Category Archives for "Instagram"

Jan 13

You Are Ruining Your Reputation- Buying Instagram Followers

Instagram

It seems that today everyone wants to be the next famous Instagram influencer. Brands now commonly market their products on social media platforms by using influencers as their 'celebrity' ambassadors. This has lead a lot of Instagram influencers to make a quick buck just for promoting a product. But how many of these influencers are being genuine? Would you buy your way into the fame and fortune that comes with being an influencer?

Do the numbers really matter?

Unfortunately, yes. The number one way firms recognize success on social media is an increase in social following. Followers represent the number of people who see your content and the higher the number the bigger audience you are reaching through marketing efforts. Having a high following somehow creates a sense of trust in the audience that the account creates great content...content they NEED to see or they are left out.

To think of it simply:

Followers + High engagement= perceived popularity and brand deals

Why Buy Followers?

Organically gaining attention to individual profiles has become more and more difficult because social media platforms have become saturated with the number of users. Unfortunately, the numbers get bloggers noticed, not the content. The number of followers has become an indication of success, popularity, and importance. 

Once a blogger has obtained a following, this is when the brand deals start rolling in. Free products, paid sponsorships, and promotional offers are given to influencers to display to their followers.

You can charge brands up to $2,700 USD per post according to Financial Times. Four to 20 million followers can charge up to as much as $17,500 USD for every sponsored post they upload. So buying followers can be perceived as a good investment for a long term return.

Sounds pretty good right?

Wrong.

Buying Followers is a Dirty Business

Ethics and moral codes are sacrificed the moment followers are purchased. The brand deals, paid sponsorships, and other perks from having a public following are not given because of the hard work put into the content. In fact, the content is no longer being shown to an audience that is going to engage with your posts, but is advertising to bots and spam accounts.

The business that has made a brand deal with these blog accounts are not reaching the audience they intended on. The money spent to have their product market was wasted and essentially they were scammed. 

Buying Followers Actually Damages Brands

By buying followers brands are actually damaging their reputation. If people can recognize that you are purchasing your followers, the sense of trust they once had in you is broken. Influencer fraud ruins the authenticity of your following.

Not only does it make you look bad, but it skews with your numbers. A brands own marketing efforts will be damaged after purchasing followers. Bots that generate comments or engage with content are not actually going to purchase a product or service. 

But no one can tell when followers are purchased, right?

Wrong, again.

5 Ways People Can Tell If Followers Have Been Purchased


1. Fake Instagram Followers Don’t Engage With Your Account

2. Sudden Spike in Followers or Likes

3. Bot Comments on Posts Do Not Make Sense or Are Inappropriate

4. Spam Comes with Bought Followers 

5. Accounts That Follow You Have Very Few of Their Own Followers and No Postings

Instagram recognizes and purges fake followers so there is commonly a lot of fluctuation in followers of accounts with influencer fraud. Not only is it wrong morally and ethically, but buying followers is against Instagram Terms and Conditions and can get your account permanently suspended.

Markerly analyzed Instagram influencers and found that out of the the 2 million accounts analyzed this was the average engagement ratio:

  • < 1,000 followers average about 8% engagement
  • 1,000 – 10,000 followers average 4% engagement
  • 10,000 – 100,000 followers average 2.4% engagement
  • 100,000 – 1 million followers average 1.8% engagement
  • > 1 million followers average 1.7% engagement

It is a big red flag to followers of a brand if your likes-to-followers ratio on any post seems too high or disproportionate. If a brand gets thousands of likes on its content, but not a single comment it is clear to the audience that the likes have been purchased.

So How Can a Brand Become a Successful Influencer without Fraud?

Focus on creating content for a specific audience and make that your niche. Whether it is marketing, account, beauty, fitness, make one topic your focus and run with it. Niche accounts will build an organic following when they provide value to their audience. 

You have to pay to play. Market your brand by running ads on social media. Your brand can target specific audiences and ensure that the numbers will not be skewed when analyzed. 

Show content that speaks for itself. If your profile looks really insightful and valuable to the viewers, the numbers tend to matter less. Gain the right audience by giving them content they did not know they needed until they realized they were not seeing it. 

Focus on engaging with people's posts that you enjoy and supporting other accounts. By showing support you are likely to receive support back. Like, comment, and share your favorite content and focus on being thoughtful with your engagements. 


Have you found ways to gain an organic audience through one of these techniques? Have you been turned off of a brand because of influencer fraud? Let us know in the comments below!

Jan 06

How to Take Your Instagram from Personal to Professional

Instagram , Uncategorized

Today, utilizing social media can be the number one way to get your business started. The large number of users over social media platforms makes it possible for your business to gain recognition quickly. Not only is Instagram saturated with users looking for content to follow, but Instagram allows for personal pages to become specific for business.

How can you make your personalized Instagram professional?

Follow these eight steps:

  1. Go to your profile and tap  in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Account.
  4. Tap Switch to Professional Account.
  5. Tap Business.
  6. If you'd like, you can follow the steps to connect your professional account to a Facebook Page associated with your business. This step is optional, and will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses across the Facebook family of apps. At this time, only one Facebook Page can be connected to your professional account.
  7. Add details, like your business category and contact information.
  8. Tap Done.

By creating a professional account, you are able to gain access to business features and Instagram Insights. These insights help you as a business owner to better understand the demographic of your audience. Understanding your audience can help you to create better content to resonate with those users. By clicking the '39 profile visits in the last 7 days' at the top of the page, you can then access your Instagram business insights.

    Another way to view your insights:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap .
  3. Tap Insights.
  4. Select specific posts, stories or promotions you'd like to view insights on. You can also learn more about your audience.

You also have the option to display or hide your business category and contact information on your profile. After setting up, go to your profile and tap Edit Profile. Go to Profile Display under Public Business Information to choose whether you want to hide or display your category label and contact info. Then, tap Done.

Create Ads directly from Instagram:

The most convenient feature Instagram offers after creating your business page is running ads directly from the app. You can use the promotions button to run post ads or story ads.

Creating a promotion can also be accomplished by selecting the post on your profile you wish to promote. You then can select the blue 'promote' button on the right side. This will then redirect you to selecting the promotion details.

To Create an Ad from Instagram:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap Promotions.
  3. Tap Create Promotion at the bottom.
  4. Choose a post you'd like to promote.
  5. Tap Next at the upper-right corner.
  6. If you didn’t link to a Facebook Page when you set up your Instagram professional account, you will be prompted to connect a Page. You can choose an existing Page or tap Skip.
  7. Fill in the details of your promotion by setting things like Destination (where to send people), Audience (who you want to reach), Budget (how much you want to spend daily) and Duration (how long you want your promotion to run). Tap Next once you've completed these details.
  8. To complete your promotion, tap Create Promotion under Review.

Instagram will then put your promotion into the 'review' process. Once reviewed and approved, your ad will then begin running on the Instagram platform. Your promotion must meet their ad policy requirements in order to be approved in the reviewing process. Once your promotion is running, you can review its insights by selecting the Promotions button.

    To Delete your Promoted Post on Instagram:

    If you wish to delete a promoted ad from your profile, you must first delete the original promotion. If the promotion has already ended, you must first delete the original promotion.

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap Promotions.
  3. Tap View Insights under the promoted post you'd like to delete.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and tap Delete Promotion.
  5. Go back to your profile.
  6. Tap the post you want to delete.
  7. Tap ...
  8. Select Delete and confirm that you want to remove this post.

There are many more features that your business can use to enhance its Instagram account such as:

  1. Control your viewers age
  2. Change your call-to-action button
  3. Connecting to Business Facebook 
  4. Promoting your website

These steps can always be reversed and your account can be switched back over to a personal account.

For more information and helpful tips on Instagram visit: https://help.instagram.com/

Is your business Instagram set up to be a professional page? Did you know you could access the insights from within the Instagram app? We hope this was helpful!

Dec 23

How to Use Instagram Highlights to Enhance Your Profile

Instagram , Instagram Stories , Social Media

Using Instagram Story Highlights to Enhance Your Profile

Instagram highlights have given businesses and social media influencers a new way to showcase their brand. Since the story highlights live front-and-center on Instagram profiles, they are the perfect tool to represent your niche. 

Creating highlights and strategically planning their purpose is just as important as your permanent posts. Although the posts should be candid, each one should be categorized. 

So first...

To Share a Photo or Video to your Story Using the Instagram App:

1. Tap  (or the plus sign) in the top left of your screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed. 

2. Tap  at the bottom of the screen to take a photo, or tap and HOLD to record a video. To choose a photo or video from your phone's library or gallery, swipe up anywhere on the screen.

3. Tap  or  to draw, add text or a sticker to your photo or video. To remove text or a sticker, drag and drop it on  at the bottom of the screen.

As you can see here, Instagram allows you to add customized locations, polls, stickers, text, and more!

4. Once you have your story designed just the way you want it tap Your Story in the bottom left.

Instagram stories can be still images, videos, boomerangs, or to be recorded live.

You also have the option to use the 'create' tool which provides themed background wallpapers.

Superzoom is a feature that allows you to zoom in on objects with dramatic sound effects. This feature is available for both front and back facing cameras. 

Hands-free is a story feature which allows you to record without holding the  button at the bottom of the screen.

Unless added to your profile as a highlight, stories disappear from your Feed, Profile and Direct inbox after 24 hours.

Did you say boomerang? Yes!

What is a Boomerang?

Boomerangs are created by taking very short, very fast burst of photos and combining them together to create a mini video. The video will play forward and backwards repeatedly to create a unique piece of content. 

Now that we created the story...

How Does a Story Become a Permanent Piece of Content on Your Profile?

Once a story is posted on your profile you will then be given the option to make it a highlight. After 24 hours, if the highlight is created, the content will still be visible on your profile. The highlights are located at the top of your profile, making it easy to locate them at any time.

To Add a Story to a Highlight:

1. Go to your profile and tap Story Highlights below your username and bio.

2. Tap

3. Tap to select the story or stories you want to add to highlights, then tap Next

4. Tap Edit Cover > Choose a cover photo > Tap Done

5. Enter a story name for your highlight, then tap Add (iPhone) or Done (Android). You can add more photos or videos to your highlight at any time by tapping and holding on the highlight and then tapping Edit Highlight.

Once your story becomes a highlight, you can then edit the cover photo. We use Canva.com to create our highlight images. There is no limit as to how many highlights you can create on your profile. However, only five (on mobile) or seven (on desktop) will appear without scrolling to the left.

Each highlight can contain 100 photos. For example, the AmpliPhi 'holiday' highlight can contain 100 photos of our team celebrating holidays and they will not expire from the profile until manually deleted.  

To Edit or Delete a Highlight:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Below Stories Highlights, find the story you want to delete then tap and hold.
  3. Tap Delete Highlight to remove the story from Stories Highlights, or tap Edit Highlight to add more photos or videos to your story.

To Edit or Delete a Photo or Video from a Highlight:

  1. Open your story highlight and find the photo or video you want to remove.
  2. Tap More (iPhone) or More (Android) in the bottom right of the photo or video.
  3. Tap Remove from Highlight or tap Edit Highlight to add more photos or videos to your story.

Although the exact date of the posted story is not displayed, a rough timeline in weeks is. As seen to the right, our 'Dominos' highlight was posted 12w (or 12 weeks) ago. 

This 'Dominos' highlight is a direct reference to a permanent instagram post displayed on the profile. This can be a great tool for posting longer videos or utilizing different assets of media. 

Other highlight ideas can include testimonials, company achievements, employee advocacy, education, reviews, Instagram takeovers and more!

How have you been using Instagram Story highlights on your profile? Was this helpful? Check out https://help.instagram.com/1660923094227526 for more information on Instagram how-to's. 

Oct 08

6 Steps to Create a Quality Instagram Influencer Campaign

General Info , Instagram , Marketing , Social Media

6 Steps to Create a Quality Instagram Influencer Campaign

You’ve almost certainly heard the word “influencer” in today’s marketing opportunities and for very good reason.

Adweek estimates Influencer Marketing will be a $10 billion industry by 2020.

Instagram (IG – 1 billion monthly active users) will comprise a huge portion of this growth, and finding those to help promote your brand is easier on this platform than any other.

Here are 6 simple steps (including infographic) we’ve created to help you use Instagram in your company’s campaigns. 

1. Identify your target market

Make sure that you’re using the search function on IG. To do this, go to the platform and click the magnifying glass on the bottom. Click inside the search bar (important step many people miss) and you’ll have the option to select Top, People, Tags, and Places. To search by interest, click Tags and enter your search terms. To search by geographic location, click places and enter the name or physical address.

2. Find influencers

Search for people influential in your target market by both number of followers and engagement percentage. The higher the engagement as a percentage of their followers, the better! A good way to figure out their engagement percentage is to take a handful of recent posts and take the number of likes and comments and divide that by the number of followers. This gives you a good idea of how engaged their following is.

3. Participate in their communities

Don’t just reach out to people without knowing more about them. They may have tons of followers and engagement but that alone doesn’t mean they’re the perfect fit. Before reaching out to potential influencers with an offer to work together, engage in their communities. Comment on their posts and like what they share. Be meaningful and deliberate with your contributions. This may create a thoughtful conversation and the opportunity to get to know your brand.

4. Reach out to them with an offer

Contact the influencer through DM (Direct Message) on IG. Since you’ve been engaging in the community you should be at least someone they’re familiar with. Ask them to help promote your brand or product.

5. Negotiate compensation

Be prepared for any reply. Or none at all. Some influencers will request money, product, or both. In our opinion, make sure you’re definitely willing to give them product. If you want them to speak on behalf of your company, they should at least have the opportunity to use what you’re selling. And when it comes to money, figure out what you’re willing to offer ahead of time. If you have a budget in mind, it’s acceptable to work with someone for a certain amount of time and then revisit the partnership. Just make sure you have determined what success looks like and that both parties are in the loop.

6. Review metrics and update

After hiring an influencer to promote what you’re selling, use metrics to track the success. Use unique identifies or coupon codes to track and gauge which campaigns are working and which are not.

Have you tried using influencer marketing in your campaigns? What success (or horror) stories can you share?

Instagram Influencer Campaign

May 15

A Great Example of Using Instagram Stories

Instagram , Instagram Stories , Social Media

A Great Example of Using Instagram Stories

With social media there are so many ways to spend 5 minutes (let’s be real, 30 minutes) endlessly scrolling. This time I was glad I chose Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. A lot of people I follow use this feature the same way they use the main platform on Instagram, which is fine. But it isn’t exactly what the best use of it is.

Below is a fantastic example, in my opinion, of a proper Instagram Story. It’s about an absolutely amazing cause and a girl’s search for a decent snack.

Meet Stefanie Miller. She’s been one of my (Helen) besties for more than 15 years.

I generally don’t check out a ton of Stories, but this first image drew me in because I love ❤ coconut chips…and she dissed them. She also introduced Healing Heels, an incredible organization you’ll learn about below.

IG Story

Stefanie’s obviously in search of something particular.

IG Story

Can you sense the sarcasm?

Up until this point, each visual was just an image. The picture below was actually a video unveiling Stef’s pair of shoes. She uses the Superzoom/Dramatic effect to give it the anticipation it deserves.

The next 3 images were also videos opening containers to find more healthy snacks. Make sure you read the copy on the images. It’s hilarious.

These are her shoes! Learn more about the shoes below. This specific piece of content was a video using the Boomerang effect.

If you can’t tell what this is, it’s a half-drank bottle of wine with the cork inside the bottle. We’ve all been there, am I right?!

The warm and fuzzy part starts now! ?

As you can tell, Stefanie tells the story through copy on the images.

Don’t forget #hashtags

She’s going through and giving visual examples of their products.

And tagging friends so they can see your story

Remember, you can also draw on your images to point things out as you can see below with the reddish arrow and circle pointing out the random pair of Sidne’s.

There is Stefanie spreading love!

Promote. Promote. Promote! See how she did this… it’s well into the story, so it doesn’t seem like a sales pitch. It just makes sense and flows perfectly.

Back to snacks!

A little off subject, but I wouldn’t be a marketer with mentioning kudos to Healing Heels on the personalized message on this shoebox. For every patient that is gifted a pair of Healing Heels because someone else bought a pair they personalize the shoebox with inspiration to help get them through treatments. ?

Still hungry! ??‍♀️

The image below was actually a video using the timelapse effect. It showed them working to separate all the orders and shipping labels.

And finally, snacks were had. ?

There are many reasons why I think this is so well done. Stefanie just did such a wonderful job telling the story. The whole progression spanned a total of 5 hours and depicted so much. This story showed happiness, humor, inspiration, gratitude, empowerment, love, hope, and of course, (h)anger.

I also love the behind the scenes footage that was captured as part of the Healing Heels process. Their mission is powerful and Stefanie did a great job of explaining the story while making a heavy topic fun.

Create. create. create!

Mar 14

What is Social Listening and Why is it Important?

Business Development , Facebook , Instagram , LinkedIn , Marketing , Social Media , Twitter

What is Social Listening and Why is it Important?

Nowadays, social media is not just another platform for sharing pictures, life events and what you had for lunch. It is also used to voice your opinion about many different things. The digital revolution has changed traditional marketing and consumers have learned to take their inquiries, comments and criticisms online. Therefore, any business or brand for that matter, must learn how to integrate social listening in their marketing strategy.

Social Listening image

Imagine the amount of insights you can acquire from a certain market that is made up entirely of consumers who are talking about your brand. Social listening is the process of tracking and identifying what is being said about a specific brand or industry. It is important to monitor consumers’ tone when they speak about your brand via keywords, as they can help you leverage your insights and discover new ways to create content focused on your audience. Although social listening and social monitoring often go hand in hand, there is a certain difference between these two. Social listening does not merely focus on close monitoring through personal response on comments and queries. The main goal is to thoroughly analyze consumers’ sentiments and be able to extract pivotal insights from these conversations in order to create a strategy that is based on what people are saying. Think about it this way: social monitoring is like a cure – as a certain problem arises, it will help you be aware of and act on it on the spot. However, social listening is more like prevention – rather than just dealing with the problem after it arose, listening will help you prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

Why is Social Listening Important?

Brand Reputation

When you actively listen to what social media says about your brand, you know for sure that positive and negative feedback is inevitable. The thing is, social listening will help you identify and successfully recognize harmful threads before they create a lasting impact your brand. A good reputation is what allows a company to continue flourishing, and thus contribute to the entire brand health. 

Product Development

Social listening also gives more room for improvement. From the word itself, listening will help you get valuable feedback that could be the basis for your product development plan. Draw out an effective solution by focusing on the points that people find unsatisfying and highlight whatever works well for your brand.

Key InfluencerInstagram image

In this generation where even ordinary people can have an extended reach or impact on social media, it is also practical to know who has the power to influence consumers in a relevant marketplace. Influencers from different fields or industries love to discuss products online, particularly those they personally patronize. This may help you come up with a strategy if you know how to take advantage of their social / online connection.

Brand Engagement

What is the most logical thing to do after learning what consumers have to say about your product? Engage. Actively communicate with them and manage the growing brand loyalty so you can look forward to a potentially lifelong commitment between your brand and its users. In the age of digital marketing, it has become easier to reach out to your consumers to properly address their concerns through mobile and social media. Brand engagement is the key in making consumers feel that their voice is being heard and that their opinions actually matter.

Social listening, in a nutshell, will allow your brand to be at the forefront; it is just a matter of addressing and properly acting on your consumers’ wants and needs.

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