How to use Iconosquare to track your Instagram analytics? All the time and effort you put towards your social media channels - you should be able to measure them in some way, right? That is exactly what an analytics tool enables you to do. It basically tells you how you are performing on the subject social channel, what is working, what is not working, how many followers you are gaining or losing and what are the best times for you to post on the channel so that your posts can be seen by most of your followers and more!In this day and age, in order to be successful online, your small business has to be on social media!

Yes, this theory applies even if you only own a brick and mortar store and all your customers have to physically visit your store to make a purchase. You still have to use your social presence to get them to walk into your store.

Now, say you are already using social media, posting your updates at regular hours, engaging with your customers, letting them know about the occasional discount or special offer and they are all happy and your world is beautiful.

“Ah! I’ve managed to attain perfection in the social media world.” You think.

Unfortunately (I think you knew this was coming :)), the time and energy you put into all the tasks I mentioned above, doesn’t just end there. You still need more info to keep growing and benefiting from your social presence.

Why? Because after you’ve accomplished all of the above, you need to continue growing your online presence, so that even more people can get to know about your business, visit your social pages and engage with you.

Enter analytics.

All the time and effort you put towards your social media channels – you should be able to measure them in some way, right?

That is exactly what an analytics tool enables you to do. It basically tells you how you are performing on the subject social channel, what is working, what is not working, how many followers you are gaining or losing and what are the best times for you to post on the channel so that your posts can be seen by most of your followers.

Now Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest offer you this info in-house. But Instagram doesn’t (at least not at the time of writing this post).

Therefore, if you are marketing your business on Instagram you can measure your analytics using a third party tool called Iconosquare, which is pretty amazing by the way because of the depth of info it provides. So, today we are going to get into Iconosquare and take a look at all of the info it provides and how you can use it to track your Instagram analytics.

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Social Media Branding 101 Part Three - Learn how to best represent your biz + blog (a.k.a. your brand) via Pinterest and Instagram. Download your FREE Pinterest and Instagram Branding Checklist. | socialmediawithpb.com

Time to move on to the visual social media platforms – Pinterest and Instagram!

Love both because of their immense power to get creative and express your business in a visually appealing way. Pinterest is truly my favorite, Instagram follows a close second.

I began with Pinterest at first (after Facebook and Twitter – the natural progression of joining social media networks for most of us out there, I think) and recently have been exploring my hand at Instagram. The nature of both these platforms, although visual is slightly different when it comes to how you can use them to represent your business’s (and consequently your brand’s) story.

So, this post will cater to how you can use them to the best of their capacity and represent your business and blog (a.k.a your brand) via these channels.

But, before I begin, here’s a brief history of the series (as you can see that this blog post is titled “Social Media Branding 101: Part Three”).

You can find the first part here. This is where I talk about how to represent your business and blog via Facebook, also giving you an insight as to why I decided to do the series and why you should even consider having a cohesive branding strategy extending out from your business website to your social media platforms in the first place.

I moved on to Twitter in the second part. You can find that post here. Both the posts come with free downloadable checklists (which I shall also include in this post) which you can print and use for your reference. Print ‘em out and pin them up near your work desk or get fancy and laminate them – I leave the choice to you!

And now, in this very post I am moving on to Pinterest and Instagram.

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Social Media Branding 101 Part Two – Learn how to best represent your biz + blog (a.k.a. your brand) via Twitter. Download your FREE Twitter Branding Checklist. | socialmediawithpb.comA’right, so we are now ready to move on to Twitter!

Before I begin, I need to address all of you who might have chanced upon this blog post and have absolutely no idea as to why I am beginning it with the sentence “A’right, so we are now ready to move on to Twitter!”

Move on to Twitter from “what?” A valid question.

Therefore here’s a very brief history of why I began this very post with the “Oh, you already know what I am talking about” sentence!

This is my second post on the Social Media Branding 101 series where I talk about how you can represent your business + blog (a. k. a. your brand) via Twitter. I concentrated on Facebook in the first part and if you missed all the action there, I encourage you to head over to this post and get yourself acquainted with why I decided to do the series, why it is important to have your branding strategy extend out to your social media channels beginning with your website and finally how you can cohesively represent your brand via Facebook – keeping it in sync with your business website and blog.

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Social Media Branding 101 Part One – Learn how to best represent your biz + blog (a.k.a. your brand) via Facebook. Includes a FREE “Facebook Branding” checklist for your download. | socialmediawithpb.comBefore I begin, don’t get confused by the title.

I am not trying to teach you social media branding in Spanish! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but as you might have noticed, all my posts have been in English till now 🙂 . (Plus, here’s a dirty  little secret – I don’t even know how to speak in Spanish).

So, why the Part Uno (Part One if you still have no clue what I am talking about)?

Oh well! Just thought I’d be slightly different from the pack since we are going to talk about branding here today. And as far as my research goes – your brand should also reflect some of your personality. But since you are unable to meet me in person while you read this blog post, that’s just my quirky side!

Okay, so enough with the explanation people! Let’s get down to business.

First and foremost, why did I decide to come up with this series? (FYI, I will be releasing three more blog posts in the same series because I want to handle each social platform in separate blog posts, thereby making things easier for you – my precious, precious reader). Here’s a short and true story.

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How to create long collage style images for Pinterest using PicMonkey. The DIY 5 step guide for non-designers. | socialmediawithpb.com | Online Marketing for Small Businesses and SolopreneursSpend a few minutes on Pinterest and you are bound to come across one of them – the vertical  or long collage style pin, specifically if you are browsing for recipes, DIY projects, instructions and tutorials. If you have no idea what I am talking about, here’s an example (Source: DIY Ready).

Notice the long style with each step outlined within the pin itself?

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Ten social media policy DO's and DON’TS for your business PLUS an infographic to help you respond to your customers on social | socialmediawithpb.comThis is a guest post by Tim Wayne.

For many of us, social media is liberating and spontaneous. It can be a place where anything goes, and everyone can be themselves. Understandably, digital natives may start to lose interest when they’re told that they have to abide by policies on behalf of their employer.

However, setting some ground rules is an essential part of making sure that your business’s social media presence is positive, brand-consistent, and customer-focused. But if you haven’t drafted a policy before, it can be difficult to figure out where to start.

If you’re curious about creating or revising your business’s social media policy, it can help to learn from the example of businesses with well-established social media presences. In this post, I’ll be taking a look at excerpts from ten world-famous brands’ social media policies. For a comprehensive list of social media policies like these excerpted below, check out Social Media Governance’s list.

Afterwards, read on to discover some do’s and don’ts in responding to customers on social media with an infographic produced by Ohio University’s Business Administration Masters program.

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Schedule wisely! Eight social media automation mistakes your business should avoid at all costs. | socialmediawithpb.comOkay, so I am beginning on a positive note. With a smiley to prove to you that I am being positive….here you go 🙂 .

Social media automation – I am all FOR IT! Because, it is a time (and life) saver in today’s internet crazed, social media oriented world, my dear friend. I mean, can you imagine doing all your scheduling in real time?

Picture this – the “real time social scheduling scenario”. You are sitting in front of your computer all day, juggling between the various open tabs and thinking of something to say, like every 2 – 3 hours. Sounds absolutely crazy right? (On a side note who would, then run your business?)

So, yes, social media automation has been bestowed upon us like a blessing. Again, I mean can you imagine having to manage your social media scheduling without tools such as HootSuite and Buffer?

The answer is a simple, nope, you can’t. Adopting social media automation is a MUST for any small business today because without it, they just wouldn’t be able to keep up with communicating with their audience via the various social platforms available.

However, although automation is such a blessing there are certain dangers associated with it, which if unnoticed can do more harm than good. And that is what we are here to address today – 8 social media automation mistakes your biz should avoid making at all costs.

Bottom line, automate all you want but keep these 8 “mistakes” in mind because if you make ’em things can go pretty awry. And that is something no biz wants!

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Four ways to make blog post traffic last longer. How long do you think a blog post lasts before it is forgotten about forever - read, "completely buried beneath your pile of shiny new posts?” Turns out not that long! Use these four ways to keep driving consistent traffic to your blog posts.How long do you think a blog post lasts before it is forgotten about forever – read, “completely buried beneath your pile of shiny new posts?”

Okay I get it, you are probably gasping after reading the very first sentence of this post!

Forgotten about forever? Oh my God! Really? Because I struggled pretty hard to write all of this jaw-dropping content and now you’re telling me that I have no readers.

Nope, not what I’m trying to say – that you have zero readers.

What I am trying to say, however, is that, while a blog post’s popularity spikes right after it is published, it isn’t too long before it gets forgotten (that is its popularity drops significantly).

So, just how long is this time frame? Turns out, not all that long.

A recent study conducted by Izea and the Halverson Group reveals (after researching 500 unique blog posts published between 2010 and 2012) that a blog post receives 72% of its total impressions within the first 30 days of its publication. From then on it barely receives any traffic at all when compared to what it received during the initial burst phase.

In fact, here’s what their research findings tell us.

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Why it pays your small business to use LinkedIn. Plus a FREE LinkedIn Logic printable for your download. | socialmediawithpb.comThis is a guest post by Angela Swanson, co-creator of Sweet Papaya Creative.

You probably already know that over 342 million people and 4 million companies are active on LinkedIn, including about 107 million in the United States alone.

What you may not know is that LinkedIn is also the number-one rated social media platform for small businesses, with roughly 80% of all businesses with under 200 employees on LinkedIn. Small businesses consistently rank LinkedIn as the best avenue for finding qualified sales leads, investors, financial assistance and even potential employees, with 277% better chances of locating leads than Facebook, LinkedIn’s nearest competitor.

So, why does it pay small businesses to use LinkedIn? Let’s find out.

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[FREE PINTEREST GUIDEBOOK] 6 surefire ways to make your website more Pinterest friendly plus an infographic to help you pin better. | Social Media w/ PriyankaDo you use Pinterest to market your business or blog online?

If yes, then have you given your website a second look to see if things are in order, so that folks visiting your site can have an enriching experience if they are looking to pin images from your blog posts or follow you on Pinterest?

And, by that I mean, is your website “Pinterest friendly” enough?

Today’s blog post is going to cover exactly that!

If you website isn’t Pinterest friendly yet, I am going to talk about ways in which you can make it more Pinterest savvy so that people can easily share your post’s images or follow you right away (on Pinterest) when they chance upon your site. But we’ll get to that in just a bit.

If your answer is no, then I suggest joining Pinterest immediately to take advantage of its visual prowess. And the fact that it can be a pretty viable traffic source!

So, let’s begin with a very, very short story. I promise this will take up only 2 minutes of your reading time!

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