Why You Should Follow Instagram Hashtags

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Instagram’s newest feature allows you to follow whichever hashtags you choose, placing them directly into your feed. Not only is this a great tool for staying connected, but this allows your brand to reach another level of engagement. Here’s why we think you should be using this newest feature:

1. Follow Trends
    Start by following hashtags specific to your city, audience, and product. For example - we follow hashtags such as #AtlantaLife, #SocialMedia, and #AtlEats because those reflect our interests, as well as the interests of our clientele. Follow a few, and unfollow as your see fit. These are ever-changing, so the algorithm will constantly bring you fresh, new content.

2. Have your audience follow your brand’s unique hashtag
    If you haven’t already, make a unique hashtag specific to your brand. Make it straight and to the point, or create multiple! For example - ours is simply #BOFCreative, however a clothing company may use #___OnMe or #___Styled. Get creative, and make sure you tell you audience they can follow along (and how) via Instagram Stories!

3. Stay Inspired
    By constantly seeing brand-new content revolving around the foundation of your brand, you are streamlining your progress and staying ahead of the curve. Look to these updates for inspiration. How do you want to be seen when new profiles follow along? Which hashtags do you or do you not want to be a part of? There’s no wrong answer, so don’t be afraid to try new things or refresh the hashtags featured on your posts every couple weeks.

How to Take Amazing Product Shots on a Budget

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1. Utilize your smart phone!
It’s 2018, and most everyone has a high-quality camera in their pocket at all times. What a time to be alive! Don’t be afraid to reach for your iPhone or Android for some killer Instagram content. You can also purchase other camera apps to give you even more control - a favorite of ours is ProCamera & VSCO!

2. Head to the Dollar Store
Don’t have a light bounce or a plain background? White poster-board = $1. Need to add some life to your still-shot? Fake flowers = $1. Having a hard time holding your pieces in place? Clips & tape = $1. Don’t underestimate your local dollar store, y’all.

3. Go to a window/outside
Photography 101: Natural light is KEY. Gather your products and set up a faux “studio” space next to an open door or on the floor near a window! Be careful not to get harsh-shadows in your shot. You can avoid this by shooting early morning or by using a sheer sheet over the window for evenly distributed light.

4. Commit to the 45/90 degree angle trick
Try to shoot “flat-lay” style or at a 45 degree angle to ensure your products are being showcased well. These are also full-proof ways to entice your audience’s eye in an artistic way!

5. The simpler, the better.
Rule of thumb: Start with three items in your shot, and add from there. Start small, and build a story around the key products that are necessary in your photograph. It’s easy for a photo to look overcrowded with extra items that really don’t make sense for the item you’re showcasing.

 

Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Social Media Engagement

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1. Instagram Stories & Instagram Highlights
Stand out with interactive or moving Instagram Stories! One of our favorite apps to use is Hype Type, where you can easily put fun text over any photo in a creative way. Make sure to add these stories to your new Instagram Highlights if necessary! Start off with easy categories that make sense to your brand. Think: “Would I click this on someone else’s page?”

2. Use Carousel Posts Creatively
Carousel Posts are an easy and effective way to tell a story about your team or a product your showcasing. For example: If you sell tee-shirts, have the initial photo be a fun photo of someone wearing your tee, then have your audience swipe to look at all the available colors and styles it comes in!

3. Start a Contest
This is a full-proof way to have your followers engage on your profile while also bringing in new traffic! Think of a product that is exciting and fun, but cost-effective for your brand (you don’t want to use all your marketing dollars for a single contest)! Establish a set of rules, create a timeline, and BOOM, you’ll have people interacting on your Instagram in no time!

4. Try Something New
Videos, Boomerangs, and other motion graphics may seem scary to start, but they are a fun way for your audience to see your products in action. Own a coffee shop? Create a time-lapse of one of your employees making latte art! Videos are also a great way to introduce yourself to your audience, creating an instant bond.

5. Featured Posts
Regramming your community is a free way to get content on your page, an amazing tool for showing authenticity towards your audience, and a way to branch out of photos you may be reusing or that aren’t eye-catching. By creating a hashtag or following a certain location you sell your products at - you ensure that people post about YOUR products. Tip: the more you regram, the more people want to post photos of your products because they want to be featured.

Social Media New Years Resolutions

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2018 is fast approaching, and we all have things we need to improve on. Ready to step-up your Social Media game? Here are some resolutions that we’re striving for this year:

1) Authenticity:

Consumers can spot impure values from a mile away. Make it a point to sit down with your team, circle-back to your core company standards, and begin the year fresh and renewed. This isn’t only for businesses. Take a look at your personal Instagram. Are you being genuine? Are your captions thought provoking? Are you copying an influencer you admire a little too much? 

2) Consistency:

Studies have shown that the frequency with which you post, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. directly influences your growth and engagement. If your community sees your content daily and feels like they are tied into your life and/or brand, you will create a tighter community.

3) Creativity:

Step outside of your comfort zone. You’ve never done a Facebook Live? Do it! Only use photos of your products? Try a video! Still shooting strictly on your iPhone? Branch out and use a DSLR camera for crisp, quality content. Being vulnerable is scary, but ultimately leads to progress. 

4) Connect: 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you admire someone’s content, community, or even just their authentic self, reach out and ask for advice! Businesses - make 2018 a year of working with Social Media Influencers to push your brand to the next level. And most importantly, connect with your audience. Engage, address feedback, give shout-outs, and repost! 

Gift Guide for the Social Media Lover

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Girlfriend can’t seem to put down her phone? Mom a sharing all your embarrassing pictures from high school on Facebook? Brother a little TOO into his Instagram Stories? 

Here’s our ultimate Gadget Gift Guide for the Social Media lover in your family (& everything is under $25)!

PopSockets

Functional AND personal! With about every design you can think of, as well as personalized options, this a great stocking stuffer for any friend. They range from $10-15, so they won’t break the bank either!

Clip-On Ring Light

Get your friend’s selfie game to the next level! These portable lights are amazing to clip onto your phone in dim-light situations for the perfect selfie-shot. Pro-tip: Every foodie we know uses them to take photographs of their meals indoors! 

Phone Lenses

Aspiring photographer in the family? This is the perfect starter kit for phone photography. Clip-on lenses are easy to slip into your pocket or purse, then take incredible snapshot that look like they came from a DSLR camera. Plus: this set comes with an attachable LED light! 

Selfie-Stick

Cheesy, yes. Useful, YES. As a group that loves to travel, selfie-sticks are great for getting the perfect group shot while in a scenic area. We found this one with built-in bluetooth control! Put down that pride, and take some wicked photos. 

We Have Big News to Share

After months of planning, we’re thrilled to share some exciting news with you!

For over 6 years we have been proud to help restaurants, events, non-profits, retail stores, real estate developments and more develop PR and digital strategy that authentically speak to their goals. BOFCreative remains devoted to creating an exciting customer experience and we are looking forward to continuing the work of our agency for many years to come. Now it’s time to add a new focus to the BOFCreative family. 

We’re so excited to announce Be Consulting, our newest branch of BOFCreative. Be Consulting is focused on building digital marketing campaigns that inspire social good while helping organizations with incredible missions lift their voice above the digital noise. Be Consulting will build and develop a digital marketing roadmap for organizations to implement while BOFCreative will continue to create and manage social media content.

We’re passionate about organizations with big hearts and ambitious missions. It isn’t always easy to make a positive impact, especially when you may not know where to start with crafting or delivering your message. We want to change that. Through brand development, social media strategy, and staff training, we’re helping the companies that do good so the world can do better.

BOFCreative will continue to produce exceptional social media content and digital PR services for busy entrepreneurs looking to strengthen their online presence. Through Be Consulting, we’re looking forward to helping organizations all over the world find their unique community through effective digital marketing and storytelling that sparks social change. At the core, we believe your digital marketing strategy should authentically reflect the vision and heart of each company. We can’t wait to help tell the stories of organizations we admire most. 

Don’t miss a thing. Read our blog at beconsulting.co, like us on Facebook and check-in on LinkedIn.  

Love,

Christina + Jessi

Make Monday the Best Day of the Week

 Art by  R.Land  at Folk Art

Art by R.Land at Folk Art

New week, fresh start. We're those strange people who love Mondays and get excited about a full to-do list. Here are some ways we take a Manic Monday and turn it into the most productive day of the week:

1) Tunes.

The right playlist can completely turn your mood around. Play something new and exciting, or throw it back to some 80’s pop. Our favorite tip: Head to a friends profile and pick one of their playlists to brighten your day. 

2) Try something new.

Treat yourself to that crazy new Starbucks beverage or the new lunch spot across the street. Straying away from your “norm” is the best way to get out of your mundane Monday life. It can be as simple as sitting in a new spot at the office or checking out all of the memes you missed over the weekend before diving into your emails.  

3) Take a break.

Believe it or not, breaks are the key to having a productive work day. Break out of your busy brain every now and then by taking a quick walk around the block, catching up with a buddy, or simply finding time to eat without any technology around you.

4) Get creative.

We all love our routines. Mix it up a little. Get the project you’ve been putting off done first thing. Find a different way of accomplishing your daily goals. If you can’t think of anything, the easiest thing to do is ask a friend what they’re routine is and swap! It gets your creative juices flowing and your brain will be functioning better than ever.

Social Media Halloween Costumes

Need a few last minute Halloween costume ideas? Take a pop culture cue from social media and let the compliments roll in at the parties this weekend.

Someone in your apartment taking up all the Wifi and you get stuck with a half-loaded image? Go as this first-world-problem. It’s an easy one as long as you have some paint (and don’t itch your face)!

A PERFECT group costume. All you need are some plain colored tees, some tulle, and cardboard paper! Go the extra mile by adding your own tag or profile name, or throw it WAY back to Myspace and Xanga!

Go as “Hashtag Blessed”, “Hashtag Foodie”, “Hashtag Selfie” or anything in between. This is another great one to do as a group!

 

Take the dog-filter costume a step up by making an iPhone with the Snapchat app opened! Find a cardboard box, invite a couple friends, and it’s as easy as that.