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Next Monday, August 24, Join Us For a FREE Strategic Marketing Planning Workshop

Our mission, since the inception of our company, has always been to give back to entrepreneurs, and we accomplish this in a number of ways. One of which is to host educational events on a regular basis to support businesses with their sales and marketing objectives. This month, we are proud to partner with WE Labs for an evening of hands-on training for business owners and/or startups who are looking for support with creating a strategic marketing and communications plan, retooling their existing plan to address changing marketing needs, or ask questions about what they can do next to support their growing brand.
This event is FREE when you RSVP! You will walk away with invaluable insight and a plan of action to help you get to the next major milestone in your business. If you are available on Monday, August 24th from 7-9pm, please click the link to reserve your spot. Space is limited, so do not delay. We look forward to seeing you there!

Hootsuite Inducts Instagram to their Platform

Have you heard the news!?  Hootsuite has recently added Instagram to its platform!  Up until now, I could monitor all my brands via Hootsuite, but then had to constantly log in and out of Instagram to post to individual accounts: I also had to set alarms to remind me to post in synch with what I had scheduled on other networks.  Finally, now it is possible to integrate Instagram to my editorial calendar seamlessly (well, almost) along with all other accounts through a centralized hub.  Hootsuite published a few videos and sent out a quick start guide to give everyone a head start.  The process is relatively the same as other social media tools, with a few minor differences.  Check out the videos below and I’ll give you the takeaway points.

Posting in Instagram


Managing Your Accounts


When posting to Instagram there are a few nuances that are noticeable, some will get addressed as Hootsuite gets feedback on this feature.  The process is a bit lengthier and bothersome, but it’s better than nothing I must admit.  

Let’s go over the details:

  • Make sure to set up your Instagram account in Hootsuite, download the Hootsuite app on your phone or tablet as prompted (or update to the latest version) and enable ‘set up publishing now.’
  • Compose the post within Hootsuite online via computer – Write the content as usual, adding hashtags, and attach the image.
  • Click ‘send now’ or schedule the post for a later time/date.
  • You will receive a push notification on your phone at the time you planned to post, open it and inspect your post for quality/clarity.
  • If you manage multiple accounts, as I do, make sure you are logged in to the correct Instagram account before you proceed!
  • When you are satisfied, tap ‘open in Instagram’, the verbiage will be copied to your clipboard and the image will be opened in your Instagram app.
  • Filter the image (if necessary), then double tap in the content area and hit paste to insert your verbiage. NOTE: At this stage, you can still edit the content you wrote if needed.
  • Share!

My takeaways from this Hootsuite update:


  • Easy to plan ahead/schedule posts in synch with your other social platforms
  • The ability to set up search streams for hashtags/locations/etc to listen to activity in your community/from your audience.
  • Easily respond to comments and amplify content to other social streams from one place.
  • Easy break down all content you wish to monitor by adding as few/many streams as you wish.
  • Keep tabs on those you follow and who follows you.
  • Add third party apps to help monitor and garner content/followers.


  • Posting must be done through the Instagram app – Essentially this adds more steps to the process but spares you from creating your own solutions.
  • Logging in/out of different accounts – Although it seems minor, as you manage more clients it is a hassle to constantly log in to different profiles.  Not to mention the anxiety of posting content to the wrong Instagram!
  • Push notifications – I deny almost all push notifications that come to my phone, which is a personal choice as I can’t stand them.  However in this case they are helpful so you do not have to remember all your different posts and their coinciding post times.


Overall, Hootsuite’s addition of Instagram is a great asset to your social media arsenal, allowing you to organize, post and moderate from a centralized hub.  The cons are mostly unavoidable with or without the app and far outweighed by the benefits.  It is time efficient and, because of its adaptability to filter content, it is also more effective.  There are multiple platforms that serve the same purpose as Hootsuite, I simply advocate for them over the others because their organization process fits my needs.  Regardless of your choice I highly recommend you learn to use one, it will help take your social media to the next level while saving you from the migraine of managing multiple accounts individually and reactionary social content swarming through your brain.

How Do I Handle Online Reputation Management?

How to handle online reputation management is a question that plagues both businesses and individuals alike.  A negative sentiment can cause a business loss of both revenue and trust.  Whereas the wrong perception of a person can strip them of job security or even bring retaliation from others.  About 5 years ago, many Facebook users were changing their real names to nicknames in an effort to keep any “negative activities” from potential employers.  The case of Lindsay Stone is a severe one, in which a single picture ruined her life.  What started as an inside joke between friends became a public controversy with many sensitive layers, finally resulting in a lost job and hate mail from veterans and their supporters.  Similar things have happened to huge companies, where the opinion of an individual created a PR nightmare for the corporation (ie. Chick-Fil-A scandal).  In addition, websites like Yelp are thriving and a common point of reference for consumers, a negative review can destroy a hard earned reputation.  The major takeaway is that if you do not monitor and maintain your brand’s image then it is at the mercy of the masses.  Here are some tips to keep you and your company in a truthful, positive light.

1. CLAIM IT – Gather all urls similar or even close to your name.  This tactic will hinder imposters from acting on the behalf of your company in an effort to ride your coat tails or simply damage your image.  Value and urgency of this process increases as you gain notoriety, also be sure to remember social media platforms, review sites, YouTube and other video sharing sites.  These efforts will keep your brand, customer loyalty and satisfaction in high ranking.

2. MANAGE IT – Make sure you have consistency in your voice, verbiage is key, and also be clear on the use of each platform.  Twitter is primarily to field client questions or concerns, while Facebook is used for reminder advertising, client interaction and company updates.  Set up canned responses so if there is any negative interaction, it gets resolved appropriately.  Also, make sure everything posted is of high quality.  This sets the tone of professionalism, giving current and future clients insight on how you run your company.

3. WATCH IT – At this point you cannot only pay attention to what you are putting out, you must be cognisant of your five W’s: Who, What, Where, Why and When.  Have you ever googled your own company?  You should, it will allow you to keep tabs on anything brewing online that isn’t in line with your brand.  You may find people complaining about you or your product/service and you will be able to rectify the situation, creating a better experience for that client and other potential clients.  Companies can also find knockoffs of their product just by looking up the hashtags they have created, so it is great practice to monitor those as well.  All of this will enable you to be proactive vs reactive to potential threats, which is essential in global business today.

Some people are unsure on how to do online reputation management, or just don’t have the time for it.  Drop us a line and we can help you out!

Diversification & Growth in Business – Part II

Continuing with our thoughts on which way to grow your business, let’s take a look at horizontal growth and see if it is in the cards for your empire.  If you haven’t read it already, take a gander at our article on vertical integration.

Horizontal integration brings in other companies in the same industry and/or increases the products and services offered to current markets.  Creative entrepreneurs love this.  Why?  Play.  Creating new experiences, solving problems, developing products and seizing opportunities is exciting, and often necessary, for those with short attention spans.

A great example of this is the Virgin Group.  Officially incorporated in 1989, they now hold approximately 400 different subsidiaries and have started, sold or closed over 30 more subsidiaries.

There are 3 keys to succeeding well in this model:

  • Strong branding:  With branding, you have to be known for creating a positive experience for existing clientele to try a new venture.  If they feel you don’t have your patrons’ interest at heart (cough, cough McDonald’s), be prepared to see your market value take a dip.
  • Strong ideas: When it comes to new ideas companies need to be clear on their purpose, who they are serving, and have an executable plan to make the idea concrete and viable.
  • Strong staff: Your team needs to be able to rely on one other to provide cross support in any field, as well as buy into your vision for the long haul.  That way, no one is quick to abandon ship if you come across some rough waters.

Choosing which way to grow is important for both the short and long term image of a company, however, the people you must keep in mind are your clients.  The support you will get, or not get, is largely dependent on your company’s reputation and public image.  If you are not taking care of your clients, they will not take care of you.

Back 2 School is here! Learn how to create social media magic with amaraREPS!

Following up on the success of our Google Analytics for Beginners class, amaraREPS is pleased to present Social Media, Strategically!  This interactive class will cover points such as: how to set up an account, knowing when and what to post, and how to convert followers into dollars!  Specifically created for the independent entrepreneur, this class will help you lay the groundwork for your booming business!  Sign up by clicking here.  Keep in mind, $20 early bird tickets are only available until July 7th!

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Don't be shy. If you have questions, or need help, please drop us a line, we'd love to be of service!