Starting out on Instagram can be a disheartening experience. Even with the flood of users accessing it every day, attracting new followers can feel like an agonizingly slow drip.

Don’t despair, though. With the right approach, you can turn your luck around. This article will give you 50 tips to help boost your follower count in no time.

1. Improve your Instagram experience with SocialMeep.

SocialMeep is the leading platform in Instagram automation. With its sophisticated artificial intelligence, it can target and interact with real users for you. This takes the workload off your hands, and will bring you rapid and organic growth.

2. Follow other users.

You can’t expect people to follow you if you don’t do the same for others. Use the Explore tab to find accounts whose personalities and interests align with your brand. Don’t hesitate in following users who don’t have many followers. They might appreciate the attention. There’s also a list of “Suggested Users,” which you can find by clicking the icon in the upper right on your profile and choosing “Find and invite friends.”

3. Give out likes and comments.

Feel free to like as many posts as you want. Give them to anything that catches your eye, or to any user who you think might enjoy your brand. Furthermore, leave a positive comment on these posts as well. Compliment them on their photography skills, or their choice of subject. You might just make somebody’s day and earn a follower in return.

4. Have conversations.

If somebody leaves a thoughtful comment on your post, you should write a reply back to them. Instagram is a social platform first and foremost. It thrives on connecting people and fostering meaningful interactions. So, get out there and make some friends!

5. Use hashtags.

Hashtags are an absolute necessity on Instagram. Without them, nobody would be able to find your posts if they didn’t already know your username. Hashtags are the primary way of searching for content.

Take a look at the most popular hashtags on any given day. Consider which ones you could contribute to in a relevant way. You can add up to 30 hashtags to a single post, although I wouldn’t suggest going any higher than a dozen. You don’t want your captions to get cluttered. Take it one step further and use a smart Instagram Bot to automatically engage with users within your target hashtag audience and convert them into followers. 

6. Create branded hashtags.

If you have enough followers, you could get your own hashtags trending. Just ask them to add the tag to their content. Doing this will extend your reach out further than before. You can also connect the hashtags to any campaigns you are currently running.

7. Make high-quality content.

Content should be your primary focus on Instagram. It is the key to gaining followers. If you aren’t putting out visually pleasing photos and videos, then you won’t get anywhere on the platform. Socializing isn’t enough. You need to put in the time, money, and resources to make your content look professional.

8. Develop a recognizable style.

Your aesthetics should reflect your brand’s identity. Think about what you want to convey with your content.

Are you serious and committed to your customers? Relaxed and fun-loving? Humorous and irreverent?

You can communicate these things through the compositions and colors of your content. This will give viewers a better understanding of the brand while viewing your page. If they like the image that you project, then you might win them over as a follower.

9. Light your photos well.

There are too many poorly lit photos on Instagram. Some are downright incomprehensible in how dark they are. Avoid this by making sure that your photos are bright enough to be clear. Just make sure that you don’t overcompensate and wash it out with too much light. This is where Instagram editing apps can really make you shine.

10. Feature faces often.

According to recent studies, people tend to enjoy pictures more if they have faces in them. In fact, Instagram posts with faces tend to get 38% more likes than those without. This makes sense when you think about it. Our brains are hardwired to recognize faces and interpret their expressions. So when somebody is browsing through a feed, faces are more likely to stand out to them.

11. Write fitting captions.

Don’t neglect the captions section of your posts. Some brands do the bare minimum with them, which is a mistake. A good caption can complement your content and even enhance it. The most impactful captions either provide contextual information, entertain the viewers, or provoke thoughts and feelings.

12. Ask viewers questions.

Instagram is filled with people who want to be seen and heard. One way you can provide this to your audience is by asking them questions. You can solicit their personal opinions and preferences, or get their thoughts on the direction on your content. Who knows, they might even provide some valuable insight that you could use in the future.

13. Post frequently.

If you aren’t active on Instagram, then not enough people will be able to discover your account. Try to post at least a couple times each day. Be sure to space out your posts if you post more than that, though. You don’t want to dump all of your content at once and clog people’s feeds.

14. Post at the right times.

Another thing to keep in mind is the times at which you are posting. Some studies have shown that posting at 5 p.m. and 2 a.m. EST tended to yield the most engagement on average. However, there are some days in which other times are better. Overall it seems to vary depending on which day of the week it is.

The best thing to do here is do research and pay attention to your intended audience. Take note of when they seem to be the most active, and when they are more dormant.

15. Incorporate your username on printed materials.

If your business makes fliers, pamphlets, signs, decals, or any other physical marketing, then you might want to include your Instagram handle somewhere. All you need is some space for the Instagram logo and then your username next to it. That should be enough to guide curious viewers to your account.

16. Call your audience into action.

If you want something, then you should try asking for it. Put a call to action in your captions to encourage interaction with your posts. A CTA can be a short phrase such as “tell us your thoughts in the comments,” “tag a friend who this reminds you of,” or “visit the link in our bio for more information.”

17. Keep consistent.

Viewers enjoy consistency. They like knowing what they’re going to get before they commit to it. It also gives your brand a sense of identity and reliability.

Try to maintain a similar tone across your posts. Find an attitude that fits your brand and stick with it. Come up with unifying themes across your posts, and follow them for awhile. Think about how your content flows together as a whole.

18. Be authentic.

Authenticity is one of the most respected traits that anybody could have online. It’s easy to understand why, as the internet is filled with phonies, imposters, and scam artists. Honesty and openness feels rare in comparison.

Be truthful and sincere with your audience. Don’t pretend to be somebody that you’re not. Address criticisms and admit when you are wrong. Viewers will find this refreshing and will be more likely to follow you.

19. Make an emotional appeal.

The strongest connection you can make with a viewer is an emotional one. If you can evoke joy, sadness, awe, inspiration, or wistfulness, then you will have accomplished something noteworthy. It will make you stand out in the vast sea of boring, dry marketing around you.

20. Be a storyteller.

Storytelling is ingrained in every culture. We tell stories to communicate information, entertain audiences, and make deeper connections with others. A well-told story can captivate people and bring them back for more.

Instagram has endless opportunities to tell stories. You can tell it in a single image, or in the captions of a post. A narrative can be formed between multiple pictures, or within the span of a short video.

21. Hold contests and giveaways.

Who doesn’t like free stuff?

You can get hundreds, possibly thousands, of Instagram users to flock to your page with a contest or a giveaway. To ensure that you gain followers, you can ask them to follow your account in order to qualify. You can also ask them to use branded hashtags or like certain posts to help spread brand awareness.

22. Have limited-time sales.

What’s the next best thing after free stuff? Discounts, of course.

Occasionally holding limited-time sales is an easy way to get more followers. You could make a post with a special coupon code, or put it in an Instagram Story. The latter will disappear within 24 hours, so it gives viewers more incentive to closely monitor your activity.

23. Geotag your photos.

If you are a business with a main store or central location, then geotagging is the way to go. Any images that you tag will appear on that region’s Instagram page, and consequently will be visible to anybody from that area who visits it.

24. Tag any relevant people.

Locations aren’t the only thing that you can tag. You can also tag other Instagram users. Do this whenever it is relevant to the content of your photo, such as if you take a snapshot of an influencer at an event. This will make it show up in their feed. Hopefully they’ll share your post in return.

25. Work with influencers.

Influencers are an essential part of any marketing plan. The reason they are so effective is because people trust them. They are seen as dependable, influential people within their communities, so their opinions about brands are valued.

Find an influencer that meshes well with your brand’s image. If they have an actual passion for your products, then it will shine through. Work out a deal that benefits both parties, such as sending them products for review.

Just don’t try to control their content if you form a partnership. It’s important that they maintain their authenticity and don’t seem like “sell-outs” to their fans.

26. Host a takeover.

A takeover is a particularly fun event that you can do with an influencer. This is where you give the reigns to your account to another user for awhile. It can really spice up your content and attract lots of new visitors.

27. Exchange shoutouts for shoutouts.

You’ve probably seen the #s4s hashtag if you’ve browsed Instagram long enough. It stands for “shoutout-for-shoutout.” This means they’re looking to trade mentions with other people. You can’t really lose when you participate in a #s4s agreement. Both parties involved get exposure to each other’s follower base, which will hopefully result in a crossover between them.

28. Share user-generated content.

Sometimes you’ll see incredible content from followers that features your brand. If you’d like to share it on your page, then try asking the user for permission to do so. Most of the time they’ll likely say yes. Putting a spotlight on UGC will motivate others to make content for you, in the hope that you’ll showcase their work too.

29. Cut down on filters.

When Instagram was first introduced, filters were a staple on the platform. However, in recent years, people seem to be using them less and less. Now it’s common for most posts to have no filter at all. So consider using them less, or not at all.

30. Spend extra time on editing.

Even if you don’t use filters, it’s still a wise idea to tidy up pictures before publishing them. You want your content to look the best it possibly can. So if you need to tweak the brightness or contrast levels, or crop the photo just right, then go ahead. It’ll be worth the effort if it results in a more appealing image.

31. Give viewers a peek behind the scenes.

People are always intrigued about what goes on behind the scenes of businesses. Need proof? Check out the countless television shows and web series that cover this topic.

One of the benefits of sharing behind the scenes photos and images is that it humanizes the brand. It shows your audience that there are real people working to make the products that they own.

32. Cross-promote your Instagram on other platforms.

Are you already established on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other network? Then don’t forget to let your followers on those websites know that you’re on Instagram too. Some of them might be unaware of your account, or never thought to look up if you have one.

33. Approach everything with a plan.

It’s never advised to dive in and improvise on Instagram. In almost every case, having a clear strategy has proven to be a better idea.

Create a list of goals that you hope to achieve, starting with the smallest and most practical ones. Figure out ways to accomplish them, and come up with backup plans if something doesn’t work out. Schedule your posts weeks or months in advance if you can.

Aimlessness is the central reason why so many accounts flounder and fail to see stable growth.

34. Team up with other brands.

Not everything has to be a competition. In fact, brands tend to prosper when they pool their resources and work together.

Perhaps there’s some sort of promotion you can run cooperatively with another brand, like a charity event or fundraiser. Maybe there’s a uniquely visual way that your products connect that would make for a neat campaign. Either way, you’re sure to reach a wider audience than you would alone.

35. Hide unwelcome tagged photos.

The internet is filled with trolls and haters. Anybody who has been on it for longer than a day can tell you that. Instagram isn’t unlike every other website in that regard. You will eventually run into some unsavory users who will try to drag you down and scare away your followers.

One way these types will mess with you is through abusing the tagging system. They might tag your username to some content you wouldn’t want associated with your brand. If this happens, don’t worry. It’s easy to hide these posts so people can’t view them from your profile.

Go to your profile. There should be an icon that looks like a person on a box, somewhere beneath your bio next to the bookmark icon. Tapping it will bring you to Photos of You. From there, tap on the settings icon in the upper right corner. It will give you a scroll-down menu of options, including Hide Photos. Then you can select the photos you want to hide and hit Hide from Profile to confirm.

Additionally, under settings, you can also choose Tagging Options. If you tap Add Manually, then all tagged photos of you will need your approval first.

36. Remove inappropriate comments.

Another thing that could be turning away potential followers are the comments sections on your posts. Nobody wants to join a community that seems hostile and contentious.

You can take care of this problem by deleting the offending messages. Tap the speech bubble beneath the comment, swipe left on it, and then click the trash icon. It’s as simple as that.

Don’t be afraid to curate a comments section when necessary. It’ll turn it into a more inviting place for newcomers.

37. Participate in local events.

The internet isn’t the only place that you can make your Instagram presence know. You can even promote it in your own backyard.

Get involved in your local community. Hold events and gatherings that are exclusive to your area. These can be great opportunities to distribute materials that mention your Instagram account.

38. Share Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories is a lot like Snapchat, but with more features. It’s been gaining in popularity lately and has surpassed its competitor in terms of users. That’s why it would be a shame not to use it.

The biggest advantage to Stories is that they can be discovered by users other than your follower base. Another upside is their temporary nature, which means you can spend less time fussing over them. Also, you can do live streaming video through Stories.

39. Produce lots of video content.

It wasn’t until last year that Instagram expanded its video capabilities. The maximum video length was expanded from 15 seconds to a full minute. Ever since then, video content has swelled in prevalence on the platform.

While photography is still the most favored medium on Instagram, that shouldn’t dissuade you from making videos. Some brands have found enormous success in making it their primary form of content, such as Red Bull.

40. Include some emojis.

A recent study found that adding emojis in your captions often leads to a higher rate of engagement.

Think of them as colorful splashes of emotion that liven up your writing. Not only do emojis save you character space, but they can also convey tone and ideas.

41. Optimize your profile.

Every part of your profile should be optimized for maximum appeal. This includes your profile picture, name, and bio. Make certain that everything looks good, reads well, and represents the brand.

42. Make sure your account is public.

If your account is private, then nobody will be see your content. Rectify this by going into the settings on your profile and disabling Photos are Private.

43. Invest in Instagram ads.

Instagram offers a variety of advertising options. Your ads can come in the form of photos, videos, or carousels of multiple images. You can also buy ads for Instagram Stories.

44. Review with analytics.

Utilizing an analytics tool can assist you in figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Hootsuite, for instance, can tell you which posts resonate with your audience the most. It can also give you detailed information about your followers.

45. Don’t be pushy about sales.

On Instagram, it’s better to blend in than stand out. Nothing makes you stand out more than being blatantly promotional. Viewers generally don’t like it when brands are overly pushy, as it feels like an intrusion into their casual browsing.

46. Pay attention to trends.

Keep track of the latest trends and styles. Capitalize on them whenever it fits with the brand, so that you can remain fresh and current.

47. Keep an eye on the competition.

Carefully observe your competitors. What are they doing to get followers? What mistakes are they making? Knowing these things can aid you in formulating your Instagram strategies.

48. Use apps to create collages.

A beautiful collage can make for an alluring piece of content. Try using Instagram’s own Layout app to make your own. It’s intuitive, totally free, and available for both iOS and Android.

49. Carefully curate your feed.

Always have a bigger picture in mind. Think about how each post will look alongside each other in your feed. If your page has visual cohesion, it will draw more followers in.

50. Find a niche and fill it.

Some brands try to be everything for everyone. They go for the widest market possible and end up stretching themselves too thin in the process.

Remember that it’s perfectly fine to occupy a specific niche. The audience may be smaller, but they are more enthusiastic. This usually results in greater levels of engagement, especially with groups that feel ignored or underrepresented.

The Kardashians make somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000 for a single sponsored Instagram post. Top bloggers can charge anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000 for an Instagram content collaboration. It’s clear that those who have a significant and loyal Instagram following can monetize it.

There are a number of ways to turn Instagram followers into financial success, including becoming an Instagram influencer or micro-influencer, launching a social media consultancy and starting an ecommerce business. Here are 10 proven ways you can build a successful business around Instagram followers.

1. Become an Instagram influencer.

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular among marketers of all stripes. One study found that roughly 95% of marketers who use some form of influencer marketing believe the strategy is effective. That means it is likely that more and more marketers will be in need of Instagram influencers of all kinds.

While it will be difficult to amass millions of followers, even micro-influencers have an important role to play. Micro-influencers with a small number of passionate Instagram followers can successfully work with brands of all sizes to deliver a highly targeted message to prospective customers. Brands like Mercedes, Reebok and KitchenAid use Instagram micro-influencers as part of their social media strategy.

10 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Following

The software engineer who started the account CoderGirl (above) has built a following of loyal tech enthusiasts. As a result, she has been able to form valuable partnerships with tech-related brands like Vettery.

2. Start a social media marketing consultancy.

Amassing a large Instagram following is no easy task. It requires a deep familiarity with Instagram marketing best practices. Rather than become an influencer yourself, you can help brands craft more effective Instagram marketing strategies by becoming a consultant.

Reaching out to small- or medium-size brands through Instagram direct message or email can be an effective way to get your foot in the door as a social media consultant. Or you can use freelancing platforms like Upwork to connect with businesses actively looking for help with social media marketing. You can also reach out to social media marketing agencies to see if they are looking for contributions from freelancers like you.

3. Launch an ecommerce store.

Instagram marketing has served as a driving force behind the success of a number of popular ecommerce brands. From fashion companies like Brandy Melville to health brands like Women’s Best (below), Instagram is well suited for ecommerce.

10 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Following

Instagram provides brands with a platform to show off interesting products in a way that is attractive to prospective customers. Furthermore, Instagram has recently released a number of new features, such as the “buy now” advertising button, to help ecommerce stores.

4. Develop a lifestyle brand.

Unlike an ecommerce store, a lifestyle brand usually offers the target audiences a wide variety of products and services catering to those who wish to live a particular type of life. Examples include GORUCK, Burton and Patagonia.

Instagram serves as an ideal medium to launch a lifestyle brand, since the platform provides marketers with an excellent way to showcase activities and products aligned with a particular point of view.

10 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Following

Take a look at GORUCK’s Instagram profile. The channel showcases GORUCK products, outdoor activities and GORUCK community events as a way of evangelizing a particular way of life that prioritizes physical fitness and social responsibility.

5. Begin a media company.

Rather than selling a product or service, you can use your Instagram audience to launch a media company that sells ad space. Instagram can be used as a channel to distribute new pieces of media content to the target audience.

10 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Following

Media companies of all sizes, from the New York Times to Vox News (above) use Instagram as a way of sharing important photos, videos and quotes with Instagram users.

6. Become a professional storyteller.

Assuming you already use Instagram to tell compelling stories through images, video or Instagram captions, you can monetize this ability by helping brands to construct compelling narratives.

10 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Instagram Following

Becoming a professional storyteller is a bit different from becoming a social media marketing consultant. A storyteller is usually the person who is developing content on behalf of brands. Take Zach Houghton as an example. While he does use his personal Instagram account to promote various destinations and activities via sponsored posts, he also helps organizations to tell compelling Instagram Stories through his consulting.

7. Charge people for in-depth gated content.

If you have developed an audience of truly dedicated followers, you can always charge them to consume longer-form content. Instagram can then become an effective marketing channel to distribute preview content that encourages your followers to purchase the full piece.

Jimmy Chin used Instagram to do just that. Chin amassed nearly 2 million Instagram followers. He then went on to create the movie Meru, which was essentially a long-form version of the content he frequently posts on Instagram.

8. Go on a professional speaking circuit.

Becoming a professional speaker can be a great way to build a well-regarded personal brand. One recent estimate found that the average professional speaker makes around $6,000 per speech.

Depending on your area of interest, you may be able to market yourself as an industry influencer if you are able to build a large enough Instagram following. Often, event organizers are interested in working with speakers who are able to promote an event to an audience of prospective attendees.

Becoming a professional speaker can also help you to build a larger Instagram following, which can in turn create a cycle of more speaking gigs thanks to a large online presence.

9. Use your following to land a new day job.

Perhaps your Instagram account is something you simply maintain for fun. If that’s the case, it can be used to advance your career by showing your current or future employers that you are regarded as an industry expert. Consider mentioning your Instagram presence (if relevant) the next time you interview for a new position.

10. Survey your audience to develop a new product or service.

The key to developing a successful business is learning the wants and needs of the target audience as quickly as possible. Instagram can provide you with convenient access to prospective customers if used correctly. From there, your Instagram followers can help you to launch a new product or service, and may even become early customers. 

Conclusion

Instagram has already helped celebrities big and small to establish new revenue streams. The platform can help readers like you launch a successful business venture, assuming you are able to build a dedicated following.

From becoming an Instagram influencer or consultant to launching an ecommerce business or media company, once you have a loyal Instagram following a wide variety of monetization options become available.

UPDATED: October 2020

Hi Brand Managers – and fellow Instagrammers, the Holiday isn’t over yet, you can still pull off a wonderful social media marketing campaign.

There are three commonly used social media campaigns that can help your brand regardless of the stage of your social media marketing presence. Whether you are still building a brand community or are more focused on your social media ROI, you can successfully leverage these common campaigns by focusing on your campaign strategy.

1)  Contests

Contests  are one of the most widely used campaigns out there. They are low maintenance and, with most social platforms, are relatively easy to implement.

Use if:

  • You are more focused on community building.
  • Your timeline is tight.
  • You are able to provide offerings for the winners.

Do:

  • Use rich relevant design to grab the attention of your community and reach out to a new audience.
  • Offer new or favorite products and services to raise more awareness
  • Take advantage of paid advertising. Sweepstakes are counterintuitive and result in less social sharing.

Don’t:

  • Require extensive demographic data.  Consumers tend to have privacy concerns and may not participate.
  • Rely solely on the sharing features of social media to promote your campaign. People purposely tend not to share Sweepstakes to increase their chance of winning.

2)  Charitable Campaigns

Charitable Campaigns are more popular around the holidays and often benefit from the spirit of giving and sharing that people practice this time of the year. These campaigns are great for building customer and brand relationships. In a study reported by “NewMediaandMarketing”,  68% of the consumers cited shared values as the reason of their loyalty towards a brand.

Use if:

  • You are more focused on raising awareness and gaining a loyal community base.

Do:

  • Provide information on your targeted goals and details for the audience you are reaching to.
  • Share the results of the charitable contributions with your audience after the campaign is over. .

Don’t:

  • Require extensive personal information from the contributors.

3)  User Generated Content Competitions

User generated competitions bring the greatest social amplification as they require the user to promote their own content in order to participate and win. These campaigns can be very innovative and often go viral.  Note – these campaigns work best if they are custom made and have a dedicated community manager.

Use if:

  • You are looking for greater social amplifications
  • You have a more extended timeline.
  • You have enough resources to implement and moderate the campaign.

Do:

  • Work on a strong strategy and story for your campaign.
  • Think about stories that involve using your product or services.
  • Consider options that provide content moderation

Don’t:

  • Build the campaign around stories that are not relevant to your product and services just for the hope of going viral. Having the stories center around your products and services can help with your brand promotion and awareness.

Social media is no longer dependent solely on community building.  If you do not start with a strong strategy, it is unlikely that you will get the desired value from any of the aforementioned campaign options. Webtrends not only provides the competitive strategy and implementation solutions for your future campaigns but also provides an award winning analytics solution to measure and optimize your campaigns.

Source: blogs.webtrends.com

Embrace Social.

To get customers talking about your company, you need to give them something to talk about. There is nothing more word of mouth worthy than surprising and delighting customers.

Using a dataset of more than 2 million link-containing retweets I compared those that contained an “!” and those that did not.

In business, email marketing isn’t a thing of the past. Social media may be taking over when it comes to customer engagement. When it comes to email though, businesses are able to provide something social media can’t: more in-depth and customer segment-driven content. According to Hubspot, email marketing databases degrade by about 25% every year. It’s important to keep adding to and refreshing your database so your business’s email marketing campaigns are more successful and are reaching the right people. When email continues to be used each day by 93% of consumers, it’s important for your business to have a presence in the space and one that performs well. Here are three ways you can grow your database.

Your Website

Your website needs to be optimized for driving customers to take action, though this is a no brainer. Have email registration forms on every main page and those of popular products or services. Use your blog, guides and other content marketing-driven pages to encourage visitors on your website to opt-in to your business’s email messages. Having a widget in the sidebar that plays up the page the customer is on and how they can receive similar content via email is one way to get started. You can also:

  • Offer an incentive. Provide those who register their emails with your site a coupon or a code for a discount off their next online purchase.
  • Host a webinar or live podcast and ask for emails when people register or want to view the production.
  • Ask for friend referrals. Referral programs allow you to build your email database. Ask current customers to invite friends to your site using incentivizes such as discounts, free products or services.

Social Media

Use social media to reach new audiences. Stay up to date with trending topics and what your readers seem to value the most in your social media messages. Social media is a great way to encourage people to visit one of the outlets where they can sign-up to receive emails from your business. Just as you segment your email marketing messages, segment how you attract new registrations on social media. Spend some time analyzing what channels and calls to action are successful, and which are not. You can get started on social media by doing the following:

  • Create a Twitter campaign to promote an offer like an e-book, video or free whitepaper to your followers that requires an email address to redeem.
  • Use Pinterest to promote offers that require email signup. Be sure you use compelling images that encourage a click-through and have a call-to-action that prompts the reader to register.
  • Your business’s Facebook page is a great place to promote an offer that requires an email address submission. Same goes for your company’s Google+ and LinkedIn profiles.

On Location

Whether you’re at a trade show or run a brick and mortar store, you should be using in-person interactions to collect email addresses. Don’t be afraid to offer up promotional items from your business or give live-demos of your software.

  • Have your business host its own in-person events like meet-ups and conferences. Then, collect registrations online using email addresses.
  • Co-market an event. Ask the business, or businesses, you’re working with to promote your company’s email newsletters.
  • Any time you attend a networking event, ask for the contact information of people you come across. A follow-up email following the event that asks them if they wish to receive more information from your business establishes a connection and can get you a few more emails in the database.

They key to collecting email addresses is providing something valuable to your target audience, whether it is a coupon or an e-book, and requiring them to submit an email address in order to redeem that incentive. In order to decrease the number of people who opt-out of your campaigns and keep those who have opted-in interested, provide compelling email content. Have accurate, interesting calls to action that encourage people to see value in what you’re offering and enter their email, whether it’s online or in-person.Source: Social Media Today

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YouTube has released its new channel layout, YouTube One Channel. The updates give brands the opportunity to personalize and organize their page in ways that are very different from previous user capabilities.

Here are three tips for handling the new changes and optimizing the new options available:

1. Create a welcome video.

The new YouTube One Channel enables businesses to upload a welcome video geared toward viewers who don’t subscribe to the page. When making the welcome video, keep in mind that viewers don’t enjoy advertisements and tend to engage more with videos that have a personal element. Also, try to keep the videos short, between roughly 30 seconds and a minute, although if your content is compelling enough, you can certainly exceed that limit.

Here are some welcome video ideas in action from several large brands.

Impromptu or “man-on-the-street” interviews. For example, Intel’s “Mobile World Congress 2013: Out and About”:

What the company means to employees. For example: “GE Employees: What We Do at GE”:

A behind-the-scenes look at an important aspect of the company. For example, “Behind the Scenes Look at McDonald’s Photo Shoot”:

2. Personalize your channel.

The new YouTube One Channel is easier to personalize in some ways and more difficult to personalize in others. For instance, personalized backgrounds have been removed but there is now the option to add a large header image called “Channel Art.” This is a way for companies to present a well-branded page that is clean and does not detract from the videos.

The Channel Art will also serve as a background for the brand’s logo and social media buttons. This is great for brands looking to drive traffic from their YouTube page to their other social media environments because the buttons are displayed in a format that viewers are guaranteed to notice.

3. Organize your content.

YouTube also enables users to re-organize their content. Businesses can optimize this feature by categorizing their videos and organizing them into playlists. By organizing videos into playlists businesses are making it easy for viewers to find a collection of videos on a topic of their interest and helping to increase the amount of time users spend on the business’ YouTube channel.

Companies without the resources to develop multiple new videos will also be able to use this new feature to highlight their older videos. This is a great way to keep a YouTube page looking fresh and updated even if there is a long period between video uploads.Source: Ragan’s PRDaily

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Millions of people are using Twitter to connect with family and friends. Others use it as a news outlet; Twitter is usually the first place that relevant news “hits” and many are using Twitter very successfully to build their brand and their business.

Many people don’t get Twitter. I have to admit, I was one of those people just six months ago. You may have an account but simply don’t understand how to use it your advantage. So many that are newbies to social media are doing nothing but spamming a link to their website or pitching their business constantly. Have you ever been approached by someone who wants to share a fabulous way to solve all your financial problems?  All you have to do is become involved in their “business opportunity” and you will be a millionaire by week’s end? Really? Do you avoid people like this? Mind you, I am not knocking business opportunities but the approach some take to sharing their business with others.

Moral to the story…don’t be that person!

When using Twitter for building your business, you want to make sure you are not the person everyone tunes out because all you do is spam your business.

Twitter challenges personal brands to reach out to their audience differently than they would in traditional marketing and/or on other social media platforms. Twitter forces brands to stop using their megaphone and start listening to their customer. Customers are no longer looking to be sold; they want to trust the brand that they are doing business with.  Twitter can be used to gain immediate response to customer requests, drive sales and add the personal touch to your brand’s relationship with the customer. Without all the fancy trappings of traditional marketing packages, how can personal brands spark an emotional connection and build relationships with just 140 characters?

1. The Honesty – people may love or hate what you have to say but it still creates a strong emotional response.  For example: “I hate people who just fish for compliments ugh.”

2. The Feeling – remember, the point of Twitter is to engage your audience. An example of a “feeling tweet” might be something like this…”Feeling tweet-ledee or tweet-ledumb?”

3. The Have You Ever – people love to talk about themselves! Give them an opportunity to do so and watch what happens!  Have you ever is an opened ended scenario that can be approached from almost any subject! Lead with a question and see where it takes you. 4. The What’s Best – again, another tweet that is asking for a response. Great way to see what your audience is tuned into as far as different products, services, etc.

 5. The That’s Just Funny – as with the honesty tweet, this one is subjective but will always illicit an emotional response. What you feel is funny may not appeal to all but it will certainly connect you with others that do think your tweet is funny.

 6. The Quotable – one of my personal favorites! This one speaks for itself.

 7. The Resource Sharing – find a great article or a resource that you know your target audience could benefit from?  Share it! People will love you for it!

 8. The Venting – everyone needs to let off steam once in a while and; chances are, if you are going through some frustration, someone out there has been there. Again, this type of tweet will encourage people to sympathize with what is going on with you.

 9. The Opportunity – share your opportunity sporadically so that your audience will know what you do. The key to this type of tweet is to merge it with other types of tweets throughout the day so that you are not constantly plugging your business.

 10. The Tip of The Day – great way to provide relevant content to your target audience by providing them a valuable piece of info that they can use either personally or professionally. This also builds value for you as an expert within your niche.

Social Media is just that, S O C I A L. It is a great tool to brand you and your business. Consider this, when successful people attend a party they don’t spend the entire event talking about business. No one wants to talk to someone who is constantly shoving business at them. Share the fun things in your life, the people you enjoy spending time with and let your audience get to know YOU!

The purpose of Twitter, and all social media, is not to make money, but to brand YOU and your business AND build relationships with potential and existing customers. The money will follow if you put your customers FIRST. With all social media just remember to mix your “business” talk with your “life” talk.

Start implementing these tips on Twitter and you will be on your way to becoming a Twitter rockstar!by Kim Garst

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012 (11/12/12) was an history making day in the Nigeria twitter sphere as Jobberman.Com, Nigerian’s No 1 Jobs Website, hosted a tweet-meet tilted “Jobberman.Com Career Counselling Day on Twitter”.

This twitter driven career counselling day was hosted by @Jobbermandotcom with two main facilitators @KunleOlaifa and @segunakiode (yours truly ) with supports from @OloriSupergal and @ForMyArea. The tweet-meet lasted for about 2 hours between 2pm – 4pm and it was simply insightful, I must add 

The event gave me great joy because it came weeks after I wrote an earlier post titled – “How To Use Twitter In Your Job Search” and in that post I posited that one of the ways to use twitter in your job search was “Be an active participant of twitter chat” and that was what the “Jobberman.Com Career Couselling Day on Twitter” made a reality!

In the event, job-seekers had the opportunity to ask questions and get answers in real-time. If you missed this twitter event, not to worry, check the Storified form here…

Before I go for today, permit me to recap this phrase “Value is the rule of the game on twitter. So in order to stand out of the crowd of tweeps, endeavour to share valuable tweets and not trash.”

Till next time, we are all work in progress…

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Twitter is becoming more important to both individuals and companies at large. Let’s take a quick look at this micro-blogging platform using the letter I in what I’ve dubbed: ‘The three Is of Twitter’.

  • Interact: First and clearly, Get on twitter to interact. Among other things, you are supposed to tweet conversationally. This means that you must be ready to defend or at least comment about your tweets when tweeps request such. Not just those, some of your followers are going to tweet at you. While it’s not your duty to respond to all (especially those with thousands of followers), do your best to respond to most of them as you get notified of their tweets. Don’t join the wagon of those who only interact with those they know offline. Interaction here means, you hold conversations (as much as you can) even with those followers you’ve never met offline. That’s the real essence of NETworking.
  • Inform: If you’re already on twitter, ain’t you tired of tweeps who only tweet about how their dogs are doing, how they couldn’t get a cab and how girls snubbed them all through the day? Am sure you’ve come across those kinds of tweets. It could be tempting to tweet such too but ensure such tweets are reduced to the barest minimum on your TL. What’s your expertise? Get your followers informed. For effective personal branding on twitter, ensure you’re a master of a certain cause. Tweet links to articles you find interestingly useful in that same direction. It’s good to be focused on twitter. It has advantages for you and your followers. For instance, I know who to tweet at if I need information about Social Media. Remember that the primary aim of twitter is Information broadcast. Let it be a meaningful one, though.

Inspire: This combines the first two (interact and inform). Just like every word you let out of your mouth, your tweets have effects on your followers, whether positive or negative. So, let your tweets be as inspiring as they can be. Resist from using questionable words. On this, do understand that SUBs are not inspiring in any way, reasons notwithstanding. I bet your followers want to wake up in the morning and get lifted by your tweets even if it means referring to them to an online post.

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This is the era of new job titles and with it come new responsibilities. A leading Media Content and Communication Company in Lagos is currently in search of a social media professional.

Job Summary:

The successful candidate will join our online team, oversee and contribute recurrent content to holistically support our strategic online communication objectives.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Excels at research, possesses excellent writing skills and the ability to crank editorial and technical writing output without brooding.
  • Has work experience or training in advertising, PR, online marketing or a similar field.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office products.
  • Dedicated to blogging and use of Twitter and Facebook and understands the power of social media marketing.
  • Demonstrated creativity and documented immersion in social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to map out a social media marketing strategy and then drive that strategy proven by testing and metrics.
  • Experience sourcing and managing content development and publishing.
  • Ability to jump from the creative side of marketing to analytical side, able to demonstrate why their ideas are analytically sound.
  • Discretion to identify threats and opportunities in user generated content.
  • Understands social media universe including YouTube, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Flickr, forums, Twitter, Wikis, blogs, etc…We’re looking for a social media addict who maintains a personal mix of participatory expertise from among these channels.
  • Knowledge of search engine optimization-think including basic keyword research.
  • Has excellent verbal and written communication skills and an ability to work individually on a project or in a team environment.
  • Is eager to meet and exceed objectives and take on more responsibility.
  • Brings to the position outstanding organizational skills and the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously while meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate results to management and can be effective in a fast-pace environment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Interact with our customers to align their needs, with our corporate objectives.
  • Be the eyes and ears of our brand and our clients’ brands as if your own reputation depended on it.
  • Build and maintain our content distribution network by way of social media channels.
  • Minute by minute participation in conversations that surround our content and brand, answer comments and be a mediator.
  • Identify threats and opportunities in user generated content surrounding our brand, report to appropriate parties.
  • Create content for feeds and snippets in various social media sites.
  • Conduct keyword research including cataloging and indexing target keyword phrases.
  • Optimizing tags, on our feeds, sharing sites like YouTube/Flickr and search engines through copy-writing, creative & keyword optimization & buzz pocket mining.
  • Create and update daily, weekly and monthly reports.
  • Analyze campaigns and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations and plans for revising the social media campaigns.

Interested candidates should forward their CVs to jobs@ashwellandwhite.com

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Going through the hustle in the city of Lagos, I get handed about 2 different flyers a day, seconds later, I squeeze and dump then in a nearby bin, not on the floor. Lol, one day, I took time to analyze how many people actually read these flyers, about 90% are overloaded with work for that day and may not be interested, the remaining 10% may actually need the information and at that particular point the environment is too noisy to place a call, at the end of it all, some lose the flyers. So I ask my SME owners and others that still believe in sharing flyers, is it a waste of money or a waste of money?

Now some are thinking what the alternative is but some already know but have ignored because they don’t believe. With this medium I’m about to tell you, you have to promise not to tell anyone. It’s going to give you an advantage over your competitors, It is FREE, measurable and information about what your company offers can be posted and reposted, shared and “liked”, Followed and “favorited”.  This is what I’ve been preaching, online gospel for your business; Social media.

Rather than go in to gibberish that you the reader won’t understand, its better to use an example to illustrate my point.

Tolani makes all sorts of cakes for weddings, birthdays, cupcakes and so on. She shares flyers and complains because she gets one call after 500 flyers. Now, let’s take her on social media. Outlining the top social media sites in Nigeria, we have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.  Firstly, we open a Facebook Fan Page , fully describing her work, experience and display of photographs of cakes made by her. She goes further by inviting a couple of people through email or suggestions to “Like” the page. Tolani’s first goal is to increase her fan base by engaging her current fans, most times, family and friends. With engaging content like talking about the concept behind every cake and the inspiration, her fans like and reshare, she gains more fans on that platform. She also listens to her fans on their opinions, questions and suggestions.

Tolani opens a twitter, G+ and instagram, using all three mediums to promote her brand by being informative and consistent.

Result of this, Tolani builds a network of over 40,000 people, gets job from these connections.  The question is, with a flyer can you achieve this? Her connections/Fans on social media will always be there and with good management continue to expand.

Fit your Business into this profile. Build a brand. Create connections. Don’t be limited. Embrace social!

If you want to see a particular topic in this space, you could send a mail or drop a comment.

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Discover how using Social Media Marketing to promote your business can keep you top of mind with your prospects. Use Social Media to position yourself as an expert in your field, teach people how to solve their problems with your product or service and develop a lasting relationship. After all, we all know people buy from people they know like and trust.

This video highlights four simple steps to getting a hang of social media marketing. You won’t need to be a social media pro to understand the points discussed. Nuff said…just hit the play button now and find out yourself

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In the process of building up a social media empire, you are bound to make a gaffe or two. A simple mistake in how something is written or an emotional impulse can lead to disastrous consequences for your brand, website and product – depending on how you handle it. What may have been a simple slip-up has now turned into a catastrophe for public relations. How on earth can you smooth this all over and repair any damage done? We have compiled several tips that you must adhere to in the midst of a social networking bombshell that will help get your brand through this ordeal.

Being Emotional

Whenever you make a mistake online, the entire world can witness it. Because of this, you not only have to worry about the gaffe that sparked controversy but also the way in which you handle the aftermath. If you lash out or go into an emotional tirade over how people are responding, you are guaranteed to make the situation worse. You won’t have to worry about pinging backlinks because people from all over the world will be sharing your meltdown with others. Be nice, cordial and apologize for the mishap. When people use social media to lash out at those lashing out at them, it never ends well.

Ignoring Comments

You can use this opportunity as a chance to connect with people that you might not have otherwise. By being attentive, responsive and owning up to the mistake, you can demonstrate the values and virtues of your social media organization. Those who hide behind the veil of the internet may realize that countless new discoverers of your enterprise will use this as an opportunity to degrade and humiliate you. If you engage them right from the start, you have a better chance of diffusing the situation and preventing your already-viral mishap from getting any larger.

Arguing With Others

While you do not wish to ignore those negative comments, you also want to avoid responding with negativity. You may believe that your mistake was simply a mistake and that by apologizing, everything will be fine. The truth is that some people cannot be pleased no matter what you do – in this case, you do not need to argue with them over the initial intent or meaning. Even if you are right, you will never convince everyone of that. By being polite, you stand to gain much more ground than you do if you come swinging out of your corner.

Navigating The Situation

You have to realize that once a social mishap has occurred and the mistake is out there, you will have very little control over its spread. You can look at this as an opportunity – others who are pinging backlinks to your site and social media will increase your exposure in the long-run. Most of the discussion and framing of the argument will be done by those who are either on your side or against you. Be courteous, follow up with polite comments as best you can and keep a cool head above all else. This too shall pass.

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This week in Lagos, Nigeria is Social Media Week – #SMWLagos and various events has held to mark #SMWLagos. Wednessday, February 20, 2013 was Day 3 of the #SMWLagos and I was part of the panel at #SMWJobSearch organized by Jobberman.Com held at the Lagos E-learning Center.

This post is a promise based on my tweet after my speech at the event…

Gave a very short speech at #smwJobsearch #SMWLagos wld do a blog on it 2mrw 

— Segun Akiode (@segunakiode) February 20, 2013

Ok, lets have a recap of the highlights from the event and some #smwJobSearch tweets as well 

The Panel of Discussant: we had a panel of three – Opeyemi Awoyemi (Co-founder Jobberman.Com), Gideon Bello (Head, Client Services Jobberman.Com) and Segun Akiode (…short of an introduction o, check bio after the post).

The Main Event: Opeyemi Awoyemi gave the opening speech followed by a speech my yours truly and Gideon Bello. After all the speech, participants had their opportunity to ask questions. See some tweets below:

“No strait jacket way to get a job” #smwJobsearch #SMWLagos

— Segun Akiode (@segunakiode) February 20, 2013

“The traditional ways of getting a job are giving way to Unconventional ways of getting a job” #smwJobsearch#SMWLagos

— Segun Akiode (@segunakiode) February 20, 2013

“Build a Brand that is Attractive to Employers” – #uncoventionaljobsearch #smwJobsearch #SMWLagos

— Segun Akiode (@segunakiode) February 20, 2013

These are a few of the tweets from the event capturing the main thoughts shared, for more tweets, I Storified the event and you can check it here…  

Great way to participate in #SMWLagos and before I go, see me at the event…

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