Instagram Marketing is Vital (and Awesome) for Your Business

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Every business needs to be marketing on Instagram. Period.

That's not a pitch, either.

Instagram is a beast of engaged, passionate niche communities, markets and users. With more than 800 Million active monthly users, the Facebook-owned Instagram platform isn't going away (can't believe I just typed that, actually). 

If you own or run a business, small or big, you need to be on it. Period. 

In fact, if you're a small business, I'd say you should start with Instagram and then Facebook.

When used correctly, Instagram allows your brand to reach localized, targeted people who are actively engaged in your industry or product or service field (again, IG is a more engaged social media platform than the more general population of Facebook users). 

The statistic about engagement at the top of this blog, courtesy of a digital marketing survey in a recent Business 2 Community story, broadly paints an important picture: a brand's organic reach is better on Instagram than any other social media marketing platform not named Pinterest.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

It means that in order to reach people on Facebook or Twitter -- even ones who already follow or like you -- you have to spend a good deal of money.

By itself, Instagram gets way more engagement per post, so more of your existing followers (we call it your "audience") see your posts compared to Facebook and Twitter.

With the addition of proper hashtag use and attention to posting times and creative content quality, you can reach new users organically and grow your audience on Instagram. 

OKAY SO NOW HERE'S THE PITCH

When you have a team of talented people who produce and streamline your brand's content that actively engages and interacts with your followers AND reaches new, real users to grow your audience organically with more real followers ... AND when that team publishes your posts at the times when your followers are most active AND when you utilize the right hashtags at the right time, you optimize your business on Instagram.

Make sense?

Click the button or call us today (314) 550-8287 or email us: ImigCommunications@gmail.com to transform your Instagram account into a beast that boosts your bottom line.

CVS Pharmacy Fully Embraces Age of Transparency & Honesty

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Last month, CVS Pharmacy announced it would stop using altered images of models in its ads. The Reuters story headline was a little rough around the edges saying, “CVS vows to stop altering beauty images in its marketing." 

I don't know, I'm not a fan of the headline "vows to stop" but however you describe it, it's a great thing:

Starting in April, CVS Health Corp (CVS) said it will stop "materially" altering the beauty imagery in its marketing materials that appear in its stores and on its websites and social media channels.

CVS said it will launch the "CVS Beauty Mark, " a watermark that will appear on all imagery that hasn't been materially altered. The company will also identify any marketing materials in which a person's shape, size, proportions, eye color or wrinkles have been changed or enhanced with a "digitally modified" label. The labels apply to marketing materials in CVS stores and on its website, but not on product packaging.

CVS is also asking its big brand partners like Revlon, L'Oreal and Johnson & Johnson to join the effort. The goal, according to CVS, is for all images in the beauty sections of CVS's fleet of stores to reflect the "transparency" commitment by 2020, with 80% of its stores complete by 2019.

The company cites unrealistic body images being a significant driver of health issues as its main reason for this new effort, a noble cause for sure.

Whether intentional or not, CVS has embraced what we call around these parts the “Age of Honesty & Transparency.”

Social Media has opened the door to transparency. Those businesses, companies and teams who thrive and aren't afraid to show it on social media will succeed. Of those businesses, companies and teams who show it, the ones who do it authentically will succeed the most. 

In CVS' case, this is a brilliant move from a business and marketing standpoint, in addition to the personal benefits of fighting health issues that consciously or subconsciously stem from body imaging.

This is the same company that in 2014, was the first major retailer to get rid of all tobacco products in the interest of health and wellness … a market and trend-setting company for sure.

We won't mention that the store sells liquor but I would argue that a good glass of bourbon, tequila or whiskey is good for the immune system. How do you think humans survived flu season back in the 1840s, after all?

Anyway, kudos to CVS for its initiative and for knowingly or unknowingly embracing the current landscape of authenticity & transparency. 

Pat Imig is the owner of Imig Communications. Follow him and us on IG, @patimig & @imig.communications, respectively for more social media marketing insights, tips and trends. 

Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm Change: What You Need To Know

Imig Communications FB Algorithm

A Friends & Family Adjustment
by: Pat Imig (@patimig on IG | @patrickimig on Twitter)

Facebook has listened to a lot of complaints, criticisms and critiques from users over the last year to two years that users don't see enough from their friends and family (their Facebook friends) in their newsfeed.

That is about to change.

On Jan 11, Facebook announced it wants to create more “meaningful” interaction for its users, rather than the current structure designed to get users to spend as much time as possible on the site (a tactic to get users to spend more money with Facebook advertisers - its businesses & publishers).

From Wired:

Facebook is changing the algorithm that powers its newsfeed, the service at its core and the mechanism that increasingly determines how news and information spread throughout the world … Zuckerberg says he wants the time users do spend be “time well spent.”

What that means, according to Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s newsfeed boss, is that video, news, and other content from formal Facebook pages will get less prominence than posts from friends and family.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BUSINESSES / FB PAGES

My personal opinion is that those who have a business that already gets a lot of buzz from organic, word-of-mouth action will continue to thrive and maybe even get more out of it.

These are the people who market their business through their personal accounts, in addition to whatever their company business Page is doing. These people will remain at the status quo or see a substantial boost in engagement for their business-related posts.

Those businesses and publishers whose online FB presence is predominantly through its Page will have to spend even more to gain more exposure.

I guess I'm saying Facebook is shifting the financial onus onto businesses and publishers with the new algorithm, as opposed to the current setup designed to keep Avg Joe User on the site for a longer period of time, causing Avg Joe User to spend more money.

More from the Wired story:

It means that the number of comments on a post will count more than the number of Likes, and it means that posts where people have taken the time to write long comments will get more weight than those with only short comments.

News and video will continue to appear in newsfeed, but the number of friends sharing it will matter more than its overall popularity.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR BUSINESSES / FB PAGES (cont'd)

Those businesses and publishers with built-in organic marketing from personal, word-of-mouth account relationships will continue to thrive and could very well do better. And if their Page is comprised of loyal fans who not only like/comment but organically share posts, they'll see even more trickle-down success.

Otherwise, you as a business, company or publisher will have to spend more to get more eyeballs on yours posts and products.

Facebook is being lauded for making this change so that the 2 Billion users have more “meaningful, time well-spent” experiences, but lets also remember FB wouldn't make the change if it didn't make financial sense.

Businesses will be picking up that tab because they'll have to spend more to reach more people. And quite frankly, that's fair.

Pat Imig is the Owner of Imig Communications. Follow Imig Communications on Instagram (@imig.communications) for marketing news, tips & trends and to get a sampling of some delicious Organic Creative. Or email: ImigCommunications@gmail.com.