Social Media

How to do a social media audit

Managing your businesses social media channels is a daily, if not hourly, endeavor. You get into the groove of posting regularly, and it makes it easy to forget about the big picture: your overall social media strategy.

If you’re finding it hard to remember the last time you reviewed your overarching social media strategy, it’s probably time to step back and do a social media audit.

In fact, routine audits should be an important element of your social media strategy. Regular audits will help you identify any weak points in your approach, give you more detailed information about your audience, and help you retool your strategy to match current trends. 

We would suggest doing an in-depth audit at least once a year in addition to a monthly or quarterly mini-audit. Doing a monthly check-in will give you a real-time idea of where you’re at with your goals, making it easier to pivot and adapt as you go. 

How to do a social media audit |  Hue & Tone Creative


Set goals for yourself

If you don’t have a set of measurements to grade yourself against, how will you know if your social media has been successful? 

Before you jump into your first social media audit, set some guidelines for what success looks like. There are many third party templates available – like this one from Sprout Social– or you can set your own goals. 

You’ll want to review the following for each profile: 

  • Engagement numbers

  • Publishing frequency

  • Consistency

  • Audience demographics

  • Referral sources

  • Social media budget/ROI

  • Channel specific metrics 

  

Delve into the numbers

Whether you use built in analytics or an outside platform, you’ll want to make sure you’re checking in regularly to gauge the health of your social media channels. Analytics are invaluable in terms of steering your future strategy and ensuring you are tailoring your content to what works best for each platform.

A few basic things to be looking for:

  • Are you on the right platforms? There’s little value in investing time into daily Facebook posts if the majority of your audience uses LinkedIn. Even if you’ve already done this in the past, behaviors change, so make sure you’re up-to-date with current trends. Do some digging to find out where your audience actually is and refocus your efforts accordingly. 

  • Who is on your page? Thought you were marketing to young women, but most of your traffic is middle aged men? That’s good information to have so you can tailor your strategy accordingly. 

  • What content is most popular? What content is really connecting with you audience – and what isn’t? Consider cutting what isn’t connecting – especially if it’s content that’s taking up the bulk of your content creation time. 

  • When is your audience online? Built in analytics make it so you no longer have to guess about peak posting times. 

  • Don’t forget to track these stats all the way through to your web traffic. When people come over to your site from social media, how long are they staying? Are they happy with the links you’re serving them?

other MAINTENANCE steps

Once you’ve outlined the metrics you’ll use, there’s a few more things we suggest you do:

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1.    Go back to your bios

If you don’t regularly check in on your social media bios, you’ll probably be surprised how much has changed since you last updated it. Business objectives change, taglines get updated, and advertising campaigns shift focus – and your social media bios should reflect every one of these significant changes.

Your bio should be tailored to each platform, and no matter where it’s displayed your social bios should be short, snappy, and on-brand. You’ll want to make sure you’ve included an overview of your services, your location, and who you work with/for.

 

A great example of an Instagram bio

Trendy and affordable clothing boutique for professional women of all ages. Charlotte and Greensboro locations open M-F, 7a-5p. #BoutiqueName

Why it’s good: This bio tells you who this boutique is for, where they’re located and when they’re open. Chances are, that info covers most of the questions first time visitors would ask. Hashtags in Instagram bios are live links, making #BoutiqueName is a valuable use of space. 

 

A bad example of an Instagram bio

Great clothes, great prices. Founded in 2002, open daily. Visit www.URL.com for more. 

Why it’s bad: When you were founded is pretty much irrelevant information. And, this bio isn’t properly tailored for Instagram – that hyperlink should only be listed in the website field, because that’s the only place a URL is clickable.

How to do a social media audit |  Hue & Tone Creative

2. Refresh your imagery

Visual branding evolves over time – and your cover photos should evolve as well. Bonus points if you update them to fit the seasons, your most current advertising campaign, or special events. 

When it comes to cover photo quality, make sure you’re up to date with the latest trends. For example, most major brands have swapped out a high res image in favor of a video cover photo. If you opt to make the switch, you’ll want to make sure your video looks clear and loads quickly. 

 

3. Scan the web

Do a quick Google search and make sure there aren’t any profiles out there claiming to be you -- or that you don’t have any old profiles of your own lingering around. If there are, you could be losing out on some business-winning followers.  

If you do come across your own old profile, delete it. And if it’s someone else impersonating you, ask them to remove the page - if they don’t, report it.

 

4. Create new goals

Now that you’ve tracked and measured your goals, how are you going to improve and change them? Once you’ve concluded your social media audit be sure to set new goals that you hope to achieve in the next month, quarter, or year.  


Hue & Tone: Social Media Solutions for every business

If you need help refining or maintaining your social media strategy, you’ve made it to the right place! No matter what state your social media plan is in, we can help you get your profiles back on track. We can even do the posting for you! To learn more, get in touch with us.

10 accounts every designer needs to follow on Instagram

When it comes to finding design inspiration, Instagram can serve as your personal playground — it’s a gold mind for great content and inspiration… if you follow the right people, that is.

Whether you’re looking to get inspired for an upcoming photoshoot or you need to find a new font to try out, here are 10 awesome Instagram accounts every designer should tap into from time-to-time.

 

1.  logoinspirations 

If you’re stuck in a rut trying to create that standout logo, logoinspirations curates all the best identities out there to save you trawling the web. If you check out their highlights, you’ll find lots of tips, inspiration and tools.

 

2.  logonew

Sticking with the logo theme, logonew shares a healthy blend of sketches and digital concepts. From drones and eagles to bitmojis, bees and beer, their feed is brimming with variety that’s sure to set your creative wheels in motion.

 

3.  neil_a_stevens

Specializing in poster design, Neil’s Instagram illustrations are nothing short of ingenious. Whether you’re looking for digital or online inspo, his masterpieces will get your inspiration flowing -- and your jaw dropping.

eaters-collective-129481-unsplash.jpg

4.  darias88

In his own words, the owner of this account, Daniel Aristizábal, “brings forward new technologies to create stunning and inspiring artworks.” He’s constantly experimenting with new styles and is known for his mastery of turning everyday objects into something abstract, original, and colorful.

 

5.  mrseaves101

Run by an Australian artist called Gemma O’Brien, this account is packed with bold lettering, illustrations, andtypography. It’s vibrant, it’s edgy, and it encompasses a mix of bold artwork and beautiful snapshots from around the world.

 

6. handmadefont

Finding a font is no easy feat, but if it’s variety you’re after, handmadefont has you covered. From industrial, futuristic and floral looks, to street art, 3D and foodie feels, it curates a whole load of forward-thinking concepts. 

 

7. interaction_design_foundation

This one’s less actual artwork, more practical tips -- to help you achieve that perfect piece. With posts on everything from introducing lean UX and conducting heuristic evaluations to information visualization and color emotion, there’s something for everyone.

 

8. heystudio

Heystudio focuses on brand identity, editorial design, illustration, geometry, color and direct typography. All these topics are at the heart of what they do and their feed has a quirky and contemporary look. With clients like Apple, Vodafone and Oxfam on their books, they must be doing something right…

 

9. uiuxgifs

GIFs are on the up. If you’re looking to incorporate some on your site or in your social media and email campaigns but just can’t map out what you want, this feed’s full of animated inspiration.

 

10. velvetspectrum

Last but by certainly means not least, Velvet Spectrum houses a mix of typography, illustration and motion graphics. Oozing with dynamic color and careful composition, the updates are nothing short of electric.


Hue & Tone Creative

If you’ve hit a creative wall, we can help you take your artwork to the next level. We can work with you on every design project, no matter what the medium — no print or digital job is too small. To get an idea of what we can do, see some of the projects we’ve worked on in the past or get in touch.

When + why + how to create a new hashtag

Hashtags are everywhere on social media. You’ll see them tacked on to the end of Instagram posts, incorporated into the body of a tweet, and sparingly used on Facebook. They’re key for discovering and organizing social media posts – they make it easy for you to find additional posts on a related topic so that you can more easily contribute to the conversation on a topic.

 But, why should you start your own hashtag(s)? The easy answer is to group your posts together so that people can find more of your content. However, you don’t want to start randomly making hashtags with no rhyme or reason – that will only confuse people and further bury your content.  

Let’s dive into the why – and when – you start your own hashtag. 

When + why + how to create a new hashtag  |  Hue & Tone Creative

The why

Some hashtags are overused -- meaning they get a lot of reach – but after a while the content associated with them may turn into spam. Piggybacking off already popular hashtags can help get you a lot of reach, but your posts may also get lost in the shuffle. 


By creating your own, you can help convert a follower of a more general topic (for example, #marketing), into someone that follows you (#hueandtone). When people discover your content using a general hashtag, the theory is that they’ll want to see more, leading them click on your branded hashtag to see what else you have to offer.  

By creating your own hashtag, you’ll be able to: 

  • Stand out from the crowd

  • Cement credibility and establish authority

  • Increase your engagement and reach

  • Create cross-channel awareness (if you use it consistently) 

  • Be able to track posts other people make about your brand

The when

While there should be a solid reason beyond creating a new hashtag, we also suggest you have fun and play around with them. See what sticks before making it part of your brand identity. As an example, #ShareACoke, has become a staple part of Coca Cola’s social strategy. It works well, because it encourages recurring interaction and tagging. 

That said, some popular reasons for creating custom hashtags include:

  • Launching a new product, service, or campaign

  • Posting live updates from an event

  • Hosting a live chat or Q&A session

  • Running a competition

  • Establishing a general hashtag for your brand 

In each of the above instances, using previously and frequently used hashtags can cause havoc. Not only do they make it difficult for you to monitor, but it can confuse your audience. You don’t want to put your followers in the position of having to scroll through irrelevant content just to find what they’re looking for. 

 

How to create a hashtag in 5 simple steps 

When + why + how to create a new hashtag  |  Hue & Tone Creative

1.  First things first, define your goals. Some fairly common ones include increasing:

  • Brand conversations

  • Visibility

  • Total link clicks

  • Total reach

  • Mentions

  • Followers

  • Likes

Behavioral patterns vary on different networks, so if you’re using your new hashtag across multiple social channels, you should set goals specific for each one.

 

2.  The fun part - get creative! But make sure your hashtag’s the right balance between engaging and easily understandable -- if people don’t instantly grasp it, the effect’s kind of lost.

Here are some simple tips to start you off: 

  • Keep it short and snappy

  • Make it easy to remember

  • Ensure it’s relevant to your brand

  • Don’t make it too generic

  • Check it doesn’t have any obscure double meanings -- let’s not forget the #susanalbumparty fail!

3. Do your research. Make sure it’s not already in use on anysocial media networks, and double-check it doesn’t, for whatever reason, have any potentially offensive roots or connotations. 

 

4.  Make it actionable. At the end of the day, every marketer’s end goal is to drive revenue. Even if your hashtag’s goal is to increase social follows, the bigger picture is more sales. So, if you can, put an actionable spin on your new hashtag -- ask a question, play on an emotion, encourage engagement, or incite urgency, for example.

 

5.  Last but certainly not least, triple check your hashtag for typos and post it! See what kind of reaction you get, and if you feel like the tag falls flat after a handful of posts, then don’t be afraid to try out a new one. 


Hue & Tone Creative: SOCIAL MEDIA Services for Greensboro and beyond

Struggling to keep up with the comments, likes, and mentions on your posts? Can’t come up with a creative hashtag? Stumped for original content ideas? We can handle all of that for you. From multi-channel audits to content generation and social media monitoring, Hue & Tone is the solution for all your social media woes.

13 marketing tips for real estate agents

Real estate can be a lucrative industry, but if you’re marketing your services in a fiercely competitive market, you’re going to have to do some serious work to stand out. 

While there’s no one magic ingredient that will guarantee success, there are a number of tactics you can employ to help gain more exposure and to create long term success. Investing in quality marketing, means creating quality content that gets your name out there and keeps it top of mind. Quality content is about playing the long game and building a solid foundation for your brand. 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

To make sure you’re maximizing your market’s potential, here are 12 tips to help give your sales momentum a boost:
 

1. Be active on social

From renting tips and mortgage advice to home decor trends and how-to-sell guides, real estate agents have endless potential content to work with. Widen up the scope of your content from just current listings and make sure what you’re posting is beneficial to home owners during every step of the buying journey (including those who have already completed the buying process!). 

Build your presence by filling your feeds with genuinely useful information – and, as always, remember to interact with other users to gain exposure.

 

2. Don’t play hard to get

Don’t make people have to work to find your contact details. Whether it’s on your website, social bio or sales collateral, your contact details should be everywhere! Make sure your info is clear and easy to find to up your chances of an inbound inquiry. 



3. Branch out from stock photography

People can sniff stock images from a mile off. Give your brand an authentic feel by using real images of real houses and real homebuyers. Your smart phone has a great camera for snapping photos out in the field, but when it comes to photos of listings we suggest hiring a specialized real estate photographer. 

 

4. Hire a wordsmith

Your pictures are just one part of the pitch. Your words are the other. Do your listings justice and pique people’s interest by retaining a copywriter who can help bring your properties to life. 
 


5. Don’t over exaggerate

While you want to make your listings appear appealing, don’t get carried away and over sell your properties. If you build a reputation for wasting people’s time, you’ll only tarnish your reputation -- which is not easy to undo!

 

6. Consider the UX of your listings

Not sure what to display? Take a look at how Zillow and Redfin display their info to get an idea of what might matter to prospective buyers! 

User experience (UX) testing helps you understand how real people navigate their way around your website so that you can identify areas in need of improvement. 

You’ll want to consider what potential homebuyers are looking for when they come to your site. Information like square footage, location, price, and features should be readily available and easy to read. Photos should be easy to flip through and maps should be easy to explore. 

 

7. Watch out for stale listings 

You fall in love with a house. You make an inquiry. You’re told it’s already off the market. At best, it’s just inconvenient and irritating. Make sure you put a process in place to ensure properties that are no longer available are swiftly removed from your site.

 

8. Keep people in the loop

Buying a house can be a long process – and some people might start the process only to realize they’re not quite prepared to buy. Don’t lose that relationship! Be sure to collect prospective buyers email addresses and point them to your social media, so that you can engage with them until it’s time to buy.
 

13 Marketing tips for real estate agents  |  Hue & Tone Creative

9. Don’t forget about millennials

It feels like every day there’s another headline about millennials and how few of them are buying homes, but it’s important not to discount them as potential buyers. Homeownership is starting to increase among this generation, and it’s important to start engaging this demographic because of their future purchasing power. Social media is a great way to do this because it shows you can speak their language! 

 

10. Get offline with a broker event 

While maintaining your social media is important, don’t be afraid to pull things offline and connect in person. A broker event could be anything from a traditional open house to a first time home buyers class. 



11. Become an authority

Creating quality content like webinars, videos, white papers, and blogs will help you increase your search engine optimization while also building your brand awareness. We suggest writing and accepting guest blogs to help you cross promote with other realtors and reach new people.

Valuable content -- like neighborhood profiles -- can help drive massive amounts of traffic to your site, making your name recognizable to potential homebuyers now and in the future. 

 

12. Get real feedback to share

Customer testimonials give insight into what it’s like to work with you. They’re a great way to give potential buyers some insight as they try to decide if they want to sign an engagement letter with you. 

When collecting testimonials, it’s often best to engage with home buyers as they near closing – your experience is fresh on their mind and there’s a chance you might lose contact with them after closing. 

 

13. Print isn’t dead

When you’re doing the rounds at open houses it’s easy to get confused about what house offered what. Don’t let prospective buyers leave a tour empty handed! Create handouts that recap all the important specs of the house, photos, and location information. 

We also suggest putting together a special packet for first time home buyers that covers every step from getting approved for a mortgage to what to expect at closing. Empowering first time buyers with their own information will eliminate confusion and cut down on the time you spend answering easy questions.  


Hue & Tone: Your Real Estate Marketing Partner

If you’re a real estate agent and you’re looking to ramp up your online presence, you’ve landed on the right site. From complete brand overhauls to social media management, we’re your one-stop-shop for all things web and design. 

12 things you need to be doing for social media success

12 Things You Need to Be Doing for Social Media Success  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Successful social media will generate quality leads, drive sales, and reinforce branding. But creating quality content takes a lot of planning, creativity, and time. 

Once you’ve identified your goals and audience, it’s time to start brainstorming quality content that will engage your followers. If you've already done that, but feel like your engagement is low, we've got a few tips for you to try. 

These 12 tactics should help you secure those elusive likes, shares, follows, clicks or leads: 
 

1.  Engage with your audience

Despite what the name implies, it’s actually pretty easy to get on social media and not be social. You wouldn’t ignore a current or prospective client’s call or email, so why should your social media communications be any different?

If someone leaves a comment or messages you, be sure to get back to them with an on-brand response in a timely fashion. 

 

2.  Mix up your feeds

Looking for some fresh posting ideas? We've got a whole series of blog posts on that! 

There’s nothing less effective than social media streams that regurgitate the same old stuff day after day. Content like blog posts and job vacancies are great content -- but they’re not all you should be posting day after day. Hop on trending content like current news, mix up your post formatting, and get creative!

 

3.  Take a multi-medium approach

Instead of trying to make all your marketing channels work in isolation, make social media a part of your print campaigns – and vise versa. If you’ve got an email or PR campaign going out, create a buzz around it on social media too. Creating a multichannel campaign can help increase your reach and direct new people over to your social channels.
 

4.  Time your posts

Figuring out when your followers are online will help you increase your reach. While Instagram gives you insight into the days and hours that your audience is online, you'll have to experiment with posting times when it comes to other platforms. Play around with posting on different days to see what works best for you and then analyze which hours get you the highest reach and engagement. 
 

5.  Post bold content

On social media getting noticed often means taking risks. People are inundated with fresh content every time they refresh their feeds – and to get results you’re going to have to think outside the box. 

This means something different for reach business -- but start by playing around with different post formats, riskier graphics, and out of the box content.
 

6.  Plan in advance

Don’t overlook big events -- or the social media exposure that comes with them. We suggest creating a social media calendar that spans several months in advance so that you can be proactive and maximize all topical opportunities. 
 

7.  Push people back to your site

Use bit.ly to shorten your links -- and track your traffic. 

If you’re not pushing people back to your website, you’re not getting the full benefits of posting on social media. Whether you’re sending people to a blog post, product page, or dedicated landing page, be sure to include links when they’re relevant. 
 

  Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!

Use a content calendar to keep track of your social media posts!


8.  Blur the boundaries

Having strict brand guidelines in place is key for consistency, but if there’s one place to blur your boundaries, it’s on social media. We’re not suggesting going completely off brand – but we are suggesting that you play around with the style of your graphics and the buzz words you use. This will give you a great opportunity to see what your audience responds to – and what they really don’t like. 

 

9.  Up your video content

Facebook's algorithm has long favored video content over other mediums -- and we don't foresee that changing any time soon. Millions of videos are being watched each and every day, so make sure you incorporate them into your social media strategy. 

 

10.  Team up with an influencer

If you’re struggling to get the kind of reach you want, think about teaming up with a relevant influencer to give your following a boost. Just be sure you find someone that feels like a natural fit and speaks to your target demographic. 

 

11.  Shout about your success

Whether it’s a charity sale that went well or an award you recently won, shout about all the great things -- big and small -- that are happening with your business. It’s a fabulous and free way to promote your culture and aid your recruitment efforts.

 

12.  Be inventive with your images

Use a mix a graphics and pictures and don't be afraid to shake up the content. While your pictures should have a consistent style and look, feel free to branch out when it comes to subject matter. If you're posting multiple times a day, it's easy to get into a visual rut.  


SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN GREENSBORO, NC

Have you hit a plateau for likes and follows? We can fix that! Whether you’re looking to increase your views or simply need a break from handling your account, Hue & Tone Creative has you covered for all things social.

The essentials: must have marketing assets for new businesses

  Get your new business of to the best start possible with the right marketing materials! 

Get your new business of to the best start possible with the right marketing materials! 

So, you’ve decided to start a business. You know you need the basics like a logo and business cards – but what other marketing assets should you make a priority?

Marketing materials can encompass everything from websites and letterheads to social media graphics and promotional videos. If you’re just starting out in the small business world, chances are your budget is probably a little tight – but skimping when you start up can mean unnecessary spending down the road.

Think about it: you pick the first business name you think up and print up a bunch of business cards, letterheads, and pens. A few weeks later, you’re hearing from your customers that they can’t remember your business name. Now you’ve confused people, still have to pay for proper branding, and you’ve got to pay to reprint materials you could have gotten right from the start. 

The good news is that we’re here to tell you what you need it, why you need it, when you need it, and how you get it. We hope this run down of essential marketing materials helps empower you when you’re hiring a graphic designer or marketing agency.

Here’s what you need to successfully get your business off the ground:
 

1. Brand Values

Because no physical products come out of this stage of the branding process, it’s often rushed or disregarded – but this is one of the most important stages, and it will influence everything you do from here on out. Your brand values are the set of principles that will dictate every aspect of your business, including the look, messaging, and customer service approach.

Here’s what you’ll want to define:

  • Values: what does your business stand for?
  • Objectives: where do you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 year’s time?
  • Customer personas: who are your talking to and what do they care about?
  • Tone of voice: how will you talk to your customers? And why?
  • Proposition: what will you do for your customers? And how will you benefit them?
  • Tagline/mission statement: how can your brand’s essence be summed up into as few words as possible?

Taking the time to properly develop your brand values will allow you to properly train your workforce and will help you communicate your brand to third parties. We suggest asking your marketing team for a brand book or set of written guidelines that you could hand off to an outside team.

The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses  |  Hue & Tone Creative


2. Brand Identity

Now it’s time to develop the look and feel of your brand. This is where you’ll work with a designer to create a logo and everything that goes with it. You’ll want to come out of this stage with:

  • Primary logo: as well as any alternative logo formats you might need for packaging, online use, or small sizes
  • Logo usage guidelines: what is the smallest size your primary logo should be printed? What do you do when you can only print your color in one logo? Make sure your designer provides you with guidelines for every situation you might encounter.
  • Font palette: what fonts are you going to use on print, web, and in Microsoft Office?
  • Color Palette: what primary and secondary colors will complement your look, logo ad tone?
  • Graphic elements: anything needed to complete your print and web designs.
  • Sample usage: make sure your designer provides examples of how all these elements will come together to create your signature look. 

 

3. Build a winning website

We talk a lot about the importance of a well designed and properly optimized website, so we won’t waste a lot of space here talking through why you need one. Instead, we’ll run through a few key considerations when it comes to building it:

  • Get to the point: you’ve got a limited time to capture visitors’ attention, so get your message across clearly and effectively on every page.
  • Contemporary: outdated websites make your brand look instantly aged and untrustworthy. Take the time to get your website looking slick, and outsource it to a specialist if you need to.
  • Architecture: once you start adding menus and pages, they can be a right pain to change down the line. To make sure you’ve got a great user experience from the outset, map out your site’s architecture before you start building it.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): with a reputation for being the cheapest marketing method around, it’s crucial that you build and write your website with SEO at the forefront of your mind.
  • Contact: make your call to actions and contact information crystal clear.
  • Host: choose a content management system that’s reliable. Personally, we would recommend Squarespace – here’s why.
  • Domain: be sure to match your domain name to your business’ name.
     

4. Social media

Did you know, 70% of the US population have at least one social media profile? That’s a whole lot of potential customers to capture.

We suggest selecting just 2-3 platforms to get started on – especially if you’re handling your social media in house. To effectively leverage social media, there’s a few things you’ll need to do:

  • Only use high resolution profile and background images (pixilated pictures make you look untrustworthy and out of touch)
  • Write a succinct and enticing bio
  • Link back to your website
  • Include contact details
  • Keep an eye on your inbox/direct messages
  • Commit to regularly posting
  • Reply to those who engage with you
  • Interact with relevant people and/or profiles

Maintaining social media should be a daily job – if it’s not, you’re not doing it right. We suggest creating a content calendar to stay organized. And, make sure you have a set of templates on hand to save time when you need to create a quick Facebook graphic. 

5. Blogs

Investing in content marketing comes with endless benefits. A well maintained blog boosts your SEO efforts, helps you build backlinks and brand awareness, generates leads, adds brand value, and ups engagement.

Just remember the golden rule: the content you’re publishing must be quality. Churning out subpar articles won’t get you far -- if it even gets you anywhere. Here are a few general post types to get you going:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Tutorials
  • Whitepapers
  • Presentations
  • ‘How to’ guides
  • Buzzfeed-style listicles

With good content, you need good images. If you’re not in the position to fork out money for sites like iStock and Shutterstock, consider Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels for good, free alternatives. 
 

The essentials: Must have marketing assets for new businesses  |  Hue & Tone Creative

6. Templates

Next up is templates. The extent of this list will vary depending on the nature of your business, but below is an idea of the types of templates we suggest you think about:

  • Email campaigns - sales, welcome, thank you, updates, or otherwise
  • Newsletters
  • Direct mail
  • Job descriptions
  • Email signatures
  • Powerpoint presentations 
  • Social media graphics
  • Letterhead/memos

Your logo should feature on each and every one of them -- which is why it’s important to have a logo that sits well in different settings, and your brand’s look, feel and tone should be encapsulated too. Remember though, your templates don’t need to be uniform to be consistent.

7. Print collateral

We’ve been carrying on about online a lot -- and rightly so! -- but don’t forget about good old offline advertising. Depending on your industry, things like physical brochures and business cards can be an important asset.

If you’re investing in printed materials, remember to:

  • Do your research: spending a bit of time selecting a quality printer.
  • Don’t compromise: poor quality paper reflects badly on your business.
  • Don’t rush: if there’s a proofreading mistake that’s your fault there’s no going back -- without throwing money down the drain.
  • Keep it consistent: print materials still needs to mirror your online presence.
  • Think of the bigger picture: think about how you can make print materials evergreen so that you don’t have to reprint regularly. Consider what really needs a date and what could go without one.
  • Get the right amount of copies: you can easily order more, so don’t go print crazy and order 1000s of copies unless you’re absolutely certain they’ll be used. But, you usually get a discount the more you order, so don’t be afraid to print some extras.

Need a little help?

Getting all your marketing assets together can feel really daunting -- I know, I’ve been there! But here at Hue & Tone Creative, there’s a lot we can help you with. From logo design and letterhead to web design and social media management, get in touch to see how we can support your business’ success. 

6 ingredients for a successful social media post

6 ingredients for a successful social media post  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Creating a social media post that connects with your audience can feel like a tough equation to crack. It’s not about creating a viral post or achieving international attention, it’s about getting a return on the time you invest in social media. 

Instead of constantly guessing what's going to bring you success, we’ve pulled together six key ingredients to help you build a strong social media post and get your audience socializing with you! 

 

1.  Know when to stop

Whatever platform you’re publishing on, keep your social media posts short and snappy. You don’t have an infinite amount of time to draw peoples’ attention, so curate something concise and eye catching. 

Every once in a while you can publish a meatier post -- but for the most part it’s important to bear in mind the medium you’re writing for. Social media is all about quick, consumable content, so try to keep it quick as often as you can.

 

2. Take the test

When you’re putting your post together, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself “would I really stop scrolling for this?” - and answer honestly!

It’s easy to slip into the habit of posting every piece of content you’ve got out on social, but if it doesn’t sit right, don’t hit send for the sake of posting. Incorporate social media into your content strategy, and consider producing pieces for the sole purpose of social engagement.

 

3. Keep it clean

It sounds super simple, but you’d be surprised by how many businesses fill their posts with a line of clunky URL. Keep your posts nice and clean by shortening your links to something succinct and tidy - a tool like bit.lywill do the trick.

 

4. Don’t hide away

Make the most of hashtags to increase your post’s exposure and open yourself up to new audiences. While you’re at it, mention relevantpages or people to benefit from their bandwidth too.

As with everything in life though, remember, it’s all about balance. Going over the top with hashtags or tagging can easily start looking spammy.

 

5. Impactful imagery

Your words are one half of the battle. Your images are the other. People can sniff overly staged imagery from a mile off, so try to mix your pictures up a bit to keep your feeds looking human. 

Play around with styles to see what gets most traction. Cartoon figures or real-life people? Plain images or a text overlay? Something subjective or objective? If it’s feasible, the odd video would be a great addition to experiment with as well.

 

6. Ask away

People aren’t mind readers. If you want to spark a discussion, make it clear that you’re asking a question, looking for feedback, or welcoming their thoughts. 

If you wanted to be slightly sneaky, you could always ask a colleague to get the ball rolling by posting the first comment...
 

So, there are our six tips to start your journey to social media success – now, go get posting!


SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN GREENSBORO, NC

Does posting on social media slip your mind on a daily basis? Or, maybe you're overcome with panic every time you're about to hit "post"? Well, we're ready to get social on your behalf. At Hue & Tone Creative, social media is a part of our daily routine. Let us take social media off your to do list -- we'll handle everything from the planning to the posting. 

5 signs you need help with your content

5 signs you need help with your content  |  Hue & Tone Creative

Your content is at the core of everything you do. Every part of your business relies on strongly written content – everything from your website and welcome emails to business cards and online ads. 

But how do you know if your content is connecting with potential and future customers? We’ve put together a list of 5 key signs that you need to revamp your content or bring in some outside help to revive it. 

 

1.  Your traffic isn’t converting

Plenty of people are landing on your website, but your conversion rates are way below what you’d expect them to be. There are a whole load of factors that could be contributing to this, but content tends to be one of them – along with page design, graphics, and mobile compatibility. 

Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. Ideally, you want to break into the top 10% — these are the landing pages with conversion rates of 11.45% or higher. 

Ask yourself -- does your content do your product or service justice? Does it clearly explain what you’re about? Does it speak to your audience in a way they want to be spoken to? Is it accurate and engaging? Does it give people a reason to choose you over your competitors? If you just answered with a stream of no’s, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

If you’re not sure how your content is being received, consider sending out a survey or asking a few key customers for their thoughts. Sometimes an outside perspective is needed!

 

2.  Your website it stale

When’s the last time you added a piece of content to your site? So long ago you can’t remember? Well, therein lies your problem.

Google likes to see fresh content, and places greater value on up-to-date, newsworthy articles. In a nutshell, if you don’t have fresh content, this means you could be impeding your efforts to gain organic traffic. A simple way to overcome this is by adding a blog section (and actually posting on it!) which will help improve your SEO (find out more about that here).

In addition to a blog, consider setting a calendar reminder that goes off every 6 months to prompt you to review and update the content on your static web pages.

 

3.  Social media struggles

If you’re constantly grasping for ideas of what to post on social media, it’s probably because you don’t have anything to shout about, and the reason you don’t have anything to shout about is probably because you haven’t published anything new – or, worse, you’re out of touch with your audience.

Regular, relevant content will bring your social media streams to life, give you something to talk about, get your audience engaging with you, and drive traffic to your website.

 

4.  People aren’t talking about you

If you want people to talk about you, you need to give them something to talk about. Producing great content will get people sharing it on social media, encourage other websites to link to your material, and can help get your audience engaged in new ways. 

The end result? Brand awareness, word of mouth advertising, more inbound links (which will benefit your SEO efforts) and inevitably more leads.

 

5.  No internal linking opportunities

Internal linking aids your website’s navigation, help you define the architecture and hierarchy of your site, and plays a part in building your website authority. 

When it comes down to it, the more relevant content you have, the more opportunities you have to add internal links. For example, we sent you to this article about SEO earlier in our blog post – but because we have so much relevant content we also could have linked you to this article or this article… or even this one! See? Relevant content builds linking opportunities. 


When it comes down to it, having a bank of relevant content not only makes your marketing more effective – it also makes things easier on you in the long run. Having a deep well of articles and posts to send people to gives you more to promote – as well as the behind-the-scenes SEO benefits of establishing authority. 

If you’re stuck on what to post about, we’ll leave you with this blog series for a little further reading. 


HUE & TONE: TRIAD BASED MARKETING SOLUTIONS

Completely stumped on what kind of content to post? Not even sure who your customers are? Or maybe you're just not sure how to reach them? We can help you answer all these questions -- and help you plan and enact solutions for all your marketing woes. Shoot us an email or give us a call. 

How long should your videos be?

How long should your videos be?  |  Hue & Tone Creative

It’s no secret that video marketing is on an upward trajectory. In fact, on Facebook alone, more than 8 billion videos are watched every single day. If you’ve ever done any video marketing, you also know it’s no secret that video marketing can be tricky. Finding the right formula of content, length, and delivery method can be difficult to say the least. 

 

Defining the optimum length

The optimum length for videos is a difficult thing to define, and there are a whole load of variables that can influence the answer, like:

  • Who’s your target audience?
  • What’s your product or service?
  • Where is it being promoted?
  • What’s it about?
  • How engaging is your speaker?

Because of all these factors, the ideal length will vary from industry to industry and business to business.

As an example, let’s think about the type of product you’re promotoing. If you’re selling a $20 item, it’s likely your audience will be unwilling to invest five minutes to watch your video. If you’re selling a $2,000 service though, five minutes suddenly seems like a more reasonable request.

 

What the data tells us

When video hosting and analytics giant Wistia looked at the stats from 500,000 videos, the sweet spot was 2 minutes. According to their research, it’s after that point that there’s a fairly steep drop off and people click away. 

That said, their numbers also showed there’s minimal drop-off between 6 and 12 minutes -- so, assuming you can keep viewers until the 6 minute mark, by that point, there’s a good chance you’ve secured the next 6 minutes of their time too.

As with any type of content, it’s important to keep your message and goals in mind – if your video needs to be long, it needs to be long. There’s no use in condensing what would have been a 10 minute video down to 2 minutes for fear of people not watching, if the end result means you’re compromising on the quality and credibility of its substance. 

 

Videos on social media

Once you’ve got your video edited, it’s time to disperse it through social media. According to data from HubSpot, the most engaging video lengths for each platform are:

  • Instagram: 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes

 

Action items: Here's what you can do 

Discovering what works for you is all about trial and error, and engagement is a key metric to measure. So, what can you do to find your own sweet spot? Here are a few ideas:

  • Categorize your videos, because there’ll likely be different patterns for sales, ‘how to’ and tutorial videos.
  • Analyze the play to finish ratio from all your videos to date and see what’s working best.
  • Look out for trends in where viewers are trailing off. If there are any, engineer your next videos to this length and see what results you get.
  • Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and if they’re getting good engagement, see if you can identify any lessons from their success. 

If you’re new to the world of video marketing, check out our three-part series on producing and editing iPhone footage herehere and here.


HUE & TONE CREATIVE: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN GREENSBORO, NC

Need a second opinion on your video content? Ask the experts. From compelling email campaigns to social media account management, Hue & Tone Creative is here to cover all your marketing needs.  

75 post ideas for Instagram

Are you lacking imagination for your next Instagram post? Everyone’s creative cogs stop turning every now and then, but fear not, we’ve put our creativity to the test by coming up with 75 post ideas to help you through your creative block:

75 post ideas for Instagram  |  Hue & Tone Creative

  1. Lighten the mood with a meme
  2. Pull out a quote from a happy client
  3. Post a picture of your products
  4. Film a demo of how to use your product or service
  5. Publish pictures of customers using your product or service
  6. Shout about any competitions you’re running
  7. Put your own spin on a big event - like Super Bowl
  8. Re-post stuff your followers tag you in
  9. Push out any promotions
  10. Create some motivational quotes
  11. Celebrate any business milestones
  12. Tell people about any job vacancies you’ve got
  13. Share team bios
  14. Share your team members favorite product
  15. Let people see what goes on behind the scenes
  16. Tease people new product launches
  17. Wish everyone a good weekend
  18. Remind your audience of your contact details so they can share any questions/concerns
  19. Promote employee recommendations
  20. Create an event reminder - if you’re hosting any
  21. Shout about any charity work you do
  22. Promote local charity events
  23. Have fun with your brand
  24. Show alternative uses for your products
  25. Ask questions to gauge audience interest in a topic
  26. Share your industry knowledge
  27. Ask for feedback
  28. Tell the story behind your brand
  29. Point people to new content on your site
  30. Shout about any awards you’ve won
  31. Raise money for charity
  32. Consider interviews with industry experts
  33. Set a challenge for people to get involved with
  34. Remind people when the clocks change
  35. Remind people of your unique selling points
  36. Share some New Year’s Resolutions
  37. Post live pictures and videos from events
  38. Share relevant news stories
  39. Visualize an inspirational, well-known quote
  40. Film a video that will make people laugh
  41. Get an influencer to endorse you
  42. Latch onto a trending hashtag
  43. Let people know what a day in the life at your business is like
  44. Publish statistics around your product or service
  45. Share any positive press coverage you receive
  46. Get involved with topical trends (think ice bucket challenge)
  47. Think of something crazy that could go viral
  48. Reach out to a celebrity and see if they’ll engage with you
  49. Show before and after transformations
  50. Thank your customers for their loyalty
  51. Congratulate customers or clients for their own successes
  52. Point people to key pages of your website
  53. Share a fun fact
  54. Create a collage to show a timeline of events
  55. Run a quiz
  56. Feature products that are on sale
  57. Make a business announcement
  58. Hook onto random awareness days - like International Day of Happiness
  59. Play an April Fool’s Day prank
  60. Show people what life would be like without your product or service
  61. Sell your product in a 20 second video
  62. Be vulnerable: share a challenge your business has
  63. Set up a user-generated content competition
  64. Post a picture of the person in control of your Instagram so people can put a face to a name
  65. Share a #throwbackthursday
  66. Invite people to follow your other social media channels
  67. Run a Christmas-themed giveaway
  68. Schedule a ‘Merry Christmas’ post for on the day
  69. Remind people of your business hours
  70. Share your company’s culture
  71. Start your own unique weekly series, like #whatifwednesday
  72. Ask people to leave you a review (and tell them where they can do it)
  73. Share styling tips
  74. Start a countdown to a key date/event
  75. Share someone else’s content that’ll be valuable to your audience - but make sure it’s not someone who can take business away from you!

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN the triad

Looking to develop your social media presence? Hue & Tone Creative is a web marketing agency specializing in graphic design and social media management. Be sure to check out our portfolio to see clients we’ve helped in the past, or give us a call if you're ready to get started building your online presence.