Marketing Mondays at the SBDC: Glow Social Media “Why Your Business Needs to Get on Instagram”

Why should you bother creating an Instagram account for your business, when you’re already on Facebook? Many business owners are still reluctant to commit to regularly engaging on Instagram, especially when it involves regularly posting new photos and videos. Join Courtney Lane Maki, owner of Glow Social Media, to discover why your brand should be on Instagram, and how to make the most of your time spent on the social network. This was filmed (by UnoDeuce MultiMedia) at Marketing Mondays at the Small Business Development Center in Lansing, Michigan. Watch below: Glow Social Media’s Courtney Lane Maki on “Why Your Business Needs to Get on Instagram (And Post Things)”.

If you’re looking for more in-depth content, here are some of my notes from the presentation. It also gives you a look into how I prepare for these talks! (Note: there are no notes for slides 4-19 as I am walking through the tutorials on the slideshow)

Slide 1: Open

Instagram has taken the best features of all of the top social media platforms and rolled them into one, rapidly growing interface.

  1. Advertising  – easy interface through facebook, better engagement on ads
  2. Use of hashtags is still alive and well
  3. 1 minute long video posts with expanded editing options is the best of youtube
  4. IG Stories took a note from snapchat
  5. IG live

Slide 2: 300

What IS IG? Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing app and social network created in 2010. In 2012, Facebook purchased the service for $1 billion. According to Instagram, the social platform has more than 300 million daily active users and 500 million monthly users. Instagram is photo- and video-centric, so users can edit and post images and short videos, record Instagram stories, and go live with video

Slide 3: The Lineup

Here’s an outline of what I’m going to cover today. Take notes, and I also encourage you to follow along with your own account. So whip those phones and tablets out!

Slide 20: Other Tags

Hashtags can include letters and numbers, but they can’t contain any non-numerical symbols.

Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post or comment.

Instagram allows you to add your location to your photos when you post them, and if you use this feature, the service will create a photo map of your posts. This shows you, on a map, where all of your photos have been taken, so this is especially useful if your business is related to travel or if you travel a lot in relation to your brand.

Slide 21:

  1. Show off your products or services. Take pictures of cool new products as you get them in, or share pictures of your most popular products. Or, if you run a service business, like a hair salon or a restaurant, take the time to take photos of your work.
  2. Go behind the scenes. Take pictures and videos to show how your products or goods are made, especially if the process is unique or interesting, or something your customers ask about often. This will not only provide interesting content for your Instagram account, but will also show your customers and followers exactly what goes on in the background.
  3. Include your employees. Make your brand’s Instagram page more personal by including your employees in your posts. Share pictures of your team members hard at work or having fun at company outings.
  4. Ask your customers to show off their photos. Put your Instagram handle and custom hashtags on your products or promotional materials to encourage customers to tag you when they share photos of your product, service or work. This way, other users who want to know where it came from can find you easily. Just make sure you’re checking them out, liking them and commenting on them, so they continue to do so.
  5. Post exclusive deals on your Instagram. Give back to your Instagram followers by offering them discounts for following you. Share an image with instructions on how to use the deal — for example, you can create a coupon code for use at your business online, or ask users (when they’re paying for a product or service) to show they follow you. This will make your followers feel special, and likely get them telling their friends about your business, too.
  6. Hold Live interviews, Q&As (Refinery, Gary Vaynerchuk)

Slide 22:

Links don’t work in Instagram captions. The only place you can share a working link that actually takes users to a website is in your profile (or through a button on a sponsored post). Links don’t work in captions or photo comments, so if you’re trying to direct people to a specific web page, you can change the default link in your bio to that particular page and note in the caption that the link is on your profile.

Make sure your posts relate to your brand. It can be tempting to share photos of food, fashion and animals because they’re so popular on the platform, but if your business has nothing to do with those things, this could make your social marketing look disjointed and could confuse your followers. However, if you can find a way to incorporate pictures like these while still making them relevant to your business, it could make your social marketing strategy more successful.

Run giveaways and promotions. Post an image advertising your giveaway, sale or contest and asking users to re-post that image with a specific, custom hashtag in order to enter. You can then search that hashtag to see who has re-posted it and pick a winner. Promotions like this allow your customers and followers to market your brand for you by talking about your promotion on their personal pages, and it will drive more people to visit your profile.

Respond to other users’ comments. When people comment on your photos, reply to them. Interacting with your customers and followers will show them that you are paying attention and that you care about whether they see your photos and what they have to say. They’ll be more likely to continue following you and interacting with your pictures if they feel like they matter.

If you would like more information on Glow Social Media‘s services, fill out this form.

Content Marketing/Social Media Internship – Summer 2017

Do you love content production? Can’t get enough of filming live videos on social media platforms? I am looking for a Social Media intern for the Summer 2017 Semester. This is a unique opportunity to engage in a range of marketing initiatives and to be trained in strategic thinking and content creation for a personal brand including creating objectives, and measures of success. You will gain hands-on experience and develop a thorough understanding of social media marketing practices and tactics. While your focus will primarily be on social media, you will be working on projects with general marketing and communications needs and will subsequently become familiar with basic public relations practices and procedures. This is an ideal opportunity for a recent graduate or student with a degree or background focused in marketing, PR, communications or related field. Interns must be in Greater Lansing or Metro Detroit and available to work at least 10 hours per week. Scheduling and start/end dates are flexible.

  • Excellent writing ability
  • Strong editing, email, and verbal skills
  • Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously
  • Proficiency in all Social Networks, Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Understanding of dominant social networks and best practices for sharing and increasing engagement across them; awareness of current social media trends
  • Google Analytics experience is preferred
  • Prior relevant experience is preferred


Interns will learn how to:

  • Create and deliver effective social media marketing content
  • Engage with fans across social media platforms
  • Appropriately maneuver between social media outlets based on industry needs
  • Brainstorm, design, and implement a full-scale, social media campaign
  • Research the latest in industry news and updates


Email resume and cover letter to: courtney @

Local First Mid-Michigan Lunch & Learn

April 6th I’ll be speaking at a Lunch & Learn for Capital Area Local First, an organization who’s committed to the community and growing a sustainable local economy. They work to educate the community about the multiple benefits of locally owned independent businesses, and to nurture relationships among locally owned businesses.

I’ll be speaking about social media for business, and ideally taking a deeper dive into Instagram for business. If you’re in Mid-Michigan and would like to attend, register here.

I’ll be streaming live on Facebook from Glow Social Media, so be sure to tune in!

Reserve JUNO: The First Smart Makeup Mirror Under $50

Why is JUNO the perfect mirror for you?

Depending on the time of day and where you’re headed, the JUNO Mirror has the exact light setting that best fits your makeup needs. Day and night light settings help you look flawless. (Juno)


Whether you’re a beauty blogger or just interested in putting your best face forward, the Juno and its various lighting options can help. With three different mirror settings, you can set the mirror to reflect either daylight, sunlight, or evening light conditions. And thanks to the companion smartphone app, users can even save their preferred setting so that it’s always on the right one. The app also uses your phone’s sensor to “detect the lighting in the surrounding environment outside of your home,” Juno’s website claims. That means the smart mirror can “auto-adjust itself to find the best light.” (Read more: Digital Trends)


Reserve yours or donate to the Juno Kickstarter today!


Courtney Lane Maki 2017 Athena PowerLink Recipient

Courtney Lane Maki, Founder of Glow Social Media Selected as

2017 ATHENA PowerLink Recipient


LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has announced that Courtney Lane Maki, founder and managing director of Glow Social Media, has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the prestigious ATHENAPowerLink® (APL) award. As the APL recipient, Maki will be connected to a panel of expert mentors who will consult with her regarding business growth strategies over the next 12 months. Since 2006, APL has helped women business owners in Greater Lansing grow their sales, business and personal net income, the number of employees in the business, and enhance their leadership and management skills.


“I thought back to the women that have been chosen before me and how successful they have become,” said Maki. “I hope to continue the legacy they have established in the community.”


Glow Social Media offers small businesses access to digital content management that can compete with Fortune 500 companies. Maki works with clients to create a strategic social media plan that will help them gain brand awareness and generate traffic. Glow Social Media also focuses on promoting the clients brand mission and ensuring a consistent voice. The company uses what is known as content marketing to help clients showcase their expertise through blogging, videos and web sites. Visit Glow’s website to learn more about the latest services from Glow Social Media.

The advisory panel is a group of business professionals who volunteer their time to work one-on-one with the business owner for one year. This group of experts assists in the development and implementation of the entrepreneur’s business plan and strategic goals.

Established in 1999, ATHENAPowerLink is a national mentoring program that connects selected women business owners with a skilled advisory panel.


Past ATHENAPowerLink Recipients

You won’t forget her name

Taylor opening for Radio Disney's, Shane Harper
Taylor opening for Radio Disney’s Shane Harper

Ok, so let’s get right to it: her name really is Taylor Taylor. The story goes like this, and makes perfect sense: Taylor’s mother, Kristen Taylor – the only official Michigan “Momager” certified by a government-issued “MOMAGER” license plate – found herself with child before marriage. Her plan all along had been to name her child “Taylor” to preserve the family name. So the double-name was supposed to be a very temporary situation. As it turned out, Kristen ended up not getting married. So there you go – Taylor Taylor. I like it. And Greater Lansing must be feeling the good vibe too, keeping her a steady #1 or #2 on the Reverbnation local pop charts. You can’t turn around without finding her performing somewhere in the Greater Lansing area. Whether Common Ground, where she filled the minor stage viewing area more than any other act, or Farmer’s Markets, pubs, libraries, planetariums, hotel lounges, restaurant openings, fundraisers, church festivals, music festivals, opening for visiting acts, or even on live Radio, as when she appeared on the Current State program on 90.5 WKAR on Friday, October 21st. She’s done the obligatory up-and-comer Nashville and L.A. thing too, but remains home-based, choosing to finish her education.

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in Greater Lansing who hasn’t heard Taylor perform. Her cool jazzy pop guitar and vocal skills have grown with the constant performing, and her songwriting continues to mature as well, with a second EP release in January of this year (2016).

If you have met Taylor, you know she is quietly charming and poised beyond her years. It’s no wonder, then, that despite starting her career at an age when most young female performers take a shot at the glitzy, frenetic pop-idol track, singing other people’s music until they get famous, Taylor chose the long game – songwriting. But to be a songwriter, you can’t dabble, as she has heard from top people in the music industry. So, like every professional writer, she strives to write every single day.

So, what about Taylor’s music? Have a listen to the title track on her recent ‘Right Here’ EP, and you’ll hear some hopeful and clear-eyed poetry befitting a fine young artist sorting out life. Another song from that EP, Nice To Know You, is what I might go out on a limb and call the signature Taylor sound. Easy to listen to, jazzy but not goofy; easy to move to, to tap your foot to, and yet wouldn’t crowd out the party as background music. Catchy lyrics, just enough attitude, every word clearly spoken, musically and lyrically interesting, well-chosen fill-in instrumentation and harmonies; a solid production in anybody’s book. I consider both of these songs superior to her earlier promo Candy Store-also a solid production, but not nearly as interesting as the other two more mature and recent songs cited here. I’m loving the direction Taylor is taking her music. And I’m doubly-loving the fact that she’s all over the local music scene. Let’s see, where is she next? She was at Uncle Johns Cider Mill last Friday afternoon following the morning radio show mentioned above, and she’ll be performing at the CASA for Kids Fundraiser Luncheon next Saturday at the Crowne Plaza West. Go see her, in the off chance you haven’t already, so you’ll be able to say “I knew her when . . .”.

It’s Our Anniversary! 1 Year of The Drinking Lunch Lansing

Time flies when you’re having cocktails fun!

I can’t believe that this month marks a year of our little monthly networking event! The Drinking Lunch has grown in popularity over the past year and I am so excited for what the next 12 months have in store.


Here’s a little history:

The Drinking Lunch was created by 2nd Brain Collective, a thought-group made up of Ash Harris, Founder of AKEA Web Solutions, Courtney Lane Maki, Founder of Glow Social Media and Paul Schmidt, Founder of UnoDeuce Multimedia. It was created upon the following idea:

There was a time when it was expected that you’d have a few at your business lunch – and then it vanished. We’re PROUD to be bringing back the afternoon libation – without the judgment. RSVP for our 1 Year Anniversary Event!

DrinkingLunch_FLYER_1yr-wht (1)

The three of us are avid networkers in Greater Lansing and were longing to attend an event for entreprenuers and executives where the pressure was off, but not as casual as an evening happy hour, and the focus was on creating friendships that can lead to business opportunities. The time of the event is strategic, you have to be at a level in your career where mid-day networking is allowed. Finally, the name, it’s intended to be a nod to days gone by, but also it let’s people know to expect a more relaxed environment. Our regulars have dubbed it, TDL, so it will have a place on office calendars. But whatever you call it, prepare for a networking evnt like none other.


Can You Dig It? Lansing’s Leading Lady of Music

Jen Sygit, Solo
Jen with Stella
The Stella Girls, left to right: Jo Serrapere, Jen Sygit, Laura Ann Bates

It’s a blast meeting the musicians around town. I try to make sure I see every new artist that comes on the scene. Then of course there are those who seem to work nearly every night, the beloved familiar faces. And then . . . there is “Lansing’s leading lady of music”, Jen Sygit. She turns up so many places, I considered seriously that she might have an identical twin. Read more

Lansing Music Scene Contributor: Brennan Hayden, of Lansing Local Live Music

blue profileI am not a musician, let’s get that straight right up front. Sure, I can plunk out a few chords on the guitar. I write songs. 3 to be exact. So, yeah. I just love live music! I’ve lived in Williamston, Michigan with my wife and 3 children since 2002. I was born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky, on the banks of the Ohio River. I headed up river to Louisville for college; and further up river to Cincinnati, Ohio for that first job. There I married the love of my life, the incomparable Terri Davis-Hayden, and started a family. After stints in Washington, D.C. and Long Island, New York, we landed in Michigan. And here we are. I often say, if I had been born in Michigan, I would probably have never left.

My career has not been in music per se, though I worked for one of the first companies in the ringtone business. No, I started in computer programming, and worked my way into apps long before apps were cool, then into advertising technology. But my wife has been a professional singer since before we were married, and our children are all pursuing art and music as a vocation in some way or another. So as the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Now I’m immersed in the business and experience of music. In my blog and Facebook posts, I like to share my casual, upbeat experiences of the local scene. I also edit a calendar site, Lansing Local Live Music, designed for the average person who wants to hop in the car on any random night and quickly and reliably find some live music to groove to. Check it out, and if you see me out on the town, be sure and say hello.