The Ten Biggest Lies About Social Media and Your Business

In the world of social media, it is hard to navigate the best practices for your business. Companies may try to tell you what the best practices are, but how are they working for your business? Are you looking for more? Trying to up your social media game for your business? Here’s the top ten lies companies are spreading about social media practices for businesses and how you can overcome them.


You can’t just come out and ask people to follow/retweet/comment/like/share…

But you can. Actually, it’s even encouraged. Think about it in terms of inbound marketing. You are directly asking your customer to do something for you. But first, you have to build their trust. Posting relevant content that is both sound and appealing to your audience helps boost your credibility and makes it easier for the people you are interacting with to help you boost your content. Never be afraid to ask.


Reach is your most important metric.

This could be the biggest lie in the social media industry. Reach is important. As is engagement, post performance… essentially every piece of your analytics. Looking in depth into social media analytics once every quarter is a great way to gauge what is clicking with your customers and what is not. This helps you line up with them to communicate with them better. However, each piece – whether reach, engagement, clicks, and so on – is just as important as every other piece. Reach may only tell you how far it went on Facebook, but engagement will tell you with that reach how many people actually interacted with your content. Remember this.


All you need is social media.

False. Why? The main point of a social media presence for a business is to sell. You want to be using your social media to drive customers to your business to make a purchase and make you money. In order to do this successfully, a website that is fully-functioning, responsive, and current is just as – if not more – important as your Facebook page. Keep in mind that your social media can act more as a channel to the main hub rather than the target.


Delete or ignore negative comments. Actually, just disable comment posting entirely to protect your brand.

Believe it or not, negative comments are not as bad as they seem. Of course they are hurtful, but this can act as an advantage to your business.


First off, deleting negative comments seems shady to perspective customers. How can you have a rating of 3 stars when every single review is flawless? It also discredits your business – because no one is perfect.


In addition, negative comments can be a host of customer service opportunities. Responding timely and appropriately to customer service issues on a public front shows customers you are attentive and want you customers happy. It also acts as a great damage-control tool and helps increase your online presence. Let the negative work its magic for you. Like the old time saying, “there’s no such thing as bad press.”


Hire an intern to do all your social media work for you.

While we do believe in intern programs and the opportunities they provide, hiring an intern strictly to manage your social media accounts could go through a few different scenarios. Most importantly, you do not want a full-time student with limited experience handling some of the issues social media can present without someone there to guide them. Whether this is a supervisor, policy, or admin on a page, it is important that interns are provided with some direction and not just handed the passwords to your accounts. Give them expectations, let them shadow others in your business to get an idea of the company, create goals on social media to ensure your intern is getting the most out of their internship while also giving you the social media supervision you need.


Automate your updates to save yourself time.

Auto-posting through social media suites may seem like a step in the right direction to saving yourself time on social media, but it’s not always the best policy. Automated messages can seem rigid and timed to your followers which in turn turns them off to what you want them paying attention to – your business. Try posting in real time as often as you can. Make sure your content is timely and current with what is going on in the world as well to help increase engagement.


Auto-publish content to save time when sharing content to several sites.

Auto-publish is never a good idea. So often after I hit the post button on a blog, I will find a grammar error, forget to include tags, have to modify a layout… change something before it reaches the masses via my social media. Auto-publish may work against you, especially if you accidently click the publish button before you were really ready. Remember, once it is on the Internet, it is there forever – especially in terms of social media. Keep this in mind before setting up auto-post to your social accounts from your website.


Focus on Facebook.

Facebook may have a huge interest base now, but what about tomorrow? Social media is always changing a moving. For instance, YouTube proceeded Facebook in unique users for the first time this summer, meaning more people are using YouTube than Facebook for the very first time. This is leading to a big change in the social media world. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – disperse your content and customer interaction between several social platforms.


You need to be on every single social media platform.

Tying into the previous point – while you want to diversify your social media platforms, you also don’t want to consume yourselves with more than you can handle social media wise. For us, a few big platforms we like to encourage our businesses to try out and see how they work for them: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus. Invest a little time on each and see what practices work best for your business to design your social media efforts to best fit your customers.


You don’t need an email if you have social media.

This couldn’t be more contrary from the truth. In fact, you need an email more than ever with a social media account, perhaps even one that is specifically set up to handle social media management. This email will help you received notifications and communicate with customers more effectively.



Practice makes perfect, and with social media we are helping businesses take control of their social and online media and make it work best for their businesses. Contact Maximize today to learn more.

How Hashtags Influence Digital Marketing


For business owners or social media managers, developing fresh and new content can be a daunting task. But creating a fresh flow for posts across media channels is a necessity for any strategy! The goal is to develop content that reflects the brand and builds a community following. Most of the time you’re tasked with creating daily posts that engage your audience, creating dynamic graphics, finding topics of interest – yada yada yada. It’s a lot of work! But we promise, you’re totally overthinking it.

User Generated Content is LOVE

What separates big businesses on social media and smaller businesses on social media? The use of their audience base. Big businesses know that their audience is their most valuable source for credible, fan-approved content. This is known as User Generated Content (UGC). UGC conveys the very best parts of your brand or business. It’s authentic and is the very best proof that people are using your product or service in real life. And not only are they using it, they’re loving it enough to tell their friends! Businesses are able to use this as a source of positive imagery, quotes, testimonials, and experiences. Promoting your brand by standing behind your customers is one of the most transparent and honest ways to reach your audience.

For example, think of the photos you’d take while on vacation. You’re having a blast and snapping great photos of amazing things. Traveling can be a life-changing experience, and those photos are powerful! Travel companies, hotels, and destination spots are using social media to gather content submitted by their users and using those images to show you how much fun other people are having while using their products or services. And those photos depict real-life experiences. Notice the repetition there? Real.

92% of users trust earned media such as testimonials above targeted advertising. We’ve found ourselves in “an era of honesty” thanks to social media, and lucky for marketers, social media users are sharing their opinions and thoughts in ways that companies can leverage.

The argument for UGC has been made. But now the question is…how can companies gain easy access to that content?


Hashtags Bring UGC Together

@gaylon_wampler on Instagram

It’s absolutely true that hashtags help connect the world. Through social justice movements and international news, hashtags pool together relative content.

National Geographic uses a hashtag to collect user-submitted photos of their travels, creating a sense of awe and inspiration among their followers. Using the hashtag #WanderlustContest, National Geographic tapped into a community of photographers, social media enthusiasts, and travelers who want to bring more visibility to their experience. Their goal was to attract users on Instagram, the photo-driven social media channel, to enter the contest. This equal exchange benefits the user and the marketer – giving exposure to users and re-enforcing National Geographic’s brand.

In this instance, users were entering a contest for a chance to win a prize. By using their hashtag, they were able to neatly analyze their submissions and create an online community where participants can browse other submissions. Users were able to see the hashtag and engage with other users – a win/win for building an online community and NG’s brand. They recognized what makes their audience special, garnered a buzz for their contest, and developed their strategy based around their designated hashtag.

Hashtags AREN’T Just for Contests!

Ideally, your business should offer an experience that sets it apart from its competitors. Be it your awesome customer service, amazing products, or hip atmosphere – your business needs to stand out.

Think of it this way: liveblogging and “livetweeting” is a new trend that affects hundreds of television shows, for instance, and their audience daily. Essentially, fans come together (mainly on Twitter) to react, in real-time, to the first telecast of a television show, . Users feel compelled to get involved, react, offer commentary, and it’s all thanks to the hashtag. For example, during the newest episode of Cake Boss, users will use #CakeBoss to react. This use spikes during live showings and will decrease when the television show isn’t running. The Cake Boss hashtag can be found being used on the show’s social media channels as well as by the fans, thus enhancing the digital reach of the show and integrating the user’s experience with their marketing strategy. Essentially, they’re making an every day occurrence into an event!

So how does a television show using a hashtag apply to your business? Simple! It creates conversation.



Hashtags give users the chance to start a conversation. It is easy, simple, and allows users to feel like their voice matters. It’s not uncommon to see hashtags promoted on advertisements now, promoted for connecting the brand to the users as well as users to other users. Gathering UGC can be easy, but the main goal is to create an online community where users contribute freely.

#LoveLakeland is a local initiative that promotes love for the city of Lakeland, Florida.  In the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, you’ll find many local businesses or residents who use the hashtag to promote the events of the city, positive experiences, and other reasons why they “love Lakeland”. This is not a contest or a timed campaign – it is an ongoing effort to create conversations and keep the community going strong. Since this is a community-driven hashtag, there is no “sole owner”, which allows businesses to take advantage of the content for their benefit. It increases the reach of their tweets, adds visibility and engages users.

Overall, it is important that your reasoning for using a hashtag should always go back to the user. This is what makes organic hashtags like #LoveLakeland so great – they have no timer, no cost, and gives users access to an audience they wouldn’t have had before


So, when you’re looking for a low-cost, quick, and constant source for digital marketing… think hashtags. By monitoring given hashtags and promoting their use, you’re able to gain valuable UGC. Fans and customers want to see the value in your business, so seeing other fans and customers happy and enjoying your services will speak volumes about your company.

Tap into your customers’ emotions. Sell feelings, not just a product. Sell experiences, not just a service. When you are making customers feel something, you are more likely to receive user generated content in return. How many times have you taken a picture of yourself at Disney World because you’re so incredibly happy? That feeling is unmatched and inspires actions – the kind your brand benefits from.

Choosing your hashtag should be simple, but your focus should be on the longevity of your brand. Build the experience with honesty, not obnoxious branded and sponsored content. Users on social media will engage with hashtags when they can relate and when they can integrate their lives with your brand.

So… get going! #GreatBlogPost #Awesomesauce #TotallyRelevantHashtagHere

Why Your Company Needs Video Marketing in 2015

Now that we’re a few months in to the New Year, it’s time to start thinking about a new social media campaign. The use of video on social networking sites has been rapidly growing over the past few years and has proven to be more engaging than the standard photo or text post.

Continue reading Why Your Company Needs Video Marketing in 2015

Social Media Series Part I: The Hashtag

I once saw a tweet about how a user saw an old flip-phone cell phone that had a pound key on the keypad. They wondered why they would ever need a hashtag back then because Twitter was not a thing yet.

As mindless as this tweet sounds, this is a prime example of how prominent the hashtag has become in our world today. No longer do we view a pound sign as a part of a numeric keypad. Instead, we view it as a crucial part of our social media presence.

The hashtag may have begun as a Twitter-exclusive, but now it has migrated to almost every platform in the social world. But, does each hashtag means something different on social media? And how can you use this to benefit your business on social media? Or should you even use them in your professional field? Here are the answers to your questions.


Yes, you should most definitely be using hashtags

The hashtag is a means of categorization. It increases search optimization, increases engagement, and aids in potential retweets. The science behind the hashtag proves that using the correct hashtags will benefit your online presence for the better, however there is a bit of science to the method. What is appropriate and how many to use could be the indicators.

Use no more than two per update

Research has shown that tweets, updates, and statuses perform better through the use of hashtags, but excessive use will hinder them. Research suggests sticking to two extremely relevant and beneficial hashtags to increase the potential for your media.

How to determine hashtag relevance

Your hashtags need to be tailored to your content. For example, if you are a business tweeting about a flash sale promotion you are having, you would probably include a hashtag such as #flashsale in your tweet.

Having trouble figuring out what hashtag to use? Look at the What’s Trending tab for inspiration on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or other social platforms for ideas. Still knee-deep in uncertainty? Check out for ideas on relevant and related hashtags and how you can best incorporate them in your statuses.


Hashtags on Social Media

There is a level on appropriateness when it comes to hashtags on different media platforms. Since just about everyone is using them, it’s up to you to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hashtags based on the social media platform.


This is where it all began. Twitter has a great system for hashtags, using them to categorize tweets on its site. Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those that do not have hashtags, making them 55 percent more likely to be retweeted. But excessive hashtags tanked engagement. Stick to the 1-2 hashtag rule and you should be good to go.


There seems to be no true rule of thumb here. The more the merrier, at least what studies show. Hashtags on Instagram are utilized to help build community and distinguish uniqueness and detailed information. Interactions are highest on posts with 11 or more hashtags. They may also be your best bet for growing your follower count on Instagram, as well.


It seems as though Facebook users are less likely to hop on the hashtag train. With the studies performed, statuses without hashtags performed better than those that included them. But be mindful to tailor your strategy to your audience. Perhaps try including them in your content if your page is more business-minded by Twitter standards and see how your posts perform before continuing the use of hashtags on your Facebook account.


What Google+ has going for it here is that it already creates the hashtags for you, taking one less step out of the challenging marketing strategy online. You can always add more through comments and your posts to increase your search opportunities.


Pinterest uses hashtags to brand and specify. You can actually click on hashtags to find more relevant information to your linked content. There also seems to be no limit on how many you can include here. The more you have, the more engaged your content might be.



The hashtag is nothing to fear, and Maximize recognizes its great potential. Let Maximize help you understand how to best utilize hashtags on all your social media platforms today.

Marketing for Young Adults

Is your primary market “young adults”? Maybe just looking to expand your online reach? Young adults ranging from 18-29 (sometimes to mid-30s) are a large possible audience for any business. The key to attracting this audience is involvement. .comFacebook's Reach Among Young Adults Graphic

The above graphic is the result of a polling of young adults from Harvard Institute of Politics. From the data, we see young adults can be reached out to in three major ways: Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These social media sites are all vastly different and offer unique ways to engage an audience. Here at Maximize, we strive to help drive companies to expand their online reach. It’s highly suggested to make more than just a business Facebook account, but engage on different mediums as well. The consistency of your message and visibility will go more noticed amongst a young adult market.


Don’t limit yourself to just those three, Maximize can help give you an overview of your social media marketing.

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5 Quick and Easy Ways to Incorporate Branding into Twitter

42% of companies have acquired a customer through Twitter. That means in 140 characters, they have managed to make enough of an impression to move someone through to the next phase of the sales process. That’s crazy to think about! Whether you’re just getting your Twitter started or have one that really needs some work, here are 5 ways to incorporate your business’ branding into Twitter.

1. Your Handle

You Twitter handle is your @NAME. Its what p people use to connect with you and you will be tweeting under. This makes it an important part of carrying your branding over to Twitter. Make sure it has something to do with your business, and isn’t something random. It may be hard to think of a good one if your company’s name is already taken, but taking the time to come up with something that doesn’t include numbers or an underscore will be super beneficial to you.

2. Your Profile Photo

Your profile photo should be your logo. It best represents your company and will be attached to everything you tweet. You want to make sure your logo looks good at a few different sizes because it will be scaled down in some places. On your profile it will appear at 73×73 px. When Twitter recommends for someone to follow you via the “Who To Follow” feature, it will be scaled down to 48×48 px. The smallest size you have to worry about your logo looking good at is 24×24 px, the size your photo will be when it appears in someone’s Twitter feed.

3. Your Header Image

Your header image (similar to Facebook’s cover photo) is what appears at the top of your Twitter behind your profile photo and bio information. This can be a great way to tie in the branding from your current marketing campaigns! Just keep in mind that the minimum dimensions for this are 1252×626 px and it has to be under 5MB, so you may have to create an image especially for this area.

4. Hashtags

That’s right, you can make your own hashtag. Like your handle, it should be unique to you and have some thought put into it. It can be as simple as the tagline you’re using. Think along the lines of Taco Bell’s “#WakeUpLiveMas.” When you see #WakeUpLiveMas, you know it has to do with Taco Bell’s breakfast promotion. Additionally if you come up with something really clever and promote it, yes, you can promote your hashtag, you may capture the attention of someone that could become a new customer for you down the line. Do not underestimate the power of the hashtag!

5. Shared Images

You know you have to provide your audience with helpful and engaging content, but how do you put your company’s unique touch on it? Create images and share them! One way to do this is to incorporate information from your helpful and engaging blog posts. When promoting your most recent blog post on Twitter, have an image to attach that’s styled along with your branding. It should contain a line or fact from your blog post. An awesome image will carry your branding over to what you’re sharing on Twitter, as well as provide a visually appealing and interesting preview of your blog post. These images will be shown in your follower’s Twitter feeds as 435×375 px, but if they are larger they will be shown at full size when clicked. You can either post images that are 435×375 px, or post larger ones that look good when scaled down to that size, it’s up to you.