The Big Game - The Event Posting Advantage

The Big Game is coming. Are you ready for Sunday posting madness? 

If you haven't already worked the big game this weekend into your content schedule, there is still time! The countdown is on and Sunday is almost here. Is your product or service something that appeals to the spirit of this weekend? Jump on the bandwagon and get your voice heard with trending hashtags around the game. There are even anti-game hashtags if your business and service is against the spirit of this weekend. Do your research and find out what will help you get your message across. 

RiteTag is a great place to see what is already trending and find hashtags that could suit your posts. 

For quick game images if you don't have a product or service that is already in spirit of the game, you can do something quick with Canva or Pablo. 

Don't be afraid to use these programs for your Instagram stories as well. Get creative and have fun with it. 

May the best team win and may your business score big this weekend. Have an amazing weekend everyone!


Christie St. Martin 

p.s. That super cute baby is mine. ;) Unfortunately for us two ladies, we will have to cheer for her dad's team this year.  Thankfully mom can cry into a beer or two and eat all the chips. 



In today's over-saturated online business world you have to grab someone's attention fast and be as clear, direct and enticing as possible. It sounds simple but there is an art to this. It takes time to perfect it for your own brand. But practice makes perfect. Today's topic is going to be about how to improve your CTAs. 

For a brief refresher for the beginner. Call to Action - Is as simple as it sounds. It's your call to action, your demand of your audience. What do you want them to do? Is this about a product your selling? A service? An event you are hosting? Do you want them to download your latest Ebook? Read your blog? Follow you on Instagram? Tell them directly. Tell them simply what you want them to do.  

So lets start with some simple rules.

1. Don't bury your CTA. - Don't be shy. Be direct. You are after all here to fuel lead generation and convert to sales. So tell them what you want them to do up front. It's genuine to tell your audience what you want from them. They'll respect you more for it.

2.  Use your images to do it or help -  Images on social media are your first impression. Most of you know that but don't always use it to the best of your abilities. Sure times your feed shouldn't be "sell sell sell". Sometimes it's  important to offer a laugh and content that breaks the ice.. But when you want to grab their attention for a specific purpose, you want it to be the image they stop scrolling on and read. Use brief text that direct your intended action. 

  • Eye catching image.
  • Brief CTA to capture their attention - Example: "Enter to WIN", Change your work  life, download our free tool"
  • Whatever you can't explain, do it in your text blurb outside of the image. Just get their attention. 
  • Use Images that fit your brand.

3. Sample and test different CTA keywords. Yes things like "Get YOUR ____ here" are proven to work really well but find what is working for you and responding to your customers. We believe that if your brand is genuinely speaking to people like they aren't idiots and having real conversations with people, that will trend better. 

4. Have fun with the design - You can use things like your FB cover page to play with the action buttons on your business page. You know your feed is below you, you know where your action bars are. Point them out. Change your profile image to fit your purpose. Did you just launch an eBook or guide you want everyone to see? Make a page shift and plaster it on the cover wall proudly. 

5. Is your post about something free?  If you are giving something away for free, MAKE IT LOUD AND CLEAR. FREE <-- should be highlighted in your image and design. What better way for someone to take a moment out of their day to get something that could be valuable if it is for free. Maybe you also request an action for said freebie. Maybe it's only for exclusive followers who are watching your stories. Be creative but be clear what action you want them to take. 


Good luck out there! Don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's how we continue to improve our strategy. 



Christie St. Martin





Using UGC (User Generated Content) to curate your Instagram feed will make your social media content creation so much easier.  LIKE SO MUCH EASIER. People love to see your product, service, or event being used or enjoyed in real life. Bonus: This allows you to save time creating content by using authentic shares from your fans.

See You Next Year!

Firefly Social Media Strategy Coaching 2017.png

Woah. All coaching spots are full until the new year! Contact us if you would like to set up your first session for 2017. Openings still available in January.

We are taking a brief hiatus to focus on our awesome new clients. We are also looking forward to bringing you fresh and helpful content to improve your social media management in 2017.

Have a beautiful holiday and a very happy New Year!

Fail Like A Boss

Leadership and learning how to run your own business will no doubt always be a juggling act. Managing expectations (both your own and of others) and scheduling your time and energy to keep pressing on is a scheduling feat of epic proportions. The trick is learning to adapt as quickly as you fail. And to do that, you really have to own your failures, like a boss.

Warning, I'm about to get personal for this post. Most everyone who knew I wanted to start a company, even years ago, urged me to do it under my name specifically. Whatever the service or product I would offer, they wanted it to be under the brand of Christie St. Martin. While I know that works really well for a lot of people and I absolutely see the potential and ease of building a brand I am directly connected too - it just wasn't my path. Not anymore. I did that for years and for me, it came with the sort of personal anxiety I let rule my life and this time I wanted to pick and choose the moments to have my personal life be highlighted.

I found my passion was to help other people personalize their brand story and I no longer wanted to be the face of anything in such a direct way. Spotlight was apparently my Kryponite. Which baffles people who meet me because I come across as very outgoing and comfortable in the spotlight. I love to talk but I strive to be more like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, doing great magical things for others. Probably not the best example but you get my point.

Branding under my own image would have been MUCH easier. Simple even. I wouldn't have to worry about my tone or voice or what sort of things I could post alongside tips and tricks of the trade. Many in my field have slayed their industry by making their image their brand and I am so happy that works for them. I've been doing it so long, it seems like it would have been the natural thing for me to do too. I could have utilized my own social networks directly and continued to build the brand I created years ago when I started my first website that brought me jobs working for VH1's Best Week Ever or the Los Angeles Times when I was in my early 20's. Not choosing to go that route often feels like a personal failing to me. C'est la vie.

I am committed to the idea that I can keep my personal life for the most part at a distance from the company I created, in order to help others find their spotlight. I can pick and choose my moments to share. It's funny how people change over time and how our experiences shape us into the adults we become. I know for a fact, I used to love the spotlight and felt often the most comfortable with putting my voice out there online for anyone to judge but that's just not a thing I feel remotely comfortable doing anymore. Maybe it's a new mom thing. I am learning to own that personal truth. Making the best out of it and finding new ways to adapt with a double black diamond learning curve.

Which all, tangent aside, brings me back to utilizing failure for your company and how it can help you more than hurt your social media game. Part of what I encourage my clients to do and what you should do for yourself (regardless of whether you become my client) is to just EMBRACE THE FAIL. Look back on your lack lustre attempts at a social media campaign or the blank slate and empty accounts you neglect because you feel uncomfortable starting and get comfortable with the situation. They just didn't work. Own it.. but ask yourself why?

Love your failure. Live and breath it in like the glorious life lessons they are. It's how you find your rhythm. Your magic. It could be something as silly as sitting down with a glass of scotch and looking at your post performance over the past 3 months. You might see something you posted only two weeks ago and immediately recognize it was not in line with your business. Maybe your gut knew in the moment but you wanted to try something different. You committed to a decision, a change. Did it feel inauthentic even after convincing yourself it was worth trying? Maybe you had community engagement with it? TIME TO SCRAP IT. Let it go. Learn. Move on. And be proud you gave something different a shot but you'll listen to your gut next time.

Regular social media health check-ins, whether with me or with yourself, are VITAL for growth and finding the success you want for your business online. Start-ups, self-starters, makers, any new business venture goes through these lessons and it's no different with your social media campaign. Sometimes you'll have daily failures - until you course correct yourself out of deep water.  Denying failures is not going to help you succeed.

One of my last jobs before deciding to fly solo (and then creating Firefly) was for a tech company that was a never ending roller-coaster ride of emotion. But through all of our company's failures, most of us came out of it stronger, smarter and more balanced than when we began. My former company spent a lot of time and energy being too scared to take chances. They would build a plan, spend hours and hours nodding their heads on video chats, feeling confident and when it was about to go, they would scrap it before letting that vision take shape. And that set them back their social media growth potential for years. They didn't trust their own judgement or the people they hired enough to let risk truly take flight. Oddly enough, the words of "embrace your failure" were uttered all the time. They believed and encouraged us to fail but they didn't live and breath mistakes the way I want you to feel is okay to do.

If you're in a position to hire a social media manager to run your account - fabulous! Hire someone you are inspired by. Hire someone who thinks differently than you but understands your company's vision. Make sure they master your brand. They live and breath your company's core values and vision. But then, breath and TRUST them to do something magical for you.

Oh if you aren't ready to hire someone full time and you're taking it all on yourself, when you go to examine something like your Facebook dashboard... BREATH. Relax. Take notes and make a list (I'm sort of a list freak. I'm sorry but also not sorry).

1. What were your top performing posts?

2. Is there anything similar about them?

3. What was in them that you think people really connected to?

4. How can you make that happen again and improve upon it?

5. What went wrong? Is it obvious? Are you baffled? *It's important to take some time with this one.*

6. What was the hardest part of your social shares this month? *Content creation maybe? Topics? Time to build a plan? Maybe it's a few issues. Write them down*

7. Where is there room for improvement?

8. Did you stay committed to your social content like you told yourself you would?

It is okay to fail. It is okay to ask for help. It's okay to learn and grow. I believe that people for the most part are incredibly kind and forgiving with others but are way too hard on themselves. Your online followers (if already built up) will understand your need to pivot. Tell them you're shifting and adapting your brand vision online. Honesty will make them cheer you on, not question your motives. Perhaps you really made a mistake online. Own up to it and your followers. If you need more time to create a content strategy and you think you've bitten off more than you can chew, announce you're taking a social hiatus. Tell them you'll be back when you're ready. You can adapt and change your social game if you allow yourself to fail and learn.

Be easy on you, okay? The internet isn't going anywhere. It will still be here when you're ready to bring your A game.



Christie St. Martin

Chief Firefly Officer



Freebie Friday: 5 Social Media Management Tools Checklist


Hello again!  It's Freebie Friday and I wanted to save you some time from typing "Free Social Media Tools" into google and being overwhelmed by endless options. These are some of my favourites. If these tools are not fully free then they offer incredible free trials that are worth taking the time to see if they could transform your social media game.  Here's a quick summary of why they are worth your time and maybe your money. 


So lets assume you have had your business in motion online for some time but you really have no idea what sort of presence you have on the web. Mention might be the next tool for you.  Mention will monitor your social networks, blogs, forum posts, online activity in general and let you know how far you're reaching and who is talking about you. 

With clients, I have always told them these tools are not just to see how you're doing but what engagements you might be missing. Are people talking about you and you haven't stepped up to the plate to respond? This is how you can connect the dots for what people are engaging with and how you can perhaps close a new client. Or make your product more approachable. Whatever you find, you will no doubt find something valuable you can learn from and build upon. 


Buffer is a one of those time saving tools that will send all your updates to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and It has built-in analytics to help you see what posts are performing well and what might need to be scrapped next time you build your content plan. One of my favourite features is that it will show you the best times to publish updates based on your business' audience.  Buffer for Business might be where you're at. Especially if you have a social media manager who needs to get herself organized in a way you can monitor the content before publishing. 


Quintly is an awesomely powerful tool for super in-depth social media analytics. This is definitely next level for your business if you're ready for it. This will help you track your company's social media performance across major platforms. There is also a built in benchmark feature that will compare your business' performance to your competitors and hold you to industry standards. This might be a bit too heavy for businesses just starting out but again, if you hired the right social media manager for your company, this is definitely going to bring you insights worth capitalizing on. Major bonus being how beautiful and easy the dashboard is to use. 


Brand24 delivers real-time information on what's being said as well as what is going on with your competitors. These sorts of insights can allow you or the social media manager/moderation team you have to respond to all kinds of comments about your brand across all your social media platforms. Staying engaged with your audience is key. If you want to turn negative engagements into positive ones, this is your opportunity to not miss a beat. This is a tool that's definitely meant for a company that feels like they can't get ahead of their reputation and have some damage control to do. Or ideally, right before the damage has a chance to happen. Remember, you're online now which means that a missed opportunity could do a lot more harm to you than the days before the good ol' internet tubes. But even just publicly responding to an unhappy customer will likely bring you more good business than bad. You just have to play your cards right and respond genuinely and authentically while addressing their concern. But that's a whole other blog post for another day. 


Zapier is here to connect you to all of the services you likely use independently and will save you and your team time. Tweets, MailChimp campaigns, HipChat or new RSS items.

And you can connect productivity apps like Evernote and Asana to social networks or awesome products like Dropbox or Github.




Christie St. Martin

Chief Firefly Officer



Today's blog is offering up two things for you. One is this old (yet still mostly on point) checklist I wrote a few years ago. Despite the never-ending tweaks and changes to these platforms, this list can help keep you focused on tangible daily goals. Find out where you want to make a difference and a little bit every day will go a long way. Maybe you only focus on one major platform and funnel it out in a way that fits your schedule. You can find what works best for your business if time is not on your side.

The second is a reminder that those hurting for content to share can often use old content in a new way.  Like  (OH MY GOODNESS) this blog post! Content doesn't have to be time consuming. Sometimes you can use stuff (like this ol' handy list) and make it new again. Especially if it's on target. Right now, I want to focus my time and energy on my clients (or my free time chasing my daughter around the kitchen) but still offer something on our blog to those who aren't ready to make the switch yet.

The most important thing I can recommend, no matter how you choose to use this list, is that you stick with your social plan for 6 to 12 months once you dive in. With or without Firefly Social's involvement, it takes time to see true and meaningful results. Nothing happens overnight. No matter what you've heard. SEO helps. Content helps. Real engagement with followers you made a connection with is your goal and it comes with time, effort and focus. Especially if you are going without an advertising budget or carving out a large chunk of your time to focus on social. Maybe you're just starting out and it's incredibly overwhelming. Or maybe you are not ready to pass the responsibility over to someone else yet because it's your baby. 

We totally get it. 

 That's what this list can help you do. Keep you focused and a little bit less overwhelmed than when you began. Print it out and focus on what you can actually tackle. Maybe borrow some of your kids gold star stickers (or My Little Pony stickers if that's your bag) and pat yourself on the back when you hit it out of the park. and check something off your to-do list. I don't know about you but I live for lists.  

Warning: You will soon realize why many companies rely on a dedicated Social Media Manager or team to post on their behalf. It's time consuming and if you're a one man team, you are probably struggling to find time for marketing your business online. Especially when questions and comments are starting to pour in from potential customers. Managing feedback is no easy feat and it very well might be the lifeline of your business and panic mode is setting in.  But this little checklist can help you make some progress on your own until you're ready to expand and let someone else take it all on for you. 

It is important to mention that since posting this checklist a few years ago, Instagram has changed the most. Like woaaaah, business accounts and everything. Oh My. The newly incorporated Stories feature is a great way to engage your existing follower base and collaborate with other businesses. I wrote more about Instagram's November features earlier.  Check that out if you're feeling sassy and ready to take it on.  

Oh and now for a not so subtle Firefly Social plug: We have new updated checklists that are exclusively available to our clients who want to focus on specific platforms to engage with their followers and grow their brand. We give you all the guides, step-by-steps, ticks and tricks to help you feel confident posting content for your business.

 We recommend different paths for each client based on their business, their goals and their capabilities. And we have the fun checklists, guides and step-by-steps just for you. Plus, we offer regular check-ins to keep you on target. We are always just an email or message away to answer your questions or trouble-shoot for Firefly clients. 

Reach out if you're ready for a more guided step into the overwhelming world of social. We are here to help you navigate it at your own pace. 



Christie St. Martin

Chief Firefly Officer*

*because my kid is really into Fireflies. Or anything that glows. Or Lemons. Yesterday she just carried a lemon around for 3 hours.

Ever-Changing Instagram: GIFs, Mentions, Links, and Live Video! OH MY.

Instagram loves change.  Making it easily one of the most exciting platforms for small businesses to incorporate into their marketing strategy.


These are the new features you want to familiarize yourself with to stay on top of your social game.  Instagram Stories are upping the awesome by making it easy and fun to create GIFs with Boomerang, mention your friends directly in your story, add links and woaaaaah now there's live video and disappearing messages.

Boomerang Stories

To create a Boomerang, swipe right from your feed to open the stories camera. A new button under the record button lets you select “Boomerang” mode. Just tap Record and your camera will stitch together a burst of photos to create a short animation that plays forward and backward.

Right now this feature is only available in Instagram Stories and not with the regular camera app. This offers a lot of fun ways to show off your company's products or brand in unique ways to your follower base. Don't be scared. Give it a whirl. 

Story Friend Mentions

This is a cool new feature that could allow for some great business partner collaborations. You can now tag other users in a story. Perhaps you want to tag someone who just won a cool contest your business was running directly. The world is your oyster. You can also send a story directly to another user.

Be inventive and find cool ways to use this feature to excite your followers. Keep them smiling while they scroll through their friends stories and shares. 

Links are coming (brace yourselves)

This is pretty big news and I don't think we are very far away from this getting to be a major break for businesses on Instagram. Right now this feature is only available for verified accounts but I think we can all expect it to be available for everyone. So lets get ourselves ready for the future. 

No really this is mega news. This will be the first time they made a clickable link within the Instagram app that didn't need to appear in your bio. This feature is a big deal for brand loyalty and promotion. What does this mean for you? Well, it means it's time to get really comfortable with Instagram promotions and thinking on your feet.  

If you are a verified account already and want to add a link to your Instagram Story, all you have to do is tap the link icon at the top of your screen to open the "Add Link" page. Then just fill in the url and presto. You will have the option to preview the link before going live.  Then all you have to do is hit "done" and you're live. 

Live Video Stories

It's here. Most of us saw this coming down the pipeline but now it's time to find cool ways to use this feature for your business. This feature allows you to broadcast to your followers in real-time through the Stories feature. Your viewers can watch live broadcasts and check out new live stories feature on the Explore tab. Maybe you have a holiday product you want to launch. What better way to offer your subscribers a sneak peek LIVE from the studio. ;)

To go "LIVE", swipe right from your feed to open the camera and select the "Start Live Video". You can now share up to an hour of live content. Maybe have a big glass of water and a shot of espresso before you try to tackle a whole hour. Goodness. 

Social Media Marketing: So much noise. so little time. where should you start?

You need to know your company's voice. Get to the bottom of your brand and how it should sound online to attract your customers, your clients, and your brand enthusiasts.

For those of us who spend too much time online, we know one thing is very clear, there's a lot of noise. Breaking through all of the advice that's thrown in your face as you try to find where you and your company belong here is exhausting. I'm here to tell you that most of it doesn't apply to you anyway and, if you got advice that's helpful, it's probably not in the order you think it is should be for your business.

People hear social media buzz words and they think they have cracked the code to fixing their online presence problem. We know everyone wants a quick fix and as internet law states, if you see something somewhere (anywhere) here it must then be true. If this year's election taught us anything it's that if you repeat it enough, I guess that makes it factual information? *SIGH* Look, you're great at your job, enough to go into business for yourself in your field, THAT'S INCREDIBLE. You've also at some point in your career likely smirked or deeply sighed when someone who doesn't know what you do tries to tell you all about your skill set. Sooooo here's the deal: I'm great at what I do, so let me tell you how completely ridiculous it all sounds to me in my field when people tell me all they need is an SEO expert and a viral post. I'm here to tell you that social media, unless you're a big brand with a big budget, is a lot of work. IT'S NOT DIFFICULT WORK (as so many will have you believe), but it is time consuming, continuous, and all about customer service (which may not be something you actually have time in your life for when you are oh so busy doing what it is YOU are good at). You might be thinking it's time to let someone else give you a head start or take the reigns entirely for you. but that's a conversation for another post or between you and me directly. Today I am going to write about how not to waste your time thinking you need to spread your effort equally EVERYWHERE online. It starts with finding out who is really going to be your main audience online and figuring out how you talk to them in a way that grabs their attention.

Take a deep breath. Time to evaluate who your company is online.

No matter what your business is about, It's time to evaluate what it is you're good at again with new purpose. Who are you as a brand? Take a deep breath or, if you're me, pour a glass of wine (a big one) and think about what your brand's voice sounds like. What does it sound like to you in your head? Can you hear it? Pro Tip: If you're hearing multiple voices, consider seeing a doctor. if you hear something akin to your own version of Mr. Moviefone in your head you might be on the right track.

Sometimes we know exactly what we want our message to be, but by the time we open our mouth or open WordPress... it's gone like the wind. Even if we know exactly what we want to say, we are time strapped in trying to get that across in text, video, or even to another person to speak on our behalf. Hey, it's not like posting a status update on Facebook that could make a few aunts and uncles roll their eyes. This is your lively-hood and you can't apologize as easily after the fact. It's a huge deal and it's incredibly important you get it right. I think you get that. All the more reason not to rush to posting until you got that brand message clear and uniform across all future posts. 

You want brand consistency across all platforms and you want it to be real to who you are, real to who your business is, and something you know is going to hit home with your customer base. No matter what you're selling (you, a product, a service) this step is the most important before hitting publish. This deep breath (wine optional) moment of reflection is to examine what you think your company's tone already is or should be.

What is your company all about?

Who is your company all about?

Who do you want to grab the attention of the most?

You need a target. And get specific. REAL SPECIFIC. Sure, you want everyone and their grandmother's best friend at Bingo to follow your company's pages, but it's not where you want to start. Specifics are everything. Then we can customize your brand to your most important audience and go from there. You need to know how to speak to them, so lets break that down.

Lets take imaginary Susie and her friendship bracelet company, "Lady-Bud-Beads" (I've had some wine. That is a terrible company name but I want to get to the beef of this post before my daughter wakes up). Susie knows she got the idea from turning her passion into a company on Instagram. She knows there might be more untapped members of her tribe there, but she is not quite sure how to find them. Before I could ever recommend to Susie that she dives in and sets up shop immediately on IG, she needs to figure out who she is and who is going to want to click through Instagram posts of rainbow friendship beads THE MOST and buy them for themselves and all their best lady-buds (just awful, ANYWAY moving on).

What would I tell Susie to do next? I'd tell Susie to make some lists. What self respecting friendship bracelet lady doesn't love making lists? Maybe invite some friends over whose opinions she values and ask for some honesty while they... I don't know, braid each other hair and drink cocoa.

One list should be all about why she wants to spend her free time making beaded necklaces and what appeals to her the most about it. Why it's good for her and for others and why she thinks her product is like no other bead company online. I'd ask her: What makes her different? What makes her brand unique?

Then I'd have her start a second list of who she thinks would actually buy these beads in order of most likely or perhaps most important for her brand image. For all we know, she wants her beads to land on Kim Karadashian's daughter's wrist. I mean, that's pretty specific and I did say, specifics are everything when it comes to starting your online strategy, as audacious as they might be. Susie's got her target audience figured out.

Now Susie has finished these two lists. This is a great start. I'd sit down with Susie and discuss if those two lists still reflected her company's brand after sleeping on it. Is there anything she would change before taking the next step. Lets assume she knew EXACTLY why she rocked, what made her stand out from the crowd and 100% wanted to be on Kim Karadashian's daughter and all her bffs' wrists. Now we have something to work with.

The next list I would have Susie make is one we might not all have enough time to do the research on. That's where Firefly Social could come in and handle it for you or coach you through the process. It's time to get to know her target market a little more intimately. Starting perhaps with a list of all trending hashtags and cross promotional brands that relate to friendship beads and the ones holding the wallet ready to buy her bracelets.

I'd breakdown those categories into different classifications of directly related products and ones that could have cross promotional purposes. In Susie's case, that list might start to look like:

Fashion [Accessories, Bag]
Fashion [Accessories, Hat]
Fashion [Accessories, Sunglasses]
Fashion [Accessories]
Fashion [Adjective]
Fashion [Blogger]
Fashion [Currently Wearing]

And looking at trendsetters and fashion leaders on Instagram (her target market) and identifying what kind of products they are interested in sharing with their thousands of followers.

Susie or someone on Susie's behalf needs to think about:

Do they have a larger network they share within?

How does she break into that circle?

What areas does Susie need to focus on first?

Is it stylistic photos of her bead and catchy brand voice?

Is it perhaps sending beads to these fashion influencers?

How do those images and CTA (call to actions) look in her market? Should her brand voice be similar, in tone or completely unique?

It's time for Susie to research not just her target audience but the way in which they share products of a similar nature. Susie needs to figure out how she can get re-posted and her product's voice to these trendsetting bead loving fashionistas. Once we answer these questions, It's time to create a strategy for Susie and her new bead company that's all her own that will put her on the map.

And my daughter is awake. GOODBYE BLOG, until next time... 


Christie St. Martin 

Chief Firefly Catcher