Social Media and the Job Search

Three years ago during my college freshman orientation one of the very first seminars I attended was “How to Clean Up Your Social Media.” I attend Bentley University, which is a business school, and from the very first day we stepped on campus, the advisors and faculty ingrained in our heads the importance of professionally displaying ourselves on the internet. Social media management is everywhere at my school. Everyone is required to take a class dedicated to learning how to make a perfect LinkedIn profile, and even my sorority has strict guidelines and a contract we must sign that dictates what is considered appropriate to post.

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Pause Before You Post on Social Media

In my last three and a half years at college, knowing what to post and what not to post almost comes second nature to me. However, I never really understood the importance until I began applying for summer internships, and more recently, a full-time job post-graduation. A recent study showed that 70 percent of employers screen job applicants using their social media, so it is important now more than ever before to check up on all of your online personas before you send in your resume to your dream job (Brooks, 2017).

 

pexels-photo-935756.jpegEven if you think your account is completely private, there are still ways to see the content you post. The easiest thing is to just pause before you post to ensure that everything you’re about to share, like, tweet, or comment is tasteful and appropriate. Someone once taught me that if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, then don’t post it at all. I still follow those guidelines every day.

 

Social Media Scanning is not Always Out to Get You

Before you panic and delete every form of social media you have, know that there are times your platforms can actually help you out rather than hurt you. When an employer is screening an applicant, they are not necessarily looking at your profiles to “catch” you. Many of the times your pictures or statuses can confirm something you already spoke to them about or support your professional qualities. For instance, if your resume says you dedicate several hours a week to volunteering at your local pet shelter and your Instagram is filled with adorable puppies, then the employer will remember that and know the information you gave them is valid.

 

pexels-photo-219003.jpegEmployers also use social media to see what other people are posting about you too. This can be beneficial since most things that are shared online about someone else are positive. However, sometimes friends can post things that were meant as jokes but could be construed as inappropriate or unprofessional. Next time you’re about to post the most embarrassing selfies you have of your friend on her Facebook wall for her birthday, maybe think twice about it.

 

By taking the extra second to think about what you are about to upload before you hit the “share” button you will see that it can make a huge difference, and employers will take notice. Not only will you show you have great communication skills and creativity, but you will also show employers you know how to professionally portray yourself to others. Social Media is often times your first impression to many people and you always want to put your best foot forward.

 

Social Media Screening Works Both Ways

pexels-photo-515169.jpegOne thing I did take away from my job search experience is not only how important your own social media accounts are, but also how important social media platforms are for the company you are applying to. One of the first things I do when I hear about a company or am interested in applying to a job is look at the business’ Facebook and Instagram pages. These, along with many other platforms, give myself and other candidates a look into the company that may be different from what they have on their website.

 

Checking out the company’s social media platforms can also give you a feel for their company culture. Websites are usually more formal and informative, but social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram can share more fun or engaging content showing you an inside peek at everyday work life. You may even earn extra brownie points during an interview if you bring up something that they shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter!

 

If your business needs a little extra boost managing your social media platforms….

MaxExposure Social Media can help! Check out our Reputation Management package, which has our team of experts manage your reviews, social media activity, and overall online presence. If you are interested in this or would like to learn more about our other services please feel free to contact us!

 

Resources:

Brooks, Chad. “Keep It Clean: Social Media Screenings Gain in Popularity.” Business News Daily, 16 June 2017, https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2377-social-media-hiring.html.

5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Have a Company Video

We’ve all visited company websites to learn more about them, but felt frustrated because the information provided is either too dense or too difficult to find. One thing a business can do to avoid this from happening is by providing their customers with a company video. Video is much more powerful than spoken or written word as people are more likely to absorb information when it is visually presented to them. Through the use of a professionally made video, a company can portray themselves in a positive light which will attract new customers and keep the old ones coming back for more.

pexels-photo.jpgA study done a few years ago showed that Americans watched 21 billion videos online in one year, and 79 percent of people with an online presence frequently watch videos. This proves that today, more than ever before, it is crucial to utilize this feature to reach a large audience. These videos do not only have to show up on a company’s website. They can be posted on several different social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

People today want information, but they want it fast. What better way to do this than through a video? Below are five of the most important reasons why every business should have a company video…

     1. It  gives your company a face

Providing customers with a video about your company is a great way to create an image or help build onto the one you already have. Customers will gain trust and be more loyal if they can visually see what your company is all about and have a tangible experience. The video itself should include the core values and mission to quickly and effectively get your message across.

     2. It shows your customers you’re the real deal

Having a video not only provides your customers with quick and relevant information but it also reflects on the legitimacy of the company. When I see that a company website has a video, I automatically categorize them as a business that takes their work seriously and has the resources to market their company effectively. High quality videos show that your company is up-to-date and relevant, allowing customers to trust the quality of your product or service.

     3. It helps give a personal touch

pexels-photo-450271.jpegConnecting to your customers and making them feel like they are valued is one way your company can separate themselves from other businesses, and a video can help you do that. A video helps create a bond with your viewers by being personal and authentic. By including actual staff or workers from the business, it not only shows the company’s personality but allows customers to put a face to the organization itself.

     4. It can set you apart from your competition

Not only will having a high quality video show your customers you are serious and committed to what you do, but it will also set you apart from the competition. Many other companies, especially direct competitors, may not have gone the extra mile to make a video, and believe me your customers will notice the difference and appreciate the time and effort that went into it. Not only will this video set you apart but it will also help you to be remembered

     5. It helps to actively engage customers

pexels-photo-838413.jpegThere are two types of ways people can be engaged, passively or actively. Passive engagement is when someone is looking over something but not really absorbing the information. This could be when they are reading the long “About Us” section on a website. Actively engaged people are absorbing information by taking part in some kind of action or visual stimulation. People learn and remember information better if they are actively engaged, and this active engagement can be accomplished through the use of company videos. 

At MaxExposure Social Media we offer a service that can make a company video for your business. The BetterVideo solution combines client provided or stock imagery, royalty-free music, professionally written script and recorded voice-over to create an informative and visually captivating 60-second video. If you are interested in this or would like to learn more about this service feel free to visit our website, www.maxexposuresocialmedia.com, or contact us!

How Social Media has Changed our Lives for the Better

Take a moment and think about social media and how it has affected your life. Do you automatically think of positive or negative things? Does the good outweigh the bad or vice versa? It is definitely a challenging thing to determine because in a way social media has consumed every aspect of our lives. The minute I wake up after turning off my alarm I am checking my emails, scrolling through Instagram pictures, watching the Snapchat Stories I missed from the night before, and seeing whose birthday it is on Facebook. For me this everyday routine is such a norm that I don’t even realize I am doing it, but many other people disagree and think that it is a causing more harm than good.

Before I started writing this post I typed into google “social media and mental health” to see what popped up. To my surprise, the first page of Google consisted entirely of articles about the negative impacts it can have. Every article was about the dangers of social media or tips on why you should stop using social media as often as we do. This shocked me. I understand there are definitely harmful things that can come from over using it, or using it in a harmful way, but I was surprised that not one article shed light on the positive effects it can have on people.

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Growing up in the millennial generation learning how to work technology and social media was second nature to me. It has been there ever since I can remember and I really cannot imagine a time without it. Because of this, I view these tools in a more positive light than maybe someone who is older than I am would.

Below are my thoughts on social media and some of the many positive effects it can have on people:

It can boost your confidence

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When we make our online profiles, we generally like to show the public the best parts of ourselves. We choose flattering pictures and share exciting experiences we’ve had. By focusing on showing everyone else what we like about ourselves, we in turn can see what makes us so great and this can be a huge confidence booster. So post that #selfie and share that awesome video you made on vacation. Be confident in your social media posts and you will feel confident in yourself!

It can make you step out of your comfort zone

We’ve all heard the silly term “do it for the Gram” but in a way this motto can inspire us to take a step out of our comfort zone to try something new, even if your original intention was only to do it to show off for your followers. Don’t know if you should try sushi for the first time, but the table next to you has a picture perfect plate of it in front of them? Order the sushi! Not only will you get a great pic for your Instagram page but you also can cross something off your bucket list.

It can help us stay connected

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Staying connected with friends is never an easy thing. We all get busy with our everyday lives and forget about the promise you made to your high school bestie when you ran into her at the grocery store to grab coffee sometime. Social media makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with people and up to date on their lives, even if you’re thousands of miles apart. By simply scrolling through Facebook you can congratulate a friend for getting their dream job, or wish someone luck as they move to a different country.

It keeps us up to date on the world around us

Depositphotos_175993390_originalIn my history class last week my professor was interested in seeing where we acquire our news from. To her surprise 90% of our class said their go-to source to see what’s happening in the world around us is social media. Sure we still might turn the news on the TV while we make breakfast in the morning but the reality is that for my particular demographic, we rely on social media to stay in the know. One girl in my class explained that her main use of Twitter is to stay updated on current events. She follows several local and national news stations as well as political leaders and rarely uses it for anything else. With headlines popping up at our fingertips on pretty much every social media platform, my generation is more apt to stay in the know using these outlets.

It can promote a healthy lifestyle

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Although obesity is on the rise and Americans are continuing to lead unhealthy lifestyles, I personally think social media has a way of motivating people to stop binge-watching Friends for the sixth time and get some exercise. Whether it’s pinning motivational quotes to a board on Pinterest, checking out Kayla Itsines’ newest workout on Instagram, or watching a Tasty video of how to make a delicious shrimp salad wrap on Facebook, inspiration and motivation to improve your lifestyle are everywhere.

Next time you start to judge social media and all of it’s negative impacts and research associated with it, take a moment and think about why you use it and why you have so many profiles on so many different platforms. Social media for me does more good than bad and if used correctly, it can do the same for you too!

5 Ways to Make an Authentic Connection with your Followers

Over the past few years, social media has really taken off and it has become a necessary tool for businesses to use to connect with their customers. Sometimes however, it can be difficult to separate your business from the thousands of other companies out there trying to do the same thing. One way to set your business apart is to make an authentic connection to your followers. Creating a meaningful connection can create customer loyalty and help improve your brand identity.

Check out the top five ways below to connect to your followers on a more personal level!

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  1. Get Them Talking

One major way to connect to your followers is by encouraging conversation. Whenever you post something on social media, most of the platforms allow users to write a response or directly reply to the post. Whether it is on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook starting a discussion is key to building an organic relationship with your followers.

The first step is to post something they will want to talk about or comment on. For example, if you post a picture on Instagram have the caption be a question that asks which of two things they prefer. This encourages your followers to reply. Once you start getting responses on your post or picture, make sure you respond to them in a timely manner. Communication is a two-way street so it is important for your followers to know you are listening and you care about their opinions.

  1. Add a Personal Touch

Depositphotos_80421608_l-2015When posting on social media as a business it is very important to make sure your followers and customers are informed and up to date on everything related to the company. However, this should not be the only content that is posted. Instead, add some fun touches to your platforms.

To do this you must know who your target audience is, and post content that is specific to their interests. A children’s clothing boutique for instance could post articles to their Facebook page about fun winter activities to do with kids, or recipes for healthy after school snacks. A hair salon could live tweet about the fashion and hair trends seen on the red carpet at the Grammys. By posting non-business related topics that appeal to your target demographic, your audience will stay more engaged on your platforms and appreciate the extra effort taken to relate to their personal likes and interests.

  1. Seeing is Believing

Another simple change that can have a big impact for your followers is showing instead of telling. What does this mean exactly? It is proven that people are more engaged when they can visually see something rather than just reading it. Instead of only posting typed messages on your social media platform, try using a video. If you have a new product coming out, or you recently renovated your office take a few minutes to capture the details in a video to share with your followers. You can post the video directly to the page or try out one of the new features that different platforms are introducing like Facebook Live or Instagram Story. Your audience will appreciate you going the extra mile to take a video instead of just typing out a paragraph that they could glaze over.

  1. Show Some Support

An important aspect of many businesses today is giving back and showing support to their community. It is very important and highly valuable to show your followers any philanthropic initiatives your business takes part in. One study showed that 90% of Americans are more likely to trust and stay loyal to businesses that give back, and 80% say they want to hear about it.* One way to show how you give back is through your social media platforms. Next time your company volunteers at something, snap a picture and post it to Instagram with a link to the charity or cause. The key to showing support is to make sure you do not brag about it. Posting an album on Facebook of your co-workers running a local 5K is a great way to show your followers what you do to give back, but try not to overkill it by posting about it all of the time on every one of your platforms.

  1.  Consistency is Key

The last tip to help form an authentic relationship with your followers is to stay consistent on all social media platforms. Finding a voice is the first step. This voice sets the tone for everything you post and should reflect the type of business your company is. A law firm can use more of a serious voice where as a children’s hair salon can be more fun and colloquial. Whatever voice you pick, it is important to make sure it stays generally the same whether you are tweeting, posting on Instagram, or sharing an article on Facebook. This consistency helps to build your brand and create a voice that your followers can easily recognize and become familiar with. Customers want your brand’s message to be the same no matter where they are looking and sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it.

 

Learn how MaxExposure Social Media can help you become more authentic by taking a look at our resources.

 

BRIDGING THE GENERATIONAL GAP IN BUSINESS

It is no secret that there is a big divide within generations in the workforce today. With businesses employing people from mainly three different generations, it is important to learn how to collaborate with each other to bring out everyone’s individual strengths. Between the Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials there is a lot to learn amongst them all, but change can sometimes be a difficult thing to accept and implement.

What makes each generation so different?

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Generations are groups of people born in between certain years. The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1964 making them between 72 and 54 years old today. Generation X was born between 1965 and 1984 making this group between 53 and 34 years old. The Millennial Generation was born between 1985 and 2000 making them between 33 and 18 years old.

Each generation shares similarities with current events, trends, crazes, education, technology, and other life situations. Their similar views and attitudes on certain topics bond them close together and makes them different from other generations. The more a business knows about the likes, dislikes, and dynamics of each generation, the easier it will be to integrate them all together in the workplace.

One study looked at primary concerns people have when searching for a job. Older participants (about 64 percent of them) spoke mainly about making money being their highest priority along with learning new skills. The younger generation that was interviewed instead talked about wanting to find a job they genuinely enjoyed doing and one that could make a difference in society (about 57 percent of them). These priorities vary drastically, so it is important to recognize these differences in order to completely understand each generation’s wants and needs in the workplace.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Although there are still many adults in the workforce over the age of 33, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Baby Boomers now take second place to millennials for having the largest generation in the workplace. This means, whether we like it or not, millennial work ethics, ideas, and beliefs will be dominating businesses for a while, and many businesses who are run by older generations have a hard time letting go of the past and adopting the new and innovative ways of the future.

Being part of the millennial generation, I cannot imagine a time where “researching something” meant flipping through an actual encyclopedia instead of asking Siri or “getting directions” was on a paper map instead of built into my car. Everything I do from the moment I wake up including school, work, cooking, and even exercising uses some sort of technological device. Incorporating these kinds of tools into business is a no brainer for me, but it does pose a major problem for many older generation business owners who did not grow up with a cell phone in their hand.

3 Generational Differences in the Workplace

The main conflicts seen in the workforce between millennials and older generations are communication styles, technology, and the use of social media. These three aspects of business are essential to success in today’s technology driven world.

Communication– Communicating with people is vital to human existence but when it comes to different generations, they seem to have some different opinions on the right and wrong ways to do it. This can lead to conflict in the workplace. When it comes to older generations, they are all about formalities and respect. They grew up wearing a suit and tie to work every day and their communication style reflects this as well. They would prefer to send an email with proper grammar and spelling or talk to someone on the phone. Younger generations however are all about the instant gratification, especially when it comes to getting things done and are generally less formal in their day to day lives. Texting and instant messaging are their preferred ways of communicating because it is quick and to the point.

One major misconception is that millennials would prefer to communicate strictly online or use technology rather than speaking face to face. In one study it was discovered that 60 percent of millennials surveyed preferred to collaborate in-person rather than the 34 percent that prefer to use online methods.* This shows that despite the many misconceptions people have of millennials, all generations have similarities between them, and these similarities should be emphasized in the workplace.

Technology– Technology is another major aspect that sets the generations apart from each other. Each generation sees the uses of technology in different ways. Generation X for example views technology as a tool to help them get work done faster or assist them in balancing work and life. They would for instance see it beneficial to use technology to work from home, but they do not see it as 100 percent necessary to have all of the time. Millennials on the other hand use technology for just about everything, and many people unfairly judge that as something negative because they did not grow up with it. Typing away on a smartphone during a meeting might seem distracting or rude, but they could simply be keeping notes or looking up something constructive to add to the conversation.

The reality is that technology is here to stay and will keep growing and evolving. If a business cannot come to terms with this and embrace technology in their business, they will inevitably fall behind.

Social mediaNetworking plays a huge role in business and in today’s world social media is the main way to network and connect with people. Older generations sometimes have an issue with this fact and see social media as more of a curse than a blessing. This view will only hurt a company. Businesses should embrace social media and all of the opportunities it provides. Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram a company can grow their business and their brand drastically by simply being present on these platforms.  One study even found that that 71 percent of consumers who have had a positive social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.**

If you feel like social media might be beyond your skill set, we’re here to help you! Contact us at www.maxexposuresocialmedia.com or email us at support@maxexpoemail.com

*https://www.fundera.com/blog/generation-gap-enhancing-communication-older-younger-generations-business **https://www.dreamgrow.com/21-social-media-marketing-statistics/

HOW TO MASTER INSTAGRAM POLLS

This past fall Instagram came out with a cool new feature to add to your Instagram Story. Along with the many fun stickers you can place on a picture or video, Instagram also lets you have the option to add a poll sticker. I’ve mostly seen this sticker used on personal profiles to ask followers “which ice cream flavor should I get”, but businesses can also take advantage of the poll feature to help gage a better read on the audience they are reaching.

What is the hype over Instagram Polls?

Instagram polls are strictly available on the Instagram app when you make an Instagram story. They encourage followers to be more interactive and can provide important feedback no matter what the question is. This direct feedback can help you learn specific things about your audience and can even assist in making future decisions.

How does it work?

Setting up a poll on Instagram is extremely easy and quick.

  1. First, you take a video or picture of something you would like to put onto your story.
  2. Once you are happy with your photo or video footage, you can tap the sticker button on the top of the screen (Photo 1, Above) and add any text, drawings or stickers, including the “Poll” sticker. (Photo 2, Above)
  3. Now you can type any question you’d like and edit the two different choices to vote on. You are unfortunately limited to only two choices but you have up to 26 characters per choice box to craft some witty answers. (Photo 3, Above)
  4. Once you have finished writing your question and answers you can drag the poll anywhere on the picture and resize it however you’d like, just like any other sticker.
  5. Then all you have to do is post it and wait for the results!

To look at your results simply tap the viewers listed at the bottom of the story and then swipe up to see the post analytics. The poll will be available for 24 hours along with your story so make sure you set a timer right before it expires so you can see all of the responses.

How can businesses take advantage of Instagram Polls?

Gain audience insight and feedback

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Although these polls do not provide the most in depth consumer analytics, they definitely can shed some light on important topics that you want to get a general consensus on. You also get the answers quickly (within 24 hours). About to i ntroduce a new product? Ask your followers which color they would prefer, or ask which feature from an old product they would change. You won’t know unless you ask!

Ask the right kinds of questions

To gain the best results, make sure your questions on the poll are clear and not biased towards one answer. The best kinds of questions to ask are “yes or no” questions, and “this or that” questions.

Check out how engaged your followers are

This feature is also a great way to see how engaged your followers actually are on social media. If you have 300 followers, but only 100 of them are watching your story and voting, then maybe you need to switch up your content or find a way to appeal to the other followers who might not be as engaged.

Youth culture. Four young people sitting close to each other and looking at their gadgets

Grow your mailing list

Another way to utilize this sticker is by adding people to your mailing list and seeing how many people are interested in learning more about your company. Try positing a Yes or No poll asking “Would you like to receive emails to learn more about our business?” For the people who vote yes, you can then direct message them on Instagram asking for their email.

Polls can help plan events

Polls work great for any event that you may be having including a major sale or an opening party for a new store location. Add some hype to the upcoming event by asking if people will attend or not. Clicking “yes” might give them a sense of accomplishment and clicking “no” might make them feel like they are missing an awesome event. Let your followers help plan your event by asking simple choices like color theme or what flavor cake to have at the event. When the event is over you can post a poll that gages feedback to make the next one even better.

Make it fun and personal

Your polls do not always have to be strictly business related. Adding polls every now and then that show a more personal and fun side of your business can make your audience feel like they have a sneak peek behind the scenes, which can strengthen your relationship. Ask them “Who in the office wore it better” or “Which team in the super bowl are you routing for”.

It is important to make sure your customers feel like they have a voice that gets heard. These Instagram polls are the perfect way to get to know your consumers and help improve future choices by incorporating their feedback.

If you feel like Instagram might be beyond your skill set, we’re here to help you! Contact us at www.maxexposuresocialmedia.com or email us at support@maxexpoemail.com 

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The Camera has to Eat First!

Food3Out of all the things I take pictures of, food photos definitely take the cake. When it comes to social media, I am not a huge selfie girl, but one thing I do snap all the time is pictures of doughnuts, aćai bowls, and pizza. Whether I bake homemade cookies or go out to a restaurant, you can bet my phone camera will be eating first.

I usually will post the picture on my Snapchat story or on my Visco account, but most of the time I just save the photo for myself. Taking pictures of food for me is a way to remember a fun night out with my friends or a delicious homemade meal that my mom cooked for the family.

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My food photo addiction started when I studied abroad in Europe for a semester. Everywhere I went I indulged in amazing food and I would have been crazy not to take a picture to remember it. I’m talking about cheese fondue in Switzerland that had your mouth watering, heart shaped pizzas in Italy that made you fall in love, and hot chocolate in London that brought tears to your eyes.

Some people are against this trend in social media and think it takes away from living in the moment. They also think people will only buy or order a certain food just for the picture. I however think that there are many more positives to this movement than negatives. Taking pictures of your food encourages people to live a little more outside of their comfort zone. For me personally it has inspired me to try different restaurants I have never been to, or order something that might seem a little crazy. It also has allowed me to show off my cooking skills, get a little artsy and creative, and really express how much of a foodie I am.

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Since I am a trained professional (or so I’d like to think) at taking pictures of my food, here the top 5 tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Find the perfect lighting

Natural lighting is usually the best way to go. Using the flash sometimes shows strange shadows and can make your meal look slightly less appetizing.

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Play with your food

I know this goes against everything your mother taught you, but sometimes the bun will fall off your burger or a French fry will be astray. Before you get the best picture possible move around a few things to makes sure your plate is at perfection.

Get creative with angles

Just like us, food has their good side too. Depending on how you hold your camera can really impact your picture. My go-to trick is getting the camera eye level with your plate and tilting it slightly downwards so everyone can get a better look at all of the delicious ingredients.

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Work with the background

Whether you’re sitting at a cool wooden table or you’re outside at a barbecue, the background adds to the personality of the picture. Get your friend cheesing in the background or show off the freshly squeezed orange juice behind your omelet at brunch.

Tag the location

This is super important so you can remember where you enjoyed that delicious and picture worthy meal, and so your friends and followers can check it out too. If you’re posting on Instagram, tag the restaurant’s name so other followers can click it and see other people’s delicious meals they’ve tagged as well. On Snapchat swipe left until you get the geo filter that shows your location. Your followers will thank you later.

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If you really get the hang of it and don’t want to clutter your Instagram feed with only food pictures you can make your own food account. These accounts are an awesome way to check out cool places to try, and you can brag to your followers when you discovered the most beautiful piece of pizza in all of Boston.

One of my friends started her own food account that is strictly gluten free foods (@gffoodie_boston). She extremely allergic to gluten and wanted to provide a way for other GF foodies to find great places to eat without sacrificing taste. Her account has over one thousand followers and she even gets cool promotions and deals from restaurants to check out their menu and post about it.

Snapping a pic of your perfect Panini is always a good idea, but it is also important to put your phone down after the photo and actually enjoy the food and the conversation.

Whenever my friends and I go out to eat, we have a rule that we all stack our phones in a pile faced down in the middle of the table. If someone reaches for their phone out of habit, they are stuck with the bill at the end- unless of course it’s to take a quick picture.

It sounds a little silly but there is always a time a place for your phone, but checking twitter while you bite into a juicy burger definitely isn’t it.

Happy snapping!

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How Pets Play a Role in Social Media

 

From dressing pets in cozy sweaters, to letting them sit shotgun with you while you run errands and even featuring them in your Christmas card, people today see their pets as legitimate members of their family more than ever before. One way to show off these family members is by plastering their cuteness all over social media.

The Craze Behind Pet Pages

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Looking through my Instagram page, I can tell right off that bat I follow at least 15 animal or pet accounts. I personally enjoy following these accounts because they provide a refreshing change to the countless selfies and meme posts I see all of the time. Once I scroll to a video of a French bulldog puppy wearing onesie pajamas I immediately like the video and watch it at least six times. My mood is instantly boosted and I tag all of my friends in the post to make sure they can witness the cuteness too.

For many people, their Instagram accounts are very structured, and platforms like Instagram provide a way to market their own personal brand identity. Some people love to share their perfect pooches on their personal account, but some feel it would be better to have an account separate from their own.

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This is why making an account for your dog or cat is so appealing. The purpose of these pet accounts is to be fun, light hearted, and adorable. It lets pet owners utilize social media in a comfortable way that shows off their fun side, and allows them to brag about how wonderful their pet is. Studies show that about 65% of people who own pets post about them on different social media platforms at least twice per week, and one in six of these pet owners have actually created a social media page specifically for their pet. The craziest thing is that some of these pet accounts receive more attention and gain more followers than their personal accounts.*

Why Make a Page for Your Pet?

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To get more insight I went to my friend who created an account for her three-legged rescue golden retriever, Koda (@kodathe_golden) a few years ago. Her account has over 1000 followers and features pictures and videos of Koda running around in the backyard, playing in the snow, and taking baths. The captions for her account are written from Koda’s perspective, which makes each post even more fun and personal. When I asked my friend why she created this account, she explained “I had a million pictures of Koda on my phone and I wanted to share them with my friends and family on Instagram so they could see exactly why I was so obsessed with her. Koda’s Instagram account also provide a way for me to promote adopting animals, especially ones that might need a little extra love.”

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Our Director of Client Services, here at MaxExposure, Aly, also has a instagram for her cats @the_siberian_squad, where she features their antics, captions from their perspective and the sibling rivalry between the brother & sister duo! When I asked her why she did it, she explained that her friends and family, mainly her own sisters, were getting annoyed ONLY seeing cat pics on her personal instagram, so she created another one just for them. She also mentioned that, “It allowed me to join a community, the cat community, on instagram which is full of fluffy fur-babies and helpful advice from their moms (& dads). I found the network particularly helpful when we got our second cat, and I needed advice on how to integrate them!” Her incredibly cute duo, Piper & Dash, have about 2500 followers and counting!

How it Helps Animal Shelters

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Social media has also played a huge role helping animals in shelters find their forever homes. Animal shelters and fosters all across the world are using social media pages to post pictures of their adoptable animals in hopes of finding these furry friends a family. By posting a cute picture of a dog on an animal shelter’s Instagram account it helps spread the word and increases the chance of adoption. Someone might see the post, tag their friends, and then encourage them to adopt. Social media is also extremely valuable to these shelters because it is a completely free method of advertising. Most animal shelters & fosters run on donations and volunteer work and advertising usually does not make the budget. By getting these pictures and stories of the animals out on different platforms, animals have a much higher chance of going home with a family.

How to Get Your Pet to be a Social Media Star:

If you want to jump on the social media pet account bandwagon, there are a few things you should know before you make your fur babies account.

  1. Make the account handle something unique and something that reflects your pet. You don’t want to get lost among all of the other generic pet accounts, so make sure your username is fun and stands out.
  2. Find your pet’s voice. The best accounts are the ones where you feel like the animals themselves picked up the phone with their own paws and made the post. Sharing their lives through their own perspectives will be sure to gain you more followers
  1. Post consistently. You want to be just as loyal to your followers as your dog is to you. Post a few times per week to keep your followers engaged, and make sure to switch up the content to keep the account interesting.
  2. Hashtags will help. Boost your following and get noticed by using fun and popular hashtags like #TongueOutTuesday or #WhiskerWednesday. These hashtags will help other pet loving accounts find you and make sure to follow them back! Also having a set group of hashtags that you use on each post will help for search-ability, but be sure to change them up every few months to continue to grow the page!

Very few things in the world make me happier than opening up Instagram or Facebook and seeing an abundance of adorable pet pictures and videos. Pet owners today are more obsessed than ever before with their furry friends, and what better way to show the love for them than through social media?

 

*https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-survey-shows-pets-are-social-medias-top-dogs-and-cats-300256791.html

5 of the Biggest Trends of 2017 in Social Media

Social media trends are constantly changing and can come and go in a blink of an eye. As 2017 comes to a close, it is important to look back and see which ones dominated, and which ones fell behind. Below are some of the biggest trends that rocked the social media world in the past year.

Snap Map

This past June, Snapchat released a new feature that took stalking to a whole new level, Snap Map. This feature allows users to see their friends’ exact location whenever they open their app. The purpose of is to make it easier than ever before to connect and meet up with your friends. For those who may find this feature a little intrusive on their privacy, they can chose to go on “ghost mode” which hides your location indefinitely 

until switched back on.

Snap Chat Map

One of my favorite parts of this trend is how Snapchat can guess your actions based on your location using your Bitmoji, a personalized avatar. At the mall? Your Bitmoji is hauling several bags over her shoulder. Waiting to catch a flight at the airport? Your Bitmoji is sitting leaned up against a suitcase. At a beach? Your Bitmoji is building a sandcastle.

This feature is a great way to brag to your friends when you are on a cool vacation across the world, but it can be not so great when you tell your friends you’re already on your way to meet them for lunch and still haven’t left the house.

Facebook Live

Although Facebook Live was introduced to Facebook in 2016, this trend really took off in the past 12 months. This new feature on Facebook allows any user to live stream video footage to all of their followers and friends. The live stream can last for up to 30 minutes, and stays on the users timeline after the stream has ended. The feature allows the user to see all of the viewers who are currently watching, and there is even a live comment function as well. Facebook Live also alerts all of your followers that you are live streaming.

Facebook & Instagram Stories

This is a major advantage because it significantly increases user engagement and can benefit people who might live stream daily, or someone who has an announcement to make. I am the kind of person on social media who will re-read a post 35 times, or stare at a picture for 15 minutes before I click the “post” button. When I first heard about this feature, I thought it was somewhat strange and convinced myself I would never take part in it.

 

Sharing something on social media that could not be reviewed or edited did not appeal to me until I started seeing my friends streaming and I realized it was actually a really different and fun way to interact. This feature helps us all “live in the present” and we all could use a little more of that.

360 Photos

Another tech savvy trend that will get your head spinning, literally, is Facebook 360. This tool allows users to look at a picture from all different views. By simply moving your phone around you can view the photo as if you were there looking around yourself. To make your own 360 photo, you can either use the 360-camera feature on the Facebook app, or you can upload a photo that you have taken on your phone using the panorama camera. These photos are sure to leave you reminiscing on that beautiful beach vacation you took last month.

Facebook and Instagram Stories

Both Instagram and Facebook took a tip from Snapchat and introduced their own version of stories. These user-generated stories appear for 24 hours and are meant to encourage users to post more often. Although the concept is the same, the content people post to each platform is generally different. My friends use Snapchat Stories to post their constant activities throughout the day. Instagram and Facebook Stories are generally posted much less and are more artsy and formal. The two platforms, Facebook and Instagram (both being owned by Facebook) have since joined together on this trend. Now when users create a story on Instagram they can automatically post the same one to Facebook.

Millennials Aren’t the Only Ones Obsessing Over Social Media

Smiling teenager students

When thinking of social media we often times solely associate it with the millennial generation who is quite literally glued to their phones. However, in the past year social media has seen a major increase in the amount of people from older generations taking advantage of social networks. In the past 10 years there has been a 32% increase in adults over the age of 65 using social media*, and more than 56% of adults who are online u

se more than one social media platform.** Considering my mom and I currently have a 79 day Snapchat streak, and she texts me whenever she posts on Instagram to “like” her picture, I can definitely agree with these statistics. With the older generations starting to hop on the social media train, it opens up many different opportunities for businesses to market their products towards them. 

Happy people using mobile smart phone

Looking back on 2017, social media platforms have introduced some exciting and fun features that have successfully engaged all kinds of users in all different age groups. From helping to cure loneliness by constantly seeing what your friends are up to, to bringing your photos to life through the 360 Facebook feature, it looks like 2018 has a lot to live up to.

* https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

** https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/05/social-media-marketing-statistics