How to Follow Hashtags on Instagram

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At the end of last year, Instagram announced a new feature that allows users to follow hashtags on their Instagram page, the same idea as following a friend. Find out how you can now follow specific hashtags and get the top posts for that hashtag to appear in your main feed. 

How Do You Follow a Hashtag?

When you find the specific hashtag you want to follow, simply click the hashtag to navigate the dedicated page for it. You can also type in a hashtag you'd like to follow in the search tab, then select "Tags" underneath it. 

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Once you're in the hashtag's gallery page, tap the "Follow" button underneath its name to begin following that hashtag. You'll now see content in your Instagram feed and Stories (if any).

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Instagram will then curate your feed with the incoming content depending on how you interact with them and by what Instagram thinks you're interested in (that algorithm!). One downside of this feature is that hashtags can have multiple meanings. This means that you may see posts that you don't want to see. Fortunately, you can easily tap the ellipsis (3 dots next to the post) and choose the "Don't Show for This Hashtag" option or simply unfollow the hashtag.

Why Should Your Business Follow Instagram Hashtags?

The ability to follow hashtags gives marketers another way to reach new audiences, expand your brand messaging, and keep a close eye on competitors in your industry.

1. Follow competitors - If your competitor tends to use a certain hashtag, or even better, has created their own personal hashtag for their business, you can follow their hashtag without them receiving a notification that you’re following.

2. Keep up with trends and industry topics - In addition to following industry-specific blogs, thought leaders, and news magazines, you can now follow what’s hot in your industry by following various industry hashtags. A few popular ones are #digitalmarketing, #webdesign, #emailmarketing, and #SEO.

3. Follow the events - Attending a tradeshow, conference or event and want to keep up with what’s happening? Follow the event hashtag!

While advertising won’t be connected to the hashtags you follow, marketers will undoubtedly want to target consumers based on the interests they are passionate enough to bring into their main feed.

How to Manage an Event on Social Media

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One of the biggest advantages of social media event marketing is how much it can increase awareness, engagement and attendance without having to dedicate too much time or breaking the bank.

Here are some tips on how to make your event a successful one using social media.

Before the Event

Studies by EventBrite and other large event management companies show that just as many people are talking about the event before it happens as they are during it. This means that you have a lot of time to work your way into the conversation and make sure that your targeted audience is talking about your event. There are countless ways to do this, but here are some suggestions.

  1. Post often about any event details to make sure that those who want to attend know when and where to get tickets, wristbands, etc. If there are registration dates or giveaways, make sure your followers know exactly when they are!

  2. Reveal special guests, surprises or headliners in creative ways. This adds anticipation around the event. Also, countdowns are a great way to get people excited about the event. This will also help to increase shares and conversation around the content of the event.

  3. Share behind-the-scenes pictures, interviews and info about what's happening before the event. Sharing this kind of insight will make fans feel like insiders and entice them to share their excitement with their friends on social media.

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During the Event

Making an event social media friendly is a great way to ensure that people will continue engaging on social media while they are at the event.

  1. Continue with behind-the-scenes posts. This inside look shouldn't end with just setting up for the event. Show speakers and performers getting ready, perform behind-the-scenes interviews or live performances to attendees. Your followers will love getting a better idea of what to expect during the event to make them feel like an insider!
     
  2. Invest in a photo-booth. Make sure the photo-booth details are perfect, like the background of the booth and the accessories used in the booth. People will share their fun photos from the booth which will increase brand awareness of your event as well as show its success. 
     
  3. Create a Snapchat Geofilter. Everyone loves to use Snapchat Geofilters to show their friends where they are and what they're doing. This is a surefire way to increase brand awareness and reach during and after the event. 

After the event

What event attendees are saying after your event might be just as important as what they said before and during the event. This is especially true if the event is reoccurring.  Here are a few tips to inrease attendee engagement after the show is over.

  1. Respond to feedback. Share any positive feedback but also respond to the negative feedback as well. If someone tweets something that could be improved, let them know you appreciate their attendance and that their opinion is important to you.

  2. Share press coverage. This is an opportunity to brag of the accomplishments of your event. Was your event featured in the local or national media? Continue the conversation about your event and get people excited for the next one by posting those articles or media mentions.

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Need help with planning or promoting your next big event? Contact us to see how we can make your event a success!

How to View Insights From Your Instagram Stories

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If you are using Instagram business profile and want an easy way track the data behind your Stories, a feature right on the platform can help! Insights give users the ability to review analytics, optimize story posts, and increase your brand's visibility right in the platform! Find out how to take advantage of this valuable data below. 

Haven't converted your account to a Business Profile?

Here's how:

  1. Make sure your profile is set to Public -- you cannot make the switch with a private account
  2. Go to your profile and tap the gear shift icon
  3. Tap Switch to Business Profile
  4. When prompted, select the Facebook Page you'd like to associate with your Business Profile with. If you don't have a Page, you will get the option to create one. 
  5. Review and edit any contact information on the Set Up Your Business Profile page, and tap Done.

Now, you'll now have access to Instagram Insights.

View Insights from your Instagram Stories

It's no secret that Instagram Stories have become an essential tool for brands to add some authenticity to their content. While 300 million people are consuming Stories, you need to know what's working and how your audience is reacting to those Stories.

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First, tap the Insights icon on the top right of your Instagram business profile. Scroll down to the Stories section and you'll be able to see data for older stories, or from ones that have not yet expired. Insights from your Stories will be available for up to 14 days after they're created. Next, we'll dive into each specific Insight you can explore. 
 

Impressions & Daily Reach

Impressions represent how many times your Story has been seen. Keep in mind that Instagram only counts your entire Story having received one impression even if you have multiple photos or videos added. Reach tells you how many unique users saw your story on any given day. A good indicator that your Story is performing well is a high impressions-to-reach ratio.
 

Taps Forward / Taps Back

Taps Forward indicate the number of times someone taps to skip to the next piece of Stories content. This can represent that either your content (video) is too lengthy or the content isn't engaging. Taps Backward indicate the number of times your audience taps to go back to a piece of Stories content. This may be a reflection that your media was engaging enough for someone to view again, or maybe they missed a CTA.
 

Replies

The Replies insight reflects the number of times your audience sends messages through the "Send Message" text box on your Story. These DM's are associated with your story and hang out in your DM inbox, making it a great time to engage with users.
 

Swipe Away / Exits

Swipe Away indicates the number of times a user swipes to skip to the next account's Story, not to be confused with 'tap forward' which skips to the next piece of your content. Exits represent the number of times someone leaves the Stories section entirely to return to their feed. This means a user has decided not to make it all the way through your Story. 

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Have questions about setting up a Business Page on Instagram? Shoot us an email! We're here to help!

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5 Tips to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

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1. Choose the Right Profile Picture & Background Image

In many cases, aesthetics plays a tremendous role in what kind of connection approaches and communicates with you. For your profile photo, use a recent headshot that is front-facing and shows off those pearly whites. Attire should match the people in your target company and industry.

According to Entrepreneur your LinkedIn has 11 times more chance to get viewed if you add a background photo to your personal profile. This photo should grab people's attention and show a little more about what matters to you. If you want to include text in your image, your safest bet is to include it in the top middle portion of your background image. 

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2. Write an Awesome Headline

Use this section to give a bigger picture of who you are and what you do. Who do you help? Who can you help? Position yourself for the clients that YOU want and be the solution to people searching for your services. Include CTAs and contact info - Add your website URL and tell people why they should visit your website.

3. Join Groups

Joining a LinkedIn Group can help you connect with your customers and generate leads for your company, especially if you choose groups where your target market or audience regularly visit. It also shows people that you are making a concerted effort to meet new people. Another benefit of joining groups is that you'll be able to show off your own knowledge and expertise.

Pro tip: When asking to connect with someone, use "we've done business together" rather than "friend". And be sure to personalize any requests to connect with people.

4. Showcase Your Professional Skills

Highlight your skills in your LinkedIn profile just as you would on your resume. Make sure to order the top skills you want to be recognized for, so it's easy to catch the attention of potential recruiters or future partners. This section also provides a platform for others to endorse you. Endorsements from other members increase your credibility and identify connections that genuinely value you. 

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5. Post Relevant Content (and often)

Clean up any questionable content and make your profile more attractive. Convey positiveness in what you post and do it daily if possible. Establish yourself as an authority by posting your own blog posts as well as others from relevant topics. Remaining active on the platform can create engaging conversations to spark communication with like-minded people.

Pro tip: Publish unique content that's never been done before. Be authentic and write as yourself so that it matches your profile and personality. Make sure to add images, video or documents to help with SEO.

4 New & Useful Tools for Social Media Marketers in 2018

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Are you looking for new tools to add to your arsenal? Whether you need them for account management, automation, analytics, or to just enhance your social media presence and investment, it's never a bad idea to learn about the tools available.

Stay ahead of the curve and check out this list of the best new social media tools to try this year.

Fastory

Fastory is a user-friendly platform where brands and marketers can design full-screen mobile stories, integrating immersive and impactful content. Users can publish these stories on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media marketing campaigns.

Create your story with 3 easy steps:

  1. Choose a layout and animation for your text
  2. Upload a photo or video
  3. Add your logo

When you're ready to publish, you will receive an email containing your exported story in several videos or pictures. Save the files to your camera roll and create your story in the platform of your choosing.

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Adobe Premiere Clip

Adobe Premiere Clip delivers a basic set of video-editing features with an easy-to-use interface. With the free video creation app (available for iOS and Android users) you can drag and drop clips into the order you like, trim the parts you want to delete, and adjust lighting, transitions, and effects -- right on your mobile device. Check out this example HERE.

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Tagwin

Tagwin is a great tool for running contests and giveaways on Instagram without having to manually track the logistics that go into it. Forget wasting time with spreadsheets, using random number generators to choose winners, etc. 

With Tagwin, you can require a follow on your account to enter, create entries based on your Instagram followers, or require a like or a comment on a specific post. This is how it works:

  • Authenticate with the Instagram API.
  • Select an entry mechanics: post to a hashtag, follow your account, comment on a post, like a post.
  • Choose a winner selection method: random draw or judging.
  • Launch your contest.
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MetaShort

MetaShort is a productivity tool that allows users to change the social media appearance of links. More often than not, link previews you want to share on social media are not customizable. With MetaShort, you can show your audience what they want to see. 

You can adjust how your Facebook and Twitter (and more) posts look by changing the link title, description, image and more in just a few clicks. Simply enter your URL on the MetaShort site and it will offer you several options to edit. 

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3 Facebook Ads That Will Bring Customers Back

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With over 1,300 targeting options, multiple types of campaigns, and over 2 billion users, it's easy to see why creating Facebook ads can get a little overwhelming. Here are a few ways to use Facebook ads to bring back customers to your website or app. 

1. Lead Generation Ads

With this ad unit, Facebook makes the process of collecting email addresses fairly easy. People can simply tap your ad and a form pops up that is auto-populated with your contact information from Facebook, making it more likely for a customer to follow through.

For example, BMW used lead ads to make it easier for customers to inquire and test drive the perfect BMW. They saw a 56% reduction in cost per lad using this ad unit while providing an easy-to-use customer experience.

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2. Dynamic Product Ads

Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) allows marketers to promote products to people that show interest, whether or not they've been to your site or app. DPA uses behavioral information taken with Facebook Pixel to determine which product to feature in your Facebook ads. 

To get started, simply upload your product catalog and set up your campaign one time. The ad will continue finding the right people for each product as long as you want and will automatically use up-to-date pricing and availabilty. 

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3. Abandoned Cart Ads

These ads typically offer an incentive if the person returns to complete their purchase. In 2017, 75.6% of online shoppers abandoned their carts. That's a large number of people (and money) that you are missing out on. 

Thankfully, with retargeting you can run a highly personalized Facebook ad targeting these individuals. Design your ads to have these extra draws by placing 10% off offers if they come back and finish their purchase or offering free shipping. To introduce yourself to cart recovery retargeting on Facebook, we suggest you set up an abandoned cart recovery ad today and monitor it for a week.

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5 Tips For Recording Video From Your Smartphone

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Today, the smartphone right in your pocket can be incredibly helpful when it comes to capturing any moment in action. With a little practice and these tips, you can start recording quick, engaging videos for social media, all from your phone. 

Landscape or Portrait?

When choosing how you'll be filming, you first need to consider where you plan to post the video. If you're posting videos to Snapchat or Instagram 'Stories,' you'll want to record in portrait orientation. This is also common practice when recording yourself and posting on Facebook and Instagram as this format also looks best on mobile (where the majority of people are watching video).

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It's All About The Lighting

Without good lighting, especially on a smartphone, the quality of your video will suffer. With that said, the best source of lighting is your friend, mother nature. But if you're indoors, try to have as many light sources as possible. PRO TIP: Set up your camera so that light comes from behind it to avoid overexposure and lens flare.

Nice and Steady

Keeping your smartphone camera steady is crucial for the best quality video. If you prefer stationary shots, consider using a tripod for the ultimate steady and clear photo. Don't have a tripod? Improvise! Try to find something to support your smartphone on, such as a railing or table. If you're all about mobility and taking quick shots when the moment is right, release the shutter only when your hands are steady. 

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Crop (Don't Zoom)

Our smartphone cameras are equipped with some awesome features at our disposal, but the zoom function is one we shouldn't use. Why? Unfortunately, our phones don't have fancy lenses. Instead, smartphone cameras use a digital zoom that essentially guesses the details of the image and reducing the quality dramatically. Instead of zooming in, move the camera closer, or just crop your enlarged photo later. 

Keep it Short

SQUIRRELL! Whether it's due to a short attention span or not, video needs to get to its point quicker than ever. Studies reveal that videos have just 10 seconds to grab an audience without a dropoff in engagement. Twitter videos are capped at 30 seconds, Instagram at 60-second maximum and Snapchat videos are capped at 10 seconds. So do your best to keep them short, sweet, and to the point.

3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business

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Use Links in Stories to Increase Website Traffic

As marketers, links can provide value and context to a story that can benefit you and the viewer. Fortunately, Instagram allows users to embed links to a Stories collection (if you have a business profile with over 10,000 followers). 

If you're promoting products or services, Instagram Stories is a great place to share clickable links to capitalize on the engagement. You can send your followers to a specific landing page, product page, or even a blog post. Make sure to add a call-to-action letting people know to swipe up to drive more traffic to your website.

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Use Polls in Instagram Stories

Instagram Story Polls lets you ask a question and see results from your friends and followers as they vote. The buttons "YES" and "NO" by default, can be customized to anything under 22 to create a fun way to engage with your followers. Maybe you're introducing a new summer line and want quick feedback. With Polls, you can collect insight into what your target audience wants in a product or service prior to launch. You can see your poll results by swiping up to open the viewer's list for that part of your story. And just like Stories, your poll will dissapear after 24 hours.

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Share Live Videos on Instagram Stories

Before a recent update, live videos couldn't be replayed after you were done streaming, meaning followers had to be tuned in to your broadcast to catch it. Now, you can share the replay of your video one you've finished. 

The best part of a live video? They can be as long as they want so you can say even more to get your message across without having to explain it in 10-second clips. It's a great way to give your followers a first look at special events, promotions, or any other important information. Going live alerts your followers so that engagement and interaction are as high as possible. This is a great time to answer questions and comments about your brand, product, or services from users tuning in. 

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The Best Facebook and Instagram Hacks of 2017

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If you're a marketer, keeping up with the latest social media changes can sometimes be overwhelming. That's why we've come up with the best social media hacks that we've tried and tested to keep your content fresh on many social media platforms. 

Facebook

Turn post likes and reactions into fans

Need a quick way to increase your Pages like's and organic reach? This trick can help your page fanbase grow with just a little bit of effort. 

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  1. Click on the likes of a post on your Page
  2. A window will pop-up(like above) where you can individually invite people to like your page that already hasn't

Post at the best times

Find out when more of your fans are online in the Insights areas behind your page. 

  1. Click Posts on the left side of your Page
  2. Then click the When Your Fans Are Online tab
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Search past posts by keyword

Want to see how a previous post performed? Or maybe you just need to see if it has been posted before already. 

  1. On your Business Page, click Publishing Tools
  2. Then click Published Posts on the left side tab and type in any keyword into the search feed
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This is also a great way to compare reach, engagement, and times they've been posted.

Instagram

Hide posts you don't want to be seen

An easy way to clean up and remove posts from your Instagram gallery without completely deleting them is by archiving. The best part, you can retrieve any archived posts at any time. To do this:

  1. Open the photo from your gallery that you want to archive
  2. Click the three dots at the top right of the post
  3. Press archive and voila, it won't be seen until you unarchive it. 

Automatically save all your Instagram stories

Instagram allows you to automatically save your published stories to your camera roll so you can find them and share them later on. To save every story:

  1. Open the Instagram Stories camera
  2. Press the settings button in the top left corner
  3. Swipe the "Auto Save Stories" to on

Post Multiple Images

Stop overwhelming your followers with multiple posts, one photo at a time. Blue dots at the bottom of a photo lets your followers know that they can swipe to see more images or videos. To do this:

  1. Tap the first image you want to add
  2. Tap the Select Multiple icon on the bottom right of the image
  3. Select up to 10 photos and videos from your phone's library
  4. Next, you can crop/edit/filter/reorder your images and videos
  5. Tag an Instagram user or location
  6. Tap share
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5 Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

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As we draw closer to the end of 2017, it's time to look at what the new year has to bring to the social media marketing landscape.

With the innovation of technology in 2017, we saw trends like AI, chatbots, and augmented reality become new ways for brands to get their message across. We also saw social media platforms continue to exceed expectations, proven by these statistics:

  • 2.56 billion global mobile social media users - with 1 million new active users added every day (Source: We Are Social).
  • More than 50 million small businesses use Facebook Pages to connect with their customers (Source: Facebook).
  • Nearly 71% of the population that benefits from good social media service tend to be evangelists for a brand (Source: Ambassador). 

With that said, here are a few trends to keep an eye on for social media in 2018:

1. More Mobile-Compatible Content

According to comScore's 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, mobile apps account for 60 percent of all digital media usage, and smartphone apps alone capture more than half of digital media time spent. One can only guess what the top mobile app is. Yes, it's Facebook.

While it's important for an ad to be seen, it's even more critical that it is compatible with mobile and formatted for the best user experience. As such, we'll see more brands creating content specifically for smartphones.

2. Video, Video, Video

In 2017, marketers found out the importance of video content across all channels. While YouTube remains the king of video content, Facebook videos receive 135% more organic views in comparison to photos AND video views are on the rise on Twitter and Instagram -- What's not to like about that!? 

As static visuals continue to decrease in engagement, videos present a better way for brands to tell a story and connect with users, so we expect this trend to continue into 2018. 

3. Influencer Marketing

While the concept isn't that new, social media influencers gained a whole lot of popularity in 2017 to help increase reach and brand reputation. As companies and brands begin to realize the importance of authentic content, this is a strategy we can watch out for in the coming year. 

4. Live Content & Stories

Live streaming and stories were a huge hit in 2017, providing marketers with new content to create for the masses. These features saw upwards of 200 million+ in viewership daily and were included on premier platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. 

Live content showed us it's ability to get followers excited and engaged as more brands leveraged this strategy to do product demonstrations and show videos of real people using them. Expect more brands to add fun and engaging stories and live streams to their content next year. 

5. Augmented Reality

What is Augmented Reality?

AR is a technology that transforms your current environment by adding digital information to your line of sight (think, Pokemon GO & Snapchat hotdog filter). 

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AR has recently gained more popularity as bigger brands like Apple, Snapchat, and Facebook begin to create their own AR products to stay ahead of the game. For social media use, brands like Estée Lauder invites users to try out different shades of lipstick from wherever you are, through LipArtist, a Facebook Messenger bot. Find the shade you like? You can then proceed to the brand's website to make a purchase. 

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What other trends should marketers be thinking about as they prepare for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below!