3 Great Ways to Grow Your Small Business’ Instagram Followers


With over 800 million monthly active users, it’s becoming more and more evident that Instagram is an essential tool in a marketer’s toolkit. If not too long ago, businesses dismissed the social platform as just a passing trend, now they are beginning to realize the power the network holds. In fact, reports show that Instagram has the highest engagement rates among all social networks. And, it makes sense if you think about it: highly visual and entertaining and with massive potential for growth, Instagram can drive conversions for a small business.

The question is: how do you get there? How can a small business gain Instagram followers that it could nurture into buyers?

Here are some ideas that might help.

Learn How to Use Hashtags Correctly

Hashtags seem to be all-powerful. They can help you attract followers, increase engagement, generate more likes and make it easier for prospects to find the information that interests them. There’s just one twist, though: you need to know how to use them correctly and leverage their power.

Here’s the thing: even though hashtags offer many benefits, they won’t help you if they are not relevant to your business. Think about your target audience, their needs, and how your products or services can help them. If you’re a physical therapy clinic, for instance, then it would be better to use hashtags that add value to your PT business, such as #physicaltherapy, #getPT, or #paincontrol rather than generic ones like #health or #blessed.

Create a Theme

Here’s a fun fact: the human brain can process information about 60,000 times faster than text. That’s one of the reasons Instagram is one of the most engaging social media platforms out there.

It’s also why it can help you reach your business purposes and scale your revenue. So, why not leverage Instagram’s highly visual nature and create a profile that is sure to stand out and increase your following.

For instance, you could create a theme and automatically boost your profile’s image and engagement rates. Make sure to be consistent with your photos if you want to achieve an aesthetic effect. Use the same filters when you edit your photos, pick a color to set the tone of your grid and don’t forget about framing your pictures correctly.

Post Exclusive Sneak Peak Pictures

Another thing that made Instagram such a powerhouse is that it allows users to share snaps from their lives and create an authentic connection with their followers. Sure, those perfectly lit images that you are posting are an excellent way to showcase your professionalism and trustworthiness. But, don’t ignore the human component of this network and focus on building an actual relationship with your followers.

The best way to do that is by sharing “behind the scenes” photos that let prospects take a sneak peek into how your business functions. Use the story feature to post exclusive content and create an emotional connection with your audience. Let them know how you celebrate an employee’s birthday, how you overcome a difficult day, and so on.


With one in three small businesses on Instagram saying that the platform helped them increase sales, it’s evident that you can’t ignore the network anymore. Use the tips above to fuel your company and drive more followers and engagement to your profile.

Getting Started with YouTube for Business: What You Need to Know

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You’ve heard the buzz. You’ve read the statistics. You know what you have to do. Video is the marketing tool of the future.

Even now, video is highly effective as a marketing tool for brand and legitimacy building: A recent survey of marketers found over half of respondents said video has a higher ROI than all other types of online advertising.

If your social media plan has up to now consisted only of Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to add YouTube to your strategy. Follow these tips to familiarize yourself with the way YouTube works and learn what it can for your small business.

Getting to Know YouTube

You’ve probably watched countless hours of YouTube videos yourself. Unlike other social media platforms, anyone can view videos on YouTube whether they have their own account or not. But to upload your own videos, you have to have a YouTube account. Google owns YouTube so to access YouTube you have to have a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for one.

But, wait! What if you already have a personal YouTube account? Can you use it for business as well? It’s not a good idea. In fact, it’s not a good idea whether you’re talking about Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. Create a separate account, such as this channel set up for Talus Payments, that’s strictly for business.

You Have Google, What’s Next?

Sign into your Google account and go to the YouTube homepage. Familiarize yourself with the layout. Click on the left side navigation and look at the options. Click on the upper right avatar and look at the customization and account options. Click the My Channels option from the dropdown. The form asks for your first and last name, but notice the “Use a business or other name” option near the end of the form text. Click the link and complete the form. Now your business has a YouTube business channel.

Make It Look Great

What you have now is the basic account page every business gets when it first signs on. But like Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, you can add details and art to match your brand.

The channel description is easily overlooked, but don’t underestimate its importance. Briefly explain what the business does and connect your other social media platforms to provide a cohesive online brand. Add, but don’t stuff, the description with relevant keywords and phrases when you describe your business. Add links to your website and a contact email address. You have space for five links and a customizable description for each. Use them.

You’ll require two images to customize your business channel. The first is the channel icon. The icon is the small image on the upper right of the page. The recommended icon image dimensions are 800 x 800 pixels. The icon will display at 98 x 98, but the larger size ensures a crisp image when reduced.

The channel banner is typically where a logo, business name and a small amount of text, such as a motto, appears across the top. The banner graphic should be 2560 x 1440 pixels. Keep in mind, however, that the safe viewing area for both web and mobile screens is 1546 x 423 pixels. Make sure vital information appears within the safe-viewing range of the banner graphic. Several free and low-cost online tools such as Canva, Stencil and DesignBold offer templates and high-resolution graphics you can use to create an effective banner.

When your graphics are ready, use YouTube’s upload option to add your new graphics to the page.

Socially Active

The goal when using YouTube for business is the same as it is for Facebook and Twitter: communication with customers, prospects, colleagues and complementary businesses. It’s about building a community and sharing information.

Even if you don’t plan to upload videos often, you can still actively participate and grow your YouTube community. Find channels of leaders in your industry, experts and influencers. Follow them, “like” relevant posts and share meaningful content on your page. Use the “Add” section of your profile to easily share liked videos. Share content within the confines of your business and avoid divisive or non-related topics. Check that the shared content setting is public so anyone who stops by your page can see the video. Comment on videos you share and respond to comments users leave. Again, engagement is the key to community building.

If creating your own videos seems a little frightening, don’t worry. YouTube offers free help tools and tutorials to get you started. The future is video marketing. Don’t let your business fall behind.

Startups Not On Social Media Are Making A Big Mistake: Here’s Why


There are numerous benefits to using social media for marketing. However, some firms seem to think that it is either too complicated to use successfully, or not relevant to their demographic. Neither of these assertions is true, however, so read on to find out how social media can help your startup succeed.

Connecting with customers

One of the biggest benefits of using social media for marketing is that it is a fabulous platform for connecting with your customers. In fact, it really breaks down the ‘them and us’ barrier that can build up in the consumer- customer relationship. After all, social media is a less formal platform that can allow you to put a relatable face on your marketing campaign.

You may do this by providing videos or photos that fit in with the image you are trying to create. You may even add posts in a more informal and humorous fashion to help your potential customer better to relate to your brand. Something that you can see a fantastic example of here. 

Market research

Another major benefit of using social media for marketing and sales is that it provides you with an instant platform for market research. That means you can see the type of people that like your product and interact with your content.

You can even use tools such as surveys that many platforms allow you to create to get instant feedback on how people perceive certain products, content, or offers. Something that can then be used to feedback into your product and service development process and further improve things.

Feed your marketing and sales funnel

The thing that many startups forget is that social media doesn’t exist in a bubble. In fact, it is a wonderful way of feeding your marketing funnel that ends with sales and repeat customers. Luckily, using methods such as Facebook marketing, or Instagram marketing can be a very useful way of directing people through the preliminary stages before buying.

After all, it provides a platform for information gathering and engagement, as well, if it is done right, links to purchase products, and a way of contacting customers services. All of which are a part of the directional system that leads more customers to actually make a purchase in the end.

Good PR

Above anything else, the role of social media in ecommerce is one of promotion and public relations. It is a fabulous option for nurturing positive regard for the items or service you are trying to sell.

One way of doing this is to foster positive reviews. Something that social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn overtly build into their business profiles.

Also, linking with other brands and charities online can be a great way to boost the perception of your own company. Also, don’t forget that all the interactions that are public will count towards your demographics’ perceptions of your business. This means keeping them professional and helpful for the most part is a vital element of social media marketing success.

Turn Your LinkedIn Profile From Dull to Powerful In Minutes With These 3 Tips

Are you getting the engagement from your professional LinkedIn profile you hoped?

LinkedIn is the most widely used social media channel for business professionals, whether they’re searching for a job, looking for talented job seekers or hunting for networking opportunities. If your profile doesn’t seem to be reaching the people you want to connect with, it’s time to do something about it.

Use these three tips to turn a dull and ineffective profile into a powerful magnetic professional LinkedIn profile that attracts all the right people.

  1. Your picture is you. You may never meet the actual people behind connections you make on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get to know them or they won’t get to know you. In fact, people who view your LinkedIn profile have to believe there is a real person behind the profile page before they feel comfortable connecting with you.

Having the right profile picture is particularly important for those whose profession involves personal one-on-one service. Your profile picture should be of your face from the top of your shoulders up. Go for an approachable, friendly expression, as you can see in Lori Janeson’s profile. Do not include your pets or kids. And look behind you before posing for that picture — you don’t want anything in your photo’s background to distract viewers.

  1. Your headline is key. A lot of people use the headline for their official job title. But, you can use that short headline space to add pizzazz as well as essential keywords and phrases instead. LinkedIn is a search engine, after all. If you use your headline to place compelling keyword phrases that explain what you do rather than a simple job title, it makes you more marketable as well as more likely to attract the attention of those searching for your specific talents and skills.

Add a value prop and let people know what you can do for them. For example, if you’re a software developer, try something like “Software Engineer: Helping companies provide automated support 24/7.” Focus on what you do best. Avoid using words like “expert,” “winning” or “hardworking” in your headline, however. They sound too much like bragging.

  1. Power up your summary. The summary is where you can really show off your stuff. Although it’s tempting to use the same type of information in your summary as you use on your resume, don’t.

Of course make your resume available on your profile. But make your summary something else. Yes, highlight your accomplishments. Yes, list your key skills. But also think of the summary as a way to expand beyond the facts of on your resume and let your personality shine through. Use industry-related keywords and phrases that match your job talents, expertise and skills. Avoid overused terms such as “team player,” “hard worker” and “attentive to details.” Instead use power phrases and words, such as the following:

  • Collaborator
  • Leader
  • Written and Oral Communicator
  • Problem Solver

Provide real examples of how you collaborated, lead a team, effectively communicated and solved a difficult problem. Include dollars and percentages to show the impact of your work.

Additional tips: Concentrate on the three areas above, but make use of all available sections in your LinkedIn profile. Use relevant graphics to add interest. Update often. Take the time to turn your LinkedIn profile into a powerful message about who you are and aggressively add to your network. LinkedIn can be your professional best friend if you turn your profile from drab to engaging. It only takes a few minutes.  

5 Tips to a Better LinkedIn Profile


As a regular LinkedIn user, you no doubt realize that your LinkedIn profile is your online business card, resume and reputation all in rolled into one. But does your profile truly serve as a comprehensive virtual portfolio? In other words, when colleagues, potential clients and recruiters land on your page, can they learn all they need to know about who you are and what you do?

Likely, you could use a stronger profile. Follow these five tips help you build one.  

1. Your Profile Photo: Don’t Settle for Good Enough

Why is your profile photo so important? The face in the photo is your only chance to make a positive first impression. It won’t matter how solid your credentials are, how much experience you have or how much talent you bring to the table if your photo turns viewers off.

Look around LinkedIn and take a look at the profile photos professionals use. Which attract your attention — this Arnold Siegel profile picture, where he looks approachable and friendly, or a profile without a profile picture at all?

Or worse, what do profile pictures of the person too far away to make out, enjoying a cocktail at a party or posing with their pets say? Unless those activities are somehow related to the individual’s profession, they belong on Facebook, not LinkedIn.

Because your profile picture is the professional face the world sees, don’t settle for a bad photo. And don’t yield to the temptation to use that great 10-year-old picture. You’re not after a beauty contest crown here. Your job is to let people know who you are now.

If you have the funds, visit a pro. If paying a photographer is not in the budget, perhaps a friend with a good camera could help. Or, you can try a do-it-yourself and see what you come up with. In any case, follow these recommendations:

  • The best profile photos encompass the top of the shoulders and the head. The subject, you, should take up at least 60 percent of the frame.
  • Your expression should be friendly, warm and approachable. No maniacal grins, no frowns, no expressions of discomfort or unhappiness. Keep trying until you get it right.
  • Look at what’s behind you before you shoot. Avoid distracting backgrounds.    

2. Make Your Headline Sing

Directly under your profile picture is the headline field. The headline is drawn from your most recent job title by default, but you can and should edit the information.

Job titles generally do not explain what you really do. So instead of leaving the default, succinctly describe your professional “essence ” as well as what you can do for the viewer.

For example, instead of a headline that says “Senior Marketing Manager,” try “Increase sales on a small budget with a highly trained experienced marketing professional.”  You have 120 characters to show value to the reader, don’t waste the space with useless information.

3. Add a Background Photo

A background photo that’s relevant to your profession adds visual interest and makes your page stand out. Choose a photo that is pleasing to the eye, not overly busy and fits in context with what you do.

4. Your Summary: Your Story

The summary section is where you explain who you are, how you got where you are, what you’re like and what you want to do. It’s the story of you, written in an engaging, personal style.

It’s not a list of jobs, skills and accreditation’s. There’s room for those essentials elsewhere. Take your time writing the summary.

Within your summary, add specific keywords and phrases for search engine optimization. Don’t overload text with keywords, but include words people might use to search for someone with your skills and talents.

Avoid using common buzzwords, such as creative, passionate, experienced, expert, focused and similar general non-specific descriptors. The summary is your chance to show why you’re different.

5. Schedule Updates

To get the most out of LinkedIn, engage on a regular basis. Publish content, share, make comments, respond to comments, add graphics and post often. Schedule updates regularly and update in between to post breaking news and other topics. LinkedIn is a valuable tool and can open the door to lots of opportunities, if you use it wisely.

Social Media Engagement 101: How To Boost Your Followers Interaction


If you’re considering making any form of branding or business online, it’s always important to remember your audience. If you want to build your online presence, you should always consider social media engagement.

Some might think that since you’re starting an online business, or want to gain revenue from blogging, it’s alright to stop with just increasing your audience size. However, you’re missing an essential step. It’s always important to be consistent with follower interaction to grow your presence online. For those who are curious, the following are the top ways on how to increase follower interaction on social media. Let’s take a look.

Social Media Engagement: Why Follower Interaction Matters

If you want to make your online presence considerably relevant to your customers and fans, it’s always important to engage with them on a regular basis. This allows them to “grow” into your products and services. People who frequently visit your sites and social media accounts should be the ones you constantly engage with.

  • These people, although “lurkers,” can be transformed into fans and even customers.
  • Devoting time to build relationships with them can potentially jumpstart sales, increase numbers in positive reviews, and even develop customer loyalty.

Follower Interaction Know-How

It’s therefore a priority to make sure you’re engaging with your followers in order to boost your so-called “cred” or credibility. After all, it’s much more comforting as a customer to be able to interact with a service or a brand as it establishes good relationships. Customers may prefer to buy products from a service that they know they can ask questions to or talk to, than to buy from a “reputable” brand that ignores its customers.

If you think it’s time to start focusing on follower interaction, you’re on the right track. Here are some of the best behaviors for social media engagement that you can do for your business and branding.

Consistency is key. Perhaps you can start by making sure there is a consistent theme throughout your social media platforms. Use a common color scheme, a common logo, and focus on your niche. This allows people to “know” what they’re getting into.

  • This affords them the opportunity to trust you, as they know what to expect.
  • This also means it’s important for you to start developing ways to “show” your brand to other people.

Advertising is perhaps the most common way to generate follower interaction. Be warned, however, that it also tends to be extremely expensive. Social media platforms such as Facebook give you the option to “expand” your reach via your ads. For a fee, Facebook can “boost” your posts and help reach more people.

  • This is a double-edged tactic, however, as there’s no guarantee on the level of interest people who will see your ads. They can be potential customers, or just lurkers who can see your advertisement.
  • This is still a good shot if you have the spare budget. After all, expanding your advertisements’ reach can help you assess just how popular a potential product or service can become.

Creating unique content is perhaps the second-most common way to generate follower interaction. It also tends to be the cheapest way. However, be warned that this process takes a lot of time. This is because you have to slowly develop content to make you a relevant figure in your niche.

  • If you’re planning on sharing pieces created by others, don’t forget to give them credit.
  • If you’re planning to make unique content, try utilizing useful quotes, viral videos, funny GIFs, and even entertaining graphics.
  • Remember to always create content that’s unique and not used anywhere else as this helps to improve your overall reputation as an authority leader.
  • Make sure all content is spell checked. Spelling mistakes can appear unprofessional.

Collaborations can help, especially if you’re friends with people from other famous brands. If not, try approaching the notable figures in your niche if you could perhaps do a collaboration. You can for instance offer if your service or products can be “joined” with theirs, as you can boost the chances of selling products.

  • Examples of collaborations can be blog posts that promote products and services, contests and giveaways, and other forms of unique content.
  • This also helps you develop more fruitful relationship with other figures in your niche. This can help establish a good presence even to other members of the market.

Other Things You Can Do

Finally, here’s some other things you may be able to try to help increase follower interaction.

  • Offer freebies, contests or other incentives that may grab your follower’s attention.
  • Trigger emotions by sharing funny posts.
  • Share random questions or quotes to help peak their interest.
  • Share something controversial but not too controversial. You want to peak interest but not make people hate you if they don’t agree with you.

These are just some of the ways that you can engage your followers better to get better interaction.


At U-Thrive Marketing, we know that these tips above of course do not work “instantly.” You have to mix and match elements of these tips in order to boost your chances of getting more followers to become customers. Try to find ways to have these techniques “match” your branding and marketing, as this helps establish your “identity” in the market.

Bill Sheikh

I am the founder of U-Thrive Marketing, Tulsa’s premier online marketing and website design firm. We have helped hundreds of businesses across Oklahoma and the rest of the US take their online marketing to the next level. We specialize in generating more customers for the businesses we work with by utilizing proven online marketing tactics such as SEO, PPC & Social Media marketing. We also have a team of experts that specialize in website development, website design and graphic design. I have also been personally featured on many national and local publications related to marketing. 

Key Social Media Methods To boost Your Business

Kiev, Ukraine - August 26, 2013 - A collection of well-known social media brands printed on paper and placed on plastic signs. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram and Tumblr logos.

Welcome to the world of online marketing where connecting with an audience is key to making a profit. There are numerous forms of promotion you can look into for boosting the profile of your business. But we think one of the key forms of marketing you should definitely be using is social media. By using social media, you’ll be able to connect with your customers and hopefully find your target consumer. Social networks allow unique possibilities for marketing that are simply unavailable through other methods. There are a number of different social networks that are perfect for marketing your business. On this post, we’re going to have a look at a few of them. We can examine their importance as well as their unique advantages.


Twitter is a place where you can update your followers with new information about your business. Or, if your startup isn’t open yet you can let people know when you will be entering the market. By doing this, you can build up support and interest in your company. It’s a fantastic way to expand an already established customer base as well. Online, you have the possibility to use the resources at your finger tips and Twitter is certainly one of them. But now, you have other ways you can use Twitter. For instance, you can share content across this network as well as pictures and videos. By doing this, you can catch the interest of clients in unique ways. As well as that you can retweet other businesses in your industry. By doing that, you may gain the attention of customers who previously used your competition. It’s a brilliant way to catch your competitors off guard.


One of the fastest forms of business marketing online is the sharing of images. That’s why Instagram is proving to be an increasingly popular tool for business owners. It’s a great opportunity to show your customers the people behind your marketing and create an interesting campaign. You can even use Instagram to set-up ads online. It’s easy to learn how to create Instagram ads. By doing this, you can run a campaign that helps not only you but any advertisers you might be working with. This type of dual promotion could be tremendously beneficial for your business. When using sharing networks such as instagram, don’t forget to hashtag content. Statistically, adding hashtags to content leads to more shares.


Lastly, it’s important to understand that the face of online marketing and social media is changing. In the past, Facebook and Twitter used to be the key players. These are still important platforms, but they are being overshadowed by new ideas. Specifically, the chance for business owners to share live content with their customers and clients. Businesses have already seen degrees of success with this idea using networking devices like Snapchat. By creating a story on Snapchat, you can mould a unique marketing strategy that updates in real time. Doing this, you are sure to win new clients and keep the interest of already invested customers.


Bring it Back to Basics With This Week’s Clay-Themed Vine Challenge

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Aliquam consectetur, nisi ac gravida auctor, diam nulla egestas dui, eget pretium tellus tellus eget tortor. Integer eu aliquam ipsum. Nunc laoreet sed mauris a molestie.Photo Credit: mondays child

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12 Best Long Takes in Film History in One Short Video

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#EPNStop What’s Happening in Mexico? A global call for freedom

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Epic Vines 2014! Most Funny Compilation Ever!

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7 Fun Ways to Harness Social Media in Your Startup

Tom Cannon, Guest Post, Startup Tips, YECIf your company hasn’t learned to harness the power of the social media world yet, here’s one reason you should: according to Google, nearly 60 percent of people talk more online than they do in real life.

So where do you begin? There are plenty of avenues to take. Here are some ideas for putting your business into the spotlight, gleaned from a recent Ragan Conference in Orlando, Florida.

  1. Host a Google+ Hangout On Air. What do Maroon 5, the Dalai Lama and President Obama all have in common? They’ve all hosted Google+ Hangout On Air sessions. It’s a new spin on having conversations with your audience by allowing them to engage with your product and meet the people behind the brand. Disney, for example, premiered its “Lincoln” film trailer through the Hangout On Air feature. Here’s how it works: log into your Google+ account, click Start Hangout and conduct an online video chat that streams the conversation live. Every Hangout on Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account.  The most important thing to remember: practice beforehand, so you can nail things like lighting and sound.
  2. Start an ambassador program. Your employees can be your best advocates or your worst enemies. Chances are, you’d like to go with the former. Many of them already use social media, so why not harness the energy of engaged employees into something useful? Start by creating a social media customer engagement policy and conduct training. Sprint does this in an entertaining and wildly successful way through its Social Media Ninjas program. They even have “black-belt” ninjas who tout the latest devices. Consider taking that a step further and recruit fans outside of your company as additional ambassadors.
  3. Hold a contest on Pinterest. Pinterest offers a creative and meaningful way to connect with a huge audience –especially female customers ages 25 to 34 — many of whom spend loads of time on the site. By holding a contest, you can connect with a niche audience that was likely not paying attention to your company before, and it can give you insight as to the audience’s needs and wants. TIP: Use curalate.com to measure your Pinterest presence. It finds images about your brand to help you measure your reach.
  4. Tweet with gusto. For starters, let your personality shine through when tweeting. Start the conversation by asking your fans questions so they can generate colorful commentary. For example, Marvel asks its fans for thoughts on movie releases and games. And across the company’s Twitter accounts, hashtags are sprinkled in. The handy little # symbol categorizes tweets by topic and can make a huge difference. Case in point: When the NBA held its slam-dunk contest this year, viewers were asked to vote for favorite dunks using #spriteslam as the hashtag. Likewise, #spriteslam was tweeted 50,000 times in the first two minutes it appeared on-screen. But be sure to check your hashtags ahead of time. The pithy phrase may already be in use, and it may not be in line with your branding. Likewise, have a fresh pair of eyes look over the hashtag. Susan Boyle’s #Susanalbumparty was a PR disaster.
  5. Listen to your fans. When Tasti D-Lite’s technology and digital marketing exec noticed a fan tweeting about potentially buying from the dessert company later in the day, he offered her a Tasti D-Lite coupon and she continued to tweet about how pleased she was with this interaction. This took less than a few minutes to do, but think of how effective it was. Along the same lines, when a Phoenix Suns fan sent out a tweet and photo complaining about a bad seat at a Suns game, the Suns social media team offered the unhappy fan a special seat in a suite. His resulting tweets were positive and influenced his huge audience.
  6. Publish killer content. What makes content good? It has to be engaging enough that people want to share it. Ask yourself is this relevant to my audience? Does it answer a question? Does it provide entertainment? Do you have share buttons next to your content to make it easy for your readers to share it with their friends? And remember, you don’t have to generate all the content. Ask your audience members to guest blog, which will enable you to reach their audiences, too.
  7. Develop a social media strategy. Of course, none of this makes sense if you don’t have goals and long-term thinking in mind. Just like anything else, you don’t want to throw your brand out into the social mediasphere all willy-nilly. Having a strategy will help you plan ahead for contests and such, and it helps you to shape your message. Keep in mind: any good social media strategy should address the good (contests and coupons) and the bad and the ugly (customer complaints).

Tom Cannon is the CEO and cofounder of BungoBox, an Orlando-based company that rents moving containers made of recycled plastic as an alternative to cardboard boxes. Founded in 2009, BungoBox now has 20-plus locations in the U.S. and Canada and plans to open 150 more franchise locations in the next five years as part of a steady and strategic growth strategy.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.


Do You Look At Employees’ Social Media Accounts

Social media snoop, Startups, Founders, YEC, Guest Post

Question: As CEO, be honest — do you look at potential employees’ social media accounts? If yes, what is it you expect to see from someone you WOULD hire (vs. wouldn’t)?

Positive and Professional

“Whenever we are vetting new team members, we tend to do a little Internet sleuthing to find out more about the person. Social media accounts are a huge part of that. We will look at Twitter and Facebook accounts to get a feel for their communication style and attitude. A positive attitude and professional communication give us confidence that their interaction with clients will be the same.”

Part of the Application

“I ask for links to all social media accounts right on the job application, and always check them out before contacting the person for an interview. The reality these days is that all of your employees represent your company, and they need to be aware that what they do and say is public. If I see a Twitter account or public Facebook page filled with angry, negative rants, that person is out!”

Don’t Actively Look

“I don’t actively browse people’s accounts because I don’t want to see what they do in their private life; that’s not what I am hiring them for. However, if candidates send me their profiles for me to learn more about them, I click. If nothing is hidden, it’s a downside because they come across as taking privacy lightly. I prefer to get a link to a well-maintained résumé site or a LinkedIn profile.”

Christian Springub | CEO and co-founder, Jimdo

Both Potential Employees and Current Employees

“I regularly monitor social media accounts of my employees. Negative things that I watch out for are excessive profanity, inappropriate photos, and explicit and/or suggestive conversations. It gives you a window into who somebody really is as a person. Every single one of my employees represents my brand. Therefore, I want people who present themselves in a way consistent with our image.”

Let Yourself Shine Online

“Definitely. I personally maintain a private Twitter list of potential hires and monitor them over time, for example. But I’m primarily looking for familiarity with social media, a sense of humor, and a true passion for what our company is doing. Consistent negative updates are usually a deal-breaker.”

Derek Flanzraich | CEO and Founder, Greatist

A Quick Glance

“I will look at the social media account of anyone I’m considering adding to my team — because of my field, I need to hire people who are already web savvy. But I also expect to need to give them some training and guidelines on what I expect to see on their accounts in the future. These are new tools and people aren’t always aware of what’s appropriate initially.”

It’s Part of Your Brand

“Absolutely, I do. The first thing I look at is a potential hire’s LinkedIn account and who I know that’s connected to him or her. We work with our clients to make sure their LinkedIn profile displays their professional brand in a positive way, and I expect the same from a potential employee.”

Very Valuable Tool

“I want to know that they fit the job description. For some positions social media is not relavant, but for some, I want to know if they are who they say they are and if they would fit my company culture. Social media is a great way to connect with anyone and also find out information about anyone. It is a tool, so use it as such.”

In the Age of Transparency

“Sure, I check them out; I like to see leaders and influencers. I stay away from shy people. We are in the age of transparency, and I want the members of my team to feel comfortable sharing their details online.”

Absolutely Not!

“I see little to gain by snooping on prospective employees personal social media accounts. I would fully expect to find them engaging in completely unprofessional activities outside of work as they should be. I’m more concerned about what kind of game face they can put on when the suit up in the office and judge them on their professional performance alone.”

Christopher Kelly | Co-Founder, Principal, Convene

Social Media Doesn’t Lie!

“People tend to always interview really well, and sometimes that means they choose to withhold certain information that prospective employers wouldn’t want to hear. Every employer should look at a potential employee’s social media to see how they truly behave as a person. as we’ve found this always does play into their work ethic and character in the workplace.”

Time and Frequency

“Yes. During the interview process, we consider social media use in the context of time and frequency. If an applicant is consistently active during working hours, that is the only real red flag for our business — unless they are managing company social media accounts. For a social media specialist, online presence is a job requirement; otherwise, it’s a distraction.”

Smile on Social Media

“In our business, we work with the public. Smiling and being friendly is important. I expect to see potential employee smiling in photos and socializing. If I see potential employees not smiling in any photos or posting photos of inappropriate behavior, I would not want that person serving my customers.”

Nancy T. Nguyen | Founder/Sweet Sylist, Sweet T Salon

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.









Image: social media

Berlin Entrepreneurs Trying To Curb Facebook Fatigue With Flowsee

A new Berlin based startup called Flowsee is hoping to take advantage of Facebook fatigue by offering users a social network with a local angle and curated multimedia. Flowsee is a mashup of Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit.

The Flowsee social network has multiple category pages like music, tech and photography. In each of the categories users can upload photos and videos that are relevant to that category or whatever other categories they like. Pictures, links and videos are then voted up or down in a way similar to both Digg and Reddit with the most “likes” getting to the top of the page.

While the site is stating out and focused on Berlin, the company feels that it’s readily scalable. Back in late October they told us that they had already surpassed 10,000 users per month.

Like some other social networking projects, while Flowsee has a definite infrastructure to it, they are letting early adopters use the social network the way that they want to. For instance, vendors at the Mauer Park Flea Market has started using the platform to post their handmade and vintage goods for sale. Co-founder Olivier Jarfas told Silicon Allee that it didn’t take long for the vendors to start adding photos and even videos to their pages.

We all know that Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, they past the billion users mark last year and continue to move forward despite the fact that their stock market price is a lot lower than they had hoped. Nibletz co-founder and CEO Nick Tippmann also reported earlier this week that Facebook may be perceived by teenagers as “for older people”.

As a result more and more social networks are popping up. Most of the newer social networks are finding verticals to launch in like food, academia and careers.

As for Flowsee, we got a chance to talk with the Berlin based team. Check out the interview below.

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