How can you increase your organic reach on Instagram? Here are the 10 powerful tools to help you reach your audience with Instagram. Use them all or use some of them for your business. Regardless, make Instagram a part of your social marketing strategy so you are not missing out on your target audience whom today are very mobile.
1. Find your optimal posting times
Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still important. It is a factor in the algorithm. Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.
If you are using a Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day. To access your Instagram Insights (link to Instagram analytics post), tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon () on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:
2. Experiment with videos
Studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be! On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos! It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.
Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.
3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement
Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. Hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage your followers. Some of the call-to-actions you can do are:
Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below
To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media!
What’s on your reading list this week? Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team!
While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts. Try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.
4. Curate user-generated content
Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.
Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.
5. Tell Instagram Stories
Typically, 63 percent of marketers use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded! Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds. It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm. Spend the time to create cool stories and make them shine!
6. Go live on Instagram
A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.
Going Live though can have a weird effect on your content. A reason might be your brand is in front of your fans more often so the fans might go to your page to see your content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video. This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.
7. Use Instagram ads
This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.
If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!
So which post should you promote?
Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:
Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
For the third filter, select “7 days”.
You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.
8. Post less
If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.
I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.
Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.
9. Create specifically for Instagram
One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.
For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Cross posting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.
10. Be a great Instagram user
Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks. My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:
Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
Answering questions on your posts quickl
Thanking people for commenting on your posts
Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them
I hope this has been of some value to you and if you have any questions always feel free to reach out to us. Have a good one!
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Video Marketing has become increasingly important for small businessesof all sizes. And YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for posting and sharing those videos.
If you have a YouTube channel for your small business, or are thinking of starting one, here are 20 ideas for type of content you can post. Hope you enjoy them!
Video Ideas for YouTube
If your business is a product-based one, you can use YouTube as a platform for highlighting specific products such as widgets, bar glasses, Tiki patio furniture..
Then when your business comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features.
Video can be a great way to show your products in action. This is especially relevant for products like video games. PlayStation often posts game play videos for the games available on its device. Locally you can do the same with your proucts.
If your product is something that might require a bit of an explanation, you might also consider creating videos aimed at simply explaining it to beginners. This can help them get acquainted enough with your offering to gain interest.
You can also create videos that compare multiple products to help your customers make more informed choices. An example would be if you sell air conditioners, you might show the difference of various sizes of the conditioners as to how many rooms it would cool. This would help your customers out!
If your business releases collections of products, like lines of clothing or similar items, you can also create videos around those releases, Say you offer a new line of home made soap here is your chance to make it a premier star out of it.
Your YouTube content can certainly be intended to inform or persuade. But don’t forget to entertain your audience as well. Lego does this with mini movies that feature some of its popular product sets. You can do it for your business as well. Having good editing software here is something I would suggest highly.
You can also share information about special offers or limited time promotions so that your YouTube viewers are constantly up-to-date with your offerings.
To create more engagement with your customers and share content that’s relevant to your audience, you can create videos that share some of your customers’ stories through interviews or similar formats. I did this for a local insurance company and it worked out well.
Behind the Scenes Videos
You can also create videos that show some behind the scenes views of your company or products. Doing a "Meet The Staff" video or "A day In The.." with one of your route drivers is another example.
When your company reaches a big milestone, or has a big accomplishment, you can create a YouTube video to celebrate and share the news!
People often watch videos to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. So you can make these helpful videos in a way that includes some of your products or services.
You can also create videos that offer simple tips on a particular subject. If you are a real estate person (and boy do we have real estate people all of a sudden here) you could do a video on tips on preparing your home for sale or showing. Tips such as painting or yard work. You get it.
Similar to how you might discuss various topics on a blog, you can create a video where you simply share your expertise or some thoughts on a particular topic. Let's say you own a gym and you do a series of videos on fitness or running. This would be a great example of discussion videos.
Video can also be a great format for showing off content from your audience, especially if you can collect clips from people as part of a contest. GoPro is one example of a company that has done this well but make sure you follow all laws before doing this.
Even if a video doesn’t directly relate to your products, it can still offer value to your target audience. Inspirational videos can sort of break up all those videos that specifically relate to your products or services. Assist a non-profit for example and shoot some video be kind and don't make a big commercial about yourself out of it.
If you create enough video content regularly, you can turn it into a web series. Red Bull does this with some of the behind the scenes content it shoots with various extreme sports stars as an example.
You can also partner with influencers relevant to your audience and ask them to star in your videos as a way of creating quality content and growing your audience. Examples would be factory reps or distributor reps that you buy your products from for re-sale.
On or around holidays, you can also make special videos intended to show some festive spirit and have some fun, We had a blast making a bunch of these for some of our customers last year. Yes, you can get them done professionally if you wish.
You can also simply have some fun with your audience by posting funny commercials or other video content on your YouTube channel. Brevard County Sheriff's Office has been getting thousands of hits and national publicity doing these while bringing up awareness on crime protection and safety.
I hope you enjoy these tips and if our company can be of any assistance to you in getting you started, please call or email us. We are YouTube certified partners and we can help you with that next video project as well.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Small Business Websites Need To Shine To Compete With The Big Boys! Is Your Site Ready For That Big Challange?
Consumers know what they want, and when it comes to visiting a small business’ website, they expect the same experience they would get from a larger chain.
If website visitors don’t get that experience—whether because the site doesn’t provide simple information like an address or business hours, or because it has a poor mobile experience—then they are left with a bad impression.
March 2017 research from Vistaprint Digital found that roughly half of US internet users surveyed said they would most likely be left with a bad impression if a small-business website had outdated contact information.
And almost as many respondents said they would have a bad impression of a site that provided no address, directions or business hours.
A poor mobile user interface, difficult fonts and an unprofessional design were other factors cited by respondents.
Surprisingly, some small-business websites are still not mobile.
A separate survey from Yodle, conducted by Research Now, found that four in 10 US small businesses don’t have a mobile-optimized site.
Ultimately, a bad impression—like that from a poor mobile site—can affect whether or not consumers make a purchase.
In fact, nearly 60% of respondents surveyed by Vistaprint said they would be less likely to purchase something from a small business based on a bad impression of its website.
If you are a small business and need help with your website, feel free to reach out to us!
FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC
Over the last few years, Facebook has quickly risen to become a powerhouse video destination, with its top ten publishers pulling in billions of viewers each month but just exactly why is that the case? Scientifically, is there a reason Facebook users, and even Instagram users, are attracted to video content when they’re on the site?
Facebook IQ recently conducted a study with some overseas users and found that they watched video content 5X more than any other content posted. Facebook’s study derives from a lab experiment where people’s eye movements and facial expressions were tracked as they scrolled through their personal feeds; this was followed up by interviews about the role video played in each participant’s’ life. The 114 participants were aged 18-30 and watched short-form (under ten minutes) online video content and ads at least once a month. Facebook IQ also enlisted Kantar Media to conduct a study of 1,999 people from two overseas countries who were over 18 years of age and who watched short-form video content monthly. The goal of this study was to try to gauge the content consumption of the participants and analyze related viewing trends.
Facebook claims five key factors have attributed to the increased popularity of online video viewing, which include “smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.” Taking all these into consideration, video publishers on the social platform (and its related photo- and video-sharing app Instagram) should consider the following strategies if they want to reach video watchers.
Focus on mobile content.
Most of the millennials in Facebook’s study prefer watching video content on mobile instead of on a desktop. Cater to this preference by developing mobile-optimized clips which users won’t be able to resist clicking on when the content shows up in their feeds.
Harness the power of Instagram.
Facebook IQ discovered that across all surveyed, video on Instagram resulted in 1.80x higher levels of joy than the same content posted on other platforms. Video publishers who want to incite action and brand loyalty should therefore consider posting more clips to their Instagram accounts.
Keep content short.
With shorter attention spans contributing to the rise of online video, video publishers need to make sure their own content on Facebook and Instagram is digestible and impactful, so that it not only captures the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds but also relays brand messaging or key points at the very beginning of the video.
Try new video formats.
Based on the idea that novelty is a key factor to online video’s growth and success, Facebook IQ suggests publishers experiment with new video formats. For example, the recent study of the overseas participants were found to look at 360-degree video 40% longer than regular video content; these respondents also reported a level of joy 1.40x higher than joy from standard video.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC