Tips And Tricks For Instagram

Instagram is one of the newcomers in the social media world. But, it has been the most engaging social media among all others. Instagram is mostly visual and its attractive interface keeps users enjoying it. Either you are an individual or a brand, this social network is perfect for all. If you are a new Instagram user or someone who wants to grow his profile gradually, follow these tips and tricks to boom on the platform.

Stay active daily

The algorithm of social media platforms like Instagram is designed to prefer active users. Some people don’t actually care about the regular activity which is an incautious mistake. Since you have signed up on Instagram, you should spend at least a few while regularly. Note that it takes time and constant activities to grow an Instagram profile.

Have a schedule for posting

What is a noteworthy difference between you and an influencer? Perhaps, the content calendar. You might be still struggling for inspiration to post on Instagram where an influencer already has a massive content calendar. He knows what and when he is going to post. You can draft a content calendar on a weekly, monthly, even yearly basis. After filling up the calendar with posts, also be careful about the posting time. A posting schedule will make your followers accustomed to peeking on your profile at a certain time. 

Design content idea

Lack of a content idea is a common and distasteful experience for most Instagram users. Some users frequently upload images but don’t get sufficient engagement. It is because their followers find that content boring. Before you start your Instagram journey, you need to generate precise content ideas for subsequent posting. For instance, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you can ask a workout topical question, or post a tutorial video a few often. Again, you can post images on a trending topic for better engagement. 

Follow others to grow followers

The number of followers is usually considered the key to success on social media platforms. You can grow your followers in several ways. If you are in a hurry or need to grow a highly targeted audience, you can buy Instagram followers through a paid campaign. However, you can grow followers organically as well. You should start following targeted people on Instagram to get follow back from them. Though this is an ancient strategy, it seems to be working fine yet. 

Add blog or landing page URL in bio

Does Instagram have any downside? Yes, they have. You cannot add a website URL or link to each post like all other social platforms. Instagram users are allowed to add URLs in the bio section only. It may seem harsh to online marketers, but the Instagram authority did it to prevent excessive spamming on the platform. What to do then? Well, you have to follow a different strategy. You can add your desired URL in bio and mention it on your image caption to influence followers for clicking. 

Find the best hashtags in your niche

Without hashtags, Instagram posts are like ships without a captain. Hashtags help you to reach your targeted people as well as audiences to find the right post among millions of them. According to many influencers, discovering the right hashtags is the secret of their success. Fortunately, there are both paid and free tools to find out the best hashtags for your Instagram posts. You can use a tool, follow others and brainstorm to figure out the best hashtags for your niche. 

Use brand hashtag

If you have opened a business profile, the best way is to make a branded hashtag for followers to find you easily. For instance, brands like Google and Apple have their own branded hashtags like #Google and #Apple. This strategy is quite effective because their followers find their posts simply by typing these branded hashtags. 

Tag others

Tagging another profile handle on Instagram is a killer strategy for high engagement. People as well as businesses like to be tagged by others. Anyone likes it when someone mentions him or talks about him. When you are sharing others’ stories, don’t forget to tag them on your post. If you do it constantly, they will start noticing. Finally, chances are they will tag you too or follow you.

Use special fonts and emojis

Instagram is a highly active social platform. Users all over the world post more than 300 million images on this platform each day. So, anyone is hovering thousands of posts in a day. As a result, it is quite easy to lose attention from an essential post. This is too bad if they accidentally miss your post anyway. Well, there are a few strategies to grab followers’ attention among this massive number of posts. You can use fancy fonts and emojis to make your post more visible. Though they catch people’s eyes, overdoing them may spoil your attempts too. So, be careful while using them. 

Engage with followers

The main purpose of social networks is to create engagement among people. Unfortunately, some of us are too lazy to do it, others keep their egos high. Notice the successful profiles. They are constantly posting interesting images, replying to comments, liking others posts, and mentioning each other. If you want to grow your profile and become popular, you must engage with your followers. Highly engaging profiles are also prioritized by Instagram. Note that if you ignore people, they will do the same. 

Track your progress

Whatever you do, progress tracking is essential to know if you are going on the right path. Instagram has an excellent default analytical tool to monitor user’s engagement and activities. If you truly want to roar on Instagram, you have to understand what your audiences are fond of. Notice like an eagle what is going on and what is really working for your progress. If you can catch the point, repeat your trump card, again and again, to be successful on Instagram.

Finally, consistency is the key to success on any digital platform. Always care about your followers and post highly engaging content accordingly.

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Using Video at Every Stage of The Customer Journey

Using Video at Every Stage of The Customer Journey written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Ben Oliver

Headshot of Ben Oliver who is the guest on the Duct Tape Marketing podcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Ben Oliver. Ben is a co-founder and executive producer of Storyboard Media, a B2B marketing, and video production firm in North Carolina.

Questions I Ask Ben Oliver:

  • You believe video is more than just another form of content. Can you expand on what you mean by this?
  • Can you make a case for the fact that there are people who prefer to consume content differently (read, listen, watch)? And do we need to be catering to all three of those?
  • Why can’t you just turn on the camera and produce videos so that you can post them to all channels?
  • How do you marry video or types of video to the different stages of the customer journey?
  • Is there a formula to hook people at the beginning of the video in order to get them to consume the whole video?
  • What are some of the best pieces of advice for a new product or campaign that you’re trying to run, and how do you amplify those videos?
  • What are some of the really out-of-the-box ways that you see or places that you see people using video that most people just aren’t considering?

More About Ben Oliver:

  • You can learn more about Ben’s company: Storyboard Media
  • Claim your free one-hour video strategy session here


Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!

Layr is redefining the way businesses purchase and manage their commercial liability insurance by giving control of the process back to the business owner.

We are a modern tech-enabled insurance agency that has created an entirely new commercial insurance distribution model which allows businesses to quickly get the insurance they need, completely online, from trusted insurance carriers, all while paying for it monthly on a credit card. Learn more about Layr here.


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6 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Business Page in 2021

6 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Business Page in 2021 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

With over 2 billion users on Facebook (and still climbing), Facebook should continue to be part of your overall marketing strategy to engage with current customers and reach new audiences.

It seems as if there’s always some new feature on Facebook to conquer. So whether you have a well-established Page or you’re just starting, follow this list to optimize your profile to get the best results for your business in 2021.

1. Add a strong Call to Action button

A strong call-to-action button on your Facebook business Page is imperative. The bright blue button is the primary means of driving some sort of action on your Page. This can include sending traffic to your website, direct messages, signups, and more. This appears right below your cover photo. 

Facebook cover photo

You choose what action you’d like visitors to take based on what you think is best for your business. For example, if you’re a dentist’s office, your CTA might be to ‘Book Now’ or ‘Call Now’ to make an appointment versus a ‘Shop Now’ button. Today, there’s a long list of options to choose from – so if multiple CTAs apply to your business, you have the opportunity to experiment with the options available to see what works most effectively. 

Facebook Business Page CTAs

2. Fill out your Facebook Business Page profile in detail

This is a simple step. But it’s something businesses can neglect to take full advantage of. A completely filled-out profile sends the message to your audience that you’re engaged. There are a ton of sections where you can add more information about your business. Here are a few:

  • Description/About
  • Location
  • Contact details (include your phone number and email)
  • Website address
  • Other social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
  • Hours of operation

Social media is a place where people go to understand who you are as a business and gain trust. Consistency across all of your social media channels is crucial, along with keeping your information accurate and up to date.

3. Utilize Facebook Messenger

Giving your visitors and customers an easy way to communicate with you gives you a competitive advantage. Messenger is a great way to enhance the user experience on your Page and showcase how well your business provides quality service. Speed is imperative today – setting up automatic messages with Messenger can go a long way. A few options you can do are:

  • Set up a welcome greeting when someone begins a conversation with your Page
  • Create and save frequently used replies
  • Turn away messages during your out of office hours

Setting up Facebook Messenger for your business page

4. Encourage your customers to leave reviews

Social proof is so important. Think about it – how often do you buy from, let’s say, an Amazon seller with zero reviews? How often do you buy from anywhere that has no reviews? Likely less often. And even so, when you do buy from someone with few reviews or social proof, there’s a lot more hesitation and time needed for consideration.

Encouraging your existing customers to leave reviews on your Facebook Page gives you the opportunity to engage in conversation with existing customers and builds an additional layer of trust with new audiences.

5. Choose or update your Page template so that it is in line with your business goals

A few years ago, Facebook launched templates for business Pages. This is a feature that offers a variety of Page layouts that you can choose from to best suit your specific business.

There are ten options for you to choose from. You can change your template under the ‘Templates and Tabs’ section in your Page settings.  The template you choose determines the order in which your sections appear with the timeline feed and tabs. When you’re deciding which template to use, consider what the goal of your business is. 

6. Experiment with different types of featured cover photos

Your Page cover photo is a digital sign for your business. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your Page. It’s your first “conversation” with your customers, and it can have many uses.

You can use it to showcase a new product or service, announce an upcoming event, promote an upcoming book release, direct users to take action, the list goes on. Your business Page serves a purpose – so when you’re thinking about a cover photo, factor in what your business goals are so that you create something with purpose as opposed to just an aesthetically appealing image.

Not only can you upload a still cover image, but you can now experiment with different creative types like video or a slide show.

With Facebook being the widest-reaching social network around, there’s no doubt your potential customers are visiting your Page. Ensuring your business Page is optimized is something that you can’t afford not to do, and it’s a great opportunity for your business to make a lasting first impression. Go through this list with your Page and optimize where you can.

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7 benefits of using react native technology in social media apps

With the advancement of technology, there has been a rise in the smartphone industry, and the emerging smartphone industry gave rise to mobile apps. Hence, this chain is now just getting bigger, and each element of the chain is related to the other one in a seamless manner. Therefore, if a business wants to take over the market today, then the current need of the hour is to have an app presence all over on every platform. Being omnipresent has become essential now. 

However, the problem is that building the native app for different platforms is time-consuming and costly simultaneously; this is precisely where the development of the cross-platforms comes into the picture. React Native mobile app development is one of the finest developments, which has emerged in the market.

Here we can prove the popularity of the React Native used as the most common cross-platform application framework by developers globally through these stats:

·   In 2020, as per a survey conducted by Statista, React Native was considered the most demanding cross-platform mobile framework globally used by the developers.

·   The same survey also states that almost 42% of the software developers used React Native for developing mobile apps, which was the highest percentage across various other cross-platform technologies.

·   As per a report by Cyber Infrastructure (CIS), the future possibility of cross platform is expected to grow exponentially by crossing a mark of $80.55 billion. 

These statistics confirm the popularity of React Native, and the multiple reasons to support it. For example, React Native offers excellent performance of the mobile apps, it is very cost-effective, and is faster than several other platforms.

Here are the Top 7 Benefits of Using React Native in Social Media Applications: 

Here are some of the most convincing reasons why developers can rely on react native mobile app development to reduce the cost and increase performance.

1.   Community Driven

This framework started way back in 2003, which was an effort of a hackathon, and to which the response was exceptionally brilliant. The entire set up did feel that developers were direly looking for a versatile and approachable platform. Since then, the platform has been supported by a plethora of developers and at the same time pushed due to advantages of offers.

2.   Reusable Components and Code

When the developers use React Native, they do not need to develop individual mobile apps for different platforms. One of the most significant advantages of React Native is its ability to ‘Reuse the Components and the Code’ as it massively helps in saving the cost. This is an acceptable framework that allows all the developers to write the code just once and share the same from 90% to 99% between multiple iOS and Android platforms without any glitches or technical flaws.

3.   Lower Cost of Maintenance

Compared to the native apps, which require regular updates separately for each mobile device, the cross-platform apps have much more flexibility, as it avoids versioning. Just by using the React Natives, the developers deal with single coding; hence. As a result, they are required to fix the bugs for only one single code. This helps in making the React Native app development overall maintenance to be straightforward.

4.   Readymade Solutions Available 

One of the primary benefits of developing React Native apps is its popularity. Since it has a vast demand and support from the developers, various publicly available readymade solutions help keep up with the changes faster without much struggle. For instance, as a developer, you want the mobile app to have social media features, such as social share, then to implement this, you can easily use the React Native library for the same.

5.   Enhanced Customer Experience 

Do you like it when you have to wait for your mobile application to load? To make your customers have a great experience, the app needs to have a high performance. Since the RN framework uses the UI elements and gets compiled into one single native app, the users get a faster and competitive app that enhances the experience of the customers.

6.   Easy Integration

 There is no mobile owner who would not want the app to be customer-centric, including all the features. With React Native, the developers can make such an app at a considerably low cost. All the developers have to do is to connect the third-party module or native to the right plugin, and that is about it.

7.   Low UI Cost 

React Native has the features that allow the developers to fully optimize the UI and bring uniformity that works perfectly well with all devices. This eventually leads to an enhanced user interface and a better feel of the app. 

There are currently many social media companies worldwide out there who have been using React Native’s platform to develop and enhance their mobile apps. 

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Get Reels: How Brands Can Use Instagram’s Newest Feature

Today’s consumer trends favor short-form content that aims to entertain. Technology has shaped every part of our lives, leading to an increased demand for instant gratification. After all, about 81% of Americans own smartphones. And digital natives — Millennials and Gen Zers — value relatable, authentic, bite-sized content from brands, especially on social media.

Social media platforms are constantly evolving, and brands that maintain an active online presence can get a firsthand look at and even help shape that evolution. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to move away from traditional sponsored content and join the TikTok era of viral videos and owned media, then Instagram just gave you the green light.

With its Reels feature, the Facebook-owned app allows users to create 15-second video and audio clips. It’s no secret that the success of TikTok resulted in Instagram launching Reels. But where Instagram comes out on top is through its distribution options: Reels, Stories, and curated images. Because Instagram has already built a strong foundation with the creative community, it beats TikTok, which is still just getting started and acts more like a media distribution channel than a social platform.

Major brands are already using Reels to participate in trending social media challenges, collaborate with influencers, and sell via Reels’ shopping function. If your digital footprint is still relatively small, this represents a great opportunity to grow. By becoming an early adopter, you can significantly expand your reach because Instagram will prioritize videos created on its new feature over other content. With that in mind, here are four strategies for creating engaging short-form content for Instagram Reels:

1. Deliver unique, exclusive content.

If you’re releasing a new product or service, Reels is a great place to give fans a first glimpse. The popular streaming service Netflix is a great example of this. The company’s Reels provide another way for its 25.3 million followers to experience TV show teasers and trailers. Rather than overwhelming viewers with a barrage of videos, Netflix aims for quality — and so should you. Give your followers an engaging and exclusive look at a product, service, or event.

2. Educate your audience.

There’s a reason people flock to sites like YouTube to learn new things. Video is a great medium for sharing knowledge, and Reels is long enough to allow you to impart something useful but also short enough to keep viewers’ attention. If you’re an expert in your field and know something that might help others, don’t keep that wisdom to yourself. Think about what you know and what you’re good at, demonstrate those skills in a short video clip, and then share it. If your audience appreciates your helpful content, it will boost your credibility.

3. Aim to entertain.

If you can consistently make followers laugh at your jokes, wow fans with your stories, or delight viewers via your comedy routine, they’ll keep watching. And don’t worry if you don’t succeed right away. Short-form videos are perfect for trying new ideas and seeing what resonates without spending your entire marketing budget. Once you have a sense of the type of content your audience wants to see, develop a content strategy that can cater to their preferences while remaining flexible enough to allow you to grow as a creator. National Geographic, for example, knows that its audience wants to see the wonders of the world we live in. Most of the brand’s Reels feature breathtaking scenery or playful animals.

4. Feature others.

Social media is all about connecting and sharing online, so get others involved in your Reels activation. Partner with influencers, other brands, or customers as part of your strategy and leverage their networks to amplify your reach. Walmart, for instance, created a Reel that highlighted its influencer partnerships throughout the year. And don’t limit yourself to just one platform. If you want to succeed on Reels, you’ll probably need to have a presence on TikTok as well. Trends, challenges, and viral videos shift from one platform to another, so monitoring TikTok will help you become a better brand leader on Reels.

Social media isn’t a golden ticket. Most brands that succeed online have thoughtful social strategies and disciplined approaches to creating and sharing content. If you want to expand your brand presence on Instagram and maybe even go viral, you’ll need to create content that meets the wants and needs of modern viewers.
David Ciccarelli is the founder and CEO of, the largest marketplace for audio and voice-over products and services in the world with over one million business and voice actor registered users. David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. He is frequently published in outlets such as The Globe and Mail, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Trading The Corporate World for Entrepreneurship with Carl White

Trading The Corporate World for Entrepreneurship with Carl White written by Sara Nay read more at Duct Tape Marketing



Agency Spark Podcast with Carl White 

Headshot of Carl White who is a guest on the Agency Spark PodcastThe Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode is designed to spark ideas you can put into practice for your agency today.

In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara interviews Carl White. Carl owns and runs MarketVisory Group, a HIPAA compliant healthcare marketing agency. Most of their work focuses on local marketing – helping practices get found, stand apart, and attract new patients.

Questions Sara asks Carl White:

  • What inspired you to leave the corporate world and start your own practice?
  • Were there major challenges you faced right off the bat while establishing your own company?
  • You mention on your website that you help independently owned healthcare practices stay that way — can you tell me a little bit more about what that means?
  • What is the importance of being HIPPA compliant as a marketing agency for your clients?
  • What are some of the benefits that you’ve received from being focused on a very specific niche?
  • What are some of the benefits you provide to your clients?
  • When you’re working with different practices, would you say it allows you to be more systematic in your approach?
  • How do you educate your clients on the importance of strategy?
  • Have you struggled with telling prospective clients that you’re not the best fit for them?
  • How do you handle client requests in terms of new ideas and new project suggestions when you’ve already created a strategy for the quarter or a specific allotted time frame?
  • What do you wish you would’ve known when you were first getting started today?

Where you can learn more about Carl White:

  • Learn more about Carl’s company: Market Visory Group

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Bennet Schwartz Sydney Creator Discusses How Social Media Is Changing The Creative Design Industry

The design sector has been changing for several years as the use of social media platforms has grown. The growth of social media platforms has been a benefit for brands and customers, whom Bennet Schwartz Sydney creative believes have higher levels of customer engagement. Schwartz sees the design sector as reflecting and predicting the trends of customers. The use of social media affects the items consumers purchase and where they gain their information. For example, over 70 percent of Instagram users have used the platform to research the products they wish to buy.

Fashion Takes the Lead

The BCD Network explains the use of social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, has already impacted design. The fashion sector has been taking the lead in the use of social media, according to Bennet Schwartz. The creative director explains brands in the fashion sector are designing marketing materials that are scalable across different media. 

The growing trend for live video streams posted to Instagram allows brands to reveal their latest products directly to consumers. Uploading new designs to social media platforms allows real-time feedback to be received that affects the direction a brand takes in the future.

A Change in Attitudes

A changing design sector is becoming focused on the different mindsets of millennials. The evolution of the design sector is being affected by social media platforms in a range of ways, including the images that appeal to millennials. Amassing more products is not the most important aspect of life for Millennials, which Bennet Schwartz explains must be reflected by the marketing sector. A glance through Instagram should be enough for a marketing expert to see where the priorities of Millennials lie. Bennet Schwartz explains the popularity of travel photography shows experience and memory are more important than buying the latest products. Schwartz points to the importance of quality and style to Millennials as a sign of the change in attitude from the Baby Boomer generation. 

Does a Brand Work on Social Media?

The rise of social media platforms is changing the design sector because of the need to perform well on Instagram and Facebook. Design specialists, like Bennet Schwartz, have been focusing on rebranding companies and products to make sure they are easy to identify on social media platforms. A high-quality design now works across several platforms, with the rise in the minimalist design of the 21st-century based on the rise of social media use. Bennet Schwartz Sydney creative director explains minimal design makes a brand easy to identify for followers scrolling through a social media timeline. 

Changing the way Information is Passed

Platt College reports the use of social media has affected the graphic design and copywriting fields. Information is being provided in different ways by brands who want to have an impact via social media. The latest information provided through a social media post needs to be easy to understand in a shortened form. The use of images continues to grow, along with shortened paragraphs and abbreviations. By getting to the point and providing only the information required, designers are changing the marketing sector.

The Rise of Smaller Brands

The evolution of a brand is both easy to identify and more difficult to plan in the era of social media. The rise of smaller brands is an area Bennet Schwartz believes is vital to the development of the economy. Instead of only the largest brands in the world being able to reach customers around the world, it is easy for a small brand to target customers in different areas. A small brand will be able to target a nearby state or territory or look across the planet to a different continent for new customers. Smaller brands have always been important to the global economy, but they are growing in importance for design experts like Bennet Schwartz. 

First Impressions are More Important Than Ever

The traditional marketing rules are being thrown out of the window as social media rules become more important. The development of social media platforms as a vital source for designers has placed the focus on the overall view of a brand. Designers are placing their attention on the overall design of the brand as the avatar, page design, and post content changes the way brands address their customers. Switching the approach to meet the needs of consumers using different social media platforms means making an excellent first impression. Consumers are giving less time to brands to make a positive impression, with a decision about buying a product or service made in less than one minute by most social media users.Social media and excellence in design go hand-in-hand. For designers, the challenge is to provide their message in a single image or short post. By using the shorthand of social media, brands are enhancing the relationship between themselves and their customers.

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Law School: Is it as Stressful as People Think?  

Law school is one of the most appealing forms of education that a vast number of people strive for. Unlike many other degrees, achieving success in law school leads to many lucrative jobs. With that said, law school is essential for those who want to get into the work field of law, which includes jobs like becoming a lawyer.

Jobs one can get after graduating from law school are lucrative in a sense to where these jobs pay a lot of money. Because of this, there’s a reason why many people are wanting to get into the legal business, as there’s a lot of money to be made. As people get older, there are responsibilities that most adults deal with, as it’s important to have a sustainable income as one grows older and has responsibilities. A job in the legal business like an attorney, for example, can make a person a lot of money, as it allows that same person to live a lucrative life. It’s been said that the average salary for an attorney is six figures for many individuals who take up the job.

Furthermore, the reward of what law school can get a person is a lot, but some people think that law school is very hard. There’s a popular notion that law school requires a level of stress considering the hard work that’s required.

Alexander Djerassi agrees that law school indeed requires a level of hard work for its students to commit. However, despite the notion that attending law school is stressful, it doesn’t have to be if one knows how to manage their stress the right way. It’s worth noting that everyone gets stressed over some form of hardship they’re dealing with, which is why one must know the proper way to handle stress at any time.

Potentially getting stressed while studying at law school is not an excuse for blowing away one’s dream of getting into the legal work field. Specifically, it isn’t an excuse if one can get their stress in place and continue to strive for whatever law school requires.

Fortunately, there are countless measures one can take to help cope with stress, especially when dealing with the work that comes with law school. One recommendation regarding handling stressful times during law school is coming up with a reasonable schedule. A schedule that balances both the work from school and leisure time, which may hinder the stress of taking over.

Being committed to hard work is important, but finding time to relax is essential. That’s because when someone is just solely focused on work without having any free time, it could create problems for one’s mental sake. Moderation is the correct route to go when dealing with a lot of work.
Furthermore, a man by the name of Alexander Djerassi, who is a lawyer and had to deal with law school, strived to become a lawyer. Djerassi thought that to handle the stress of law school, one should join a network of people that can help.

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Importance of Daily Gratitude

Democracies devolving into chaos. Natural disasters ravaging multiple countries. To top it all off, a pandemic is raging across the entire globe. Life can be tough sometimes. The world can be a chaotic place and for some it can be hard to figure out a good way to combat all of that negativity. Yet, it’s hard to escape when it seems so encompassing.

Diego Ruiz Duran, a Criminal Defense Attorney leading reform in Mexico City, knows how important a positive mindset is to facing the tough realities of the world. As a champion for strengthening the legal frame work in Mexico to prevent violence against women, establish a fair and solid foundation for a Constitution, and pushing to better reintegrate formerly incarcerated people back into the community, Mr. Duran realizes that practicing a mindset of gratitude is an important building block for success. Showing appreciation for what he has and the work he has expended to get where he is in his business and life is obvious in his dedication to his work and his community.

Gratitude is defined as a “state of being grateful”. To put it as transparently as possible, gratitude is an attitude or way of living that relies on acknowledging and appreciating the small pleasant things we receive each day. But, then we are required to take it a step further and be thankful that we have these experiences, even if they are small.

Many studies over the past few decades have proven time and again that practicing daily gratitude has multiple benefits for a person. At the top of the list is that daily gratitude can help someone become more optimistic. Some studies suggest that in as little as ten days people who began practicing daily gratitude could feel a change in their optimism level. Optimism and mindfulness are great ways to improve or maintain well balanced mental health and assist with healthy aging.

Physical well being is a key component in healthy aging and unsurprisingly, daily gratitude can provide beneficial effects here as well. Not only can practicing gratitude help relieve anxiety which helps lower tension and stress levels, but it can also help prevent certain side effects of heart disease. By learning to live in the moment and appreciate the small things we become less focused on the bad things, which can lead to depression or even aches and pains. When people feel better physically they are more productive and more likely to engage with others.

Daily gratitude has a beneficial effect on our personal relationships as well. One thing many successful couples claim contributes to their happiness and longevity is feeling connected and appreciated by their partners. When we recognize and appreciate the support and effort our spouse puts into our relationships it reaffirms that we are in this together. That, in turn, allows us to be more creative and confident in our other endeavors.

With the world’s every changing climate people have been trying to find ways to better adjust and keep a more positive outlook on life. After all, any journey begins with the first step. So how can someone put daily gratitude into practical use? Diego Ruiz Duran published an article with Thrive Global and stated that the best way he has found to keep practicing daily gratitude and keep a positive mindset is to give back to the community.

Often the best way to remember the many things in life we have to be grateful for is to help those who have far less. Not only does it help people get back in touch with their empathy and humility, but it can also remind us that we’re not so different from one another. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate gently used things to Domestic Violence shelters. There are many ways to meet needs in your local community.

Journaling is another fantastic way to practice daily gratitude, especially if social gatherings don’t fit a person’s comfort zone. This is also a great way to work self inventory and finding ways to personally hold oneself more accountable. Sometimes gratitude comes with a little extra work. Don’t be afraid. Learning to actively take a few moments to appreciate life is the same as learning anything else: It takes time.

Gratitude is a fundamental key to mental and physical well being, as well as, a great way to strengthen character and develop humility. When put into daily practice it can truly change an individual’s entire mindset for the better.

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Breaking Down the TikTok Playbook to Take on Instagram (and Everyone Else)

With dozens of apps competing for users’ attention, TikTok is the latest front-runner in the war to keep people scrolling. The Chinese-owned video app is the fastest-growing social media platform of all time, with roughly 80 million monthly active users.

With its ForYou page built for discoverability, short-form videos, and a heart-shaped “like” button, you might mistake TikTok for just another Instagram. Although TikTok is most certainly trying to overtake the photo-sharing app, this isn’t only the battle of Instagram vs. TikTok. In fact, Instagram is finding TikTok much harder to knock off than platforms like Snapchat. TikTok wants to be the No. 1 social platform in the world — and it has the advantage of learning from its competitors’ past mistakes.

Let’s take a look at TikTok’s playbook for becoming the best of the best in the social media world.

Step 1: Poach the smartest people in every room.

The first part of TikTok’s strategy has involved recruiting top talent from other social media giants to recreate their successes. The company has already hired dozens of ex-employees from Facebook and Google, including Blake Chandlee, Facebook’s former vice president of global partnerships.

Trevor Johnson, former director of marketing operations at Instagram, is now the head of marketing in Europe for TikTok, and David Hoctor jumped ship from Facebook to work on TikTok’s brand partnerships. While talent poaching isn’t unusual in Silicon Valley, these recent hires and early initiatives are strong signs that the future of TikTok hinges on its ability to build an ad solution that competes with the likes of Facebook.

Marketers familiar with both platforms find TikTok’s ad-buying interface bears an uncanny resemblance to Facebook’s. If you know how to make Facebook ads work for your brand, TikTok is a natural arrow to add to your performance marketing quiver.

Step 2: Build a better ad platform.

TikTok seemed to realize early that it could build the product of every Facebook engineer’s dreams if they had the benefit of experience. By the time Facebook introduced its ad platform in 2007, Google had already created an incredibly compelling model with AdSense. To compete, Facebook lured in large holding companies with enticingly low CPMs. By the time the news broke that Facebook had been inflating its metrics, the company had successfully grown its ad platform into one of the largest in the world.

The platform had managed to build some of the most robust user profiles in existence. Whenever publishers installed Facebook’s software development kit, Facebook would extract and store data from each of those sources. Once it had a gigantic data pool, it had another compelling offer for advertisers.

Like Facebook, TikTok gathers a wealth of information on its users and relies on data-driven decision-making to inform its next moves. More than that, TikTok has established its standing as an ad platform, rounding up an impressive roster of advertisers and announcing a global partnership with WPP. It’s clear that, in numerous ways, TikTok is closely adhering to the Facebook/Google blueprint to challenge their current oligopoly.

Step 3: Craft a narrative of positivity.

Another way TikTok has differentiated itself from its predecessors is by creating a narrative of positivity. TikTok’s tagline “Make your day” clearly communicates its mission to build a social network where users can escape the 24-hour news cycle, and the content on TikTok generally reflects that.

Americans particularly struggle with news fatigue, and there are hardly any corners of the internet where people can escape the political division and ugliness. When users open the TikTok app, though, they won’t see Antifa or QAnon posts. They’re more likely to see a video of Shaquille O’Neal dancing or a funny prank captured on camera. TikTok’s creators have managed to build a platform that’s just as addictive as Facebook — without the negativity.

The Challenges Ahead

Despite its early success, TikTok will still face many challenges moving forward. Its monthly usage has already surpassed the amount of time spent on Facebook and Instagram, but its daily active user base numbers in the tens of millions — far fewer than Instagram’s more than 500 million users and Facebook’s 1.85 billion.

As TikTok grows, it will have to expand this base so brands comparing social media tools for marketing and advertising no longer question whether their target audiences are using the app. TikTok has a reputation for being a youth-centric platform, and it will have to capture the attention of users older than 24 to maintain its rise to the top. More specifically, the battle of Instagram vs. TikTok will boil down to which platforms users have the most disposable income.

In its quest to grow a competitive ad platform, TikTok must also avoid anything similar to the caustic narrative that developed around Facebook. After Facebook turned off notifications for games like “FarmVille,” it burned bridges in its partner ecosystem — and the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and bad publicity from “The Social Dilemma” film has created public distrust. To find more success than the long-established social media giant, TikTok will have to avoid being tied up in similar scandals and negative associations.

While it remains to be seen whether TikTok will soon be better than Instagram or Facebook, the future of TikTok looks bright. It has assembled a team of brilliant minds in social networking, and it has been successful in carving out a space for lighthearted content and positivity. The playbook TikTok is following is tried and true, and the platform has the benefit of hindsight.

We’ll all have to watch to see what happens as the platform writes its own playbook and works to make it to the top.

Brian Freeman is the CEO and founder of Heartbeat, a marketplace that connects brands with real consumers to run influencer-style campaigns on TikTok or Instagram. Heartbeat has more than 340,000 on-demand brand ambassadors for launching turnkey ambassador solutions.

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