up on the app often simply involve engaging with the TikTok community in an authentic way.

1. Understand trends

It’s easy to see why TikTok first took off with a younger audience. It’s aggressively trend-driven, pushing memes and video formats into the spotlight. The next big thing may take over just a few days later, but every meme has its moment.

You don’t have to look far to find a trend to jump on. In fact, there’s probably one on your For You page as we speak.

Often TikTok trends function sort of like Mad Libs. There will be a piece of trending audio, a dance, a text-based format that users apply their own spin to. They can stick around for months, but often it’s more like days. They come and go quickly, but when they’re popular, they’re a great way to get your content in front of more users.

Because of the nature of the algorithm, the more users engage with a trend, the more the app promotes videos that play into it. As such, step one to going viral on TikTok? You guessed it: keep an eye on those trends. The more up to date you stay on day-to-day content trends on TikTok, the easier it will be to create relevant and timely content.

Sponge producer Scrub Daddy, for example, wouldn’t be able to go viral with their timely spin on the adorable bones/no bones day trend if they didn’t watch for new trends very. closely.

@scrubdaddyIt can’t always be a bones day… ##scrubdaddy ##smile ##cleantok ##americasfavoritesponge ##cleaningtiktok♬ CeeLo Green void _ C major – that redacted guy

2. Use humor

Comedy is a big part of any social media network, but it’s the primary currency of TikTok. From lifestyle vlogging to gym inspiration videos, humor unites them all.

Every TikTok community gives people an excuse to show off their sense of humor, even the more serious ones (see the example below from Turbotax). Your videos shouldn’t be any different.

@turbotaxThere are only a few days left — we are once again asking you to file your ##taxes and get that ##RefundGlowUp!♬ baby fufu – Official Sound Studio

Humor keeps users engaged and more likely to watch a video all the way through. If they find that you have a similar sense of humor to theirs, they might even keep up with your videos long-term.

You don’t have to be the next breakout SNL star to make people laugh on TikTok. As corny as it may sound, they’re going to respond best to you being yourself.

3. Hashtags are your friend

Hashtags are one of the TikTok algorithm’s ranking signals. This means that including hashtags in your video description makes it easy for the algorithm to put it in front of the audience that will respond to it.

Showing off a new makeup haul? Throw #makeup and #MUA in there. Creating content related to a trending show? Throw in a topical hashtag (like #SquidGame) to help TikTok recommend your videos to fans.

Hashtag page for #SquidGame on TikTok

Avoid only using generic hashtags like #FYP. Doing so means you won’t have to compete with the millions of other videos catering to the same hashtag.

As far as quantity goes, anywhere from three to five hashtags per post is usually more than enough to get the recommendation system on the right track. Using too many is likely to lead to the algorithm not knowing who to show your content to.

4. Keep it short

Yes, TikTok has a few different video length limits: 15 seconds, 60 seconds, and 3 minutes. Nothing is stopping you from taking up the full 180 seconds.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

Get the full report now!

Still, brevity is the soul of wit (Shakespeare said this, so you know it’s true). And when you look at the app TikTok most successfully emulates, it isn’t YouTube. It’s the beloved but defunct Vine, which capped video length at a whopping six seconds. That might not seem like much, but think about some of the best Vines of all time. Would any of them be better if they were longer? Probably not.

A short video doesn’t give the viewer enough time to lose interest. It does give them even more time to circle back and rewatch it when that autoplay feature kicks in. Short videos tend to garner higher viewership numbers and engagement for this reason.

There’s also a good chance that by keeping your video’s running time on the lower side, you’re not only savvily upping your viewership numbers. You’re also improving the creative quality of your content.

5. Encourage interaction

The difference between a video platform and a social network is interactivity.

TikTok isn’t just a place to post videos. It’s also a place to engage with a community over the content it creates. There’s a comment section for a reason, you know? Plus, with the Duet and Stitch features, it’s possible to collaborate on videos with complete strangers who live on the other side of the planet.

TikTok’s algorithm works in a way that rewards all forms of community interaction — so make sure your content encourages it. Ask users to sound off in the comments section. Provide a prompt from which people can Stitch or Duet a response video of their own. Make the sort of videos people feel compelled to share via other social media platforms like Instagram. It all makes the algorithm look upon your videos a bit more favorably.

@chezaidanstich this if your dare 😂 #fyp #stitchthis♬ original sound – Aidan Wachter

6. Pick a lane

There’s a lot going on these days on TikTok. It’s home to countless communities that build around everything from fitness to emo music. These communities support their own in a big way.

While you’re not obligated to stick to one subject, it helps to focus on one specific area of expertise or interest. The more your content appears in a specific community, the easier it is to build up a following. This can then lead to more views from a core audience and improve the video’s performance on the For You page.

7. Use TikTok’s tools

TikTok’s video editing tools don’t begin and end with your camera. The app is home to a massive archive of popular music and audio clips. Users have access to a fun lineup of video effects as well. You don’t need a film degree to make great videos on this app. The platform provides you with all the tools you need.

TikTok sounds discovery page

This pays off in two ways. For one thing, a unique and recognizable style of video production can help in building an audience. Additionally, using trending sounds and filters works in your favor. The algorithm will be more likely to show your videos to users who have already engaged with those original sounds and filters.

8. Be (tastefully) controversial

A great way to drive engagement on any platform? Say something that will make people so involved (or irritated, or amused) they won’t have a choice but to respond.

@chipotleThe world needed a part 3 (@a.i.nsley @harley.420 @emmymagers @dcook.04 @nataliegrillo @ginajablonski) #chipotle #boomers #funny #viral♬ original sound – Chipotle

We’re certainly not saying you need to cross hard lines. Courting controversy can be as simple as saying you didn’t like the latest Drake album or critically acclaimed superhero movie.

Hot takes are one of the driving forces behind social media today, and TikTok is no different in that respect. They can generate substantial engagement for your TikTok account — even if that engagement might get a little heated.

9. Walk away

TikTok wants your attention. If you stay off of it after posting a video, it’s going to try to get you to come back. It does that by trying to generate notifications, and the easiest way for it to do that is to put your video in front of more people. As much as you may want to watch your views count rise in real time, the best thing you can do after posting a video is close TikTok for a little while. You’ll be far more likely to come back to a flood of views, comments, and shares.

 

The post How to Go Viral on TikTok: 9 Pro Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

Everything Marketers Should Know About Facebook Business Suite

If you’re managing social accounts on Facebook, Instagram, or both, you can likely benefit from the management dashboard that is Facebook Business Suite.

This free tool offers some powerful features for professional users. It can’t tackle all of your daily social media needs, but it can help a lot. Let’s look at how Facebook Business Suite can help your business and when you might need to add other tools into the mix.

Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.

What is Facebook Business Suite?

Facebook Business Suite is a Facebook management tool launched in September 2020. On the launch day, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg described it as “a new interface to help businesses save time and stay up to date by managing their pages or profiles across [Facebook] apps.”

Facebook Business Suite essentially replaces Facebook Business Manager, although for now, you can choose to keep using Business Manager if you prefer (more on that below).

Facebook Business Suite vs. Facebook Business Manager

As we just said, Facebook Business Suite is intended to replace Facebook Business Manager. In fact, the link that used to take you to Business Manager now points to Business Suite by default.

So what’s changed? In their new interface for business, Facebook has provided a more unified tool designed to handle all business activity for Facebook and Instagram.

Here are some of the key changes:

Home screen

The home screen now features a ton more information. You can see notifications for your Facebook Page and your Instagram account, as well as summaries of your recent posts and ads, and some basic performance insights.

Facebook business suite home screen

Source: Facebook Business Suite

Inbox

The new unified Inbox includes direct messages from Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, as well as comments from your Facebook Business Page and Instagram Business account, all on one page.

From the Inbox, you can set up automated messages and add a Facebook chat plugin to your website.

inbox

Source: Facebook Business Suite

Insights

The Insights screen in Business Suite provides a more unified view of organic and paid posts on Facebook and Instagram, along with information about your audience on both platforms.

insights screen with results and content

Source: Facebook Business Suite

How to switch back to Business Manager from Facebook Business Suite

If you prefer to keep using Facebook Business Manager instead of Facebook Business Suite, you still have that option, at least for now.

To switch back to Business Manage, follow these steps:

  1. Open Facebook Business Suite and click Give Feedback at the bottom of the left sidebar.
  2. Click Switch to Business Manager.

switch to business manager

Source: Facebook Business Suite

If you change your mind later and want to start using Facebook Business Suite, click the menu icon at the top of the left menu in Business Manager, then click Business Suite.

menu icon business suite

Source: Facebook Business Manager

Facebook Business Suite vs. Facebook Creator Studio

While Facebook Business Suite is an all-in-one tool for managing your Facebook and Instagram professional accounts, Creator Studio offers content tools specifically for content creators. In particular, Creator Studio offers monetization features not available in Facebook Business Suite.

We’ve got a complete comparison chart at the end of this post, but here are the key differences you should know about:

Posting and scheduling

Both Business Suite and Creator Studio allow you to create and schedule posts for Instagram and Facebook.

Business Suite also allows you to create and schedule Stories for both Facebook and Instagram. Creator Studio only allows you to create and schedule Stories for Facebook.

There are not as many Story editing options in Business Suite as there are in the Instagram app itself, but text, cropping and a limited selection of stickers are available.

new story and media

Source: Creating a Story in Facebook Business Suite

choose a page to create story from

Source: Creating a Story in Facebook Creator Studio

Insights

Both Business Suite and Creator Studio offer insights into your Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, Business Suite lets you compare Facebook and Instagram on one screen, whereas on Creator Studio, they appear on two different tabs.

business suite Facebook and Instagram comparison

Source: Audience Insights in Facebook Business Suite

age and gender of followers for Instagram and Facebook

Source: Audience Insights in Facebook Creator Studio

Business Suite also offers much more detailed insights, especially if you tend to post photos rather than video — Creator Studio insights are limited to the page and video level.

If you want insights for ads you’re running on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll find them in Business Suite but not Creator Studio.

Monetization and shops

Monetization is only available in Creator Studio, whereas you can only manage your shop from Business Suite.

Content resources

Creator Studio offers a royalty-free music library, as well as resources for gamers to set up tournaments.

Business Suite does not offer content assets, but it does highlight Stories from similar brands that you might want to model, as well as publicly available content suggestions to share as part of your content curation strategy.

Creator Studio content resources

Source: Content Inspiration in Facebook Business Suite

creative tools in Facebook Creator Studio

Source: Creative Tools in Facebook Creative Studio

So, remember: there’s a lot of overlap between Business Suite and Creator Studio. But follow the names of the tools. If you’re doing serious work on your business, you probably want to use Business Suite. If you’re more focused on creating and monetizing content, Creator Studio is likely the better choice.

You can use both tools, so just choose whichever one works best for your purpose on a given day.

How to get Facebook Business Suite

Facebook Business Suite is available on desktop or mobile.

On desktop

To get access, just log into a Facebook account associated with your business. Then, to access Business Suite on desktop, head to the following link: http://business.facebook.com

Like we said above, this is the same link that used to point to Facebook Business Manager. It now automatically redirects you to Facebook Business Suite unless you specifically choose to revert to Business Manager.

On mobile

You can access Facebook Business Suite on mobile through the Business Suite Facebook app, which replaces the Facebook Page Manager app. The Page Manager app is no longer available to download.

Facebook Business Suite Pages Manager

Source: Google Play Store

Who should use Facebook Business Suite?

Facebook Business Suite is a very useful tool for anyone using Facebook and/or Instagram as their primary social media marketing and advertising platforms.

Suppose you’re primarily a content creator, or you’ve monetized your Facebook and Instagram accounts through brand collaborations and advertising. In that case, you will likely find Creator Studio to be a more useful tool. However, the more detailed analytics in Business Suite will help you better understand how your content performs.

And if you’re also using social channels not owned by Facebook (Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.), you’ll likely benefit from a third-party social media management platform that allows you to manage and analyze all your accounts together.

So, the ideal user for Facebook Business Suite is a small business owner or social media manager focused on professional Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Facebook Business Suite features

We’ve already outlined some of the Business Suite features in our Facebook Business Suite comparisons with Business Manager and Creator Studio. Here, we’ll provide more details on how to access and use those features.

Note: To get the full benefit of Business Suite, you’ll need to link your professional Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you haven’t already done so, check out our detailed instructions on connecting your Instagram account to Facebook.

Home screen

The Facebook Business Manager home screen offers a snapshot of everything happening on your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

You’ll see some basic insights, a list of recent posts with engagement metrics, recent ads, your calendar of scheduled posts, and a to-do list of tasks you need to attend to (like unread messages).

You can create an ad, post or Story directly from the home screen, or boost an existing post.

There’s also a left-hand menu that allows you to access all of Facebook’s business tools.

If you manage multiple Facebook and Instagram accounts, make sure you choose the correct ones at the top of the home screen before using any of the other features.

Create and schedule posts

  1. From the home screen, click Create Post.
  2. Select the placements for your post: Facebook, Instagram, or both.
  3. Enter the content of your post: text, photos or video, and optional location. For Facebook, you can also add a call to action and link preview. The link option is only available for the Facebook placement and won’t work if you are trying to post to Instagram.You can customize the text for Facebook and Instagram rather than using the same text on both platforms. For Facebook, you can also add a feeling or activity.
  4. To post right away, click Publish. To schedule your post for later, click the down arrow next to the Publish button and select Schedule Post. Then, enter the date and time when you want your post to go live.

create post on Facebook Business Manager

Create and schedule Stories

  1. From the home screen, click Create Story.
  2. Select the placements for your Story: Facebook, Instagram, or both.
  3. Add the photos or video for your Story, and make any adjustments using the basic creative tools (crop, text, and stickers)
  4. Under Additional Features, add a link if desired.
  5. To post right away, click Share Story. To schedule your Story for later, click the down arrow next to the Share Story button and select Schedule Story. Then, enter the date and time when you want your Story to go live.

create and schedule new story

View and adjust scheduled content

Once you have scheduled some posts and Stories, you can look at them in a calendar view and adjust your scheduling as needed.

  1. To access the calendar view, click Planner in the left menu.
  2. View your calendar by week or by month. By default, you’ll see all scheduled content. Use the drop-down menus in the top right to filter by content type or platform.
  3. Drag and drop any post to move it to a different date. (It will keep the existing posting time.) Or, click on any post to preview it, then click the three dots icon in the top right of the preview to make changes.

planner calendar view

Create ads

  1. From the home screen, click Promote.
  2. Select a goal for your ad. If you’re not sure, check out our complete guide to advertising on Facebook.
  3. Create your ad on the next screen. The information and creatives you need to provide will vary depending on the goal you choose. When you’re happy with your ad, click Promote Now.

create ad to promote your website

Boost a post

  1. If you’d rather boost an existing post instead of creating an ad from scratch, just click Boost Post next to any existing content from the home screen.
  2. Choose the appropriate options in the following screen, then click Boost Post Now.

boost post

You can review your ads at any time by clicking Ads in the left sidebar. From the Ads screen, you can see a preview of each ad, along with its status, campaign information, and ad results.

Access Insights

The standalone Facebook Analytics tool was retired on July 1, 2021. While you can still access Facebook Page Insights and Instagram Insights individually, using a coordinated tool like Facebook Business Suite is much more productive.

On the Insights page, you can see performance information for your Facebook and Instagram accounts, side-by-side.

On the main Insights screen, you’ll see page reach, your best performing paid and organic content and audience information.

From the left column, click on Results, Content or Audience for more detailed reports that you can also download and export.

insight overview

Inbox

The Facebook Business Suite Inbox allows you to access and respond to direct messages and comments from both Facebook and Instagram all on one screen. You can also assign conversations to another team member for follow-up.

For each conversation, you’ll see the profile of the person who sent the message. You can add notes and labels, so this functions like a very basic social CRM.

Facebook Business Suite inbox

Source: Facebook Blueprint

The Inbox helps keep you organized with filters and flags for follow-up.

One very handy feature of the Inbox is the ability to set up automated messages based on keywords and phrases or common requests. This functions like a very basic chatbot, so people can get immediate help, even when no one from your team is available to reply.

automated responses in Inbox

Within Inbox, you can also set up a Messenger chat plugin for your website. Click on More, then Chat Plugin in the top menu to customize your chat details and get the code to insert in your website.

set up chat plug in

Facebook Business Suite vs. Hootsuite

Since Facebook Business Suite is a Facebook tool, you can only use it to manage Facebook-owned platforms: Facebook and Instagram. With Hootsuite, you can manage Facebook and Instagram plus Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

On the content creation side, Hootsuite offers additional resources like a free image library, GIFs, and more advanced editing tools than you’ll find in Business Suite.

Facebook Business Suite is a particularly useful resource for very small teams or people who manage their social media accounts all on their own, especially if you post mainly to Facebook and Instagram. For larger teams, content approval workflows, like those found in Hootsuite, are an important way to allow multiple people to work on your content without exposing your business to unnecessary risk.

Hootsuite also offers more extensive reporting and analytics features, along with custom suggestions on the best time to post content for your specific audience on various platforms.

Since there’s some overlap and it can all get a little confusing, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Facebook Business Suite vs. Creator Studio vs. Hootsuite.

Chart comparing Facebook Business Suite, Creator Studio, and Hootsuite features for social media management

Use Hootsuite to schedule posts on multiple social networks, monitor what people are saying about your business, and track your engagement—all from the same dashboard. Try it free today.

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Easily manage your Facebook page (+ other social media accounts) and save time with Hootsuite. Schedule, engage, analyze, perform.

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The post Everything Marketers Should Know About Facebook Business Suite appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

How to Get More Views on TikTok: 14 Essential Strategies

The time has come: you’ve started a TikTok account — congratulations!

You’ve embraced the short-form video app that’s been sweeping the globe (2 billion downloads and counting!) and have been creating videos, honing your TikTok editing skills and perfecting your Doja Cat dance moves.

But making creative videos about donut cereal or mom pranks is just one step in building a successful TikTok presence. Because you’ve got to get people to actually watch your videos, too.

We’ve got you covered. Read on for 14 essential strategies for getting more views on TikTok. We’re gonna make you a star!

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

What is a “view” on TikTok?

Different social media platforms measure “views” in different ways, but on TikTok, it’s super simple: the very second your video starts to play, it’s counted as a view.

If the video autoplays or loops, or a viewer comes back to watch it multiple times, those all count as new views. (When you watch your own video, however, those views are not counted.)

Getting someone to watch all the way to the end? That’s a different story. But with that fairly low barrier to entry for what counts as a “view,” racking up the metrics on TikTok isn’t too tough.

How much does TikTok pay per view?

TikTok launched its Creator Fund in August 2020 to offer payouts to the platform’s most popular and successful users. Or, as TikTok itself describes it:

“Through the TikTok Creator Fund, our creators will be able to realize additional earnings that help reward the care and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas.”

There’s no standardized fee amount or payment plan (the amount available in the Creator Fund changes daily, apparently), but expect to make between $0.02 and $0.04 per 1,000 views.

TikTok Creator Fund dashboard

Source: TikTok

But not just anyone can cash in on TikTok’s generosity. To be eligible for TikTok Creator Fund payments, you need to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a minimum of 10,000 followers.
  • Have had a minimum of 100,000 video views in the past 30 days.
  • Be based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy. (Sorry, Canada!)
  • Your account needs to meet the TikTok Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.

If that’s you, you can apply for the Creator Fund via the app. Go to Settings and Privacy, then Creator Tools, then TikTok Creator Fund. If you’re eligible, you’ll be prompted to enter your contact info and agree to the Creator Fund Agreement.

Should you buy TikTok views?

No! You shouldn’t buy TikTok views! Stop it! Put that credit card down!

As we learned from our recent experiment of buying TikTok followers, it’s not possible to shop for social media success.

Maybe your view metrics will go up, but your engagement rate will plummet, you won’t gain any followers, and the audience you’ve hired to watch will all eventually be removed by TikTok anyways.

Save your money, and invest your time instead… into following these hot tips for building authentic, lasting engagement.

14 ways to get more TikTok views

1. Add hashtags to your videos

Hashtags are a powerful tool in your TikTok arsenal. It’s how the all-mighty TikTok algorithm identifies what you’re posting about and who might be interested in watching it. Hashtags are also essential for helping users discover your content via search.

Going niche with specific hashtags relevant to your audience and topic is one angle to take.

There’s also some evidence to suggest trending topics are more likely to end up on the For You page, so it can be worthwhile to watch for what’s currently trending and hop into the conversation with related content (that’s still authentic to your brand, of course).

To find out which hashtags are trending, tap on the Discover tab, and then tap Trends at the top of the screen.

trending TikTok hashtags

A little data to help motivate you: 61% of TikTok users said they like brands better when they create or participate in a TikTok trend.

2. Keep short and sweet

Though TikTok videos can now be up to three minutes long, videos under 30 seconds are more likely to wind up on the FYP. It’s also more likely someone would rewatch something that’s fast-and-furious a second or third time.

Noodles the Dog keeps it tight with this 12-second video that made its way onto the FYP. Short, sweet and Squid Game-themed: ingredients for success.

@noodles.thefrenchie

✨spoiler alert✨ – POV: this guy ate the extra boiled egg to stir up a fight #squidgame #squidgamenetflix #foryou

♬ Pink Soldiers – 23

3. Trending sound effects

Hashtags aren’t the only element of TikTok that has its own trend cycle. TikTok Sounds also tend to go through waves of popularity. Keep your eyes (well, ears — the eyes of the auditory system, if you will!) peeled for recurring sound clips that you might be able to riff on, too.

You can also discover trending sounds by tapping the Create (+) button in the app, and then tapping Add Sound. Here, you’ll see the current most popular audio clips.

recommended sounds and playlists

4. Find your specific audience

There’s a specific sub-genre of TikTok for everyone out there, from the oh-so literary BookTok to a vibrant rug-tufting community. Figure out who you want to be hanging out with, and observe popular accounts in those communities to see what sort of hashtags, formats and references they might be using to inspire your own related content.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

Get the full report now!

@jumpp.mann

Not bad for a first try 🤷🏽‍♂️ #rugtufting #art #tufting #rugtok #rugmaking #thesimpsons #commissionart #tuftinggun

♬ Everywhereigo – Babyxsosa

Commenting and liking can also help you build relationships with your specific audience. Hopefully, your insightful responses will inspire a fellow book(tok)worm to come check out what kind of content you’re creating on your own page.

5. Try a how-to video

Educational content does really well on TikTok, so get into know-it-all mode and share your wisdom with the world.

How-to videos are particularly popular, but even answering a frequently asked question or shedding light on a surprising element of your industry, job or product can be a delightful break from the never-ending danceathon.

These upcycling videos from Vintage Restock, for instance, garner a serious amount of views. Will they be able to combine three pairs of pants into one? We’re glued to the screen, waiting to find out!

@vintagestockreserve

Custom Adidas Track Pants🔥 #diy #upcycledfashion #adidas #custom

♬ original sound – VSR

6. Dabble in some duets

TikTok’s Duets feature is a great way to capitalize on an already popular video to build your own views.

With Duets, you can share a split-screen with another user’s video to sing along, create a funny dialogue, or give your hot take… and piggyback on some proven content to collect your own sweet, sweet views. (Check our how-to guide for TikTok’s most popular video editing features here!)

@tiktok

🚨New feature alert!🚨more #Duet layouts are now available. Try them out now!

♬ original sound – TikTok

7. Team up with an influencer or special guest

Whether you’ve hired an influencer or celebrity guest star or teamed up with another brand for a cross-over opportunity, bringing in some outside voices into your TikTok videos is an easy way to access a new audience.

Your special guest will help shine a spotlight on the content you’ve made and attract the eyeballs of their fans to your video — like photographer MaryV did for Calvin Klein.

@calvinklein

#advicetomyyoungerself by MaryV. #PROUDINMYCALVINS #lgbtq #pride #showyourpride

♬ original sound – CALVIN KLEIN

8. Promote your TikTok content on your other social channels

Chances are, TikTok is part of your larger social media strategy, and you probably are active on a few other platforms out there. Lure those audiences over to your TikToks by sharing video teasers elsewhere.

A little snippet on Instagram Stories here, a link on Twitter there, and you’ve got yourself a full-fledged omnichannel social campaign on the go!

9. Keep them watching

While it’s true that users only need to watch a fraction of a second of your video for you to earn a “view,” it’s actually super important to keep them watching all the way to the end.

That’s because the TikTok algorithm prioritizes videos with high completion rates. It wants to serve up quality content as For You Page recommendations.

So… how do you hold your audience’s attention ‘til the bitter end? Play with their curiosity, and offer value. Hook them in the first few seconds with a promise of what’s coming if they stick with it (tutorial videos and recipes are great for this!), or use captions that build suspense (like Bella Poarch’s “Wait for it” below) for a big reveal.

@bellapoarch

Wait for it…. 🦙🍑 ✨

♬ original sound – BABY LONDON💕

10. Don’t forget the caption

There may only be 150 characters to play with in your TikTok caption, but they can serve you well. Your caption is a chance to tell viewers why they should watch your video (hopefully right to the end — see above!) or get the conversation going in the comments.

Ultimately, you want people watching and engaging with your video, so the algorithm learns that, yeah, this is the good stuff. Your caption is a free, easy way to make one more pitch to your audience for why they should speak up or sit back and enjoy.

11. Set up a TikTok Creator or TikTok Business account

TikTok’s pro accounts won’t give you a boost on to the FYP, but both the Creator and Business accounts give you access to metrics and insights that can help you better analyze and understand your audience.

It’s simple to switch over to a Business or Creator TikTok profile. Just go to Manage Account and select Switch to Business Account. Choose the best category, and you’re ready to dig into the data!

TikTok Creator or Business account

These insights can reveal who your existing audience is, when they’re online, and what kind of content they like to watch — all helpful for building out your content calendar and planning the best time to post.

Speaking of which…

12. Post your video at the right time

If you’re posting when no one is using the app, you’re definitely not going to get the views you’re craving. So check your account analytics to discover when your followers are active so that you can drop your latest video at juuuuust the right time for maximum exposure.

You can also schedule TikTok videos in advance, if you upload from your browser — in case you’re not on your phone at the exact moment your superfans are.

schedule videos in advance

Learn more about finding the best time to post on TikTok.

13. Upload multiple videos a day

Things move fast over in the TikTokaverse. Don’t worry about oversaturating your followers: just get creative and churn out that quality content. In fact, TikTok recommends posting 1-4 times per day.

The more videos you have, the more likely you’re going to wind up on someone’s For You page, and the more likely it is they’re going to come looking for more.

14. Create high-quality videos

Well, if you’re not going to say it, we will: duh.

Make sure your videos look good (decent lighting and sound quality, some peppy edits) and people will be more likely to want to watch them.

This couple, for instance, has invested in some high-quality cameras for their mirror selfies… and it pays off. Is this a Hollywood FILM?

@lexibrookerivera

@andrew.davila

♬ original sound – toohot4scotty

TikTok also tends to prioritize high-quality videos on the FYP, so you’re going to want to give ‘em the good stuff. Shoot in vertical format, incorporate sound, and use effects (for bonus points, try using one of TikTok’s trending effects).

Once those views start pouring in, of course, your TikTok journey has really only begun. The real money metric? Followers: loyal fans who will be there through thick and through thin.

Head on over to our guide to getting TikTok followers to start building your dream team of admirers. Just imagine the views you’ll rack up then!

The post How to Get More Views on TikTok: 14 Essential Strategies appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

How to Add a Link in Bio on Instagram and TikTok to Drive More Traffic

Even if you’ve only seen a few posts on Instagram or TikTok, you will have likely come across the phrase ‘link in bio’. It pops up everywhere, from your favorite brand’s product posts to the latest snap from that #CottageCore account you follow.

But what does ‘link in bio’ actually mean? Why are people always using it? And should you get in on the action too? Let’s find out!

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

What does “link in bio” mean?

Creators on Instagram and TikTok use the phrase “link in bio” to tell their audience they can get more information related to a post by clicking the URL in their bio.

Anyone can add a link to their bio on Instagram and any Business account holder can add one to their TikTok. Once there, creators draw attention to the link by mentioning it in the content they post.

boreal folk link in bio Instagram post

‘Link in bio’ is the only way Instagram and TikTok creators with fewer than 10,000 followers can send people off-platform. Accounts with more than 10,000 followers are allowed to add links to their Stories.

Most creators use their Instagram and TikTok bio link to send viewers to one of six things:

  • Their website
  • Their other social media profiles
  • A blog
  • A product page
  • An online shop

… or all of the above (more on this later).

Where is the link in bio on Instagram?

On Instagram, you’ll find the ‘link in bio’ in the short description at the very top of a user’s profile. It sits underneath other important information like number of posts and follower count.

Venture North, an organisation that promotes tourism in north Scotland, uses its link in bio to direct its audience to its website.

venture north link in Instagram bio

Where is the link in bio on TikTok?

To keep things simple, the bio link is in exactly the same place on TikTok. It can be found inside the bio at the very top of a creator’s profile page.

the Rock TikTok link in bio

How to put a link in your Instagram bio

Adding a link to your Instagram bio is a simple process. So simple in fact that you can get it done in just three short steps.

1. Click ‘Edit profile’ at the top of your profile page

edit profile on Instagram

2. Enter your target URL (the link you want to promote) in the ‘Website’ box

enter target URL in Website box

3. Click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the page

And, just like that, you’ve added a link to your Instagram bio.

Quick tip! If you don’t see the link when you navigate back to your profile, you probably forgot to hit ‘Submit’ before navigating away from the page.

How to put a link in your TikTok bio

The process is similar on TikTok. However, currently, most users need a Business account to add a link to their bio.

If you have a Creator account on TikTok and don’t have access to the link in bio feature, the first thing you need to do is switch to a Business account. To do it:

1. Click on TikTok menu icon

TikTok menu icon

2. Click ‘Manage account’

settings and privacy manage account

3. Select ‘Switch to Business Account’

switch to business account under Manage Account

4. Choose the category that best describes your business

choose a category that best describes account

5. Click ‘Next’

Now that’s done, you’re ready to add a clickable link to your TikTok bio.

1. Click ‘Edit profile’

edit profile on TikTok

2. Click ‘Add your website’

add your website

3. Enter the URL you want to feature on your profile

enter URL under website

4. Click ‘Save’

You now have a link in your TikTok bio.

link in bio on TikTok profile

How to add a link in bio with multiple links

The problem with the bio link feature on both Instagram and TikTok is that you can only have one. You can’t post links anywhere else on these platforms, so you have to get crafty to optimize your one opportunity.

For most creators, that means turning one link into multiple links using a landing page.

Simply create a landing page containing all of the links you want to showcase and add a link to that landing page to your Instagram or TikTok bio.

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

Get the free guide right now!

The Tree Council landing page with multiple links

And if that’s starting to sound a little complicated. Don’t fret, because there are plenty of tools available to help you easily create a multilink landing page.

Link in bio tools

Create a link in bio landing page with Linktree

Linktree is a free tool that allows you to create a simple multi-link landing page from basic templates. It’s pretty easy to set up.

Lisa Cutliffe

@edulis multi-link landing page

With the free version, you’ll get templates with some customisation options and access to a simple statistics interface so you can see how your page is performing.

If you pay $6 per month to go Pro, you’ll be able to remove Linktree’s logo from your landing page, access better analytics and customisation options, as well as Linktree’s social media retargeting feature.

Create a one-click bio with Hootsuite

If you use Hootsuite to manage your social media, you can create a link tree from your dashboard using oneclick-bio.

With oneclick-bio, you can create simple link in bio landing pages with text-filled buttons like those offered by Linktree. But you can also add social media links and an image gallery.

You can use the images feature to recreate posts from your Instagram or TikTok account in oneclick-bio. But, unlike your posts in-platform, you can add clickable links to the images in your one-click.bio.

oneclick-bio images of sporty shoes

So, anyone navigating to your landing page from your Instagram or TikTok account will be able to access a clickable version of the post they were interested in.

Find out how to create a one-click.bio landing page here.

Create a landing page with Unbounce

If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands and would prefer a completely customisable link in bio landing page, you can create one using a landing page builder like Unbounce.

With Unbounce, you can create a fully branded landing page that perfectly complements your Instagram or TikTok profile. Use a simple drag and drop builder or super smart AI to get the job done.

5 Link in bio tips to drive more traffic to your website

Highlight your most important links

Less is more when it comes to multi-link landing pages. Resist the urge to include every link under the sun. The last thing you want is to distract people from what’s important.

Good things to highlight on your link in bio landing page include:

  • Your website home page
  • Your latest or most popular piece of content
  • Information about a sale, promotion or giveaway
  • Links to your other social media accounts
  • Your online storefront or top product page
  • Your best performing lead magnet

 

Match your links to your goals

What links you choose to include in your link in bio landing page will depend on what you want it to achieve.

If you want to build your email list, you might skip the other social media account links but put your lead magnet and list sign up front and centre.

On the other hand, if you’re on Instagram or TikTok to drive sales, you’ll want to focus attention on your online storefront and latest sale or giveaway.

Offer value, not the hard sell

Someone who’s followed a ‘link in bio’ request from Instagram or TikTok is probably new to your content. So, it’s best to avoid the hard sell on your landing page.

Focus instead on offering value. For example, you could:

  • Offer exclusive deals or discounts for people who buy via your landing page
  • Link to your most-read or most useful piece of content
  • Include a good introduction to you or your brand

Hodmedod landing page

Keep your link in bio link short

Both Instagram and TikTok display your full URL in your bio. So you want it to be something short and powerful.

Some link in bio tools allow you to customise your URL. If you can do it, you should!

You can use this space to mention your brand name and include a call to action. For example:

www.mybrand.ca/learnmore

www.mybrand.ca/sayhello

www.mybrand.ca/shopnow

www.mybrand.ca/welcome

Hodmedod customized link in bio

Customised links are impactful, easy to remember and more likely to inspire clicks.

And don’t worry if you can’t create a short URL at source. You can use a URL shortening tool like ow.ly, accessible from the Hootsuite dashboard, to create ultra snappy links.

Use emojis to highlight your in-post ‘link in bio’ call out

Once you have a super sleek link in bio landing page, you’ll want to try extra hard to drive traffic to your profile. One way to do it is to use emojis to draw attention to your link in bio CTA.

You don’t have to go full gen Z though. One or two well-placed emojis is all it takes.

well placed emojis

 

Drive traffic to your website from Instagram using Hootsuite and manage the rest of your social profiles in one place. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage your followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure results, manage your ads, and much more.

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The post How to Add a Link in Bio on Instagram and TikTok to Drive More Traffic appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

How We Reimagined the Hootsuite Office for the Future of Work [Photos]

The pandemic brought remote work to life to a scale never seen before. As it continues, organizations are increasingly asking: What should a return to the office actually look like?

Some have gone fully remote. For others, working from home was only temporary.

But workers are increasingly making their wishes known; Many want to stay remote—at least some of the time—and companies have to figure out how to adapt.

At Hootsuite, we wanted to make sure our office approach was employee-led. So, we asked our workforce what they wanted so we could tailor our strategy accordingly. Some wanted to be fully remote, which we expected, based on wider trends.

What surprised us was this: 89% of our Vancouver-based employees said they’d like to work in the office a few days each week or month.

Our solution? Nests. Essentially, it’s office space geared towards collaboration. In addition to the usual environments for individual work, there are tons of new collaborative spaces designed to let teams come together.

The front entrance, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

We fully redesigned our Vancouver office to be our first nest. We started by taking our two separate Vancouver office spaces and downsizing them into one.

Then, we asked ourselves what that space needed in order to be inclusive, accessible, and collaborative.

The result is an office that we’re incredibly proud to call our HQ.

Read on to learn more about why we felt a redesign was important, how we determined what we wanted from our new digs, and some of the details we’re most excited about—along with photos of our beautiful, functional, and inclusive space!

The front entrance, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

A new more flexible era

The idea that traditionally, we go to the office because the office is, quite simply, where work is done, has become a story from pre-March 2020.

And that’s not just for our people, either.

In the months and years to come, more than 20% of the workforce could continue to work from home three to five days a week, according to research from McKinsey & Company—meaning that up to 4x as many people could continue working from home as were doing so before the pandemic.

That means if you’re going to have a physical space, you need to be intentional about its function.

Employees are already stressed: 70% had more stress and anxiety at work in 2020 than any other previous year and return-to-office plans are only making that worse, says Harvard Business Review. They did a survey that found that many companies’ return-to-office plans were negatively impacting their employees’ mental health, with the top two reasons being policies around in-person versus remote work (41%) and the lack of work-life balance or flexibility based on the policy (37%).

That’s one of many reasons it was key for us to make the office available for those who wanted it, but not a requirement for those who weren’t interested.

The lobby in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Lobby area, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

The future of work is employee-first

The conversation around mental health and the future of the workplace is complicated and undeniably intertwined. And figuring out how to reimagine the future of work in a rapidly changing global environment can be a grueling exercise.

Although we don’t have a crystal ball view of the next five or 10 years, we’re going to tell you how we got to where we are now. And that “now” is forever changing. To get started, we’ve put our people first and implemented flexible work environments and access to benefits and resources necessary to promote a culture of empathy and belonging—centered around mental health and wellness.

Reimagining our workspace in Vancouver

Hootsuite is a Vancouver-born company. Our founder Ryan Holmes rode the early wave of social media management back in 2008, and the rest is history. Today we have offices in 14 cities around the globe, and call over 1,100 people our “owls”.

In early 2020 in Vancouver, we had over 450 people across two offices on four floors, but on most days at least 50% of assigned desks were unoccupied, as many people were already choosing to work from home. When the pandemic hit, we took a hard look at our offices and knew we had an opportunity to pilot a program where the spaces (which had previously consisted of rows of desks) could become a center for creativity, collaboration, and inclusivity.

Recently, we re-opened the doors of our newly downsized headquarters—a 27,000 square foot environment focused on spacious communal areas meant to foster teamwork, creativity, and that sense of connection and inclusion that we thought we’d lost. This is a re-imagined space. Old but new. Suited to meet Hootsuite’s people where they are today.

Meeting spaces in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Meeting and collaboration spaces, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

We have a distributed workforce. Hootsuite employees are empowered to choose where and how they work—either in the office, remotely, or a combination.

No one has to come into the office, it’s there for our people if and when they want it—and it turns out that they do.

Paulina Rickard, Manager of NA and APAC Facilities at Hootsuite, gets what our employees need now and carefully designed a space that would provide just that.

“What became obvious during the pandemic is we all have unique needs and require various things to do our work,” she said. “Sometimes that’s being in our jammies at home, and sometimes that means collaborating and connecting with our peers in a physical office space. Oftentimes it’s both.”

This was a major project, but one that our global facilities team was more than happy to tackle.

“We knew that we had an opportunity to make the office an exciting, collaborative, and inclusive hub that was a space for all of our owls,” said Paulina. “After doing a lot of research on industry best practices and listening to feedback from our people, we envisioned a flexible, accessible space that empowered people to do their best work.”

The space, designed by Mak Interiors in conjunction with the Hootsuite brand team, represents an environment built for innovation, flexibility, and choice around how people work and thrive best. It’s been revamped with features that focus on mental well-being, belonging, flexibility, and accessibility in mind.

Konstantin Prodanovic, Senior Copywriter at Hootsuite, is thrilled to have someplace to work that isn’t his apartment.

“Being back in the office has been creatively refreshing,” he said. “I’m in almost every day. From entire walls made of whiteboards to collaborative spaces where I can share ideas with others, having the space to share and work through ideas has been a boon to my work and mental well-being.”

But it’s not just the environment of the office itself, but also the social opportunities it offers that he enjoys.

“My favorite part of working at Hootsuite has always been the people,” said Konstantin. “And it’s been such a joy to be able to be around others who lift you up professionally and personally on a daily basis. The office has been designed in that spirit and that’s very evident. To say I’m grateful doesn’t even begin to cut it!”

An evolved approach to wellness

Our new office is a lot more than just pretty. Our facilities team focused on including features that promote wellness, like exercise bike desks, sit-stand desks, and much more.

Hootsuite Vancouver also has a Wellness Room—a single-use, multipurpose, calming room that can be used by nursing mothers and people who need a quiet place to relax. The space can also serve as a meditation and prayer room and is a great place to retreat for those who experience migraines or sensory overloads.

The Wellness Room in the Hoootsuite Vancouver Office
The Wellness Room, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

Thoughtful designs for improved focus

When it comes to environments that breed productivity, we have 260 specific new work points, including desks, personal pods, team pods, and luxurious living areas.

The lounge in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
The Lounge, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

Like Brayden Cohen, Social Marketing and Employee Advocacy Lead for Hootsuite, the owls who’ve gone into the office, so far, have been loving it.

“Our office redesign is a dream come true for me,” he said. “I’m grateful that Hootsuite has adopted a new hybrid working model where I can enjoy the convenience of working from home or choose to work in the office at my leisure. When I’m looking to collaborate with my team face-to-face, need to work on a project with laser-beam focus, or use advanced technologies, the Hootsuite office is the place to be. My visits have left me feeling energized and excited to return.”

Collaboration space in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Lounge and collaboration zones, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

Putting the DEI in design

Ensuring that our office design is inclusive was of utmost importance to our global facilities team—and an important component of attracting more diverse candidates, and promoting an inclusive culture.

Today, people living with disabilities make up 15% of the global population— and it is imperative that organizations take the time given to them via office closures, or reduced capacities to make spaces more accessible. Our office at 111 East 5th street in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, has braille signage on all rooms and automatic door openers that make it easier for anyone to enter and navigate.

Inclusive washroom sign with braille in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Signage for gender-inclusive washrooms, with sign in braille, Hootsuite Vancouver.

We also have dimmable lighting in meeting rooms to accommodate for light sensitivity, gender-inclusive washrooms, and our floorplans were reviewed by a DEI consultant and deemed fully accessible and inclusive.

Good ergonomics: An essential component of a healthy workforce

Without commutes and trips to the office kitchen, we’re all sitting still a lot more.

“The average adult now spends six hours a day sitting—four hours longer than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—and they’re feeling more aches and pains because of it,” found Family Health & Safety.

That’s why we focused on ergonomics in our new space, which is equipped with new sit-stand desks, adjustable monitor arms, and ergonomic chairs.

Ergonomic furniture in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Ergonomic furniture, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

Biophilic design for physical health and mental wellbeing

It’s a well-known fact that proximity to nature has a positive effect on physical health and mental wellbeing. And believe it or not, biophilic design can produce similar reactions.

Plants significantly improve air quality by absorbing pollutants, and greener spaces naturally help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.

Biophilic design in the Hootsuite Vancouver office
Biophilic design and meeting spaces, Hootsuite Vancouver. Image: Upper Left Photography.

Inclusivity breeds inclusivity

Hootsuite is all about connecting and making an impact through social media. But “business-as-usual” isn’t enough. We want to build connections and create opportunities where our people can thrive in a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

We also want to provide the best employee experience—that means making Hootsuite a place where everyone feels safe, welcomed, valued, and empowered to do their best work without compromising who they are.

Our employee-first approach and emphasis on wellness doesn’t stop at our office though.

In 2021 we redesigned our benefits with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in mind. We include things like culturally appropriate counseling, increased coverage for mental health (6x the previous amount), financial support services, fertility treatment, gender affirmation surgeries, 401K/RRSP matching, and more.

Another part of our DEI and wellness efforts has been pay equity. To ensure that everyone feels valued, we also set ourselves a goal of having zero pay inequities. We achieved global pay equity in 2021— not only from a gender perspective but across the entire company (we included elements such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, neuro divergence, disabilities, etc., and used a third party to analyze the data).

We have an app for that

As the health and safety of our people come first, we’re currently operating at a limited 15% capacity to allow for social distancing. This is something we will continue to monitor as we act in accordance with local guidelines.

In order to keep things running smoothly, we let our owls reserve space at the office in advance using an app: Robin Booking System. This is a platform used by businesses to successfully manage hybrid work. Robin empowers people to choose how and where they work and makes it easy to book anything from meeting rooms to a desk for the day.

The pandemic has provided us with an opportunity for pause—an opportunity to begin again and re-write the script around what the future of work will look like for us.

Through benefits and initiatives that target fast-changing employee needs within a complex world, we can collectively create workplaces that are highly productive but also agile and empathetic.

Interested in joining the Hootsuite team? Browse open jobs on our careers page and learn more about working with us. 

See Hootsuite Careers

The post How We Reimagined the Hootsuite Office for the Future of Work [Photos] appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

How to Get on the TikTok For You Page: 7 Simple Tips

TikTok recently hit 1 billion global monthly active users. And even though it’s not quite as big as Facebook or Instagram (yet), some demographics already choose it over most social networks out there.

It’s no wonder that so many brands are trying to establish a presence on the platform — but not all of them are getting it right. So, before you set up an account and try to make sense of the platform’s many niche trends, read this guide to find out how to get on TikTok’s For You page. Because if your content doesn’t end up seen by your intended audience, why bother making it at all?

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

What is the For You page on TikTok?

The TikTok For You page is a personalized, scrollable feed of content. It’s the platform’s main content discovery tool, known for its fine-tuned algorithm that produces accurate recommendations based on each user’s actions on TikTok (e.g., what they like, share, view more than once, etc.).

The For You page serves as the app’s home screen, which means it’s the first thing users see when they open the TikTok app.

TikTok For You page screenshot

No two For You pages are the same — each TikTok user gets a unique, personalized stream of videos.

Why is getting on the TikTok For You page so important?

Being the app’s main screen, the TikTok For You page is where most of the content discovery on the platform happens. In simple terms, the For You page is where people watch TikToks and interact with them.

So, if you don’t surface on your intended audience’s For You pages, the chances of them finding your content (and interacting with it) are pretty slim.

Technically, other ways for people to discover content on TikTok do exist. Users can go to the Discover tab to search for your profile, and watch your TikTok’s there. Or, they can follow your account and watch your TikToks in the Following feed:

Arrow pointing at Following feed on TikTok homescreen

But the For You page and TikTok’s spookily accurate content recommendations are what makes the platform so fun to use. In TikTok’s words, the For You page is “central to the TikTok experience and where most users spend their time.” So it’s no stretch to say that no other discovery channel within the app will get your TikToks in front of as many people as the For You page.

How does the TikTok For You page algorithm work?

TikTok’s algorithm (a.k.a. recommendation system) recommends content based on users’ actions, preferences and account settings.

Here are the factors that affect what shows up on the For You page:

  • Actions each user takes in the app. This includes likes, shares, comments and follows. TikTok users can also opt out of seeing some types of videos or content from specific creators by tapping “Not Interested” on TikToks they don’t like.
  • Video information. For You page recommendations can be based on sounds, hashtags and captions featured in TikTok videos.
  • Device and account settings. Language preferences and country settings are also signals for the For You page algorithm, i.e., users can expect to see some local content on the For You page.

Here’s what the For You page algorithm doesn’t take into account when recommending videos:

  • Follower count
  • A history of high-performing content

Which is great news for beginners! If you play your cards right, you can go from zero (followers) to TikTok hero overnight.

And how can the For You page algorithm work for you? Basically, getting on the For You page triggers something of a snowball effect:

  1. Your content is recommended to users who are likely to enjoy it.
  2. Users like, share, or comment on your TikToks.
  3. The TikTok algorithm takes this a signal that your content resonates with people and surfaces it on even more For You pages.

So how do you get this snowball rolling?

How to get on the TikTok For You page

1. Know your audience

Since the For You page is a collection of content TikTok believes users will enjoy… you need to understand who your audience are and what they enjoy in order to reach them.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2021.

Get the full report now!

Check your TikTok analytics for details about the gender and location of your audience. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of data to work with, use your Instagram analytics as a starting point (84.6% of TikTok users also use Instagram).

Then… start scrolling. Spend some time watching TikToks to see what’s trending, and take a close look at what your competitors (or other businesses in your niche) are doing on the platform.

Use your findings as inspiration. You might come across unexpected, but very successful content strategies.

Take a look at this example from Burger King. The video doesn’t explicitly mention the brand, and it’s far from promotional (in a traditional sense), but it generated over 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments. The secret? Burger King gets their audience.

@burgerkingin love and burgers, the king always wins #babe #burgerking♬ original sound – Tra Rags

2. Post at the right time

Most videos on the For You page are no older than a few days. So, for best results, you’ll want to post to TikTok at the right time, a.k.a. when your audience is already online and scrolling.

Based on our research, the best times to post on TikTok (expressed in Pacific time) for maximum engagement are:

  • Tuesday: 7 AM
  • Thursday: 10 AM
  • Friday: 5 AM

But a lot depends on your unique audience’s activity patterns. So treat these times as a starting point, and keep a close eye on your analytics to set your TikToks up for success.

You can look up the days your audience is most active in the Video Views section of TikTok analytics:

Screenshot from TikTok analytics

Learn more about finding the best time to post on TikTok.

3. Use trending sounds

Sounds are a ranking signal for the TikTok algorithm. So, using trending audio clips can increase your chances of surfacing on more For You pages.

If you’re not sure what sounds are trending, browse the Discovery tab or just spend some time scrolling through your own For You page. When you come across a video that features a sound you like, tap on the sound icon in the bottom right corner. This will take you to the sound’s page, where you can see how many times it’s been used and browse top videos that feature it.

Sound page on Tiktok

Makeup brand Glossier does a great job working trending sounds into their branded content:

@glossierSome days at Glossier HQ consist of ordering a last minute cake for an Instagram story. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLOSSIER!!!!! 7⃣🎂 #glossier #bts♬ kim kardashian its a full time job – kardashianicon

4. React to trending videos

Sometimes, a random video will blow up on TikTok, setting off a widespread trend. And every new trend is a unique opportunity for brands to create timely, relevant content that shows off how culturally connected with TikTok’s audience they are. Not to mention that piggybacking off of trending content can help you get on the For You pages of users who are invested in it.

In September and October of 2021, many businesses posted reactions to the “Couch Guy” video.

Here’s the Empire State Building’s reaction:

@empirestatebldgI may be a building, but I’m not blind. #couchguy is sus 👀 #empirestatebuidling #nyc♬ original sound – Empire State Building

And here’s a parody from the memelords at Ryanair:

@ryanairPilot guy was speechless🥰 #couchguy♬ still falling for you – audiobear

(Too niche? Catch up on the “Couch Guy” saga here.)

5. Work with creators

Working with influencers can help you reach new audiences on all social platforms. On TikTok, it can also get you on the For You page.

If you decide to collaborate with established creators, make sure to let them be themselves. In most cases, TikTok creators understand the platform’s trends, inside jokes, and no-nos better than brands, so giving up creative direction is likely to work to your advantage.

A great way to get started with influencer marketing on the platform is finding creators who are already posting about your brand. Work with them to create unique content, like Chipotle does:

@chipotleHa leftovers who? (via @keo.hogains ) #chipotle #comedy #trending #relatable #viral #fyp♬ NOTHING – Westover

6. Know how to boost engagement

If the TikTok algorithm sees that your video is getting a lot of likes, comments and shares, it will recommend it to more viewers.

One clever way to boost engagement is to include a hook in your video that will leave your viewers asking for more. (Literally asking. In the comments.)

You can also plant tiny inconsistencies in your videos, letting users have fun finding them and pointing them out — you guessed it — in the comment section.

Take a look at this creator’s TikTok about a Forbes article on the trending Netflix show “Squid Game.” In the video, @crawlita mentions how the article raises three points about the show, but she then goes on to only discuss one of them. In the comment section, viewers asked the creator to share her thoughts on the other two points — which she did, giving her audience even more content to interact with:

TikTok comment section

7. Use the right hashtags

Just like sounds, hashtags fall into the “video information” category of TikTok ranking signals. This means that, in theory, adding the right hashtags to your video can help you surface on more For You pages.

When scrolling the For You feed, you might notice that many videos include the same hashtags: #fyp, #foryou, or #fypシ.

The #fyp hashtag alone has 15,411.7 billion views (yup, you read that right).

Hashtag page on TikTok

Will these hashtags actually get you on the For You page? In our experience, they definitely don’t guarantee going viral — but they may be worth a shot!

 

The post How to Get on the TikTok For You Page: 7 Simple Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

72 Beautiful Instagram Story Templates (And How to Use Them)

Want your brand’s Instagram Stories to look clean, polished and consistently stylish? Instagram Stories templates are the way to go.

The truth is, most of your favorite brands probably already use them. But really, it’s no surprise they want to make their Stories look good: half a billion users interact with Instagram Stories daily, and 58% of people say their interest in a brand or product increased after seeing it in Stories.

If you’re not using this Insta feature to put your best foot forward, you’re going to miss out.

In this post, we’ll show you how to use Instagram Stories templates to wow your audience and showcase your best content. We’ve also included a designer pack of 72 customizable templates that will boost the look of your Stories right away.

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Why use Instagram Stories templates?

Though Stories may disappear after 24 hours, they’re still going to reach plenty of eyeballs over that span of time, as we know from those impressive Instagram Stories stats.

Plus, now that you can turn Stories into “Highlights” on your Instagram profile, that temporary content actually has the potential for a much longer shelf life.

Might as well make it look nice, right?

But there are tons of other reasons to use Instagram Stories templates, too.

Look professional

Yes, Instagram Stories are primarily known for their charmingly unpolished execution (anyone else weirdly addicted to watching Go Clean Co. scrub grout?). But, as with all social networks, the level of professionalism that users expect from brands is steadily rising.

Brands often use Instagram Story templates to create a consistent aesthetic on their Stories: one that’s connected to their larger visual identity or brand voice. The subtle (aesthetically pleasing) inclusions of branded fonts, colours and logos all help to build familiarity and trust with a brand.

Jewellery design studio Melanie Auld Jewelry uses templates to share editorial content on its Stories, like this profile of wellness and travel blogger Julianne Barbas. With shots laid out artfully and elegant text, it’s almost like a digital magazine feature. Profesh!

Melanie Auld Jewelry Instagram story template

Save time (and money)

Because most content on Stories disappears after 24 hours (unless you post them to your Highlights), it doesn’t make sense to professionally design every single shot or video.

But if you know you’re going to be regularly posting certain types of content, designing a template to accompany each one will save you time (and the cost of hiring a pro) in the future.

Pro tip: With Hootsuite’s Instagram Story Scheduler, you can create, edit and schedule your Instagram Stories in advance.

Make non-visual content pop

Instagram is a visual platform where brands that invest in good photography excel. But not everyone on Instagram is selling something visually exciting like optical illusion makeup or horrifying ‘80s living rooms.

The Washington Post (whose TikTok, btw, is weirdly good too) gets people to swipe up on their news stories by using eye-catching animated text and simple illustrative graphics. Even though it’s less flashy than glitter eyeshadow, it catches the eye in a Stories feed full of bright visuals.

Washington Post dollar store Instagram story

Or, maybe you just need to post a Story that doesn’t necessarily call for a photograph, such as an intro page for a slideshow of delicious treats, à la Minimalist Baker.

Minimalist Baker slideshow intro page

Stand out from the competition

This one’s easy. Instagram Stories templates are a quick and simple way for your brand to distinguish itself as viewers are flipping through a sea of Stories.

A striking graphic design will (hopefully!) capture their attention and reinforce your brand’s style in the process. It’s also a way to show that you’ve put time and thought into your content.

Brit and Co.’s stories are instantly recognizable when they pop up in your feed: images and videos are always on a splashy backdrop that features brand-appropriate colors, shapes and textures. They’re distinct from the standard look you get from crafting a Story directly in the Instagram app: definitely attention grabbing.

Brit and Co watercolor painting

72 free Instagram Stories templates

As a thank you to our dedicated readers, we’ve designed a pack of 72 customizable Photoshop Instagram Stories templates that will instantly boost the look of your Stories. The templates are divided into nine different story types, with four to 12 styles per category.

Choose the format that best suits your purposes and customize it in Photoshop (instructions below) to match your brand—or simply use as is. The possibilities are endless!

Want ‘em all? No sweat. Download them here!

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Happy birthday Instagram Story templates

Happy birthday Instagram Story templates

AMA Instagram Story templates

AMA Instagram Story templates

Quotes Instagram Story templates

Quotes Instagram Story templates

Instagram Story ad templates

Instagram Story ad templates

Instagram Story bingo templates

Instagram Story bingo templates

Instagram Story donation templates

Instagram Story donation templates

Music Instagram Story templates

Music Instagram Story templates

This or that Instagram Story templates

This or that Instagram Story templates

About Me Instagram Story templates

About Me Instagram Story templates

Instagram Story template size

If you’re going to DIY your own Instagram story template, you’re probably going to want to know the dimensions.

Instagram Stories are 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall.

For best results, your Instagram Story should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, and a minimum width of 500px.

And in case you were curious about any other social specs, here’s our handy social media image size cheat sheet!

How to use the Instagram Stories templates

Here’s how to customize these templates for your brand and then upload them to your Instagram Stories. You will need Adobe Photoshop to get started.

Download your free pack of 72 customizable Instagram Stories templates now. Save time and look professional while promoting your brand in style.

Download the templates now!

1. Once you’ve downloaded and unzipped the Photoshop files, double click the image you’d like to customize to open it in Photoshop.

2. To edit text: double click the text you would like to edit. You can change fonts and colors in the menu on the left-hand side.

Adobe Photoshop edit font

3. To edit a color block: double click the color block you would like to edit. Change the size or use the menu on the left-hand side to change the color.

edit color block

4. To edit a photo: double click the photo you would like to edit and click insert new image. Resize image as necessary.

edit photo and resize

5. To save one single Story template: Select the Story you would like to save and go to Save>Export As>Artboard to Files. Make sure to save as a .jpg or .png.

save single Story template

6. To save all four Story templates: Save>Export As. Make sure to save as a .jpg or .png.

save all four Story templates

7. Email the finished image file(s) to yourself and download them onto your phone.

8. Upload to Instagram Stories one at a time.

Instagram Story template apps

If this monster pack of templates still isn’t quite fitting your needs, that’s totally cool. You can make a custom Instagram Story template of your very own using Photoshop or one of the apps below.

Check out these other resources for Instagram Stories templates if you don’t have Photoshop, or if you don’t require a lot of customization capabilities.

Adobe Spark

Not only are there thousands of beautiful templates in Adobe Spark’s free library, but it’s got built-in photo editing functionality too — so you can make sure your images pop as much as the graphic design.

Adobe Spark free library

Photoshop

As mentioned above, you can use Photoshop to tweak our Hootsuite templates—but Adobe’s also got some bare-bones starter templates too for you. Put your own spin on things and get experimental!

Photoshop templates
Unfold

Download the Unfold app for iPhone or Android to access a huge library of ready-made Stories templates right on your phone. A monthly or annual subscription will open up even more options.

Unfold Story templates

A Design Kit

A perennial favorite of the influencer crowd, A Design Kit’s designs allow you to add elements, tweak colors, texturize and more. Over 30 fonts offer an opportunity to really stand out from everyone else typing away with Instagram’s minimal selection.
A Design Kit Story templates

Easil

Easil’s free version includes 2,500-plus templates to play with, but if you feel like splashing out, the platform’s brand kit feature is pretty cool: it allows you to store your color palette, logos, brand images and fonts in one place to pop into their sleek templates. There’s also a handy collaboration feature, so you can tag-team a Story with a teammate if you need an extra hand.

Easil

GoDaddy Studio

The unfortunately named GoDaddy Studio tool (formerly Over) actually has some pretty sweet design options. It’s ultimately lure to try to get you to sign up for their web hosting services, but you can score some sleek looking templates for free.

GoDaddy Studio

Mojo

Mojo’s specialty is animated Stories: toss your photos or videos into one of their dynamic templates and customize the timing, music and text effects for an attention-grabbing message. New templates and styles are added each month.

Mojo create animated social content

Crello

With Crello’s free plan, you can download five designs each month; a subscription plan offers more options for tapping into their design library.

Crello

Creative Market

Okay, the Instagram Stories templates you’ll find on Creative Market are all paid options… but if you’ve got some bucks in your social media budget, you can get something unique in the $30-$70 range. Buy a cohesive pack that speaks to your brand and you’ll have plenty of options to play with. Most kits have hundreds of variations on a theme to keep your Stories on point but not repetitive.

Creative Market

Now that you’re all set with some beautiful visuals, it’s time to buckle down and focus on crafting great content to go with it. Check out our list of 20 creative Instagram Story ideas or guide to must-know Instagram Stories hacks to get the inspiration flowing for your next post.

Save time managing your Instagram Stories using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts directly to Instagram, respond to comments and DMs, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles. Try it free today.

Get Started

Easily create, analyze, and schedule Instagram posts with Hootsuite. Save time and get results.

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The post 72 Beautiful Instagram Story Templates (And How to Use Them) appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.

Social Media in Higher Education: 6 Essential Tips

Using social media in higher education is the new norm. Recruitment. Student and alumni relations. Crisis communications. Fundraising. It all happens on social.

In this post, we look at the expanding role of social media in higher education. Let’s explore how you can use social tools to build your institutional reputation and foster a sense of community.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

The benefits of social media in higher education

There are plenty of benefits for higher education institutions that understand social tools. Here are some of the top advantages of social media in higher education.

Promoting values and achievements

Make your institution’s mission and values known. Social media use in higher education is significant in setting the tone on campus. Promote and represent the kind of culture your school aims to cultivate.

Value alignment informs everything from small purchases to major life decisions. Let prospective students, faculty, and partners know they’re welcome and supported. In turn, communicate the types of behavior that won’t be tolerated.

Give current and past scholars reasons to take pride in their alma mater — broadcast commitments to sustainability, investments in the community, or advances in medical research.

A little old-fashioned bragging goes a long way, too. Show off state-of-the-art facilities, award-winning research, and other accomplishments. Highlight students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Rally school spirit by celebrating top athletes, wins, and first place finishes.

Connecting with alumni and boost fundraising efforts

Alumni are often the source of major fundraising contributions. Social media raises your profile and helps maintain connections with them. Many colleges and universities maintain social accounts specifically geared to alumni relations.

Facebook groups for alumni in different cities or countries could be a good bet, too. The University of Oregon has Facebook groups for alumni all over the world.

UO Japan Alumni Facebook group

Source: UO Japan Alumni

Social is also an important tool to publicize one-off or annual fundraising events.

Last year, Columbia University’s #ColumbiaGivingDay raised $24 million. There were more than 19 thousand donors. Social media is a key way to spread the word and inspire participation and gifts.

Integrating a campaign like this with a CRM system allows you to attribute funds and measure ROI. Social fundraising campaigns also invite alumni, students, staff, and faculty to be active advocates for the school. They can provide an invaluable show of support and camaraderie.

Taking advantage of UGC (user-generated content)

Your entire student population is likely creating social content on a regular basis. That’s a ton of real-life material that can help authentically boost your institution’s profile.

Create a hashtag like #BerkeleyPOV for students to share photos. Repost the best ones (crediting the authors, of course) on your official channels.

Social media contests encourage students to share content you can use. Simple rewards like university logo clothing work well as motivational prizes. Plus, those promotional clothing items will likely show up in later posts, further promoting the university in an organic way.

Developing new learning opportunities

Social media in higher education presents powerful opportunities for creative thinking and presentation.

In the Netflix show “The Chair,” a professor asks students to Tweet their favorite line from Moby Dick. There’s not much critical thinking there. But it could be a good first step to incorporating social tools. Maybe students could use a course-based hashtag to collect those Tweets and discuss their impact or meaning.

The A. Holly Patterson Library at Nassau Community College provides resources for instructors to incorporate social media education in assignments. These include guides on information literacy and spotting fake news.

In the journal Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning, Hamadi, El-Den, Azam, et al. created the following framework for the role of social media in higher education as a cooperative learning tool:

Framework for the role of social media in higher education as a cooperative learning tool

Source: Hamadi, M., El-Den, J., Azam, S. et al. A novel framework for integrating social media as a cooperative learning tool in higher education’s classrooms. RPTEL 16, 21 (2021).

Recent research shows social media is most often used in:

  • literacy education
  • medicine
  • higher education marketing, and
  • social sciences

Popular uses of social media in higher education

The impact of social media in higher education is hard to overstate. Let’s look at a few of its most important uses for higher ed.

Attracting new candidates

A recent study by TargetX found 58% of aspiring students use social media to research schools. 17% say these sources are extremely influential. And 61% say they are at least somewhat influenced by their social research.

Make it easy for students to picture their future at your university. Showcase college life with virtual tours and student takeovers.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CTqNUe1A7h3/

Feature the clubs, communities, and social opportunities attendees can get involved in. Show off the campus. Help them understand the benefits your institution offers beyond academic study.

Sharing important updates in real time

No one hopes for crises or emergencies. But it’s important for institutions to plan for them. People increasingly look to social media for real-time updates and information. Social is a key part of every crisis communications plan.

Rumors travel fast on social media. So do student-led trends you’ll want to keep tabs on (we’re looking at you, #bamarush). All this makes it essential to conduct active social listening.

COVID-19 has increased the need for strong communications at universities and colleges. Mask policies, physical distancing requirements, precautions, event cancellations. These are all advisories schools now issue on social media.

Ohio University has a Twitter account specifically to deal with COVID information and updates:

People also expect institutions to respond to social movements. They want to see the university take concrete actions to address social or institutional issues.

Communication plans should also be prepared for emergencies. Think about weather disruptions, natural disasters, and other imminent threats.

Engaging students on and off-campus

Not all students live on campus. That doesn’t mean they’re less motivated to engage and participate in student life.

A key advantage of social media in higher education is that it allows students to connect. That might be from home, different campuses, work study programs, or at a conference.

Create channels and groups to rally students. Base them on wide-ranging topics, interests, experiences, and activities.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Get the free guide right now!

McGill University runs more than 40 accounts dedicated to student life. And the Campus Life & Engagement Facebook Page links to private groups like McGill University Entering Class of 2021-2022.

There’s also a Facebook page specifically for off-campus students. This ensures they feel as much a part of the university community as those who live in residence.

How to use social media in higher education: 6 essential tips

Using social media in higher education can feel a little overwhelming. Here are 6 tips to help make it work for your institution.

1. Develop a social media strategy

Behind every successful social media channel, there’s a strategy at play. Add more channels to the picture, and the need for strategy increases. But so do the challenges.

It’s an enormous challenge to create a strategy for a multi-channel organization.

This is likely why it continues to be a top goal for professionals polled in our Social Campus Report. 76% of respondents say defining a clear social media marketing strategy and objectives is their top priority. Another 45% hope to coordinate social strategy campus-wide.

Align social strategy back to the university’s core objectives. This creates a clear business case for social media and allows managers to better allocate resources. In fact, 64% of professionals agree that social media should connect to the strategic plan and institutional mission.

For example, look at Georgia State University’s #TheStateWay campaign. It has four pillars: Atlanta, research, classroom technology, and student success.

@georgiastateuniversityWe’re top ranked! #TheStateWay!♬ original sound – GeorgiaStateU

Meanwhile, the University of Sydney uses social media to support its 4 big strategic goals:

  • enhance its research reputation
  • attract high-quality students
  • diversify its international student base
  • build a unique brand

2. Establish social media guidelines and policies

With so many people and accounts involved, it’s important to establish guidelines and policies to keep everyone on track. Solid documentation helps streamline onboarding, promotes best practices, and maintains a unified voice across channels.

Your complete set of higher education social media guidelines should include:

It may seem like a lot of ground to cover. But thorough guidelines provide crucial support to social managers. They also empower students and faculty to participate in an independent and authentic way. As a bonus, they reduce the need for support from the core team.

3. Create a social media hub

Higher ed social media operations tend to involve a lot of people and even more channels. Bring everyone and everything together with a central hub. Create a social media directory that lists and categorizes all social media accounts.

For example, the University of Michigan has more than 1200 active social accounts. Official accounts are listed in a directory.

University of Michigan's directory of social media accounts

Source: University of Michigan

MIT maintains a searchable website that lets visitors look up channels by keyword or platform. The University of Waterloo lists upwards of 200 channels by department or domain with the option to filter by network.

As an external resource, these hubs allow people to find and follow the right channels. They can be confident they’re looking at official accounts.

The hub-and-spoke setup translates as a good management model as well. With the support of a tool like Hootsuite, a core team can monitor all channels from a central dashboard.

This makes life easier for often under-resourced social managers. Use the dashboard to assign tasks, approve and schedule posts, coordinate content from contacts across the campus, and mobilize in the event of a crisis.

4. Adopt a platform-specific approach

Did you check out the social media directories we mentioned above? If so, you’ll notice the social platforms used vary across departments, faculties, and other areas of university life.

Does admissions need a LinkedIn page? Does information aimed at parents need to go on TikTok? It’s important to consider which platforms are most likely to reach the right audience.

But remember: You’re not just talking to Gen Z.

Your audience includes students and potential students, of course, but they may not all be in their late teens or early twenties. In public four-year schools in the U.S., 90% of students are under 25. But for private for-profit four-year institutions, 66% are 25 or older.

Distribution of new full-time students by age

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Beyond mature students, you’ve also got to reach plenty of other adult audiences:

  • parents
  • corporate partners
  • other institutions
  • faculty and potential faculty
  • staff

Get to know each of your social audiences. Look for trends in age range, gender, location, and, if available, occupation, education level, and interests. With these findings, tailor and personalize messages for each different audience.

For instance, LinkedIn may not be the best platform for recruiting undergraduates. But it could be the ideal place to market continuing education programs or recruit new instructors.

TikTok might be a good channel for admissions content. (Though likely not the only one — remember those adult learners). It can also be a platform to experiment and simply build community in the inexplicable way that only TikTok can.

Stay on top of platform and demographic trends to identify where your communities are most active. This allows managers to focus on channels that drive the most results. Management tools like Hootsuite make it easy to compare how channels stack up against each other.

5. Build and empower communities

With a central hub, guidelines, and strategy, your infrastructure is in place for communities to flourish on social media.

Create hashtags the student body can rally behind online. Develop an accessible intake program so students and faculty can apply to create and manage accounts. Let students and their creativity take over — it pays off.

City University of New York handed control of its TikTok account over to students. The result is definitely not what you would find on most official higher-ed social platforms. But it has more than 23 thousand followers and 1.6 million likes.

@cunyeduStill gonna get that iced coffee tho 😗✌ ##CUNY ##college ##student ##school ##nyc ##CandyCrushAllStars

♬ original sound – Call me Snow

Colorado State University created a student-run YouTube channel. Student ambassadors share pretty intimate videos about life on campus and what it has been like to be a college student during a pandemic.

CSU promoted its YouTube channel with student takeovers on its Instagram account, which led to messages like this:

Exchange of DMs between CSU social team and prospective candidate

Source: Shorty Awards: A Ram’s Life Vlog

The more people who share content, the greater your institution’s reach and social share of voice. With Hootsuite Amplify, faculty, staff, and students can share vetted, on-brand content and increase reach.

6. Invest in building a team

Social media for higher education is not a one-person job. Nor is a job that should be left to interns. (Although it is a great idea to include student interns or work placement positions on your social team.)

For context, the University of Michigan has a social media team of 12 people plus a director and student interns. West Virginia University has a full-time social team of eight for their Morgantown Campus plus three half-time student workers.

Don’t yet have a full team? Create strategic alliances with other departments. You’ll gain access to more information and resources than you could on your own.

You can also maximize the time of a small team with a social media management platform like Hootsuite. Create posts in advance, schedule them for the best posting times, and upload batches of posts in bulk. You also don’t waste time logging in and out of different platforms.

Liz Grey at the University of Sydney said, “​​Hootsuite saves us so much time. It’s probably equivalent to having two more people on our team.”

Need to prove to higher-ups that you need more budget for social media? Come prepared with plenty of information about your current return on investment.

A social media report is an important tool for backing up the value of your work.

Put your higher education engagement strategy into action and save time while you’re at it by using Hootsuite to manage all your social channels from one dashboard. Try it free today.

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Book a demo to see how Hootsuite helps universities and schools:

→ Drive enrollment
→ Boost student engagement
→ Raise new funds
→ Simplify social media marketing

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The post Social Media in Higher Education: 6 Essential Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.