10 Tested Instagram Engagement Hacks for Your Business 0 646

By now, you probably know the basic rules of Instagram when it comes to posting content that will get seen: pay attention to what time your posts goes live; carefully curate images to grab the attention of those who are scrolling down their overcrowded feed; post often but don’t bombard people with 380 pieces of content over the weekend. Good, we are on the same page, then.

However, as you invest more time and resources into creating a professional and engaging Instagram for your business, you may realise that, very often, you have to do more than simply publish content and expect it to perform at any level.

You then have two choices:

The most popular one is to blame the ever-changing algorithm of the Facebook-owned platform, who are currently boosting over one billion monthly active users – after all, it is hard to keep track of so many changes and to compete with a sea of content being posted every second.

Your second choice is to work hard and not be afraid of using any legal hack that can help your content and your brand to shine.

It could be that you use a little trick, such as adding stickers to your Instagram Stories; 83% of the time Stories which utilise stickers to enhance storytelling outperform those that don’t use stickers. Or maybe what will work better for you is to reach out to between five and 10 micro-influencers, within your niche, and work closely with them by creating a series of tips that can be shared across both channels: your brand and theirs.

It is never too late to learn one or two new social media hacks. Here, 10 professionals share their experience and Instagram tips to help you reach a wider audience and harvest organic engagement.

 

1. Engage before you post

“You can support the spread and reach of your content by warming up your audience. So, just before you post, go on an engagement spree. If you’re planning to put something out at a specific time, before you hit publish, spend some time engaging with other people’s content. They will all then receive notifications saying that you liked their post, commented on their post, or responded to their story.  They’re reminded of you and then it’s likely they’ll visit your profile and see the brand-new content that you’ve just posted.”

Jodie Cook – entrepreneur and author of Instagram Rules.

 

2. Use polls to trigger engagement

“Regardless of whether you have the swipe up feature or not, the most helpful feature for engagement is polls. People want to feel like they’re heard, even if the poll is funny (e.g. settle the argument once and for all – tacos or burritos?). This also gives you more content to post, within stories, by sharing the results.

I have found that, by doing this, regardless of the size of your audience, people are engaged and are more likely to keep watching your stories. IG sees this as engagement and will bump your posts up in their feed.”

Carmen Smith – DIY Home Decor Blogger at www.livingletterhome.com

 

3. Properly curating your Story Highlights 

“Story Highlights are a great way of presenting your brand’s message. They can be accessed any time and, if you’re smart about it, you can curate them so visitors see exactly what you want them to see, in the correct order. For better results, strategize when creating your content. Plan a Highlights album from the very beginning, and upload in the order you want it to be seen, with the most relevant content being uploaded last. That way, anyone viewing the album will get the best content right at the beginning, as it’s often rare for people to go all the way to the end of an album.”

Jennifer Walden – Director of Operations at online marketplace WikiLawn Lawn Care

 

4. Show up on Stories

“You need to prioritise showing up on Stories in 2020. They are the first thing people see when they log into Instagram and they want to know your personality, be you an employee, a content creator or a brand. Stories are also binge-able – meaning you start watching the first one and can easily get carried away and watch them all. Keep in mind that, nowadays, tons of people only watch stories and rarely scroll their Instagram feed – unless they see a feed post shared in Stories. So, don’t forget to share your feed posts to Stories as another way of increasing your reach”

Sílvia Pinho – Social Media Manager and VA Coach

Marcio Delgado – Instagram Hacks for business 2020

Adding stickers to your Instagram Stories will make it perform 83% better

5. Create a customized hashtag

“Besides using relevant hashtags, aligned with a specific niche, businesses need to have their own customized hashtag representative of their brand identity. This hashtag should be used in all their posts. This also enables them and their followers to easily access relevant posts.”

Sandy & Vyjay Rao – travel bloggers at www.imvoyager.com

 

6. Engage with followers of similar brands

“One of the most important parts of your Instagram content strategy should involve building a solid relationship with an online community, and thereby growing that community exponentially. This means spending some time every day connecting with potential customers by liking and commenting on their posts with genuine, thoughtful comments. You can find these future customers by exploring hashtags related to your business as well as engaging with the followers of similar brands. Remember that 80% of Instagram’s 1+ billion active users also follow brands, so be genuine and consistent with your communications and you’ll find your community flourishing.”

Ellie Pritts – Chief Creative Officer at www.supermassivesocial.com

 

7. Be creative while researching topics

“Figure out what your target audience wants to know by researching top viewed videos on Youtube, related to your industry, and make great content around that. At the end of the day, you should produce content for the followers that you want to eventually convert to a customer, so make sure you regularly deliver entertaining and valuable content that your followers will care about”.

Tanner Chidester – Entrepreneur and Founder of Elite CEOs 

 

8. Be consistent during transitions

“To keep an Instagram business account relevant and engaging you to need to be consistent with what people followed you for. For example, someone who followed a business for food-related content does not want to see tech posts. If your business decides to transition to a different niche, expect changes in followers’ behaviour in the short term; engagement will get lower and people may unfollow. New followers will join you for the new niche, as long as you remain consistent with this new niche with what you post. If necessary, have more than one account so you can stay consistent and highly targeted – it is easier to plan posts for two completely different niche accounts than trying to please an audience that is too broad with the same content calendar.”

Raymond Cua – full-time blogger and founder of Travellingfoodie.net

 

9. Leverage your own network first

“I would say one hack when building your brand and audience is to start with your own network. Transition back to the basics and look at your personal network. Ask the individuals of your network to share your brand’s social media page and account with their own followers and network. If you ask 50 people to do this and they share with 50 people each, your reach can grow at an immense rate… The main takeaway from this is consistency. Replicating this process, and then going outside your personal network to embrace new potential followers and community members, will allow you to reach and engage with new audiences organically. The key is to then prove to them why they should come back for more. You can do this successfully by having your network tell you what they want to see and what they find interesting. By implementing this basic step into your strategy you can grow daily, with growth visible right from the start. Stories are a good place to organically find and collect this information too because the responses come directly from your audience. It’s all about giving your audience exactly what they hope to see from you.”

Jessica Armstrong – PR and Social Media Manager at www.cuddlynest.com

 

10. Create audience habits

“To keep your Instagram business accounts relevant and engaging, always use Stories as the behind the scenes of your business. Post multiple slides throughout the day and include one thing that you do everyday repetitive daily feature, so you can maintain consistency (e.g. a morning drink at your office or your to-do list as a story slide). This helps people feel like they are along for the journey with you. Based on this, your followers will often return because they feel more connected to business growth.”

Chelsea Clark – Co-Founder of influencer marketing platform momfluence.co

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

Social committee proposes EU regulation on influencers 0 69

Perceived by consumers as closer, more authentic and more trustable than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsement, content creators are attracting more brand investment than ever: in 2022 alone, influencer marketing spend jumped from 3.69 billion to 4.14 billion in the U.S., according to data released by American inbound marketing platform Hubspot. The amount of cash trading hands pushed authorities to set standards for the Influencer marketing industry early on. So much so that, in the USA, influencer marketing is considered regulated since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published for the first time a set of endorsement guides on sponsored content posted by content creators on behalf of brands – including influencers being required to disclose their relationships with companies in a clear way.

Over to Europe, the rules are not as clear.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is subject to very strict rules, influencer advertising can fall through the cracks of ad disclosure. The commercial nature of influencer posts is not always identifiable, with ads featuring alongside similarly styled, but independent editorial content. Companies using influencers as ambassadors for their products and brands also have greater freedom than in conventional advertising.

Now the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, is trying to reduce the lack of transparency often seen in influencer marketing by proposing that the EU should set specific obligations for both, the administrators of the video-sharing platforms and social media networks on which influencers operate, and for content creators and influencers themselves.

The basic principle of the proposal is that advertisers should leave consumers in no doubt that what they are engaging with is advertising. And they should not mislead consumers or cause serious offence.

“EU already has some mechanisms in place to deal with influencers, which are covered by legislation on both advertisers and sellers/traders. However, we think it would be desirable to have a comprehensive approach given the fast rise of this phenomenon.”, says Bernardo Hernández Bataller, a councilor of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1994. “We would need specific regulation to cover the rights and obligations of the people involved, so that all legal operators and consumers know exactly what is and what is not acceptable.”

Some Member States have gone it alone (France, Spain and the Belgian region of Flanders). But, accord to the recent proposal, a “hard core” of EU rules would be more effective. The EESC argues that it would leave no loopholes allowing different Member States to take a softer line.

The list of suggestions to be adopted by influencers in all 27 member states of the European Union includes it being mandatory for content creators to include a prominent label upfront to highlight that a post is a marketing communication. They would then be liable if they fail to make it sufficiently clear when they are being paid to endorse or promote a product or service.

The proposal highlights that platform administrators and social media networks should also be liable for content published by the content creators and influencers they host, as well as have an obligation to take down illegal content and report illegal activity.

Other issues surrounding influencer marketing featured throughout the report includes the frequent use of child influencers. Concerns regarding content creators as a trade and if their position should be covered by employment laws are also mentioned.

“What about the tax issues raised by influencer advertising? How should we tax influencer income and the profits influencers generate? How should we tax the added value they create?, asks Stefano Palmieri, co-rapporteur.

Even if approved, a new set of rules doesn’t necessary mean that brands and content creators will follow them. In France, in a study of 60 influencers and influencer agencies from January 2023, the French General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) showed that 60% did not respect the regulations on advertising and consumer rights.

And in the UK, compliance with labelling requirements when it comes to Influencer Marketing remains low. In 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an analysis of more than 24,000 Instagram Stories. Of the 5,700 it considered to be marketing material, nearly two-thirds were not clearly identifiable as such.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 614

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

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