You want to regularly engage the audience you already have and get more followers. To engage your current followers, post engaging photos. If you want more people to follow you, use the most popular hashtags.
The Right Filters
Some filters are more favored by Instagram users more than others. Use the preferred filters to make your followers more interested.
These are the most popular filters:
- Normal (No Filter)
- X-Pro II
The Right Times
Trial and error is the best approach here. What has worked before? What has not worked? The IconoSquare optimization section gives detailed information of your posting history and engagement. The report will also tell you the best times to post.
Steal Followers from Your Competitor
Look for your competitors’ accounts on Instagram and engage with your audience. The fact that they follow that account means that they are interested in your products or products similar to yours.
- Follow them
- Like their photo
- Comment on their photo
Pay for Product Reviews and Sponsored Posts
This tactic may not be free but it can yield amazing results when used properly. Create a list of powerful; accounts in your niche. They should have a large following and an email address somewhere in their profile. Ask them, via email, what they charge for sponsored posts.
Tag your location (where the video/photo was taken or your current location). Locations have the advantage of a specified Instagram feed and Story. If you are a local business, this feature may be very useful for your business. Do not forget to engage with posts of people in the same location.
Organize Your Store
When someone visits your Instagram profile, you have a few seconds to convince them to hit the follow button. The “Highlights” feature gives a quick idea of what your brand is about.
Request for More Followers
Do not shy away from asking people to follow you. Promise more amazing content. Incorporate the request into your posts or captions. Give a hint of something exciting that is coming up.
Hop on Trends
Be on the lookout for trending hashtags or topics and align your content with that. Take advantage of holidays. Find relevant conversations and contribute in a meaningful way.
Run a Giveaway
Having a user tag a friend under your post has a number of benefits. Running giveaways encourages followers to tag their friends who will, in turn, follow you.
Publishing consistently entices new followers. When people land on your profile, they should be assured of regular exciting content.
Monitor Your Following
Use Social Blade (it is free) to see how your following is growing. If you run a Business account, you will have an Instagram Analytics dashboard. You will get free valuable insight.
Make Use of Instagram Tools
There are so many tools at your disposal for use in your Instagram strategy. Here are some of the most useful ones:
For your Instagram marketing strategy to succeed, you have to know your target audience well. You need to understand their motivation and interests to create content that is engaging. It is also important to know when they are online.
This post will help you with that.
Find and Research Your Target Audience
You might want to start here. You have probably defined buyer personas for your business already. Instead of reinventing the wheel, use that information and define your business’s Instagram target audience.
What are you selling and how is it supposed to help your customer? What does your customer look like?
To get more useful information about your target audience, take a look at a competitor’s Instagram page. Check their posts and followers. While doing this, see if you can find missing audience segments.
Make use of tools like Phlanx Influencer Auditor.
Existing Demographics Data
Your Instagram analytics are more useful than you think. Go to Audience under Analytics. You will see the location, gender, age range and other vital statistics of your followers.
Combine what you get with your competitor research data and buyer personas. You will have a better idea of your Instagram audience.
This helps you understand your target audience better. You will have an easier time engaging them once you know what their interests are and what they are taking about.
There are social media listening tools that help you see the conversations happening in your industry and those pertaining to specific topics. This knowledge lets you find relevant conversations to participate in and the thought leaders to work with.
You can also ask your audience what you want to know about them. Instagram Stories polls can be very useful—utilize them.
Reach and Engage Your Target Audience
With a clear picture of who you are targeting and what their interests are, you can now effectively target them.
The Right Hashtags
Your target audience will be following or using hashtags that are relevant to your industry. Make good use of these hashtags so your content can be noticed. Use tools such as RiteTag to discover top hashtags.
This enhances the visibility of your posts, helping you get discovered by the relevant people. They may even engage with the post because it is something they are interested in.
The Right Influencers
Instagram influencers have tons of followers and authority in certain niches. If you partner with the right one, you will effectively reach your target audience. Use platforms like Influence.co and BuzzSumo to discover them.
Participate in Conversations
Joining the right conversations will make you get discovered by your target audience. Utilize social listening tools so you can know what conversations to start or participate in.
Analytics Data Inspiration
Check the performance of your published posts. You will know what people like and are interested in. This enables you to make your marketing strategy even better by engaging your audience more.
Young people are almost always talking about Instagram. What is it? Well, it is not new and it is becoming increasingly popular by the day. Instagram is a social network where people can share videos and photos using their smartphones.
Introduction to Instagram
Just like Twitter and Facebook, you will have a newsfeed and a profile once you create Instagram. When you share a video or photo, it appears on your profile and your followers can see it on their feed. In the same way, you will see videos and photos from people you follow.
Users can interact on Instagram, as is the case with other social platforms. You can follow people and get followers, private messages, like, tag and comment. If you see a photo you like, you can save it too.
What Devices Work with Instagram?
It is a free app that you can download for free on your iPad, iPhone and Android devices. You can also access Instagram using your computer via the web. However, you will not be able to share existing content or upload new content. That can only be done via the mobile app.
Creating an Instagram Account
To use Instagram, you have to create an account first—it is free. Sign up either through email or your Facebook account. You will need a password and username.
When you first sign up, you will be prompted to follow your Facebook friends on Instagram. Skip through or follow them if you like.
You may want to customize your Instagram profile first. Add a photo, name, website link and a short bio. You will need to follow people and get followers to make the experience interesting. And people will be skeptical if you don’t have anything to show who you are.
Instagram as a Social Network
The main purpose of Instagram is to share photos and videos. Everyone wants to see and share the most appealing posts. Your user profile shows how many people you follow and how many follow you. If you want to follow someone, tap the follow button. If their profile is private, you will have to wait until they approve.
To interact with people, like their photos by double-tapping or add a comment below the post.
For follow suggestions, touch the search tab and you will see recommended users just for you.
Editing Instagram Posts
Instagram allows you to edit your photos before posting using a number of filters. You can take a video or photo via the app or upload from your gallery. You have 50 filters to choose from and other photo editing options.
Sharing Instagram Posts
Once you are satisfied with your edits, you can move to the next tab and write a caption, post to other socials, tag a location and tag a user.
Finally, publish the photo so your followers can see and interact with the post.
The Stories feature is at the top of the feed (the circles you see with other users’ names). Tap the circles to view a story.
Instagram has become the top platform for sharing visual content. It boasts of more than 800 million active users monthly, 60 million daily posts and 1.6 billion “likes” daily.
There are many popular influencers on the platform and you can become influential as well. All you need is great content to gain more followers and keep the ones you already have. If you have no idea how to do this, don’t worry. That is what you will learn here.
Get a Business Profile
Your account should be an Instagram Business Account. This could mean creating a new one or switching the current one.
To switch, go to Settings > Switch to Business Profile.
Having a business profile comes with some amazing benefits. There is a contact button, you can publish ads without using Facebook ad tools, you will have access to analytic tools and much more.
Utilize the Free Tools
One of the free tools you will be able to access is Insights. This means you can view engagement data, impressions and other statistics. Instagram can even show you the demographics of your followers. You will know their age, location, gender and active hours.
You also get the statistics of specific posts so you know what kind of content your followers like.
Product Teasers to Grab Attention
Advertisements can easily annoy potential buyers. Product teasers don’t make you look desperate and they make your followers excited about the product. A teaser could include an image of the product, a discount and CTA button.
Have Sponsored Ads
The best thing about Instagram ads is that you can control how much you spend by setting a budget.
There’s the option to show multiple ads or just one.
Instagram ads are great because your target audience will see your posts, even though they don’t follow you.
These are efficient for generating leads. They are live for 24 hours only and appear as a slideshow. They will be shown at the top so followers don’t have to scroll to find them.
Work with Influencers
Influencers already have a large following and they have built a relationship with their followers. Partnering with the right influencer will help you reach tons of potential buyers.
What if you could get Instagram content without doing the heavy lifting? Let your users know that they can submit photos using your product. And if you use the photo, you will tag them.
A Branded Hashtag
This is one of the best ways to get engagement. Red Bull, for instance, has #itgivesyouwings.
Your customers can post their photos using the hashtag and you will get user-generated content. Anyone can go though the hashtag to see posts about your brand.
Know the Right Time
Over-posting turns off followers. But you also want to appear in the newsfeed on a regular basis. So the wise thing to do is post during peak hours and days.
Track the Appropriate Metrics
Measure your performance to see what needs improvement. Track follower growth rate and engagement rates.
YouTube is testing a new feature called “Reels” that, at least in concept, will be similar to the Stories you see every day on Snapchat and Instagram. According to TechCrunch, Reels will be given their own tab — separate from a creator’s main list of videos. YouTube’s reasoning for introducing them is not unlike what we’ve heard from Snap and Instagram: people want a way to share content without having to go the full mile and publish a traditional YouTube video. Reels are being tested among a small group of the site’s creators, and the company isn’t yet saying when this “new format” will be more widely rolled out.
YouTube is diverging from the typical Stories formula in several ways. Most notably, Reels won’t disappear after 24 hours or some other arbitrary amount of time. And YouTube will let users have multiple Reels — each with its own set of videos. That’s different from Instagram and Snapchat, where your temporary posts are part of one, centralized story.
TechCrunch says the process of making Reels is as follows: you shoot “a few quick mobile videos of up to 30 seconds each” and can spruce them up with the usual mix of filters or by adding music and text. “We’re also bringing creator-focused features like linking to YouTube videos and YouTube-y stickers,” YouTube’s Roy Livne said in a blog post.
YouTube giving into the Stories trend comes alongside the hire of Todd Sherman, who previously worked as lead product manager on Snapchat’s trend-setting version of the feature. It’s not clear if Sherman will be helming, in YouTube’s own words, the company’s “spin” on stories.
Some people will likely bemoan the idea of Reels invading the YouTube experience. But, at least during this initial beta phase, it sounds like users won’t be hit over the head with them through obnoxious placement at the top of the app or other ways of force-feeding the new feature to viewers. Only if users “engage with Reels” will YouTube possibly start displaying them in your main home tab recommendations, according to TechCrunch. “We’ll be experimenting with a beta version of Reels to learn and improve the product before expanding to more creators,” Livne said.
YouTubers with 7 million or more subscribers can earn up to $300,000 to partner with brands. Though it may not be viable for regular folks to gain this level of notoriety, even with just 100,000 followers, an Instagram user could earn $5,000 for a post made in partnership with a brand.
If you’re a regular Instagram user, there are ways for you to monetize your account. Here are a few tips to get started:
Grow Your Following
If you want to make money through Instagram, you need to make sure that brands would want to partner with you. This means you need to start by growing your following.
Users with more than 100,000 followers have a good chance of finding brands that would partner with them. But even if you have just a few thousand followers, you could still work with brands that need micro-influencers. Use these tips to grow your following on the platform:
• Create high-quality content that would appeal to people in your niche. Make sure all images are vivid and relevant to the products you wish to promote, whether it’s beauty products, fitness products or clothing.
• Use relevant hashtags so people can easily discover your content and possibly even follow you. Tools like Hashtagify.me can help you discover popular hashtags to use in your posts.
• Ask relevant accounts for a shout-out. You can conduct a hashtag search to find popular Instagram accounts that share content from different users in your niche. Go through their content and contact them to share your post if you notice that they regularly do shout-outs. For instance, @global.travelz is an Instagram account with more than 180,000 followers. If you look through their posts, you’ll see that they’re mostly user-curated photos related to travel. Instagram users who wish to grow their following and build a name in the travel niche could ask them to share their content.
You can even observe top influencers and see what they’re doing to engage their audience, from choosing an aesthetic to posting at consistent times.
Understand How Much You Should Charge
Once you’re able to gain several thousand followers for your Instagram account, you need to understand how much you’re worth to brands. This helps you avoid overcharging or undercharging your clients.
Some influencers may overestimate their worth and charge several thousand dollars when they’re worth only a few hundred. Others may underestimate their worth and only charge a few hundred dollars when they could charge more than $1,000 for each sponsored post.
The Webfluential Influence Estimator is a useful tool to gain a better idea of how much your posts are really worth. The tool will calculate the number of followers and quality of engagement to see how much you should be charging per post. Keep in mind their free tool only calculates Twitter value. You will need to register as a Webfluential influencer to find out the worth of your Instagram posts.
Find Brands To Partner With
After this, you can start looking for brands that will pay you for your Instagram posts. If you have millions of followers, you’ll already have brands approaching you for partnerships, so you probably don’t need to read on. But for emerging influencers, you’ll have to do the grunt work and look for brands to partner with on your own.
The good news is that there are several influencer networks and influencer marketing platforms that accept micro-influencers. If you’re a part of this network, the company will put you in touch with brands that are in need of relevant influencers. Here are a few good networks and platforms you can sign up for:
• Buzzweb: If you have more than 5,000 followers, you could join Buzzweb and monetize your Instagram influence. You can use the platform to calculate your potential monthly earnings based on the size of your following. And you can apply to be a part of as many campaigns as you wish. After your post is approved, you get paid within 24 hours.
• Influence.co: Influence.co extends to more than 1,000 brands across 65+ countries. You can look for ones that you wish to partner with and directly submit an application to join their campaign. If you’re still a micro-influencer, this is much better than waiting around for a brand to approach you for a partnership.
• TRIBE: TRIBE is an excellent platform for influencers who only have a few thousand followers. The process of working with brands on the platform is fairly simple. You just need to find brands that you already use and are a fan of. You can then create a post for that brand and submit it for review. Once approved, you get paid within 48 hours.
• TapInfluence: There’s also TapInfluence, which estimates your monthly earning potential once you create your profile. You can choose the topics and subtopics you specialize in, then set your rate. The platform then matches you with brands whose needs match your characteristics.
• Fullbottle: If your content tends to get high levels of engagement, Fullbottle would be an ideal platform for you. On this platform, you don’t charge per post but, instead, get paid according to the engagement your content drives. You can bid a certain amount for every like on the Instagram post you create for a brand.
The most difficult part about monetizing your Instagram account is growing your following. But the tips provided here can help you overcome this challenge. And once you have sufficient followers, you just need to connect with the right brands to start earning through Instagram.
The introduction of Instagram’s algorithm rewrote the rules of the platform and sparked outrage from influencers who deem the algorithm as creatively debilitating. Despite the outcries, Instagram hasn’t changed its stance on showing audiences what the platform thinks they want to see, rather than what has been most recently posted in the network.
While the algorithm forces content creators to work harder for engagement, users also have more platform touch-points to reach viewers in the forms of Instagram Live and Stories. There are approximately 800 million users engaging with Instagram every month (and 500 million daily), giving marketers the opportunity to connect with a robust (and fast growing) audience.
Over the past year the platform has become more sophisticated, and to keep up, so too must users. Gone are the days when brands and influencers could afford to simply throw content up on their feeds and hope something would stick. Organizations spanning various verticals, including Founding Farmersrestaurants, Taft, and Azazie, are tapping into Instagram’s newest features as a means of building deeper connections, growing their audiences and, of course, increasing their incomes.
Now, to truly leverage the vast reach and engagement potential of the platform, content creators must take more shrewd approaches.
While there is no magic formula to Instagram success, there are a few new and classic strategies that anyone or brand looking to up its Instagram game must implement. It’s time to get smarter with your Instagram marketing efforts and here are five hacks that deserve your attention:
1. Go Deeper with Instagram Stories
When you were new to Instagram, posting a photo and getting one comment was cause for celebration. However, as you’ve come to realize the benefits of this social platform, you’re looking for more.
This is where Instagram Stories comes into play. With this feature, you can share every moment from your day, all in slideshow format through both photos and videos.
It’s like Instagram marketing on steroids. You don’t have to worry as much about over-posting, in part because stories only stay up for 24 hours (although you still want to make sure it’s content that your audience wants to see, and that you don’t oversaturate). You can tell your story in a variety of ways: photos, videos, boomerangs, geo filters, stickers and/or emojis.
According to Dan Simons, co-owner of the most booked restaurant in the nation on Open Table,
“Insta-stories are a great way to give some real, authentic, behind the scenes looks into your business. At Founding Farmers for example, if we’re shaping bread in our bakery, getting a delivery from one of our partners, breaking down a whole fish, or making our ginger syrup at the bar – these are all things that our guests don’t usually see. We get great engagement when we go behind the scenes – and by doing this, we also get to showcase the people who work in the restaurant day in and day out – which is of huge value to us.”
Insta-stories is built so that you can tag other businesses and people easily, as long as they have an instagram account. In addition, business accounts with more than 10K followers can now link directly to products or services with the “swipe up to learn more” action. Thanks to Shopify, Instagram is also developing a way to sell directly without requiring users to ever leave the app to make a purchase. Although it’s still in test mode, it won’t be long before you can use this integration to sell directly to your target audience on Instagram.
This hack is sure to change marketing strategies in 2018.
2. Use Instagram Live
If an Instagram photo or story isn’t enough to get your point across, it may be time to experiment with Instagram Live.
With live video posted in real-time, there are many ways to use this feature to hack your way to Instagram success. Consider covering a live event, hosting a question and answer session, hosting a live show, or vlogging.
Many brands are still experimenting with Instagram Live, but the beauty of this feature is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. Because the content is fleeting, it gives you the chance to pull back the curtain on your brand and highlight your voice and brand personality.
Take cues from brands, such as Cheerios, that have found a place in their marketing plan for Instagram Live.
For example, the company recently used this feature to introduce a new product that’s now available in stores nationwide. The video isn’t long or deeply involved, but it packs more punch than a standard post.
3. Interact Regularly with Your Followers
It’s social media, which means you need to be social with your followers. Instagram isn’t a post and run platform, but a post, connect, and converse. This includes responding to comments on your pictures, responding to direct messages via your stories, even using stories to answer questions directly, or interacting with your followers in other ways. Building your business capacity and systems to be live in real time on Instagram is an investment worth making.
Ecommerce bridal retailer, Azazie, recognizes that its customers are the heartbeat of its brand, and they are passionate about sharing their experiences and photographs with the entire Azazie community. When a customer makes the effort to engage with Instagram content, the Azazie team does not let it go unnoticed. For this company, every customer is an influencer, and every engagement matters.
Ted Chin’s eye.c Instagram page shows what it means to engage with followers. He doesn’t just post photos and move on. He takes the time to respond to as many comments as possible, which helps boost both the comment count and the number of likes.
If you’re new to Instagram, it will only take a few minutes to respond to every comment. It sounds trivial, but it’s one of the best ways to speed up the growth of your page. Your followers want to be part of your brand. Engaging through the comment section will help them feel included.
4. Opt For Quality Over Quantity
It goes without saying, perhaps, but on a social media platform built around pictures, image quality is paramount. It’s getting tougher to break through the Instagram noise and really resonate with audiences and brands have to prioritize quality. Uploading images that are off-brand, or inconsistent with your voice and tone can be jarring to your followers who can be very quick to unfollow you.
There is a lot of data available on what types of posts get the most engagement. For example, according to SproutSocial, photos with faces garner 38 percent more likes, and photos generate 36 percent more engagement than videos. Hopper HQ Instagram performance analysis indicates the Gingham filter attracts more likes and comments than any of the others, and Clarendon came in second.
If you’re wondering what a high quality Instagram photo looks like, check out National Geographic’s page. The photos tell a story, are within the brand’s niche, and are diverse enough to keep people coming back for more.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take “National Geographic-like” photos. All you need is a plan and some creativity. Snap as many photos as you can and then choose the best.
5. Choose Your Captions and Hashtags Wisely
As competition on Instagram continues to pick up, it’s more important than ever to use the consider how your captions and hashtags support your visual content.
Following a test this past summer, Instagram is now letting users broadcast live with a friend. Users can invite anyone who’s currently watching their broadcast to join, although only two people can broadcast simultaneously, which is visualized through a split screen. The owner of the broadcast can remove their guest and add someone else whenever they want.
The actual stories will look different in Instagram’s feed, too. Instead of a single live circle, you’ll see two circles stacked on top of each other. The update should be live in both the App Store and the Google Play Store today.
Words are for us as writers what computers are to office workers. They are the lifeline to pretty much every facet of our work. Not only do we use them to communicate our art form, but we obsess, play, hate, love and need them in order to do what we do. Sometimes we need a rest from all the word playing—and hating.
Where can we find that rest without cutting ourselves off even further from social exchange, but also without having to use even more words? It can be done—with Instagram. Not only can you use Instagram, but as an author, you should be using Instagram. For more than one or two reasons.
There are a lot of authors who use Instagram in ways that may be entertaining. It’s entertaining in the same way the crazy lady in the grocery store is who pulls out every gallon of milk from the dairy cooler in order to get the one that has the furthest date of expiration. Yeah, it’s weird and maybe a little funny, but mostly kind of pathetic.
There are plenty of famous authors who evoke that kind of reaction on Instagram. Don’t be one of those authors. Instead, consider some of the following rational ways to use Instagram to help further your author name and influence.
- To Follow Bloggers Who Review Books
This reason really shouldn’t have to be explained. I mean, duh – if you follow enough book-bloggers, you increase the chance that one or more of them will review your book, which is read by said blogger’s audience. Whether that audience is 100 or 100,000 – isn’t it worth it to reach that amount of potential buyers of your book for free?
- For Self-Promotion and Marketing
Instagram can be used for promoting your name or your newest book. You can host a contest with a free copy of your book as the prize. You can ask for photo submissions that revolve around the theme of your book or you can just use photos to connect to your fans and readers. As BuzzFeed’s article on book covers altered to include James Franco shows us, humor can be a great marketing strategy.
Inspire Yourself and Your Fans
Visual imagery can be the source of inspiration on a daily basis. All you need to do is catalogue it and you have your own visual diary for defeating the worst case of writer’s block. Not only can these photos inspire you, but they may equally inspire your readers and fans, who will in turn, recommend their network to follow you as well. Many writers use inspirational tweets and Facebook posts to reach their readers. Your followers will respond well to inspirational messages that reaffirm their beliefs.
Collaborate with Your Fans
This could be a marketing project or it could be research for a new novel. Projects can range from social research to just-for-fun, to things like #100HappyDays, which seems to be a combination of both. 100HappyDays is inspirational, fun, challenging and engaging. Hosting a project like this could provide you with tons of material for your next book, or it could simply attract a ton of followers — aka, readers.
- What better place to advertise your stunning new book cover than Instagram? Book covers are certainly one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal for attracting a new reader. I don’t know about you, but if I come across an author I’ve never heard of, but they write in a genre I like to read and they have a fantastically interesting book cover – I am much more likely to purchase that book. By the way, this is also another reason to never cut any corners on your cover art.
- Give Fans/Readers an Inside Look at Your Life
You don’t have to reveal all the skeletons in your closet, but a few pictures of your most recent vacation, your adorable pets, a weekend trip to the harbor and a ride on a boat will get you noticed — people love this kind of stuff. The more you draw in your readers and fans by showing that you’re just like them, the more they will be inclined to follow you and interact with your more professional work.
- Follow Other Authors
Especially if you are a new author, following more experienced authors certainly can’t hurt. Even the most experienced author is not exempt from gaining insight from other authors. Networking with other authors as a new or previously unpublished author can be eye-opening and present you with opportunities you may not have otherwise come across.
Instagram is one of the best social apps you can use as an author, because not only does it give us a rest from all those words, but it can be used in so many ways—personally or professionally. You just have start thinking less in words and more in pictures.
Instagram just suffered a potentially serious (and this time, very real) data breach. The social photo service is sending out alerts that intruders got access to the phone numbers and email addresses for a number of “high-profile” users by exploiting a bug in Instagram’s programming interface. The attackers didn’t obtain passwords, and Instagram says it has already fixed the bug, but it’s warning all verified users out of an “abundance of caution.”
We’ve asked Instagram for more details and will let you know if it can shed more light on the situation, such as when the breach happened and how many people were targeted. It’s also unclear if this is related to the recent hack that compromised Selena Gomez’s Instagram account.
The breach isn’t as severe as it could have been, but it’s definitely not what Instagram needs in the wake of the Gomez incident. The social network is growing very rapidly, but it might run into trouble if big-name users are hesitant to stick around over security fears. The apparently prompt fix suggests that Instagram is at least on top of these issues when they do come up.
Facebook is losing appeal among teens and young adults which is contributing to generally slowing growth for the platform, according to the latest projections from research firm eMarketer.
At the same time alternative social apps Snapchat and (Facebook-owned) Instagram are seeing rising and double-digit growth in the same youth demographic — suggesting younger users are favoring newer and more visual communications platforms.
“Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate — using visual content,” noted eMarketer forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco in a statement.
It’s the second consecutive year of expected usage declines for Facebook among this advertiser-coveted group, according to the researcher.
eMarketer suggests some tweens are even skipping adopting Facebook entirely (it calls them “Facebook nevers”) and going straight to the rival platforms, even as remaining tweens and teens appear less engaged on Facebook — logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform.
While having slipping relevance among a coveted ad demographic is obviously not good news for a social behemoth whose business is dependent on ad revenue, Facebook does have the consolation of also owning one of the two main youth-friendly alternative platforms: Instagram. (Aka, ‘if you can’t be it, buy it’.)
Still, eMarketer is also projecting that the acquisition that got away from Zuck, Snapchat, will overtake Instagram and Facebook in the total teen (12 to 17) & young adult (18 to 24) ages for the first time in 2017 — boosting its share of US social network users to 40.8 per cent, and projected to push close to a majority by 2021. (Though Instagram is also forecast to maintain its greater reach through this timeframe.)
Back in 2013, when reports of Facebook’s spurned acquisition attempts of Snapchat surfaced, it followed fast on the heels of the company reporting a first-time decline in young teens using its service daily.
Nearly four years later Facebook’s problem with keeping teens happy has only got bigger — but the company’s success at using Instagram to successfully clone Snapchat’s features has helped mitigate the issue. (Even if it means Facebook’s corporate motto should really now read: ‘Move fast and clone things’.)
Rebecca Burger, a French fitness blogger, has died after a whipped cream dispenser exploded into her chest.
Burger, who had 160,000 Instagram followers and more than 55,000 Facebook fans, died over the weekend.
Citing local reports in France, the BBC reported that she died of cardiac arrest after the accident, despite being attended to by medics.
Her family announced her death on Facebook, calling it a “domestic accident.” A warning about what her family described as a faulty dispenser involved in her death has also been posted on her Instagram. The message said the canister “exploded and struck Rebecca’s chest, causing her death”.
The dispensers shoot gas into a metal capsule, which keeps the pressure high. The BBC said a French consumer group had warned readers for years about faulty connectors that could break, allowing the gas capsules to be expelled at high speed.
The BBC said such dispensers were involved in enough accidents that the government office for consumers issued a warning, saying the accidents stretched back as far as 2010 and could occur even after years of use.
Two men — one in Miami, the other in New York, both passionate about suits — stumble upon each other on Instagram. They feel a connection. Mutual respect on social media turns into real-life camaraderie. They meet, they click, they draw up a plan.
A business is born.
That is the origin story of Musika Frère, a label that specializes in custom suits that often come in unusual colors or patterns, and has drawn a clientele that includes Jay Z, Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart and even Beyoncé.
Its founders, Aleks Musika, 32, and Davidson Petit-Frère, 27, are somewhat famous in their own right: Mr. Petit-Frère has over 200,000 followers on Instagram, and Mr. Musika more than 178,000.
“Guys in suits and guys taking pictures of themselves really didn’t happen back then,” Mr. Musika said of the period when he and Mr. Petit-Frère first started their pages, about five years ago.
Mr. Petit-Frère said: “We had a following. We just didn’t have a product.”
The brand they eventually came up with, at a Miami public library in 2013, reflects their particularities and interests. “We take inspiration from the ’20s, ’30s, and remix it,” Mr. Petit-Frère said. “We call it neo-classical tailoring.”
Mr. Petit-Frère added, “It’s a small detail, but it’s also a big detail.”
Neither designer comes from a traditional fashion background. Mr. Petit-Frère, a native New Yorker, began working in real estate at 18. “I was wearing polo shirts and pants and square shoes to the office,” he said. “I realized I wasn’t a sharp dresser.” One of his co-workers referred him to his tailor, Badger & Welsh Bespoke, in Midtown. “As I made more money, I started to buy more suits,” he said, “and I realized my business was getting a big boost from that.”
Mr. Petit-Frère sent friends to Badger & Welsh, and he was eventually offered a line of his own, P. Frère, under the company’s umbrella. “In the beginning, I was more of an apprentice,” he said. “I learned about measuring, tailoring, the construction of suits. I learned the lingo and the history.”
Facebook’s Snapchat-style augmented reality face filters are coming to Instagram. Eight different filters will be available starting today, including a few different crowns, ones that make a person look like a koala or a rabbit, and another that sends math equations spinning around your head.
Instagram’s face filters will work whether you’re using the front or the back camera on your phone. You can find them by opening up the camera interface in the app and tapping the new icon in the bottom right corner. The filters can be used in any of Instagram’s shooting modes — photo, video, or even Boomerang. You can access them by downloading the new 10.21 update on the App Store or Google Play Store.
The idea of using augmented reality technology to map and apply animations to a user’s face was popularized by Snapchat, which bought Looksery — a company that pioneered the tech — back in 2015. Facebook responded by snatching up Belarusian startup MSQRD in early 2016, and the tech made its way into Facebook Stories earlier this year.
This is far from the first idea Facebook has lifted from Snap — adding Snapchat’s 24-hour Stories feature to Instagram is the real molten core of this entire drama — but augmented reality face filters were one of the last blockbuster Snapchat features that Instagram was missing. They are also just one small part of the much larger vision Facebook has for augmented reality, which the company laid out in detail at last month’s F8 conference. (Snap, of course, shares a similar vision.)
Instagram is also adding a few other features to the app today. Users will now be able to add hashtag “stickers” to a photo or video when posting it to their Story. Viewers will be able to tap these stickers to explore other media that’s been shared with the same hashtag, the same way you can already tag other users or apply geostickers. A new “rewind” video feature (also “inspired” by Snapchat) and an eraser have been added to the app as well.
We know Sara Underwood’s thing is traveling the world and posing for photos in some of the most beautiful spots imaginable. So it only makes sense that she gifted her followers with a sexy Instagram post on Saturday April 22, a.k.a. Earth Day.
She captioned the pic with an earnest message stating that she was participating in one of the worldwide marches for science and wrote that “Our planet is at a critical juncture, and the science regarding it is under attack. Our voices matter, so I hope you get out and speak up for Planet Earth as well.”
Whatever your views on climate change, it’s easy to appreciate the fact Sara is totally committed to nature and is so willing to reveal herself as she enjoys everything from the mountains to the Hawaiian islands. A few more shots from her Instagram below give us plenty of reasons to get into the natural world, especially when she’s there.
Instagram is mimicking Snapchat, and Snapchat is feeling the pain.
Eight months since Instagram rolled out its Stories feature and just over a month since it launched ads on it widely, it has already surpassed Snapchat. The feature not only has more people using it daily (200 million versus Snapchat’s last reported 156 million) but is also increasingly attracting more ad dollars. Agencies tend to drift where the action is, and, right or wrong, the general feeling is Instagram is on the upswing while the early buzz over Snapchat is fading.
“Many of our clients are deprioritizing Snapchat,” said Tom Buontempo, president at Attention, KBS’s social media arm, who declined to provide names of specific advertisers but whose clients include BMW, Carvel, Novartis and Spotify. “It’s no secret that Instagram has Snapchat in the crosshairs.”
Instagram Stories, like Snapchat, lets users create multiple ephemeral videos and string them together for a 24-hour period. Brands have increasingly been using Instagram Stories, both to post organic content as well as to run ads. A combination of Instagram’s pure reach, targeting and retargeting capabilities and a more interactive relationship with reps has made Stories an attractive bet for brands. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s growth has been a concern for the past few months, with Instagram Stories’ rapid rise coinciding with its slow-down. Since Instagram Stories launched in August, Snapchat’s growth has fallen 82 percent, according to TechCrunch.
While Capital One, Nike, Ben and Jerry’s, and Netflix were among 30 brands that tested out ads on Instagram Stories before they were widely rolled out in March, brands including Honda, Apartments.com, Chobani and Five Hour Energy have run ads on the platform more recently.
Honda, which ran an ad on Instagram Stories for its “Flipbook Series” campaign on April 10, to market the Honda Clarity, chose Instagram over Snapchat for the campaign, because it let the brand tap into the scale of its 1.4 million-plus existing Instagram fans, said Mike Dossett, associate director of digital strategy at RPA, Honda’s agency. Brands already have large audiences on Instagram and often have to do absolutely nothing to get instant engagement at scale on their Story posts. Plus, they can easily tap into Facebook’s underlying infrastructure.
“From buying and optimization to measurement and reporting, Instagram ads (including Stories) are embedded directly within the Facebook ads ecosystem that buyers know and understand,” he said. “That undoubtedly removes a barrier for advertisers with entrenched processes or less nimble buying protocols.”
For Ben and Jerry’s, it was all about scale. The brand was a part of a beta test between January and March, and ran ads on Instagram Stories to promote its new Pint Slices. The ice-cream maker saw a higher CPM rate than its usual benchmark, according to Jay Curley, Ben and Jerry’s senior global marketing manager, and the brand plans to run more ads over the summer.
“In general, we want to serve up relevant stories to our fans wherever they are,” he said. “We have a robust following on Instagram, and people are not only spending more time there but also consuming Stories there.”
It’s also far easier to buy ads on the platform as opposed to Snapchat. Unlike Snapchat, which does not have self-serve advertising options outside of on-demand geofilters (although one for Snap ads is expected soon), Instagram provides marketers with a unified dashboard for buying and tracking ads, making it easier for clients to target and track analytics across a more unified dashboard, said Attention’s Buontempo.
The larger Facebook ecosystem also provides for more nuanced targeting, said Ben Kunz, svp of marketing and content at Mediassociates. Brands can reach people with specific interests in ice cream, for example, or match targeting to their own CRM lists, with all of Facebook’s data toys at their disposal. Instagram also has more flexible buying options, letting buyers buy ads on a performance-based cost-per-click basis apart from a cost-per-thousand impressions basis.
“Both Instagram and Snapchat stories are clever full-screen immersive mobile ad experiences, but taking over a mobile screen is no longer exactly rocket science,” said Kunz. “So it’s not the ‘billboard’ space that matters; it’s the quality of the data behind it. Better audience data always equals better advertising performance.”
Still, it’s not a zero-sum game. Clients have been increasing their Instagram budgets overall to tap into Instagram Stories, said Danielle Johnsen Kerr, director of social and editorial strategy at Deutsch, but they aren’t necessarily shifting already-allotted Snapchat dollars to Instagram. Snapchat’s young audience is still a draw for advertisers, and the platform has also been making efforts to ramp up on measurement and to roll out more self-serve options. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, will also advertise on Snapchat in the summer.
“But it is dependent on the audiences our clients are trying to grab,” she said.
Just weeks after giving birth, Irina Shayk is back in a bikini. The Victoria’s Secret model, who actually walked the runway at the annual show with a baby bump, shared a picture of herself in a black bathing suit on Instagram, relaxing in the pool on a pink lips-shape floatie. “Pre-sunset #currentsituation,” she wrote in the caption.
Many commenters were incredibly impressed — and largely in disbelief — with the ab snapback of the Russian model, who welcomed daughter Lea de Seine Shayk Cooper with partner Bradley Cooper on March 24.
“You did not… just have a baby…Look amazing Irina!” one wrote. Others wrote “body goals,” “amazing,” and the “most beautiful woman in the world.”
Some, however, were skeptical that the photo was taken on the day it was posted. “4 weeks after giving birth, who even has the time or effort to take a image like this right after giving birth,” one shared. Another wrote, “I mean it’s impossible even for her to look like this after 3 weeks. I love her, but this has to be an old pic.”
Others jumped to Shayk’s defense. M.A. Garcia said that the body “needs time to recover, yes. But absolutely normal to hit your pre-pregnancy weight in a few weeks after giving birth. Especially someone her size whom probably didn’t gain much to begin with.”
As Sherry Ross, MD, a women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., explained to Cosmopolitan, what a woman’s body looked like before giving birth has a lot to do with how fast someone returns to their prebaby figure. So the fact that Shayk’s a model and was extremely fit prior to getting pregnant, plays a lot into how she’s able to look so fit in a bikini already.
But, it’s important to keep in mind that Shayk isn’t necessarily “normal.” As Ross tells her patients, “It takes nine months to go through the pregnancy process, so allow yourself nine months during the postpartum period to have your body return to normal.”
Photo sharing app Instagram added a new feature that challenges online bulletin board Pinterest.
Instagram’s users can now save their posted photos and videos in private collection, similar to what users of Pinterest have been able to do for some time. Saving posts on Instagram gives users a way to bookmark items they want to remember for the future, such as places to travel or products to buy.
The change to Instagram builds on a feature it introduced in December that lets users save posts from friends. Facebook-owned (FB, -0.18%) Instagram said on Monday that 46% of its users have saved at least one post since then.
Now users can create multiple collections of saved Instagram posts, and name those collections. For now, collections are private, meaning no one else can see them besides the users that create them. That’s slightly different than Pinterest, where users can choose to share items publicly.
Instagram hasn’t been afraid to copy the features of some of its rivals. In its quest to compete with messaging app Snapchat (SNAP, +1.65%), for example, Instagram has cloned a number of details including Stories, a feature for collecting and sharing photos and videos about individual events.
Last week, Instagram also updated its messaging service to be more like Snapchat’s by integrating its messaging feature with disappearing and direct messages.
Love taking travel photos and sharing them with your friends on Instagram? So do the social media stars below. They’ve earned celebrity status — and sometimes six-digit incomes — from the travel snaps they post on the photo sharing giant.
Building such a loyal and monetizable following takes a long time, a lot of talent, and a little luck. But hopefully, their work can provide you with a bit of inspiration for your photography on your next trip. (See also: 5 Surprising Ways Social Media Stars Make Money)
1. Liz Eswein
Liz Eswein (@newyorkcity and her personal handle @lizeswein) started her account when Instagram first came out in 2010. Perhaps her early entry to the game helps explain how she was able to snag the handle @newyorkcity, which has now accumulated well over a million followers.
Eswein posts pictures of New York, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Although her account wasn’t initially focused on travel, her success on Instagram has led her to travel to Chile, Namibia, and Dubai for different clients.
Her personal account has thousands of followers, and features destinations she’s visited such as Tokyo, Seoul, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
After beginning the Instagram account, Eswein told The New York Times she earned around $50 for a promotional post. But the Gazette Review reports that since then, she’s increased her earnings to $15,000 a post, making her one of the top earning Instagrammers in the world. The publisher estimates her net worth at $850,000.
2. Chris Burkard
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that professional photographer, writer, and videographer Chris Burkard (@Chrisburkard) has gained such popularity on Instagram, garnering more than 2 million followers.
His account features breathtaking shots from the Arctic Circle (his focus is surfing in freezing waters), Yellowstone National Park, Zakynthos Island in Greece, and many other places.
Burkard regularly works with Fortune 500 clients and has given a TED talk on how he found meaning in those frigid Arctic waters. According to his website, he began taking pictures when he was 19 years old, and his favorite place to travel is Iceland. (See also: How to Take Stunning Travel Photos)
3. Julie Sariñana
Julie Sariñana is a blogger from Los Angeles, California. She began her blog in 2009 writing and posting about fashion, travel, and lifestyle. Today her Instagram account (@sincerelyjules) has an audience of more than 4 million followers.
As of June 2016, Gazette Review calculated her net worth at $800,000. She makes money by promoting products on her Instagram account and writing fashion articles. She also has her own fashion line, Shop Sincerely Jules.
Some of her recent destinations include Paris, Hawaii, and Costa Rica. She’s been featured in Teen Vogue and Elle, and has written for Glamour. Some brands she’s worked with on Instagram include Karl Lagerfeld and Nespresso.
4. Julia Engel
Julia Engel’s Instagram account (@juliahengel) is focused on fashion and travel. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Engel posts photos of destinations including the Bahamas, Iceland, and Miami on her account.
She’s parlayed her 1 million Instagram followers into $1.5 million, as estimated by Gazette Review. Some of her earnings are generated from a shopping app called LIKEtoKNOW.it, which allows Instagram followers who like a product they see in one of Engel’s photos to be directed to a website where they can buy it. Engels reaps a commission from every sale.
5. Emilie Ristevski
Emilie Ristevski’s account @HelloEmilie has about 400,000 followers. This Australian traveler started posting on Instagram when she was still in university and her travel-related posts attracted so many travel offers that she was able to turn Instagram posting into a living once she graduated, according to an interview with AWOL.
Some of her favorite destinations? Petra, Jordan, and New Zealand’s Milford Sound. She has worked brands including Moet and AirAsia.
6. Brooke Saward
Brooke Saward is the woman behind the @worldwanderlust Instagram account. Originally from Australia, her travels have recently taken her to Lake Como, Italy; Paris, France; and throughout Japan. With more than 600,000 followers, she’s attracted diverse brands such as Bose Australia and smartphone e-tailer Honor Global to work with her.
At just 24 years old, she’s been featured in Elle and Glamour. Her rates are unpublished.
Snapchat wants to rival Facebook, but it should worry first about Instagram.
Although Instagram and Snapchat were launched within just a year of each other — in October 2010 and September 2011, respectively — fashion brands have made Instagram a cornerstone to their strategies while Snapchat remains, in most cases, firmly in the experimental bucket.
Most designers were hesitant to join Snapchat. They weren’t sold on its unfiltered nature that was inherently antithetical to the fashion industry’s pristine aesthetic. Many still aren’t — especially higher-end designers, said Jodie Chan, director of Altuzarra’s marketing and communications. She ultimately decided it’s “not viable for our brand and relevant to the demographic we are trying to reach.”
However, with time, a range of designers began to see the value of sharing behind-the-scenes looks at their personal lives and the business. Marc Jacobs joined Snapchat in fall 2016, just in time for New York Fashion Week, and then Burberry and Louis Vuitton followed by sharing announcements and photos from special events on the platform. So did Rebecca Minkoff and Prabal Gurung, longtime personal users who decided to let fans catch glimpses of their work lives. During the end of 2015 and early 2016, brands were clamoring to get on Snapchat.
Then Instagram announced Instagram Stories, and everything shifted.
Snapchat meets its match
In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories, a feature that allows users to share photos and videos on their accounts that are visible for just 24 hours. In essence, Instagram now offered the best of both worlds — its glitzy photos, juxtaposed with the short clips for which users love Snapchat.
“As Instagram encourages more polished content, as well as tools that support content that feels instantaneous and ephemeral, that seems to address what it could have potentially lacked, in comparison to a platform like Snapchat,” Chan said.
Suddenly, brands that had been regularly active on Snapchat lay dormant, opting to share fleeting content on Instagram instead. As a result of Instagram Stories, Snapchat’s growth slowed by a whopping 82 percent. Snapchat had 122 million active users in Q1 of 2016 and 143 million by the end of Q2, raking in an impressive 17.2 percent growth rate. However, by Q3, its growth tumbled to 7 percent. At the same time, Snapchat did away with its autoplay feature, which had helped bolster story views for brands.
Instagram, on the other hand, already had a captive audience of 300 million users daily, who now only had to look at the tops of their screens to view Stories. According to TechCrunch, by October, its Stories feature had already amassed 100 million daily users.
“Snapchat was certainly the social darling of 2016, and brands were smart to leverage the platform at the time,” said Camilla Opperman, research associate at L2. “However, Instagram Stories have proven to have greater reach than Snapchat, and brands are realizing that their resources can be more efficiently allocated towards Instagram.”
Meanwhile, the demographic differences between the two platforms remained telling. Today, Instagram users skew significantly older: 51 percent of its user base is above age 35, compared to just 14 percent of Snapchat users. These older users, in many cases, have more disposable income than their younger Snapchat-using peers, making Instagram particularly appealing to fashion brands.
“Instagram has a number of things working to its favor: It’s got a larger follower base and an older audience that’s more likely to be spending,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce advisor and the former chief retail strategist at Shoptalk.
The resource crunch
For fashion brands, many of which have nimble, short-staffed digital teams, the ability to have the capabilities of Snapchat and Instagram in one place has been particularly advantageous, according to Kyle Wong, CEO of Pixlee.
“Content generation is hard. These brands have a limited bandwidth to manage these social platforms,” he said. “Most fashion brands out there probably have one person max running social media accounts. They are spread thin between keeping multiple channels updated, rather than engaging the community on those channels.”
It’s also more laborious to create a follower base on Snapchat, which requires users to know a retailer’s exact username in order to follow them. With Instagram Stories, brands already have a built-in following that doesn’t require additional promotion.
“Instagram is definitely more brand-friendly than Snapchat,” Opperman said. “Most fashion brands already have Instagram accounts, so it’s much easier to move to Instagram Stories than learn the entirely new Snapchat platform. Instagram also has a leg up in discoverability, as Snapchat lacks a robust search function, making it difficult for consumers to find brand Snapchat accounts.”
Instagram has been testing full screen ads in Stories, one of its most popular extensions, for a couple of months. Now it’s here and all businesses have the ability to advertise in Stories.
As the official release states, “By optimizing for reach, you can show your ads to the maximum number of people in your audience and control how often they see your ads.”
Once you’re creating ads in Facebook’s Ads Manager or Power Editor, select “Reach” as your objective and “Instagram,” and then “Stories” as the placement. Use a photo or a video that is no longer than 15 seconds to pop up between organic Stories. You will be able to get the same insights and statistics as with any other Facebook or Instagram campaign.
So what’s the big buzz about? Why should businesses present on the platform give this new advertising placement a try?
More than 150 million Instagrammers watch and create Stories daily. This number will only grow considering that the addition to Instagram’s arsenal is relatively new.
Plus, the talk of the town is a rendition of 24-hour ephemeral content now available on most major networks. This is not a passing trend. Stories (on any platform) are here to stay.
Stories ads will be full screen, meaning nothing can distract viewers from your sponsored content. Besides, users watch Stories to find out something new, exclusive, or intimate. They are in the mood to receive new information — they are seeking it out. If done correctly, your ads (looking as native as possible0 will be viewed by a “warmed-up” audience.
Moreover, because Stories are short snippets, Instagrammers know that they have 10-15 seconds to spend on this content before it changes to the next thing. They are really, truly paying attention to what they are watching. Ten seconds of undivided attention on your product taking up the whole screen without being spammy — now that’s an amazing offer.
Because you get their full attention, people are much more likely to engage with your ad. Airbnb, which was part of the original 30 global companies testing Stories ads, “saw a double digit point increase in ad recall.” People were more likely to select Airbnb for their travel needs afterwards. Overall, it seems like the company was very happy with their investment, which has “made a measurable impact.”
Eric Toda, global head of social marketing and content at Airbnb, summarizes it best: “reach the right audience, in the right mindset, with the right story at scale has allowed us to achieve the results we were hoping for.”
It is interesting to note that, historicall, new features on social platforms stay off-the-limits for advertisers for relatively long periods of time. It took Facebook three years to start monetizing Instagram. Here, on the other hand, we can clearly see that Instagram can’t wait to monetize its young Snapchat copycat and strike while the iron is hot. The company is not afraid to drive some users away with advertising, which shows how confident they are in the proposition.
With this level of conviction, the only thing advertisers can do is to start shooting video in vertical format and taking advantage of the new Instagram advertising placement.
- Instagram Insight – Last year, Instagram added brand profiles. Brand profiles can be connected directly to your Facebook (FB) business page, enabling easy cross-posting and sharing across the two platforms. Additionally, once you’ve set up your brand profile, you’ll be given access to Instagram Insights. Insights offers a range of analytics to help manage your Instagram presence. You get access to impression tracking and demographic analysis.
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that can be used with a number of social media platforms, including Instagram. You can schedule content and get analytics. There are also apps that add to the functionality, as well as free courses that help you learn how to use Instagram and other social channels.
- Repost – One effective way building your Instagram community is by sharing photos from your followers’ accounts. You need an app to do this, as Instagram does not have a sharing function like Facebook or Twitter (TWTR). Repost is an app makes it easy to share followers’ photos and to credit them.
- Instagram User Analysis Report – Simply Measured is a social media analytics platform. They offer a free Instagram User Analysis report to anyone with fewer than 25,000 followers. The analysis shows two-month snapshot of engagement, keyword analysis, best posting times, and more.
- Wishpond – Contests are a great way to capture your audiences’ attention and get them to engage with you. Wishpond can help.
You can launch a hashtag contest that allows you to collect all the photos attached to a certain hashtag. You can filter people who have followed your brand already, if that is a condition to your contest, and have a voting element sent via email to help your audience participate in the contest.
(See the original article on CommPRO)
About the Author: Jill Kurtz founded Kurtz Digital Strategy to help clients see the communication potential of the newest trends and technologies. She is an expert at website strategy and redesign, social media planning, and developing exceptional content.
Instagram has 600 million active users every month, and marketers have the ability to reach thousands of different demographics as users add to the 95 million photos and videos uploaded every day.
When looking at this year’s social media trends, the Instagram marketing space is flooded with new brands and their messages at a constant pace.
Instagram is crowded. It takes a creative and effective strategy to get the results you want with your marketing. These 10 secrets will help your content cut through the noise and get your piece of the pie.
1. Understand the Instagram hashtag culture.
The distinction between Instagram hashtags and branded hashtags can help organize your posts and bring attention to your content through multiple topics.
Instagram universal hashtags, such as the ones that correlate to days of the week, are some of the most used hashtags on the platform. They provide a perfect opportunity to appeal to emotion, mood, nostalgia, and other characteristics.
Use general hashtags to help you be found in products and lifestyle posts. It also keeps you updated on trending tags associated with your content for the opportunity to have it seen by thousands in a matter of minutes.
2. Understand your industry and brand hashtag culture.
Include your business name in unique tags for any contests and campaigns that you run. A unique tag for these promotions makes it easy for your audience to connect around your posts as well as see check out the competition for any contests you may be running.
In addition, by creating specific tags and linking them on different mediums, you have the ability to both track your engagement generated from a specific source and track the interest in specific content that you produce.
3. Focus on your customers.
Make your followers famous by reposting their videos and pictures on your brand’s instagram account. Show you appreciate them by acknowledging their cool content and sharing it with your other followers. Doing so will help build a personal relationship.
Like your followers photos when they include your product or connect with your brand in any way. Show you care by commenting on followers posts and responding to all comments on your account, especially if they are something negative. Make your business Instagram about lifestyle and authentically connecting with your customers.
4. Leverage influencer networks.
It’s no secret influencer marketing is on the rise. Working with influencers and tastemakers in your industry helps you gain huge levels of exposure by leveraging the relationships they have with your customers.
Get influencer and celebrity attention by “@Mentioning” on posts that you think would appeal to them or posts that directly involve them either in content or context. The opportunity for collaboration here is huge for growing awareness.
Even something as simple as having an influencer repost your content can create impressive results.
5. Show your stuff creatively.
Use cool angles, lighting, and other photography tricks to make your content more appealing to the eye before you even upload it can make a huge difference. Applying creative filters to that content will make it even more eye catching for your audience.
To build your brand on Instagram, showcase your products creatively and authentically by promoting your product as they are used in real life by real customers to increase credibility and grow a community around your brand.
Share exclusive content on Instagram that isn’t on your other channels to make your followers feel special and give people a reason to follow you there, especially when they’re already following you elsewhere.
6. Document your events from end to end.
If you’re about to launch a product, hold a speaking engagement, or anything else that you want people to be excited about, share related content with your Instagram followers.
For example, posting a short video tease of an upcoming product to generate excitement will help build the prelaunch momentum without giving away too much.
Take that one step further by sharing the preparation for your event, behind the scenes work that goes into the setup, and the post-launch cleanup or staff celebrations. All these are great ways to build an authentic relationship with your audience and get extra value from your efforts.
7. Get your customer’s opinions.
Post questions about your business and/or products on Instagram to generate strategy ideas and get people talking about products. People love to talk about their preferences and share their opinions, so ask your followers for them.
Asking which is a favorite type of product, or inquiring about specifics related to a topic you’re an expert on will help you immensely when it comes deciding where to best focus your efforts going forward.
8. Run contests.
Run an Instagram hashtag or photo contest. Contests allow your followers to upload content under a certain hashtag. Instagram will add it to your contest page. All the content they upload displayed within the contest can be hosted on other channels.
Contests are great because they offer a tangible incentive for people to follow your account, contribute, boost your chosen hashtags, and promote that content to their friends.
Include a public voting aspect in the contest to get your customers sharing the content with their networks and promoting your brand in the process.
9. Crowdsource content.
Asking your followers to post content to Instagram and mention your brand or include specific hashtags reverse engineers Instagram marketing. This leverages a personalized relationship you have already built with them or offering a cool incentive.
Brands that have put in the work to engage with their followers might create a fun and creative post asking for followers to submit photos of their product without offering an incentive or prize in return. But offering a cool prize or hosting a contest is a great way to increase the response no matter where you are in relationship building process.
Crowdsourced content helps you gain valuable marketing insight and spread the word about your brand in a credible and authentic way.
10. Start the conversation.
Show you care by asking questions about your followers lifestyles as it relates to a product or service you provide.
Understanding how your offering fits into the lives of consumers gives you the opportunity to engage with them about their preferences. For example, if you’re a music store, posting a picture of guitar strings and asking what guitar your followers think they sound the best on is an example of how to promote specific products.
Asking your users to caption photos or fill in the blank for a caption you provide also helps you get insight into the psychology of your consumer. This creates better messages going forward and identifies places to innovate your marketing and products.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/instagram/10-simple-tips-marketing-instagram-01771947#Ar63SOYYqqYGouc5.99