[Infographic] Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet 2016 

'Cause it's nifty to have them all in one place, ain't it?

Almost every month a new startup launches and new technology is introduced. The internet universe is always changing. Now, how does it impact you and your business? Well, in an age where social media has become an integral part of how we market our products and services online, we have to stay updated to remain relevant. You have to be sure to continually employ best practices. For example, researchers found out that color increases motivation to read content by 80%, so it is then imperative that marketing and social media contents be paired with images that reinforce information retention. In fact, Facebook posts that included images earned 87% of all engagements. This is an important piece of information all small businesses must take advantage of.

To help you accelerate your online success, we compiled this year's newest and most updated sizes of social media images.

social media images cheat sheet for 2016

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View User Profile for Crista McCandless Crista is a self-proclaimed geek who loves fiction, data analysis, growth hacking and everything Tolkien. At Fast Track, she helps businesses identify areas to improve and grow online with her ninja moves. She manages the digital strategy, including online marketing and search engine optimization. Follow her musings about world domination in Twitter as @crista_mcc.
Posted by Crista McCandless Wednesday, May 25, 2016 4:31:00 PM Categories: social media social media marketing web trends

[Infographic] Social Media Images Cheat Sheet 2015 

We've compiled the newest images for social media just for you.

Complete social media images cheatsheet for 2015.

View User Profile for Crista McCandless Crista is a self-proclaimed geek who loves fiction, data analysis, growth hacking and everything Tolkien. At Fast Track, she helps businesses identify areas to improve and grow online with her ninja moves. She manages the digital strategy, including online marketing and search engine optimization. Follow her musings about world domination in Twitter as @crista_mcc.
Posted by Crista McCandless Friday, September 11, 2015 1:47:00 PM Categories: infographics SMB social media social media marketing web trends

SMB Tips: 15 Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Avoid 

Knowing what social media marketing is not enough. Understanding how it works is the main menu for your online success. Here's 15 social media mistakes some businesses tend to overlook and how you can avoid them.

Social Media Mistakes Brands Need To Avoid

If you’re a smart marketer, one strategy that you’re probably using to attract new customers is social media.  When done right, social media  becomes a means to connect and engage with targeted customers through sharing useful content, as well as information about your products or services.

However, there are still many businesses that just don't get it right when it comes to social media marketing. As a result, the incurred social media mistakes they've made become time-wasters, or worst, lost profit.

Below is a list of social media mistakes that you may be doing unknowingly:

(1) You have no plan

Before launching any tactic using social media, take a look at your objectives.. You should define your target audience, research your competition, select the right tools of the trade, and produce content before you post your first social media update. Without planning, you might end up appearing disorganized and unprepared.

(2) Going solo

If you have a business that needs a couple of people in order to work, it's the same with your social media campaigns. You don't have to have a separate team, but at least one or two people handling the tasks of strategizing, planning, creating content and design, promotion, branding, and monitoring. Doing it alone is not only stressful, but can also be chaotic.

(3) Being predictable with your content

It's not fun seeing the same updates over and over again on all of your social media accounts. Without creativity and careful thought in your content, your followers may end up clicking the 'unlike' or 'unfollow' button.

(4) Can't write?

Social media updates are not as long as a blog post. These updates should be professionally written, with the audience in mind, and with a dash of creativity and wit to capture their attention. If you can't do this, hire a professional writer who can channel the right tone and provide quality content consistently.

(5) Not posting updates in real-time

While it's okay to schedule updates on social media, it's not as engaging as a real-time updates that have commentaries instantaneously. Not sharing content in real-time may even deter your target audience.

(6) Spreading yourself too thin

If you're trying to post on  all social media networks, stop. Take a look at where your audiences are - are they on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+? If you are chasing after possible leads, it's best to focus on a few social media networks where they congregate. Rather than signing up for almost every social network, it's better to focus on a few where you can get the most targeted leads.

(7) Missing in action

If you are or if you have an erratic social media manager, it's difficult to gain results from inconsistent updates. Promoting your business and pushing your brand forward requires a  constant stream of updates to let your followers know that you're there and always available.

(8) You're unprofessional and careless

Typographical errors, grammar mistakes, and being too informal in creating updates puts your brand at risk. You'll be seen as unprofessional and people who follow you might think that you're not serious about your business. Social media marketing may not require everyone to be too formal, but you can be neutral, friendly, and accommodating, while maintaining a professional approach.

(9) Faking it

Being authentic, honest, and transparent can help win more followers and potential clients because you are not hiding behind a façade. You can provide opinions and facts to influence people with your genuineness. Always say what you mean and mean what you say. because it's your brand you're putting out there.

(10) You're too self-centered

It's not always about you. Always provide information that will help your followers, even if it’s not your content. . Be sure to share links to resources that your audience  can benefit from and also make sure to mention and thank the rightful owners.

(11) Why so serious?

Add a sense of humor when needed. You can add a bit of fun in your updates and promotions to lighten up the mood and engage  your followers. When an occasion calls for it, see to it that your updates are appropriate and light-hearted, without deviating from your content.

(12) You're being too safe

Don't be bland in engaging with your followers. You can be bold and expressive without offending.. Show personality in your updates and engagements, but do avoid arguments and being controversial. Keep it professional, honest, and creative with your responses.

(13) Where are the photos?

Adding photos or any shareable imagery, especially for social media updates, is the norm. Visual content attracts more attention than bland and wordy messaging. Use stock images, candid photos, Instagram, vine, and video to match your updates.

(14) Not checking the numbers

Defining your goals and developing a method for measuring your social media will help you see the results of your efforts. It's not enough that you're promoting your brand to followers if you cannot see any result.

(15) Not setting a budget

While organic search still lives, it's not always a reliable source of new leads. If you want to get your brand out there and be seen, it's best to spend a little for social media - either for tools, apps, or services.

Check your own strategies and see what needs to changed. There's always a chance you're making a few of these social media mistakes and now is the time to correct them.

If you need help and guidance in your social media marketing techniques, call us now. We can help you improve it for better results.

View User Profile for Crista McCandless Crista is a self-proclaimed geek who loves fiction, data analysis, growth hacking and everything Tolkien. At Fast Track, she helps businesses identify areas to improve and grow online with her ninja moves. She manages the digital strategy, including online marketing and search engine optimization. Follow her musings about world domination in Twitter as @crista_mcc.
Posted by Crista McCandless Monday, July 20, 2015 10:24:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C marketing tips online marketing small business tips SMB social media social media marketing

The Importance of LinkedIn for your Business 

importance of linkedin for your business

If you’re looking to be able to increase your online business, one resource that small business retailers may not be considering is LinkedIn.  
LinkedIn now boasts over 200 million registered users in over 200 countries around the world.  Currently, there are more than three million companies with LinkedIn pages, and indications show that professionals are signing up at a rate of approximately two new members per second.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network.  

So how can you benefit?

Reach.    Chances are many of your employees are posting their profiles on LinkedIn.  If you have a profile on Linked In, everyone that connects with you may potentially click on your company name to find out more.  
It’s important to take advantage of this by building a company page on LinkedIn.
If you’re unsure of how to build a company page on LinkedIn, click here

Awareness.  Within LinkedIn, there is a section to talk about specific products and services that you provide.  LinkedIn allows you to add several products with pictures and descriptions, to highlight everything that you offer.

Optimize.  By creating a LinkedIn company page, you’ll increase the visibility of your company.  If you post jobs, the results will appear within your expanded LinkedIn network.

LinkedIn has its’ own search engine for finding jobs.  By having a LinkedIn company page, you’ll greatly increase your visibility on the web.  Plus, you can potentially find your next great employee.

Users can easily land on your page through LinkedIn.  Every employee has the opportunity to promote your company – use this to your advantage!

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Posted by Tuesday, February 3, 2015 4:52:00 PM Categories: B2B B2C SMB social media social media marketing

How to Effectively Integrate Social Media into Your Website 

how to integrate social media into your website


If you’re a small business, integrating social media into your site is essential.  Integrating social media into your site can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know what to do or how to do it.

Your social media channels should work with your site to help your brand gain exposure on the internet.

How do you do this?

Use visible social media buttons on your site

While this may seem obvious, double check.  Make sure that your social media buttons appear on every page of your site.  Also, so that users don’t navigate away from your site, make sure that when the user selects the button, the social media site opens in another window.  The goal is to increase the interaction the user has with your brand, not to lead them away.

On the image below, The Empress Secret has chosen to add their social media icons on the top right of the site:

Integrate social media posts into your home page

Google and other web search engines crawl the internet looking for updated content continually.  If the home page of your site contains a ‘feed’ of your twitter or blog content, the content is being updated every time that you blog or tweet.

Next, if there is a feed to your home page, make sure that you’re updating your social media on a consistent basis.  Showing old material or content dates on your home page does not show well for your brand.    New, relevant material on your site shows your customers that you take your business and your product seriously and you’re providing relevant, up to date material.

Below, Diginomica shows a series of recent conversations from their social media on their site:
Include Share Buttons

Think of Share buttons like this:  If you take the time to write and post content, why not also make sure that your followers can share it with their friends?  If you don’t, you could potentially be missing out on a ton of business.

To do this, check out apps like http://www.addthis.com/ or http://www.sharethis.com.

Internet Retailer shows the social media “share” buttons in the left column, beside this article.  When you scroll down on the site, the icons follow as you scroll.
Look to Google Analytics for Help

Google analytics can help you to track how people are using your social media buttons.  They suggest setting up Event Tracking in your Analytics account.  If you don’t know how to do this, Google provides a easy to use guide, just select the link above.

Allow social log ins to make it easier to connect to you.

With social log ins, users don’t have to create an account on your site.  Instead, they use their own log in information from their favorite social media site to log into your site.

Using social log ins helps to create a community for your brand quickly.  From here, engage with your followers for more sales.

There you have it.  Some quick ideas on integrating social media into your site.

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