Posted on May 14, 2017 by
With 300 million daily users, 95 million photos uploaded a day and 4.2 billion likes a day, there’s ample opportunity for Instagram engagement. These statistics come from Social Media Today and clearly demonstrate the tremendous reach and usage of Instagram. But, how do you cut through the noise of those 95 million daily uploads and bubble to the top of the feed for your most valuable followers and potential customers and clients? How do you gain a loyal and engaged following to help grow your brand and your business? These questions are increasingly more important since Instagram changed its algorithm last year and reordered posts in feeds from chronologically based to popularity based. We have written about Instagram for business in the past, and we encourage you to start there if you haven’t already. Once established on the social network, consider these ten tips to show up and increase engagement on Instagram.
Discover Instagram Pods
Instagram pods, networking groups created and managed through direct messages (DM) on Instagram, gather like-minded Instagrammers who follow one another, like and comment on posts. Pods came about specifically to combat Instagram’s algorithm update and enhance the popularity of posts. While each pod has its own specific set of rules, all include about 15 Instagrammers (the number corresponds to the maximum number of people on a DM) with the expectation that all members will engage with each other to boost the popularity of posts. When a pod member uploads a new post, he or she shares the post in the pod so the liking and commenting may commence. The savviest of podsters belong to more than one Instagram pod to maximize engagement.
As you can imagine, keeping up with just one pod—especially if pod member post multiple times a day—can be exhausting. But, if your business depends, or wants to depend, on Instagram for business, it may be worth a try!
A slew of Instagram analytics tools exists to tell users the best days and times to post based on follower engagement and activity. Some tools prove easier to use than others, and each provides different views and details. Consider testing a couple of analytics apps for yourself. Use the application’s recommendations for a given period of time and then assess if the insights yield useful direction for upping your Instagram engagement. We think you will find analytics useful.
Here are a few tools we like:
Add a Question or Call to Action
Adding a question or a call to action (CTA) in each post also serves as a great tactic to increase Instagram engagement. Rather than simply liking a post, a follower seems more likely to comment when they can easily think of something to say… like answering a quick or entertaining question. What do you think of that tip?
Comment or Like a New Follower
When you notice you have a new follower, do your research. Do you like the posts? Is this a person or business you want to know better? Might this person or business be a potential customer or client? If so, follow them back and even comment on a few posts. Acknowledging a follower in such a way garners additional interest and increased loyalty; engage with those who engage with you on Instagram to bump up activity and interactions.
Respond to Comments
Nobody wants their comments ignored, either in real life or on Instagram. Take the time to recognize legitimate follower comments and always respond promptly. Granted, the more followers and commenters, the harder to keep up with this practice. However, ensure you reciprocate engagement on Instagram as much as possible; keep up your end of the conversation, so they will keep commenting!
Interestingly, posts that include location tags see 79% more engagement on Instagram. Adding locations in our posts and client posts has brought more engagement to our accounts. And, we find this especially true for locally-based businesses. A pretty easy tip to tackle, right? Start adding location ASAP!
Experiment with Contests
Contests and giveaways serve as fantastic tactics to generate buzz and boost engagement on Instagram. No doubt you’ve seen a few in your social media journey, and you’ve probably even entered a couple, right?. Experiment with different types of contests or giveaways to get your followers talking and to attract new followers. Wondering where to start? We like HubSpot’s 10-step guide to help you get going.
Insert Link in Bio
Often, posts on Instagram point to stories on a blog or other media. Try adding a link to that longer content source in your bio, and indicating in your post “see link in bio.” The more you share with your followers, either directly on Instagram or through linked assets with a deeper dive on the content, the more willing they will be to trust you and engage with you. However, do remember to change the link to each new post!
Try Instagram Stories
Have you taken Instagram Stories for a spin yet? Stories allow you another way to reach your followers and encourage engagement on Instagram. We have also found that sometimes a post won’t show up in the regular feed, but a story shows up in the story feed. So, adding stories along with your regular posts increases the opportunity to show up and, subsequently, increase follower engagement.
Consider an Auto Like Bot
To quickly ramp up the number of followers and, hopefully, subsequent engagement based on our other tips, consider an auto like bot. While different services target different items, you set your auto like strategy based on the types of followers you wish to attract: by location or by hashtag. Note that your hashtag strategy needs to be carefully considered and refined regularly; you want hashtags where your potential customers and clients hang out, but those hashtags might not be the ones in their own posts. It’s tricky! Once your strategy is set, the bot then goes to work and likes accounts for you. The more you like and follow other accounts, the more they will like and follow you.
Take a look at RoboLike, an easy-to-use auto bot for both Instagram and Twitter engagement. Keep in mind; we don’t recommend using bots that automatically comment; they often leave awkward comments on posts.
Do you use any of these tactics, or others, to increase your Instagram engagement? What are your best practices to get your followers commenting and interacting with you? We’d love to hear!
Posted on April 30, 2017 by
You’re feeling accomplished having updated your FAQ, started a blog or written an awesome case study. But, where do you put that content? Let’s strategically consider website ranking and the best place to add new content to impact your SEO efforts and be found. You see, where you place your new material on your website could be just as important as the new information itself—especially if you want readers to find that content easily and consider your brand.
We often have discussions with clients about exactly this topic: where to place fresh resources to optimize for search. A few options exist, but the best placement of that new material depends on your goals for that new content and how—and how quickly—you want it to be seen and impact your SEO and overall website ranking.
It may be helpful to start with a review of how new content affects your SEO. Kent wrote a post on How Blogging Helps Your Site Rank last year, which will give you a foundation for understanding the basis of this discussion on website ranking.
Next, let’s pick an example of new content you may add to your website. In this example, we’ll use a blog. We see two types of blogs:
When publishing a blog as part of your website, you may consider two blog placements:
Remember that even though both of these URLs appear to have the same domain, the subdomain is actually a totally different website. Back to the question about the goals of the new content. Assuming your new content applies to your main brand and you intend for it to gain traffic and aid website ranking and domain authority as quickly as possible, then the preference is to place the new material in a subdirectory on your main domain.
New and fresh content in an existing structure yields faster growth of page and domain authority—and, ultimately, traffic—because that authority and website ranking doesn’t have to start from scratch as it would with a new website as in the case of a subdomain. As well, you want to pass as much link authority to a page as you can, and new pages on existing web structures experience a waterfall effect from the homepage and other existing pages and links. Furthermore, additional content and links within an existing structure boost link juice, or website ranking power; in order to achieve 100% of the value of the links from the blog, FAQ or other material, the pages should become a part of the main domain. If a blog is placed on a subdomain, then the link juice from blog posts pointing back into the main domain may not carry as much authority due the the newness of the site.
Our own experience and tracking at Roaring Pajamas informs this view and is validated by SEO tools such as TrustRank, MozRank and MajesticSEO. These SEO tools use different graphs and methods to show the level of trust a website will garner based on inbound links. And, all indicate that links within a main domain tend to be more valuable for website ranking purposes.
Now, in certain cases it may be advantageous to post new information on a subdomain. For example, if your new blog is branded differently than your main website or if the new content is part of a new brand or new product launch. Placing your new, and newly branded, resources on the main website may cause confusion. However, placement of that content on a subdomain helps separate the new branding and content from the established branding and content. The website ranking and SEO on this subdomain won’t grow as quickly, as it won’t be able to ride the main site’s accumulated value and traffic coattails. But, this structure achieves a desired differentiation.
Here’s an analogy we like to use to make this concept more tangible. Say you are adding on to your house. You may go about this in a few ways. Bumping out a portion of the main house to add a bathroom is fairly easy in the scheme of things: you add new elements, but tap into the existing structure’s plumbing, electrical and other items. This allows you to move relatively quickly and the concept is similar to adding new content to a main domain in a subdirectory. If, however, you want to build a guest house in the backyard, you must start from scratch. You need to create a new foundation and run all new plumbing and electrical to build your guest house. Naturally, this takes longer and will be a separate site—just like adding new content to a subdomain.
Does our house analogy help to explain our case? We understand the temptation to build out and place new content on your website as quickly as possible. However, our experience and the proof from the SEO tools we use tell us to slow down and think. Strategically considering the best placement of your fresh content based on the goals of that content and your site yields the best results. After all, new content, website ranking and traffic are completely interrelated!
Posted on April 9, 2017 by
Recognizing the value of—and for—businesses, Instagram has recently launched increasingly more functionality and insights for business. Instagram for Business, which debuted about 10 months ago, allows a business to switch to, or create, a business profile and then leverage insights and other tools within the application. Here’s the lowdown on some of the capabilities available to businesses on Instagram.
Switching from a traditional account to an Instagram business profile allows an organization to include business and contact information on a profile, such as a phone number, an email address and physical address. This profile detail makes it easier for people to verify that a profile belongs to an actual business and to reach out and touch someone directly from the app.
Note that to upgrade, a business must also have a Facebook Page and connect the two profiles; the business contact information will be imported from the business’ Facebook Page (but the information is editable once in Instagram).
Has your business upgraded to a business profile yet? If not, check out Instagram’s blog post on how to create a business account and get going and reap the rewards!
Once a business upgrades to the the enhanced business profile, it is afforded all the scoop: new insights and analytics on posts and stories are available through Instagram’s Business Tools. Insights include data such as:
Additionally, insights on stories include such deets as:
Powerful, useful data on how followers engage with a business! According to Instagram: By viewing these insights, you can learn how to create more relevant content that resonates with your audience. At Roaring Pajamas, we love to dig into these statistics and use them to inform what, how and when we post.
Instagram business profiles also offer users the opportunity to easily turn high-performing posts into Instagram ads directly from the app. This feature allows a business to connect with even more potential followers and customers faster than ever before. According to Instagram, to take advantage of this feature, “simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.” Easy, right?
Note that a business needs a Facebook ad account and a Facebook Page to run ads on Instagram.
And, finally, announced just at the end of March, Instagram’s starting to up it’s shopping game! Instagram invited about 20 business to test out shopping functionality last year. Some of the business trial users included J. Crew, Warby Parker, Kate Spade, Macy’s and MVMT Watches. Perhaps you noticed? Turns out, the trial proved successful and now Instagram announced it is expanding the program to many more additional brands in the apparel, jewelry and beauty worlds. In addition to rolling out the shopping capability to more businesses on Instagram, the platform improved usability for brands to more easily tag shoppable products and decipher how well shoppable posts perform.
Now, when an Instagram user taps on a tag on a shoppable post, the user will access these key pieces of information to help him or her shop an item:
How long have we been waiting for this bit of awesomeness?
Is your business up and running with Instagram for Business? Are you leveraging the insights and power of Instagram’s Business Tools? Are you in a space that can now leverage shopping on Instagram? We’d love to hear what you think and what you are doing. And, as always, keep an eye on our blog. We promise to keep you up to speed on all the most social media, SEO and marketing news for your business.← Older posts