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25 tips for getting serious engagement on Instagram and dominating your niche

Instagram is a killer platform with massive growth, but there are some tricks up your sleeve you may not even be taking advantage of if you want to dominate your niche.

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Recently, I was talking with a few friends about the importance of branding yourself. It was unanimously determined that, without social media use, your brand will go nowhere.

Social media is a most vital tool for reaching an audience. However, learning how to properly operate different social media platforms to appeal to your followers can be tricky.

Instagram is a crucial platform that continues to grow in popularity. But, how do you make yourself stand out to followers when just about everyone is using Instagram in the same way?

25 ways to step up your Instagram game

Blogging aficionado, Brandon Gaille, complied a list of 25 ways to step up your Instagram game in order to gain a more active followership.

1. Post everyday: Adding a post everyday will create a feeling of consistency with your followers which leads to more likes. These likes then translates to gaining more followers.

2. Post during active times: There is a rhyme and reason to the timing of any strategic social media post. Do some digging to see when your followers seem to be the most active, then begin posting during those times.

3. Activate engagement with interaction: Asking your followers questions in your photo’s caption opens the door for interaction. Taking it a step further by replying to followers’ comments will keep them coming back for more.

4. Develop hashtags just for you: Be creative and develop hashtags that are specific to your brand. You can keep track of these hashtags by searching their use.

5. Learn what your followers like: Check out accounts that are similar to your brand and see what is working for them. By studying your industry, you can see what your audience is enjoying the most.

6. Take advantage of trending hashtags: Check trending hashtags everyday to see what is popular. Then, develop posts that relate to these hashtags so that you can have a wider reach.

7. Create posts to promote webpages: “If you are posting five times a day, then I suggest promoting a webpage for every 20 non-promotional posts,” says Gaille. “Use short links to create custom URLs that link directly to your a blog post or a landing page with a lead magnet.”

8. Post videos: Incorporate videos every so often in order to mix things up. This gives followers fresh content and is a great way to promote yourself. However, video timing is limited, so make the seconds count.

9. Don’t be afraid to have fun: Interacting with followers and adding posts that showcase a little personality can go a long way. Followers will notice that you are, in fact, a person and will appreciate your presence.

10. Pull content from other sites: A popular practice on Instagram is re-gramming. This is when you share a popular post from another page. But, make sure to give credit where it is due.

11. Create a contest: Nothing engages followers like the potential of winning something. Develop a contest that is related to your brand and use that as a way to have followers like and share your content.

12. Link Instagram with other social media: Share your Instagram posts on other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to reach followers who may not know you are on Instagram.

13. Acknowledge what posts are doing best: Keep an eye on which posts are receiving the most likes and comments and then determine why. Knowing what works best for your posts will help with future posts.

14. Create incentives: Making exclusive offers for your followers (i.e. coupon codes) via Instagram can help increase followership while also creating traffic on your website.

15. Team up with others: Promotion in exchange for promoting is a great way to build relationships and to be seen by a wider audience.

16. Showcase your followers: Have followers submit photos of themselves with your product. Then, post said photos on your page, highlighting their participation.

17. Promote only valuable content: Gaille suggests having 15-30 non-promotional posts to every promotion post. He explains this is possible with:

  • Podcast Episode of the Week
  • Blog Post of the Week
  • Periscope Schedule
  • Exclusive Instagram Discount Code

18. Catch eyes with emojis: Who doesn’t love emojis? This is the perfect social media tool to draw eyes to your page. According to Gaille, “The emojis work best in and around your call to actions. Try placing 2-3 downward pointing fingers above your url link in your bio to double your click through rate.”

19. Seven is the lucky number: Use seven hashtags per post for prime engagement. Too many hashtags can be viewed as annoying, so create hashtags that are relevant only to your brand. Piqora found that seven hashtags is the most optimal per post.

20. Find hashtags for your niche: Search for hashtags that have over 50,000 posts. Sift through and find the ones that are relevant to your brand. Rotate these hashtags every few posts in order to keep the shelf life of your post as high as possible.

21. Use captions to create conversation: By asking your followers questions, or by having them tag their friends, post engagement can reach new heights. Gaille says, “Underneath all of my picture quotes I do the following…

  • Restate the quote with a mention to the account that published the original curated image.
  • Tell them to “Double tap if you agree!” The simple act of asking them to double tap increases my total likes by 40%.
  • Ask them to “Follow me @theblogmillionaire for more great quotes like this.”

22. Select an appealing profile photo: This will be the first photo that potential followers see, making it a crucial aspect of your page. Choose a nice photo of yourself in order to create an emotional attachment.

23. Monitor location tags: If you are at an event, keep an eye out for tagged locations. This gives you an insight into where others are at during the event, creating an opportunity for engagement.

24. Use your bio to build your email list: “Instagram allows one linked url under the bio, and you want to make it count. Whatever url you use, make sure it has an email optin with a strong lead magnet,” suggests Gaille.

25. Utilize Crowdfire: Crowdfire is an app used to handle the engagement of heavy-traffic Instagram accounts. This app gives you the option to follow the most engaged users of accounts within your industry. “Just type in the account that has your ideal audience and start following about 50-60 people per hour,” says Gaille. “On average, about 10-20% will follow you back and/or take a look at your account. This can easily add 3000 quality followers to your account every month.”

With this new knowledge at your disposal, it seems that any Instagram user can become a superstar. Try out a few of these and see how your followership grows. Remember to engage with your followers to develop a lasting relationship between them and your brand.

#Instagram

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Real Estate Marketing

No-reply emails: the modern-day horror story (don’t use them!)

(MARKETING) No-reply emails may be easy to set up and distribute for customer service, but it may actually be creating a problem with a simple fix.

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emails ugh

Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.

You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.

Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.

Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.

Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.

Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using noreply@company.com you can use john@company.com and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.

Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.

Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.

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Real Estate Marketing

Instagram advertisers no longer required to have a Facebook Page

(MARKETING) Instagram no longer needs a linked Facebook page in order to use Instagram ads, is this a split in properties or is something else going on?

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Instagram will allow new advertisers to create ads without linking to a Facebook page. It feels like this is a move Instagram should  have made a while ago, but better late than never right?

Instagram announced that the social media giant will now allow new advertisers to promote their business, product, or content without having to connect to Facebook.

Previously, Instagram had been adamant about linking business profiles to Facebook, so the change is sudden, and the motive is contentious, buttttttt we’re not gonna question it.

This move supports small businesses, so we’re all for it. Although this change may seem irrelevant, here are five reasons it is:

  1. Previously requiring users to link a Facebook account to their Instagram in order to run an ad is time consuming.
  2. Not everyone has or likes Facebook.
  3. Associating yourself with a Facebook Page creates an additional way for people to get in contact with you, which can make things messy… sometimes less is more.
  4. Creating a business profile without connecting to Facebook will allow more people access to the same great benefits of having a business profile (benefits include insights on impressions, reach, audience, and activity).
  5. Maybe this is the beginning of a separation between the two social media platforms resulting in other new, beneficial policies.

Some have speculated that the reasons Facebook may want to push this slight crack between its products is because of some of their failures recently and the very real possibility of their being broken up by regulators in the future.

Take advantage and quickly set up a business profile, this is a potential opportunity for businesses that are hurting to learn about their customers and promote themselves!

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Real Estate Marketing

Now you can send marketing emails directly from your Facebook page

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) Facebook is testing a new set of email marketing tools for business pages. Now you can send marketing emails directly from your page.

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Facebook is testing new CRM email marketing tools with businesses. These features reportedly will allow businesses to send out messages directly from the Facebook platform, and track their performance. A user-friendly interface will allow small to medium businesses to upload contact lists and compose messages.

Word of testing of these tools spread after it was spotted by social media marketer Meg Coffey. She posted the screen shots to Twitter.

“Send marketing emails from your page? What new sorcery is this Facebook?! Have you seen this new feature where we can now send emails directly from Facebook? This is definitely new to me and only available on one account so far.”

From what we can see in the screen shots, it looks as if a blue pop up will appear on the left sidebar letting you know that the Marketing Emails feature is available to you. Once you click on that tab you get this notice:

“Reconnect with your email subscribers using marketing emails. Select your audience, customize your design, and track performance all in one place. Confirm your Page’s email address to get started.”

An email confirmation is required, and then you are prompted to add your contacts. A spreadsheet can be uploaded or addresses can be added one-by-one.

A Page Contact Terms of Service agreement prompt then comes up requiring approval before the feature is enabled, and asks for confirmation that the sender has permission to send promotional messages to those contacts.

In a message to Adweek, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the test of the new tools:

“We’re testing new email marketing tools with a small number of businesses to help them more efficiently notify their customers of changes to their services and operations. We’re evaluating whether these tools are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

The test is said to be limited to small and medium-sized businesses at this point, and the simplicity of it seems to be geared towards businesses who do not currently have a robust email marketing solution. As the tests continue and more users interface with these tools the more we can expect to know about these features.

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