Thumb bernarda Bernarda Amidžić Tuesday, March 8, 2016

There is nothing better than a picture to tell a story. That’s why we love Instagram so much. But managing your private account is easy and spontaneous, unlike using Instagram for professional purposes.
To make sure you attract more dedicated followers to your brand and set up your Instagram strategy right, we'll give you 10 simple but powerful tips to follow and integrate into your Instagram strategy.

1. #Nofilter? #Filter!

Although no filter is the most popular 'filter' in Instagram, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones. Higher exposure filters like Mayfair have more views, and warm filters result with a lot of comments. Saturation will get you to slightly lower views and age effects lead to lower comments. People prefer high lightness photos, with a high amount of background, with a single dominant colour, textured image and duck face over regular selfies. That's for sure good to know. This Converse photo has all the good elements and it's simply beautiful. I like it because it calls for adventure and wild spirit that Converse targeted audience is known for. :)


A photo posted by @converse on

2. Post consistently

Your fans followed you because they want to be the first to hear about your new offers, events, discounts or to be entertained if that is your post goal. So give them what they want - post at least once a day. If your brand is not quite recognised and you have less than 500 followers you should post 4-6 times a week if you are in between 500 and 1000 feel free to post 8 times a week. Brands with the highest number of fans post with a higher frequency - up to 2 or 3 photos per day on average. So if you have 1000 followers or more it’s ok to post up to 20 posts per week. But remember to post quality and attractive photos and content, quality is more relevant than quantity. You don’t want to update often with redundant pictures, right?

3. #Don't #use #hashtags #like #this

If I’d have to name one place where hashtags make sense it would be Instagram. The right hashtags can expose you to a large and targeted audience. With hashtags, you can find companies, influencers and bloggers from your niche to follow. A TrackMaven study discovered that interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags and Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. We suggest you to use as many relevant hashtags to reach more people. To keep your posts neat put them in the comment of the post (yes, it works!) or use braces {curly brackets}. Use nouns and adjectives as hashtags and avoid using verbs and conjunctions. Some of the most popular hashtags are: #love, #instagood, #me, #tbt, #cute, #photooftheday, #instamood, #iphonesia, #picoftheday, #igers...but it’s very important to include all important hashtags relevant to your industry, company or location.



4. FLLL and 5/3/1, say what?!

One interesting tactic to grow an Instagram following goes even further. It’s called the “follow like like like,” as described in Austin Allred’s book The Hacker’s Guide to User Acquisition. In this process, you search a specific, relevant hashtag and choose a few of the top pictures you find. Follow those accounts, then go to each of their photo feeds and like three of their recent photos. Austin said they had follow-back percentage approached 25%. Meaning for every four people they followed, one would follow them back. We tested this tactic a couple of times and follow back rate was in average 40% - which is amazing! There’s another tactic you should try, it’s called 5/3/1 rule and it’s a bit more time consuming. This tactic suggests you like five photos, comment on three photos, and as a result, you should earn one new follower. If you find profiles that match your interests and leave thoughtful comments, this trick will make your Instagram presence outstanding.

5. Get the community involved

Your number of followers may rise, but this does not affect the operating result. While big brands are focused on the global market and have a specific target group, local companies tend to save money on marketing and give this task to students or inexperienced individuals. Their way of obtaining new followers is to follow as many profiles as possible without any specified criteria and segmentation. They keep the terrible ratio of following 10x more people than the number of followers they have until they reach a certain number of followers meaning just one, their content is not that relevant to the people these brands follow. They often use unfollow button to unfollow most of their followers when they get a large number of followers. Sounds like a bad tactic - you guessed right-  it is! It is important to find people who have access to your products, who are interested in what you do and to start a relationship with them. Like their photos and leave comments - but not generic ones. Although it takes more time to leave a thoughtful comment on a photo, your comment is more likely to result in a new follower if it’s personal. Comments like “Sweet” or “Nice!” or “<3” won’t inspire a person to check out your account. Don’t forget to check your brand's hashtag and posts on your location.
Whether you like Whole foods as a brand or not they sure know how to engage followers and transform them into customers. Big brands like Whole foods don't have the luxury to respond to every comment but they do know how to engage and communicate with their followers. In this post, they managed to get 158 comments and respond to some of the followers. If you have resources to do this with your brand I highly recommend it. Followers are leaving comments to communicate with you not to get your numbers high.


6. Use lots of emojis

For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year” was a pictograph (emoji). Usage of emojis in social media strategies tripled in 2015 compared to the previous year. Instagram reports that nearly 60 percent of all captions and comments on Instagram now have an emoji or two. Emojis are becoming a universal language used by people regardless of the age. Your followers are aware that behind every brand are people. Using emojis allows you to remind them of that. Emoji are a casual interpretation of how someone feels and are used in an informal communication - you want to create a personal relationship with your current and potential followers. Feel free to use emoji in your bio like Lime crime makeup did.


7. Videos are fun

A study from April 2015 found that only about 10% of all posts on Instagram are videos, but they’re getting 18% of all comments. In the meantime things changed and a lot of brands managed to successfully integrate videos in their Instagram strategy. Cooking blogs and sports profiles show us every day how it’s done! The extremely successful profile is BuzzFeeds’ brand Tasty in which they prepare simple dishes and record the whole process in just 15 seconds. These fast-motion videos just suck the viewer in. Tasty gathered 2,3 million followers on Instagram in just a few months and 41 million page likes on Facebook. All due to quality content and simpleness. See the video below and let me know if a video content is  worth integrating into your Instagram strategy? Caution: Don’t play it if you’re hungry.


A video posted by Tasty (@buzzfeedtasty) on

8. Run a contest - get crazy engagement!

We all love a good contest. Especially when you can get something in return. Your followers and customers among them are eager to show that they can get creative with your products and how important you are to them. Instagram is an ideal platform for photo contests because it gives you high-quality images of your brand, of your followers, their lives and interests. Most important thing is it’s super easy to search their photos through hashtags that you come up with. Get witty when creating your special hashtag to create a buzz and have more participants.
I think this Om Nom Nom Cookies contest is adorable and if I was near their location would for sure participate. What's good about this contest is that photo entries include their product and happy customers, the contest image is very friendly, fun and personable, it’s simple to enter the contest and the prize further markets their brand. The bad thing is they didn't include a common hashtag, so other contestants can see the entries.


A photo posted by Om Nom Nom Cookies (@omnomnominc) on

9. Cross-promote

Make sure your existing fans know you’re on Instagram through cross-promotion. Instagram makes it simple to share your images on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. You can also try embedding Instagram photos or videos in your blog posts like I did above. An example can be this simple Facebook post by clothing brand American Eagle Outfitters. They posted "Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for exciting news coming later tonight!" and got a lot of attention. They made sure the followers are intrigued and want to visit their other social sites. Try to include some kind of Call-To-Action in your strategy if possible like a secret surprise or early offer. The only thing that can make this cross-promotion post better would be a post with a photo considering that photo posts get 39% more interaction.


Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for exciting news coming later tonight! Follow us on Instagram @americaneagle: us on Twitter @AEO:

Posted by American Eagle Outfitters on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10. Say thanks

I know that the tips from 1-9 will flourish your Instagram account. In case you want to get 100% out of this platform and have the opportunity to invest more time - thank every new follower via direct messages. Through direct messages you can tell them more about yourself or your brand (that did not fit in the bio), give them a discount or inform them about the event. You can share your message with up to 15 people in threaded messages via Instagram Direct. Instagram allows you to “meet” each potential customer, talk with him and create a positive relationship. Simple and genuine “thanks for following”, would also be a good start. Try it. :)


Before you start promoting your business on Instagram make sure your profile looks five-star. Have at least 15 photos to show you are active and make sure your photos represent you or your brand accurately. If profile’s content is not beautiful, inspiring, useful, funny or interesting, you won’t earn a new follower - Shortstack. Think of the context, decide on your tone and have fun. :) 

Happy Instagramming! :)

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