In my opinion, Instagram is one of the most underrated, underutilized tools in social media. It’s a visual platform that packs a mighty punch, and with little effort, it can enhance your current social media campaigns, improve your metrics, and grow your audience.

With Facebook’s recent algorithm changes, it is more important than ever to understand how to maximize social reach without increasing costs. Read on to learn how your business can use Instagram to boost the performance of your Facebook page.

Welcome to the second interview in the WebFX series. These interviews offer business owners and marketers important insight, advice, and ideas that will help grow their online presence and become more successful at what they do. If you missed our first interview with Google’s Jim Armstrong, you can read it here.

Today, we ask social media expert, consultant, and The Facebook Marketing Book co-author Alison Zarrella five questions about the wide and wonderful world of social. Read on to learn how she feels brands can stand out on Facebook, where she sees the future of social going, and get the one tip she gives to new businesses starting out on Facebook, Twitter, and other channels.

Social media has been getting a whole lot more personal.

shirtIf you have a “common” first or last name, your last few visits to Facebook may have seemed very personalized. For the past few months, many brands that specialize in personalized products (think t-shirts, mugs, and greeting cards), have rolled out a series of creepy ads on Facebook.

The social giant has since recognized these invasive ads, and no longer allows “name segmented” advertising. However, that hasn’t stopped a few wayward brands. Here’s how they do it, ways to decrease the likelihood of being targeted, and the huge risks for advertisers who don’t comply with the ban.

Let’s face it: social media can be a little baffling when it comes to getting the word out about your business or your products.

You know your customers are out there somewhere, but on the wide open web they can sometimes feel a little difficult to find. You know you should be building up a presence on social media, but on which sites? What does “building up a presence” even mean?

According to Pew Research, 73% of online adults use a social media site, and 42% of them use more than one. Although Facebook is still the reigning champion when it comes to social media, other sites are gaining speed. Just take a look at how social sites grew between 2012 and 2013:

social-media-sites-2012-2013

Fortunately, these users tend to flock to social sites in demographically predictable ways – which means that with a good understanding of your customer base, you can almost always start off your social media marketing on the right foot. Here’s how to target 73% of online adults with your social media marketing.

We are truly living in the age of the selfie.

Named the 2013 Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year and proven powerful enough to crash Twitter, the selfie trend just seems to keep growing with no end. It’s now common to buy phones with front-facing cameras, and there’s even a song about selfies (appropriately titled “#SELFIE”).

Although they seem like harmless fun, is it possible that that selfies say something about the people who post them? Do people who post selfies have less fulfilling relationships with others? Are they more likely to obsess over their appearance? Are selfie-takers just having a good time, or are they narcissists? Our newest infographic explores the science behind selfies, and the results we found may surprise you.