10 Tested Instagram Engagement Hacks for Your Business 0 60

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.

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Sustainable pee, influencers and politics at the Web Summit 0 273

“This is the very first time in my life that I am on the same stage as Wladimir Klitschko, Eric Catona and Ronaldinho. It is a privilege, but it could also be a risk.”

With light and pondering words, Michel Barnier, European Union’s Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom exiting the European Union, opened his speech at the Web Summit on Tuesday (5), highlighting that to share the spotlight at the annual technology conference held in Lisbon with an Ukrainian boxer, a former French football player, and a former Brazilian football player, was anything but ordinary.

The unconventional nature of the attendees was not out of the ordinary, though. Now close to its 10th anniversary, the event which brings together Fortune 500 companies, ground-breaking start-ups and world-class speakers to Portugal, has been far from conventional since its first edition, held in Ireland in 2010, totaling a modest audience of only 400 people.

A decade later and the conference has grown from strength to strength.

This week the Web Summit welcomed over 70,000 attendees and 1,200 speakers, including top executives from companies such as Facebook, Uber, Shell, Fuji, Microsoft, Burger King, Volvo, BBC, Procter & Gamble, Google, Nokia, Philipps, Amazon. Not to mention, a representative from the American White House also attended.

This is the fourth year in which the event has been hosted in Portugal after leaving Ireland and, since then, the growth of the technology sector, coupled with the strength of start-ups, has led several European cities to show interest in hosting the event, including Valencia, which reportedly bid approximately € 170 million, in 2018, to become the event’s host for a decade. However, after negotiations with the Portuguese government, which pledged an annual budget of 11 million Euros to expand the arena hosting the event and the number of participants, the Web Summit has ended up staying in Lisbon.

Despite sporadic presentations that can sound more political than technological – such as Barnier’s one – the event firmly focused on what the future holds for companies and users, with brands such as Samsung considering how innovation will be part of our homes in 2025, Uber talking about its road ahead, BBC and Reuters TV debating if is there is a future for TV, and Amazon mapping the evolution from keyword searches to Artificial intelligence-enabled conversations.

New technology as a current topic also gave Facebook a chance to plug its virtual currency, Calibra; the audience, though, didn’t seem too keen to mix finance with social media in times of scandals involving social networks’ leaks and unauthorized sales of user data.

So, when it came to social media, activists and ‘The Vampire Diaries’ actor Ian Somerhalder, fared much better when talking about influence, building an online community and using social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to engage followers with projects that can change the world.

Sustainable pee

Besides talks featuring world leaders, the WebSummit also hosted hundreds of start-ups from around the world exhibiting over five connected pavilions.

One of these companies was Piipee, which sells a biodegradable solution to replace the water which is used to flush after, you guessed it: peeing.

“It is an environmentally friendly option that works on the physical and chemical characteristics of urine, removing its odor, changing its color, odorizing and sanitizing the bathroom, all without using water. The idea came by chance in 2010 and, when I started to study the feasibility of this, I found studies showing that 80% of the water consumption of a toilet is only to eliminate urine. In São Paulo, for example, in Serra da Cantareira, one of the largest water treatment systems in Latin America, approximately 40% of this water is used for flushing toilets. These numbers caught my eye and I began to wonder if it really makes sense to treat water and then use it to flush toilets? – asks Ezequiel Vedana, the 31 years old Brazilian inventor of the eco-solution.

“It took five years before I could get the project off the ground because I don’t have a background in biochemistry; But I developed the idea, nevertheless. Being at the WebSummit is an opportunity to showcase ‘Piipee’ and to see what is new within the sustainable area across Europe and around the world. ”- celebrated Ezequiel

Although the product is still only available for sale through its own website, with the smallest spray bottle costing around $7 and lasting approximately 400 toilet flushes, Vedana is adamant that paying for a chemical additive, rather than simply flushing, is cheaper than the cost of water.

“Today our focus is on serving large companies, as it will take time for mass communities around the world to be fully aware of how important it is to save water. It takes a real change in culture and that change takes time because, for those who have access to it, water is relatively cheap. The product already makes sense in areas where there is a water shortage, as flushing a toilet consumes about 10 litres. However, even if it takes a few more years for people to use water wisely, the change has already started.”

How can Influencers bounce back from a bad reputation they have recently gained? 0 330

Running for its third consecutive year, the Influencer Marketing Show has just wrapped up its two-day show in London, gathering a wide range of agencies, brands and content creators under the same roof.

At a period of time when 86% of people surveyed for a 2019 benchmark report (including brand managers and marketing agency professionals) admit they plan to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on influencers this year, it was no surprise that the recurrent topics evolved around influencer marketing transparency, specifically, considering how to best measure it based on recent cases of brands paying influencers to, unfortunately, get mainly ghost followers and fake engagement rates in return.

So, how can the real content creators, the ones that are working up to 12 hours a day to balance their clients’ demands and to produce genuine followers’ engagement, stand out when it comes to effective influencer marketing? Here, professionals share their views and tips.

Strategically work instead of work being simply transactional

“It is about encouraging influencers to be as transparent as possible, being totally open about what they can offer, about their KPIs. Influencers sometimes don’t want to connect their insights or disclose the full picture of their metrics. And, when it happens, this always elicits the question: Is there something that they are trying to hide?

Besides transparency, I believe that as we move towards 2020, it is about influencers and advertisers learning to work strategically, instead of transactionally. Content marketing is often very transactional, but influencer marketing goes beyond it.

Kim Westwood – founder of content market place Shoplinks.

Influencers should have a story

“I think it is all about storytelling. I always engage with people and talk about my own experiences. I think, first of all, you have to have a relevant story to subsequently be an influencer. You can’t be an influencer just by posting pictures of your outfits or pushing for consumerism, for people to buy something. Influencerism is more than that. It is about inspiring people, it is about having a story that matters and being able to answer questions like ‘Why are you doing what you do online?’, ‘How do you better yourself’? From the brand side, the company also have to always ask the right questions, starting from: ‘what do we really want to achieve with that campaign?’ ‘Does the influencer that we have in mind have a story that matches the direction that our brand wants to go?’, or ‘Does the influencer have the right demographic to help towards our campaign goals?’ Once these key questions are clearly outlined, it is easy to take it from there and to build a successful case for the right collaborations.

Arooj Aftab – Fashion Influencer and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) advocate.

Get into a co-creation mode

“What we have seen a lot, from the influencer side, is their disregard for brand guidelines as a trade-off for favouring their aesthetic – they want to do their own content the way they always do it even when it is a paid piece. Of course, it is very important to let content creators express themselves freely because they know how to speak to their audiences but, on the other hand, if they are getting paid to communicate on behalf of a brand there is a need to get the right balance between money and creativity. If this balance is not established early on, then it can become problematic further down the line. What I recommend influencers to do is to get, from the very beginning, into a co-creation process, not just created in their own corner in an isolated manner. The very same thing applies to brands and their marketing agencies: don’t try to just impose your vision because collaborative content creation will thrive.”

William Soulier – CEO at influencer marketing platform Talent Village.

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