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Real Estate Marketing

New Instagram marketing stats reveal if you’re on the right path

(MARKETING) You’re already marketing on Instagram, so do these stats confirm your current efforts? Let’s see!

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At the mere age of a third grader, Instagram has risen to prominence as one of the most used platforms in the history of ever. More than a billion people use the space. Yes, Instagram users > 1,000,000,000.

It also boasts the highest level of user engagement — meaning users are regularly interacting with content more than Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform.

And who could blame Insta users?

For the majority of people, a bold, striking image will initiate our wanting to learn more and clicking on the description. Whereas a bold, gigantic paragraph post on Facebook is often pain we’d rather spare ourselves.

Of course, this is significant because companies looking to market don’t simply launch their advertisements into the void of the internet and hope someone finds their message in a bottle. Brands need to know that their efforts in targeting their consumers are effective. S

Some interesting new stats show us that while celebrities and influencers receive far more engagement than any other sources, brands are receiving a median 192 million weekly interactions.

This number demolishes the median 45 million interactions on Facebook. If we do some math-ing here, the numbers boil down to one “like” for every 27 views of a post.

All this being said, how do you maximize your user engagement?

If you are a company looking to market on Instagram, there are a few boxes to make sure you check. Fashion and beauty are leading the charge for highest user engagement, which makes perfect sense. Both industries center around visual representation — which therefore naturally lend themselves to stunning photos, videos, boomerangs, etc.

You don’t have to be a beauty brand to win – developing a strong brand aesthetic is key (and remembering that bold images trump a wall of words).

Additional tips include using hashtags regularly to keep content relevant in Instagram’s algorithms, igniting user discourse (maybe throw in a little controversy?), and of course, collaborate with relevant influencers. You know that, but don’t forget to take into account that widening the number of people involved in advertisements will mean that users who share no connection to your brand may see your content simply due to the relationship with someone they follow.

If these are the strategies you are already employing, great! Keep up the good work. If you are following separate practices and finding gaps in your user engagement, consider reforming strategies to reflect the brands who are finding regular success.

As always, trends will continue to change. A number of newer platforms are jockeying for a place among the social media giants. Until then, get in the mix.

Jennifer Yano holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in teaching. A high school Spanish teacher and coach by day and a naturally reclusive Hobbit by night, she enjoys writing about business, education, and kitten paws.

Social Media

Twitter is calling you out: New feature encourages users to read articles before sharing

(SOCIAL MEDIA) This new feature from Twitter has some mixed feelings, but is already making strides in encouraging mindful sharing and slowing misinformation.

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Person reading Twitter on phone seated on bench with coffee cup.

Everyone reads an article before retweeting it, right? Well, not everyone does, and Twitter will snitch on you if you don’t! In hopes of getting users to read articles before sharing them, Twitter started prompting some users to read an article before they retweeted.

In a tweet from Twitter Support, the company said, “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.” The social media platform aims to “promote informed discussion” by checking whether you have recently clicked on the article you are about to share. If you haven’t looked at the link recently, you are prompted to confirm if you want to share the article or not.

This “read before you retweet” prompt is a good way of getting people to read the content they are spreading. Without first reading what you are sharing, misleading stories with false information can spread into a virtual wildfire. Personally, I feel this is one of the few good things Twitter is doing right.

If you haven’t already started receiving the “Headlines don’t tell the full story” message, you soon might. Currently, the company is working on bringing the prompts to everyone globally, and they have a good reason for doing so.

Back in June, Twitter started testing the new prompt on a limited number of Android users first. Although the company has only been testing this feature for a few months now, they have already started seeing very promising results. According to the company’s tweet, they have seen three major changes.

First, more people are finally reading. Can you imagine that? After seeing the prompt, 40 percent more people have opened the link to read the article.

Secondly, there has been a rise in “informed tweeting”. More people are not just opening articles. There has been a 33 percent increase in the number of people opening articles before they are even thinking of retweeting them.

Lastly, they have seen some people forgo retweeting the article after opening it up. This means people are choosing to be mindful of the content they want to share.

Twitter has yet to say when the prompt will roll out to everyone, but the results they’ve received are good. Also, you don’t have to worry about the pop-up being so large and annoying, mostly. After you’ve seen the prompt once, it will be smaller the next time you see it. But if you don’t want to see it at all, just read the article before tapping retweet.

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Real Estate Marketing

Chill, Zillow! Real estate giant gets yet another patent

(MARKETING) Zillow grabs yet another broadly worded patent that stands to screw over small businesses. When will it end? …Can it end?

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Pen drawing blueprints, another Zillow patent in the works

In a move that’s surprising to pretty much no one, Zillow gained another patent this year — this time having to do with the presentation of and navigation through photos. Even for the patent fiends themselves, this one is a stretch.

We’ve covered Zillow’s overzealous patent-grabbing before. Between snatching 17 patents over the last decade—one of which deals with the simple matter of filtered searches—and going through a few rounds of finger-pointing with IBM over patent trolling, the real estate company hasn’t exactly endeared itself on this front.

Now, Zillow has succeeded in securing a patent that is sure to throw a wrench in the operation practices of plenty of websites.

The patent itself addresses “image transition sequences between viewing locations”, but the parameters of that description are imaginably vast. Among these parameters are “simulated movement”—whether that be through zooming or simple sequential arrangement of photos—and other effects such as blending, blurring, or rotating.

Presentation methods such as panoramas, videos, and animations are also covered in the patent.

It’s not that Zillow shouldn’t be able to patent something that they pioneered vis-a-vis the field of real estate. But the language in this particular patent is problematic. By securing such a broadly worded option, Zillow has the power to severely restrict the operating potential of competitors. Considering how established Zillow already is in the real estate market, putting another obstacle in front of any feasible competition feels like a cheap shot.

More importantly, Zillow has demonstrated that a feature used by tons of different services can be intercepted and controlled with, apparently, little in the way of regulation. If Zillow wasn’t already under a microscope for their patent-nabbing escapades of the last decade, there’s little hope that the real estate giant will have to answer for this obvious power grab as well.

Patent trolling remains a major issue in plenty of sectors, and real estate certainly isn’t exempt. Especially during a period of time in which small businesses will inherently struggle, patent hoarding and trolling should be met with the strictest of penalties. For now, though, competing real estate services will need to find a new way to conduct virtual tours without stepping on Zillow’s over-large toes.

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Real Estate Marketing

Expand your small business influence with these Instagram analytics tools

(MARKETING) Instagram analytics are crucial to small business success, and it’s worth looking outside Instagram’s in-app analytics for options.

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Instagram symbols on paper over a phone, analytics tracking that.

Chances are if you’re a small business, you’ve probably heard about social media analytics, whether you use them or not.

Instagram specifically has become one of the best platforms for brands to engage users. Businesses are using Instagram Reels to engage a younger audience already familiar with the TikTok format, as well as Instagram Shops which continues to revolutionize ecommerce. As a result, Instagram has 16x higher engagement for top brands compared to Facebook.

When taking advantage of all the features Instagram has to offer, it’s crucial to track user activity so that your brand can produce the most optimal social media presence possible. Here are some top-notch analytics suites geared specifically for small businesses.

Instagram Analytics Tool

The native analytics tool provided on the app may not be the most in-depth, but it is extremely user-friendly, as well as being fast and responsive. If you’re just starting out (or are simply curious about how your content is being consumed), check out Instagram’s native tool.

Owlmetrics

Owlmetrics focuses on demographic and audience analysis, meaning that it can assist brands in getting a clear understanding of their follower base. By using Owlmetrics for demographic breakdowns and tracking follower likes and dislikes, you can more accurately understand your brand’s audience. This is a great option for smaller brands that want to produce and deliver informed content that truly resonates with their followers.

Pixlee

Though not the most thorough of reporting solutions, Pixlee reigns supreme in its ability to quickly create sleek, sharable reports that track key metrics for broad analysis. It is free, but there are additional Pixlee features for a premium (such as an influencer discovery tool). If your brand doesn’t have an expansive social media marketing solution, Pixlee is a fantastic instrument to help with UGC and direct to consumer campaigns.

Iconosquare

When it comes to visualizations of follower growth, reach, and impressions, Iconosquare functions much like Instagram Insights, but does so more efficiently and in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion. Smaller businesses that are looking for a cheap, easy-to-use platform specifically for Instagram and Facebook should consider Iconosquare.

There are countless other analytics platforms out there that can help you and your brand thrive on social media. The trick is to find the right balance of cost and reward – and to invest in a suite that can help you best utilize all the features Instagram has to offer.

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