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5 Reasons to Use Instagram Stories by Ashley Cassidy Seale

Ashley Cassidy SealeBy Ashley Cassidy Seale, Founder and Creative Director, Ruby Social Co.

Instagram continues to dominate the social media scene by evolving its offering to remain the most relevant social network today. One of its fastest growing offerings is Instagram Stories (to give you an idea, 200 million people use the feature daily, which is 50 million more than Snapchat), allowing users to record short video clips that appear above the photo feed. While these videos used to disappear within 24 hours (a la Snapchat), users now have the option to save these videos and add them to their profile “Highlights.”

In an age of curated perfection and perhaps overly glossy content, it’s easy to understand why the on-the-fly nature of Stories has become so popular. The trend will continue to explode into this year; here are five reasons you should place a greater emphasis on Stories in 2018:

1. Stories offer more chances to be discovered by new followers

Many brands and individuals alike have noted that is increasingly difficult to grow their presence on Instagram. Due to the ongoing algorithm changes by Facebook as they continue to move towards the pay-to-play model, many users have experienced a considerable drop in the level of engagement with their content. This has been felt across the board and can be very discouraging; however, there are ways to improve the situation. While there is not an exact science of how to best improve the odds of your content being seen, regularly using Stories has been noted to help. In addition to being seen by your existing followers, Stories are also discoverable, which means that by including a hashtag and location you can be found on the Explore page by new followers.

2. Easily drive traffic to your website

If you have more than 10,000 followers and are using Instagram for Business, the company has included a helpful feature which allows you to link to outside content right within Stories. This is incredibly powerful for eliminating the barriers of traffic conversion as it allows a seamless transition from the Instagram app to your own website.

3. Provide a behind-the-scenes look and grant special access to events

Get creative with the type of content you post on Stories, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Stories allows you to provide a behind-the-scenes look at a story or bring the follower along with you to special events by reporting live from a location. While there are great ways to stylize your Stories to reflect your brand, the idea of this feature is to be a bit more authentic and less polished (believe it or not). Enhance your video by adding colours, stickers, filters and text.

4. Put a face to your team members

First and foremost, social media should be social. Stories is a great place to give your editorial staff members a (literal) voice. Pull back the curtain and consider scheduling regular “takeovers” with your various team members and have them expand on their content by adding their perspective. This can be a great strategy for humanizing your publication or adding a face to a byline, so to speak.

5. Stay top of mind

The more frequently you post on Stories, the more users engage with your videos, the further up in their feed you’ll move up. Using Stories is a great way to stay top of mind with your audience as it’s more real time than the traditional photo feed. Use the poll function and encourage your community to engage via DM (ensure your community manager is on top of this) to create a greater feeling of connection and trust. Experiment with different posting times outside of traditional business hours (i.e., evenings and weekends) to acknowledge your communities in different time zones than your own. Magazines Canada


Ashley Cassidy Seale is a communications professional with more than a decade of public relations and marketing experience. Between her time in the agency world, helming teams and leading award-winning, national campaigns for lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands to working in-house for design houses and luxury retail, Ashley has fine-tuned a truly holistic expertise. An early adopter of social media, she harnessed her digital know-how to build an online presence under the moniker Quaintrelle, which has since evolved from a lifestyle blog to a bona fide, internationally recognized brand with workshops and events. An influencer in her own right, she launched Ruby Social Co.—a communications and content studio for clever brands—to bring this unique perspective to thoughtfully navigate her clients into the spotlight.

Magazines Canada Hotsheets deliver current information on a single topic, each written by an expert in the field. Return to Magazines Canada Hotsheets.

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada Department of Canadian Heritage Ontario Arts Council / Conseil des arts de l'Ontario Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)

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3 Tips to Improve Your Twitter Game in 2018 by Ashley Cassidy Seale

Ashley Cassidy SealeBy Ashley Cassidy Seale, Founder and Creative Director, Ruby Social Co.

While it may seem like Instagram is getting all of the attention these days, Twitter is still a very important place to be in today’s political and economic climateーespecially for publishers. Although the platform is struggling to innovate, it remains not only a powerful traffic driver but also a popular place for breaking news.

Here are 3 tips to improve your Twitter game in 2018:

1. Tweet for Twitter’s sake

It can feel like a waste to not be constantly directing your community to the long-form content on your site, but constantly sharing links is the Twitter equivalent to a brand selling to followers at every turn. The most important thing to recognize (and remind ourselves of) is that social media is meant to be social.

While you want to hit your KPIs and convert traffic to your hero content, you will quickly lose the attention of your community if you fail to balance this with added value, conversation and a more human element. Get involved in the conversation as an outlet, rather than not responding to the reactions of your readers. Try using the poll tool to expand the views expressed in your content or gauge the reaction of your community.

2. Use unique visuals to attract more attention to your content

While Twitter is not an inherently visual platform, that’s the perfect reason to incorporate more images and video into your strategy. Spark curiosity, build excitement, or illustrate a narrative to increase your chances of having your content clicked on, engaged with and, better yetーshared.

You may dismiss GIFs and feel they are limited to juvenile memes shared with friends; however, they can be created in an elevated way that reflects your brand as a publisher. Using GIFs provides the opportunity to allow your followers to engage with your content and expand beyond the character limit.

Twitter is investing in video for 2018, so this should be part of your strategy as you move into the year. Posting accompanying short clips will help attract attention in your feed and will encourage more retweets.

3. Leverage the voice of your staff writers

When you look at many top media outlets on Twitter, the majority of them are focusing their strategy on driving traffic to their website. Rather than simply looking at your Twitter feed as a sort of RSS feed, look at what makes your publication unique.

A surefire way to differentiate from this tiresome model is to showcase the diversity of your assets—the talent and perspective of your staff writers. It’s likely, as we continue to move within a global news cycle, your competitors are covering similar stories.

As the concept of a Twitter chat has mostly come and gone, the idea of discussion between an account and its community has fallen to the wayside. Bring back this thinking by using your feed as a forum again. By scheduling takeovers or Twitter chats with your writers and reporters, you can build on and borrow the equity of their individual accounts and link it back to your publication’s main account. Magazines Canada


Ashley Cassidy Seale is a communications professional with more than a decade of public relations and marketing experience. Between her time in the agency world, helming teams and leading award-winning, national campaigns for lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands to working in-house for design houses and luxury retail, Ashley has fine-tuned a truly holistic expertise. An early adopter of social media, she harnessed her digital know-how to build an online presence under the moniker Quaintrelle, which has since evolved from a lifestyle blog to a bona fide, internationally recognized brand with workshops and events. An influencer in her own right, she launched Ruby Social Co.—a communications and content studio for clever brands—to bring this unique perspective to thoughtfully navigate her clients into the spotlight.

Magazines Canada Hotsheets deliver current information on a single topic, each written by an expert in the field. Return to Magazines Canada Hotsheets.

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada Department of Canadian Heritage Ontario Arts Council / Conseil des arts de l'Ontario Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)