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Top Nine is an easier way to market, and gain insights on Instagram

(REAL ESTATE MARKETING) An app called Top Nine is making big waves as influencers, businesses, and general users leverage the app’s capabilities for marketing campaigns.

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Lani top nine

TopNine.co, an app that helps Instagram users identify their top 9 posts on their feed for the year, is coming in hot as influencers and daily users-alike flock to the app for marketing guidance.

As a Marketer, this app deeply interested me, so I took a few moments to download it and found that the results are not only impressive, they’re also pretty accurate. Top Nine explains their algorithm in detail on their website, stating “The algorithm selects your Top Nine Instagram photos based on a number of factors: number of likes, the content of the comments, among others.”

Using a company I work with as an example (@Exactmats/ ExactMats.com, which provides perfect-fitting, clear and black surface protection for vehicles, as well as clear protection for offices, and homes), Top Nine selected these images as the best images to leverage in the company’s marketing campaigns.

top nine Instagram

That said, while the platform gives you exactly what they think you should be using, it doesn’t really help you do the marketing. So how should you use your Top Nine images? Let’s discover those opportunities together!

Use The Data To Your Advantage

At ExactMats, we often repost photos from other like-minded accounts, making sure to give credit to those who created the content.

Looking at the examples above, all of ExactMats’ current Top Nine images are reposts, which may give us info about what the company’s followers want to see. For instance, by cross-referencing top images from the app with our own analytics on Instagram (make sure to convert your account into a business account to see Instagram’s “Insights”) we can verify that the app chose well.

You may have noticed that we have a couple trends happening with our reposts. First, we have a couple letter board posts. Initially, we shared a letter board post as a test, to see how our followers and passersby responded. What we didn’t expect was that these types of posts would be some of the most popular we’ve shared, so we took a deeper dive into Instagram’s analytics and found that these types of posts had some of the most likes, comments, and shares. Because of this, we have continued to add letter board posts into our Instagram planners.

The second trend we noticed was in relation to color profile – rainbows. Rainbows are a huge hit within our niche. We first started reposting rainbows consistently this year and since then, noticed a large uptick in engagement. We probably could have proven how well these types of posts were doing without Top Nine, but having an app that furthers our understanding of how well certain types of posts are doing is super helpful to any Marketer.

In short, it’s important to use apps like Top Nine and Instagram’s analytics to take as deep a look as possible into how your Instagram account is preforming.

Share Your Top Nine To Leverage Relationships

If you are like us, and you use reposted images, one thing you can certainly do to leverage Top Nine is posting all of your top images for the year. You can do this by purchasing the Top Nine images from their app for $2.99, which removes the watermark. You can also opt to download it for free with the watermark.

To get the most out of your Top Nine results, which is downloaded as a single image and shares your total amount of post likes for the year, you can simply post the image as a story or a post, tagging all of the original content creators.

Again, we originally published these reposted images because our followers tend to like this type of content, but we also repost based on strategy. For instance, we work with many Professional Organizers and organizational companies – some of which we’d like to promote and others which we’d like to work with in the future – so reposting their content only makes sense. It grabs their attention and shows them that you’re as interested in their content as they may be in yours.

In our case, we’d tag all 9 creators. This would give us another great post and would allow us to remind the creators that we’ve previously tagged them, as well as call attention to our existence in the space. Our biggest tip here is to make sure you thank them for their images again, as you’re essentially reposting their image once more. You can also take this as an opportunity to personally message (DM) these Instagram accounts, thanking them for their amazing content. Depending on the size of the company, not only will you make them feel great, but you’ll also actively be beginning to network with them. If the account is one that you’d like to work with, you may consider using this as a time to talk with them about partnerships.

Be Sneaky, But Not Too Sneaky…

One more thing you can do with Top Nine’s images is hold a contest prompting followers to share their own top images. The prize and rules of the contest are completely up to you, but from our experience, you’d want to choose rules that make things easiest on you and the entrants. For instance, so you can keep track of all of the entries, you may want to have entrants tag your account and include a campaign-specific hashtag on their post to be considered “entered”.

What this may end up doing for you is two fold. First, you may end up learning quite a bit about your followers. If any companies are following you and they decide to join in (this will mostly be smaller to medium-sized businesses who focus on engagement), you’ll essentially have access to their Top Nine images, which can give you further insight into their market/niche.

Awareness is an uphill battle for new companies, especially for those like ExactMats, which works primarily with custom products and has essentially created a brand new product category within a few markets. That said, the second benefit, depending on your rules, might be as simple as getting brand attention and awareness for your company. By holding a fun and unique contest with an exciting prize (I can’t emphasize enough how important the prize is in getting attention and more entrants), where those who enter must tag you, you’re inviting people to spread the word about your company.

Get Out There And Start Posting

There’s a lot more that can be done with Top Nine’s photo collage in the ways of marketing, but the app is also looking to enhance it’s platform by adding new features and tools for its users. For example, their iOS app (sorry Android users – the app isn’t available quite yet for you guys), which is free, has an update allowing you to turn your top images into a video for Instagram Stories. This opens up even more marketing possibilities for Instagram users.

And finally, for those of you who are worried about Instagram’s newest vendetta against post likes, you needn’t worry. Top Nine has assured users that it’s algorithm is intelligent enough to identify your best posts without the need to see post likes.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start leveraging tools like Top Nine today to gain more awareness and to obtain new business partners and revenue.

Rachael Olan is a Texas-based Staff Writer at The American Genius and jack-of-many-trades. She's well known for her abilities in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service, with a focus on SaaS and eCommerce businesses. Outside of writing, Rachael spends much of her time with her swarm of pets, including a 70 lb tortoise named Frankie.

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 ads

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 marketing emails

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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