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"Stop just posting, and start owning your presence on Instagram. Check out my Top 10 Hacks To Boost Your Business on Instagram"

<< Guest Post from our in-house social media guru, Anne Winters.

 

 

According to Forrester research on Top 50 global brands, Instagram is the leader of social engagement with 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more than Twitter. It almost seems ridiculous for your business to not be on Instagram. And if you’re not, you’re missing one of the best and easiest social media opportunities to build your brand.

For those of you who are on Instagram, you may still ask, “How do I take my social media to the next level?” How can I be the next Nike, Chobani or Tesla on Instagram?”

Stop just posting, and start owning your presence on Instagram. Check out my Top 10 Hacks To Boost Your Business on Instagram.

 

1.    Make the Most of Your Post

Instagram has a half life of 1.2 hours, meaning it takes 72 minutes for an Instagram post to be buried below other posts—or worst, your competitors posts (https://blog.takumi.com/the-half-life-of-instagram-posts-3db61fb1db75#.xce15segl).

So, its crucial that your post is eye-catching, unique, and full of personality where your target audience is compelled to hit “Like” and/or “Follow.” So, how do you that? Its simple—bring life into your photos. Connect with your target audience by posting photos of fans using your products in their everyday lives.

 AirBnb captures the idea of the “vacation I need,” and the “life I want” through a stunning, vibrant image while staying in an AirBnb in Merida Yucatan.

AirBnb captures the idea of the “vacation I need,” and the “life I want” through a stunning, vibrant image while staying in an AirBnb in Merida Yucatan.

 

2. Stand Out with My Top (Free) Photo Editing Apps

Not a photographer? Creating quality content on Instagram doesn’t have to be difficult.

All you need is a few of the recommended third party apps below that will take your photo to the next level.

VSCO:

VSCO is the classic photo editing that is popular with the most extreme Instagrammers. And for good reason. These photos look amazing after a few tweaks and VSCO filters.

 MindBodyGreen posts an authentic, but timely shot that speaks to moms who have been there before!

Layout For Instagram:

Photo collages are among the more popular way of displaying Instagram photos. With 245 different multi- picture layouts and a built-in photo editor, Layout For Instagram is the leading app for killer layouts.

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Giant Square:

 The multiple photo grid is a unique twist that's sure to catch anyone's eye. Showcase fine details in a photo or create a story using photo captions.

 In this post, Jyve posts a large image broken into 4 parts, each having a caption with new updates on their app, getting musicians excited for the new features. &nbsp;

In this post, Jyve posts a large image broken into 4 parts, each having a caption with new updates on their app, getting musicians excited for the new features.  

Font Candy:

A leader in text overlays and an easy way to create eye-catching animations that will break through the Instagram clutter and get your post noticed.

 This is my favorite font &nbsp;- HIPSTELVETICA !!

This is my favorite font  - HIPSTELVETICA !!

 

3. Make Your Text Visual Too!

There is no doubt that Instagram is a visual platform through and through 👀. Nearly 50% of all captions and comments contain an emoji 😊 or two ✌🏼(https://www.engadget.com/2015/05/02/instagram-emoji-study/).

Use emojis to ⚡️ draw attention ⚡️ to your post's text so that they'll read your post and comments and not just look at the picture.

  PRO TIP: Don’t just throw emojis in at random. Splice them within your sentences and make sure the icons you pick match with your brand.

PRO TIP: Don’t just throw emojis in at random. Splice them within your sentences and make sure the icons you pick match with your brand.

 

4. Choose the Best #Hashtags for Your Brand

Not sure what hashtags people are searching for? Here are my two favorite in-app tricks:

1. Using Instagram on your phone, begin typing a hashtag into the search bar. Sort by tags and instantly see similar hashtags and their volume:

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Don't forget to hide your hashtags which we covered in our last post, 5 Reasons Your Business Has No Business On Instagram (see #5: Mind Your Hashtags).

2. Another way to find related hashtags is to search for a hashtag in the search bar. Once you find one, for example "#smallbusiness," click on it to see the content that's been tagged using that hashtag. At the top of the screen you'll see "Related Searches" with slightly different hashtags you may not have thought to use:

 In this example, I found that #smallbusinesslove and #smallbusinessowner were two hashtags I'd been neglecting.

In this example, I found that #smallbusinesslove and #smallbusinessowner were two hashtags I'd been neglecting.

Other useful resources include data analysis apps like Iconosquare and Buffer to research popular and trending hashtags.

A Buffer study showed that an Instagram post with 9 hashtags performed the best with an engagement of 28,548 interactions per post (https://blog.bufferapp.com/instagram-marketing- tips).

#instaknow #instablogger #instadaily

 

 

5. @Tag Your Audience

This goes hand in hand with enhancing your engagement. Give a loyal fan a “regram” and tag them giving 📸 Photo cred. People you recognize will feel warm and fuzzy about your brand when they get a shout-out from you. Make it authentic and do it often to remind followers you're watching. Not only is it a nice thing to do but you'll get your post exposed to their network which could bring you more followers.

 Don't forget to tell followers in your bio how to be featured:&nbsp;GOPRO GIRLS For the girls with messy hair &amp; thirsty hearts. Tag  @goprogirls_ &nbsp;&amp;&nbsp; #goprogirls &nbsp;to be featured!

Don't forget to tell followers in your bio how to be featured: GOPRO GIRLS For the girls with messy hair & thirsty hearts. Tag @goprogirls_ & #goprogirls to be featured!

 

6. Say It With Video

“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a moving picture is worth a million people.” –Jose Sanchez, Marketingprofs (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-macfarland/if-a- picture-video- production_b_4996655.html).

Studies show that viewers spend 150% more time watching videos on Instagram in the past six months. A how-to video, behind the scenes, or a new product teaser campaign are all great ways to leverage the power of Instagram video.

Some of my favorite apps for Instagram videos are Cinefy and Fused.

 
 
 Charleston-based studio,  Old Tripod , &nbsp;leverages the power of video to create beautiful stories on behalf of their clients.

Charleston-based studio, Old Tripod,  leverages the power of video to create beautiful stories on behalf of their clients.

 

7. Great Brands Think Alike

It takes two to tango, as the saying goes. Partnering with other brands and influencers can make a big impact. Collaborating on a marketing campaign is one of the most cost-efficient ways for brands to promote products and reach new audiences. 

How do you do it? Be bold! Reach out to brands that have a similar target audience as you. Offer to post / share / comment / like for them, and ask them to return the favor.

Being in business, you have to learn to leverage your network and create mutually beneficial relationships. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together (African Proverb)."

 Formulax Nail and Emily Schuman (who has more than 391,000 Instagram followers) both promoted their partnership with 3 Instagram posts, which received over 7,000 likes and reached more than 411,000 consumers.

Formulax Nail and Emily Schuman (who has more than 391,000 Instagram followers) both promoted their partnership with 3 Instagram posts, which received over 7,000 likes and reached more than 411,000 consumers.

 

8. Write a Solid Bio

First impressions matter. A complete bio includes your name, profession or skill, a link to your website and don't forget to show some personality! Craft a bio that is simple and clever, yet appeals to the IG community you want to reach and reflects the tone of the images you plan to share. Use emojis and letter spacing to make your bio visual and easy to scan.

  &gt;&gt; ProTip: Hashtags and keywords do not matter since they aren’t searchable when they are in your bio.&nbsp;

>> ProTip: Hashtags and keywords do not matter since they aren’t searchable when they are in your bio. 

 

9. Leverage the Power of Geo Hashtags

Thanks to geo-tags, your business might already be on Instagram. This feature is built right in and allows potential customers to know where they can find your products. Geo-tags get 79% more engagement than posts without them (http://www.adweek.com/digital/14-instagram-data-findings-every-marketer-needs-know-160969/).

Brands can use Instagram to promote events using geo-tags by sharing the location and inviting followers who are near the area.

 One of our favorite spots, Sullivan's Island in gorgeous Charleston SC.

One of our favorite spots, Sullivan's Island in gorgeous Charleston SC.

 

10. Join An Instagram Pod

...Or what I like to call your "Instagram Posse." Instagram Pods are private groups of 10-15 Instagrammers, bloggers, or businesses with similar audiences that communicate via direct messages (DM’s) to promote engagement on each others posts.

>> This tactic interrupts the Instagram non-chronological feed where the post with most likes and comments performs the best in the algorithm. Thanks to the engagement of your Pod-People, they are helping your post get higher into your audiences’ feeds. 

How To Do It

1.     Create an Instagram Pod with 10-15 of your selected bloggers or join an existing group. 

2.     Develop your group’s rules to reap the benefits of engagement.

3.     Upload your post into the Instagram Pod.

4.     Like and comment on each others post.

5.     Perform better in your followers feeds.

>> Depending on the size of the pod, your posse may be very demanding. Make sure that you create or join a pod that can be manageable for you.

 

RELATED POSTS:

5 Reasons Your Business Has No Business On Social Media

Top 10 Videos to Inspire You Again

Top 10 Free Ways to Market Your Business Today

 

 Melissa Barker, Founder &amp; Owner

Melissa Barker, Founder & Owner

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