Instagram is a tool that is becoming increasingly popular in this generation. If you’re not familiar with Instagram, it is a picture sharing app with filter presets that can turn any ordinary photographer into a professional! Well, not exactly, but if you use your imagination then anything is possible.

Anyway, Instagram is not only an artsy photo sharing application, but it is also a great tool for brands to build and grow their social media presence. On Instagram, you have the ability to run paid ad campaigns to target specific audiences, but there are organic steps to take before reaching that point.

Start by Customizing Your Account

Unique Handle

Instagram is populated by hundreds of millions of users. As studies showed in 2017, there were 700 million active users on this platform.  Your brand is going to have competition, so creating a unique handle (@yourname) will help you stand out.

Informative Bio

Filling out your Instagram profile bio is all about finding a balance. Too much information will cause clutter and users will become disinterested. Too little information may not convey the message firmly enough. You could try using Emoji icons to highlight key points and keep a branded URL link in the website field at all times. Get creative and have fun!

Take Your Image Seriously

High Quality Photography

On Instagram, an app driven by visual content, the best accounts are loaded with high quality photography. It gives your brand the image that users are interested in seeing. All of your social media profiles act somewhat as your digital storefront. You wouldn’t want your store looking dirty, unkempt and chaotic. You should treat your Instagram with the same care.

Location Tags

Using location tags can be a huge benefit for small business. In a tight-knit community, your prospective consumers are right around the corner (literally). Tagging your photos with locations in your local area will show that you are dedicated to the community and accessible to your audience.

Encourage a Dialogue

Engaging Captions and Interactions

You must always treat social media like a 2-way communication portal. Instagram is no different in that aspect. You want feedback from your audience, and you want to engage back with them so that they know you are committed to their satisfaction. This is a great way to gauge how your target audience feels and how you could improve your brand.

Follow @PromotionLA on Instagram!

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Before social media gained buzz, a hashtag was merely the # symbol on your telephone. Now it’s served as the primary tool to draw attention to your profile and to bring millions of users together on social media. What began on Twitter, spread rapidly over to Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Even though, many social media users employ hashtags to boost and market their content, business brands and digital marketers can reap in the benefits of successful hashtags as well. Hashtags are making it much easier for users to search and discover businesses that are relevant to their interests. As we are a digital marketing agency that is aware of the impact of hashtags and utilize them to help our clients reach a vast amount of potential customers, we want to take the time to explore with you the relevance of successful hashtags in order to understand the landscape of social media marketing and what it can do for a young, growing small business.


At First Glance


Since its creation in 2007, hashtags have proved to be an effective tool in a finding a greater audience and content discovery, connecting many unlinked individuals and brands to view genuine moments, experiences and content from your business. Chris Messina is a former Google designer who is also the inventor of the hashtag; his #1 goal was to establish a method for people to converse about various topics through Twitter with minimal effort. At first, the idea was divided among people because at the time, some people could not understand this concept. Today, it’s one of the most important tools in the marketing world.


Right and Wrong Ways to Use Them


In the beginning, hashtags were only used for personal posting. Now, a lot of businesses build their entire marketing campaign around them. Including hashtags into every social media post, particularly on Instagram and Twitter, can boost traffic for your website.


Instagram: According to research, using 11+ hashtags on posts will bring the highest number of interactions. However, we want to caution that it doesn’t mean you should tag every post with 30 hashtags (the maximum amount of hashtags allowed). Overloading your post with random popular hashtags may help you gain more followers, but the majority of them could be spammers or #followme users. You want to attract potential real customers, not fake ones. Overuse of hashtags could also come across as desperate and take away from the actual content. Additionally, adding hashtags in a separate comment or under a few dots and spaces after the caption will hide your hashtags, so it won’t distract the users from the content you created.


Twitter: Tweets with relevant hashtags will get 2x more retweets and more engagements than tweets without. Research study also shows that you should use one or two hashtags for your business tweets. One or two hashtags show a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more. Tweets with a couple hashtags also have a 55% likelihood of a retweet.


Facebook: Hashtags have a different effect for this social platform. Facebook posts without a hashtag actually gain better engagement than those without. Hashtags do not have a great effect on posts. However, it doesn’t mean a business should cease using hashtags completely. It can be useful in specific cases such as a promotion or an event post. Also, like in Twitter, we recommend not to overuse hashtags. A few (1-3) would be fine, but remember, you must choose keywords that are relevant to your business brand and the interests of your target audience.


Get Specific


Very specific hashtags will fare much better than generic ones. It depends on the field your business is in. If your business is a restaurant, then some trending hashtags would be #goodeats, #localfood, #healthyfood, #eaterLA would connect to real, potential customers more than #foodie, #food, #pizza, #hungry, #yummy. There’s a few effective ways for you to find the right hashtags to use. It’s not wrong for a business to look at what their competitors are using, so you can learn new hashtags or hashtags that you don’t want to duplicate. Furthermore, one can use the Instagram search bar to discover which keywords are generating the most engagement. The most popular hashtags may be tagged by a large number of people, but it also means that your content could very well be buried in the oasis of those hashtag usages. Remember to always use hashtags relevant to your brand, industry, and audience.


Brand Hashtags


For a business, a brand hashtag would be an excellent benefit to your marketing campaign. It could be named after your company name, tagline, an instagram contest, or a product of yours. A brand hashtag that encourage customers to share photos featuring your products would influence participation and a high volume of engagement. If your branded hashtag catches on, it can draw a lot of attention to your brand and your identity.


Kick It In High Gear


Now that we laid out the importance of successful hashtags and how to use them effectively, put it to work and see how it does. If you begin to feel overwhelmed in producing potent social media posts, employ the services of a digital marketing agency that has the expertise and the knowledge to develop strong marketing strategies and help your business attract increased engagement and traffic.


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Mistakes Ruin Businesses

Running a company is a hard road to take, there is no denying that. Whether you recently started your business or if you’re seeking to grow your business into something bigger, you want to make sure there are no business mistakes being made. Handling your online presence is crucial to success of the company, especially in today’s age of digital and the web. Misrepresenting the company or ineffective marketing strategies can, unquestionably, put you back. Some business owners are also unaware of the opportunities they can tackle when it presents itself then they end up missing out on what could have been. Here is a focused list on the business mistakes that every local and small company must avoid in order to turn their future into a success!

When Customers Can’t Find Your Business on Google

Millions and millions of people use the Google search engine as a tool to find places related to the location and the category of business that they searched for. When your business is listed in Google and your company’s details are adequately filled and if the SEO (search engine optimization) is strong, you will have a better presence in Google, thus new customers will be more aware of you. If your business is listed on Google, but contains no link to a website and no helpful information, then it will look bad for the company. Make sure that you take the time to properly list your business on Google and that all your information is filled out.

Bad Website Content

Another thing that can throw shade to a company is how unprofessional the content is. Whether the content is full of spelling or grammatical errors, it will show the audience that A. the company is lazy at correcting their work and B. if they can’t get their content to look professional, how can I trust their service to be? From the homepage, the About Us, the services page, blogs, and even social media; content is one of the first impressions a company has to hook a new customer in. Good content shows your company’s personality. It will be a mistake to not attempt to engage with your audience.

Bypassing Relationships

You can’t have a successful business without people. People will spread the word about your business and keep returning based on their experience, service, and product. If you’re a business, don’t see your clients and customers as strangers. Build relationships and in return your business will bloom. Even when trying to promote your business through bloggers and a third party, building a strong relationship will definitely be a better benefit than blindly begging them with a request to write something about them.

Not Taking Chances

The marketing field is always innovating. The industry is always on the cutting edge, so you will have to constantly do your research to keep up with it. To market your company, you must always be ready to try something new. Make sure to know what your competitors are doing successfully and what new marketing campaigns that they just conducted. The idea is to remain fresh and new to your audience.

Pulling the Plug on Campaigns

One thing to always remember: marketing takes time and probably money. You must be ready to invest the time, money, and energy required to gain more business for your company. Invest the time to perfect and build your social media platforms, research your customer market. Invest your money on a professionally made website and quality marketing. Also if you are trying out a new campaign, try not to pull the plug so early if you don’t see any instant results at the start. Services like SEO also takes some time to gain traction.

Build Audience Awareness

Local businesses can get their name on the radar of their target audience through the services of good marketing and an effective website. Promotion LA is a web development and digital marketing agency in Los Angeles that advocates in growing small, local businesses around the community. For the online services that your company needs, contact Promotion LA for strong SEO, social media, and web development services. Avoid these common business mistakes and choose the right team for the task.

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Effective Customer Communication by Businesses

A successful business, especially a small one, can soar if they can establish several things: a quality idea and product, an organized plan, a clear and understanding vision, and effective customer communication. We’ll be focusing on the latter for the remainder of this article since it’s a significant and vital aspect for a business to be a triumphant. What is effective customer communication? Why is it important and what can we do to flourish at it? We’re going to tackle these questions, provide the essential material concerning quality communication with your customers, and suggest what to avoid doing by stating four main points; listening, follow through, positivity, and understanding.

1. Listening to Your Customers

Listening and responding to your customers via Yelp, Google, social media, in person, email, etc. is a key element to effective communication. Being a good listener is an important trait for a business. Focusing on what the customer is saying rather than compiling a generic response should be at your forefront. Let your customers know that they’re being heard. If you’re physically interacting with your customers, react and get involved with the conversion and if you’re responding to a review on Yelp, respond to any issues addressed or praise any positives stated. You will, no doubt, strengthen your relationship with your customers and create a good impression of your business.

2. Follow Through With Your Customers

Many B2C businesses make promises and deals; some of them may not deliver on those promises. If you’re a firm or sales company, a relationship with your client is what drives the business. Making claims and not following through will put you in a deep abyss of mistrust with clients.

3. Use Positive Statements

If you were a customer, wouldn’t you want to hear what a business can do to help, instead of what it can’t do? The way you phrase a statement can change the whole perception of things for your customers. Using positive statements rather than negative can substantially reduce future obstacles. It’s all part of great customer service. Take the word “can’t” from your vocabulary completely!

4. Make Sure Your Customer Can Understand You

We live in a kaleidoscope society, where we can interact with people from countless different backgrounds. There might be language or culture barriers that prevent certain customers from understanding what you’re trying to say when it comes to addressing problems relating to your business. Using industry terms or jargon to a client or customer is just as effective as speaking gibberish. Some people will also have less knowledge about a certain field or area than you, so be mindful when you explain things to them. Don’t assume that people know what you’re saying and use easy-to-understand words. Furthermore, be mindful on how you speak to your customers; making sure you don’t talk down to them or talk over their head. Be patient and make sure that your customers are following you as you’re discussing business with them.

Improve Customer Relationship

These four points should help improve and polish your customer communication to build a better reputation and increase longevity among your customers and clients. Promotion LA is a digital marketing agency that is devoted to helping local and small businesses around the Los Angeles community. We try to build long-lasting, quality relationships with multiple businesses by establishing great customer communication. Call 310-405-7598 if you’re looking for a web development and marketing agency that you can trust and rely on.

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Reach Out to Potential Customers with Blogs

If you’re a small business seeking to break into the radar of your local consumers and customers, you should remember that business blogging provides a relevant impact in your online marketing strategy. The word “blog” began as a slang term for “web log”, it is often used by many people to share their current passion to the public in an online format. A blog is also a place to instill your advice, expertise, and experiences that relate to your interests or to your business. From a business marketing standpoint, there are several benefits of business blogging that can help your business grow more and more with each one. Blogs can help and we want to make sure that you know what it can do and what you should avoid in ensuring you establish a high quality blog on your website.

The Why’s and How’s

Here are three main reasons as to why a blog will be beneficial for your business and how it can generate more clicks for your website.
1. Blogs will drive traffic to your website:
Blogging is related to both social media and search engines. In a website where pages may not be updated very often, a blog adds another indexed page on the website, which leads to an opportunity to show up in search engines and organically drive traffic to your website. Whether you’re posting about a new promotion, a new products, or your expert advice on a related topic; blogs will help gain your audience’s attention.
Sharing your blog on social media (Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter) can also help to get your business to be discovered by a new audience. Furthermore, a blog post can help enhance your social media presence. When a blog is about to be released, you can center your content trying to build up momentum before and after the blog is released.
Finally, inserting back-links (a hyperlink from one web page to another) in the content of your blog can lead readers to further material on your website.
2. SEO:
Quality blogs will increase your business on SEO. New, fresh content remains vital in beating your competitors in search engines. Organic keywords must be utilized through every blog post. That means keywords that do not include the name of your business in them. They will lead more traffic to your site via search engines. Pick out a keyword that best fits your business and that is more specific. Searchers will have a hard time finding your business on search engines if a popular or common word is used. Keywords and topics on your website is an important way in which Google and other search engines can locate your business for these searched words.
3. Establishing Authority:
The best blogs for businesses answer the common questions that their potential leads and customers may have. Informative, well-written blog posts pit you as a business that knows their own products and field. Consistently creating helpful content for your customers will establish you as an authority. A well-written blog can help establish a relationship with a customer who will keep coming back to view more content and maybe spread the word. Establishing authority and trust is key to keeping consumers around. Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate if you are the one teaching them.

Mistakes to Avoid

1. Posting Uninformative Content
Poor content quality would be the downfall of a blog attempting to reach their target audience. Blog posts need to be informative or engaging, otherwise you will lose readers. Valuable information relevant to your audience’s interests should be a priority when you are selecting your topic.
2. Publishing Content Inconsistently
Another key to successful traction with your blogs is to post them frequently. Create a regular posting schedule for them each month. Do not simply write one and then post it at your convenience. This way, readers can anticipate new content and check in regularly.
3. Not Optimized for Search Engines
As we talked about this earlier, organic traffic is important for your blog’s success. If you do not apply SEO techniques such as keywords or do not conduct any research, you’ll lose out on gaining the attention of new readers.

Service Provided With Us

Remember, you are representing your business with these blogs so it is important to make sure that they are informative, creative, free of grammatical errors, and it relates to the interests of your target readers and your business. As a digital marketing firm, Promotion LA makes it a high priority to include business blogging and posting in our services for our clients. We take every measure to ensure that our clients’ online presence grows more each day. To discuss business blogging further or our other marketing, or website services, visit our site or call us at 310-405-7598 to arrange a free consultation for your up and coming business.

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How often do you see someone post information promoting their product or themselves closing with #shamelessplug? I’m sure we have seen it plenty of times by now. Type “#shamelessplug” in your search engine on Instagram, and 28,216 posts come up using that hashtag. Here is one from today that we found with a user’s business card: “Boom #official. Go ahead and hit me up for all your printer/printing needs. #shamelessplug.” A shameless plug is a term popularly known on the Internet for when someone includes extra information that is off-topic to advance their own selfish interests. The icing on the cake is that this person willingly admits that their act was selfish, and that they have no shame. So, calling something a “shameless plug” practically allows you to spam anyone that you want without any guilt whatsoever. Has this only been a recent trend? We don’t think so.

Trending since 1925

The shameless plug has been trending ever since TV shows and films started using product placements in their storylines. Billions of dollars have been invested into this “shameless plug” marketing strategy. The first product placement in cinema can be awarded to the film “The Lost World” in 1925. The Corona Typewriter appeared in the film per the agreement between the company and First National Pictures, a movie studio. Product placements can be found prior to filmmaking, but their overwhelming presence didn’t become apparent until then. gives their top 10 shameless plugs for product placements here.

Celebrity endorsement

With the growth of social media, companies have begun using celebrities as their platform for marketing. says that “this new type of celebrity endorsement–and its lack of clarity–is drawing the attention of federal officials, who have been trying to regulate product placement in TV shows, movies, and in other media for decades.” The issue now is public trust. Are celebrities giving their opinions or is this paid advertising? Do these celebrities actually use these products, or are they just saying that they do? Justin Bieber tweeted that he was buying flowers for his mom on Mother’s Day from a specific flower company. Did he actually buy flowers? Was it because he wanted to? Or was he paid for it? Read more up on this topic here.

How far is too far with the shameless plug?

What is considered appropriate advertising? How can we adjust accordingly and do what’s best for the interests of companies and customers? This is definitely an issue that should be discussed. At what point do our opinions and suggestions become void and invalid? If there is an overload of shameless plugs, people disengage and stop listening. If people feel like you are spamming them, they will no longer trust your opinion. This could lead to everyone shouting what they think is best and to people never getting what they really need. Does this sound familiar to you? Are we already heading in that direction? Can we turn back? Should we? Or is it too late?

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Privacy and social media somehow always end up in the same conversation these days. From professional athletes foolishly tweeting offensive remarks to corporate brands saving face after a social media fumble, social content is generally met with varying opinions on open-source platforms like Twitter. In the world of Facebook, the social user’s engagement experience is limited to his or her network of friends (unless hash-tags are used).

But a burgeoning issue for Facebook privacy involves advertisers and the information that we share with them. Unfortunately, the new Facebook privacy guidelines neglect to address a popular concern for granting advertisers unfettered access to millions of Facebook user profiles. And instead, the ever-popular social media platform remains a portal to a dystopian, Orwellian world dominated by big brother. It won’t be long before Facebook users are literally swimming in targeted ads.

Facebook privacy guidelines have hardly changed. It’s the presentation that is different. We should all take note of that.

The reality is that no matter how many times Facebook privacy rules change, Facebook will take the strategic angle of downplaying surveillance advertising in favor of making sure you are safe within your own network of friends. Any Facebook privacy “changes” are only illusory – a fact that is supported by Facebook’s ironic copy campaign which declares “You’re in Charge.” The red herring of it all is that Facebook wants you to care about which of your friends can see what posts you make because this lets users feel like as if they’re in control. Yet, Facebook doesn’t answer to your Facebook friends! They prefer to mingle with advertisers who have deep pockets. And thus, you do not (and will not) have the right to prevent advertisers from accessing your personal information. Creepy, invasive native ads will only continue to get creepier.

For advertisers, Facebook is a playground. Generating leads and geo-targeting customers is a piece of cake – and even our agency takes advantage of this sometimes. The issue, however, is not advertising itself. Instead, the larger issue is that advertisers know us better than our own Facebook friends. They latch on to our social personas and follow us around the interwebs, monitoring our habits for commerce and leaning over our shoulder when we read about the local weather. Advertisers are simply becoming too powerful and too intelligent. But it’s not just a Facebook problem. It’s a social media problem. It’s institutional. And every PPC platform on the internet is in on it.

An overhaul of the system might be in order before Facebook Privacy becomes a big problem.

If Mark Zuckerberg wants to be a leader in meaningful social media privacy protection, he should confront Facebook privacy guidelines head-on by offering users a “Do Not Track” feature, similar to what Mozilla Firefox has adopted. It’s the right thing to do. This probably all sounds psychotic and paranoid. But then again, we’re an ad agency. A protected consumer is in the best interest in the long run for our clients and our industry. Up until now, the only true protection against advertisers users have is to opt out of advertising from specific brands by selecting “Hide all ads from x brand” or “I don’t want to see this.”

Other than that, instead of the annual Facebook privacy update from corporate, a more useful disclaimer should liken to the labels we see on cigarette boxes and read something like: “Warning: The social network you are about to join will invade your privacy by funneling thousands of advertisers with more information about yourself than most of your friends would know. They’ll have more dirt on you than the NSA. Good luck.”

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