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Ramp up your Facebook Ad knowledge and see results today

So you want to use Facebook to give your business a boost? You’re not alone!

According to Sprout Social, there are currently over 60 million businesses on Facebook. Those 60 million businesses are all competing for the attention of 2 billion monthly active users, over a billion of whom are active daily. Are you feeling like the odds are stacked against you? Don’t. With the right Facebook Ad knowledge, you too can enjoy a share of those billions of users!

Make your Facebook Ads Profitable Every Time
We know, churning out profitable ads time and time again seems far-fetched, but if you ask Nicholas Kusmich, who sees some of the highest ROI on ads in the industry, it’s 100% possible.

Kusmich draws attention to the shift marketing has made. Gone are the days of mass marketing being king – it’s all about micro-marketing now and through Facebook, you’re able to pinpoint and target only those who need to be seeing your message.

Kusmich has come up with a predictable profit process, which begins with the ad, then the lead magnet, the thank you offer and retargeting. He also encourages keeping these three principles in mind

1. Content – how does your message stand out from the competition?
2. Distribution – what good is having a great message if no one or the wrong people see and hear it?
3. Conversion – what good is great content and distribution if nobody turns into clients?

Per Kusmich, you can’t just jump into the marketplace and ask people to buy your product and expect them to do it. No, you must give before asking. You have to earn the right to ask anything of your fans by providing value to them first. 

Keep in mind, every step of your marketing process should be valuable in and of itself. The name of the game is value, and your content and ads must have it! Keep to SAGE (short, actionable, goal-oriented, easy) principles, and you’ll begin to see a return on those ads.

Small Business Tips
As Andrea Vahl, co-author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies” points out, organic reach may be decreasing, but users are increasing and Facebook is still the cheapest form of advertising out there. When done right, Facebook Ads will be quite a boon for your small business. Emphasis on the ‘done right’ part!

According to Vahl, you want to take the customer journey into consideration:

1. Use Facebook to build an audience
2. Target your ideal customer
3. Enhance the relationship with good content
4. Retarget to convert.

Ultimately, Vahl stresses that your goal is to move them off Facebook as soon as possible, whether that is on to an email list or your website. Since Facebook ad costs are rising, you have to get smarter and have a system in place for testing those ads.

Why Ads don’t work and how to fix them
Per Jon Loomer, an advanced Facebook marketing strategist, the ultimate reason why your Facebook ads are not working is because the wrong people are being targeted. So how do you fix this? It’s simple – adjust how you’re targeting the audience. 

Loomer suggests breaking your audience into different groups, those who engage with your content generally (aka not based off of specific posts, videos or events) and those who engage with specific content.

Making Facebook Ads Work For You
Azriel Ratz, CEO of Ratz Pack Media, shared some valuable knowledge on how to do just this at Social Media World 2018, and it involves four simple steps to optimize your Facebook Ads.

1. Set business goals
2. Find your best potential audience
3. Engage with the most effective ads
4. Optimize your ad performance

Are you only running 1 to 3 ads in every ad set? That is probably not your best-laid plan. As Ratz pointed out, the chances of making anything really good when only doing 1 to 3 is very rare. You should be mixing things up, testing copy, testing images, testing everything possible with the ads. He also points out that to optimize your ads you need to be monitoring cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), time on site and the conversion rate. Our digital experts at MILO are skilled at all things testing, in fact, they live for it! If you’re unsure of how to correctly test the effectiveness of those ads, we’re here to help!

If all ad sets have high CPM, you’re targeting the right audience, but with the wrong messaging. On the flip side, some high CPM and some low CPM may mean you have the right messaging, but wrong audience. Do you see high CPC? Try switching out the copy for more compelling language. The time on site numbers can be impacted by low-quality placements, a disconnect between your ads and the landing page, or a landing page optimization issue. Finally, if you’re conversion rate is low consider this: They just might not be interested in the offer or your form needs fixing.

You don’t have to dive into the world of Facebook Ad Manager alone, MILO’s team of digital experts are here to come up with a strategy that is just right for your business. Contact us today!

MILO and me – A year in review

Hey friends!

It’s my MILO-versary! I have been working at this company for a year now and today I’d like to take a look back at how far I’ve come since my first day here.

A lot has changed in my life, but MILO has always been a constant that I can rely on.
When I started at MILO, we were a group of seven working on the first floor of Junction440. Today we are a team of 11 in our own (super cool) office on the third floor of TechTown. Not only have I grown this past year, but MILO has grown as well. We all are learning by trial and error. The mistakes have made us stronger and we came out better people through some pretty tough situations. Along the way, we lost friends and coworkers, dealt with crises, and became more productive than ever. 

MILO was my big shot to prove I could start my career in the digital marketing world. I found my calling and the amazing people at MILO were there to guide me along the way. This industry is so exciting to me because it’s always changing.

There’s an opportunity to be continuously learning.
Over the past year, I’ve gained many new skills such as working on day-to-day tasks, to interacting with the client, to engaging with our audiences. I learned how to be a successful Social Media Manager. From knowing basically nothing about professional social media management, I now understand the time and dedication it takes to build a brand online. So when I tell people I manage social media all day, they assume they could just as easily do my job. However, I learned from the best. You have to understand the client’s needs while also showing the consumer we are there to support them. 

Now if you know me, you know I love to brag about MILO because we do so many cool and exciting things, it’s hard not to! These bragging rights include the TEDxDetroit event I attended as part of the official social media coverage for the evening. After this night, I knew MILO was going to open doors for me.


I felt as though everything was falling into place.
I also like to brag about the people at MILO. They are incredible. This group welcomed me with open arms, and as soon as they asked what Hogwarts house I was in, I knew I was home.

I’ve made many mistakes and fallen down many times, but these people helped me right back up.
MILO CEO, Billy Strawter Jr. is the best boss I’ve ever had. He has always been so understanding yet also knows when to push me to think outside the box. He understands his people and relates to them, while also leading them toward success. Billy puts us first, his company second, and himself third. I have learned many life lessons from him on how to be strong while also staying dedicated to what you love. Thank you for your continuous support through my journey here. Although, I wouldn’t be the worker I am today without the constant guidance from Head Digital Strategist, Dmitri. He has also pushed me to be creative and has helped me focus on my strengths.

He saw a potential in me and I cannot thank him enough for that.

He has taught me that failing is a part of learning. I have so much respect for him and the work he does. 

I’d also like to give a shoutout to:

Alexus – My seat buddy, I’m so glad you’re here and that we can enjoy each other’s introvert company together. I know we’re kindred spirits. P.S. thanks for plugging in my computer every day.

Cassie – You are incredible, funny, and so talented. I’m honored to be able to work with you and take in all your witty remarks. Don’t ever be afraid to let your personality shine, because it’s dazzling.

Sara – Thank you for always being there to geek out about Harry Potter with me. Also, you’re an amazing designer and I can’t wait to see what you create next. You’re going to do big things.

Saralyn – I applaud you for being the only non-introvert at MILO, that must be rough but you bring out the best in us quiet people.

Jessie – You always take on so much but you handle it all so well. You make your job look easy, which I know it isn’t. Keep on killing the game.

Felicia – What would we do without you? I don’t know how you do it but you have helped MILO run so smoothly I can’t imagine us without you. You are so sweet and down to earth, I’m glad you’re here with us. You always have your positive pants on.

Colleen – I know you’ve only been here for a little while, but I can tell you have got the MILO mood that we’re looking for. I look forward to getting to know you better!

Finally, I just want to say that I am so thankful for MILO. I love it here. The people, the city, the opportunities…it’s more than I could have ever asked for.

I feel like the luckiest person alive because I have a group of people that not only support me but also give me the ability to perfect my skills.
I still have a lot to learn, but MILO will be there to encourage me. Thank you for following me on my journey. Much love from MILO and me.

-Ashley

MILO and me ft. Dmitri

Hi friends!

Today I want to tell you about Dmitri, a.k.a the (almost) black belt digital ninja. Dmitri has been a Digital Strategist for about eight years now. However, his journey to MILO was far from simple.

Digital Ninja Dmitri

The first time that I met Dmitri I knew he was dedicated, a natural born leader and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I haven’t known him for very long, but I do know Dmitri is someone you can count on.

Today I want to give you another glance behind the MILO Digital scenes and show you the people making MILO the strong, team-oriented environment that it is. Here is what I learned about Dmitri.  


Q: Can you describe your job and what you do here at MILO?

A: My official title is Digital Strategist. I take a look at the client and I come up with the best possible strategy to achieve their marketing goals on the Internet. Whether it’s sales, improving their social media, generating leads, or raising awareness, I put together strategies on how to make it happen using the latest digital tools. 

I also put out fires on a daily basis.

Firefighter Dmitri 

Q: How did you get into the Digital Marketing world?

A: I wanted to be a psychologist/philosopher in college and then the economy crashed, so I switched to marketing. After graduating I did some copywriting and got into social media community management. My first account was PHI (PHI Air Medical) right when I got out of college and it’s still with me today. At my busiest, I managed up to 10-12 clients a day. Then I got into social media ads and Google AdWords, which helped me understand how everything in the digital world worked together and contributes to the bottom line.

Q: What is your favorite part about working for MILO?

A: My favorite part is coming up with the solutions for the clients. Each client is a different puzzle and each solution is custom fit for that puzzle. Sometimes you don’t really know what the solution is right away and you have to go and research.

Bringing the insights back to the client and seeing their eyes light up when you get it just right…that’s my favorite part.

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned in your career?

A:

A trait that I learned over the years is just embracing uncertainty and change.

It used to really bother me because I would want to plan everything out and execute on how I planned it out, but life does not work that way. Working at MILO has made me comfortable with being uncomfortable; no matter what changes, I always feel prepared to do my best and welcome the challenge.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to those just starting in this industry?

A: If you’re starting out in social [media management] I would say that you have to look to the leaders in social media like Gary V or whoever the top dog is in your particular field. The first step is always imitation, learning the rules. Once you internalize the rules and have the guidelines for social media then you can start innovating and going outside of those rules.

The second piece of advice is to just start, just go.

A lot of people read hundreds of blogs about social and always put off actually doing. I say just do it, you’ll learn way more than just reading about it. 

Q: Did you have any major setbacks in your career?

A: At my first big job I actually got let go two weeks before Christmas. I only managed three accounts there. Then I went from managing three accounts up to 12 and learning how to run digital ads, write strategy, communicate with clients and show reporting that matters. I was the guy that standardized reporting in our organization and got us the Google Adwords certification.

It really gave me a lot of confidence, and that setback didn’t really matter that much anymore.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I’m a big fan of Jocko Willink, he’s a navy seal and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt turned author, turned podcaster/motivational speaker. He preaches something called extreme ownership where you own everything in your world. For example, if somebody on your team is underperforming, it’s your job to go and figure out why they’re underperforming, or spend time with them and get them up to speed.

Ultimately everything is in your court.

Q: Considering you had a long journey to get here, can you describe it?

A: I’m originally from Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. I was born around the time when the Soviet Union broke up and we got separated from Communism. It racked our economy to a point where it’s only now recovering. It was pretty rough. Then my dad won a green card in a lottery drawing to come to the United States. He came to the US and my mom and I followed after a year. We came here with no English and $100 in our (collective) pockets.

Throughout all of this, my family has been extremely supportive over the years and I owe them everything.

My mom for showing me the value of grit and resilience. My dad for always pushing me to do my best and not letting me settle. And my grandparents, Natasha and Nikolai, who showed me the value of hard work and planning ahead.

Q: What is it like being so close to your boss?

The Bromance

A: It’s a balance. There’s definitely a lot of trust involved. You have to balance being bros and doing the right things because sometimes what your “bro boss” wants to do is not what your “boss” needs to do.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is when to push back and when to drive home things that are important.

Ultimately, during work hours work must come first. After all is said and done, we can get a drink.

Q: Could you explain the company culture at MILO?

A:

MILO is very creative and innovative, and it reflects in our culture.

It’s very fun and friendly, always trying to make each other laugh. When it’s time to bunker down, the tone changes and we sit down and crank out what needs to be done. There’s a collective understanding of what we’re trying to build and the quality of work we strive for.

Q: What are the benefits of working at a small business as opposed to a bigger corporation?

Garlin Gilchrist After Party

A: You can make a lot of change very quickly. Whatever idea you have, if you get enough people behind you, you can execute it. Working in MILO, we’re very nimble. If there’s something that we want to do, we can turn it around pretty quick. In a big organization, you have to deal with bureaucracy, going through all the layers of managers and their managers. In contrast, at MILO, idea becomes reality very quickly.

Q: What is it like working in Detroit?

A: It’s very cool especially because I draw a parallel of the rebirth of Detroit with the rebirth of my professional career. As Detroit got bigger, and as people started to rebuild and the small businesses started to grow, so did MILO throughout the years.

Having worked very closely with Detroit-based businesses, I feel like I’m growing with them.

I’m learning and getting all the benefits that Detroit is getting. I feel very close to Detroit because of that.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

A: The people. Just being able to be creative and see the impact of your decisions. 


Dmitri has taught me a lot since my start at MILO Digital. From day one, he has been there to push me out of my comfort zone, which I’m terrified to do. In my first month at MILO, Dmitri told me that, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” I have never been in such a safe learning environment as I have at MILO, and it’s all thanks to the people.

Without Dmitri, there is no MILO. Like he said, the people are the best part of working here. We all make up the heart and soul of MILO and we each play a key role in making sure this company thrives. I am so thankful for Dmitri’s constant leadership and dedication to making sure MILO is producing the best possible outcomes.

P.S. His favorite color is blue!

Reach & Impressions: What does it all mean?

If you’re a social media manager, you understand how important it is for your content to be seen and engaged with.

One of your main goals for social media management is to increase the account’s audience and  brand awareness. With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between reach and impressions. Both terms have similar meanings, but provide different results on social media.


Reach vs. Impressions
Reach is the total number of people who can see your content and Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was engaged with or not. For example, if a post was shown to the same person three different times, it would be 1 reach and 3 impressions.  

Clients wish that all of their followers would see and interact with every piece of content posted but it doesn’t happen. For instance, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has 7,200 followers, but the organic content doesn’t result in 7,200 likes, comments, and shares. Without a post being promoted (like the post below), the organic content only receives a small percentage of interactions.   


Why Reach & Impressions Matters (+ which is more important)
Both reach and impressions are important because they help increase brand awareness and grow the audience.  

Depending on an account’s goal, you might want to focus on just one or the other. If the main goal is to get content out to a specific number or people, then focus on reach. Shift the focus to impressions if your main goal is to increase brand awareness and you want your content shown a specific number of times.

However, Sprout Social reports reach may be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. But knowing who your target audience is and what kind of content they like to see can help to increase both.

Something more important than reach and impressions is engagement. Engagement is the number of interactions people have with your content, whether it’s likes, comments, shares or retweets. According to AdWeek, it’s considered to be the most important metric for social media campaigns. If people are liking and interacting with your content, they may be likely to share it with their friends. If you’re receiving high-quality engagement on your content, reach and impressions will continue to grow.

If you think about it, engagement is the final step in this three-part process. Reach and impressions work together to drive engagement to your content. It all starts with content and what the audience likes to see.

Still don’t understand the difference between reach, impressions and how beneficial it all is? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.

Surviving Facebook’s algorithm change

The Facebook algorithm: It happened to me and yes, it happened to you too!

The conversation surrounding Facebook in 2018 has been centered on the new algorithm changes. Designed to encourage more meaningful interactions between people, you’ve likely noticed how these changes apply to your newsfeed.

Gone are the days of engagement baiting, as brands now have to modify their methods to embrace Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of Facebook. Brands will need to listen to the druthers of their audience to curate content that resonates with the audience and garners their engagement. Social Media has created a paradigm shift where brands are encouraged to be more participatory with their clientele, and these algorithm changes further exacerbate the need to LISTEN.

Recent User Engagement Trends

The algorithm change was not totally unexpected, as recent user engagement trends demonstrate. TheStreet reports that the percentage of U.S. adults using Facebook remained flat relative to an April 2016 report showing 68% participation. The percentage of users who stated that they visited Facebook “several times a day” fell from 55% to 51%. Based on the dip in usage, and waning sentiments towards Facebook advertising, the new algorithm was developed.

These changes don’t spell out doom and gloom for brands. With a bit of creative thinking and adaptability, you can ride this latest wave without wiping out!

Ideas For Business Page Content 

Here are some areas to focus on when publishing content to Facebook:

  • Inspire fans with meaningful content. You’d be hard-pressed to find meaningful interactions on Facebook without meaningful content. Discover ways to convey your brand’s message in unexpected ways to avoid falling into the clickbait trap, as Facebook will be demoting those posts to the bottom of the newsfeed. Your focus now, more than ever, is to inspire, educate and inform those followers. Look back to older posts that earned high engagement, find the pattern and implement a strategy around it moving forward.
  • Jump on the video bandwagon. If you weren’t already utilizing videos and Facebook Live, there’s no time like NOW to begin doing so! The stats all confirm that video content drives higher engagement, why wouldn’t you be cashing in it? Plan out your video content, make it something that resonates with your followers and gets the conversation started.
  • Paid ads are still effective. Ads are Facebook’s primary source of revenue, so trust they aren’t going away anytime soon. By utilizing ads, you can customize your reach to areas such as location, interest and demographics. Do this right and you’ll be able to hone in on those Facebook users who are more likely to consider your brand and interact with it.

There’s nothing to be scared of regarding Facebook’s new algorithm – It’s not the first time they’ve switched things up, and most certainly won’t be the last. If you are still struggling to make your way through the Facebook algorithm changes or aren’t sure where to get started on the whole idea of meaningful content, MILO’s team of digital experts are here to help. Let’s talk!

MILO and me – A space where I found myself

Hi friend, I hope you’re having a great day!

So, lately, I’ve been thinking about the amazing opportunities I’ve had because of MILO Digital. Over the past few months, I have been able to attend the Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center, visit the Google Ann Arbor office, work on the live social media coverage for TEDxDetroit, and do what I love – write for all of you. I would have never been able to have these experiences if it wasn’t for MILO.

Attending the 2017 Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center in September was very thought-provoking. Digital Summit says that it “is not only a place for keeping up with the trends, but also for being an active player in their creation.” Over the course of two days, I heard from many interesting people such as Jonah Peretti, the CEO/Co-Founder of Buzzfeed, and Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker and producer of “Super Size Me”. I learned a lot but also realized how much I had already learned at MILO, as I was already familiar with the ideas and topics presented by many of the speakers. I had come a long way in four short months. 

Digital Summit 2017

Another amazing experience I had through my internship at MILO was touring the Google office in Ann Arbor. However, on the day of the tour, Billy [MILO Digital CEO] and Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] had to stay back at the office and “put out fires”, so they were unable to join us. Although I was disappointed that I could not share this experience with my entire team, I learned a lot about leadership that day. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the things you want, step up, and take on the challenges facing you – even if that means missing out on opportunities like a private tour of Google. I really enjoyed the tour of the Google office and I hope you enjoy this selfie we took with our tour guide Aashka. 

Google Tour

 

Then later in October, MILO Digital ran the live social media coverage of the TEDxDetroit conference at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This coverage included Facebook posts, live Tweets, Instagram pictures and creating a Snapchat story, along with engagement across all these channels. I love TED Talks, so being able to attend the event alone would have been incredible, but I also got to help tell TEDxDetroit’s story for the evening. I was in charge of Snapchat and for those of you who know me know, I am a die-hard Snapchat fanatic. The whole evening was so inspiring, listening to local Detroiters speak about their biggest accomplishments, while at that very moment, I was living out my own. 

TEDxDetroit

 

That night TEDxDetroit presenter Alana M. Glass, a sports entrepreneur, said, “sometimes you find your purpose when you’re not even looking,” and I think this encompasses my whole experience with MILO! 

Before I started working here, I hit a very low point in my life. I had just been let go from my previous job, where I was told I wasn’t “up to their standards”. In spite of this setback, that same day that I was let go, I went home in tears, composed an entirely revamped resume and applied to the internship I was introduced to through a guest speaker at school.

When Billy Strawter visited my Organizational Communications class a year ago, I had to write a response to his discussion with us about his company, MILO Digital. The only person that has read this essay was my professor, but I want to share an excerpt with you.

“Strawter’s description of the company he founded was very interesting to me because this is the industry I would like to go into someday. It was very exciting getting to listen to someone who started their own company and how it all works. Hearing the processes at MILO made me feel very hopeful for the future, pushing me toward my ultimate goal of working at a company such as this one.”

Now here I am, almost eleven months later, and I could not thank MILO enough for giving me a space to find myself. I have grown so much over these past few months and feel as though I found my purpose. Not many people can say this, but I love my job! I am truly lucky to be here, writing these words for you. I hope they were worth reading.

-Love, Ashley 

Yes, Millennials still use Facebook!

If you’re between the ages of 18-29, you’ve probably heard through the grapevine that millennials such as yourself are no longer using Facebook. Is this news to you? It sure should be, because according to Pew Research Center, 81% of millennials are still using Facebook!

With other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat capturing the attention of most millennials, Pew reports that Facebook is still utilized the most out of the four major social sites.  Wondering how millennials are using other social platforms? Pew reports that Snapchat falls second behind Facebook with 68% millennial usage, followed by Instagram 64% and only a surprising 40% of millennials use Twitter.

Why do Millennials still use Facebook?

According to the American Press Institute, many millennials turn to Facebook to see what their friends are up to, find entertaining and interesting articles, share content and find more information on what’s trending.

So how is Facebook managing to keep the attention of millennials in the ever-changing and growing world of social media? By constantly making updates and adding new features! Facebook is constantly upgrading and updating its platform, with advancements such as Facebook Live, Marketplace, Virtual Reality (VR) apps and Stories keeping it in the limelight.

Similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories allow users to share what they are currently doing via videos or photos. Along with filters and lenses, users can interact with their friends by sending short stories.

With social media platforms implementing video and live video streams on their platforms, millennials are now attracted to this new way of sharing their personal lives. Facebook Live allows viewers to interact with the live post through comments and Facebook Reactions.

At the end of the day, millennials are just looking for technology that is simple and easy to use. With Facebook, users have access to all of the different features found on other social media platforms within one site.  

Why should organizations/businesses use Facebook?

Social media allows businesses to target a specific audience, target those based on their interaction with your website or target those similar to your existing customer base. Utilizing social media allows organizations to continue reaching their current customers along with interacting with a new audience.

Facebook is one social media platform that provides organizations the opportunity to build a community for viewers to voice their opinions, share their thoughts and provide valuable feedback. It opens up a dialogue where a business and its customers can talk in a more casual setting and in a timely manner. The more an organization interacts with its customers, the more those customers will be interested and want to stay connected.

Millennials have been using social media for quite some time to share their personal lives but as of now, they mostly use social to share their experiences with brands.  With this generation being open and honest about things, their comments can be the key to your brand’s growth and social presence.

Need more guidance on using Facebook to your organization’s advantage? MILO’s team of experts are here to help! Contact us.

Instagram video length: How to find your brand’s sweet spot

Instagram isn’t just a haven for foodies and fitspo models to post their latest culinary creations or motivational workouts, it’s a social media site that provides brands with unique opportunities to tap into their customer’s world.

With over 800 million active users, Instagram continues to be a social platform that brands are utilizing to increase awareness, support brand messaging, and boost engagement. According to Sprout Social, an estimated 71% of U.S. businesses use Instagram and 80% of users are following a business on Instagram. To better showcase the marketing power of Instagram, Sprout has also found that at least 30% of users have purchased a product they first discovered on Instagram.

While photos continue to be Instagram’s bread and butter, it’s also a social media channel that, when done right, allows videos to thrive! This applies to the ad world as well, with 25% of Instagram ads spawning from single videos. 

When it comes to doing videos right on the ’Gram, there are many things to factor in, but one of the most important is the length. A few years ago, Microsoft Corp. found that people lose concentration after eight seconds, which is actually one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. It’s important to remember that many consider the average human attention span to be meaningless and something that depends more on interest and the tasks at hand. With that being said, how long should your Instagram videos be to reach their maximum potential?

Instagram allows you to post 60-second videos, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should take advantage of that full length of time.The key here is to convey your message effectively in an amount of time that will fit your audience. According to Hubspot, the sweet spot for Instagram videos is 30 seconds, as those receiving the most comments averaged 26 seconds in length.

Image from HubSpot

One other thing to take into consideration is the content overload that can occur on Instagram. Be sure to change things up and use Instagram Stories or Live videos to continue sharing your brand’s message!

Would you like more guidance regarding video usage and the correct length for Instagram and other social platforms? MILO Digital’s team of experts are here to help! Let’s talk!

MILO and me ft. Billy

Hey friends!

Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try… 

Watches on watches

I’ve never had a boss like Billy. He’s not just a boss, but a leader. He cares about seeing his employees grow and learn new skills within his company. Even though I am not around as often as my other coworkers, being that I’m also a full-time student, I still feel like an important part of the team. Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said that you should, “work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” I can truly say that Billy has invested in me and my future in the Digital Marketing world at a time when I felt like no one else would. 

To give you a glimpse into the man behind the MILO Digital scenes and how he came to run his own business, I sat down with him and asked the “real” questions. 

 


Q: What made you want to be an entrepreneur? How long did you know you wanted to be one?

A: I think the first story that I remember about me being an entrepreneur was we were at a place called Ponderosa … I remember sitting there as a kid, and I said to my parents, “I wanna eat steak every day when I grow up.” They said, “You know if you want to have steak every day you need to be a lawyer or a doctor or own your own business.”

It was really all about the idea that I asked a lot of questions and I was told frequently that it wasn’t my job. I wanted to figure out how to make it my job. I spent my life trying to find the right business to be in.

Being an entrepreneur comes with failure and trying lots of different things, but I feel like with MILO and advertising, I found my home.

 

Q: What have been some major struggles in creating MILO?

A: I guess the answer is I never wanted to own an agency. I just wanted to do cool stuff. MILO was born out of Social COOP – I wouldn’t have been able to do MILO without what I’ve learned with Social COOP. The hardest part was I went to school for marketing, but I never worked in an agency. What I loved was figuring out how to take traditional things and translate them into digital. Then the people – saying goodbye to people, managing people, and all the different personalities. And sometimes being misunderstood, I think that’s the hardest part.

 

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: I try to give people freedom; to make decisions, to fail, but allow them to have a safe place to fail.

The only thing that I ask is that they learn from it and that they own it. That’s so important – not making excuses for why you failed, but finding what that reason is and trying to avoid it the next time around.

 

Q: Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?

A: My dad. In the face of adversity, he decided to start something, to build something. He stuck with it and is still doing it. He’s been firm with me but he’s also been very fair, very loving. My leadership style is servant leadership, and that’s me emulating my dad.

That’s the thing I took away from my dad, it needs to be bigger than me and that we lead by serving.

 

Q: Who or what do you look to for support? 

A: Obviously there’s my family, and then there’s my Leadership Detroit crew. They’ve been really helpful for bouncing ideas. It’s just been an incredible experience working with them. And of course, Jen’s [Billy’s wife] probably heard me complain about more things than anyone. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now had she not gone back to work when I decided to start doing advertising. 

There’s that sacrifice, living with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. 

 I couldn’t even have done it without Savannah [Billy’s daughter]. She’s made a sacrifice of not having her dad around as much as someone that works a 9-5 would be. 

Birthday Buddies

And then Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] is my right hand. 

 

Q: Okay. You have your idea, now what? Is there a specific starting point, or is it different for every business?

A: Just do it. There are all sorts of reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business, but it would be a shame to silence whatever little voice that told you “you should” and “you could,” because clearly there’s a reason that you’re considering starting something.

 

Q: What is something that many entrepreneurs may not be prepared for?

A: For me, I had to be prepared to lose everything.

You can certainly plan to mitigate some of the risks, but you also have to be prepared for that – It’s a real possibility.

 

Q: If you don’t have a lot of personal funding to start, what do you recommend?

A: Get creative. You may have to work lots of hours, you may have to wear lots of hats. I learned how to do what I could do, and anything I couldn’t do, I’d find someone in my similar position that could assist.

 

Q: Have you ever had a rough patch or feeling of doubt? If so, what did you do to keep going and be successful?

A: I just have to quote Yoda, “There is no try, only do.” There’s no other option. When I wake up in the morning, there’s no one telling me I need to get up at 5:30 in the morning. There’s no one saying I need to be here until 8 or 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., it comes from inside. It’s just a drive that I’ve always had and wished that I could give that to people, but you have to find that drive internally.

 

Q: Where do you see yourself and MILO in 10 years?

A: Ideally I’d love to see MILO in the hands of the people who helped build it and doing big things. I see it being bigger than me and it no longer being about Billy, but being about MILO and the family that we’ve built, just on a bigger scale.

Boss Bill

 

Q: What’s the biggest reward from being an entrepreneur? 

A: Getting to do something that I believe in every day and watching people grow.

Seeing people start somewhere and taking them from being shy or not quite confident in what they do, to watching them blossom into their own person is really incredible. Watching them turn from someone that is maybe an intern, to a leader. And working with the clients because they’re just good people. 

 


I’ve only known Billy for a short while, but he has made a huge impact on my life. He’s taught me so much but one thing Billy has said that stuck with me the most is,

we never fail, we learn.

This is how he looks at life. It’s fearless.

Here is something we should all think about today: have you ever backed away from a challenge in fear of failure? Billy had a long winding journey on his road to success, but it never stopped him from waking up the next day and working harder than ever. He is an inspiration to all those who know him, yet the most humble man I’ve ever met.

-Ashley

5 Sprout Social tools to take advantage of in 2018


If you’re in the business of social media marketing, how do you manage social media marketing tasks?

At MILO, we use Facebook Business Manager and Sprout Social to help us manage our clients social media activity.

Next to Buffer & Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that can help streamline workflows and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time. We’ve identified five tools that can help you integrate with the platform to maximize its capabilities.  These tools enable users to find content efficiently, review social media analytics in real-time, and connect with the audience all within the same web environment.

Tool #1: Find Content/Content Suggestions

Looking for content quickly? Turn to the Find Content section under the Publishing tab.

Sprout Social recently announced Content Suggestions as a way to find current and engaging content. This tool aggregates shared content from various social channels to help the user find articles from trusted sources, posts from industry blogs and other brand-related media.

The content is aggregated from links shared on Twitter and based on an algorithm created by Sprout’s Data Science team, each article is matched to one of the featured content categories.

Tool #2: Reports

Getting ready to present social media updates to a client? Turn to Sprout Social for automated analytics!

Using the Group Report option, you’ll be able to see all of the analytics for the channels you have connected on the platform. The report gives you the opportunity to analyze your social strategy and compare data to understand what works well for the account. Included in the reports are: Impressions, Engagements, Audience Growth and Link Clicks.

Sprout Social also gives you the opportunity to review each profile in full depth. This is an opportunity to analyze data for individual profiles including audience growth, total engagements, top posts and impressions.

 

                                                 

 

Tool #3: Messages & Smart Inbox

Interact with your audience without leaving Sprout Social by using the Smart Inbox! Located in the Messages tab, Smart Inbox provides users the opportunity to monitor and engage with conversations across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It also allows users to customize their inbox feed, monitor keywords and hashtags, assign tasks to other team members and keep in touch with viewers.

Tool #4: Discovery

If you are interested in seeing what others are saying about a specific topic, use Sprout Social’s Discovery tool. This tool allows you to find conversations and people to engage with based on keywords relating to your business. You can even narrow the search by adding a location to find a highly geo-targeted audience.

Along with finding new conversations, you can increase your follower count by following accounts. Additionally, clean up your account based on Sprout’s suggestions. Using the Suggestions, you can see the account’s Twitter followers and who to follow back, accounts you’ve held a conversation with and those who have mentioned you at some point.

 

Tool #5: Hashtag Analysis

Studies show that tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without hashtags. Because hashtags can help generate engagement for an account, Sprout Social provides a hashtag analytics tool to help find popular topics and hashtags.

By utilizing the Trends Report, you can see the most commonly used hashtags and topics when the account is mentioned on Twitter. Apply the hashtags listed within the report to help increase your engagement.

Take advantage of the tools on Sprout Social to maximize your efficiency and improve your social outreach skills. Maximize your time and ROI on social media by implementing these time-saving programs.  

Looking for some more in-depth help? We’re happy to consult and/or bring you into the office for a one-on-one session with our in-house expert. Let’s talk!

 

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