How to Get More Instagram Followers for Your Business

Image Credit: <a href="https://selfstartr.com/instagram-marketing-tips-ecommerce/">selfstartr.com</a>

Infographic on why your brand should use Instagram

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app, is the perfect social network for your eCommerce business. Here are just a few stats that make it so enticing:

  • Over 400 million users, surpassing Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
  • Over 80 million photos per day being shared meaning an active network
  • Speaking of active – engagement levels on Instagram are sky-high. Even though Instagram recently introduced advertising and even with so many photos being shared, there’s still no
  • Instagram referrals result in an average order value of $65 which is second only to the $66.75 from Polyvore.

Instagram is a prime channel to put your focus in to grow your business but like any network, there are ways to take advantage of its usefulness. Continue reading to see how to effectively use Instagram to grow your following, engagement rates, and sales.

Instagram Contests

A great way to get more followers on Instagram is by holding contests. Not only can an Instagram contest help expand your reach and customer list, but it’s also a powerful solution to increase engagement by your followers.

There are several types of contests that you can hold. Below is a list of several that you may want to consider to increase your following.

Like-to-win contest. As the name implies, a like-to-win contest is when you ask people to “like” an Instagram post in exchange for being entered into your contest.

Drinkwel Like-To-Win

Because there’s a low entry barrier with this type of contest, you’ll find high engagement rates and an increase in your Instagram reach. The downside, however, is that even though engagement may be high, your consumer connection is low because it’s so simple for participants to enter, they’re barely paying attention to what they’re actually liking.

Comment contest. Similar to a like-to-win contest, you’re asking people to comment on your brand’s post to be entered into your contest.

You can use a comment contest as a way to gain valuable feedback and increase post engagement. Use it in conjunction with a tag-to-win contest (see below) to make this a great way to increase organic traffic back to your Instagram account.

Tag-to-win contest. With this type of contest, you’re asking your followers to tag their friends in your post to be entered to win the contest.

This type of contest is great because it increases your exposure to new potential customers. You’ll get organic traffic back to your company’s Instagram account as the friends of followers check you out, which means more followers for your Instagram account.

Birchbox Instagram Contest

Photo challenge contest. Perhaps the most popular of all Instagram contests, the photo challenge asks followers to post their entries with a predetermined hashtag. The photo requirement can be anything–a style challenge, a themed image, an idea–which makes this a versatile choice.

How to run an Instagram photo contest

Making Use of Hashtags

Creating fun contests and posting interesting photos will help ensure that you have high engagement rates on Instagram, however to really expand your reach and increase your following, you’ll find that using the right hashtags of utmost importance. Hashtags on Instagram, like any social network, help make it easier for people to find your posts, assuming they are searching for those specific terms.

So what hashtags should you use to reach news users and help with getting your contest discovered?

While it may be tempting to use the popular hashtags, if they aren’t relevant to your business, it won’t do you or your network any good. It’ll just come off as your business being desperate for attention and even though it can possible get you additional engagement and likes, you’ll find that it won’t lead to increased long-term engagement or sales. Even if the hashtag is relevant to your business, you’ll be competing with tons of other people and businesses using the same hashtag.

A better strategy is as follows:

Use hashtags that are relevant to your post. As mentioned above, it might be tempting to use trending hashtags with your posts, but if the hashtags aren’t relevant to what you’re posting on Instagram, then you won’t see much success.

Instead, try to find hashtags that are popular within your industry and then figure out which of these would fit with your photo/video and caption. You can find relevant hashtags by looking at your competitors and other businesses in your industry or niche.

Combine popular hashtags with less popular and brand hashtags. It would be a mistake to just use popular hashtags, even if they are related to your post. While your post has the potential to be seen by many more people, because everyone is doing the same thing, your post will disappear quickly, meaning a short shelf life for your post.

By incorporating less common hashtags with popular ones, you get the best of both. You have the opportunity to get your post seen by lots of people, while also ensuring longevity for your post. Additionally, you should consider adding brand related hashtags which are easy to remember and unique to you business. This allows for followers to easily find your posts as well as associates your content for potential followers.

Don’t spam hashtags. While it appears that there isn’t a saturation point for the number of hashtags you can use in an Instagram post, if you’re spamming multiple hashtags in hopes of capturing as many views as possible, you’ll just find that you’re casting your net too wide and that your posts will end up looking spammy.

Use the Right Filters for Your Photos

According to a recent study by Georgia Tech, filters such as Mayfair, Hudson, Valencia, X-Pro II, and Rise are top choices among customers when they use filters for their photos. Another study that was done by  TrackMaven, which analyzed how filters impacted engagement for brands found a correlation between the two.

Filters that trigger the most likes and comments

 

 

In terms of effectiveness, Mayfair brings an average of 23.04 interactions (an interaction is the sum of likes and comments). No filter drives about 18.009 average interactions and Inkwell has 16.407 average interactions.

Instagram engagement vs filters

 

To figure out which photos are working best for you, use IconoSquare to analyze the performance of your posts. Figure out which filters work best and which types of posts are driving the most engagement and potentially leading to the most followers.

Steal Your Competitors Followers

By following the aforementioned tips, you’ll have laid a solid foundation, however if you really want to ramp up the number of followers that you get to your Instagram account, a simple technique is to just steal the followers from your competitors.

The reason why you’ll find these followers to be the best is because they have shown some level of interest in the products your business carries – why else would they be following your competitors on Instagram!

So how do you effectively steal your competitors’ followers?

The simple answer is by engaging with them.

There are basically three ways that you can engage with Instagram users:

  • Follow a user
  • Like a photo
  • Comment on a photo
  • Messaging

While you probably already have an idea of who some of your largest competitors are, You can use an app like Websta to find popular Instagram accounts. Just search for relevant keywords to your business to find additional brands within your niche. You can then use Crowdfire to quickly copy your competitors followers as opposed to doing it manually.

Remember, the more time you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. Put some time into writing thoughtful comments on potential followers’ posts. Also, don’t count on just one engagement sealing the deal for you. You’ll probably find that you’ll need engage with each user over a span of several days before getting them to follow, but it’ll be well worth it!

Putting it All Together for Increased Instagram Followers

If used correctly, Instagram can be an extremely effective channel for your business. The visual component of the channel is perfect for advertising your products, services and brand. This in turn can lead to an increased revenue stream for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buying Followers

 

 

Finding The Right Technology Office Space

Office Space in Columbia Maryland

As a technology company that promotes an open door policy when it comes to communication and creativity, it was important for our company to find an office space that had a very open floor plan that was inline with our company culture. We were able to find the perfect office space Columbia MD (we had an office space in Annapolis MD prior) by doing a little research beforehand. There were a couple of pain points through the process though so I figure I’d write about how to find the right office space for your technology company to help smooth the process for anyone reading this article.

The right office space can really help with creating a positive work environment whereas getting it wrong can break your business as you’ll end up with a lot of aggravation, wasted money and possibly losing staff. It can be difficult striking a balance between affordability and finding the perfect office space, but it’s crucial to limit the mistakes that you make as you’ll be in that space for quite some time.

Let’s first discuss location. A few things to consider:

Neighborhood Safety – You want to make sure that the neighborhood that your office space is in is a safe area. A safe neighborhood helps to keep employee morale up. Additionally, if your the type of business that has clients coming by, it would be in your business’ best interest to have a location that has a good reputation.

Transport – If possible, especially if you’re in a metro area, you should try to find an office space that’s easy for people to commute to through a variety of methods. You should consider train, subway, bus, and bicycle routes as well as how easy it is to get to by automobile. You may even want to have an open discussion with employees to see how it would impact their commute, especially key staff that you don’t want to lose.

Amenities – Are there restaurants or other places close by where employees can buy their lunch? Perhaps a gym or yoga studio for employees to go to during their lunch break or right after work? Some place to take clients out to for drinks or a meal? Life doesn’t just carry on in the office space, but around it as well, so finding a premise that’s nearby various amenities will do your business good.

The second big factor to consider when getting a new office space is the building itself. What you should be looking at:

Security – This goes with the point made above about location and neighborhood safety. You want a building that’s secure so that staff doesn’t have to worry about items going missing. Find out what type of security is provided and whether there have been any obvious break-ins.

Property Management – Does the company that’s managing the building take care of it? Talk with tenants in the building to find out how the building managing team is as well as try to see if you can find any reviews online. Something else you’ll want to think about and discuss with the actual managing team is whether they going to run the building for the long haul or are they looking to sell within a few years?

Parking Lot/Bike Storage – What’s the point of finding an office space in Columbia MD or elsewhere for that matter that has easy travel routes if there’s no place to park a car or to store a bike. If the office space you’re looking at doesn’t have sufficient parking space, then is there a place close-by for employees to park? What about clients and other visitors?

Competitors – This might seem like something strange to consider, but you probably don’t want to share an office space with a rival company as they could possibly poach your employees or potential clients as well as other logistical problems.

These are only a few things that one should consider when looking for a technology office space in Maryland. Have you recently moved or are in the process of moving? What are some of the things that you consider important in an office space? Feel free to leave a comment below!

 

 

 

— Cloud Computing: A Rocket Launcher for Innovation —

See on Scoop.itTechnology, Big Data, Business Intelligence

After decades of software development, the breadth of new types of enterprise and consumer applications via cloud has never been greater.

Greg Mudd‘s insight:

Good article taht discusses how and why cloud computing is "a rocket launcher for the current wave of innovation", especially for startups. 

See on asmarterplanet.com

Going Green: How IT Can Reduce Its Footprint

See on Scoop.itTechnology, Big Data, Business Intelligence

For year’s business have looked to become more responsible, reduce their environmental impact and become better stewards of our resources.  These changes are often times seen in product packaging, shipping materials and literature utilizing post-consumer waste and recycled materials.  These aspects have certainly increased over the years and have had an impact.  One area that people often overlook is IT and what impacts can be made when IT decides to “go green”. 

Greg Mudd‘s insight:

A few steps that an organization’s information technology department can take to reduce its carbon footprint helping a business to reduce power consumption and reduce its costs.

See on themarketingrobot.com

 

Iconic Mind: Our Blog Corner: Facebook Ads Versus Google Adwords

See on Scoop.itTechnology, Big Data, Business Intelligence

In the world of digital marketing, there are the Facebook-heads (those who swear by the effectiveness of advertising on Facebook) and the Google Adwords-heads (those who are convinced that Adwords is the way to go). So who’s right?

Greg Mudd‘s insight:

At the end of the day there’s no right answer that applies to everyone – it all depends on your business as each platform requires a different approach, so what you need to decide is which approach suits you best. At the end of the day, doing some testing can help you decide what works best for your brand.

See on iconicmind.blogspot.com

Are Big Data and Data Science All Hype? | SmartData Collective

See on Scoop.itTechnology, Big Data, Business Intelligence

Big Data has clearly entered its golden run. This is definitely on the minds of many executives of companies all over the world.

See on smartdatacollective.com