Steph Bell Steph Bell

3 Common Issues with your Social Media

3 Common Problems and Solutions for Your Social Media

Preach it! Social media is first and foremost; what? Social! Second, it is layered and complex.

Often small businesses, companies, and brands jump online with great enthusiasm. They gather their product photos and service videos and fill in those ‘about’ sections. Then it’s on to writing captions, tweets, and figuring out what hashtags are for.

Social Media presence? Check!

 Everyday struggles and misunderstandings we often hear:

  1. “But I have 6,000+ followers; how come no one is coming into my store?”

Problem:
Generally, the first question is ‘How did you attain said followers?’
Then the next question is, ‘when was the last time you saw them engaging with your content?’ 

We often ask, ‘who is your target audience?’ And you can’t just say ‘people who want to come to my store.’

Worst case scenario:

  • You bought those followers.
  • They have never engaged with your content.
  • You don’t understand what a target audience is.

If this is you – you don’t have to feel embarrassed. You are not alone. These are widespread issues. 

Solution: Here is a metaphor for you. Imagine you drop by a networking party, and everyone there is on your follower list. The location is your business, whatever that may look like. People are all in the same room but gathered in groupings according to shared interests and for this scenario, let’s just say you only have 15 minutes to spend there. 

 Ask yourself:

  • Are my friends and family there? If not, have you invited them? – Invite your friends and family to like and follow your social media platforms. They can often be your biggest advocates!
  • Are people there because they want to be? Essentially are they being paid to be interested in you? This is why fake followers or bought followers are not that great. At first glance, it looks like you are popular. But, we all know that popularity contests are not always what they seem. People will read the room, and it will soon become evident that no one is interested.
  • Do I want to make an announcement to the whole room OR have a few brief, poignant conversations with a few of those that have decided to show up? Think about what would grow deeper connections at this moment, keeping each individual connected. Sometimes that is sending a private direct message on Instagram to a new follower. “Thank you for following!” or share a post about the most recent charity your company is an advocate for supporting. Better yet, answer the most common question everyone seems to have when they call your location.
  • There are so many genuine ways to interact with followers in a personalized way that keep them as followers, keep them engaged, and eventually lead them to your store. Loyalty is built moment by moment and post by post, not all at once.

2. “I keep getting private messages in my Instagram offering to repost my content, or an account has offered to help me grow my follower count multiple times.”

Problem: The only comments you are getting are from these random accounts that seem to have thousands of followers, but they are all very obscure and odd.

Solution: Ignore and delete them. Most of those “dm us for (blank)” are scams. These scenarios should always go without saying – If someone is offering you something for free on the internet – ask ‘what’s the catch?’

3. Post Frequency:

“Our team posts every day! Sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. Why doesn’t anyone interact with our content?”

Our response: Please tell me you mean to say you are posting your stories on Facebook or Instagram. Otherwise, you are inundating your audience and crowding their news feeds. Many of them that continued to follow may have likely hidden your content to get a break. 

Or, on the other side of the spectrum – “I post maybe once a month or two, at least to let people know we have sales. But we don’t have many followers.” Usually, this is followed up with “I just don’t have the time to post that frequently.”

Problem: We get it. The world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and TikTok is becoming more layered and complex to navigate with every phone and App upgrade. No wonder there are college courses and specialized fields made for it. 

Solution: For small businesses, at the very least on most platforms, you should be sharing content four times a week. Each piece of content should have the goal of brand awareness and engagement. Note: Not just promotions or calls to action. 

Can you see the common thread?

In the Social Media world, you cannot talk at your audience or show up when it’s most convenient. Most of your audience is not ready to buy. The goal of your social platforms is that when they are ready to buy, your brand is at the top of their minds. There is a lot to know, much to learn (always), consistently so much to do. 

If you see these 3 common social media issues and say “that’s me!” or you are doing your best to conquer these mountains and still not seeing results – you know whom to call! We got you covered! With our broad scope of social media professionals here at The AD Leaf, we’d be delighted to serve your company through your social media platforms. Don’t have them yet? We can advise you on the best ones to use and set them up for you. We can do your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, and more!  Let’s collaborate to see your platforms, rise, come alive, and thrive! Give us a call at (321) 255-0900, or complete our contact form

Social Media Photography

Product Photography Basics for Social Media

Here at The AD Leaf, we serve a variety of businesses, and because so much of what we do is online, creating quality visuals to market products and services is critical! Suppose you are a business that regularly features your items online. In that case, the goal is to serve your consumers by helping them imagine owning, using, and interacting with your products. The importance of proper product photography cannot be understated, which is why we’ve compiled some basics for you.

Our small business clients often send us photos of products that we feature on their social media platforms. We often discuss how to communicate clearly through those photos, what colors to use, incorporate props, and even stylize the images a bit. One critical takeaway – you don’t have to be a professional photographer to produce decent-quality product photos. You can even use your phone camera if you keep it simple!

The Basics:

 Audience:

As you go through each of the topics below, first and foremost, consider your audience. Your taste may not be the same as theirs.

Ask: What is the persona of your ideal buyer? Meaning; how will they be interacting and using your products? Or what questions and concerns do they have?

Idea:

  1. Get to know your current ideal customers.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they have enjoyed having or using your products.
  3. Take notes! 


Lighting: 

The goal is for your viewer to see your items’ accurate color and texture.

Natural Light is your best friend when it comes to product photography. Natural light refers to sunlight — simple as that. Avoiding shadows as much as possible, early morning or late afternoon light can be helpful. Photographers call this the ‘golden hour.’ It tends to bring out rich, warm tones that are naturally soft and inviting.

Indoor lighting. If you must use indoor lighting, try to achieve as much light to fill the space as possible while again avoiding too many dark or harsh shadows. LED and most energy-saving bulbs have a whiter and brighter light that doesn’t cast a yellow haze.

 Flash! Caution, this can be a challenge even if you distance the camera from your item. If you are unsure, try to find better lighting.

Neutral Backdrops:

Remember your product is the focus. Avoid too many items that may produce “visual clutter” Visual clutter happens when personal items or other possible distractions attempt to photobomb your product from the background.

When in doubt – keep it simple and neutral.

Small items:
Place them on top of white or light-colored poster boards or foam boards. The light will reflect that color onto your item. So if you are trying to stick with the basics – white and neutral is best.


Larger items:
Plain contemporary spaces and rooms. If the background is busy and you cannot avoid it, try to blur it. If using a phone, try ‘portrait mode.’

 

Ad Leaf Blog post

Styling Photos:

Again, back to our topic of audience. Styling photos goes beyond just what is in the background. Trying to place yourself in the consumer’s mind, pairing your items with what the consumer will have them with, remembering your preferences may not be theirs. These items should complement the products they are paired with, not compete. The goal is to help your audience’s imagination, not hinder it. A good question to ask with each product from season to season is ‘what story am I trying to tell when I share photos of this item with the world.’

EXAMPLES:
If you are selling jewelry, what will the person wear with it? A dress or a t-shirt? If you are selling furniture, what other furniture items will that item be with? Place art or décor in a plain contemporary room or a French-modern-country-bohemian-eclectic. Just keep it simple.    

 

Creating a Human Element:  

People connect with people, especially through Social Media! This is definitely a note to your small businesses. YOU are not a big box retailer – you are the small business – family next door they are supporting. Remind your audience of YOUR value through the visuals too!

Ways to showcase you:

  • Show your face: You are the face of your company! The artist at the easel. The carpenter in their workshop. The baker at their decorating table.
  • Show your team: How many people does it take to keep your business running. This gives your audience an idea of what and who they are supporting.
  • Show your hands: We know you are not a machine. Especially if you do not feel comfortable with the first two, this also shows the size, scale, and context. 

 

Types of Photos and Number of Photos:

Primary photos/videos 

Multiple images straightforward to answer questions – Front, Back, Side, Inside, Outside, etc. — These answer your consumers’ questions.

Secondary photos/videos 

These are images that express angles and details of your item, often in a stylized or artistic way.
These are great for adjacent content – These help them imagine interacting with your items in their hands and home.

Take at least one photo of each item separately. This shows your audience exactly what they are buying.

Take multiple photos of pairings or bundled items – together.
These are items that you can encourage your buyers to imagine together. Be sure to note things that are sold separately.

Take multiple photos of the details of your item. This is an opportunity to show depth, quality, scale, or even smaller moving parts of an object.
As we shared, these are just the basics. Maybe you are a wine seller with a high-end audience. You may want to feature your winery in your photos. Perhaps you are a specialized boat parts dealer. Of course, emphasizing quality and safety is essential. There are ways to feature those elements in your images to build knowledge about your brand’s products too!

So, there you have it. These product photography basics will help you serve your audience better across those Social Media platforms. So go ahead. Start using them right now! If you would like,  our team here at the Ad Leaf can help you and your business to improve showcasing your products by implementing these -and many more- tips! Let us help you tell the world your story. Visually!

Call (321) 255-0900

Isn’t social media just regular marketing on an online platform?

Regardless of your company focus, product, or service, we can agree that marketing is a key element to long-term growth and success. We’ve seen it implied and often heard it said… “social media marketing is just like regular marketing, but through *insert online platform here*. Right?”

‘Regular marketing’, otherwise known as traditional marketing and social media marketing, strives to build awareness and engage your audience around your brand. They have both practical applications and similarities but also reflect a few glaring vital differences.

 

Traditional Marketing:

Traditional marketing is the old-school of the two because until the late 90’s many of us didn’t have online access. We have learned to recognize and leaned into the world of traditional marketing. Of course, who can think of Times Square without the cascading lights from all of the billboard screens? The grocery store check-out line has a chorus of famous faces calling us to read the magazines they adorn, in the hope of us also coming across sales pitches in the pages. Our families make memories together, watching our favorite TV series or the big Superbowl game that challenged our beliefs… but of course, we still talk about the memorable and mundane ads that were woven in.

 

Points of Traditional Marketing to consider:

  •  One-way communications – Normalized visual and audible sales pitches, talking at an audience with minimal interaction. 
  • Generally impactful, often entertaining memorable experience
  • Infrequent but tangible start to finish.
  • Examples of traditional marketing include, but are not limited to:
    – Outdoor – murals, billboards, bus/taxi/semi-truck wraps, posters
    – Print – magazines, newspapers, flyers
    – Window display and signage
    – Broadcasting – TV and radio
    – Direct Mail – catalogs, postcards
    – Telemarketing – phone and text messages.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing, on the other hand, yes, depends on those online platforms that we have all mysteriously found ourselves connected with, to some dedicated degree or another. Most of us have our phones loaded with apps, all notifying us of updates from our friends, family, and ongoing conversations. That relationship, depth, and integration into our everyday lives have become more apparent. 

Did you know that as of July 2021, 295 million people were on social networks across the US? That is about three-quarters of our country’s population! Even grandma has an account on Facebook. Instagram, as well as Facebook, and Twitter are expecting growth in the coming years.

Social media lives up to its name. It is, first and foremost – social! Entire communities are being built online around support groups, hobbies, interests, and advocacy topics. Interestingly, although these platforms connect us with people we love and other like-minded individuals, we are also relating with brands and the people behind them like never before. We have become comfortable with the phrases ‘follow us’ or like or comment below. There is an array of new terms to know; terms like ‘engagement’, ‘reach’, ‘impressions’, ‘clicks’, ‘leads,’ ‘organic content’, and the ever-changing ‘algorithm.’ 

Now brands are no longer only competing with each other for a commercial spot-on primetime TV. They are competing with pictures of the grandkids on their first day of school (oh! They are getting so big!). They are completing your nephew’s engagement announcement (what! He’s getting married!) and other pivotal personal news. This new competition for attention is challenging for brands but a fantastic opportunity!

Points of Social Media Marketing to consider:

  • Two-way communication – quick online connections and consistent conversation
  • Brand loyalty – Following brands, the faces behind them, and the values they represent, building credibility and trust.
  • Easily integrative – Website traffic
  • Targeted Audiences – Each platform has an audience that prefers it and tools to use to target audiences based on a variety of criteria strategically.
  • Popular Examples of social media platforms include, but are not limited to:
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Pinterest

 The challenge is that the social media sphere is ever-changing with trends, changes to platforms, new platforms, and marketing strategies. If done well, brands that connect with us build long-lasting dedicated relationships with their audiences like never before. The brands that tend to do this best? The ones that create organic content well. Organic content is what makes your brand relatable, approachable, and authentic. These take being innovative while consistently and frequently engaging your audience and followers.

 

Beyond being social

Social media is integrative and just one part of digital marketing.

We all know that social media is not the only digital marketing avenue available. Of course, what do they do if someone gets to know your brand and wants to know more? Go to the website link of course! “Social media is an excellent tool that businesses can utilize that will increase their search engine rankings. Google and Bing prioritize businesses with a robust social media presence. Social Media should be part of your digital marketing arsenal to capture leads but should never be the sole driving force” – Robyn Lee, our Director of Operations. Who doesn’t want that for their brand? 

Here at the AD Leaf, our social media team is always ready to innovate; creating meaningful campaigns, building long-term connections on behalf of the brands we represent. While you’re here please feel free to follow us on our socials as well. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn… We hope to see you there!