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How to Get Ready for Holiday Content

Creating for brands’ marketing during the holiday season is a bittersweet experience. It’s one of the industry’s busiest times of the year, while also being one of the most fun and festive! Ready to get in the holiday spirit? Read on to discover five ways to incorporate the holidays into your content strategy!

HOST A GIVEAWAY

There’s no better way to celebrate the season of giving than with a giveaway. These contests are a great way to gain recognition, followers, and business on social media platforms. Our biggest tip when doing this is to collaborate with other brands.

BE FESTIVE AND RELATABLE

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we love a good meme. Find GIFs or iconic photos that relate to your niche and the season (you can find great ones on giphy.com!). Not only is this content entertaining, but it’s also shareable and a great way to reach new audiences. If you’re having trouble creating visuals, source ones that you can repost!

If you’re looking to *add a little bit of spice* (TikTok reference, anyone??), utilize the power of copy! Research puns related to all things holidays: Christmas, snow, elf, Santa, etc. Being punny is a great way to bring a smile to your audience’s face.

SHARE A GIFT GUIDE FEATURING YOUR PRODUCTS

Another festive way to include the holidays in your social media content is by creating a gift guide featuring your products! If you are a skincare brand, for instance, consider creating a gift guide for women filled with products to promote relaxation. You could include a robe, candle, tea, and more! But ultimately remember to include your products in the guide. This is a great way to be “salesy,” while still providing additional value for your audience.

RELEASE A FREEBIE

Gift your audience this year by releasing a valuable freebie that serves their needs. This is a great way to show audience appreciation. The freebie can be about anything and everything, but it’s always extra fun and relevant if it’s timely! Consider creating a content calendar to get them through the end of the year. Your audience will be grateful to have a new resource to add to their collection. Plus, if they find it valuable, they will likely be more open to purchasing another resource from you in the future.

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in getting your content calendar ready for the holidays. If you want to get in touch about your holiday marketing you know where to reach me! Psssst…It’s at hello@unglitch.io.

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How to Edit Your Photos for Instagram

Did you know that Instagram users will decide within 3 seconds of visiting your profile if they are going to follow you or not? Your feed is a key component of your profile, which means the layout and editing of your photos can have a major impact on a user’s decision to follow you and somewhere down the line of a customer journey; buy from you!

One way to curate a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing grid is to edit your photos for Instagram consistently. This could require establishing a few presets (or filters) to overlay on top of all of your photos prior to posting. Will you opt for a bright and colorful feed? Dark and moody? Light and neutral? Find a few filters that match the “theme” or “vibe” you’re going for and stick to them!

Always stick to the same color scheme no matter what. Don’t get crazy with wild photos and wild colors that don’t match the aesthetic of your brand colors.

Here’s Why Cohesive Editing Matters

  • It makes the layout of your grid visually appealing, which can attract more followers
  • Consistent content builds trust with your audience as they know what they can expect from you
  • Editing makes your posts and brand recognizable

If those benefits aren’t reason enough to consider investing time into your content, consider this: a picture is worth a thousand words. High-quality imagery communicates to your digital audience that your products and services are likely high quality too. Now onto the editing tips…

My Top Editing Tips

DON’T OVERDO IT

Heavy and overly saturated Instagram filters are OUT! Lately, most brands and influencers have been opting for softer and more natural filters. 

Regardless of what “everyone else is doing” take some time to determine what best reflects your brand.

PICK A “THEME” AND STICK TO IT

Whether you prefer light & bright or dark & moody, pick a theme you like and stick to it! This will ensure a cohesive feed.

PREVIEW THE PHOTO ON YOUR GRID PRIOR TO POSTING

I prefer to do this in Adobe Illustrator, but for the non-creative; you can just pop into Canva, upload your future post images and drag them onto a 3×3 grid. This will allow you to visualize how the photo will look in your feed before publishing. Take note of how it looks in comparison to the other photos around it. Is the editing too light? Too dark? Way too colorful? Do the images seem dull? Adjust as needed!

Now that you know the importance of editing feed posts and our top tips, let’s get into HOW to actually edit photos for Instagram. Here are a few of our favorite apps:

Favorite Apps

  • Lightroom
    • This application was rated a favorite among the homies at HMS! If you’ve seen some of your favorite creators selling presets, this is the app they were made for. We love this platform because the photo editing possibilities are endless!
  • ColourTone
    • Our copywriter Dominique’s personal favorite. Just like Tezza, this app comes with pre-made filters for you to easily toss on and beautify any photo or video.
  • VSCO
    • This app is an OG. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use editing tool that does the job, consider this app your answer.

A handy guide (for now – remember Instagram makes changes every few months to mess with us!) for how large to make these photos or graphics. Click to Download Infographic.

And as always, if you’re a busy little bee or overwhelmed with the creative aspect of this; get a hold of Jacquelyn anytime to work on not only your photo editing, graphics, but Instagram marketing growth as well.

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Why I’m Not on TikTok… Should You Be?

First off, I know it’s spooky season and I by no means want to scare the daylights out of you. But I do like keeping my readers informed. I’m not on TikTok for a few reasons. Let’s get into it!

Privacy Concerns

There are blatant red flags for users’ privacy on TikTok. #1, the app has been collecting children’s data without parental approval; promised to delete it after receiving a hefty fine; then failed to live up to the agreement. Add the allegations from the Indian and US governments in 2019 about sharing user data with Beijing, and you have yourself a very dangerous application.

Why? More and more countries are putting bans on the TikTok app due to its proof of child-stalking (as their the top app users) by pedophiles and child-trafficking criminals. Keep your kiddos safe, folks, and pay attention to what they are posing on TikTok.

How to get around this: Change all your safety settings to “friends” to prevent strangers from interacting with you.

Dangerous Viral Challenges

Challenges have become a viral phenomenon across social media platforms as of late. Some aim to spread awareness on diseases like the ALS ice bucket challenge, while others tested users’ physical abilities like the bottle cap challenge. But some videos that circulated on TikTok were just flat-out dangerous.

The skull-breaker challenge, which involves someone jumping, while two other people kick his legs in mid-air so that he falls down. These actions may lead to severe brain damages, spinal injuries, and sometimes deaths.

TikTok said it would remove dangerous content from its platform, urging users not to take part in such challenges. But they never did during the height of this challenge. I already have an old-lady mentality and less hope for the next generations’ intelligence and common sense, TikTok is not helping this…

How to get around this: Activate the Restrictive Mode feature to filter inappropriate content. Also… start teaching your kids about common sense early.

Content Blocking for LGBTQ+ , the Overweight, and People with Disablities

This is crazy!

According to German outlet Netzpolitik, TikTok used unusual methods to limit the reach of users with disabilities. It also instructed moderators to curb the exposure of overweight and LGBTQ creators, who all ended up on a list called “special users.”

The social media platform confirmed the news, explaining that it took these measures to protect users from bullying. However, this also is against freedom of speech and expression and is clearly bigoted towards these groups.

How to get around this: Flat out; Don’t use the platform…

Final Thoughts

I get it. TikTok is entertaining and perfect for the constantly-hungry-for-content-mind. It’s not for me. Maybe I’m too old (33). Perhaps I just don’t want to silence people OR promote child cyberstalking from preditors OR promote children breaking their skulls. Maybe it’s just me. What about you?

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50 Online Tools Pro Business Owners Use

Social Media Tools

LaterSchedule Instagram posts and stories; as well as Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn posts. Also, utilize the Linkin.bio tool to use links on Instagram.

HeyOrcaSchedule Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, & Google Posts.

Analisa.ioReady to hack your marketing campaign on Instagram? You can with Analisa.io. Analisa.io gives you a range of marketing tools for monitoring profiles and hashtags. You can use it to snoop on your competitors, monitor campaign performance, connect with influencers, and more.

BitlyUse it to shorten URLs when they start getting a bit too long and track your links better with this platform.

RafflePressEverything you need to make your next giveaway a viral success and grow your following!

Audienseis a social intelligence tool that allows you to discover new target audiences and segment them. Most importantly, it helps you understand your audience by telling you how they tick.

Oktopost – a social media management tool designed for B2B companies. It allows you to schedule your content and measure its effectiveness. Oktopost is also useful for curating content that is important for your business. And if you collaborate with a lot of people, it can help make things run smoothly.

IFTTTWith it, you can combine different tools together to create individual “recipes,” or sets of instructions. For example, you can set it up to send a tweet every time you make a new Instagram post. It’s a bit tricky to navigate at first, but you can use other recipes to simply plug and play. Best of all, it’s completely free to use.

BuzzSumo – One of the best tools we’ve found for discovering new and popular content on the web. With it, you can plug in a topic or a selection of keywords.

FeedlyBest known as a content discovery tool like BuzzSumo, but it works a bit differently. It’s a content aggregator, and you can use it to collect content from any number of different areas.

TweepiTweepi is a Twitter tool that helps you get more followers.

Sprout SocialAll-in-one social media marketing tool to help managers better control their efforts. It features multi-level access which makes it easy for managers to coordinate and delegate tasks to team members.

HootsuiteThis app is a simple but powerful tool for the average social media marketer to schedule posts and measure content engagement.

TailwindGreat for creating content on Pinterest and Instagram. Use it with Pinterest to pin to multiple boards at once, bulk upload, and schedule posts.

Brand24This gives you insight into what people are saying online about your brand. With this tool, you have instant access to mentions of your brand anywhere on social media.

VisageVisage is a tool that helps companies design social media graphics that are perfectly optimized for each platform. Visage’s graphics templates make it easy to manage your brand’s style and tone. That way, you can ensure consistency across all social platforms.

Veed.ioWhile a little buggy still, this is a great platform to add your audio to elements like soundwaves and more to enhance your video content.

CanvaWhile my least favorite tool out there since it tends to push non-creative users into having social media graphics that look the same as everyone else using Canva – it’s still great to create graphics, videos, presentations, and more on the fly.

Influencial – Want to jump on the influencer marketing train but don’t know how to begin? No worries, Influential‘s got you covered. Influential is a smart matchmaking platform that connects businesses with influencers.

Website Content Tools

UbersuggestUse Ubersuggest allows you to reverse engineer your competitors’ SEO so you can see how to beat them with keywords.

GrammarlyI don’t care what you do for a living, you need Grammarly which corrects your grammar and misspellings in real-time as you type…anywhere.

ProWritingAidTo get the full potential of this extension for Chrome and some other browsers you’ll need to use the paid version. Not only does this correct grammar, but it shows you things like your Readability Grade, Passive Voice, and more — which is essential in writing for web content.

Hemingway AppWant the features of ProWritingAid but don’t want to pay $20/month for it!? The Hemingway App could be a good option. It looks outdated, but trust me it does just as good a job and for FREE!

SurferGenerate a whole content strategy in a few clicks, and write data-driven content loved by search engines and people.

UlyssesThis app organizes your writing projects all in one place and helps you stay focused on each project. On a side note, I have many creative peers who suffer from ADHD and find writing apps to have too many bells and whistles that distract them. They love Ulysses for it’s clean and string forward use.

Yoast SEODownload the WordPress plugin if you use WordPress or use the Readability Analysis tool while writing content.

AhrefsBy far the best out there is Ahrefs. The minimum price is $99/month, however. This may not be affordable for some startups – but trust me when you can budget it for your SEO it’s worth it.

Local (SEO) Business Listings Tools

MozWant a one-stop-shop that will assess and then tell you where you need to add business listings or correct existing ones. Along with other FREE SEO tools use the Moz Local Listing Score.

Financial Tools

WaveOver the years I’ve tried many invoicing systems. Wave is still the best and keeps getting better and better. Send invoices effortlessly, manage payroll of your team, manage expenses, and all other accounting needs.

HoneybookI haven’t personally used this platform, but I hear good things for invoices, customers management, and more.

NovoConfused about where to go for business checking? Your local brick and mortar may not be the best choice. If you’re looking for the best in online business banking, Novo is fantastic.

Business News

Morning BrewBy far my favorite and the ONLY email newsletter I actually open every day. Their writers are creative as well as to the point. If you have an interest in the topics like what’s new in tech, investing, bitcoin, real estate, and other business ventures you’ll like it too!

Productivity Tools

LastPassLastPass saves your passwords in its encrypted password vault so you don’t have to remember all of them

AsanaI love this project management tool to show clients where I’m at in the project process. It’s also great for big teams to manage what is getting done within many projects.

PinstripedEver wonder how Fortune 500 companies run a meeting while you can’t get Becky in accounting to stop talking about her son’s lost tooth during a work conference call? Pinstriped is a great tool for just that.

FocusmateAnother great tool for my ADHD friends, this site really helps people who have to virtually co-work with another by eliminating procrastination. This also is a great tool to use if you have team members who struggle to stay on topic during Zoom meetings.

Learning Tools

HubSpot AcademyFrom quick, practical courses to comprehensive certifications, learn everything you need to know about the most sought-after business skills.

SkillshareNot sure how to make successful Facebook Live videos? Or fun social media content? Not sure about any aspect of your business and want to learn more. I guarantee there is a Skillshare course for it.

MIT Open CoursewareSpecifically the Entrepreneurship Courses, learn from top MIT professors on things like “How to Develop “Breakthrough” Products and Services” and more.

MasterclassI have to be honest Masterclass can be sometimes more entertaining than informational but still list-worthy.

Scheduling Tools

CalendlyThis is the top scheduling tool right now. There’s a reason everyone uses it! It works seamlessly!

Customer Management Tools

KeapCapture more leads and track them the whole way through they are customers. This is also a great tool for when you want to add more salespeople. You can automate the process with them easily.

Freshworks CRMWant a free version of Keap? Here it is!

Human Resources Tools

BambooHREasily hire and onboard employees as well as manage successful and legal offboarding when you need to fire employees.

Security Tools

SurfShark VPNGET it 83% off + 3 months FREE – Browse the internet safely, keep your identity secure, plus watch more tv shows and movies available in other movies on streaming sites.

ZeroFoxis a security tool that identifies and protects brands against hackers looking to take control of social media accounts. The platform also works to protect its clients’ social media reputations. They do this by removing offensive and intentionally disruptive content, eliminating impersonation profiles, and protecting followers against scammers

Business Podcasts

Love Your WorkDavid Kadavy is a best-selling author and creative entrepreneur who shares tools and inspiration for creators and solopreneurs.

Per our Last EmailRaise your hand if you love venting about the crazy ups and downs of freelancing life! Then you’ll love this podcast on Spotify too!

The GaryVee Audio ExperienceHosted by successful author, speaker, and CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, this podcast finishes off our list with a little something for everyone.

Working Without PantsAs the title may suggest, this podcast is unapologetically casual in tone, but that doesn’t diminish its value in the slightest. Jake Jorgovan interviews creative freelancers and consultants on how to attract clients and deal with the inevitable solopreneurial hiccups.

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4 Ways to Increase Web Traffic Using Instagram

Now more than ever, business owners across the globe are recognizing the true value that social media can add to their brand and marketing efforts. It’s time to move your business in a new way. Read on for 4 ways to leverage Instagram to boost your business and increase traffic to your site!

USE CTAS

Let’s start off with the obvious. Once your audience has finished consuming your content, you need to tell them what to do or where to go next. There’s no simpler way to increase traffic from social media to your website than by explicitly telling your audience to go there.

Try ending your next Instagram caption with “Head to our link in bio for more details!” or your next Instagram story with “Swipe up to shop!”  It is important to note that the “swipe up” Instagram story feature is only available for accounts with 10k+ followers.

Don’t have 10k followers yet? Unglitch.io can help!

FOSTER A RELATIONSHIP

Before you can convert an audience, you must come to know the audience. Create a persona of them so you can fully understand both their demographics and psychographics. Demographics will give you insight into details like their age, gender, location, income, etc., while psychographics allows you to paint a more personable picture of them, including their likes, interests, and frustrations. Creating this persona will allow you to fully understand your target audience and tailor your content and messaging accordingly to appeal to their needs and experiences.

A relationship with your audience isn’t a one-way street. It is almost equally as important for the audience to come to know you. This requires building and fostering a two-way relationship. Once they know about you, they can then come to like you. Once they like you, they will trust you enough to buy from you.

Here are a few pointers for fostering a relationship with them:

  • Post consistently.

  • Engage with your audience in the comments and via DM.

  • Engage with potential audience members that are not following you yet. Like their photos and comment on their pictures to get their attention!

  • Provide them with free valuable content first, before expecting a transaction.

Remember, when you fully know and understand your audience, you can put together irresistible content and copy that will resonate enough for them to head to your website to learn more. Don’t have time for all that each day? Unglitch.io can help!

COLLABORATE WITH INFLUENCERS

A great way to tap into a new audience is by collaborating with influencers. Depending on the size of the influencer’s following, some may charge a fee for their post, while others will be willing to post solely in exchange for the free product.  Consider sending your products to an influencer and having them share their experience with their audience via a feed post or stories. They can then direct their followers to your website to shop for the items shown.

Pro Tip: Send your influencer an exclusive discount code to share with their followers for an extra incentive to shop!

Need help connecting with influencers or setting up an Affiliate Program for your business? Unglitch.io can help!

RUN A PAID AD

This last point is perhaps the most complex and requires a full blog post of its own to fully explain. In short, paid ads are a great way to increase clicks to your website. My top recommendation? Do not boost posts. *face palm* There is practically no real strategy behind this feature and it is essentially just an easy way for Instagram to make money. Instead, create an official advertisement in Facebook Ads Manager, where you choose a goal, define a specific audience, and publish beautiful content and ad copy that converts. This ties back to the importance of knowing your audience. Never put money behind something that either will not effectively appeal to your audience or reach them in the first place. Know who your audience is and what their interests are. Once you’ve nailed down who your target audience is, A/B testing can help you discover which ads resonate best with them! Huh?  Unglitch.io can help!

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in discovering a few ways to increase traffic to your website from Instagram.

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12 Things to Look for When Hiring a Social Media Manager

Thinking about hiring a social media manager or agency? Congrats!! Outsourcing your social media to a professional is a big step in growing your business long-term. 

There are SO many social media freelancers/agencies out there – so how do you choose the right one for your business? Here are some of my tips and questions to ask when considering working with a social media expert.  

  1. Look at the agency’s or freelancer’s social media accounts. Do they do a good job maintaining and connecting on their own social media?
    No? Run!
  1. Are they up-to-date with the ever-changing world of social media?
  2. How often will they post? I usually advise posting a minimum of 5 times per week on both Instagram and Facebook (more for Twitter + Pinterest if you choose that option. Anything less and you probably won’t be able to see much growth.
  3. Do they plan? Certain events in the news or trends can change a monthly content calendar — but it’s imperative that your SMM expert have a content calendar. Your SMM expert needs to be open to their clients wanting to promote something that day and shift the content calendar accordingly.
  4. Is your SMM manager a graphic designer as well? Or at least have access to a graphic designer… Unique, original graphics for your post is a must. If your SMM manager is using apps like Canva your posts will not look unique.
  5. How often to communicate do you expect to communicate with them? How do you want to communicate with them? Asking these questions prior to starting an agency or manager can prevent issues down the road. If you’re wanting to communicate every day via text, and they’re expecting 2x a week via email, you might want to look elsewhere. 
  6. Will they handle community management (replying to comments & DMs & engaging with other accounts? Some clients prefer to handle this in house. Especially if you are a service-based business and need to chat directly with customers to schedule them or answer questions. If you’re comfortable with them handling it, be sure to provide them with an FAQ list so they can quickly address customer concerns. 
  7. Have they worked with similar brands in your industry? Typically, some experience with your industry is preferred, but it is not necessary. 
  8. Are they managing your social media for at least 1 month? Anything less WILL NOT WORK. If you hire someone to just do a week’s worth of social media managing and marketing — you’re wasting your money.
  9. How will you be charged? There are three main pricing models I’ve seen: hourly, flat fee, and a percentage of sales. There are pros and cons to each, so make sure you choose what’s best for your business. If you anticipate requesting a lot of edits and changes, hourly might not be the way to go. If you’re killing it in sales already without the social media agency, maybe don’t consider the sales choice. I charge a flat rate to avoid any of these issues.
  10. Do they have any testimonials from past clients? If they don’t, this is a huge red flag! Ask them about the similar brands they’ve managed – like what you see? That’s a good sign!
  11. Where are they based? The great part about social media is that they can essentially be located anywhere. However, it is typically beneficial for your time zone to be the same (or similar!) for communication purposes. Also, if they are doing any photography for you, it might be best to keep this done locally as shipping fees can get expensive.

Be sure to do your research when reaching out to social media agencies and freelancers and then ask them any of these questions if you couldn’t get them answered prior to reaching out.

And if you’re looking for a one-woman social media maven? I’d love to work with your brand. Let’s chat!

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3 New Instagram Features You Need to Know About in 2021

Working in an ever-changing industry can be a lot to keep up with sometimes, especially after a year like 2020. No shame, homie! I totally get it and are here to provide you with a few new features you should start taking advantage of if you haven’t already.

Keyword Seach

I always emphasize the importance of being strategic with your name and username on Instagram because they were previously the only fields that the platform considered in search queries. Well, drum roll, please… Instagram has now enabled keyword search! Users can now search a phrase and results will include posts featuring those keywords. FINALLY! This will shift discoverability on the platform and the emphasis will move slightly away from hashtags and more onto SEO in captions.

Now I know what you’re thinking! I just got a hold of hashtags! Now this! This is why during this changeover it’s going to be important to bone up on SEO, if you do not have the time…find an SEO expert. Pssst…

Instagram Guides

Consider Instagram Guides as comparable to a mini blog post (like this one!). They were created as “a way to more easily discover recommendations, tips and other content from your favorite creators.” Each Guide features curated posts paired with commentary and tips. Soon you can check out my first-ever Instagram Guide here, where I’ll re-purpose one of my older blog posts (p.s. idea for your first guides). Remember that a major goal of social media is to provide value to an audience and Guides are a perfect way to do just that!

Reels

Reels can be used to grow an account and boy did I find out! I used Reels with a client of mine and she gained over 3,000 followers in only one month on Instagram as a result of their exposure and reach from the Reels alone. Think of Reels as Instagram’s version of TikTok. You essentially share short videos paired with existing audio. For a physical example, you can check out some great example Reels here. They’re so much fun to make AND show results! I would 10/10 recommend giving them a try!

I hope this blog post was helpful for you in discovering a few new features to incorporate into your Instagram strategy! For more social media tips, follow me on the ‘Gram.


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Set Goals for Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

A succinct strategy will help your brand tackle its goals with a sense of purpose.

That’s why I’ve put together a comprehensive guide to creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.

Set goals that make sense for your brand

Let’s kick things off with a quick question: “What do you want from social media, anyway? Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.

Increase brand awareness. Gone is the day of SELL! SELL! SELL! Now it’s about getting your name out there. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid solely publishing promotional posts. Instead, focus on content that emphasizes your personality and values first.

Generate leads and sales. Whether online or in-store, followers aren’t going to make social purchases by accident.  For example, are you about alerting customers about new products and promos? Are you not providing your clientele with promos or discounts? Well, that’s another issue to tackle all together… Better start doing that.

Grow your brand’s audience. Bringing new followers into the fold means finding ways to introduce your brand to folks who haven’t heard of you before.

Digging through your social channels is nearly impossible without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags. Having a pulse on these conversations helps you reach your core audience much faster.

Boost community engagement. Explore ways to grab the attention of your current followers.  This means experimenting with messaging and content. Pay attention to your viewers and their interests. Reach them that way.

Even something as simple as asking a question can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you’re giving them something to do.

Drive traffic to your site. Simple enough. If you’re laser-focused on generating leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social ads, keeping an eye on conversions and URL clicks can help you better determine your ROI from social media.

When in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than muddling it with too many objectives that might distract you. Pick one or two and stick with ’em.

Now it’s time to create engaging content based on these strategies. Still have no clue where to start? Unglitch.io is here for you! Unglitch.io offers 1-Month social media takeovers that go overs your strategy, a 1-month content calendar, unique graphics, and more – learn more on the Marketing tab!