10 Aug

How Do Instagram Stories Affect Your Business

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 10.08.16 by John Meloche

Recently Instagram released a new feature called “stories”, where people can post photos that only last 10 seconds on their profile. These photos are available for all of one’s followers to see. This feature has become extremely controversial due to it’s striking resemblance to another social media app: Snapchat. Yesterday we talked about Snapchat and how it could help your business, today we’re going to look at the Instagram story feature and determine where it should stand in your business.

There are currently a lot of mixed views surrounding the feature. A lot of dedicated Snapchat users aren’t happy with the duplication of the Story feature. Due to this mixed reaction, it would be safe to avoid the stories option on Instagram for a bit. Just maybe another week to let the tension die down. Another note, if your business doesn’t have Snapchat then you might want to use the Instagram Story feature as a trial for Snapchat. If you’re getting good engagement numbers on Instagram, then getting Snapchat might further help your business.

Now if your business is on Snapchat, and you’re deciding whether or not you should post more frequently on Snapchat or Instagram, or even if you should use the Instagram feature, then do a test run. Post on Instagram stories and evaluate your engagement, keep track of how many people saw your story and replied to it. After you’ve done this, do the same on Snapchat. Finally compare the two numbers, whichever platform is receiving the most engagement is the platform you should be using more frequently.

Now the Instagram Story feud is still at large. So waiting a couple of days before making your Instagram story debut would be ideal. That being said, Instagram stories do have the ability to bring a Snapchat-like vibe to Instagram, and thus gives the app an increased potential for success.

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28 Jul

5 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Reach Without Paying

Posted in Small Business Advertising, Social Media on 28.07.16 by John Meloche

Concluding the big three with the most photogenic social media outlet, today we’re looking at Instagram. While this is the last of the big three social media mediums that we are covering, it certainly isn’t the smallest. According to DMR stats, Instagram has around 500 million monthly active users and 300 million daily active users. Instagram has become a cherished social media outlet over the years as people admire that there’s a true place to show their photographic memories. Despite this, businesses are struggling with their Instagram reach. There are easy and free ways to counteract these struggles. Here are 5 free things you can do to improve your Instagram reach:

  1. Twitter and Facebook Shout-outs. Just because you’re operating on all these mediums, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to connect them. If you have a lot of likers on your Facebook page, or a lot of followers on Twitter, then use them to your advantage. A simple reminder to follow your Instagram page could go a long way. Essentially you’re just reaching out to different fans of yours across social media and trying to bring them all together.
  2. Post at the Right Time. Timing is extremely important on Instagram. You have to identify peak times for Instagram audiences. Typically, mornings aren’t too great because people are working, however, late afternoon/early night time is great for posting. Right after work people will go through their phone and check their Instagram feed. Maybe scroll through Instagram on their commute back from work. At night, you can catch audiences scrolling through their phones before bed time. Posting between 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. is ideal for optimizing the reach on your Instagram posts.
  3. Engage your Fans. The whole point of social media is to get your fans further involved in your business. You want them to garner support for your company and act as if they’re in it. So how do you do that? Well, you ask them questions. Comments are your best friend in this case. Get people to comment and share their opinions on your posts. Not only does this get your fans more involved with your business, but it allows you to develop a greater bond with them as well.
  4. Like Others’ Content. We’ve mentioned this before in previous blogs. People love it when you notice their posts. A subtle like or comment can result in another follower. Neil Patel from Quicksprout implemented this strategy and found that for every 100 likes he did of random pictures, he received 6.1 more followers.
  5. Be Careful with your Hashtags. Hashtags are a very contentious matter on social media, especially Instagram. According to Buffer Social, interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. Others would argue that you shouldn’t use that many hashtags. Sarah Dawley from Hootsuite, advises against the overuse of hashtags as too many can distract your audience and take away from your message. So what’s a safe number? 5-7 is a safe bet for getting a good reach while at the same time preventing the dilution of your core message.

 

There are a lot of small details, that when considered, can greatly increase your reach. Simply fine-tuning some minor things on your post can help you reach thousands, maybe even millions more people. So get on Instagram, tell your story, and make some friends.

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