How NOT to promote your Instagram if you want it to grow 0 55

Every business regularly spending time creating and adding content to an Instagram account has two things in mind: sales and growth. In the beginning, every new follower is celebrated, and engagement is followed closely.

However, not all businesses are the same, and nor is it a new Instagram account. Starting to see tangible results on social media can take a while, leading some small business owners and digital marketers to try and get ahead of the game.

From buying followers – a tried and tested technique that can seriously harm your Instagram – to binge posting, mass following, and other hidden ways of gathering more followers and leads. I have seen it all. The more desperate a new business or a novice social media professional is to get to the top of the social media pyramid, the more likely they are to fall into traps promising instant fame and money.

Here, 10 entrepreneurs, content creators, digital consultants, and even a magician share 10 hacks to avoid while promoting your business on Instagram.

 

1. Follow/Unfollow

“The worst hack is using some sort of automated application or Chrome extension (like Everliker) to gather followers through automatic following/unfollowing. On the one hand, it works…for a while. But the users you get from such techniques, for the most part, don’t actually engage with your content. This is also a great way to get your account temporarily or permanently suspended, as Instagram heavily monitors and cracks down on such abuse.”

Jay Andrew Allen – Technical Writer

 

2. Posting for the sake of it

“One Instagram hack or myth that should be busted is that you need to post every single day.

While consistency is key to keeping yourself visible, it doesn’t mean you need to post everyday. Curating an Instagram account is all about quality and not quantity. If you can post a quality image only 4 times a week then

That is better than several poor-quality posts per day. However, make sure you keep that weekly habit in place.

Mollie Newton – Founder at www.petmetwice.com

 

3. To use someone’s comment section to promote yourself

“There are several approaches that are not effective for promoting your Instagram. A few things that I see most newbies doing is spamming other accounts’ comment sections with self-promo and having no posting strategy at all.”

Brianna Desira – Content creator at www.girlhustlers.org

 

4. To buy cheap ads in countries with no potential clients

“I am based in San Francisco, however, when I first started using social media I bought lots of ads in Egypt. I did this because, for a long time, they had the cheapest cost per click. Over time I learnt that buying ads in countries your potential customers were not in is a waste of resources. On top of this, it also skewed who saw my future ads.”

Daniel Chan – Award-winning magician at www.danchanmagic.com

 

5. Aiming your content at the wrong audience

“I’ve known some companies tapping millennial influencers for IG growth but seem oblivious to the fact that it just won’t work because they’re in the wrong market. Millennials are, by nature, true digital natives. They’ve learned to know which brands to trust and which ones to avoid. They understand how brands are marketing to them. So, they approach campaigns with scrutiny rather than enthusiasm. However, they will react well if the message is authentic, if the product or service is valuable, and if the brand isn’t too pushy. Because of this, the best way to market to them is to avoid being overly aggressive and straight-in-your-face. It’s the reason why influencer marketing has become big business in the first place on Instagram.”

Michael Hamelburger – CEO at Expense Reduction Group.

 

6. Buying fake followers

“The worst technique that you could possibly use to promote your Instagram account is to buy fake followers.

By doing this, there is no promise of user engagement or promotion of your business. Essentially, most of these

accounts are bots or fake personas created for the sole purpose of inflating your follower count. Not only are these followers useless, but the spammy visuals often associated with these accounts is sure to deter potential customers away.”

Tom Mumford – Co-founder of Undergrads Moving

 

7. Promoting your Instagram while commenting on someone else’s content

“The worst hack that I have observed on Instagram is people engaging with others in the community with a reference back to their profile. This means commenting on a post with some valuable information, then ruining this connection by referring straight back to your profile. The comment with the valuable information is ok, but the reference back to your profile is not fine. In fact, this is considered spam by Instagram.”

Anjana Wickramaratne – Social Media Marketing Manager at Inspirenix Digital Marketing

 

8. Following people with the sole intention of selling to them

“One of the worst techniques I’ve seen is mass following, then immediately sending a copy/pasted sales message. Then, unfollowing a day later.

This approach will leave you disconnected from long term growth & authentic connection! Plus, it leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. This hack is even worse as people do it so often. I’ve seen people follow/unfollow multiple times. This world is smaller than you think!

Sara Tea – DJ and Creative Consultant

 

9. Following everyone is not a strategy

“As the founder of a website, I made promoting my business my main responsibility. I do it on every platform that is willing to help, especially on social media. However, not all tips and techniques that can be found online can give an advantage to your business. For example, following everyone who follows you. More often than not, they are just following you so they can tag you in their posts to widen their reach. To prevent this, do not follow every account that follows you.”

Samantha Moss – Editor & Content Ambassador at www.romantific.com

 

10. Off topic comments is a no-no

“One of the tackiest tactics to get more followers and likes on Instagram is commenting on something completely irrelevant under the photos of other Instagram users just to get more attention.  I’ve seen a lot of smaller accounts try to comment completely ridiculous things under the photos of celebrities and popular influencers to try to get people in the comments to follow them. Commenting under popular photos and videos for the sole purpose of getting more followers is not just tacky, but it can also anger the person who posted the content.”

Liz Jeneault – Influencer and VP of Marketing at product review website www.faveable.com

 

Bonus tip – Using someone’s content without crediting it

“Our Instagram account is popular because it reposts content from customers, including celebrities, that use our products. These products include vehicle restoration projects and custom cars. Hence, reposted photos of those transformed cars always help grow our Instagram. However, a mistake you don’t want to make when sharing other people’s content is not properly crediting the person who made or owns that content. When you don’t properly credit customers or creators for their content, you are increasing your chance of frustrating others and potentially getting reported. You also want to properly credit people for their content on Instagram because those people will often share the reposts that you tag them in, which can help your account gain more followers.”

Sturgeon Christie – Auto industry expert and the CEO at www.secondskinaudio.com

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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.

Can IGTV help a business to engage with and sell to an audience? 0 126

In 2020, video content remains a strong tool for marketing. IGTV continues to grow exponentially and is not showing signs of being replaced by other media formats any time soon. The pandemic has only further boosted social media usage in 2020 and Instagram’s determination to make its answer to YouTube work at all costs.

When Facebook first launched IGTV, in 2018, brands were reluctant to use it. The service would allow users to watch longer videos made for mobile devices directly through Instagram or through the stand-alone IGTV app. However, brands did not believe the new tool justified spending extra money and time in adapting content to a vertical format, as part of a marketing strategy.

To attract viewers and creators, Instagram has moved fast in the last few months.

Firstly, Instagram enabled users to share a 15-second preview of IGTV content to their feed. The aim of this was to lure audiences to check the rest of the content on IGTV. In May, the social platform announced that they would introduce ads and share IGTV revenue with influencers. And, to make sure the video segment of the platform would get a boost in content, Instagram introduced a feature allowing people to upload Instagram Lives directly to IGTV. This decision benefits those viewers who missed a Live and, by default, is helping Instagram to increase its IGTV content.

2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that more than 50% of marketers are producing videos on YouTube and Facebook, with 38% of digital marketing professionals using Instagram Stories, and 26% using native Instagram videos like IGTV.

But the question that everyone is looking for an answer to is: Can IGTV help a business engage and sell to an audience?

Social media experts and business owners share their successful tips ahead of 2021. According to a study by Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, networking and cybersecurity solutions, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by next year. If IGTV hasn’t made its way into your content calendar, the right time to start doing it is now.

 

Subtitles are key for IGTV engagement

“We find that video content is king when it comes to engagement and IGTV has been an excellent add-on paired with an existing robust strategy. If it’s teachable, listable, informative, and a on brand IGTV can be an engagement powerhouse.

Keep in mind that subtitles are key! Over 85% of users view the video on social media with their sound off. You don’t want to put all of your efforts into crafting an amazing video, only to have people scroll right past it.

Unfortunately, for a few businesses, there is a lack of understanding around IGTV’s value. This can then translate into lower engagement and enthusiasm overall. On the flip side, however, clients who are in the health and beauty industry have benefitted from the extended engagement. Audiences are hungry, during this pandemic, for content that they can learn from.”

Kris Lal – CEO at content agency www.curatorsocial.com

Never stop making it better

“IGTV can help engage your existing audience and also help grow your audience further! IGTV takes some time to master and you want to ensure that your entire video runs smoothly. My best advice before implementing IGTV into your digital marketing strategy is to practice. Your audience wants concise and engaging information, not forced sales messages.”

Cali Saturn – Digital Marketing specialist at SEO agency www.direction.com

 

Add a call to action to promote your IGTV

“Yes, IGTV can help a business to engage and sell to an audience. Importantly, the aesthetic of the video content is important. Repurposing the video for use beyond IGTV is the key. Add a “Call to Action” on the short clips or snapshots on Instagram Stories. Additionally, start planning for the 15-second version of the content for Instagram’s new function – Instagram Reels.”

Bernie Wong – Founder at www.social-stand.com

 

Keep it genuine

“If you’re in the medical industry, like me, the material you post might be behind-the-scenes footage of specific medical procedures. Or, it might be basic talks about intimidating medical procedures. People also want to see genuine stuff. So, producing original content with audiences can allow you to create a successful IGTV channel with a devout audience.”

Dr. Vikram Tarugu – Gastroenterologist and medical professional at www.detoxofsouthflorida.com

 

Make the most out of your current followers

“Something to keep in mind is that IGTV works well when you already have a large enough audience. This is because it does not appear in hashtag rankings as well as posts do. So, depending on what your strategy is, IGTV can help boost existing follower engagement rates. IGTV promotes resharing or saving content to accounts. In comparison, posts usually promote a user to hit the like or comment buttons.”

Terry Tateossian – Founding Partner of full-service boutique agency www.socialfix.com

Use it as your permanent shop window

“IGTV can be very beneficial for business, particularly for selling products rather than services. With IGTV you’ll be able to describe the product in-depth. Show BTS footage and you can even have potential customers take a closer look at the material.”

Sharon Mills – Lead Publicist at public relations and partnerships agency www.bysbm.com

 

Grab viewers’ attention as fast as you can

“I use IGTV to promote our podcast, Entrepaidneur Sessions. We post highlights from our episode, which gets our viewers excited about watching a full episode.
It has worked. My super tip is to make sure that the content you post is engaging. If you can catch people’s attention in the first 30 seconds, the likelihood that they will watch the entire video, and take the recommended action you want them to take, is much higher.”

Jennifer Onwumere – Founder at Jen-gerbread Marketing

 

Repurpose content that appeals to your audience

“Generally speaking, Instagram is great for younger audiences and niches where rich visuals sell. You don’t necessarily have to create more content, you just have to focus on repurposing it accordingly, as businesses need to try to find ways to turn one piece of content into seven or eight pieces of content.

But you will need to know well your target audience to decide if it worth the extra work. Are they likely to consume IGTV?

The more you know your audience, the better you can decide what to do when it comes to creating content for IGTV – or any other feature – as part of your digital strategy.”

Jack Choros – CMO at content optimization agency www.ironmonk.com.

How are Influencers pitching to brands in 2020? 0 121

With many influencers’ deals paused and/or adjusted during the first half of 2020, influencer marketing, once again, was put to the test.

Some of the brand campaigns being put on ice doesn’t exactly have anything to do with creators not being able to deliver excellent results through their social graph. Instead, it was related to the advertiser boycott of Facebook, whereby hundreds of marketers committed to moving their budget from the platform, during July.

The main factor instigating the abrupt content shift, though, was the lack of preparation, from many brands, big and small, to deal with a pandemic that wiped away months of sales while people stayed quarantined at home watching the world goes by. And Maybe Netflix.

Coronavirus was one of many factors that have made life harder for those working with Influencer marketing this year and it wasn’t for lack of online audience, either.

From March to July, usage of social media reached an all-time high, as a result of more people working from home, schools being closed, and large proportions of the workforce being furloughed. But before budgets could be revisited and amended, and Influencer Marketing strategies could be put in place, months after the pandemic spread across Europe, Asia and America, a similar pattern of frozen campaigns surfaced due to the worldwide repercussions of the Black Lives Matter protests – one of the most recent movement rightly prompting more brands to pause their campaigns while they re-evaluate their relationship with creators and their corporate voices on social issues.

Has all of this changed the way content creators approach brands to collaborate with? And, moving forward, what will the world, post Covid-19, look like for influencers, agencies, small businesses, and brands who make use of influencer marketing?

 

Authentic brand connections will be a plus

“Influencers (and their managers) are having to work harder to secure partnerships in 2020, specifically by showing that they were already advocates of the brand before they pitch. Influencers who can demonstrate an authentic connection to the brand as a consumer, showing that they use the product and have tagged the brand multiple times over the years, or even in recent months, will be better positioned to win that partnership. Those other influencers, who might have similar data insights and reach metrics but haven’t demonstrated their authentic connection, will get left behind.

Influencers can also provide brands with a solution to their growing demand for content. They bring efficiency and economy to content creation, while also providing deep knowledge of the social space and what works there.”

Jackie Segedin – Director of Brand Partnerships at CookIt Media

 

It is a good time to collaborate

“Influencers are homebound and not traveling to exclusive destinations. Right now is the best time to DM someone within your vertical to plan a collaboration project. This is a rare opportunity to get the attention of busy thought-leaders, with widespread followings, that can give your business more exposure.

Focus less on the medium of attracting influencers and more on building relationships with key players on social media that are experts in the topics related to the services your brand offers.

Mike Zima – Chief Growth Officer at ecommerce digital marketing agency Zima Media

 

A need for flexibility to adapt to new platforms

“To stay active, as an influencer, I adapt to the new social media platforms. Previously, I concentrated on YouTube to interact with my clients. Now, I focus on Tiktok. Who would have thought that a law firm would be on TikTok? You see, it is all about getting yourself into what’s ‘in’ and not getting left behind. I make sure that I’m active and visible on every platform that people are using.”

Jacob J. Sapochnick – Immigration Attorney and Social Media Influencer

 

Exploring the appeal of homemade content

“There is more work for influencers than ever before since normal photoshoots are not currently occurring, but brands still need content! My fiancé is a professional photographer, so we have been creating content at home and outside. I have been speaking with more brands, due to many losing their budget because of a loss of sales (COVID-19). However, other than having to reach out to more brands than usual to be successful, not much has changed for me. It is all about adapting to the change. Working from home and creating your own little studio space. Even if you don’t have a professional camera, iPhone photos still work amazingly!”

Mikayla Rose Becker – Content creator

 

PRO TIP 👍

Neal Schaffer – Author and Digital Social Media Marketing Consultant

Combining reach for lead generation

“As a B2B influencer, I have found that marketing budgets for events, or other inactive areas, are shifting towards influencer marketing for lead generation. For this purpose, lead-generating webinar-based work has actually increased since COVID-19, and although marketers are more conservative in their decision-making they still have budget. This is especially true for B2B influencers who are active on LinkedIn and Twitter like I am. Blogging, podcasting, and having a robust email list also help.”

Neal Schaffer – Author, Digital Social Media Marketing Consultant & Coach

 

Creating relatable content

“As a result of some substantial cuts to marketing budgets across the board, and production studio closures due to Covid-19, the industry saw – and will continue to see – a need for brands to continue to find ways to create content for social media and e-comm remotely. That need created an opportunity for influencers and creators to get their foot in the door. The most successful content creators have been the ones who provide high-quality, relatable content. Influencers who are professional, follow creative briefs, and provide content in a timely manner have been the ones who are in high demand and continue to grow and work with reputable brands.”

Pam Zapata – talent and Influencer Manager at SLAY Media

 

 

#DigitalMarketing #InfluencerMarketing ~ContentMarketing #Influencers #SocialMedia #ContentCreation

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