Instagram Marketing

Instagram Marketing

Landing Your First Instagram Followers

When you start on any new platform, including Instagram, it can feel a bit depressing to see “0 Followers” tied to your account. You may even wonder if it is worth starting an Instagram account.

The good news is, using some cross-promotion and smart content techniques, you will quickly see your follower count rise.

How Can I Get Instagram Followers?

Leverage Your Existing Audience

One of the easiest ways to increase your Instagram following is to take advantage of the hard work you have already put into gaining traction on your website and existing social media platforms or if your lazy to put in the work you can safely and easily buy Instagram followers or likes.

Here are a couple of things you can do right now to let your audience know how to find you on Instagram.

1. Take Advantage of Your Website Traffic

Unless someone is a brand evangelist, they probably won’t go searching for you on Instagram. You have to let them know you have an account. One of the easiest, but possibly most overlooked, ways is to link to your Instagram account from your website, along with your other social media accounts.

If you want website visitors to immediately see your great Instagram content, consider adding a sidebar widget. You will be able to show off your latest images and link them directly to your account.

2. Cross-Promote on Other Platforms

Sharing your Instagram content across other social networks is a great way to let followers know you’re active on other platforms.

Instagram makes it easy for you to share your content with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. To share your image, click the ellipse on the bottom right corner of the picture.

After that, select the ‘Share Photo’ button.

Next, choose the service to which you want to send the Instagram image.

Currently, Instagram allows you to send your photos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flikr, Foursquare, and Email. You create the links to these accounts in your profile settings.

At this point, you can change the message you want to be included with the photo, then just click ‘Share’ to send it on its way.

Be Active

Being active, and consistent, is key to attracting followers no matter what social media platform you are using. Instagram is no exception. Producing and sharing good content and using relevant hash tags can be effective ways to increase your Instagram following.

Produce Good Content

So, you’ve gotten someone to click over to your business Instagram profile. In order for them to follow your account you must have a variety of have solid images in your gallery.

Think about your brand and what image you want to project. Is your brand whimsical and fun? Spontaneous photo snaps may work for you. If your business projects a more elegant vibe, your photos might need to be more stylized.

No matter your style, avoid blurry or poorly lit photos.

Use Relevant Hashtags

As on Twitter, people on Instagram love hashtags. They make it easy to search for and find beautiful images and new people to follow.

Be sure to add a few relevant hashtags to each image to attract some people who aren’t already following you. (Note: a few. Not a slew.)

Great hashtags include locations, activities, objects, and colors. For example, if you sell T-shirts at a local store and online, you could show an image of someone on a park trail wearing your popular red shirt. Possible hashtags include: #Ohio #hiking #tshirt #red. People from Ohio may search the location hashtag.  Someone who likes hiking may find you via the hiking hashtag.

Get Started Now

Don’t let the fact that you don’t have any followers keep you from getting started on Instagram. If you leverage your audience from other online platforms and consistently produce quality content, you will soon see your Instagram following increase.

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Instagram Marketing

The Best Instagram Accounts in Typography

Everyone has a particular style to their Instagram aesthetic, but most accounts have at least a couple of inspiring, in-depth typography posts that have a meaningful caption. Participating in this trend is a good way to record a milestone in your life, think about your achievements, or just give your followers something thought-provoking to begin their day. Some accounts are dedicated to typography posts solely, and create beautiful images in the niche. We’ve gone ahead and compiled the best Instagram accounts to follow that focus on original, unique typography.

  1. Jordan Metcalf @jordan_metcalf: This South Africa-based designer has some great original typography images on his account, scattered among other graphic and visual design projects he has done. His work is unique and adored by his followers for the optical illusion appeal, and the abstract way he goes about formatting his words. 27.8k followers and counting!
  2. Jessica Hische @jessicahische: An amazing typography artist has a great personality, which she lets shine on her profile. Mixed in with several posts of her gorgeous, swirly typography wor,k she includes fun selfies of herself and her family, including the dog. Her style is very detailed and recognizable, and she has some great content she has created that typography fans will love! 114k and still growing!
  3. Typography Inspired @typographyinspired: Eclectic posts from various artists fill the feed on this Instagram, including all different styles from digitally created to hand-written typography. In their posts, they tag the original artist, so you will never be at a loss for who to follow if you want to see a bit more beautiful typography on your feed! 306k followers prove that this account is a favorite for many.
  4. El Juanastico @el_juantastico: Bright color pop and retro themes fill this Instagram account with vivid imagery and thick, blocky letters in a beautiful script. This artist takes typography to a fun, new level that is eye-catching and daring. 42.8k followers!
  5. Adam Vicarel @adamvicarel: This artist’s signature is to put his beautiful typography work onto maps or other stock and personal images that scream adventure. His work is beautiful, inspiring, and almost has a rustic feel to it. He takes striking selfies of his adventures of inspiring landscapes of mountains, oceans and treelines to enhance his feed. 16.5k followers, but truly a gem of an account!
  6. Daily Typography Inspirations @thedailytype: Another account dedicated to searching for artists and featuring their work on one feed, this account is a very active user of Instagram and gives typography lovers a chance to discover new artists and browse other styles. It’s one of the biggest accounts of its type with 455k followers that continues to climb!
  7. Colin Tierney @tierneystudio: An amazing hand-drawn typography account, run by a successful designer and family man. His creations usually feature adorable sketches to match the words, and the things he posts is captivating and inspiring. The unique factor about him as an artist is that he uses Crayola markers for his designs! 46.3 followers!
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Instagram Marketing

Self-Inspiring Instagram Accounts: The Best of the Best

With so much social media influence out there, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of celebrities, body image, success, and reflecting on your life as everyone else is posting their achievements in vivid technicolor for the Internet to see. Focused on visuals, Instagram gives you an excellent way to inspire you with amazing accounts for the soul, when sometimes it’s important to include positivity in your social media feeds. If you’re needing a little help with getting motivated or just want to add some motivational messages into your feed of models, friends at the bar, and cat pictures, look through our list of the best self-inspiring Instagram feeds to include in your daily browsing! 

  1. Deepak Chopra @deepakchopra: He may be a name you’re already familiar with, but if you haven’t already given his account a look, you should do so now! As an influential person already established in self-inspiration, his content is full of motivational quotes, inspiring pictures of cultures and wellness, and a few fun selfies. 
  2. Under Armour Women @underarmourwomen: Getting fit and achieving your body goals is something that takes hard work and focus, and if you’re taking a daily dose of motivation to reach that ideal body image, this account is a great way to help you. Even if you aren’t a fan of the product, the posts are full of inspiring content that remind you to stay healthy! 
  3. Happy Inspiration @happsters: Splash some cheerful influence into your day with this account that has some of the happiest posts on Instagram. If you need a smile, this account is dedicated to provide you with one. Cute puppies and super inspirational quotes are the majority of the feed that this account posts and the comments get fascinating. A definite follow for a lot of people. 
  4. Joy Cho @ohjoy: This account is targeted to mothers looking for some positivity in their life and promotes a healthy lifestyle, a happy attitude, and vivid color and design. It’s run by a young mom and designer who is really passionate about sharing her cheerful nature with her followers and includes lots of inspiring posts and ways to get motivated and active. 
  5. Levo @levoleague: If you feel like you need some motivation in following your dreams or advancing your career, this account has tons of great content to give you an extra little shove in that direction. Inspiring quotes, healthy recipes, ideas for increases productivity, and success stories are what this profile mainly deals. They have even more content on their website if you end up liking what you see on the app!
  6. Humans of New York @humansofny: As one of the most iconic accounts on Instagram, this profile follows the strangers in New York City and takes pictures and interviews to give everyone some perspective on life and share the story of the unique individuals of the city. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, while others are light and inspiring. 
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Instagram Marketing

Who To Follow On Instagram for Home Gardening

Since Instagram is a social media app all about the visuals, an excellent way to get involved and include a way to share and photography your hobby is by including your garden or love for gardening on your account! There is a whole community of gardeners on the app, with lots of hashtags and accounts that are solely for gardening out there to discover. To get started, take a look at this list of the top five home gardening accounts to follow. They’re great for inspiration or just to admire and maybe even find a couple of friends out of it! Some of them offer some important tips, too, so browse through all of the content each of these fine users have posted, and enjoy what the gardening community on Instagram has to offer you. 

  1. Megan @faroutmegan: This super sweet mom has an Instagram account full of amazing shots of her impressive garden, scattered in with a few sweets pictures of her adorable daughter. Bright flowers fill her feed in unusual and unique ways as Megan gives her followers a little peek into the life as a family home gardener. She includes some pictures of her many adventures in traveling, and many people enjoy watching as her plants grow from tiny seeds into something amazing!
  2. Sarah Nixon @mylusciousbackyard: Not only does this beautiful gardener have an exciting plot of her own, but she is also a designer and features images of her gorgeous floral creations from bouquets to wreaths! She has a keen eye for photography as well, and you can find several stunning close-ups of her more bright flowers in her garden. 
  3. Gardening Know How @gardeningknowhow: An account purely about providing tips, tricks, and facts about gardening for home gardeners! While it doesn’t feature a home-grown garden, the content is all posted by knowledgeable gardeners who are eager to answer questions and provide insight into the art. Their posts all have educational captions under sensational, beautiful photography of gardens all over the world!
  4. The Sill Shop @thesill: The Instagram of a breath-taking floral design shop, but it also doubles as a great place to find inspiration and see beautiful plants. They post a variety of different things that are useful to home gardeners from facts, ideas, and shots of other amazing home gardens around the area to draw even more inspiration. Packed on their blog, they have useful information for old and new gardeners.
  5. Edible Balcony @ediblebalcony: This account is an awesome one, because it features the small gardens from both inside the house and hanging over a little balcony. There isn’t much of personal posting like some other home gardening accounts but this user is incredible at capturing just the right angles for their mini gardens! To inspire and challenge gardeners to take planting to new horizons, you can find both flowers and all kinds of vegetables on this account. 
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Instagram Marketing

Another Great Use For Your Instagram Pics!

If you love photo contests or love to run them for your clients, ShortStack has a new integration feature you will LOVE!


If you are not familiar with Instagram, it’s about the hottest photo app out there.  It allows you to edit your photo using different filters which add tints and style to it while letting you crop the photo or make other minor edits. It’s only available on mobile devices like your iPhone, Droid, iPad, Kindle, etc.

Now, when creating and executing a photo contest with a ShortStack app or promotion you can have entrants use photos from Instagram.

When setting up the contest, just click the photos button and add Instagram to it.  What’s even cooler is that you can set it to only allow users to enter photos with a specific hashtag.  Using a hashtag is a great way to brand your contest. #sscphotosrule anyone?

So now when someone goes to enter your photo contest, they can choose to upload a photo from their computer, Facebook or now Instagram!  How many of you take great pictures and post them on Instagram only to have them stay in your feed and go nowhere?

Online contests are very popular, especially on Facebook.  As we all know (or at least should know), running contests on Facebook requires a third party application.  ShortStack is one of the many you can use, but having the new Instagram integration gives other programs’ photo contests an edge.

The blog on ShortStack has a great how-to video posted.  You should check it out!

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Instagram Marketing

New Tools and Rules for 2020

2020 is ALMOST here.  With every new year comes changes.  Some for the better, some for worse.  In the past month a lot of social media changes have come out in the news – changes to TOS, changes to profiles, changes to this, that and the other.  Today, I am going to give you a run down of new tools and rules for 2019.  Please, pay attention because these will affect you.


New Facebook Pages Cover Photo Policy – This one affects all of us. Starting January 15, Facebook Pages cover photos cannot contain more than 20% text, along with all the other restrictions.  Now is the time to take a look at yours and change it if needed.

Facebook Collections Is Coming Back – Seeing how well Pinterest is doing, Facebook is taking another look at Collections.  This allows pictures to have a “want” or “collect” button for people to start building Pinterest-like boards on Facebook.  There is a lot of potential from a marketing research standpoint, but still plenty of skepticism and speculation on the consumer side.

Charging To Message Beyond Friends?- Facebook is testing an option that will require you to pay $1 to message someone who isn’t a friend.  How many of you get those random messages in your “other” folder with marriage proposals or foreign people telling you they like your smile?  With this, they would have to pay to send you that message.

Facebook To Launch Changes To Timeline  – Facebook is updating the look of your profile.  Back are the tabs and gone are the boxes down the right side of your Timeline.  Also being tested – a single-stream of posts.  I have to say, I like this new look.  Of course, I loved the change to Timeline too.

Facebook To Try Video Ads – The Facebook newsfeed is already too noisy, so I hope this does not take.  We all still need to be aware this is on the horizon and if it does indeed stay, you will need to figure how this plays into your social media marketing plan.


Updates To Sponsored Tweets – Twitter has updated the targeting with their sponsored tweets.

Download Your Tweets – Now you can download an archive of all of your tweets.

Twitter Joins Nielsen In Creating Social TV Ratings – How many of us already use Twitter when we watch TV?  Maybe we follow the hashtag associated with our favorite shows? Now Twitter and Nielsen will be creating social TV ratings to measure this.  My guess?  WWE will top this – they are blowing the social media engagement during their shows out of the park.


New TOS Takes Effect On January 16 – Instagram announced changes to its Terms of Service and quickly garnered a backlash over some of the policies, one being their use of your photos for any purpose without having to notify or pay you.  They listened and adjusted the new TOS.  You need to read up and know what is changing because it will affect the way you use Instagram.


YouTube Capture Hits The iPhone And iPod Touch. – Now when you record video on your iPhone or iPod touch, you can easily share it on YouTube with their new YouTube Capture app.  The great editing tools in this app with help polish your video before you publish it.

Keep up with the Social Solutions Collective to stay ahead of the game. I wish you the best for 2020!

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Instagram Marketing

Social Media Updates That Are Hot, Hot, Hot!

Usually in the summer, things tend to slow down. College towns see less business because the students have gone home, the snowbirds in Florida flock home to the North where it’s cooler and here in the South you just stay home because it’s way too hot outside to do anything or go anywhere. The social media world, however, is heating up.

The past month has seen several changes and updates across various platforms. Some have been big news while others barely got mentioned. Let’s take a look at what’s going on…

1. Instagram adds video.  This is probably one of the biggest updates of the summer. In June, Instagram announced that they were adding the ability to capture a 15 second video and add their famous filters to it. Poised now to compete with Vine, this was a welcomed update. Not to mention that unlike their parent company, Facebook, everyone got the update to do this at the same time. No gradual roll-outs or waiting lists.

2. Facebook announces the use of hashtags. Twitter started them and Instagram & Google+ followed. As of June 12, you can now add hashtags to your posts on Facebook. They work just like they do on every other platform, allowing the hashtag to be linked and become an active search term. There are benefits to using these on Facebook, IF they are used correctly. #Just #don’t #hashtag #every #word and you’ll be fine.

3. Facebook also released the ability to leave a photo comment. This was one update that hardly got mentioned. At first this was active on business pages, but now it’s just on personal profiles (for now at least). I think it’s a creative way to leave a comment, but you have to watch out for spam.

4. While we’re on Facebook… the ubiquitous 20% text rule for cover photos magically disappeared. This actually happened last week. Various social media peers noticed it and spread the word on Facebook while Facebook never formally announced it. Eventually they did confirm that yes, the rule no longer applied to cover photos but was still in effect for photos that were attached to sponsored posts.

5. There’s a new option for contests – Heyo 2.0. The Heyo company recently underwent a major program redesign (which is really cool) and while doing that, added two new templates for contests – traffic and leads. The traffic template is used with a giveaway and the leads template is a referral contest. I love this because it saves me from spending money on another contest program to do referral contests.

These were the 5 that caught my attention the most this past month. What about you? Were there any updates that you considered hot?  Share with us below!

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Instagram Marketing

Instagram and Your Non-Profit

If you’re looking for new and innovative ways to promote our non-profits, social media is a great way to do just that. Often, when we think of social media we think of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but there are several other great platforms that can help get your message out. Instagram is a platform many non-profits don’t think about, but it has over 130 million users and utilizes the popularity of mobile photography. An Instagram account can be of great benefit to a non-profit if photo sharing is well planned and executed.

Recently I read an article on Instagram’s blog, “How to Host a Photo Contest on Instagram.” What was really great about this post? They chose to feature a brand that actually ran a contest. In this article the brand was a band called Deftones. The band asked their fans to take photos of the band while on tour. The fan had to tag the band and the city they were in with a hashtag in order to enter. The band then featured a top photo on their Facebook page monthly. Once the contest was over they chose the winner, did a write up, and featured the image on their website and across their social media accounts.

Now we aren’t all as well known as Deftones, and we don’t all go on large, multi-city tours. But non-profits do hold events. LOTS of fundraising events. Why not create a contest around those events? Get your donors involved, and get others excited about your non-profit.

After reading the article on Instagram, I have a few tips above and beyond what was shared in the Deftones article.

Chose a hashtag for your non-profit.

This seems simple enough, but you want to be wise about what you choose and, if possible, try to find something no one else is using. Be creative, but make sure you view it before you choose it. Sometimes a great idea looks funny when the words have no spaces between them.

Plan how to promote the contest.

Just because you say you are going to run it, doesn’t mean people will magically participate. You need to get the word out. In your planning, make sure you give plenty of time and planning to promotion of the event.

Read Instagram Terms of Service.

The Deftones article was written 2 years ago. Since then Facebook has purchased Instagram and things have changed. Make sure you read the Terms of Service and follow all of the rules.

Create an Instagram account.

I know that almost goes without saying, but sometimes we need to state the obvious! Create an account with Instagram, play with it, take your own pictures, use and test the hashtag you created.

As I said above, we aren’t all as well known and popular as Deftones. We can all be rockstars on Instagram, though! Take a look at the article referenced above for more tips on a successful Instagram contest. As a side note, I am having a lot of fun on Instagram recently, and I can see the possibilities for your non-profit.

Check it out and run a contest, you might be surprised who you will reach!

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Instagram Marketing

3 Reasons Your Business Should Be on Instagram

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ … marketing your business can feel overwhelming with all the different social media sites. And it seems like every week there is a new platform you are “supposed” to be using, at least according to the “experts”.

So, why should you add Instagram to your social media toolbox?

Here are 3 great reasons why:

  • Visual content platforms are on the rise
  • Instagram shares well with Facebook
  • Instagram allows you to share both video and photos

Let’s look at each reason in a bit more detail.

Visual Content Is On the Rise

Social media platforms based on images, like Instagram and Pinterest, have been growing at a rapid pace. Even on Facebook, savvy marketers know posts with pictures have often the highest engagement rates. Remember, it’s now also easier than ever to buy likes on Instagram, or even buy Instagram followers!


Certainly you’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Marketers are embracing the fact that images are a way to quickly convey their brand and associated products.

With more people accessing social media using their smartphones, it is easy to see how a picture that can quickly produce an emotional response is more effective than a text heavy message, which is more difficult to read on tiny screens.

Instagram and Facebook Play Well Together

Facebook purchased Instagram about a year ago. While they may be completely separate platforms, because they are managed under the same roof it makes sense that Facebook would choose to make Instagram a success.

When a user shares an Instagram image to Facebook, the photo takes over the entire width of the Newsfeed. When a user shares a pin from Pinterest, Facebook posts it as a link with a small thumbnail image.

See the comparison below, with a share from Pinterest to Facebook on the left and a share from Instagram to Facebook on the right.


There’s quite a difference in the amount of real estate an Instagram share gets within the Facebook newsfeed.

Which one would you rather have your Facebook fans see?

Instagram Allows Both Photo and Video Sharing

Until just a few weeks ago, Instagram was all about photos. Recently, though, video had been added to the content allowed to be shared.

This means you no longer have to manage a separate micro-video platform, like Vine or Keek.  All marketers can rejoice as they take sharing to another social media account off their long to-do lists.

In addition, with its latest upgrade, Instagram now allows you to upload videos from smart devices.

This new feature means you can edit and splice video together before sharing, rather than having to do one-take videos over and over until it is just right.

Taking these three reasons into account, if your target market can be found on Instagram, you should consider adding the social media app to your marketing plan.

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Instagram Marketing

3 Great (Free!) Resources For Creating Instagram Content

Fantastic photos are the cornerstone of Instagram content. However, occasionally mixing in other content types, like video and graphics, will add some interest to your feed. Most small business owners don’t have a graphic designer or videographer on staff – so, what’s a small business Instagram marketer to do?

Don’t fret.

There are plenty of wonderful free tools available to create interesting graphics and more for Instagram content. You can use these websites and apps to create inspirational quotes (typically a high engagement item) and marketing calls to action.


True, Pinstamatic was launched to create items to post on Pinterest. But this handy tool can easily be adapted to Instagram. The sticky note and quote options are easy to use and allow you to create professional looking images. Pinstamatic is extremely user friendly, with on screen step by step instructions.

Rather than pinning your finished item to Pinterest, right click to save your image. Then, upload your saved file to Instagram.

Tip: Look for quote templates that are square to avoid cropping on Instagram. If you find a design you really like that isn’t square, add extra spaces before/after the quote to help make the graphic square. The sticky note images are square by default.

Pic Monkey

Pic Monkey is a great tool for editing photos for Instagram (and other uses).  Cropping, adding text and borders and using the filter menu options take your photos from ordinary to wow. But don’t limit Pic Monkey to altering photos.

Use the backgrounds, shapes and stock photos provided to make original text based graphics. Pic Monkey frequently adds new elements, so creating items for autumn or Halloween or any other seasonal event is a breeze. Pic Monkey’s free membership is robust, but paid members have access to additional fonts and graphics.


Canva has a variety of layout options for creating Facebook covers, blog graphics, cards and more. For Instagram, use the handy social media selection, which is square.

Of the tools listed, Canva offers the biggest selection of backgrounds and stock images to use. In addition, Canva has templates for contest announcements, sales alerts, and email subscriptions. This website is a terrific time saver for your Instagram (and internet) marketing.

Canva is currently in the beta stages of development, but add your name to the wait list and you should get an invitation within a couple weeks.

Take Aways:

  • For ease of use, Pinstamatic is tops.
  • Pic Monkey is a great all around tool for both making graphics and editing photos; great for seasonal items.
  • Canva offers beautiful pre-made marketing layouts.

Using text graphics in your Instagram content can be a refreshing alternative to photos. Take advantage of the many free tools available to create high quality images.

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Instagram Marketing

Exorcising Those Scary Instagram Ghost Followers

What is an Instagram Ghost Follower?

A ghost follower is an Instagram user who follows your account, yet never interacts with your posts. They don’t like or comment on any of your images. Ghost followers may be users who have stopped participating on Instagram or spammers who followed you to get you to look at their account. Scary!

Why Should I Care about Ghost Followers?

Having ghost followers may seem harmless. Ghost followers bump up that coveted “Followers” number, so what’s the problem? The main problem is it may keep you from getting exposure on Instagram.

One of the ways Instagram determines who to place on the Explore (or popular page) is by using a percentage of likes to followers. The ratio is estimated to be around 20%.

For example, let’s say you have 1,000 followers. You post an awesome image and it gets 180 likes in the first few minutes you post it. 180 likes / 1,000 followers = 18%.

But after inspection, you realize that over 100 those followers are ghost followers. So, in essence, you really only have 900 followers. 180 likes / 900 followers = 20%.

Those ghost followers are dragging down your percentage – potentially keeping you from the Explore page.

While the like/follower ratio is only part of the algorithm Instagram uses to determine who to feature, it can benefit you to monitor your ghosts. Plus, getting rid of ghost followers will provide you with a more accurate representation of the reach of your posts.

How Do I Get Rid of Ghost Followers?

Now that you know how these seemingly harmless ghost followers can negatively impact your Instagram account, the obvious option is to get rid of them.

The most straightforward way to remove ghost followers is to block them from your account. To block a user, go to that user’s account and click the boxed arrow icon in the upper right corner. A pop up menu with the option ‘Block User’ will appear. Click this button and the user is now blocked. This method works well when you catch a new spammer following you. If you can tell they are a spammer by their account content, go ahead and immediately block them.

But what about users who followed you a while ago?

Because they are not active, it is hard to remember their user names. If you have lots of Instagram followers it would take hours to comb through your followers list to block ghosts.

Luckily, there is a website that will automatically purge your ghost followers for you. IG Exorcist will identify accounts that have not been active for long periods of time – for example, you can request to cull users who have not interacted with you in the past 180 days.

It is important to note, using this method you risk losing valid followers who may have been inactive for personal reasons, or people who truly appreciate your work yet do not comment or like. Be sure to decide if you are willing to potentially lose a true follower in the process before running IG Exorcist. IG Exorcist works by blocking and then unblocking specific users, so if you accidentally block someone they will be able to follow you again.

Have you noticed ghost followers on your Instagram account?

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Instagram Marketing

Getting Started With Instagram Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Have you been procrastinating when it comes to creating an Instagram account for your business? Adding a new social media platform to your marketing mix can be scary. Questions run through your already busy mind: what do I need to do to get started? What should I post?

Have no fear. Getting started with Instagram, especially if you have other established social profiles, will go as quickly as chocolate candy bars on Halloween.

Follow these three steps to get started with your business Instagram account today.

1. Choose Your Account Name

After downloading the Instagram app, the first thing you have to do is create an account. When you open the app, you will see the option to register as a new user. Fill out the user name, password, and email to get started.

To keep things simple for your online community, try to keep your Instagram account name the same as (or similar to) your existing social profile names. Using your Twitter name is a great option to keep things simple and consistently branded.

Account names are limited to 30 characters, which can consist of letters, numbers or underscores.

2. Fill Out Your Profile Completely

First, add your profile image. Instagram allows you to import your profile image from another social site or upload an image from your device. Instagram’s profile images are circular, which is different from the standard square shape used by the majority of other social media platforms. Due to this difference, try to select an image where your logo or face is in the middle of the graphic for best results.

In the bio section, share your business’s story or mission. You only get 150 characters, so be concise.

Filling in your website is necessary for one very important reason – the website link in your profile is the only place you will find live links within Instagram. Whether you plan to use Instagram to drive traffic to your site, or are using it for awareness purposes, your website is the natural next step for people who are interested in learning more about your products or services. Make sure the link is there when they are ready to learn more about your business.

3. Start Posting

Now that you are all set up, the fun begins. It is time to start posting images! Behind the scenes at your office, images of happy customers and showcasing products are great places to start with your business.

You can take images using the Instagram app or upload images from your device’s photo library.

Don’t let the many filter options frighten you in the beginning. You don’t have to use them. Start with simple images while you allow yourself some time to warm up to and learn more about Instagram.

If you keep consistently posting images and observe what others are doing, you will eventually find the best way to share your business or brand style.

Follow these three steps and you will quickly be as addicted to Instagram as those fun sized candy bars.

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Instagram Marketing

3 Reasons Marketers Should Be Thankful For Instagram Ads

Many Instagram users have been moaning and groaning lately about the emergence of Instagram ads. The select few companies who have been invited by Instagram to participate in the program have seen negative comment after negative comment posted on their advertisements.

Yet, even with this rocky start to Instagram advertising, marketers have plenty of reasons to be thankful for this new endeavor. Here are 3 reasons why advertisers and marketers should be embracing Instagram ads.

Instagram Ads Mean We Don’t Have to Pay for Accounts

Websites generally make money one of two ways – through advertising or by charging for accounts.

With such a large user base, many members might have jumped ship if they had to pay for it. It wouldn’t make sense for Instagram to begin charging users for accounts. Instagram is likely tired of hearing the negative reaction to ads, but putting up with user complaints is a better option than cancelled accounts.

Instagram has not explicitly said advertising will allow them to keep accounts free, but we can hopefully count on it for at least a bit longer now that they have a source of income.

Perhaps at some point we will see a paid business account option that provides statistics and reporting; for now marketers and personal users alike get to use the service on someone else’s dime.

Instagram Ads Give Marketers a New Opportunity to Be Seen

When the opportunity for all businesses to advertise becomes available, marketers will have a new outlet to promote their products and services.

By advertising your business on Instagram, you may reach new prospects you don’t reach on other social platforms. For your dedicated fans who follow your business through multiple social media accounts, it is yet another touch point to keep your business top of mind.

Pricing and demographic targeting details for Instagram advertisements haven’t been released as of yet, but typically advertising on social media platforms is much more cost effective than via traditional media.

Instagram Ads Will Push Marketers to Be More Creative

With Instagram ads, marketers will be challenged to create high quality and relevant images.

Facebook marketers can pay for ads with live links to prompt site traffic, or work towards high engagement rates to increase the viral nature of their unpaid content. But on Instagram, marketers will not be able to rely on either of these options. As a result, marketers will be pushed to be creative and memorable.

Take advantage of the slow release of Instagram advertising to determine the types of images your company can use and figure out how you will create them.

In time, users will become accustomed to seeing the occasional ad in their Instagram feed. Let’s be thankful for the opportunities Instagram ads will bring to our businesses and be ready for the full scale launch.

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Instagram Marketing

Favorites Friday: November 29, 2019

Each Friday we’ll be sharing a few of our favorite reads from the week preceding. There’s so much FANTASTIC content being published and we knew we needed to create one more way to share it with our audience. Hope you’ll enjoy this new weekly share.

Social Media & Marketing Reads

Differentiate Yourself and Raise Your Rates

Although this is an older, evergreen, read – we did stumble across it this week and it’s still a very valuable read! Pricing our products and services isn’t easy. We want our offerings to be affordable, but we also don’t want to underprice ourselves and create a sense that our services are cheap or less than valuable. Jennifer Bourne shares how making yourself and your service stand out can be key to raising your rates and adding perceived value.

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10 Golden Rules to Successful Social Media Marketing

While there’s no single one size fits all way to engage in social media marketing, connection and engagement, there certainly are some fairly hard and fast rules that factor into how we should behave online. Rebekah Radice shares her top ten in one of her latest articles.

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12 Most Eye-Catching Reasons Your Business Needs to Get Visual

Rumor has it that images help create connection and engagement. Pictures really are worth a THOUSAND words. So, why aren’t you making the most of the visuals that enhance and attract eyes to your content? The gang at 12 Most wants to help get you on board!

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3 Content Creation Tips to Win the Battle for Attention

There’s no dearth of articles available to those of us looking to stay on top of the social media and digital marketing game. Many of us not only spend plenty of time reading these articles, we also spend a good bit of time creating this type of content. So, how can we ensure our content doesn’t capsize and sink as it rides the content marketing waves toward the shore? Maybe these three tips from the Content Marketing institute will help!

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10 Ethical and Effective Ways to Share Your Business Opportunity on Social Media

Hard selling and promotion across social media platforms is often the best way to lose followers and negatively impact your online reputation. But we are in the business to make money, right? How can we share our opportunities, our products and services, in a fashion that doesn’t repulse or repel? Karen Clark shares her top 10 tips.

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5 Boards to Create for Your Business on Pinterest

Unless you’ve long been lost at sea or have had your head buried in the sand for months on end, you know that Pinterest is about so much more than crafty how-to and decorating cupcakes. It’s a valuable and viable tool for creating buzz, connection and generating leads, too. Not sure how to make the jump from casual use to business savvy pinning? Julie Campbell shares the boards that will help boost your business presence on Pinterest.

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Instagram is Available on Windows Phones!

Window phone users, rejoice! Jenn Herman shares the great news with you. The Instagram app is now available to you!

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Please share some of your favorite recent reads with us in the comment section!

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Instagram Marketing

Photo Or Video? Best Choices For Instagram Content!

Now that Instagram allows both photo and video posts, you may feel overwhelmed when creating content. Simply adding an Instagram account to your social marketing channels was daunting enough, but now you have to choose between two types of content? Phew!

How do you know if you should spend your time editing a photo or recording a video?

Here are some rough guidelines to take into consideration when figuring out what kind of content to crate for your business Instagram account.

Should I Take A Photo or Record A Video For Instagram?

When to Post Photos to Your Instagram Account

Photos will be your “bread and butter” content on Instagram. Images are what most users have come to expect from this social media channel. In the majority of cases, you can use photos for the following instances:

To Reinforce Brand Image

Some examples of photos you can take to reinforce your brand include:

  • Photos of employees
  • Product images
  • Customers using your product or service
  • Photos that display the emotion you want to associate with your product (excited, calm, etc.)

When Your Message Requires Text

When you want to share text on your image, it will be more accessible if it is static. Instances when you choose to add text images may include:

  • Coupon codes
  • Hashtags to be used for contests/sweepstakes
  • New product announcements
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Funny memes or jokes

When To Share Video With Your Instagram Account

While the majority of your Instagram content will be photos, there are some cases where using video will really help get your marketing message across. Some of the cases that may benefit from video are:

Demonstrating a Product or Service in Use

  • Showing your product in action
  • Demonstrating innovative or alternative uses for the product
  • Short clips of clients using the product or service, such as a massage or a spa treatment

Reasons To Create Audio Enhanced Video

  • The essence of your business is audio, such as a band or a voice-over specialist
  • Customers link a specific sound with your product or service : ice cream truck music, fun squeals at amusement parks, the sound of a soda can being opened

Mix up the content you share on Instagram. Too much of the same content can get stale. Even if you don’t need to use video, throw one in your feed every so often to test what kind of response you get.

Remember, the most important thing is to be consistent, no matter what type of content you choose to share. Don’t let feeling overwhelmed keep you from doing anything at all.

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