Tag Archives: Instagram

How to get yourself noticed on Instagram

This week I did a talk to a group of photographers focusing on how they could be utilising the social platforms to help them achieve objectives.

It was no surprise that Instagram was the most popular social platform for the photographers – however, it was a little surprising that not one of them had heard about Instragram’s ‘Weekend Hashtag Project’ – a great engagement campaign from Instagram, that could make all the difference to your visibility.

So let’s walk through what happens:

Every Friday Instagram announces the weekend challenge.  As you can see – last week, it was all about sights and sounds – the goal to make videos with interesting or ambient, or natural sound.

Instagram's Weekend Hashtag Project #WHP
Instagram’s Weekend Hashtag Project #WHP

You then simply add the relevant hashtag- (in this case #WHPsightsandsounds) to photos and videos when uploading them over the weekend.

You can only upload your own visuals and we believe (although we haven’t tested this as yet) that only images and video actually shot over the weekend are eligible. (So you can’t upload from a past library) – which makes sense right – because after all, it is a ‘weekend project’.

The weekend project challenge is announced every Friday via the Instagram blog – and the team here @carvillcreative  stay tuned via tweets from the Instagram Twitter account (@instagram). The #WHP is always consistent – so you can take a look in Instagram using the search tool to see the vast range of projects executed so far.

Every Monday Instagram then selects some of their favourite ‘projects’ and showcases them on their blog and social platforms – which can ignite some serious attention. Those featured (and it’s arbitrary) – they really don’t just showcase popular Instagrammers with thousands of followers, as you’ll see – people with as few as 10 followers have been showcased.

So, if one of your objectives it to get noticed on Instagram – then start tracking the Weekend Hashtag Project – it may just be that all the fun you have taking part in the project, may just reap some serious rewards.

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email michelle@carvillcreative.co.uk 

 That’s all for now – happy hashtagging this weekend.

Michelle x

Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.

How To Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely

social media channelsOnce your business has made a decision to jump on the social media bandwagon, the next decision is to decide upon what channels to use and how much time do you want to spend posting, tweeting, pinning, cricling, creating or following?

When making these decisions, businesses often make the mistake of signing up to all the most popular networks, hoping to have a business impact by reaching the right customers straight away. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to do them all – or at least do them all well.

Businesses that do try, often go in all guns blazing, then after a week or two, due to the lack of responses to their online activities, the use of social media channels by that business rapidly dwindles – and they’ll often end up with a Facebook page with a couple of half-hearted posts on them, or Twitter feed with the latest tweets being 6 months old. This end result can actually be more damaging to your business than not having any social network presence at all.

The one piece of advice we can give you is to choose your channels wisely – don’t try to be everywhere! The important thing you need to figure out is which channels are dominant for your market.

In social media, it’s about quality, not just quantity. Doing two or three channels really well with consistent, highly engaging content is what will lead to conversion and customers.

Here are a few ways to come to the conclusion about the right social media channels for you:

  • Where does your business sit in the social media space?
  • Are you aiming to build a community presence? If so then Facebook, Twitter and Google+ could be for you.
  • Does your business use a lot of images? If so then perhaps Instagram or Pinterest is the way to go.
  • If you’re a business can provide professional and useful insights for others within your industry then get yourselves on LinkedIn.
  • Think about your target audience – where is your target buyer and what channels are they using?
  • Have a look at your competitors – what channels are they using? Are they doing well on social?
  • Do you have time to be working on all the social media sites? How many channels do you think you can do really well on?
  • Have a clear social media strategy in place – then you can work out a plan that you can realistically implement.
  • Keep in mind that social media takes time, especially if you want to build up a reputation – so don’t get frustrated if you’re not getting instant results.

It’s very important that you choose the right channel or channels from the outset and it’s equally important that you do not get distracted in trying to support your profiles on those channels.

Whichever social networks you choose to use, be prepared to sufficiently resource the activity – this will take some time, skills and prompt responses to build up the right social network for your business. Once you’ve learnt how to master one or two channels to begin with, you can than progress to the next one.

You’ll be surprised at how much time an effective social media presences takes up – so don’t overburden yourself initially, as that is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

Instagram Ads Will Be Arriving Soon To The U.K

It was always inevitable that advertising on Instagram was going to happen at some point – after all, they need to start earning some money from somewhere.

Earlier this year, they announced that they were going to start advertising in America and later this year, ads would arrive in Canada and Australia. Lucky for us they have also announced that they are coming to the U.K.

It’s normally the big boy brands that have an account on Instagram rather than the smaller businesses – however, Instagram ads will provide a new window of opportunity for smaller businesses to get their name out and get people interested in their brand.

Instagram want their ads to be creative and engaging, therefore have just started with a handful of brands that are already doing great things on the social platform.

What Will They Look Like?

You’ll’ be able to tell what a photo or video advertisement looks like as you’ll see the ‘Sponsored’ label  in the top right hand corner of the post, where the time stamp would normally be.

If an ad comes up that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the ‘…’ below it, to hide that ad. Instagram will then ask you to provide feedback about why you didn’t like it – this helps them to only show you the ads that they think you will find interesting.

If you haven’t already seen an Instagram ad, then look out for that sponsored post that will be breaking the news…

instagram ads 123

 

 

 

 

 

Underneath the post, Instagram announce: “Over the coming weeks we will slowly begin rolling out advertising in the U.K. We’re starting with just a few businesses that are already great on Instagram to make sure the ads you see are creative and engaging.”

After people started seeing this taster ad, Instagram said that genuine adverts will be arriving after. Some of the bigger brands that already have access to the advertising on the platform are Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel and Waitrose. The hope is that these sponsored ads will be of an exceptional quality and feel like native content, which users are then happy to interact with in their feed.

Despite the test ad receiving more than 18,000 likes, many users have expressed their frustration online about the arrival of ads. To have your say on the subject, let us know how you feel about Instagram ads by tweeting us at @carvillcreative

Instagram for Business – Part 2

Now that you’re all set up on Instagram, it’s time for the most important part – utilising the app for the benefit of your business!

Let’s start off with Photo Maps – this is a part of Instagram that many people don’t use. It’s very important for businesses as it puts your business on the map – literally!

Use Photo Maps:

Photo Maps are used to showcase where you’ve taken your photos, or explore where others have taken them via a map – this also lets you rediscover previous Instagram memories.

With every photo you add, you can link it to your map as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi or 3G. Here, your device logs the co-ordinates of where you are (where the photo was taken) and utilises that information so you have the ability to add that photo to your Photo Map.

It’s a great way to showcase where your business is and to see pictures of other people and places nearby!

How to do it:

When uploading a photo, turn the ‘Add to Photo Map section to on,’ Instagram will send you a push notification and ask to use your current location – select OK.

Then, share your photo – your selected location will appear alongside the photo and your followers will be able see where your pictures were taken whenever you upload one!

This is useful to attract attention from fans, especially if they are nearby to your business.

Tagging:

Instagram also added a fairly new feature that allows you to tag people in the pictures you share. This is a great way to encourage engagement for your business and lets others know more about you and your whereabouts!

Tap ‘Add People’ which is under your pictures caption – then click wherever you want to tag on the screen then search for the name you want to tag, simple! Think of it like tagging someone as you would on Facebook – it’s the same thing.

Get Recognised – Use Hashtags:

Adding hashtags to your photos allows you to find new followers and share your photos with more people. To get the most out of them, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind:

  • Be Specific

Choose specific hashtags that will help you connect with others similar to your business or to target a certain group of people to get them interested in your brand/business.

Tip: The more specific you are, the easier it will be for others to see your pictures as your tag will be added to that highly targeted tag page.

  • Be Relevant

Make it easy for other like-minded Instagrammers to find you by making sure your tags fully describe your photo.

Using very general tags might get you a few likes, but when over 700,000 people use the same tag, it’s a lot more difficult for your photo to stand out and connect with the people most like you.

Tip: Relevant tags will help you attract new followers and people who take a genuine interest in your photos!

  • Be Observant

Pay attention to the other hashtags used on photos that use similar tags to you. You may discover a popular hashtag that you hadn’t thought of!

Hashtags can be used in every single one of your Instagram posts and can help narrow down searches so that others who may be interested in your pictures can easily find them in one single search.

Key tip – make sure you hashtag your business name! This gets your name out there and makes it easier for people to search for you!

Why Instagram is good for your Business:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words

Gives you the opportunity to translate the passion of what you offer or do into visual images.

Most people like to look at interesting images and if you can “draw” them in with a photo that is an “ad” but isn’t, it could end up worth as much as some of the best advertising campaigns out there!

  • Encourage customer participation

Once you have built a reasonable amount of followers, the door is wide open to encourage customers to exchange and participate in exchanges involving your business.

Tip – Why not encourage them to share photos of themselves using your product or service, if appropriate?

  • Allows you to build a personality for your business

You decide how your business is perceived by your customers and potential leads. Think about what message you’re trying to give…

The right photos shared on Instagram can go a long way in building a personality for your brand, so just keep that in mind!

Finally – it gives your business the opportunity to have fun and get creative! The opportunities are endless!

Take a look at this link for some inspiring Instagram accounts – and yes, that is General Electric that made the Top 10!

We hope this has persuaded you to get your business onto Instagram! Happy snapping.

Our Instagram for Business – Part 3 – looks at the wonders of video on Instagram. Coming next…so stay tuned.

Instagram for Business – Part 1

Is your business on Instagram? If not – then you might want to start thinking about getting your business on there!

Instagram is a fast, simple and fun way to share photos – simply snap a picture, choose from a range of preset filters to transform the
look of your picture (no photoshop skills required), and then post to your Instagram home feed. (You also get the opportunity to automatically share to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks too).

In Instagram’s own words “its photo sharing reinvented!”

At the moment, you can only create an Instagram account by downloading the app on your IOS iPhone or Android device – which is very easy to set up!

Use our simple steps to get started and to make sure your brand takes full advantage of this creative platform:

How to set up Instagram:

  • Firstly, download the Instagram app in the App Store for your iPhone/iPad, or in Google Play for an Android device. See link here http://instagram.com/.
  • Once installed, tap the Instagram icon to open it on your device.
  • Tap Register.
  • Sign up for Instagram account by entering all your details – be sure to create a username that clearly represents your business!
  • Choose a profile picture by clicking on the photo icon on the top right of the screen – giving you the option to ‘Import from Facebook’, ‘Import from Twitter’, ‘Take photo’, or ‘Choose from you library.’

If you select ‘Import from Facebook/ Twitter’ – Instagram will ask to connect to your Facebook/Twitter account so that you can choose a profile picture from either account. Remember to choose one that makes your business recognisable.

  • Once you have filled everything out, tap ‘done’- then that’s it, you’re all set up!

Once you’ve set your profile up, you can then dive straight in to uploading or taking pictures to beautify on Instagram!

How to use Instagram:

  • To select your first photo, click on the camera icon in the centre to snap a photo (This requires a device with a camera such as the iPhone or an Android phone.) 
  • In the camera mode you have option to edit your picture settings. Choose between ‘always using your phone’s flash’, ‘auto detecting flash’, or ‘never using flash’. You can also tap to switch between the front-facing and back-facing camera.
  • Or why not edit an existing photo where you tap at the bottom right of the screen to select a photo from you library.
  • Once you’ve chosen the photo you want to work with, you can optionally apply a filter to that photo from the choices that appear – ‘Valencia’ is personally our fave!
  • Click “Next” when you are finished. Then enter a brief description of your photo in the “What?” text input field.
  • There’s also the “Where?” tab to add location info to your photo (we recommend doing this as it’s a great way to promote your business).
  • Don’t forget you can also share your picture on other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter – simply enter the username and password associated with your business account to link it with your Instagram business account.
  • Tap “Done,” to complete the process and post your photo. Your photo will appear in your “Feed” and also the feed of other Instagram users that are following you.

We hope this has been helpful and enough to get you started on Instagram. Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3 of Instagram for Business ’ where we’ll talk more about how businesses can  be using Instagram and the benefits it brings!