10 Instagram Strategies for Creative Marketers

10 Instagram Strategies for Creative Marketers

Instagram has seen incredible growth since it was acquired by Facebook in 2012 — in fact it’s grown by 400 percent! That’s why for marketers, it can be an extremely helpful tool. 

Why Instagram?

First, Instagram is easy to use, which is a big plus. Also, it’s not (yet) as ad-driven as Facebook, making it a friendlier option for those who prefer to spend marketing funds elsewhere. Since Instagram is visual, capturing someone’s attention on Instagram is much easier than on Facebook. Plus, the meaty part of this, is that it drives 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more than Twitter. That’s significant to anyone who likes numbers!

Creative Instagram strategies

By its very nature, Instagram leaves lots of room for creativity. But, if you’re planning to use the network as a marketing channel, it’s best to put some strategy in place before leaping into the fray. Beyond the obvious items like having a solid bio with your URL, a great profile photo and connecting your account to Facebook, I’ve pulled together several ideas worth considering.

 
  1. Choose a theme for your posts — That is, develop a plan for what kinds of things you’ll post. By implementing this type of strategy, you’ll have a more targeted account rather than one that’s all over the place. Stick with your theme, which may be based around your core message, or related to a topic that you’re promoting. It also might have a color. Whatever you choose, let your followers (and potential followers) know right up front what they can expect.
  2. Your Instagram bio — While it’s obvious that you have to have one, it’s a good idea to steer clear of your standard out-of-the-box bio. Choose messaging that sets yourself up as an expert and drives attention to whatever you’re promoting, and that ultimately can help drive traffic back to your site.
  3. Your website — Make sure your site is optimized for mobile browsing since the large majority of Instagram users are on mobile devices. And, your URL should be in your bio, but it should also appear on every post, both as a watermark and either in the description or comments!
  4. Simple, meaningful images — The average person gets distracted in 8 seconds, so it’s important to grab your audience quickly with clear, meaningful images that don’t require a lot of thought. They should be interesting, inviting and simple. Since most users are mobile, there are some screen limitations, so text-heavy images are not ideal.
  5. Posting frequency — The more you post, the faster you’ll grow. Some of the biggest accounts post 4 to 10 times every day. That may be out of reach for you, but, at minimum aim for once a day.
  6. Hashtags — While hashtags are recommended on Twitter, they’re practically a hard requirement of Instagram. And the more the better. 11 hashtags per post seems to be the magic number, although you can have as many as 30! And not all of them have to be included in the photo description, but work well in the comments section too!
  7. @Mentions — Tagging another Instagram user who is authentically connected to your post is the perfect way to use this feature. (Simply use @ + their username to tag them in your post.) Don’t use this to tag random people or Instagram will flag and/or deactivate your account, but if the person is truly connected, it’s a great feature!
  8. Location sharing  Just like @mentions, turning on your location is a great way to boost engagement.
  9. Great photos — Having great photos is so integral to Instagram that it’s almost an afterthought to mention. Your own photos may work for some components, but if you’re sticking with a theme, consider using stock images, whether from a paid subscription-based site or royalty-free Creative Commons Zero licensed images — like those from Librestock.com.
  10. Customized images — After you’ve found images that work for you, you’ll want to customize them with something to make the image your own. Perhaps a product title, a quote from someone famous, a simple product review or even a teaser/promo for an announcement. Regardless of how you customize it, be sure to include your logo and/or URL so that, should your image find its way out of Instagram and into the wilds of the internet, your fans can find you easily.

Instagram is a great place to be for anyone looking to market anything. It’s a spectacular tool for reaching new audiences and new demographics. Plus, there is room for so much creative thinking, that it’s almost certainly worth your while to give Instagram a shot. With a little strategy and some great photos, you’ll see what it can do to boost your marketing efforts.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/285997

How to Get a Million Instagram Followers for a Day

Are you a photographer trying to get more Instagram followers? One of the most common tips you hear for growing your tribe is to share your best work. As actor Steve Martin famously said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

It’s fantastic advice. Unfortunately, even if your pictures make the Mona Lisa look like a finger painting, it’s easier than ever to be ignored. Instagram now has over 500 million users posting more than 52 million pictures every day!

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Should Photographers Join Instagram?

When Instagram started out, it was meant to be a place where people shared basic moments of their daily life. As it grew in popularity and saw everyone from movie stars to presidents sign on, posts became more curated. Top names in the photography world from National Geographic to Magnum photographers joined too.

Although some argue this was the death knell of Instagram, an end to sharing our unfiltered selves through Gingham-filtered glasses, others saw an opportunity. Photographers found it inspiring to be part of a global social network, one where everyone speaks the same visual language. And companies found a new channel to market their goods.

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Some naysayers think Instagram, which is a mobile-first social network, is a second-class platform. What photographer wants their pictures to be viewed on a tiny mobile screen? The fact is that today almost 80% of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

Whether you are a pro trying to market your business or a hobby photographer wanting to interact with like-minded people, you need to be where your audience hangs out. Instagram is that place.

Something Terrible about Instagram

Steve Martin’s advice about getting discovered was great, but it doesn’t work as well in the Instagram Age. There are plenty of photographers who struggle to find an audience. P.T. Barnum gave some more pertinent advice when he once quipped, “Without promotion, something terrible happens…Nothing!”

On Instagram, you need to be proactive when trying to build your following. Unlike Facebook, there is no Share button to help new people discover you. Also, the Instagram algorithm doesn’t do much either to put your pictures in front of new people. The majority of engagement on your feed usually comes from your followers, not people who randomly stumble on your work.

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As a result, the best way to introduce your photos to a new audience is to get other Instagram accounts to share your work. There are two ways to go about this. You can ask other photographers to share your work. Or even better, you can get featured on hubs.

Leverage Hubs to Build your Tribe

Hubs are Instagram accounts that feature other people’s photographs. Think of them as a sort of variety show that shares what is happening in the world of Instagram. Each hub is like a channel. For instance, there are nature hubs, architecture hubs, street photography, and food photography hubs to name a few. A hub can be owned by an individual, a group of people, or a business.

This photo below I took in Malaysia was featured by the FreedomThinkers feed. According to their website, their mission is to inspire their viewers to travel the world. That aligns with mine so I was happy to share my image on their account.

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Some hubs are run just for fun as a way to create community. Other hubs are backed by a company and exist to market a product or service. Either way, they’re a great way to expose your work to a new audience.

To get a hub to share your photo, just include the relevant hashtag in the caption of your photo. You can usually find out which hashtags to use in their account bio. If the hub owner likes your photo, they will share it and credit you by sharing your name and IG feed address. The exposure you get can, in turn, drive traffic to your personal feed, resulting in an increase of followers.

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How to Go Viral on Instagram

Instagram is like the news, once one channel breaks a story, others quickly report on it as well. Many hubs copy their featured photo selections from other hubs. This creates a domino effect that can give you massive amounts of exposure.

For instance, my “Dark Towers” photo was featured on more than 20 hubs. One of those was on the Game of Tones feed which you can see below. I didn’t ask all of the hubs to share it, many featured my image because they saw it on another hub. Those hubs together had a combined follower count of over a million.

Having that many hubs share your picture doesn’t happen every day. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon to have at least a few different hubs share your photo at once.

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5 Killer Tips to Get Seen on Instagram

It doesn’t matter if you are a total newbie or seasoned pro, or if you have 100 followers or 100,000. There is a hub out there for all levels and types of photographers. Here are some tips for getting featured:

1. Know your hubs. To get featured you need to put the hashtag and/or tag your photo according to each hub’s request. Don’t just blindly tag a hub because it’s popular. Ask yourself if your work fits the style and quality of the hub.

2. Focus on your location. Geographic hubs are a great place to start. Look for ones that focus on a region like your city, state, province, country, or the place where you are traveling. Some examples are @ig_nycity or @uk. An added benefit to local hubs is that you can actually meet people in your area.

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3. Search according to types of photography. Consider genre hubs like @nightphotography or @urbanromantix. They are great for discovering like-minded photographers.

4. Try for small hubs when you start. If you are new to photography and/or Instagram, start small. Aim for hubs with less than 10,000 followers at the beginning.

5. Share with brands. Don’t disregard business hubs. These are some of the largest out there. For instance, the magazine Travel + Leisure @travelandleisure has over 2 million followers and regularly features photos from other IG feeds, as does @travelchannel.

The Super Secret to Instagram Exposure

This is my final and most important tip. Follow the hub you’d like to be featured on along with the admin of the hub.

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Some hubs will even direct you to “follow [insert name of hub admin(s)] to be featured.” The hub admins want exposure just like everyone else as they want to increase their follower count too.

If the name of the admin is not stated in the bio, look at the last few photos posted in the feed. There is often a note saying which admin selected the featured photo.

The Golden Rule of Engagement

Once you know who the admin is, friend them, visit the admin’s feed (not the hub), like a few of their photos, and then comment on one or two of their pictures. Be sure to write something that proves you aren’t a robot. In other words, don’t just leave a thumbs up or “Great shot!” comment.

Most importantly, don’t be human spam. Do not ask the admin to view your feed. Do not ask them for feedback on your work. And never ask them to feature your photo.

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If you take the time to interact with the admin’s photos, it’s possible they will visit your feed. And if they like what they see, you just might get featured. Reciprocity is the Golden Rule.

In the end, the hub admins are like gatekeepers, the editors of social network magazines. You want your photos in front of their eyes. Get them to know who you are. Connecting with a hub admin is the single most important thing you can do to get featured, besides creating amazing work of course.

Are Instagram Hubs Worth the Effort?

Some might say social media is a waste of time. It’s undoubtedly better to be out with your camera than staring at your phone.

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In my case, that Busan roof topping photo that was shared on 21 hubs got me a few hundred followers. It doesn’t really matter, though. Life is not a popularity contest. Whether you have one fan or one million, the most important thing for any photographer is to create.

On the other hand, the act of creating is deeply bound with the act of sharing. There’s nothing wrong with photographing what you love and keeping it for yourself.

But if you want to share what you’re passionate about with the most people possible, then let the world know. Or as writer and producer Dan Harmon put it, “Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops, and keep doing it until the people that are looking for you find you.”

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http://digital-photography-school.com/million-instagram-followers/

Christmas is Coming! 7 Fantastic Ideas for Festive Social Media Posts

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So Christmas is just around the corner, it’s time to get into the festive spirit, and that includes your social media strategy.

MDG Advertising share 7 ideas for festive social media posts in this infographic.

christmas-is-coming-7-fantastic-ideas-for-festive-social-media-postshttps://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2016/11/18/christmas-is-coming-7-fantastic-ideas-for-festive-social-media-posts-infographic/

8 Unconventional Social Media Marketing Tips

let's jump start social

If your social media marketing efforts aren’t getting the return you were hoping for, don’t give up just yet. This doesn’t mean that it won’t work for your brand altogether and it may just be time to mix things up a bit.

Let me guess…you’re posting frequently, sharing really interesting content that you thought would get your audience buzzing, but engagement just isn’t that great?

Sometimes playing it by the book doesn’t quite cut it in the world of social media and the nature of it means that customers often expect a more personal touch than within the general marketing realm.

Once you have discovered what works best for your brand and what pushes your audience’s buttons, social media marketing can be an extremely valuable tool for building your brand awareness, creating a loyal customer base and increasing profits; so it’s worth doing well and formulating an effective strategy.

Here are a few slightly unconventional social media marketing tips that could work for you.

1) Thank Your Followers

Manners cost nothing and people are naturally drawn to those who have a polite and friendly manner about them, so what’s stopping you from exhibiting this on social media?

An auto-generated thank you message is fine if you would just like to thank people for following your account, but if they are engaging with or sharing your content with their network, it’s important that they get a human response from you.

You can personalise your interactions by looking at their profile and complimenting/commenting on something they shared; or alternatively asking them for their own thoughts on the content that they engaged with.

https://twitter.com/UndercoverRec/status/646661933857406976

2) Get to Know Your Customers

Your customers are the ones who keep your business flourishing, by buying your product and recommending it to others, so it’s important that you show them that you value them by getting to know them.

Make a point of recognising your most engaged and loyal followers and making the effort to get to know them a bit better. Treat them like your friends, by interacting with their posts and making conversation with them regularly. By connecting with your customers on a more personal level, they are more likely to form a loyalty with the brand and become an ambassador for your brand.

3) Join Hashtag Trends

There are a number of weekly hashtag trends which provide you with the perfect opportunity to expand your reach and brand awareness. By posting content on one of these hashtags it will make your update visible to everyone who browses the related results and will encourage engagement from users who may not necessarily have had contact with your company before.

Some of the popular trends are #MondayMotivation, #TravelTuesday, #WisdomWednesday and #FridayFeeling. Stumbled across a quote that’s bound to get people rearing to go on a Monday morning or a funny post that’s sure to get people excited for the weekend? Get sharing them on the hashtags!

The same goes for keeping up to date with current events and getting involved in conversation about popular topics. Try to keep things positive and uplifting, as people are more likely to follow an account if they have something encouraging or optimistic to say.

4) Get Visual

Images speak a thousand words and updates that include an image generally receive a much higher level of engagement than purely text, so get visual wherever possible! These images can original images that you have taken/created, such as photographs of your products, eye-catching graphics or photos of your team at work; or alternatively they can be images sourced from elsewhere.  Funny memes or GIFs always work really well and are likely to get shared. Just make sure whatever you share is high quality as you don’t want it to look sloppy.

5) Stand Out

Don’t blend into the crowd and allow yourself to go unnoticed. Quirky content will catch people’s attention and make them remember you! So as long as it is in keeping with your brand image,  you shouldn’t be afraid of sounding a little silly, as humour and personality is something that a lot of people value and look for from a brand when they decide to follow them on social media. Funny or unusual content is also more likely to be shared by other users, so get them laughing!

6) Encourage User Generated Content

User generated content is a really effective method for expanding your brand awareness, as each time somebody shares content related to your brand it exposes you to their personal network. It can also build a sense of community as gives followers a sense of involvement in the brand themselves when they work as a brand ambassador on social media. You can develop brand-specific hashtags for your fans to share their content on, collecting it all in one place and making it easier to browse through. Sharing some of the best posts shared by your followers or launching a competition are great ways to get people involved and make them feel valued.

7) Broaden Your Facebook Reach By Narrowing It

Recent changes to the Facebook algorithm means that many brands have found that their organic reach has dropped below 10%; however you can achieve a slightly broader reach by targeting your post according to gender, age, location, etc. You can target your posts by clicking the targeting icon next to the location tool at the bottom of the posting box on your business page.

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8) Post Before or After the Hour:

There’s a lot to learn from your own social media use. Think about when you browse social media the most. If it’s when you’re on the move, you’re not alone. By posting either a couple of minutes before or after the clock strikes the hour, it is a clever way of catching people when they are on their way to or from a meeting or appointment, as this is a common time for people to check social media. Clever eh?

Posting updates during the lunch hour and evening are also good times to catch users.

http://linkhumans.com/blog/unconventional-social-media-marketing-tips

Recipe of a Winning Website

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An attractive design with an eye-catching theme matching the essence of a brand, head-turning headlines, big and bold images that become a major attention seeker – these are all the attributes that make a web design beautiful and a complete stunner.

But are these the only elements that matter? What about the nitty gritty parts of a website design that make it user-friendly? Will it create the hook for visitors and aid in conversions? What about the role of functionality?

They are, in actual, what makes a design beautiful in a glimpse. As a visitor goes further, what will really matter the most is the website’s functionality, the helpful navigation menu that will get him through, solid calls-to-action that will convert and various indicators that ensures security and trust. These stand as relevant answers to the questions asked above.

A stunning design could be an add-on to all of those mentioned above but never a primary concern. To ensure that all the web designers and entrepreneurs are on the same page regarding such essentials of design that makes it last longer than ever, we have gathered a list of 10 elements.

The infographic below clearly explains all the important elements that surround a quality design, what they mean, how they drive conversions, and why ignoring them could be a menace to your overall design. So take a look at this information-rich infographic below, make notes from them, understand them and implement them in your next website designing endeavors to rather make it a winning website that stands out – not because of its beauty but largely because of its functionality.

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http://www.dubaimonsters.ae/blog/infographics/recipe-of-a-winning-website/

How to Market Your Business to Each Age Group on Social Media

Do you want to target a specific age group with your social media marketing strategy? Want to know where each generation is more likely to “hang out”?

WebPageFX share their tips for marketing to specific age groups in this infographic.

how-to-market-your-business-to-each-age-group-on-social-mediahttps://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2016/10/31/how-to-market-your-business-to-each-age-group-on-social-media-infographic/

How to Find the Best Hashtags and Increase Your Social Media Reach

Do you add hashtags to your social media posts? Want to know how to find better ones that can help you reach more people?

For the social media newbies out there it’s essential to include hashtags on your social media posts. They will enable them to be seen by a wider audience, those who might not already be following you. But how do you find hashtags that aren’t spammy and can actually help you?

Salesforce share their tips in the infographic below.

How to Find the Best Hashtags and Increase Your Social Media Reachhttps://blog.red-website-design.co.uk/2015/12/21/how-to-find-the-best-hashtags-and-increase-your-social-media-reach/

6 Tips On Social Media Marketing For Small Business

6-tips-on-social-media-marketing-for-small-businessAs a new business, it’s important to choose a marketing channel that offers the best results with the most prudent resources. Nowadays, more small businesses prefer social media marketing to other marketing channels, to help increase their brand’s reach, increase sales, and expand their professional network.

In order to know how social media can help promote your business while saving you valuable time and resources, we’ve compiled six tips on social media marketing for small businesses.

Here are 6 Tips on Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Tip #1: Use social media marketing to sell your products and services

Before major social media networks made the foray into e-commerce, the selling relationship for businesses looked like this: listen, help solve problems, and make the sale. With the rise of social selling, the opportunity to connect with potential customers during the research phase got much easier with social media monitoring and social media engagement tactics. These tactics changed the game for social media marketing for small business.

Tip #2: Large networks like Twitter can improve your customer relationships

With 72% of people more likely to make a future purchase from a small business after they interact with them on Twitter, there’s no reason for companies not to be on Twitter. The key to finding success on social media is to be on the social network your customers are on—and with over 200 million active users, there’s a high chance many of your customers are on Twitter. Twitter can help your business build relationships with customers, and connect you with the businesses and communities you are interested in. Using features like advanced Twitter search and Twitter lists, building and improving customer relationships online is manageable even with a small team.

Tip #3: Social media marketing can drastically increase your reach

Facebook and Twitter advertising have made it possible for companies to increase their reach through targeted ads and sponsored messaging. Social media marketing provides businesses with an opportunity to reach customers across the world—as opposed to a more traditional advertising medium such as a billboard, which is only visible to people on a particular route in a single city.

Tip #4: A LinkedIn business page can expand your professional network

One of the most important social networks, where all businesses, big or small, should have a presence, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows businesses to provide authenticity and credibility of their brand through a business page that houses information covering the bases of who, what, and where of your business. It also allows small businesses to be in a space where professionals, potential investors, and customers are on. A LinkedIn company page is also a free marketing tool and if used correctly, can be an highly effective one.

Tip #5: Facebook Page can improve your business’s customer support

Providing customer support can be expensive and time-consuming. But, with social media networks like Facebook, you are provided with an outlet to effectively solve customer problems. With the availability to post on your Facebook wall or send private messages, customers can connect directly to companies if and when they have a problem or feedback.

Tip #6: Use your social media presence to manage your brand’s online reputation

Trust is an important element in obtaining customer loyalty, and one of the best ways to gain this trust is giving people easy online access to information about your company. Neglecting your social media presence is one way of losing the opportunity to gain new customers or nurture current relationships. Gain the trust of your current and potential customers by creating social media profiles like a LinkedIn company page, Facebook business Page, Twitter profile, or an Instagram account. This puts a voice (and a face) to your company, which will give people more incentive to trust your brand.

https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-marketing-for-small-business/

Where Time Gets Lost at Work (And How to Get It Back)

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We’ve all been there: heads down on an important project, cranking away, and then  woosh. You fly into a meeting. And then woosh, you fly into another meeting. Your stomach grumbles. It’s lunchtime. You decide to work at your desk so you can keep cranking on that project. But then ping, there’s a message from your manager. You have to drop everything and help put out a (digital) fire. By the time you get back to your important project, it’s 6 p.m. and everyone is packing up to go home.

What the heck happened to the day?!?

If you believe in the supernatural, you might be tempted to think that a Bermuda Triangle-esque time warp has opened up in your office, and you’ve been unwillingly sucked into its swirling vortex of temporal confusion.

But for a more scientific answer to the question, the team at Scoro has got you covered. Their infographic highlights some of the workday’s biggest time-wasters, along with suggestions for how you can avoid them.

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https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/why-how-where-our-time-gets-lost-at-work-infographic

How to Promote Yourself on Facebook

Facebook Ad Tips For Photographers

Although there is no guarantee that paying for Facebook ads will boost your photography business, it can be a powerful promotional tool as it gives you so many options.

If you are paying good money to advertise on Facebook, though, it’s important that the adverts work hard for you.

Here’s a brief guide to the essentials of setting up a Facebook ad for a wedding business (the principles apply to other genres too, though it maybe harder to specify such exact targeting).

1) What Do You Want to Achieve?

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Once you click to create a new Facebook ad, you are given a range of options.

While I could set up an ad to get more Likes for my wedding photography Facebook page, I actually want to get more people to visit my website, so I select ‘Send people etc etc.’ It’s worth checking out the other options on this page as there are some powerful marketing tools.

Click ‘Help: Choosing an Objective’ if you are unsure.

2) Supply Website Details

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Then it’s just a question of entering your website address. Be very careful of any typos or spelling mistakes, as the ad campaign will totally backfire if people can’t reach your site.

A good tip is to load your site’s home page (or other relevant page) and then copy and paste the address from the top web browser window, rather than manually typing it in.

3) Set the Region

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This done, choose the geographical area you want to target. Choosing a whole country is a very grapeshot approach – and as a photographer in the south west, I might not want a booking in northern Scotland – so it pays to be specific.

This is also a good way to target affluent areas. Next, set the age of your target market, their gender, and interests. I’ve chosen women.

At the risk of stereotyping, it tends to be potential brides who respond more emotionally to wedding ads, though there are plenty of same sex couples need photographers, too! Common sense suggests I should choose ‘engaged’ as a relationship status, rather than already married.

4) Interests, Behaviours and Budget

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For Interests, I’ve also chosen relevant topics and I have tried to target the ad at Mobile Device Users.

More and more people are seeing Facebook ads on smartphones or tablets and since I am mainly asking them to check out my website, there is a good chance they’ll click through (people are generally less confident about making payments on mobile devices, though this is changing).

Then, I specify how long I want the ad to run for, and how much I want to spend.

5) Text and picture

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Now for the fun bit. You’re limited in how much you can write, so keep the headline and body text punchy and enticing – sell the benefits of what you offer, rather than just describing it.

Emphasise a unique selling point (in this case, last minute bookings) and choose a strong image that will also work on smaller and mobile-device screens. I select ‘Learn More’ as the call to action button, to get people to visit my site. Then review the ad and bingo!

https://www.learningwithexperts.com/photography/blog/how-to-promote-yourself-on-facebook