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How to get more Instagram likes and comments: new study

(Social Media) We all know how big brands get likes and comments, but how does the average user garner more visibility on Instagram?

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Long live Instagram!

In the world of social media, the status of our popularity lives and dies by likes and comments. Such is the case for the photo-sharing app, Instagram. For those unfamiliar with the app, it is a basic concept of uploading a square photo to your account and adding a filter to make the image, sometimes, more appealing. While it may sound simplistic and self-serving, the app has taken the social media world by storm and is especially popular with young generations.

The app, created in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, took a note from Twitter in the sense that it allows users to connect with the more “elite”; i.e. actors, musicians, athletes, etc. These individuals have an automatic in to likes and comments on their photos due to the fact that they are well-known personalities who, as we all know, have fan bases.

So how do Average Joe Instagram users gain likes and comments?

Dan Zarrella investigated this question in his infographic below, titled “The Science of Instagram,” and what he found on the subject may be bits of gold knowledge for avid Instagram users who are looking to heighten their popularity status.

Zarrella’s study tracked more than a million photos to learn about the rise and fall of likes and comments. His first find was that the more tags you include in a photo, the more likes and comments you are likely to get. Say for example you have a photo with a group of friends. When uploading the photo, you are able to attach their user names to said photo. This allows them to be notified and also increases the likelihood that they will like or comment on the photo. Not only that, when other users are viewing your friend’s page, they can see their tagged photos and are then able to like as well. You can include up to 30 tags in one photo, and you are not limited to tagging only those present in the photo. You can also tag your location (for example the Art Institute of Chicago) and your photo will be available to anyone who searches that location.

Trick: Use the word “like” or “comment” in your caption

When uploading a photo you are also able to include a caption. The study has found that if you write the words “like” or “comment” in your caption, you are more likely to receive a like or comment. Whether it is explicitly stated (“Comment on this photo and I will follow you back”) or is stated indirectly (“I really like this time of year), other users will be inclined to like or comment on the photo because their brains have been exposed to the Instagram terminology. The study found that with the inclusion of these words, there was an 89% increase in the like-like category, and a 2,194% increase in the comment-comment category.

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The quality of the photo is something that plays a role in receiving likes and comments. The study found that desaturated photos tend to receive more attention than photos that are saturated. There was a 598% difference in likes in desatured versus saturated. This may be due to the fact that, while saturated photos grab your attention, they are not always easy on the eyes unlike desatured photos, which are more calming to look at. While on the subject of pleasing the eye, it was also found that cool colors tend to get more likes and comments as opposed to warm colors. And while saturation may not be your best friend, brightness certainly is. It was found that brighter photos attract more likes and comments versus photos that are darker.

A big part of Instagram is the use of filters

Filters are something you can add to your photo in order to change the look of the photo. There are filters to add brightness, saturation, desaturation or even the classic black and white filter. It may be surprising to learn that, while filters are a popular part of Instagram, they may not necessarily be doing you any favors. The study reported that the best filter you can have is the “Normal” filter, which is just posting what the photo looks like without a touch-up. The “Normal” filter came in first in terms of photos receiving the most likes and comments. The three filters that followed in popularity were “Willow”, “Valencia”, and “Sierra”, respectively. The rest of the filters were ranked under a category marked “average” as far as the numbers of likes and comments.

Lastly, as you may imagine, the content of the photo is a determinant of likes and comments. Photos that include faces are more popular than photos containing just scenery or objects. Whether it is a selfie or a group photo, it appears that faces attract more attention as there is a 35% increase in likes for photos with faces as opposed to photos with no faces. In addition, photos that tend to be busier are also more likely to grab a users’ attention. In an effort to analyze “busyness” Zarrella measured the edges within a photo and found that more edges equals more likes and comments.

Instagram is a social media freight train that shows no signs of slowing down. With its popularity being linked to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, it seems as though this photo-sharing app is something that will be apart of the Internet for quite some time. In order to achieve the best results while using Instagram, post photos that are tagged, properly colored and filtered, and filled with faces and edges. When following these steps, you will be up to your knees in likes and comments.

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Taylor is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and has a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Illinois State University. She is currently pursuing freelance writing and hopes to one day write for film and television.

Social Media

Don’t let your Instagram vanish without a trace – have a backup plan

(SOCIAL MEDIA) In a weird glitch, multiple Instagram accounts vanished out of thin air. Don’t be stuck up the InstaVanish creek without a paddle… or at least a backup in place.

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Poof, gone

Can you imagine being locked out of your own Instagram account for no rhyme or reason? Well, dozens of people just found out, and they are PISSED.

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Thankfully, we’ve got a solution to make sure you don’t lose out if it happens to you.

First, some context

According to coverage from Consumerist, “Several Instagram users began complaining about the disabled or deleted accounts on Twitter today [July 6], noting that they received no warning or explanation for why their accounts were no longer active. The affected accounts appear to cover a wide range of users, from business owners, to fan and personal accounts.”

Via Twitter, Instagram did acknowledge a known bug causing the issue and said, “we’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

However, the response came hours after complaints began, possibly because the issue allegedly affected a very small number of user accounts.

Furthermore, while Instagram gave instructions to users on how to reconfirm their identities and recover their account, they aren’t guaranteed to work.

So, bearing all that in mind, we here at American Genius recommend backing up your entire account in order to preserve your content.

Use what they give you

If you still have access to your account, you can utilize Instagram’s recently-launched Archive function. This lets you take photos off public view without removing them from your account; only you will be able to see them.

However, this does you no good if you’re already locked out, nor does it save posts that are publically available.

For that reason, we recommend a third-party backup option for your profile content.

A’int no party like a third party

You have a few different options. Our favorite one utilizes IFTT (If This, Then That). Using this automation tool, you can write a conditional function that says if you post a new photo to Instagram, it will automatically be sent to a cloud drive, such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

Along with the benefit of multiple storage options, we love this solution because you can set it and forget it.

That being said, it is not a complete solution; IFTT will ONLY backup up new photos, instead of old ones. To backup your entire collection of old memories, Instaport seems to be a crowd favorite.

Instaport is a free service that lets you download a backup of your entire account.

Once you download this backup, you could upload it to your preferred cloud storage provider, then set IFTTT to send future backups into that same folder.

Better safe than sorry

Using these tips, you can avoid being a total victim of an Instagram screw-up. Hopefully, this recent one will resolve shortly.

#InstaVanish

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Social Media

How to quickly make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the masses

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Most of us have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn, but no matter your feelings, you should be the one who stands out in a crowd – here’s how.

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Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.

Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.

Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).

  1. Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
  2. Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
  3. Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
  4. Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
  5. Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
  6. Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.

Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).

  1. Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
  2. Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
  3. Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
  5. Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.

Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)

  1. Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
  2. Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
  3. Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.

That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!

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Innovative widget places Instagram Stories right on your website

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Increase your social media reach with this neat new free to use Instagram Stories widget for your company website or personal portfolio site.

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Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate video into your marketing strategy. If you’re already investing time and money in this successful strategy, might as well feature Stories on your website too, right?

Well lucky you, Fastory recently released a free widget to add Instagram Stories directly to your site to feature your nifty marketing efforts on desktop. Even though mobile is still dominant with younger generations, desktop users need some love and access to Stories, too.

Fastory CEO Sylvain Weber noted the “widget is the only one fully based on the brand new Instagram Graph API (no private API, validated by Facebook himself).” This pretty much means Fastory is ahead of the game with the newly opened up API, and are basically development pioneers.

Drive awareness and build loyalty by spreading the wonder of your Instagram Stories far and wide with the Stories Widget. Simply log in to Facebook to get the widget, then sync your Instagram Stories stream.

Next, all you have to do is copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website. Hooray, now you have a widget that automatically updates your website with your latest Stories.

Keep in mind you’ll need an Instagram Business Account for this to work.

If you have more than one business Instagram linked to Facebook Pages, just select the one you want to use from the drop-down menu when getting the widget code.

You can continue that process to select multiple Instagram accounts and generate widget codes for each of them.

Free for a limited time, you can also utilize the Memories feature, keeping a collection of your Instagram Stories on your site instead of having them disappear after twenty-four hours like usual.

All the Stories featured on your site also include a “follow us” button to encourage user engagement and gain you more followers.

Looking for help jazzing up your Instagram Stories? Fastory was originally created as an easy to use design platform to create and customize Stories.

Their mobile-first marketing suite offers drag & drop design featuring animated headlines crafted in Adobe After Effects, fonts from Google Web Fonts, and motion design.

Story creation and editing is collaborative with varying roles and levels of privileges. Plus, you can track visitors in real time to identify drop off points and areas for improvement. Contact Fastory for Story creation pricing information.

And on the free end of things, check out the Instagram Story Widget.

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