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.

So, you’re one of the seemingly millions of brands out there using Facebook to lure people over to your website. Chances are you’ve viewed recent reports about Facebook’s surprisingly low activity rates (“Only 1% of people who like a Facebook page ever go back to that page”) as vindication of what you’ve always suspected: marketing on Facebook just doesn’t work.

You’re not alone. The following are the 10 top reasons brands fail to tap into the real potential of Facebook. (Hint: zero of them are Facebook’s fault.)

1.     Failure to make a great first impression

Most fans won’t ever come back to a brand’s page unless they feel they have good reason to. This is not totally different from how they interact with their friends’ pages, when you think about it. Unless the new friend has great content to go back to, there’s not much of a reason to go directly to their page very often, if at all.

2.     Poor text and visuals

A successful Facebook page must have concise, engaging text that’s relevant to both the brand and the fans’ interests. Overly long, humdrum copy will fail to capture fans’ attention. Crisp, eye-catching, high-resolution visuals (photos, videos, illustrations) that clearly speak to those things visitors like about the brand in the first place will draw them in for more.

3.     Stagnant page content

If fans stop by more than once only to find the same old Facebook page, they might assume the page is outdated — or worse, abandoned. It’s important for marketers to give fans new ways to connect and advance their relationship with the brand or product being promoted. Keep to a consistent schedule with fresh content and ever-improving offers, and be sure to test what works with your audience.

4.     Inconsistent or lazy branding

If there’s no stylistic connection between a company’s Facebook page and its main website, visitors may not trust that the page is legit. Brands often spend a disproportionate amount of time, money and effort on website branding efforts, in comparison to the relative pittance reserved for complementary Facebook efforts. Keep branding consistent across all channels, so that visitors know exactly where they’re going and whom they’re dealing with.

5.     Confusing calls to action

Once fans arrive at a brand’s Facebook page, they should have a clear idea of what to do and what’s available to them. Offers and calls-to-action should be prominently displayed, and any associated instructions should be easy to follow. Be aware, however, that Facebook has guidelines concerning calls-to-actions, offers and anything else resembling blatant advertising on company pages, so it’s important to make sure you’re current on usage guidelines.

6.     Too many clicks

People are impatient—and want immediate gratification—especially on Facebook. If you have to use forms to give visitors access to the content they want, they’re likely to click away. Make sure the desired destination can be reached in the fewest amount of clicks possible. Also, if you have to use a form to capture data, keep it short and simple.

7.     Mysterious visitors

All fans are not alike – so why treat them all the same? With the right tools, marketers can compile profiles using Facebook data authorized by the user (age, gender, location, name, relationship status, etc.) as well as previous site behaviors to get a better sense of the type of people they’re reaching on Facebook. Those profiles can then be used to present offers, content and/or experiences that are the most effective in attracting fans, “Likes,” website traffic or any other relevant conversion metrics.

8.     Preconceived notions

As excited as marketers may get about shiny new objects—especially social media objects—they‘re often reluctant to spend the time and money to truly develop new efforts for them. Why not step out of your comfort zone and try to develop specific content based on customer segments? An even crazier idea—consider developing Facebook-specific campaigns rather than repurposing ones created with a different platform in mind.

9.     Ineffective plugin use

If Facebook plugins aren’t integrated into the main company website, a great deal of potential traffic—and revenue—is being lost. Plugin tools turn consumers into brand advocates, making it easy to share site information with Facebook friends. Let visitors like or share website pages back to their Facebook profile with one click. Better yet, provide personalized suggestions to your website visitors, based on what other people are sharing as well as their own click behavior.

10.   Sticking to stand-alone metrics

Getting just one side of the story isn’t enough. Marketing programs need to be set up so that Facebook stats and user profiles are fully integrated with all other online and offline ecommerce channels’ information to create rich, detailed and fully comprehensive user profiles. Profile reports should be updated on a regular basis, so the most recent user information is always available.

With the proper attention to detail and willingness to dedicate the same energy to Facebook efforts as they do to other initiatives, online marketers will no doubt find that their 1% conversion rate is something they can control—and that it’s not Facebook’s fault their customers aren’t more engaged.by Paul Dunay for Social Media Today

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Reading time: 4 min

It’s high time businesses look beyond Facebook like and the number of Twitter followers as their primary determinant of success. Social listening in itself is an element of social media that shouldn’t be over looked due to its importance. As it stands, social listening is one of the most important elements of any social media strategy. Social listening helps you in making critical marketing/product decisions. How are your potential customers currently behaving? The Infographic below gives you a clue by highlighting two steps businesses can follow to listen and also act on the information gotten during the listening process.

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Have you ever tried to Google your name ? (business or individual) If not, I recommend you do it now and focus on the first 10 – 20 results you get. If you’re not satisfied with what you’re getting, don’t worry. I was in your shoes few years ago but I got Google to change what it’s saying about me. I’ll share 3 main things I did to change what Google says about me and how you can too.

  1. Start a BLOG: The most important thing I did was to grab a domain name in my full name. The idea behind this is that the first thing that comes to people’s mind is your full name or at least the alias you’re known as. Once you have a blog in that same name and get dirty with SEO; that should be the first thing Google will say about you when people ask Google. (“Oh, I know him/her…this is his website, do you mind visiting?”). On your blog, it’s wise to have a page to brag about yourself, you know. I’m talking about your “about me” page. From there, people can discover more about you than Google has to say.
  2. I recommend you get yourself a space on the major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others using your real name or a well known aliasSocial Media Platforms: If you tried Googling your name, you must have discovered that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ranked higher than other sites (that’s if you used your real name on both platforms). So, your next task is to get serious on these platforms. I recommend you get yourself a space on the major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others using your real name or a well known alias. Since people are likely to click on your social profiles directly from Google, it’s important you ensure you have good content there too. Imagine your potential employer Googling you and landing on your Facebook wall, I’m pretty sure you won’t want him to see those drunk pictures you posted few weeks back. Hey, I’m not preaching Gospel here – this is strictly for the serious-minded.
  3. Write for the web: When I Google myself, I still find an article I wrote for Self Growth about four years ago ranking higher than others. The www is content driven. Every post is an additional page on the internet. Why not get yourself as much as possible. One, you’ll be helping others and making the Internet better. Two, you’re adding more to your brand. Take for instance, if you’re an accountant, you’ll want to share your accounting views with the world. So, when people come searching for you on Google, your articles talk about you. My friends call me the tech guy not because I told them so but because they stumble themselves on some of my articles when searching for help on some tech stuffs. Cool, isn’t it? I rode on that. Don’t limit articles to your blog. Write guest posts for others frequently. You can write for reputable blogs in your industry and ensure they link back to your blog. This will increase your blog’s ranking

The above is not limited to Google but other search engines too.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll begin to see the changes in no time.

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Social Recruiting is NOT a completely new concept in the global Human Resources space but in Nigeria it may be NEW!

Social media has become an indispensable tool for companies leveraging it to generate sales, increase brand awareness and build communities around their brands. It offers companies a way to connect and engage with consumers, but that’s not all.

Today, staffing and corporate recruiters are now leveraging social media to post job vacancies and recruit (attract, source, engage and hire) talent, but it’s still new for a lot of organizations (corporate Nigeria inclusive). Is there any real reason why Social Recruiting must be embraced by Corporate Nigeria? To answer this simple question, the following 3 reasons would suffice:

Reason 1: Social Recruiting is the future of Recruiting – According to the JOBVITE 2012 Social Recruiting survey results, “Social media has quickly become a dominant force for companies to find and hire quality talent. Because it allows employers to tap extended networks for candidates that would not be found otherwise, social recruiting offers tremendous value to companies of all sizes. It has become an essential avenue for recruiters to successfully compete in the war for talent.” It is worthy of note that most of the beneficiary of Social Recruiting today are mainly Europe and the United States. Hence, the need for Africa or at best Nigeria to join the trend. Read my earlier post here.

Reason 2: The Nigerian ‘Social Population’ speaks for itself. As at the time of writing this post – there are over 152 Million LinkedIn members, with Africa having over 5 Million LinkedIn members and Nigeria with over 840 Thousand LinkedIn members; Facebook users crossed the 1 Billion mark few days ago, with Nigeria accounting for 5 Million of this number as at June 2012; there are over 140 Million active users on Twitter, with Nigeria been the third tweeting nation in Africa (by a survey carried out by a Kenya-based agency, read it here).  These figures are huge and must be harnessed via Social Recruiting.

Reason 3: Social Recruiting is efficient and cost-effective compared to traditional recruiting approach. So you know joining most social networking sites (like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) is FREE. Once employers and job seekers join social networking sites, the opportunity to assess talent communities become available. Overall, social recruiting strategies enable more effective networking between candidates and employers, and they provide effective engagement opportunities to attract and retain both passive and active job seekers at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional techniques. We would explore this area in the days ahead.

Till next time, we are all work in progress…

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Sometimes ago, I got a Direct Message on twitter that looks similar to the one below:

…do you know any great developer in Lagos?

I thought about who I could recommend but I was just blank despite tons of developers around me. After few minutes of deep thinking, I remembered someone whose bio reads:

I’m a software engineer, a philosopher, and also an activist. I’m a very interesting person to meet also.

The first part was all I needed. Then my recommendation went his direction. You see, it’s funny that I can recommend a twitter follower I have never seen in real life. It felt strange at first but I quickly remembered this is the digital age. I may not have met him in the real world, but I’ve e-met him 

An elevator bio, as short as it is, works wonders (permit my churchy language). In recent times, I have had to go through the bio of several people both on Twitter and Facebook and all I can do is shake my head. Here are some for your perusal:

  • “I am Me”
  • Working on it. Check back
  • “Jesus’ child”
  • “Why do you want to know? #FollowBack Team”

In my opinion, the bio section on all social avenues is the place to begin your Social Media journey. It’s just like meeting someone for the first time, the first thing I believe you want to know is “Who are you”, or “what do you do”, depending on the situation. The same applies on Social Media platforms, only that your profile speaks for you. You see, don’t just assume your friends know who you are. These days, tweets fly beyond your immediately followers via Retweets and posts go beyond your immediately self via likes, reshare and tagging. So, you never can tell who will click on your profile.

Among other things, you will have to master the art of writing a short bio (elevator pitch). Here are three quick ideas you can explore while drafting your bios:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. What Have you done?

If you can provide the above in less 160 characters or less, you rock!

Here are real samples you can use as a guide:

  • “African. Social Entrepreneur. ICT for Development (ICT4D) Consultant.”Gbenga Sesan
  • “A style and fashion enterpreneur, the brand curator of the FACUADE brand; building a local brand with global reckoning.”Tosin Olukuade

“Digital Storyteller | Advocate of Social Marketing and Nation Branding | Designer of social change projects | Creator of The 419Positive Project”Rosemary Ajayi

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I am certain that you must have heard about the Moscow Rules or probably seen some merchandise of sort bearing the inscription. This is an informal name for some set of rules said to have been developed during the Cold War to be used by spies and others working in Moscow. Two unique features of these rules are the simplicity and the common sense it depicts.

The short list as shown in the International Spy Museum summarized them in just 10 rules:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Never go against your gut.
  • Everyone is potentially under opposition control.
  • Don’t look back; you are never completely alone.
  • Go with the flow, blend in.
  • Vary your pattern and stay within your cover.
  • Lull them into a sense of complacency.
  • Don’t harass the opposition.
  • Pick the time and place for action.
  • Keep your options open.

The way and manner by which you brand yourself or your organization on any of the Social Media platforms is known as Social Media Marketing.

Let us now focus on one rule at a time and draw the similarities and hopefully the simplicity and common sense inherent in the rule will effortlessly be utilized in the quest of efficient and effective Social Media Marketing.

 We will work with the first five rules ONLY!

  • Assume nothing: In Social media marketing, do not assume that folks will naturally wish to connect and identify with your brand. You have the responsibility to subtly and continuously guide them to becoming acquainted with your brand.
  • Never go against your gut: In Randy Olson’s “four organs” model, the gut is ones intuition and humor, and as such plays a huge role in decision-making. Most times, if something does not feel right, then it is just because it is not right. In pushing your brand to the consciousness of your prospects and clients, your intuition should play a huge role on what you should push out their and what you should not.
  • In social media marketing, your mission is to brand yourself positively.Everyone is potentially under opposition control: In social media marketing, your mission is to brand yourself positively. Often time, this could be tricky as you may encounter criticism of some sort. Fact is that majority of these criticism may just be plain malicious. The good news is that when handled adequately you may find out that there is solution to the favela that is inherent in the favela itself.
  • Don’t look back; you are never completely alone: The exact opposite of looking back is looking forward. In your social media marketing quest, always be forward oriented. Ensure to be up to date with newer and better technology that is constantly evolving. Learn and unlearn where necessary. You are never completely alone in this. You may not need to reinvent the wheel. There abound loads of online resources that you may just embrace and adapt to your situation.
  • Go with the flow, blend in: This is where closely monitoring your competitors comes into play. What are their experiences are their lessons to learn or advantages that you can adapt into your brand? What are they trying to do, and what are the challenges they currently face? These can give you loads of ideas on how you can blend in.

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We studied job seekers who successfully found a job within 3 months. Here’s a sneak peek at how

they used LinkedIn, and how you can too:

1. Add new skills to your profile 

Add relevant skills to your profile so recruiters looking for candidates with your background can find you.

2. Follow companies you’re interested in Stay up-to-date with the latest news, be well informed in conversations and interviews, and learn about new job opportunities.

3. Add a professional profile photo

Doing so puts a face to a name and helps project a friendly and approachable image.

4. Keep adding new connections 

Grow your network to be more visible, get your foot in the door at new companies, and expose yourself to new job opportunities.

5. Join LinkedIn Groups for your industry

Network, ask questions, and look out for job openings posted by fellow group members.

6. Get endorsed for your skills 

This helps you show – and not just tell employers – that you have what it takes to get the job done.

7. Broaden your professional horizons

Take 10 minutes each day to read the hottest news in your industry, and insights from thought leaders. LinkedIn Pulse delivers relevant articles directly to your newsfeed.

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 It can never be overstated that people converge on social networking sites with the major aim of building relationship and sharing aspects of their lives and careers for other people to see. For businesses, social media offer opportunities to share content and information. From images, to videos and audio files, there is almost no limit to the information we can share using popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, Linked in and other pseudo-social sites like Instagram.

Social networking helps build instant virtual communities and creates relationships that are continually renewed after every visit.

Defining and Polishing your brand

The brand is the most important step any individual, group of people or corporate entity must shape and understand before relaying the message. It is defining yourself, what you have to offer and who is in need of whatever services you have on offer. For instance, a lifestyle magazine website would have to define what sort of website it is and the kind of articles, information and everything else it would share on its site.

 Evaluate your content

Now that you have understood you brand and what it is you offer. It is time to take a closer look at your content to determine if it is useful or compelling to the audience you have targeted. It is imperative therefore that the contents of your site appeal to your audience in a way that they would find useful and persuasive enough to bring them back after the first visit. Google analytics is a very useful tool in helping you understand the nature of your content.

Sharpening the message for your audience

Social networks are notorious for their short-term attention span. On Twitter, where the average user  follows about 400 accounts, your tweet is competing with tens, hundreds and possibly thousands of other tweets per minute! This means, you have to grab their attention really fast with the words that strike the right note. You have to perfect the art of the tease that would hook your audience.  Some of the organizations to have perfected the art of the attention grabbing updates are news organizations like CNN, Huffington Post. In Nigeria, this process has been replicated by news organizations including already established print media giants like Thisday, Vanguard and Punch and TV stations like Channels TV who currently enjoy massive traffic to their websites in hundreds of thousands as a direct result of their social media activity.

Schedule for regular updates

It is crucial to schedule your posts, updates or tweets to deliver regularly to your social audience. Scheduling services for social networking sites have become an indispensable tool in getting out information that leads to traffic for your website. Twitter seems to have the largest selection of scheduling applications and tools and include Tweetdeck, Tweetadder and many more. To cover a wider range of social networks, sites like Hootsuite are indispensable because they cove r other social networks like Linked In, Google plus, Facebook and many others.

Be Social/ Interact!

You have to constantly remember, it is a social network and the whole point of being on one is to interact, have relationships, share! Share! Share! This means that posting links, teasers and updates are not enough, you have to be part of the conversation, it is personal, keep it conversational in a way that does not go against your brand.

Use buttons on your website

You should include buttons that direct to your social network account. This way, your readers can follow you instantly and receive regular updates that dire ct them back to your site from your posts or updates.

Email signature

In your email signature, include links to your social network profiles from Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Google + and any others.  It generally increases your profile and trust-worthiness in the eyes of the receiver that you are constantly available and it is possible to reach you on different relevant portals

What do you think? What other ways can be used to drive social media traffic to a website? Please share!

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Beautiful, just beautiful, this socialmeep.com x lookbookoutlet store amazing soft fabric dress is smooth stretch jersey and is floor length with an extreme thigh slit from mid-upper thigh to the floor. The Lattice lace top, overs a plunge v-neckline giving this dress the most beautiful and enchanting look ever. The lattice lace up dress is a bodycon fit, almost snug to the skin, combined with its long sleeves make this a sure crowd pleaser. Great for clubbing, dinner out and high end parties. This dress is designed for ultimate wear; it’s the new go to dress if you want to make people envious! The best part of this dress is it can be tossed in the machine after you wear it! The material Viscose and Elastane make this a unique fitting dress, showing all the right angles of your body. Glide along as you walk, combined with heels, light jewelry and a clutch to match you will knock everyone out!

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With over a billion people on Facebook, harnessing its power will go a long way toward defining your social recruiting strategy.

Recently, Jerome Ternynck, CEO & Founder of SmartRecruiters presented a webinar titled “Hiring on Facebook” where he highlighted the six pillars of Hiring on Facebook, they are namely:

1. Facebook Profile.  

2. Apply with Facebook.

3. Social Referrals.

4. Facebook Careers Tab.

5. Facebook Ads.

6. Graph Search.

Read below the slides of Hiring on Facebook as presented during the webinar.

Happy reading

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