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Tap into your inner photographer!

Tap into your inner photographer!

implementnowSocial media marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t work (as well) is what will make your company stand out from the masses marketing online.   That’s what AIMS is here for, to help you stay in touch with these effective trends and tools so you always look your best.

One of the simplest yet sometime overlooked ways to sharpen up your social media effectiveness, is photography. How much are you leveraging photos to market your company or services? As humans, we connect emotionally to images more than text. In fact 65-85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners according to Trend Reports, meaning they make decisions, formulate thoughts, and take action quicker when prompted by images.

So how can you apply pictures to your social media page? Keep reading!

Keep it Professional

  • Photos should look different from the types of photos you would post on your personal page.
  • Anything you wouldn’t show directly to a customer, shouldn’t qualify for you page.
  • If you have to question its appropriateness, then probably don’t post it.

Keep it Relevant

  • Photos are an extension of your brand, not your personal life.
  • Basic photo editing goes a long way, highlighting the subject you are showcasing.
  • Be creative with different filters and looks, but pictures should always represent your brand.

Keep it Shareable

  • Take photos that others will want to share with their connections, giving you a broader reach.
  • People will share photos that is interesting and worthwhile, for example photos of an event.
  • Notify organizations your photos are associated with that you have posted. Tagging them in your post is a great way to do this

Keep it Local

  • Show members of your organization interacting with your city in a meaningful or fun way.
  • Pride yourself in your location and community you serve through visual means.
  • Don’t just take pictures of local landmarks; tie this opportunity into your business.

Keep it Real

  • While keeping it professional, know the purpose is to show your business’ human side.
  • Avoid as much as possible using stock photos, or imagery from your website or advertising.
  • Show less formal side of your business and staff better connecting with real people (your customer).

Keep it Fresh

  • Put new photos up often since people are not likely to revisit an old picture.
  • The more consistent you are in uploading new photos the greater the chance supporters will share your content.
  • A wide variety of photos increases that visitors will find something interesting about your page.

What creative photographs could you post to represent your business?   What other value do you see in making your business “come to life” through posting photos?   Contact AIMS today to discuss your social media posts and brainstorm with us on how to put your brand-image in focus!

Hello Ello! Goodbye Facebook?

Hello Ello! Goodbye Facebook?

At 35,000 new users PER HOUR, could the new social network Ello give Facebook a run for its money?


A new network hit the social Web this summer and even though it’s still just in private beta, it could very well appeal to social media-lites who are over the Facebook ways. With more user-privacy and ad-free interface, Ello seems to be on the right track to do just that. To shorten up the learning curve, AIMS compiled a summary of Ello features so you can determine if it might be your cup of tea:

  1. Ello is still in beta, meaning it is still being developed.   So be prepared for a buggy user experience. Of course these bugs will be worked out over time, but it will require some patience for now.
  1. Ello doesn’t “like” posts, it “LOVES” posts. Though it’s supposed to be oh-so-different than Facebook, it does have its version of liking posts by hitting the heart (love) icon under a user’s post. A difference being however, that by loving a post it will bookmark it for later reference.
  1. Ello uses a black bar at the top of your stream called the, Omnibar. This important feature is where the action happens allowing you to post content, @mention people, private message people using @@username, and eventually add audio and video files.
  1. Ello is putting privacy as a top priority, unlike the other social sites we’ve grown to love and/or resent. It’s actually pretty crazy the amount of information Facebook gathers and keeps on us users.
  1. Ello has new users agree to its anti-tracking and anti-advertising manifesto, and you can opt out of their Google Analytics tracking to keep even more privacy… of course all of this is for the time being.
  1. Ello “Friends” are more like Follows on Twitter with no friend requests necessary. You can follow someone without them knowing it by categorizing them as “Noise” versus “Friend”. But if you do categorize them as a Friend, they will be notified.
  1. Ello allows your content to show up in someone else’s feed if they have categorized you as a Friend, and your activity if you’re labeled as Noise.
  1. Ellow gives you the option to filter your Friend and Noise feed separately, so you can choose your viewing experience more specifically.


We at AIMS strive to stay on top of what’s new and happening in the digital world so we can better serve you. Contact us any time to review your current social and digital media efforts and how we can help you!

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?


If you haven’t noticed already, Social Media is here to stay for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and for as long as we both shall live. In fact, a report released by Forrester’s Research indicates 73% are consuming some form of social content on a regular basis. Now more than ever it is critical to know the ins and outs of social media etiquette especially if you’re using social media to build your business.

We at AIMS offer solutions for you to maximize your social media, but we want to share a few basic principles that are good for all to know.

Truly build your profile – No one likes to check out a page only to find out there isn’t even a photo uploaded to the account. This is a half-hearted approach and readers will take notice. Invest the time to fill out the “about you” information and build a robust profile worthy of checking out.

Give credit where credit is due – you know that content creation takes hard work, research, and, most importantly, time. For that reason, you should treat others’ content like you would want your own to be treated. Sharing is always fine but be sure on your business pages and profiles you’re giving the original source credit and not claiming as your own.

Be human – If someone interacts with your page, interact back just as you would in real life. One of the top complaints people have about business pages is when they try to engage they get no response. This can alienate your customer in a flash. Especially true when dealing with customer challenges; never hide from an issue or delete comments, rather quickly respond best you can (without being defensive).

No begging allowed – It’s a bit invasive to ask for retweets, or page “likes”. People want to choose what is interesting to them and not feel obligated. Being creative with ways to grab their attention and gain engagement is a more effective way to gain the audience you want.

Tag responsibly – Tagging people on your business page photo is a great way to expose your business to other friend networks, however check with the person before tagging. This can avoid invading what feels like personal space. Same goes for posting your event, article, or blog on someone else’s page.

Avoid self-serving content – Make sure you’re sharing things that your audience truly cares about. One way to aide you in this is always ask yourself “does anyone care about this except me?” Similarly avoid constantly pushing the sale with your content – this is neither engaging nor fun for your readers. Tips, tricks, pictures and valuable content is key!

To help guide you through this ever changing, fast paced, critical world of social media, contact AIMS today and we’ve got your back!

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

Abstract logo about social media, concept vector illustration

Are you tired of handling your business’s social media accounts? Are all of the Facebook and Twitter updates too much for you to handle? Maybe you’re just too busy. Instead of handing it off to another employee, we here at AIMS recommend that you consider hiring an outside social media manager.

Hire? Outside? For something you can do in house? Yes, and here’s why: Unless you plan on hiring someone solely for the purpose of managing your social media accounts, it is just an added burden on your employees who already have enough on their plates. Here at AIMS however, this is what we do, and we do it well.

Do you need someone to engineer engaging and entertaining Facebook and/or Twitter posts? How about someone to manage your LinkedIn or Google+ profiles? Is your business listed on Yelp or Foursquare, and is that information up to date? A social media manager will do all that for you and more!

But you can’t trust just anyone, and even the big guys make mistakes (see: 10 Worst Social Media Meltdowns of 2013). That is why it is important that the person you hire to manage your accounts is experienced, tactful and stays on task.

Here at AIMS, we understand that social media presence is important, and as a business, you need to put your best foot forward, so why not do so with someone who has the experience to help keep your company relevant? A good social media manager won’t just post to your page once a day, they will actively engage with your clients to ensure that your business is being well represented.

Want to know more about the social media services offered here at AIMS? Contact us for more information. We will be more than happy to put together a social media plan for your business!



Photo – © madpixblue – Fotolia.com

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Web code sample

Did you hear that? It was a collective groan from the Twitter community.

Twitter recently announced that as early as 2015 we could be seeing a new algorithm derived newsfeed. What does that mean? It means that the tweets in your newsfeed will no longer appear in reverse chronological order. Instead of seeing the newest tweets first, your newsfeed will instead feature what an algorithm deems to be the most relevant tweets according to your interests.

Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York on September 3rd, Twitter CEO Anthony Noto said that the change in philosophy is because arranging tweets according to time “isn’t the most relevant experience for the user.” His solution? Develop an algorithm to better relay interesting content to users.

This isn’t a new concept. In fact, Facebook introduced a similar system a few years ago. If you’ll remember, the Facebook timeline was once very similar to Twitter. You were treated to updates as soon as they happened. To some people, the new Facebook timeline is great; to others, not so much.

Good or bad, the changes to Twitter are coming, and you are going to need to adjust your branding strategy. All that info we’ve released over the years concerning the best times and days to post or schedule tweets? Toss it out, because what matters now is sharing content that is most relevant to your target audience.

This is going to be tricky. Over the years, Twitter has been outstanding for breaking news and getting info out fast. So what do you do when there isn’t a guarantee your followers are going to see your post when you want them to? Our recommendation is to zero in on content marketing.

There are still a lot of people out there guilty of flooding your timeline with empty offers and regurgitated articles. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to share news and events that interest you, it only means that you need to work on targeting. Who do you want to see this? Is it important and/or relevant to your business? Is it a quality piece?

Who knows, maybe the new Twitter algorithm changes are going to be great, maybe it will spur a rise in new and improved digital content. Stick with us as we all work to navigate the upcoming Twitter changes!


Photo – © adrian_ilie825 – Fotolia.com

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

facebook gate

Facebook fan gates are overrated. There. We said it. And we don’t mind that they’ve been banned.


In some circles, such a statement is blasphemous, especially since they help so many company get likes. But let’s be honest here, what good is a like if you didn’t come by it organically? What incentive is there for someone to share your page, or your content, if it is something they never had any true interest in in the first place.


But let’s back it up here for a moment. Some of you are probably scratching your heads right now. What is a like gate (or fan gate, to some of you)? A like gate is, in essence, a tab that business owners can add to their Facebook page and run a contest or offer coupons and discount codes from. The catch? In order to enter the contest or gain access to the coupons and discount codes, participants have to like the page first.


If you didn’t already know what like gating is, then you probably aren’t too concerned that it is banned from Facebook starting November 5th.


Why would Facebook ban such a successful program. It’s pretty simple really, and this statement from Facebook explains it best:


To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.


Got that? What Facebook is saying, and we here at AIMS agree with, is that companies should be connecting with those who like their pages because of the products and services they offer; because the liker believes in it, not because you have a super rad deal that everyone wants, but will then either disregard or hide you once your purpose has been served.


Our advice? Don’t sweat the like gate ban. Instead, get creative and start connecting with your customers again.


Photo – © trialhuni – Fotolia.com



Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think

Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think


If you’ve logged onto your Facebook account recently, then you’ve probably noticed all of the hullabaloo about the new Facebook Messenger App. Facebook is now forcing all of its mobile users (i.e. nearly everybody) to download a separate standalone app to send and receive messages.


For some of you, this isn’t a big deal. A little inconvenient yes, but resisting really isn’t worth the time or effort. But for other out there, the whole thing is making you a little uneasy. After all, you’ve heard things. Like how the new Messenger App can send direct SMS message from your phone to contacts in your phonebook. Or that Facebook Messenger’s App can use the microphone on your phone to record private conversations.


But none of those is true, not entirely at least.


For starters, you can still circumvent downloading the app by using the Facebook.com messaging service on your phone and not the mobile Facebook app. It is kind of a pain to connect to the sit directly and not just click on an icon, but it does help prevent you from having to switch over to Messenger.


To address another issue, yes, one of the permissions that is required when downloading the app is to allow it to access your contacts so that Facebook can send, receive, edit and read SMS or text messages. That doesn’t mean Facebook is going to start spamming your friends. The purpose is actually to send you a confirmation code via text anytime you add a phone number to your Messenger account.


Finally, just because you allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone (permissions, again) does not mean that it is going to record your private conversations. The only reason FB wants access to your microphone is for voice calling, a feature that is not included the usual mobile app. The same goes for the video camera. If you want to send a video, Facebook needs permission to access your store videos.


Need help setting up Facebook for your business account? Contact AIMS today!


Photo – © Tsiumpa – Fotolia.com


#Hashtag your next Event

#Hashtag your next Event


Back in July we talked to you about How to Step Up your Hashtag Game and this week we wanted to take it one step further to teach you how to hashtag your next event.

As we’ve talked about before, hashtags are great for branding. But do you know what they are even better for? Organizing an event. Not only will it help get the word out, but it will also help you get a handle on just how much buzz has been generated. You can now track hashtags across the most significant platforms in social media. That includes: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

It’s simple. All you have to do is come up with a #hashtag to brand your event. We recommend keeping it short and simple, something that will stick with the event’s participants and attendees.

As an example, let’s say we here at AIMS decided to throw a conference for insurance marketers. We know that we need a hashtag that isn’t already in the rotation, so we’ll go with #AIMSConference. It is specific to the event and easy to remember.

In order to get the word out to those attending our event, we start the branding process early. That means #AIMSConference is featured prominently on the event website, invitation and confirmation emails. It is also a good idea to start using it as you plan the event. That way, you can share your progress with your followers and keep the hashtag fresh in everyone’s minds.

At the conference (or whatever your event may be), there should be a reminder for everyone to hashtag their photos, tweets and videos with #AIMSConference.

When it’s all said and done, you can sit back and review your event through the eyes of the hashtag. People tend to be far more vocal on social media than they are in real life. This then, will be a great way to evaluate your event: Did people have a good time? What are the positive reviews? What are the negative reviews? What can you do next time to make the event better?

You might not always like the answers you get, but at least you’ve developed a baseline and can better develop your event in the future. Or, the outcome will be positive and you can bask in a job well done! Odds are the truth will lie somewhere in between.


Photo – © zakokor – Fotolia.com

5 Ways to Step Up your #Hashtag Game

5 Ways to Step Up your #Hashtag Game

3D Hashtag


Hashtags are a big deal these days, you see them everywhere – Twitter, Instagram, football fields and heck, people are even naming their babies Hashtag! Who knew the ‘#’ sign would blow up the way it has?

While it might seem sometimes that hashtags have jumped the shark, they still serve a vital purpose in social media. Did you know that once you hashtag one of your tweets, Google + or Facebook posts, it is available for absolutely anyone to see? We’re not just talking your followers, we’re talking everyone! The moral here? Think before you hashtag.

So without further ado, check out our list of 5 ways to step up your hashtag game!

#Hashtag Tips

  1. Use only 1-3 hashtags per tweet, each of which has a maximum length of 1-2 words.
  2. Only use relevant hashtags. One trick we see people using is to hashtag their tweets with whatever the latest trend is, only for that hashtag to have no relevance to the topic at hand. Really, it is the equivalent of spam. Don’t be a spammer.
  3. Don’t limit your hashtag use to just Twitter! Using hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ will help you reach a wider audience.
  4. Do use hashtags to strengthen your brand. At AIMS, we like to hashtag our tweets with #implementnow. It is quick, it is simple and it is easy. Have a question for us – or a comment? Hashtag it #implementnow and we are sure to see it. Something as simple as that is great for branding, as it becomes associated with your business.
  5. Don’t hashtag every word. It really won’t help you establish a brand, and to be honest, it is really quite annoying. Your goal should be to engage your followers, not turn them away.





Photo – © kuklos – Fotolia.com


Thumbs-Down to Too Many Thumbs-Up Stock Photos

Thumbs-Down to too many Thumbs-Up Stock Photos

We all know that a thumbs-up is the international symbol of approval (hello, Facebook!), and it is showing up in more and more stock photos. It doesn’t seem to matter what we search for, we ALWAYS find at least one. Really, any topic, any time.

The problem with these photos is that they don’t always inspire confidence. And to be honest, they can be pretty cheesy. So we thought this week it would be fun to share with you some of the thumbs-up photos we come across each week. Check them out below, as well as our first thoughts when we saw them!

Searched for: Health Insurance

Portrait female doctor giving thumbs up, hospital background
© pathdoc – Fotolia.com

Our thoughts: Nothing says, “I got this” quite like a doctor giving you the double thumbs up.

Searched for: RV Insurance

© Lisa F. Young - Fotolia.com
© Lisa F. Young – Fotolia.com

At first glance: Oh look, thumbs up in front of an RV! Of course I can trust them! Their RV must be the best!

Searched for: Motorcycle Insurance

© Monika Wisniewska - Fotolia.com
© Monika Wisniewska – Fotolia.com

At first glance: Oh man, this is just not good. First of all, I searched for “motorcycle insurance” and she’s not even wearing a helmet? Sorry girl, we just can’t return the thumbs-up to you.

Searched for: Life Insurance

© bsilvia - Fotolia.com
© bsilvia – Fotolia.com

At first glance: So, thumbs-up for an empty life insurance folder, huh? Even she doesn’t look too sure about this.

Searched for: Teen Driver Safety

© Kurhan - Fotolia.com
© Kurhan – Fotolia.com


At first glance: Sorry sir, you are most certainly not a teen driver, and not even a thumbs-up can assure that you are. Actually, I may trust your safe driving skills less because of this. Nice try though.

So there you have it. A small sampling of the thumbs-up we deal with every day.