Tag Archives: Instagram

Instagram Your Way to Social Media

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How to Integrate Instagram on Your Social Media Campaigns

Internet users are quite fond of pictures. Show them images of a sleeping cat on a funny pose, as well as a glass building glinting with the soft light of the sunrise. Your pictures are sure to garner many likes within the hour. Businesses can take advantage of this obsession with pictures using Instagram. This mobile application has filters you can use to enhance the look and quality of your photos. Experiment with a few of your personal pictures to gain mastery in using the app. Once you got the hang of it, you can begin taking shots of your products and share them on the Instagram network.

Using Instagram is a potential gold mine for many businesses looking to make marketing success with photos. Since July 2012, there have been 80 million users on Instagram alone. Tapping into the demographics will allow you to reach an Instagram population that is 53% female and 47% male, ages 18-34 years old. If your target audience is within this age range, then Instagram is a good online avenue to start your marketing campaign.

But if you use Instagram, how exactly do you reach your intended users? What do you do to get their attention and engage them with your content?

According to Jason Howie, social marketing can be executed on Instagram if you adhere to the following tips:

1. Partner Instagram campaign with other social networks.

Social media is a bigger world out there. Although Instagram has more than 80 million users, it has a relatively young audience. Consider reaching out to a variety of other age groups on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. This will make your products available to a wider audience and help you engage with other users who want to check out your merchandise online.

Integrating Instagram with your existing social media campaigns will also liven up your marketing strategy. Using pictures are known to fetch more engagement from followers, due to the visual appeal that photos generate.

2. Engage your followers.

Communicating with your followers is the number one rule when it comes to social marketing. Explore your followers’ accounts and make sure to like and comment on posts you’re interested in. Do this, especially for followers who often check out your content. This will make them appreciate you more and urge them to follow back more enthusiastically. Answering customer inquiries is also advisable, as many customers prefer to reach out online because it is more convenient than calling the hotline. Make sure to check your account from time to time to see queries you need to immediately respond to.

Launching contests and promotions using Instagram is also useful in exposing your pictures to more users. Arrange online events and offer enticing rewards like discounts and freebies to make users more interested in following your account.

3. Make behind-the-scenes shots accessible.

Showing your followers how you create or manage the products you sell boost user interest. Engage your customers with fun posts about your staff as they get ready for a full day’s work in your store. Pictures like these make followers feel closer to your business as a whole, and enable customers to know you better. Starbucks, the most popular coffee shops worldwide, engages its fans and customers with photos of events and other behind-the-scene activities.

4. Encourage staff involvement.

Involving your employees on your Instagram campaign can make them feel motivated as they have a part in your marketing campaign. Be sure to discuss guidelines on what’s appropriate to post so there will be no misunderstandings. Allowing them to post their pictures about the business will make followers take notice and see how you run your venture. This will spur more engagement, as followers feel closer to a business which shows transparency on how it runs its day-to-day operations, events and other processes.

5. Create your own hashtags.

When tagging your own photos, utilize hashtags specific to your own brand. Using popular hashtags will not be suitable, as this will show general results, rather than your brand. For example, you’re in the coffee shop business. Don’t apply the hashtag ‘#coffee,’ as this will point followers to results like these:

See, there’s more than 1 million photos for the #coffee hashtag. Your followers will have difficulty scrolling through the results. Apply your shop’s name to your campaigns to get more precise results. You can utilize the name of your store to tag your photos. This will have the added benefit of promoting your brand.

As Facebook and Instagram is merged, your pictures get additional exposure. Once a follower clicks ‘Like,’ your picture will appear on their friends’ news feed. When they click on your photo, they’ll see all the likes and comments, which encourage them to look at your photo more closely. This can make them share your photo and cause a viral effect. Other than the mentioned effects, creating your own hashtags will also help you measure the generated ROI. This will help you determine if your audience responds well to your Instagram campaign.

6. Use Instagram’s geo-tagging feature.

Use Instagram’s geo-tagging attribute to make followers more aware of your location. This feature can also help a lot in contests that will make participants look for something using Foursquare and other interactive maps. To connect Foursquare when sharing your Instagram photos, turn on the ‘Add to your Photo Map’ feature and name the location, then click ‘foursquare’ on the share options.

7. Pay attention to your analytics.

Studying your analytics data can yield information on what pictures work best for your campaigns. This will also help you learn who your most engaged followers are, and allow you to concentrate on those who can be your staunchest brand advocates. The statistics will also help you learn which social networks work better for your Instagram strategy. The best times to post your photos can also be mined from the data to ensure that you display your pictures during heavy online traffic.

8. Experiment with your pictures.

Instagram provides many free filters to improve your pictures’ visual appeal. There are also more available options for the paid membership. If you have enough budget, try checking out the choices to help you learn which filters work in making your photos look their best. This will help you promote your business and engage more followers.

 

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Mashable.com

Branddnainc.com

SimplyMeasured.com

Jezebel.com

Photo Credits:

HubSpot Blog

Web.Stagram.com

Instagram Help

Widen Your Online Presence with a Social Media Boost, Part 2

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Make your business soar and succeed online with the help of five social networks.

Blogs, pictures, and location-sharing services are popular on the Internet these days. Used to capture interest, these features are used by many businesses today to promote different products and services. Blogs are utilized to publish different types of content that grab the attention of the target audience, while images serve to strengthen brand awareness. Interactive maps pointing out the location of a certain business draws more customers to the actual physical site of the store. These social media tools are used to expose brands to different audiences and increase engagement with prospective customers.

Tumblr, Instagram and Foursquare are three of the leading social media tools used by many businesses, especially in North America. These three online giants offered opportunities for entrepreneurs to bridge the gap with savvy consumers well-versed on browsing the net.

1. Tumbling into Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging site launched in 2007 that allows users to post a host of multimedia on a blog. Comparatively easier to use than other sites on the same category, Tumblr allows users to interact with other blogs using text posts, images, videos, links, quotes, and more. This site has a simple dashboard and interface where users can see their own posts, including content from blogs they follow. They have the option of liking, replying or sharing others’ content or posting their own. This caused Tumblr to become popular and retain a large number of its existing users. It also has a high number of unique visits that directly competes with other social networks such as Pinterest and Twitter.

How do you use Tumblr for your business?

  • Advertise to followers using Tumblr. With Tumblr, you can post and ‘pin’ something to the top of your followers’ dashboard until they take it down themselves. This paid feature ensures that your followers see your most important ads as soon as you roll them out. There’s also ‘highlighting’ which adds a tag to the right side of the post. This tag serves to grab the attention of your followers as they scroll down their dashboard. Finally, there’s the Tumblr Radar, which shows the most popular posts chosen by the Tumblr box. These are particularly useful for reaching customers who lead busy lives and can’t keep up with your posts as much as before.
  • Post pictures, pictures, and more pictures. According to Tumblr, pictures make up the most number of posts that get ‘reblogged’ (or shared) for a multiple number of times until it goes viral. This is because pictures, especially colorful ones, attract more attention than text posts. What you see is what you get when it comes to pictures, while with text, you have to interpret the words to discern the meaning.
  • Schedule your posts and update your blog automatically. You cannot stay stuck in front of your computers to update the blog content all day. Create posts and schedule them to be posted at the time you want. Use the Queue function to benefit fully from this feature.
  • Rouse your followers’ competitive side. Launch contests and give away prizes that will make followers sit up and take notice. This will increase awareness about your business, turn more attention to your products, and get more visitors to go to your website and other social networking pages.
  • Be interactive. Followers sometimes get curious about a certain video or link you posted. Make it easier for them to reach you. Allow them to post replies by ticking the ‘Let people photo reply’ and ‘Let people answer this’ options. These will enable you to build closer relationships with them.

2. Insta-Perfect Photos with Instagram

Taking pictures is a passion that Instagram taps into. Currently available on iPhone and Android platforms, this mobile application has 80 million users editing images with filters and sharing them to the online community. Businesses use this app to take and share pictures of their products to their target audience in Instagram.

How do you use this for your business?

  • Set the tone for a story about your products and services. Before you snap pictures at random, think about what light you want your business to be seen. Would you like a homey feel or a trendy atmosphere? Decide on this first to ensure that create the right impression you want your followers to make.
  • Be creative. Take photos of your products and services in unusual ways. Experiment with different filters to make your pictures more catchy and interesting to look at. Finely taken shots will make your products have the potential to engross followers and make them curious about your merchandise.
  • Learn how your customers use your products. Know what customers think of your merchandise. Ask them to post how they use your products. This will serve to make other followers (who are not yet your customers) to buy your goods themselves. Another additional benefit is that you’ll see how your products can be further developed to make it more useful for customers.
  • Take your followers behind the scenes. Engage your social community with pictures that show a carefree side to your employees. This will enable them to know your staff more and form close ties to your business. Showing how you prepare for an event or demonstrating the way you manage your inventory makes followers more curious about your enterprise. This encourages more socialization between you and prospective customers.
  • When speechless, say it with pictures. Ask your followers and let them reply with a picture. For example, you’re involved in the clothing retail industry. You can ask queries like, “What’s your fashion statement today?” This will challenge followers to look their best and post pictures of themselves wearing their most stylish outfit. If you are in the food business, ask your followers post images of healthy meals they enjoy. You’re promoting hale and hearty food, while subtly promoting your goods!

Check out the next article for information on how to use Foursquare for your business.

 

References:

Wikipedia.org

ThunderSEO.com

Hubze.com Link 1

Hubze.com Link 2

Instagram + Pinterest: A Visual Formula for Social Media

How Filtered, Pinteresting Pictures can Bring New Life to Your Marketing Campaigns

Instagram gained instant popularity when it was first launched in Apple’s App Store in October 2010. This mobile app lets users take photos and apply digital filters. It quickly gained a wide following from 100,000 in October up to 1 million users in December 2010. 2012 rolled in with 15 million users until on July, Instagram announced that it now has 80 million app users. This boom must have happened because Google acquired rights to distribute the app to Android users in April. There’s a noticeable big jump from the number of users in March (27 million) to May (50 million).

How did Instagram gained such huge popularity? This can be attributed to people wishing that some moments stand still for a time. With pictures, everyone can catch a moment to remember. This conveys a human wish to document events for keepsakes of times they want to go back to. Instagram goes a step beyond that, offering features that allow professional and amateur photographers to play with filters and make their pictures more beautiful and fun to look at. These filters alter images to look sharper, older or more vibrant. Take, for example, the pictures below:See how the last picture was enhanced? With Instagram, you can use filters to create entrancing images that catch attention and stimulate interest among your viewers.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a visual content site that allows users to pin pictures they find interesting. They can create boards that feature different themes, according to their preferences. With its user-friendly features and attractive interface, this social network quickly gained fame, especially among the female demographic. There has been 11.7 million Pinterest users in May 2012, and that number’s still growing as the site did away with its invite-only membership and opened its doors for all users.There’s a possibility of a campaign that combines Instagram and Pinterest winning over the customers of a business. Entrepreneurs can use Instagram to take pictures of their merchandise and post the images on their Pinterest account. It can work, especially if you have a large number of followers on Instagram. You can drive your customers to go to your respective accounts on both social networks. Apply the best practices in both platforms and you can make your marketing campaign work!

Instagram has a balanced demographic with 50.8% male and 49.2% female users. There’s also enough audience from all age groups. With this mobile app, you can attract almost everyone to your business using the pictures you’ve taken. Pinterest can work as your pinboard where you’ll organize the images you’ve taken in artistic and aesthetic arrangements.

If you’re using Facebook and Twitter, you can post sample pictures of what you’re posting on Pinterest. This can entice your followers to check out your Pinterest page. Once users see your high-quality images, they’ll share your content and inadvertently promote brand awareness.

How do you fully utilize Instagram and Pinterest? Here are some techniques:

Well-taken pictures have a way of making ordinary subjects charming. Browse around Instagram and Pinterest, and look for the most popular photos. What are the common qualities of the most favored images? Other than the exceptionally lovely pictures, there are also everyday fixtures and average-looking goods spruced up to look unique. Here are some examples:

Have a cute office pet or mascot? Charm and engage your customers with pictures!

References:

Social Media Today

Quora.com

Wikipedia

ThunderSEO.com

Instagram for Brands

IgniteSocialMedia.com

Lexicalist.com

 

Photo Credits:

LaptopMag.com Blog

Pixoto.com

9BYTZ.com

YumSugar.com

2012 – The Year of Continuous Change

In general, when people hear about 2012, they talk about doomsday and the end of the world.

For technology and Internet, it’s a time of continuous reinvention. Old things are being developed to gain new appearances or functions. Mary Meeker, well-known Internet analyst, discusses how technology is being revolutionized, which in turn, changes our way of life.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, said in a letter to potential shareholders in May of this year: “We hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information…We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.”

In thinking about this visionary has declared, we realize that Facebook has indeed ‘rewired’ the way we use information. Every time we log into this social network, we see tidbits of information we can ‘like,’ ‘comment’ and ‘share.’ Communication is made easier as old friends are now given an avenue where they can connect in real time through status updates, chats and messages. Powerhouses and well-known organizations can now reach out to a larger number of people using Facebook pages. Privacy issues aside, one can safely conclude that Facebook is one of the best things that happened in social media.

Another example how people are changed together with technology is the advent of Twitter. 140 characters are enough to reach millions of people and share news experienced firsthand by accident victims, typhoon survivors and more. Then there’s Sohaib Athar, the man who unknowingly first reported about the covert U.S. operation to kill terrorist Osama bin Laden. On hindsight, his tweet is the first indication of news about the whole incident. This just shows how Twitter is useful in disseminating important information before we officially hear them in the news.

Aside from that, we sometimes hear news about how people get themselves out of a scrape by using their mobile phones to call for help. Other people, instead of calling, post about their situation on Twitter or Facebook for others to alert the authorities on their behalf.

Other activities we used to do with notepads and writing instruments, paints and brushes are now taken over by technology. There’s Evernote for notetaking purposes that can be accessed in a multitude of electronic devices, from computers to smartphones. Paper by Fiftythree was made with digitally enhanced creation tools and a screen can be used as a reusable canvas which allows users to create art anywhere and anytime. Another popular example is Instagram, an application used to change the look of a picture from vintage to sepia to black and white. E-books are also on the rise with the rise of Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks. This made reading more convenient since there’s no need to cart around a bag of books when you can cram 20 books’ worth of text in a Kindle.

A list can go on and on until we’re all bombarded with all the ways that technology has made our lives easier and more manageable. Technology is being continuously developed to make processes churn out high-quality results in the fastest way possible. Maybe one day, we’ll all be able to ride in floating cars and fly around the city instead of driving on the ground. Or do everything with a tablet on our hands which we use for everything except cleaning the house and washing the dishes. Things that we used to do with various materials carefully picked will be replaced by a single computer, phone or tablet where can create digital versions of what we want. When one thinks about it, this evokes nostalgia about products made obsolete by technology and, at the same time, excitement about what other surprises the future has set in store for us.

How to Use Instagram for Business

Shooting Fine Pictures to Make Your Business Popular

Pictures, when taken properly, can convey more than a thousand words. Make your business known to the growing community of budding photographers and image lovers in Instagram. Take pictures of your products artfully arranged and filtered to inspire wonder in your viewers. With Instagram, you can increase your popularity and make more people come to your store.

Whether you own a flower shop, an arts and crafts gallery or a clothing retail outlet, Instagram can let you make your business well-liked and admired by Instagram users. This photo-sharing application has more than 40 million subscribers. Just imagine your wide reach to potential customers when you use Instagram! If you’ve managed to attract five people, this number will gradually increase once you’ve gained mastery of taking pictures and using this application. Learning how to make your pictures prettier and more alluring would also increase your chances.

How do you make your photos intriguing enough to catch attention?

Apply professional tricks to create interesting photos. Play with the angle of the camera and shoot from below, above or the sides. Pick the most attention-grabbing images from your series. You can also tilt the camera or compose the scene you’re taking to accommodate the whole space in the photo. Contrasting angles that naturally lead your viewers’ eyes from one edge to the other make it look like your pictures are moving. This livens up the images.

Zoom your lens to capture the fine details. Beauty appears when one detail is sometimes emphasized. Dewdrops on a pristine white rose can make it look fresh, untouched and appealing to look at. Make your pictures absorbing to gaze upon. Focus on the laugh lines on your grandparent’s face or the bird that flits over the branches of a high tree.

If you need to show the background in your picture, make sure that there are no distracting elements like a colorful curtain or smudge on the wall. These elements can take away the attention of the viewer from the subject of the picture. If you’re shooting a portrait, make the focus stay on your subject instead of the flower hanging over his or head. Better yet, take away flower and clean up the surroundings a bit. This will help make the viewer’s attention stay on the subject.

Using Instagram will help increase interest in your business. Engage your followers with a personal post once in a while. This will connect you more to them, which can only bode well for your venture.