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Creating Suspense on Social Media

Creating suspense on social media is easier than you think. You will be ready to create audience anticipation in a matter of these three steps:

Know Your Social Networks.

Each social media platform has unique advantages and disadvantages. For example….

 

Facebook is a consumer-focused social network with high engagement. Fan pages integrate within newsfeeds, allowing content to go viral. It is a good place to post industry-related articles, pictures or videos but a bad place to make a sales pitch.

 

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform for rapid and efficient distribution of information. It is great for joining in on conversations with ‘hashtags’ and news updates. Twitter is a fast-paced platform, and companies often don’t know how often to tweet or how to engage or respond to followers, hurting their online presence.

For more information regarding differences between social networks, click here and here.

 

Remember to consider the demographics each channel attracts. Match your target audiences to the appropriate channel(s) they would use.

 

Don’t forget that each platform has its own culture. Fill out your profiles according to the culture with avatars, cover photos, bios and profile information. Also, use the language your target audience would use to find you.

Make a Plan.

It’s time to make a plan. Whether you are announcing a new store, product or service, there are a variety of tactics you can implement to create suspense on social media, including:

  1. Release countdowns
  2. Giveaways
  3. Behind-the-Scenes and Sneak Peeks
  4. Media Hooks
  5. Fan Competitions
  6. Scavenger Hunts

 

Giveaways are great ways to build your audience, while fan competitions are best to get your fans engaged. Media hooks include the following options: product packaging, branded art, soundtracks, demos, or trailers. If you don’t think a media hook is right for you, consider a sneak peek of how a product is made or a service is prepared.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is in line with your social network(s) and target audience(s).

Engage with Your Audience.

Don’t forget to engage with your audience throughout the campaign. Anticipation and suspense brings forth mystery and curiosity. Do you know what that means? Your audience is going to be asking questions. You need to be the one to answer them. Don’t let the media – or anyone else, for that matter – tell your story for you.

 

Re-tweet, like, comment and respond to all communication from your audience(s). Become a thought leader by being credible and reliable. You’ll have people begging to know what’s next.

 

If you still need help crafting a plan to create suspense on social media, call Divvy. Divvy specializes in social media marketing. Call 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

 

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Words Per Post | The Perfect Word Count for Your Blog

Words per post refers to the number of words in each blog post. There’s a lot of data out there determining the “perfect” number of words for a blog post, but a lot of that information is conflicting. With that said…

 

How do you determine the right depth for your blog post? Is there a golden rule? The answers to these questions are both simple and complicated.

Determining the Perfect Word Count

Determining the perfect word count is complicated. Some bloggers praise shorter blogs while others support longer ones. At Divvy, we follow a variety of SEO tactics, including each post containing minimum of 300 words.  This is our minimum, but again the perfect word count is complicated. The best answer to the question is dependent upon the content.

 

words per post dependent upon content

 

The depth of your blog posts should be led by the content of your post. Are you answering a simple question? Or offering unique insight? You want to provide enough answers to your readers without getting fluffy or off topic.

 

The best rule of thumb: Offer benefit to your readers.

250 to 300-word posts are good for short, sweet, and straight to the point blog posts. You can offer a quick overview of a concept or answer a simple question in these types of posts. This post, for example, contains 435 words. See how I answered a question without overloading you with information? That’s why shorter posts are more frequent. They are easier and faster to write and still useful to readers.

 

600-word posts allow you to join in on the conversation with greater detail. There is more room for depth, discussion, and creativity.

 

900-word posts require more research, details, and depth than that of the previous shorter word counts. With this length of post, you need to understand the topic and provide more information to your readers.

900-word posts can discuss information on a general subject or detailed information on a specific topic. With this length of post, you can get more specific with points and subpoints.

 

1200-word posts are full of relevant, detailed information. There is no fluff in these posts, only rich content. If you are writing an 1200-word post, make sure that your content will meet the expectations of your readers.

 

As you go about writing your personal or business blog posts, make sure you offer the right amount of information to the person who found your blog. If you don’t, they won’t return.

 

Does your business or franchisee need help with blogging or SEO? Call Divvy at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Our team specializes in these areas. Talk to you soon!

 

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How to Write Irresistible Content

“I don’t know how to write irresistible content.” Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as you think. With a little critical thinking, organizing, and planning, you can be on your way to writing irresistible content. We promise – it’s actually very easy. Follow these 7 tips:

1. Know and Connect with your Audience.

You need to understand what makes your buyer tick. Make that connection. Understand what they require in order for them to want to interact with you and request for more information. Write content that would irresistible to your target audience. The more interesting the information is to your target audience, the more useful it is to them.

 

Find out what particular problem(s) your audience has, and speak to it.

2. Assume your Audience Doesn’t Know what you Know.

Avoid jargon, buzzwords and industry-talk. Use terms that they would use in order to find you. They found you, they have come to you. Now you need to explain yourself clearly to them.

3. Make the Content Applicable.

Don’t just spit information out into the world. Make the content worthy of reading and applying. Don’t just share information. Share how to do what you are describing.

4. Be a Credible Source.

You need to build trust and credibility to get results. Cite your sources and have social proof. Social proof examples include:

  • Statistics
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Endorsements
  • Examples
  • Quotes
  • Anecdotes

Build trust up front. It is worth it.

5. Write…. and Don’t Forget to Design.

Write and design your work so it is easy on the eyes. You spent time gathering information, researching, and planning. Don’t ruin all that work by not designing your content. You want to invite your audience to read and learn more.

 

Avoid writing long sentences. Or follow up with a short one.  Write short passages and paragraphs to invite your reader in.

 

Spend time finding the proper formatting so that your rich content won’t be skimmed over. Or worse – bounced away from.

6. Stay True to Yourself.

Stay on brand. Use your voice. It differentiates yourself from all the other writers out there.

7. Practice and Analysis Makes Perfect.

Go start writing right now! The best way to get better with irresistible content is to practice, analyze, practice, analyze.

 

Share your work! Analyze how well it did. Try something new and analyze it again. Figure out what content is getting looked at and what is working.

 

Do you need help with writing irresistible content? Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in marketing consulting and social media content strategy.

 

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How to Limit Distractions

Distractions are everywhere. They are on your desk, on your phone, and even sitting across from you. That’s not even the worst part – they make you less productive at work. Dr. Gloria Mark of the University of California has found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to resume a task after distraction occurs. Twenty-three minutes! How many times do you get distracted each work day? At least two to three times? That alone is one hour of wasted time according to Dr. Mark. Ready to limit your distractions? Here’s how:

Limit Screen Time.

That includes your smartphone, your smartwatch and even your computer – if applicable to your industry. Stop watching your phone for text messages or phone calls and stop responding to Facebook messages and Instagram comments every time your phone beeps. Silence your cell phone, shut down your smartwatch and get back to work. These little distractions occur often and have the ability to completely derail your productivity.

It might not be reasonable for your job to completely shut down these personal devices all day. That’s okay! But if you’ve ever said “I’m just going to check my email really quick” and 20 minutes later you’re still replying to people, you need help. Set times, reasonable times, in your work day when you can take take a few minutes and respond to emails and missed calls.

Maybe you can get away with only checking your email two to three times per day. Or maybe you can have an automated response for text messages to let people know when you will be available and to try calling back at that time. However you choose to limit your screen time, start doing it now.

Try the Pomodoro Technique.

If you can’t make the time-setting technique work, try the pomodoro technique.  Work the hardest you can work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. This works for a lot people because it lets you start something knowing there is an end (and reward!) in mind.

Don’t get discouraged with a seemingly never-ending project. Try out the pomodoro way and take short breaks to relax and rejuvenate yourself.

Make a To-Do List.

Become one of those make-a-list and check-off-as-you-go people. They know how to achieve satisfaction one step at a time. Keep your list manageable, concise and current. Start each work day with the 5×5 Rule. Determine what the five most important tasks of the day are and do your best to complete each of them by 5 p.m. Check off as you go and relish in the satisfaction.

Clean Up Your Workspace.

Remove any unnecessary clutter from your workspace. Why? The less stuff your eyes see means less visual stress, and less visual stress means less distraction. It’s that simple.

Keep Your Internal Distractions in Check.

Internal emotions such as hunger, thirst, tiredness and worry can affect your mental capacity and attention span. Go to work well-rested, full and hydrated. Don’t forget to eat a nutritious energy-boosting lunch!

 

Distractions are hard, but it’s even harder if you need help maximizing your marketing efforts and you’re being interrupted too often. Need help? Partner up with Divvy. Divvy helps franchisees stay on-brand and focused when it comes to marketing. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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9 Things You Can do to Become a Better Leader Today

What does it mean to be a good leader? And how do you become a better leader? Some people believe that good leaders were born that way, and others believe it takes hard work and determination to become a good leader. Regardless of what you believe, good leaders have a few unique characteristics. Luckily, with a little persistence and knowledge, you can become a better leader today, too. It’s time for you to become conscious of your leading style, actions, and tone. Start doing these nine things to become a better leader today.

Be Passionate.

Passion is contagious. If you become passionate about your job, your employees will notice and follow suit. Plus, you’ll find yourself wanting to be at work and leading, rather than at home and watching TV.

Maintain a Positive Attitude.

Just like passion, attitude catches fire. If one person comes to work with poor attitude, it is likely that person will rub off onto colleagues. The same goes for you as a leader. Not only do you need to be positive on the daily, but you need to maintain a positive attitude when times are stressful too. Employees notice when management is angry, upset, or stressed and it affects how they continue their work duties.

Be a Role Model.

Be the leader that inspires employees and colleagues. Be the kind of leader that you want your employees to look up to.

Stay Humble (and Honest!)

When it’s a team effort, recognize that it’s a team effort. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do by yourself. When you mess up, apologize and take the blame. Don’t blame anything on anyone else when you’re the one at fault unless that is the kind of organizational culture you want to cultivate.

Be Approachable. 

Employees need to know that their manager is always available to talk to and ask for help from. They need to know they can openly discuss issues with you while what is said remains confidential.

(Get to) Know Your Employees.

Connect with your employees on a personal level. Ask them about their family, recreational activities, and other topics that will help you build a relationship with them. This kind of positive interaction will let your employees know that you appreciate and recognize them. They will feel more loyal to you.

Promote and Praise Creativity.

Promoting creativity among your team will strengthen problem-solving skills and improve productivity. Good leaders encourage new ideas.

Collaborate With and Challenge Them.

Not all people do well working by themselves, so encourage team work and join in when possible. Additionally, challenge your employees. People get bored doing the same mundane tasks every day. Throw in some change and challenge them to help shake things up, in a good way.

Continue Learning, Yourself.

The first step in bettering yourself – and your leading skills – is to recognize that there is room to improve… and there is always room to improve.

 

Start small to make a big change. These nine simple steps are something you can start to become a better leader today, but you will need to continue them tomorrow, too.

Do you need help with your business or franchisee? Divvy can be your marketing partner and make life simpler for you. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below to see how Divvy can help you.

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7 Blogging Habits You Need to Start

In order to achieve blog success you need to incorporate healthy blogging habits into your daily lifestyle. Don’t worry – they aren’t complicated! In fact they are simple and straightforward. You wouldn’t think these seven blogging habits would be habits at all really, rather they are guidelines you need to be reminded of.

The 7 Blogging Habits:

1. Be True to Yourself.

Don’t let your voice get lost in the vast sea of blogs! Answer this question: Why did you start blogging in the first place? Was it to join in on the conversation? Or to be a leader in your industry? Maybe it was to have a place to publish your writing as a portfolio of sorts. Whatever the reason, remember why you joined the blogging community in the first place. Be sure that all of your posts relate back to why you became a blogger.

2. Write Quality Content.

The key word here is quality. Writing quality content adds to your blog (or your business’s!) credibility. This means you should back up all your claims with evidence. Take your time writing your blog posts to achieve high-quality content. It’s better to take your time writing something that will drive readers to your site than to draft copy with “fluff” that won’t get you or your business any leads.

3. Write Concisely.

“Fluff” is a term used to describe superficial writing, and it should not be present in any of your blog posts. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a blog to find that there’s no useful information available. Readers today have been skimming through writing since middle school and high school. The best way to make sure your readers are actually reading your content is to write concisely. Get your point across and get it across quickly. Avoid fluffy sentences at all costs. Click here to learn how to create a great blog outline.

4. Be Consistent.

In order to increase a following you need to be consistent in these three areas: posts, topics, and brand. You need to post fresh content on a regular basis, and you need to stay on-brand and on-topic in your posts. This means you are always relating back to your niche and you are maintaining consistent voice throughout.

5. Have a Plan.

Life gets busy and when that happens, the blog usually falls behind. Create a schedule or an editorial calendar to stay consistent. Plan out the topics of your posts based on the time of year (i.e. holidays/celebrations) or weekly/monthly features (highlight of employee of the month or DIY Thursday).

6. Engage with your Audience.

All successful bloggers know how important it is to engage with fellow bloggers and readers. Cultivate a relationship with them. They are more likely to share your blog and help increase your following if they see you are trying to put in effort.

7. Join in on the Conversation and Be a Leader.

Join in on the conversation, but don’t regurgitate information.  Be a leader in the industry!

 

Good luck establishing these blogging habits! If you need help with your blog, call Divvy! Divvy provides marketing consulting, SEO, social media, AND blogging counsel. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below.

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10 Ways to Get Ahead at Work

The best way to stand out and build a strong reputation is to get ahead at work. So what does that mean exactly? To get ahead at work is to not only do your job duties, but to go the extra mile in doing them. Here are a few things you can start doing to get ahead at work, and really, your life:

Be well-rested and clean.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the co-worker that falls asleep because they went to a late-night movie or the one that stinks because he/she didn’t shower. Do your best to presentable. When you’re in a professional environment, you should be doing your part to look and feel like a professional. Sleep 7-8 hours a night, take a shower, brush your teeth and do your hair.

Do your best!

Not only do you need to look and feel good, but you need to put your heart in all that you do. No matter the project, whether it be vacuuming crumbs on the floor or helping your team with a project, give 110%. You know that feeling you get when you finish a project? The one where you feel total satisfaction and accomplishment? That’s the feeling you should aim for in everything you do because that means you did your best. That way, when it comes time to revise or present, you will stand out based off of your hard work.

Make a to-do list and schedule, if necessary.

It can be hard to do your best when it seems like there are million things to do and no time to do them. In that case, make a prioritized list for the top five things you need to accomplish. Then, create deadlines for each of them. Schedules are not signs of weakness or distraction, rather they are signs of strength and productivity. Make them and use them as your job duty road map.

Build relationships with everyone.

Now that you’re focused on your job duties you can feel relaxed enough to be personable with everyone around you. Make an impression and create a relationship.

Use your downtime wisely.

It can be tempting to hop on social media or run to the break room when you are in between projects. Instead, use this downtime to better your skills. Search engines are full of tips, advice columns and business blogs. If you’re uncomfortable or know you can get better in an area – and there should always be an area – use your downtime to learn more.

Destroy negative thinking and comments.

Negative thoughts and comments are just that – negative. Learn how to overcome negative thinking patterns and stick to Mom’s favorite rule: If it’s not a nice thing to say, don’t say anything.

Tackle new changes or challenges, or at least TRY.

When a new change or challenge arises, STEP UP and tackle it. It’s okay if you fail and if you do, ask for help. Your boss will notice your effort, even if you are struggling, and is there to help you succeed.

Don’t forget to have FUN.

If you are constantly thinking about work or working, you’ll get caught up in professional atmosphere. Don’t forget about your personal life. Go on a drive over the weekend or treat yourself to the new movie you want to see. Make sure that you have a healthy balance between work life and personal life.

 

If you need help managing your work load, let Divvy help you. Whether you’re a franchise needing a better solution for ordering and printing marketing collateral or you’re a business in need of social media or SEO help, Divvy is here for you. Call our office at 801-224-8666 or fill out the contact form below for more information. Talk to you soon!

 

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Blog Basics | 5 Small Steps to Make a Big Impact

A blog is a great medium to share information and generate discussions. If you don’t know the basics of blogging you’re going to be in trouble! Make these 5 small steps with your next blog post to make a big impact on your audience. Listed in no particular order, these steps are sure to equip you with the information you need to help your blog succeed.

Words per Blog Post

The number of words per each post depends on a number factors, including the purpose, frequency, audience and substance of the blog content. There is no one right answer to how many words per post you should include, so you have to find that out on your own. A number of expert bloggers recommend writing no more than 600 words per post, claiming that readers have short attention spans. While this may be true regarding some topics, it is not true for all. Doctor offices, for example, may benefit from writing frequent short 250 word posts answering questions regarding health and nutrition, but someone in the life coaching industry may benefit from writing one 1,200 word post weekly regarding personal development.

While there is no golden rule to the number of words per post, it is important to recognize the influence word count has on your blog. Shorter blogs, 250-300 words may be best for generating discussions and 300-600 word posts give your blog an SEO advantage. Longer blog posts, those 1000+ words are most likely to rank well on search engines, but run the risk of content being skipped over.

The standard blogging length is 300-600 words.

Content Image Size and Quality

In the world wide web, visuals are everything. You will lose readers if your site is attractive and unfocused. This goes for images, too.

Make sure your images are clear quality, and don’t alter the size proportioning. That means you need to avoid blurring your photos when you adjust the height and width of your content images.

The layout of your blog determines the height and width of your content images. Divvy’s content images are always adjusted to be 680 pixels wide, and the height changes accordingly. This allows the content images to take up the same width as the words, making it fall in line and measure perfectly.

Featured Image | Get Creative

Content images are important to keep your reader’s attention after clicking the link, but featured images are what draw and hook your blogger in. This means you need to get creative and make your featured image. Using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop works best, but there are tons of awesome free online tools you can use if you don’t have access to Adobe Creative Cloud. At Alexander’s, we like to use Canva and Pablo by Buffer if we are in a rush to publish a post. They are simple and easy to use and completely FREE.

SEO and Tags

SEO is important in the increasing viewership and traffic to your blog. There are a number of great WordPress Plugins that can help with your blog’s SEO. One of our favorites at Alexander’s is Yoast SEO. It provides you with the necessary guidelines and information to producing a good SEO. Try it out!

Tags help your post be found through browsing and searching. This post, for example, will be tagged with blogging and business tips to name just a few. The idea is to pick words that sum up what your post is about and words that someone might use that would find your content and information useful.

 

If you need help or have questions regarding your business blog, call us or fill out the contact form below. Divvy specializes in social media marketing and blogging. We would love to help you!

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How to Destroy Negative Thinking

In the business world, there is nothing worse than negative thinking. Negative thoughts can be crippling to not only yourself as a leader or employee, but to your inner self. Whether it stems from another’s comments, your own self-doubt, etc, negative thinking can be stopped. Follow these tips the next time you are divulging in negative thoughts:

Smile.

The Scientific American reported on a study that suggests people who smile more – rather than frown – tend to be happier. This is because there is a connection between our body and our emotions, and our brain isn’t always in charge of how we feel. Our bodies can influence how we feel. So next time you are thinking negatively, trick your emotions! Are you smiling yet?

List 5 Things You are Grateful for.

“Those who are the happiest never did have everything. But rather, they are thankful for everything they do have.” – Unknown

And it’s true! Harvard Medical School studied the relationship between gratitude and happiness, and found that those who feel grateful have more positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity better, and build stronger relationships.  What better way to destroy negativity than recognize the positivity? Write down 5 things you are grateful for and why. Do it with a positive attitude and you will walk away feeling more thankful and happy.

Don’t Pull the Victim Card.

Some negative thoughts need to be kicked in the shins, and this is the way to do so. You hold the power to change your thoughts, no matter the origin of the negativity.

Your thoughts have a tendency to match your actions. If you have a habit of playing the victim card… STOP.  You cannot be a victim of yourself or your negative thoughts. Allow yourself to recognize that you are the one allowing negative thinking – and act by stopping them in their tracks.

Change Your Surroundings.

Sometimes negative thinking stems from your environment. If you are surrounded by negative people all day every day, it’s likely that your attitude will adapt to your environment and you will become a negative person. Look closely at your friends and family and make sure they are surrounding you with the positivity you deserve.

Ask Yourself, “What Can I do to Make this Better?”

It’s possible that you may need to simply adjust your attitude. If the reason for the negative thinking is simple, such as “I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” ask yourself what you can do to make the day better. Maybe you can pick up a drink on the way to work or school, stop for lunch at your favorite restaurant, or promise yourself a nap when you get home.

The Dreaded Cliche: Transform Negative Thinking into Positive Thinking.

When all is said and done, you may need to buck up and recognize that your negative thoughts aren’t getting you anywhere and the only way to move forward is to change. When you have a negative thought, transform it into something positive. For example: “I am so late for work, I can’t believe I slept in” can be transformed into “I got to sleep in a few minutes more than usual, that’s nice.”

 

These are cheesy examples and you are more than likely reading this post looking for deeper answers to a bigger problem but sometimes it’s better to take baby steps. In this case, negative thinking doesn’t change overnight so baby steps are just what you need. We recognize that negative thinking is inherent in businesses and franchises, but Divvy can help! Divvy specializes in making business easier for business owners and employees. For more information call us or fill out the contact form below.

 

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How to Connect with Your Target Audience Online

Unlike popular belief, your social media presence is pointless if you aren’t connecting with the right audience. Your target audience, in particular, is the public you need to reach in order for your message to be acted upon – or for sales to increase. Without your target audience, the content you are putting out there will be ignored. In order to have the right impact on social media, you need to know who your target audience is and connect with them in a way they understand.

Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience

Determine both a general audience, such as “Moms”, and a specific audience(s), such as “mommybloggers, ages 30-45”. This is the most important step because it influences how you will connect with them, so get as specific as you can. Include age, income, education level, religion, etc until you feel you’ve identified who your ‘ideal’ client, or customer, is.

Step 2: Match Your Tone to Theirs

Does your target audience respond to humor? Or do you need to be more serious?

This is dependent upon the product you are selling and the type of industry your business is in. If you’re a charity such as as the A.S.P.C.A, you would want to have a concerned, serious tone rather than a humorous one.

It can get complicated here. Starbucks, for example, may target to both college students and moms. Students are more likely to respond to something humorous or sarcastic than moms are. You can see that your tone needs to match the audience you are specifically targeting for a particular post.

Step 3: Market Through Their ‘Ideal’ Channel

Once you have determined your target audience(s) and crafted your message to an appealing tone, you now need to market your product through the appropriate social media channel(s). Facebook, for example, is used by 87% of adults between ages 18-29, and registered users are 55% men, 45% women. Twitter, on the other hand, is used by 37% of adults between ages 18-29 and 25% between 30-49. If you’re marketing to young adults, Instagram may be the channel you should connect with because 53% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram.

For more social media demographics, click here.

Step 4: Do More Than Post

Social media is a two-way interaction, so you need to engage with your audience. Create an online personality and use it to your advantage. There are so many ways you can engage with social media users, and connecting with your target audience can provide you with constructive feedback. Hold Q&A sessions, answer FAQs, conduct polls and surveys, etc., and you can gain insight into improving your business or product.

Step 5: Analyze and Evaluate

Use each social media channel’s measurement tools, such as Facebook’s Page Insights and Twitter’s Analytics, to understand how well you are connecting with your audience and your target audience. Measure your reach, impressions and engagement and determine if your target audience is the right audience for your business. Refine your audience as necessary and repeat the process.

 

Remember that your online presence is only valuable if you are presenting yourself to the people who will act on your message. If you need help with your social media marketing, contact us! Divvy specializes in social media strategy and marketing. Call us or fill out the contact form below.

 

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