How to leverage the power of Instagram for your business

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Over the past two years, Instagram has gained major momentum in the social media world. The popular photo sharing platform has gone from a place for personal snaps to an extension of business for tech saavy companies. Instagram is the best place to expand your business at the moment and joining in on the fun is easy. However, the world of Instagram is easily daunting– from hashtags to filters to location tags, things get overwhelming fast. You’re in luck because we’re here to help. Here are some easy ways to get the power of Instagram to be in your favor.

Be Consistent

Consistency is the number one key to success in nearly all social media platforms, and Instagram is no exception. If your followers can expect content from you around the same time and in the same way daily, you’re that much more appealing to their daily routine. Additionally, consistency means good things for your business. When you’re posting with solid frequency you’re attracting new customers, reminding current followers of your presence, and staying ahead of competitors.

Develop a Brand

In the same vein, your business should have a consistent brand throughout all social media platforms, but especially the uber visual Instagram. What does that mean? In social media, branding is seen best when all posts flow together: similar styles of shots, similar filters, similar copy. It wouldn’t make sense to post a light flooded, minimal shot of your product one day and then a dark, eclectic shot of it the next– and it especially doesn’t make sense to your followers. It’s, again, this consistency that is the most appealing and will put you majorly ahead of the game. Below are three companies with very solid brands:

 

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Post at the Right Time

It may sound simple, but this step is easily overlooked. When posting, it’s essential to post photos that are relevant to that time of day. A breakfast photo posted at 5 pm is likely to get far less traffic than a breakfast post at 10 am. Even if it means waiting until tomorrow, it’s essential to remain relevant to your followers and boost your credibility while you’re at it.

Go Behind the Scenes

For business Instagrams, making your followers feel special is an excellent way to build traffic to your profile. When you post exclusive content bringing them behind the scenes of what you do, your followers feel like they’re part of an exclusive group that knows all the ins and outs of your businesses. Show your process, give peeks at your office, introduce your team, take them with to a conference or event. All these things bring your followers closer to your business and closer to success, as involved fans become customers and existing customers come back.

Build an Actionable Hashtag

Hashtags are huge everywhere and Instagram is absolutely a hashtag hotspot. By creating a personalized hashtag for your business, you allow your followers to become apart of the experience. They can use the hashtag when posting something of their own that’s relevant to you and your company, and attract new followers at the same time. If your hashtag is suddenly all over someone’s feed, they’ll click through and learn what you’re all about. It’s that simple! See a great example from Gap below:

 

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Promote Your Instagram Everywhere

Over the years, spreading your Instagram on the web has gotten easier and easier. Instagram has built in-app sharing that posts your photo to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Swarm right as you post. Putting your photos on these other sites lets your business– and hard work– extend even further.

Create a Community

This last tip is one of the most rewarding, both personally and business-wise. When you create a community around your business and your brand, you solidify relationships with your followers. Creating this community is easy to start if you follow the tips above, but you can beef it up in other ways. Reach out to your followers by liking their photos, commenting on their posts with your hashtag, and regramming great shots. You can also do weekly recaps of photos with your hashtag on Facebook or your blog. All in all, you’re breaking down that wall between you and the people that follow you. This way, your followers feel involved, you hone your brand, and grow your business– and you’ve developed a major social community on the way.

Now What?

With these new tips and tricks in your arsenal, you’re on the right path to Instagram success. But now what? Getting started can take some time, but don’t be discouraged. Even here at Echo we’ve taken our time our social media presence– we’ll admit, we could take our own advice! But above all else, realize that building your business’s social media success is all about being true to you and your vision.

Any questions? Want Echo to jump start your branding for you? Contact us or call 630.300.3288.

A great app for writers

Ulysses App

I’ll admit it. I am an early adopter. To a fault, I am more than willing to try new apps. As my colleagues will tell you, that can be good and bad. So as someone who has tried apps of all shapes and sizes, I have struggled to find the right app for writing, until now.

My favorite writing app is called Ulysses. It is a powerful tool that is made specifically for writers. With Ulysses, I’m not distracted by formatting options and countless menus. It’s simple clutter-free interface keeps me focused on my writing.

Simple text formatting

Ulysses uses simple markup text for formatting. You don’t need to be a programmer to figure it out. It’s actually quite easy and I find that typing a few characters is much more efficient than choosing from a menu via a mouse. Once again, I’m not distracted and can keep my focus on my writing.

Great organization tools

While other writing apps provide a clean interface and markup capabilities too, Ulysses complements those interface features with a nicely organized structure. A left side navigation makes it easy to organize your work in folders. You can even add keywords, attach files for reference and more. Everything is where you need it and it’s easy to find.

Styles, live preview and easy export

With styles you can transform your text into a beautiful pdf or ebook that is formatted and styled. You can even switch styles and view the preview live. When your finely crafted story is ready for prime time, you can easily export your document via their quick export feature.

Available for Mac or iPad

If you’re looking for the perfect app for writing, check out Ulysses. I hope you find it as great a tool as I do. It’s available for Mac and iPad and can use iCloud to sync your library. For more information,visit their website at ulyssesapp.com.

Our Thoughts on the Pinterest Redesign

pinterest

The up-and-coming and blogger loved social media hub, Pinterest, recently launched a complete redesign of their website. This is one of the biggest interface changes since the site’s start in early 2010. Since then, the increasingly popular platform has gained steam for its ease of use and unique form of user interaction. On Pinterest, users can pin photos and videos to boards, categorized in any way they please, and share these bookmarks with followers. Its aesthetic based design is what has driven the site to such popularity. While the technical changes in the new design are minimal, the aesthetic changes have given the site a whole new purpose. With larger pins, a more modern profile page, and simplified navigation, the site shines in its new skin.

User interface is simplistic and understandable, interaction between pinners is easy to use, and managing your own pins has a newly defined ease. Possibly the best addition to the site is the new individual pin page. When selecting a pin by itself, you’re taken to a new page that hosts a gaggle of new feature that make further exploration on the site much more meaningful. Juxtaposed to the enlarged version of the pin sits an easily scroll-able bar with the rest of the board. Below the pin sits similar pins from various users. These changes make it not only easier to find more pins from your favorite users, but also allows you to find new pinners with similar styles to those you love. With new changes in social media, backlash and confusion often ensues. However, Pinterest’s new redesign stands out as a clear exception to the rule. The new features and navigation are not only easy on the eyes, but also better the experience incredibly. Pinterest is a must have in your social media toolbox and one to definitely keep your eye on in the future.