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The JPG Top 3: The Ultimate Guide to Reels, LinkedIn Content That Works, and Who Owns YOU?

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We comb the interwebs to bring you the top 3 stories for small business social media marketing, branding, and engagement. Get it even sooner by subscribing to our FREE Top 3 email. Subscribe now

#3 Do You Know Who Owns You?

This story is an interesting one about what happens to sponsorship deals when an influencer couple breaks up (Yup … we’re at that point in the world where we’re talking about). But the reason we bring this up is to ask the question … do you know who owns YOU?

We see it time and time again when we work with a small business who has absolutely no clue who actually owns their digital assets. Their Facebook page was started by an employee 7 years ago who no longer works there (if they can even remember who it is at all), their website is hosted somewhere and they forget where or which email set up the account, and they have no clue what their Instagram password is because “it’s just saved on my phone.” (Any of these sound familiar?)

Would you treat your banking information like this? Of course not! So why are you treating your digital assets this way? Owning and controlling this information is absolutely vital. Without it you are unable to make certain growth decisions for your business, and you also run the serious risk of having your information deleted by someone who no longer cares about it. We HIGHLY recommend taking a look at all of your assets, making sure you control them all, and trimming access to only the most trusted members of your team.

#2 The Best Content to Post On LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be a powerful weapon in your digital arsenal. While other platforms make people slap each other in the face with tortillas just to get noticed, LinkedIn presents itself as more of a professional hub for both your brand and personal image. This becomes an opportunity to share your opinions and experiences as a business owner while networking with others in your industry and beyond. To be honest, it’s kind of a refreshing change from the grind of Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

So the question becomes … What kind of content works best on LinkedIn? The Top 5 Content Types That Work Best on LinkedIn

#1 The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels

Like it or not, Reels are here to stay and they are a HUGE part of what’s working right now on Instagram. Gone are the days (for now) of just posting a quick picture and watching the engagement roll in courtesy of a few well-placed hashtags. And yes, photo content is still an important part of showcasing your brand’s voice, but to grow your presence beyond your current followers, Reels is the way it’s going to happen.

It’s pretty simple … Instagram is currently getting their butts kicked by TikTok, so they are pushing Reels HARD as a way to get people to stay on their platform as much as possible. As a result, you stand a MUCH better chance of having your brand reach new eyeballs when you play the game and do what the Instagram robots want you to. A real life example … We posted a Reel recently for a client that reached FIVE TIMES as many accounts as their current follower base. Needless to say, this video helped grow their brand to new people who otherwise would never see a single thing they post.

There’s a lot that goes into building successful Reels … video length, hashtag use, collaboration tags, etc … so we recommend this Ultimate Reels Guide as a good starting point. Good luck!

The JPG Top 3: Instagram is making big changes, Marketing during a recession, and the best times to post on Twitch

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We comb the interwebs to bring you the top 3 stories for small business social media marketing, branding, and engagement. Get it even sooner by subscribing to our FREE Top 3 email. Subscribe now

#3 Marketing During a Recession

Are we in a recession? Who the heck knows! What we do know is that whether or not some news report or pile of statistics can “officially” declare a recession, consumers and businesses are definitely ACTING like we are, so we need to plan accordingly.

One thing that tends to happen during an economic downtown is that companies start to panic and begin slashing budgets, especially marketing and advertising budgets. Don’t do it! Historical data (and we’re talking over 100 years worth here) will show that companies that perform the best during a recession are the ones who DON’T make those cuts. Not only that, but their businesses continue to have higher levels of success after the downturn. Read more here.

#2 The Best Time to Stream On Twitch

Last time we looked at the best times to post on Facebook and Instagram, so this time we wanted to give you the data on the most popular streaming times on Twitch. According to this Hootsuite article, the most popular times for viewership is 2-5pm eastern time, but they also make a very interesting point that that may be the exact time you want to avoid. Competition is high and some of the biggest names on the platform are active.

Meanwhile, the least active time clocks in at 3-7am eastern, and while that’s definitely “sleepy time” for those of us on the east coast, it’s also a time with far less competition. So if you’re a smaller channel looking to gain eyeballs, this may be the exact time you want to be streaming.

I would go one step further and use some similar mindsets when posting to other platforms. Take Facebook and Instagram for example. If you’re someone who uses Meta Business Suite to schedule posts and you look at the “optimal posting times” that Meta spits out, most of them tend to say roughly 7pm is when your page audience is “most active” (at least that’s the time I always see). Sure … on the surface that seems like a great idea. But then realize that EVERY OTHER business is also getting told this same exact time. So now 7pm is flooded with new posts that you have to fight with. With that in mind it makes sense to jump the gun and throw yours out there at 6 or 6:30 so you can get a head start.

#1 Big Changes at Instagram

Social platforms are forever changing things and testing out new features. Some of these features become across the board changes, while others disappear into oblivion. Here’s a couple IG is testing right now …

I won’t spend a ton of time analyzing the tests mentioned above simply because we don’t know if they’ll ever become anything more than just a test. The Notes feature is an interesting one because it’s the first real departure from pictures and video for Instagram and almost reminds me of a quick Tweet or the old “Zack Jackson is …” status updates from the olden days of Facebook. That said, if anybody actually cares still remains to be seen.

One big Instagram change that is definitely coming is a brand new sizing guide. Some of you may already have noticed that the images in your IG grid have gotten longer. Not everybody has had this change happen yet (I haven’t), but to those who have it means the old square picture setup is going to look cut off on both the left and right sides. This may not be an issue if your image is well centered, but it makes a huge difference when text is being cut off.

The biggest takeaway here is that Meta is gearing more and more to mobile content and viewing. They want everything to fit perfect on the screen of your phone and they don’t really care about any other device. Horizontal images and video were on life support already, but now you can pretty much save the date for their funeral. And yes, horizontal video may be higher quality, but we’re learning a very simple argument against it … NOBODY CARES! Get the full Instagram sizing guide

Marketing During a Recession: Time to Get Excited

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I know what you’re thinking as you read that title, “What the heck is wrong with you? Why are you excited for a recession?”

To be clear … I ain’t.  I’m just as annoyed, frustrated, and stressed out as you.  Every trip to the grocery store feels like a gut punch where the bill is high and every item you buy looks like it’s been shrunk down to the size of a Snickers mini.  Not a fan!

But when it comes to those of us who run a business, I’m excited because now is the time where we can truly separate ourselves from our competitors.  Super rich guy Warren Buffet once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy only when others are fearful.”  That’s where we are right now.  Fear is HIGH. Budgets are being slashed, jobs cut, plans changed.

So what do we need to do?  The exact opposite!

I know it’s scary. Trust me, I spend times at night thinking, “What in this house can I sell on eBay if I need extra money?,” but I also know now is the time that those who ACT are the ones who succeed.  And the best part?  There’s TONS of research to back this up.

In terms of marketing, companies who stayed the course not only saw an increase in business during a recession, they also saw continued growth AFTER the recession.  And this is from data dating back to the 1920’s!

Marketing budgets are one of the first things to be cut during a recession, so those that don’t cut theirs are met with decreased competition and higher audience share.  Their brands appear as strong and stable and their customer base responds accordingly.  One can easily argue that now is the perfect time to INCREASE your marketing budget.

At the same time, I know that’s not feasible for some businesses, but there’s other ways to succeed.  Now is an absolutely perfect time to be there for your audience.  Think about it … they’re dealing with the same stresses and frustrations, so when you are able to provide something truly meaningful to them, it helps ease that burden (even if just for a short time).  That’s not something someone soon forgets, and that will connect them to your brand in a very strong way.

The best brands understand they’re more than just a product or service, they are something that makes people FEEL.  People love brands almost as much as they love people (sometimes more depending on the person), and right now they’re desperate for connection and validation.  So when others panic and think small, now is the time to get excited and think big!

Three Dirty Words … “Social Media Manager”

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As someone who helps small businesses with their branding strategies and digital presence, I’ve always loathed the term “social media manager,” because in my opinion that isn’t the true path to brand success.


Sure, having a strong presence on social media is important, but if you’re putting all your eggs into that basket, then you are doing your brand a disservice because you are now completely reliant on the “algorithm overlords” of a handful of billion dollar tech companies.


And since I don’t want my The JPG Agency clients putting all their eggs into that basket, I sure as heck don’t want to be putting all of MINE in there either. To me, true brand success is figuring out methods for owning your own audience engagement by figuring out how to engage with them directly through methods controlled by YOU. Social media management is just one piece of that puzzle.


The role of “social media manager” needs to evolve, and you can see that evolution in this Social Media Today report.

Approach Your Business With “Little Dog Attitude”

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I have a little dog named Francy.  She’s a muttley rat terrier(ish) sort of dog that weighs all of about 14 pounds (we have a cat that’s bigger than she is).  She spends most of her life curled up on a pillow, a lap, or a blanket … to the point that I’ve always said she’d be perfectly content if she was a dog with no legs that had to be carried around everywhere she went.  She’s super sweet, cuddly, and friendly to just about anyone and anything on earth … until she sees a big dog.

Then … “little dog attitude” kicks in and Francy ain’t gonna take no crap from nobody.

I’ve seen this little dog launch herself into the air, land on top of a dog four times her size, and pin them to the ground in a growling fit of unexplained rage.  Why? I honestly have no clue.  I don’t know why this dog spends 98% of her life perfectly content to be in some sort of snuggle position, only to turn into a rabid beast with more attitude than Conor McGregor’s pre-fight interview.

But what I do know is this … that’s “tiny dog attitude,” and that’s how every small business owner should operate.  Don’t be afraid of the big guys … attack them!  Better yet … COPY THEM!!!!

These large corporations can spend millions (or billions) of dollars on marketing, advertising, and branding on a level that a small business will never be able to equal.  However, what a small business can do is study the big dogs, and then emulate these practices for their own brand.

Before Wal-Mart was … well … Wal-Mart … Sam Walton built his empire by doing one thing amazingly well … studying his competition.  He walked around other stores, paid attention to how things looked, where items were located, how shoppers behaved, etc etc. He then took this data back to his own store and used it to improve his own customer experience to a level that nobody else was even considering.  He had “tiny dog attitude” back then that allowed him to grow into one of the biggest dogs of them all.

Soooo … that brings us to the present, where we can see what the big dog is up to, and that my friends, is first-party data collection.  That’s right, the JPG Agency mantra of OWNING YOUR AUDIENCE is in full effect! (Excuse me while I sprain my shoulder patting myself on the back for a minute.)

Wal-Mart knows that the key to their continued dominance is to know, first hand, everything they possibly can about their customer, their wants and needs, their purchasing patterns, their lifestyle interest, their moods, and just about anything else they can get their hands on.  And while this data leads to an enhanced shopping experience for their customers, what it also does is give them an additional cash cow that they can use with others.

Did you know Wal-Mart made $2.1 billion dollars in ad REVENUE last year?  That’s right, other brands are paying Wal-Mart to get access to the data they’ve collected, and the home of “Everyday Low Prices” is poised to become one of the top ten ad agencies in the country within the next five years.

So how do we apply this to our “tiny dog attitude” lesson for the day?  It’s simple … we OWN OUR AUDIENCE.  We don’t rely on some social media algorithm to reach our customers or PPC ad spend or whatever.  We develop ways to obtain the contact information of our customers in a way that allows us to directly engage with them without having to depend on anybody else to do it for us.  Nobody … and I repeat … NOBODY is going to understand your business better than you, so why in the world would we put all of our reliance onto somebody else to do it for us?

Is there a place within our success path to do things like social media marketing, digital ad spends, and things like that?  Absolutely!  And we here at the JPG Agency are happy to help you do that, but we also believe very strongly in helping you develop ways to grow your direct data streams with your customers, because we know that is the true key to growth and long term success.  Don’t let the big dogs strut around like they control everything … launch yourselves into the air and pin them to the ground yourself!

Here’s some additional articles/resources for the details discussed in this article today:

Walmart made $2.1 billion in advertising last year—here’s how

Walmart Media Group Rebrands to Walmart Connect in Bid to become a Top 10 US Ad Biz

Walmart moves further into livestream shopping

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