If you haven’t heard of Instagram, you are missing out on a social media gem that boasts over 100 million active users. That’s a hefty number and, as a result, big brands are increasingly joining Instagram’s ranks–sharing photos and videos and increasing engagement with existing and potential customers the world over.

ms-increase-engagementHere are some of the international players that have put Instagram to work for them.


This heavy-hitter in the world of sports apparel and equipment knows the value of social media when it comes to marketing a brand–and it has identified Instagram as a requisite social media marketing tool. Nike also knows that humans love to create and share their creations with others. Here’s how they used Instagram to cash in on our inner Picassos and earn a massive following. Read more…

Asian Girl WritingA 2012 survey by Zinch and Inigral revealed that approximately 72 percent of college bound students utilized social media networks to research prospective colleges and universities for their higher education. Considering the importance that students place on these networks, it only makes sense that colleges follow suit. The following gives some insight into how six savvy colleges are using social media to meet prospective students’ needs.

College of Saint Rose

Recruiting new students is always at the forefront of a college or university, and social media can play a key role in accomplishing this task. The College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y., utilizes social media in the form of YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Facebook ads and tweets to highlight campus culture and events that make their institution unique. Direct messaging from Facebook also provides a means for students to send further inquiries directly to the institution. In this way, the college can attract students who are specifically interested in what it has to offer.

University of Washington at Seattle

For many students, college is the first time they are away from home, personal family and friends. Social media is one way students can connect with their peers and establish new relationships. Ranking ninth among the top 100 Social Media Colleges in the country, the University of Washington in Seattle Read more…

The Vine logoThe clock is ticking, and you have 6.5 seconds to make an impression. That’s the premise behind Vine, Twitter’s micro-video app that’s sweeping across social media platforms. While the majority of Vine videos are for entertainment purposes, businesses have caught on to the trend. Mediabistro.com reports that 87 percent of marketers in the U.S. use video for content marketing, so adopting Vine is a natural transition for many companies. But how are businesses supposed to make a point in such a short time span? Major businesses are getting creative and building their brands through these short clips.

Marketers have high-definition cameras, hughesnet plans and advanced analytics at their disposal, but these simple videos are leveling the playing field. Whether you’re trying to introduce a product or humanize your brand, consider these templates as you build Vine into your social media strategy.

Make an Impression

In a 6.5-second video, the worst thing you can be is boring. A Vine video doesn’t need a call to action or even specific information about your business. If it leaves viewers impressed, you just earned a small dose of brand loyalty. Samsung has a multi-million dollar advertising budget, but it isn’t too big to post this frivolous, creative video Read more…

This is a shot in the dark to see if anyone would be interested in buying any of the following high quality social media domains I am entertaining offers for to raise money for my startup; we have plans for each domain but it would be great to get a cash injection.

If you are seriously interested in buying any of these, contact us with a reasonable offer (nothing under $4000. Still a bargain!) or call 1-250-385-1190 and we can discuss prices and terms.

All payments will be handled via Escrow to make this process comfortable & safe for all parties:

  • SocialMediaTactics.com
  • SocialMediaResults.com
  • SocialMediaPromotion.com
  • SocialMediaOptimizers.com
  • SocialMediaVisibility.com
  • SocialMediaLocally.com
  • SocialMediaCo.com
  • SocialMediaCompany.ca

All domains are owned by StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

A graphic of the book cover

Today StepForth released a comprehensive manual on How to Setup Google Authorship which is available now for free as a web version or PDF download (right-click this link and save).

About this Free Manual

Written by Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth, this unofficial manual is for anyone who writes regularly online and website owners/administrators of a website with or without a blog. It is designed to help everyone understand what Authorship is, why it is important and how to ensure it is setup for the greatest personal and/or professional benefit. 

This manual covers implementation of the rel=author and rel=publisher tags within the following scenarios and platforms: Read more…

UMass just published their latest study on social media usage within Fortune 500 companies which shows a notable increase in the application and engagement of blogs and a rise in the use of social platforms such as Instagram, Google+ and Foursquare and Pinterest.

Setting the Scene

The University of Massachusetts has been publishing an annual report since 2008 on the utilization of social media within the Fortune 500 as listed by Fortune Magazine. Every year the F500 are examined to determine their various levels of engagement within the most common social platforms and their integration and relative upkeep of social tools within their own sites; specifically their blogs.

Some of the More Interesting Findings from this 2013 Study

This study is, to UMASS’s credit, comprehensive and should really be read in detail to get the most out of it. That said I know not everyone has the time so we put together some of the findings we found most interesting and we hope you do as well. Please remember, however, that very little of these results can stand upon their own as evidence of a specific fact because correlation is not necessarily causation. With that said Read more…

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Applebees Social Media Nightmare

The power of the internet and social media can change lives forever. All it takes is a single social post without fully thinking the consequences. What may seem like a trivial and innocent post can escalate into an enormous globally famous incident.

Applebees ReceiptYou have most likely heard the recent story of an Applebee’s employee, Chelsea Welch, who posted a copy of a receipt to Reddit that has gained significant attention over the past week. After a customer crossed out a mandatory 18% tip on her bill and wrote “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18″

After this photo (with Signature intact) made its rounds on Reddit it had quickly generated thousands of comments as users tried to track down the customer. Pastor Alois Bell ultimately came forward after seeing the receipt complete with her signature online and complained to Applebee’s. Welch was ultimately fired for the incident. Read more…

There are a lot of different methods out there for driving down your costs of advertising on Facebook and to increase the efficiency of your page and your overall marketing campaign. From beginner guides to expert expositions, there’s information out there for all stripes. For the marketer on Facebook already privy to ad formats and how the system works, you can skip the rookie camp and look for something with more meat on the bones.

For instance, you can skip over the tips dealing with how to draw people to your page and instead focus on how to get more of those visitors to actually engage with your brand.

If you’re looking to increase your sales, it’s all about increasing your engagement. The tips listed below should help you to post more engaging material. Read more…

Last week I wrote an article called “The Ideal Startup Social Media Strategy for Non-Profits.” This evolved as a result of a phone call I had with a small non-profit called Urunji Child Care Trust. They were looking for the ultimate plan to implement through social media to raise awareness of their initiatives and ultimately raise funds. I decided to create a plan for them by following these steps:

  • Research similar organizations that have been highly successful using social media
  • Choose which platforms you are going to utilize
  • Communicate your non-profit’s objective through the platform (s)
  • Connect with the people that share your mission
  • Create a campaign to raise funds

Research similar organizations that have been highly successful using social media. After a little digging, the non-profits I decided to research were African Promise, A Glimmer of Hope and Ripple Africa. All three have a very strong presence in social and are performing tactics Urunji could benefit from if they followed some of the same practices. (Please note: for the purpose of this article I’ve focused on one social platform per organization).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africanpromise

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/aglimmerofhope

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/rippleafrica

Choose which platforms you are going to utilize. Urunji currently has a Facebook and Twitter account although they are not very active to date. I recommend they begin Read more…

Recently we had a non-profit organization contact us for help with their Social Media. They are relatively new and wanted some tips on how they can utilize their social platforms to raise money for their organization. The organization, Urunji Child Care Trust, works to combat malnutrition and illiteracy by providing free meals and educational materials to underprivileged children in Malawi. They currently have a Facebook and Twitter account but have not done much beyond setup.

What do you think is the best social media strategy for fundraising? I can hear it in my head already, people saying “Social Media is about RELATIONSHIPS not a means to an end to raise money.” But through building those relationships, aren’t you setting the stage for those that want to help you?

Below is my ideal strategy for a non-profit starting social media from scratch with the objective to raise funds for their organization.

Research similar organizations that have been highly successful using social media. You won’t be able to tell how much money they have raised strictly through their social efforts but getting an idea of who their followers are and how they communicate their message will be highly beneficial to you in creating a strategy. Ensure you don’t stick to 1 or 2 platforms in this research stage.  You never know which may be the most receptive. Read more…