Author Archives: Mike Gingerich

About Mike Gingerich

Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite . Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact. Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.

GetStencil.com Image Maker

GetStencil.com-Image-Maker-315Visual content is an important part of driving social media engagement, but waiting around for a graphic design team to produce images for each status update is inefficient and frustrating. GetStencil.com Image Maker streamlines this process with lots of user-friendly features that allow non-graphic designers to quickly make the digital assets they need to support their social media marketing efforts.

Free Stock Photography and Illustrations

Stencil offers more than 1.4 million photos to act as your social media image backgrounds, as well as 1 million icons and other illustrations. It eliminates the time you would spend chasing the perfect image to go with your status update. You just have to search within the platform itself.

If you already have icons and other visual content you’d like to use, upload them to the Stencil platform. Combining your own image with Stencil’s images and features is a great way to minimize content creation time.

Templates

Sometimes you just need a helping hand. Stencil has more than 650 templates to fit everyday marketing needs on social networks. Select the perfect template. Fill in the details to customize it for your small business. Then you’re ready to post it.

Google Fonts

Fonts come in all shapes and sizes. Trying to choose the best one when you don’t specialize in typography is a tough job. GetStencil.com has 2,000+ Google Fonts integrated into the platform to make this process easier on you. If your brand has its own font, upload these to use them in all of the visual content you make on Stencil.

Multiple Sizes

Each social network for image sizing, and image sizes vary considerably between platforms. Stencil has 38 optimized sizes, so you have the perfect image for the social media sites you want to use, nor do you have to redo your work because you picked the wrong dimensions.

Chrome Extension

When you see the perfect opportunity to make a social media visual, use the Stencil Chrome browser extension to bring it to life. It gives you the chance to react quickly to timely topics.

GetStencil.com is the perfect graphics design platform for people without graphic design skills. You get a user-friendly feature set that guides you through the social media content creation process and streamlines all of the steps so you can quickly post your updates.

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Live with Mike #2 for 2018: Tips for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Video

In this episode of Live with Mike on the Halftime Mike podcast we dive into tips for Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook Video.

I dive into two key questions that came my way in the past week.

Tips for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Video by Mike Gingerich

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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Video Podcast:
Live with Mike #2 for 2018: Tips for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Video

Live with Mike #2 for 2018: Tips for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Video

First, was a call from a lady saying, “I was told I need to use Instagram for my business and someone told me you were the person to talk to.”

So we needed to quickly establish if she should be on Instagram and what she would do!

Second scenario was a friend who had been interviewed by a TV show and shared their video from YouTube on his Facebook Page. I gave him the lowdown of why this was not the ideal and how getting the video and uploading it to both YouTube and Facebook had value…each for different reasons.

I go into those reasons!

It’s less than 12 minutes long and you’ll receive some important tips for Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Video!

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Other Resources:

  • My complete guide to Facebook and social media lead generation online!  Game Plan Book >>

Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?  Contact me!

What is RenderForest and How Can You Use It for Business?

What is RenderForest and How Can You Use It for Business-315Video content is an essential part of today’s digital marketing strategy. But small businesses often lack the in-house resources required to create these assets. There are some great app and tools a business can use to create professional looking videos.

What is RenderForest?

RenderForest is a cloud-based video creation platform makes it easy for small businesses to fuel their digital marketing campaigns with video content. Due to its cloud-based infrastructure, you don’t have to install software or purchase a system that’s capable of quickly rendering video content.

Creating videos requires a lot of memory and computing power. RenderForest has that covered. As a result, all you need to do is log on to their site, and it does the work for you.

You’ll discover the power of this cloud-based service when you end up with a video within 5 minutes of completing the creation process. Quick render times are only possible through their powerful infrastructure.

User-Friendly Templates

Another area where RenderForest shines are the templates. The platform caters to small business owners who don’t have a lot of experience creating videos. RenderForest offers a variety of templates that guide every step of the way.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed making videos for your marketing campaigns. There’s a lot of decisions that go into each second. So having a helping hand speeds the process along.

You don’t have to spend hours and hours trying to figure out fancy text effects or testing where video elements should go into an animation. RenderForest does the work for you. Therefore, all you do is plug in your business’ information and customize it for your needs.

Types of Videos You Can Make with RenderForest

You have a lot of flexibility with RenderForest. Here are a few of the videos you can make with this platform:

  • Explainer videos
  • Intros and outros
  • Whiteboard animations
  • Animated logo
  • Broadcasting
  • Video slideshows
  • Kinetic typography
  • Mobile app promos
  • Presentations
  • Product Promotions
  • Music Visualizations

When getting started with video, RenderForest offers the right combination of user-friendly features and flexibility to give you a great library of what you need to create beautiful videos that show off your business. With video being important to engage and capture the attention of viewers online today, this is a tool worth checking out!

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Instagram and Facebook Updates for January 4th

Instagram and Facebook Updates for January 4th
Happy New Year! I hope you have set your goals and are organized to achieve them in 2018.

Even though the changes slowed down over the holidays  … there are still a few to share in the ever-evolving world of social media marketing!

Facebook Updates

Facebook Adds a Snooze Button

This new Facebook feature will snooze people, pages, and groups for 30 days. Account users now have more control over their newsfeed.

Bottomline

This is an issue for businesses. Now that organic reach is down to practically nothing, anything that keeps a businesses posts from being seen is not good.  People can “snooze” you if they’re tired of your content!  Up your content game with video in 2018!

Find Out if You’ve Liked Russian Troll Accounts

Sign into your Facebook account and go to this tool, https://www.facebook.com/help/817246628445509 Instantly you can see if you followed any Russian Troll Accounts

Bottomline

This doesn’t affect businesses .. unless they’ve been flagged as a Russian Troll account. This is more about a community service announcement that we don’t want to help Russian troll accounts!

Facebook Ad Image Sizes for 2018

Using Facebook Ads?  You should be!

What matters most?  Your image or video in the ad!

Here are the latest Ad sizes for Facebook courtesy of AdEspresso.

Bottomline

Use these image sizes to optimize your Facebook Ads and make sure your ads look sharp and get clicks.  This is critical to capturing the “eye” of the user in the news feed!

Instagram Updates

Send a Live Video in Direct

Send a live video directly to a friend or group of friends. When you’re live click the Direct icon at the bottom of the screen and send your video. It will land in your friend’s inbox.

Bottomline

A business can use this feature to send followers special offers or new product videos directly to a followers inbox. This is a very promising feature!

Instagrams Adds Recommended Posts to a Feed

Instagram is adding an additional feed, Recommended Posts. It will contain 3 to 5 suggestions.

Bottomline

Your products and services could get new eyeballs and clicks. This will be a good thing if people check the new feed.

While there weren’t that many changes this past 2 weeks, who knows what 2018 will bring?

Are we connected on social?  Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mikegdigital, Instagram at @mikegingerich and on Twitter at @Mike_Gingerich.

Automate Elements of your Social Media Sharing with Blog2Social

Automate Elements of your Social Media Sharing with Blog2Social-315-1You put together amazing content for your blog, but all that work amounts to nothing if no one knows about your posts. Blog2Social is a WordPress plugin and web app that helps get more eyes on your content by streamlining the process of promoting your work on social media sites. While not a total replacement for actually posting and engaging, this tool can add value in helping to get some specific sharing completed.

Auto Posting

Do you remember to post updates on social media every time you post a new blog? Auto-posting automates this process, so you never have to worry about forgetting it again!  That’s valuable in itself!

Social Media Cross Sharing

Another difficulty with blog post promotion is working with all the different social media sites. Trying to juggle your login and password, putting the update into each box and publishing it takes a lot of time. Blog2Social gives you a single panel to work on all of your key social networks that allow access to your accounts remotely.

Post Formats and Customization

Since each social network has its own post format, you can customize it before it goes to the site. Add in different pictures and text lengths to optimize your promo on each social media profile.

Social Media Reporting

Blog2Social does more than just help you stay on top of your social media promotion strategy. It also gives you critical data that shows how well your posts are doing. Thus, allowing you to continue to drive engagement with your followers.

Premium Blog2Social Features

This WordPress plugin has a lot of useful features in its free version. It also offers a premium tier for people who need more advanced features.

In the premium tier, Blog2Social will pick the best times to post on social media for you. All you need to do is let the plugin schedule your posts. Then they’ll go up at the correct time to maximize engagement with your audience.

You can also set up multi-user and multi-profiles with a paid Blog2Social account. This feature is useful for small businesses that have a lot of people working on blog post updates.

This service tier also supports social media pages and groups so that you can post beyond your own profile. It also includes one year of support and updates. Therefore you have a helping hand ready to assist you to get the most out of this plugin.

Whether you want to use the free version of Blog2Social or you’re a power user that benefits from the advanced features, it’s a solid tool for your social media marketing toolbox.

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What is BeLive.tv and How Smart Businesses Use It

What is BeLive.tv and How Smart Businesses Use It-315Are you using Facebook Live to market your business? Have you wished it had more features and capabilities? Well, now it does! Introducing BeLive.tv for Facebook Live.

So what is BeLive.tv? This very user-friendly web software allows you to engage your Facebook audience with several live video formats.

Q and A format or Solo

This format allows you to interact with your audience with questions you answer in real time. Questions from your audience are typed into a “chat” area and appear on the screen. Through BeLive.tv, you can immediately answer your audience’s questions. It’s a great opportunity and app to convert viewers into customers as trust is built in real time.

Face to face interview

Face to face interviews are a snap with this app. You can conduct the interviews in different styles. Your guest doesn’t need to download and install software. Just click a link invite from the host and BeLive opens in the browser. Viewers can join on their mobile phone or computer.

Talk show

Use a single camera or share a split screen with your guest! Your guests and fans can join in the “lobby” in 2 clicks. One interaction accommodates up to three people on the screen and ten guests.

Why would you use BeLive for your business? It gives you many capabilities that the regular Facebook Live doesn’t have.

Scheduling

Unlike other apps, BeLive.tv allows you to schedule and set up your broadcast beforehand. If you have a Facebook group, a pop-up with a description, image (if assigned), and scheduled start time will show in your group. All group members will see it in their newsfeed. They just need to click on the button to see when the broadcast will go live.

Easy to set-up and user-friendly

Who wants to rack their brain over every simple detail? With BeLive.tv you don’t have to. It’s super easy to set up. After signing up, you’ll receive a message through Facebook Messenger. The options are dependent on the type of broadcast you want to use. You also get 3 tutorial videos that are simple to follow.

BeLive.tv is easy to use. You don’t need any special training to use this app.

Screen comments

This feature allows you to speak directly to your audience when you go live. You’ll see their comments on your screen.

Share photos

You can share photos from your Facebook page with your viewers through BeLive.tv. Photo sharing in any presentation can be crucial especially if your images are a screen show. Pictures speak a thousand words.

Agenda

Organize your broadcast into easily digested segments with an on-screen agenda.

Screen updates

Just like news or professional presentation, BeLive.tv allows you to add text to your broadcast to introduce a guest or an idea.

Screen share

You can seamlessly share your screen with your audience with BeLive. Screen share is perfect for tutorials or conducting classes.

Change the viewing mode

If you need to focus on a person during your broadcast, you can do that with BeLive.

BeLive.tv gives you sophisticated ways to interact with an audience. It goes beyond Facebook Live and gives users additional features and capabilities that make marketing your business with live video seamless and straightforward.

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Tockify Calendar for Your Website

Tockify Calendar for Your Website-315Online calendars make a lot of sense for many businesses. But it can be a frustrating task to get an attractive and user-friendly calendar. Many sites have calendars that don’t meet their viewer’s needs or looks unprofessional. Tockify helps you solve this dilemma with a versatile calendar that makes it a snap to post your schedule and upcoming events.

Tockify’s Primary Features

Sometimes you find a calendar plugin that looks amazing, but it’s restricted to a particular content management system. Thankfully, Tockify works on any site and adding it takes only a few minutes. If you decide to change to a different content management system or website service in the future, bring your calendar along and you don’t need to make changes.

You get 3 layout options: traditional calendar, agenda, and pinboard. Each has areas where they excel. However, you will need to experiment with them to see which one works the best for your needs. Some example use cases include:

  • A pinboard for a school’s upcoming concert schedule
  • An agenda for a business conference
  • A traditional calendar for a regular weekly meeting for a networking group or scout troop

Tockify gives you full control over the appearance of your calendar. As a result, you don’t have to add a design that clashes with the rest of your website.

If you already use Google Calendar, Tockify integrates with the service. You don’t have to re-enter events already on Google. Everything stays up to date seamlessly after you get it set up. In addition, it also works well with Apple’s iCalendar.

Power User Features

Tockify doesn’t skimp on the features designed for people who want to get more out of their calendar solution. Add ticket buttons and RSVPs to events. Allow your visitors to add community submitted events. Create recurring events, and integrate YouTube and Vimeo videos. Attach files and documents to your event and even put in custom fonts.

Tockify combines user-friendly implementation with a professional and powerful online calendar solution. Therefore, you have the flexibility you need to make it match your site. It moves away from traditional calendar solutions through a platform agnostic approach. Any website can benefit from adding a Tockify calendar.

Have a need to keep your clients/audience/community up to date?  Are you needing a more robust set of tools for registrations and RSVPs?  Tockify might very well be the web tool your site needs!

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Facebook Updates, Twitter and Instagram Updates for December 21st

Facebook Updates, Twitter and Instagram Updates for December 21st

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Whatever you celebrate this season I hope you have fun, family, and friends. Thanks for being a part of my tribe!

Here are the never-ending social media changes for this week to keep you in the loop ….

Facebook Updates

Managing Your Identity on Facebook with Face Recognition Technology

Now you can manage face recognition in Facebook photos with a single on/ off control. You’ll know when you’re in a picture on Facebook and you’re a part of that posts audience when someone else uploads a photo of you. Improvements are being made for low vision users also.

Bottomline

Facebook wants to make it easier and safer for people to use Facebook. I don’t see a lot of business applications with this one.

Facebook is Clamping Down on Posts That Shamelessly Beg for Engagement

Facebook will penalize Page owners who resort to asking people to like, comment or tag people in the comments section to get more visibility for the post. Incentives like “Share with friends to win a free trip” or “Like if you live in Minnesota” — gets content shared through engagement and these types of post are considered engagement bait. Engagement bait posts will have their reach reduced by Facebook.

Once an account gets on the naughty list Facebook will let them earn back their original reach with “good behavior”.

Bottomline

This will change a lot of strategies for many people. But in the end, a Facebook news feed should have a more natural feel.

Facebook will Shift to Viewable-Only Organic Reach Counts for Pages in 2018

In early 2018, Facebook will only count organic reach when a Page’s post appeared on a person’s screen.

Bottomline

It may surprise you that they haven’t rolled this out yet, but expect another drop in organic reach when it is finally implemented. Pretty soon the only reach you may have will be paid for.

Instagram Updates

You Can Follow Hashtags on Instagram

Here is a new way to discover people, photos, and videos on Instagram. Follow the hashtag of your favorite hobby, band, community or TV show.

Bottomline

Hashtags make it easy for people to quickly search what they’re interested in. Hashtags are important to use on Instagram and they just became MORE important to help you be discoverable on this network. Add a hashtag to your post to make it more searchable.

Twitter Updates

Twitter Enforcing New Rules Around Violence and Hate

Cracking down on hateful conduct and abusive behavior, Twitter is looking for accounts owned by groups that promote violence to further their political agenda.  Twitter will require accounts to remove offending tweets and will suspend accounts with repeat violations.

Bottomline

I think this will make a small dent in the trolls on Twitter. Hopefully, Twitter will be a nicer place to play.

2018 is just around the corner but I don’t’ expect the changes to the social media platforms to slow down at all.

Stay tuned and happy holidays!  Are we connected on social?  Find me on Facebook at https:fb.com/mikegdigital, Instagram at @mikegingerich and on Twitter at @Mike_Gingerich.

The Keys to Engagement

The Keys to Engagement-315Mastering the ropes of “Attraction” content and engaging your leads is not only a priority but also critical. Unlike attracting audiences, engagement with audiences takes less time and but is quite sensitive. You’ll need to follow up on your brand’s reviews and questions and suggestions on social media to help you narrow in on your specific audience.

Don’t worry if you have no idea how to engage your leads … yet. I outline everything you need to know about engagement in this article. Continue reading!

What is Engagement?

How you respond and react with your community is defined as Engagement. It’s an art that happens on your website and social media platforms. It involves:

  • Acknowledging
  • Responding
  • Offering support
  • Answering questions

I acknowledge the following 3 key traits a brand must have to be “Engaging”:

  • Timely
  • Helpful
  • Authentic

An engaging brand is human. It’s only possible if you:

  • Care
  • Show attentiveness
  • Show warmth

Why Is Engagement Important?

With the arrival of technology, engaging your leads is a game changer for your business. Not every lead is ready to purchase immediately but engaging with them can lure them into buying earlier than intended or making a decision to buy when they had no intention.

Supply them with a variety of points of contact to help them know you better and increase trust and like you and your brand. Despite the 7 points of contact, we can’t rule out engagement. It falls within positions 2-6 of the “connection” process and contributes a lot to making a sale.

Disregarding Engagement Opportunity

Overlooking and ignoring engagement is a disaster in the making. Ignoring this blessing in disguise and embracing old-school marketing methods as billboards and magazines lead to frustration and low sales. Today, social media ranks on top in marketing. For people to do business with you or purchase your products, they have to like you. The “like” mentality gets built through interaction. To be a successful marketer, get committed on social media and respond to all mentions and comments.

Tips for More Engagement

  1. Download at least two social media apps to your mobile device to notify you when your brand receives comments and reviews.
  2. Post at least 50% of your content on social platforms as a campaign to Attract and Engage your audience. Initiate interaction by inviting feedback.
  3. Always respond on time. If you’re not available, make it known to your audience you will get back as soon as possible.
  4. Reply to all your comments on Facebook. Include @mention of the sender while replying on Twitter.
  5. “Follow” a commenter on Twitter and Instagram. With the notification sent to them on their smartphones, it is a no-brainer. It’s a fantastic form of engagement. Your business gets to build a top of mind connection.
  6. Use Videos to engage. As they say, pictures speak louder than words! The power of videos as a tool for engaging on social media is stunning. Create a short video that invites a response as you ask questions. It’s easy. By use of a mobile phone, log into your social media account like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and post the video.

It’s incredible how live videos in Periscope and Facebook have become a magnet for many audiences. Live videos take you to where your clients are, and you get to engage them directly. Isn’t it incredible? Here’s a list of some topics when live on video:

  • Recent updates
  • Industry updates and news
  • Invite questions
  • Create time for questions and answers

Videos reach the audience 3 times faster than posts on Facebook. Here is an engagement post example that starts with a simple question:

“We love beer brand from San Diego craft. Do You?” The question begs for engagement and as expected the fans response was overwhelming. The example got sourced from Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina’s Facebook page. The fact that the Facebook page got flooded with so many comments emphasizes that “Engagement” is the KEY to lead capture techniques.

Conclusion

Social media success has no shortcut. You have to be ready and very committed. It might appear to be an uphill task, but the results are rewarding and send you straight to the bank smiling. Just like a two-way street, both you and your audience have to engage for mutual benefit. You have to create an impressive rapport. Then connect to help your leads to know you better and build trust in you.

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Instagram Archiving & Instagram Highlights

Instagram announced the launch of two new features in the app related to Stories!

I cover what Instagram Archiving is as well as the related Instagram Highlights and how to use the latter for business marketing.

It’s all about being strategic with your social marketing!  Are you?  Let’s get caught up on the latest Instagram innovations and why I’m really excited about them for businesses to use in marketing!

Ready to dive in?

Listen Now:

Subscribe:  Halftime Mike on iTunes  | Android users via RSS  | Listen on Stitcher.

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Video Podcast: Instagram Archiving & Instagram Highlights

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST!  This is just a sample of the goods I deliver to help you get on track, think through your key online changes and what you need to do this year to succeed.
  2. Identify your “one thing.”  What’s the next single thing you need to take action on that you learned today?   Share below!

Other Resources:

  • My complete guide to Facebook and social media lead generation  online!  Game Plan Book >>

Help Spread the Word!

Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast.
Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!

Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

Download this Episode:
Catch all the episodes of Halftime Mike by signing up for inbox delivery below!

Need help planning your Social Media and Online Marketing?  Contact me!