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INSTAGRAM FAQ'S

INSTAGRAM faqs.jpg

If you are a frequent visitor of our blog, social media or our private facebook group then you would know by now that one of our favourite social media platforms is Instagram (if you are not following us on Instagram check us out: @buzzingcreatives and give us a follow!  

We love Instagram so much that we even have a course called Instabuzzing - which is all about understanding your target market, perfecting your bio, growing your instagram, developing a visual strategy and finally utilizing instagram to convert your followers into clients/customers! 

 

After our various interactions and working with clients we have come across some questions that are on a lot of people's mind when it comes to Instagram. So we have compiled a list of some frequently asked questions regarding Instagram that we receive. 

We will also be answering any other questions that we many have not covered here in our private facebook group as a facebook live stream. So click the button below to join so you don't miss out!

 

How many hashtags should I / or could I use on Instagram?

You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram.  But we highly advise that you use anywhere from 1-3 hashtags in the caption of your post and then up to 30 hashtags in the comment.  You don’t want to clutter your caption with hashtags because it looks too spammy and it has been shown that engagement goes down if there are more than 5 hashtags in the caption of your post.

further reading: how to hashtag on Instagram

How often should I post?

We highly recommend that you post 1-3 times a day. If you can’t post 3 times a day you should try to post at least once a day. This is more important especially when you are trying to build a following on Instagram.  People need to be continually seeing you in their feed, this is especially true with the new Instagram changes that highly reward engagement. The more you post and the more engagement you have and thus you are more likely to show up on people’s feed.  We also recommend that you don’t post too many times a day, posting more than 3 times becomes a bit too spammy. A great way to post up to 3 times a day is scheduling your Instagram posts before hand. This makes the process much more efficient and consistent.  We use Hootsuite to schedule our Instagram posts.

When is the best time to post on Instagram?

Here is the thing, there is no right time to post on Instagram that would apply to everyone (Check out our Periscope on this very topic) But according to a study conducted by Latergramme 2 a.m. and 5 p.m. on average are the most successful times to post on Instagram. And Wednesday is the best day of the week to post. But here is the thing - you need to find out when it is the best time to post on Instagram according to your target market. You need to clearly define your target market and then find out when they are active. In all likelihood everyone’s target markets are active at different times on Instagram - new moms vs teenagers.   A great way to find out when the best time for you to post on Instagram is by studying your analytics.  Instagram has rolled out this feature in some countries with their Instagram for business accounts.  There are also other third party apps such as Iconosquare or Simply measured that you can use to help you figure this out.  

further viewing: Periscope - why there is no right time to post on Instagram

What apps are great for editing photos to post on Instagram?

Establishing your instagram aesthetic is very important. It reflects your brand and leads to your feed to be cohesive (Grab our FREE Instagram style guide).  The filters and editing features that Instagram provides are great in itself. But if you want to do more then there are some great apps out there that are free or have some free features. Check out these 3: a color story, VSCO, and Snapseed 

further reading: 3 useful apps to edit your photos for Instagram

 

What if I’m not that great at taking photos or don’t have time to take photos for Instagram?

All you need to take good photos for instagram is an iphone, good lighting and your subject. If you feel like you are not apt at editing software or additional apps then Instagram filters are sufficient. If you really would like to take it a step further than that due to time or budget, not everyone has the time or money to buy props or learn editing software, then this is what we recommend: You can always hire a photographer or as many bloggers and small business owners are doing now, use stock photos. There are many stock photo membership sites out there that send you monthly stock photos for you to use for your Instagram account, blog, and other social media platforms. Sites like Pixels and Lattes have various different themes and packages for you to choose from.

further reading: How to have amazing photos on Instagram & Why you should use Styled Stock Photos

why you should use styled stock photos

 

Here is the thing, we all are not amazing photographers or photo editors or photo styling isn’t our thing. But we all know the importance of amazing photos and images when it comes to running successful blogs, businesses and social media accounts online.

Why you should use stock images?

Often times we don’t own the expensive equipment and software required. Or we have an iphone to take amazing photos but don’t have the training for the editing or the props needed.  Don’t be mistaken, I believe everyone can, with some practice take amazing photos with just an iphone. But I do understand that with loads to do for our blogs or businesses we often don’t have the time, money or energy to learn yet another skill.  So how do we go about this? Well guess what? More and more bloggers and small businesses are starting to see success with stock photos!

We all know how key images are crucial for your brand identity and the success of your brand.  Building a consistent brand is important. But what is even more important is to make sure the images you are utilizing to represent your brand are good quality. These images reflect upon your brand.  So therefore if you write an amazing blog post but your images are poor it will drastically hurt your blog post’s potential.  Visuals are often the make or break.  And since beautifully styled flat lays is all the hype in the Instagram world they can really help with your Instagram game!

What are Stock photos?

Stock photos are photos taken by photographer for commercial use. They are often photos of landmarks, people in all sorts of situations and environments, and everyday objects and places. These are often for purchase and once purchased you can use them and reuse them for commercial purposes.  Many online publications do this.  

How can you use stock photos?

You know those wonderful desktop layouts you see on Instagram? Or the amazing cover photos on facebook business pages? Even those amazing graphics on Pinterest and amazing photos on those amazing blogs? Many of them utilize stock photos.  

Where can you find stock images?

There are many sites out there that have free stock images available. Those are always great place to start.  

There are also great sites that offer membership where for a monthly fee you get sent stock photos for you to use however you want!

Pixels and Lattes is one such site. The great thing about this site is that they have all sorts of themes they cover with their stock images. From feminine desktop flat lays to food/fruit related photos. You should take a look! There is something for almost everyone!

Instead of spending time looking through loads of stock image catalogues and not finding something that is trendy or current or reflects your brand give our friends over at Pixel and Lattes a try!

p.s. if you haven't heard we have an amazing private facebook group full of buzzing creatives! click the button below to join!

How to use Instagram for Etsy shops

So you have set up your Etsy shop, taken your photos, written the descriptions and put up listings.  And then you hear the words “social media” and “marketing.” It can feel like another big mountain to climb. But it doesn’t have to be! Especially with Instagram.

Instagram and Etsy are made for each other.  Instagram is a highly visual platform so what other better way to showcase your products and Etsy shop? And guess what? You are promoting your products and not having to pay for it!

Instagram not only provides you with the opportunity to showcase/sell your products through another platform but it also contributes to you building your brand online which connects you with your audience and potential customers!

Before we share ways to use Instagram for your Etsy shop just remember: Instagram is about consistency and Intent. Therefore, you need to be thinking how is this going to help my brand, before you post any image on Instagram. And is this consistent with all the other images I have posted--in other words, does it fit in my grid in terms of filter, content, theme etc.

We have an entire module dedicated to visual content strategy in our course INSTABUZZING which will help you post with intent on your Instagram account for your Etsy Shop! Click the button below to learn more: 

So here are some tips and ways for you to use Instagram for your Etsy Shop

1. Private to Public

If you are using an Instagram account for your Etsy Shop you need to have your profile set to public.  You should separate your personal account from your business account on Instagram anyways.  This is a key to keeping your account cohesive and consistent.  

It really defeats the purpose if your Instagram account for your Etsy Shop is set to private.  This leads to the potential follower/customer having to go through a whole process with you. They have to send a request to you, then you need to approve their request. And by the time you do all this they can land on another shop’s Instagram page, a shop that sells similar products as yours which has their account set to public, and end up following and buying from them. This is because their products are more accessible since they are visible right off the bat.  You are really hindering the potential impact that Instagram can have on your Etsy shop, by setting your account to private.  

2. Instagram post ideas for Etsy shops

As mentioned before, Instagram, as a platform, is really an opportunity to build your brand and connect with your audience (potential and existing customers).  Therefore, you should really seize this opportunity and use it to showcase your brand.  

Here is the various different ways you can do this:

A. Workspace

Showcase your workspace, provide a little behind the scenes look. This really helps in humanizing your brand and making you more relatable. It’s important to remember that people tend to buy more from people they feel like they can connect with or relate to!

B. Product in process (various stages of production)

C. Finished product

Instagram, being a primarily visual platform, is great for finished product photos! Taking good quality photos of your product and then posting them to Instagram is a perfect way of getting your products out there outside the etsy realm / marketplace. This is great because, guess what? Instagram has a massive global reach! More than 75% of Instagram users are outside of the U.S. and whereas Etsy user’s primary gender is women for Instagram it is split 51% male to 49% female.  Look at all the people you can reach just by being on Instagram!

D. Tools

You can take lots of fun and unique photos of your tools with your supplies
Ie. like flatlays!

E. Your Inspiration

What is the inspiration for your creations? Is it florals or plants? Share that! Is it an excerpt from a novel? Share that!

3. Make sure you have a link to your shop in your bio

Yes I know this seems like it is really obvious, but I have landed on many Instagram accounts for Etsy shops where there is no link! You need a link and you need a Call to Action, that is, tell visitors on your Instagram account to click the link to head over to your shop! In fact, it’s also a very good idea to have a call to action in your captions, meaning, tell your followers to click the link in the bio!

4. Offer special discounts

Offer your Instagram followers a special discount code that they can use at your shop! This is exclusive to your Instagram followers! If people feel that by joining your Instagram they will remain up to date on all these exclusive offers and discounts then they’ll want to follow so not to miss them. The more they keep up and see your Instagram posts the more they are likely to buy!
 

5. Get your products featured

There are tons of accounts that feature handmade or Etsy products.  Now this one usually comes with a fee, but it is a great way to get your products and shop promoted! Check out our Instagram account @handmadefindslove where we feature handmade and Etsy shops!

There you have it! Tons of ways for Etsy shops to utilize Instagram to build their brand, connect to their audience and increase sales! But if you still are wanting a more in-depth and step-by-step actionable system to grow your Instagram and make sales then learn about our new course Instabuzzing! Each module is designed to help creative entrepreneurs learn how to use Instagram to grow their business online with a focus on growing their Instagram presence.

Click on the image below to find out more:

How to use Instagram to drive sales without being salesy

Instagram is one of the best social media platforms to build relationships and trust with your audience and this is often one of the first steps of converting your followers into buyers and getting them to click over to your shop/blog/website

Whereas Twitter is great for community and Pinterest is great for driving traffic, Instagram is great for building trust with your audience.

And the best part? Instagram has a global audience, meaning a global reach!

1. It starts with your Bio

 You need to have a good bio which indicates to the audience that you are there to provide them a transformation / solution with something they struggle with. Or you can also use your bio to let people know exactly who you are and what you do. Everything in your bio from your profile picture to your description should be on brand and should appeal to your target audience.

In our course Instabuzzing perfecting your bio is the subject of one whole module. We cover the basics like profile picture, description and keywords. We also share our magic formula which is then used to devise your own perfect bio! The Bio is a key piece in your Instagram growth strategy and that is why it is so important to get it right!

For example, since the bio is the only part of Instagram where you can have a clickable link it is important to utilize this feature in a strategic way.

What do I mean?...

2. You must have...a CTA

Tell your followers to click the link to receive 10% off or click the link to see more colours.  It has been shown that if you TELL people to do something they are more likely to do it. So don’t hesitate and tell them to “grab” this or “click” that! In Instabuzzing we go over CTA exercises that help you come up with a few that work for you!

3. Instagram is direct

You can sell directly to your customers on Instagram since it is such a highly visual platform. Therefore, your potential customers can see your product, so the key is to take good photos of your products! You can take a great product and not take a good image - blurry, too dark, not sharp - and really lower the potential of buyers wanting to buy! In Instabuzzing we dedicate one whole module to Visual Strategy where we cover photography basics and provide other actionable strategies to make your feed cohesive and consistent.

If you are selling a higher price product, it’s always great to utilize Instagram as a step in your selling process. What do I mean by that? Instead of selling directly - provide lots of value along with your Instagram posts and ask them to click the link in your bio to grab a freebie. This way you get them on your mailing list where you can build trust and authority and eventually pitch your higher priced product/service to them!

4. Make your Instagram full of exclusives

Another way to utilize Instagram to drive sales is to offer special sales discounts or coupons to your Instagram followers exclusive to Instagram. If people feel that by joining your Instagram they will remain up to date on all these exclusive offers and discounts then they’ll want to follow so not to miss them. The more they keep up and see your Instagram posts the more they are likely to buy!

5. Make your Instagram public

If people can’t see what your Instagram account is selling, or what your feed looks like right off the bat – then there is no incentive to give you a follow or buy from you. By the time you see their request to follow you and you approve, they can very much land on another profile which is public and has similar content/products/services as yours, therefore, increasing the likelihood they will follow and buy from the other profile than yours!

6. Be consistent

Make sure your business name is in your handle and your handle is the same across all social media platforms including Instagram. Then you need to go engage with your potential clients. You can’t just post and disappear - interact!! With interaction the likelihood of your potential clients following you goes up and so the likelihood of them buying from you goes up. This is the exact chain of events that occurs when you have a cohesive feed with beautiful images!

In our new course Instabuzzing we dedicate a whole module to converting followers into customers and clients. We have a step-by-step action plan that includes exercises in wording the perfect CTA, perfecting your Bio for your target audience with an extensive Bio checklist and key conversion strategies that are tried and tested!

click the link below to learn more about Instabuzzing:

How to have amazing pictures on Instagram!

We live in an increasingly visual world. Everything from Facebook to Twitter to online newspapers have started orienting their information delivery towards image or video based mediums. And that is why apps such as Instagram are so successful and, therefore, vital to you, your business or blog.

Instagram is visual content at its core. But when an app is so image oriented and has over 70 million users, you need to find a way to have your Instagram feed and content really stick out, especially if it is an account for your blog, shop or service. The big question mark for Instagram always remains: how do I get more followers? More likes? More sales?

One way in which to increase your followers is through quality images, because I mean you’re more likely to follow an Instagram account with beautiful images? Right?

For example just under the hashtag of #jewelry there are 24,408,476 posts or under the hashtag of #ootd (outfit of the day) there are 83,076,195 posts--and these are the number of posts at the moment I searched for them.

As a creative entrepreneur visual strategy is a key part of your business strategy and brand identity because it’s the best way to attract people to your account and drive them to your website or shop. But it’s having your images and account stick out amongst the rest that is often the difficult part. Instagram can be frustrating in that way. You may have amazing products or insanely well-put-together outfits but if you don’t have a visual strategy in place for your Instagram then people simply will not pay attention.

Fortunately, there are very simple and easy things that you can do to improve your visual content and get the recognition you deserve.

Here are some things to think about:

1. Post Good Quality Images

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many times we have come across amazing products or outfits that were captured in bad quality images through our Instagram audits.

Some examples of what we mean by bad quality:
Dimly lit
Pixelated
Blurry
Cluttered
Shadows
Overly exposed/bright
Selfies
Small file size
Grainy

These are all easily fixable mistakes. Make sure your product is the focus of your image or that your background for your outfit pictures is clean and simple with you outfit being the focus. Use a good camera and tripod. For outfits shoot in continuous mode and for products shoot from above.

We also mean quality in the another sense. Make sure whatever you post, you post with intent. Meaning, make sure there is a reason for why you post what you post and that is catered towards a specific niche or Target Audience.

Not sure about your Target Audience and how to define one?
In our course Instabuzzing we go through a step-by-step process in our workbook and module to help you define your target audience through a series of questions and exercises.

2. Please Edit Your Pictures!

Editing your pictures is just the lift that your image will need to take it from good to great. It helps to make pictures clear, clean, crisp and put-together. Once you have a picture edited to your ideal you have a reference point for the rest of your images. This makes editing all future images much easier and quicker, as you should be applying the same editing tools to all your instagram pictures to maintain continuity. Editing can be done on iphoto on Mac, in VSCO, in your photo editor on your phone or even with the photo editing tools provided by Instagram.

Think about things like:

-Upping the brightness a little. Images that are lighter and brighter have 24% more likes than dark images.
-Playing with the contrast to make the colours come alive a little more.
-If your pictures are too yellow, fix that using the “warmth” or “cast” options. It has been shown that pictures with blue being a central colour or overtone have 24% more likes.
-Shadows/highlight tool that helps to bring back some of the details you may lose when you increase your brightness

In Instabuzzing, we will be sharing more picture taking and photography techniques that you can learn step-by-step in order to improve your images right away! This course dedicates a full module on visual content strategy and helps you to define your visual brand identity through lessons, actionable tips and workbook materials.
 

3. Don't go Overboard with Filters

Instagram is great in that it allows you to choose a filter for your image as you upload it onto Instagram. While this is genius for aesthetic continuity and to make an average photo look great, you need to always hold yourself back from getting filter-happy. More often than not, posters end up using inconsistent filters (“lark” on one and “inkwell” on another). This disrupts the cohesion of your overall visual stream, leaving your feed all over the place and visually inconsistent.

The important thing here to remember is: PICK ONE filter. That one filter is the only filter you should be using on all your images. This filter should fit your brand identity and work to create aesthetic cohesion of your visual content on Instagram.

This leads us to...
 

4. Don't Forget About Your FEED


Meaning, think about how your grid comes together. So it’s always good to step away from the image you are posting and look at the bigger picture, which is your grid. Think about how your image will fit into the grid you have currently. More so, think about the picture next to it and the picture below it, since it is between those two images that your new picture will appear. This will also help in keeping your aesthetic consistent.

5. Have a Theme or a Style

It is important to remember that everything from your image to your grid should be a part of your larger brand identity. Enforcing a theme or style on your instagram feed helps to uphold your brand identity and cohesion. Everything from your visual content, to your filter, to your bio should work together to promote your brand whether you are a shop, artist, or blogger and your branding should be focused in drawing in your Target Audience. Meaning, your grid, your images, your style and theme should all work together to draw in a specific ideal person in mind to you or your business/blog.

In Instabuzzing we have a whole module dedicated to defining your Target Audience and brand in order to attract the right people to become your followers on Instagram. It has been shown over and over again that successful Instagrammers have a clearly defined brand identity and Target Audience that informs their feed and images. Without such clarity there is inconsistency in visual content, in filters, in theme and style and this leads to a confusing Instagram experience of your feed which in turn deters people from hitting that follow button.

Themes can range from minimalist to monochrome to bright pops of colours. Having a theme informs the type of pictures you are taking, the filters used on the images and your grid, but again, the theme you choose should fit in with your brand. For example, if you sell natural and organic face product you might opt for a lighter, brighter theme with pops of green and brown as opposed to a theme with blacks and rustic-based images.

If you’re ready to take your Instagram visual strategy to the next level, then checkout our course Instabuzzing, where we dedicate one whole module to it!  This course will provide actionable tips and tricks to up your images and feed on Instagram with lessons and workbook material with step-by-step direction.

How to Hashtag on Instagram

Hashtags are key in Instagramming. You can’t just post images without hashtags and expect to draw attention in the sense of gaining likes and followers.

HASHTAGS EXPLAINED

But what exactly are hashtags?

A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social media, which make it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. It is normally a word or a phrase preceded by “#” symbol.
 

What do hashtags even do?
 

So as you can see, hashtags, by definition, are key in making your Instagram feed discoverable. They also keep your images alive since otherwise your images have a short shelf life, keeping them alive means they will forever be discoverable under the hashtag it is linked to. The problem is that most people on Instagram don’t use hashtags in the most effective way. Essentially, you have this missed opportunity to increase your engagement and see real growth on your Instagram.
 

 

HERE IS HOW YOU HASHTAG EFFECTIVELY

So, here are some things to think about if you want to hashtag in an effective manner:

  1. Don’t use hashtags in your captions


    Okay, you can use a few hashtags in your caption, however, it makes your caption look too cluttered, spammy and salesy. You want an amazing caption to go with your amazing picture, so why clutter it up with # after #? The caption should clearly and coherently relate what your image is about as it should function supplementarily. In this regard, the caption becomes really important in making a sale, elaborating about a service or describing an outfit. This is why having hashtags in your caption makes it distracting for the reader. It has also been shown that engagement goes down when you have more than five hashtags in your caption. So, if you are going to use hashtags in your caption it’s best to include only 1-3.

    Where you should be placing your hashtags, instead, are in the comments section where you can post up to 30 hashtags. Definitely use up the 30! This way your hashtags are hidden but yet still functioning!

     

  2. Use the RIGHT hashtags

    Really think about the hashtags that you are forever linking with your image and in effect with your Instagram account and even more so, with your brand. Using the right hashtags with see your account grow faster with real organic followers because you are providing them something of their interest. So how do you figure out which hashtags are the right hashtags for you and your image?

     

  3. Would your Target Audience search that?

    By hashtagging with your Target Audience in mind. When you have a specific and ideal person in mind, whom you would like to double tap on your picture and then follow you, it becomes easier to fill in the hashtags.
    This is because you should think to yourself, if I were the Target Audience what would I put in the search bar?

    For example, if you are selling handmade toys from your etsy shop, hashtagging #etsyshop will draw your peers to your site and not your ideal target customers. In order to attract them you have to think outside yourself and instead think like your ideal target customer. Instead this prompts hashtags like #mommyblogger or #newmom or #newdad.

psssstt....we have entire lesson w/ videos & workbook on how to hashtag on Instagram in our course: INSTABUZZING

Hashtags are not about you...wait what?


In our Instabuzzing course we help you define your target audience and show you how defining your target audience informs all other aspects of your Instagram leading to increased followers, sales and likes. We also provide a hashtag guide where we teach how to hashtag right step-by-step and even provide industry specific lists of hashtags that we have compiled! Hash tagging is integral to growing your Instagram and that is why we dedicate a whole lesson to it in Instabuzzing, because want to share with you how to do it right and really benefit from something so simple and effective that most people get wrong!

Remember, at the end of the day pairing amazing visuals with the right hashtags is the ultimate Instagram success package--you simply cannot go wrong.

This is why we have a whole module dedicated to visual strategy in Instabuzzing and an entire lesson dedicated to hashtags.
 

If you are serious about improving your images and hashtag game to increase your followers, sales and traffic, then Instabuzzing is for you!

Click the Button Below to ENROL:



 

Happy Hashtagging ##

 

How to Create a Cohesive Instagram Feed for your Business and Blog

VISUAL CONTENT IS THE BASIS OF YOUR INSTAGRAM EXISTENCE

There are over 75 million users on Instagram. Over 80 million photos are uploaded on a daily basis.  Therefore you need to stick out when it comes to Instagram! The first thing you need to understand about Instagram is that visual content is the basis of your Instagram existence.

Another thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to Instagram is two words: Cohesive and Consistent. You need a Cohesive feed and You need to be Consistent. Just those two actions can transform your feed into a successful one.  

So how do all those amazing Instagram accounts with so many followers do it? How do they have that beautiful cohesive feed?

Well my friends ...here is the secret to a Cohesive feed >> a style guide! That’s right, a style guide will help you to remain consistent thus resulting in a cohesive feed. And we have created one for you to download!

Steps to a Cohesive Instagram Feed

There are many aspects to a Cohesive feed, they require time and intent behind each image you post.  

  1. Firstly you need to understand your audience. You need to really understand who your audience is, what do they like? What do they do for a living? What is their lifestyle liked? Etc.  This will inform your content.  Which is the first part of your style guide. Deciding what sort of content you will be posting and then keep that consistent - not deviating from it, will result in cohesiveness in your feed.
     
  2. You then need to decide on the mood of your feed.  Is the mood, feminine? Minimalist? Fun and colourful? Again once you decide on having a minimalist mood to your feed, and you consistently post minimalist images your feed will look much more cohesive! Now imagine if you posted 3 images with a minimalist mood and then you decide to post a bright busy image with a hot pink background - you see how it throws off any chance of your feed being cohesive?
     
  3. his also goes for filters as well. You need to be consistent in your filter use. You can’t be using a different filter everyday.  Try to use the same filter with the same editing process and values. This will lead to a much more cohesive feed!
     
  4. If you are doing text overlays.  You need to be mindful of your typography. Keep your font, font style, font colour and size consistent.  You cannot be using a cursive font for one post and then a bold block font for another.

 

Keeping all these things in mind and keeping them consistent will automatically result in a cohesive feed.  

We highly recommend taking the time to decide all of these aspects that we discussed.  This will help you post with intent. Thus before posting you need to keep all of these things in mind and really think of how this post will fit in your grid. Will it upset the consistency you have going? Always refer back to your style guide!

So guess what? We created an Instagram Style guide for you to fill out! So go ahead and click the link to grab your Style Guide Download

3 Useful Apps to Edit Your Photos for Instagram

It’s no surprise that Instagram is such a fast growing social media platform and a popular choice amongst small business owners and bloggers. It’s firstly and foremost a visual platform thus great for small businesses and bloggers.  It’s a great place to grow your brand and connect with fellow creatives.   

Since the foundation of Instagram is visual content the key to success on Instagram is good images and a cohesive feed.  A great way to attain those beautiful flawless images and cohesive feed is using apps that make it easier to have a consistent editing workflow resulting in amazing images and feed.  

And while you are here, why don't you up your Instagram Game by getting your hands on our 2 page Instagram Bio Checklist? 

 

Here are some of our favourite apps for editing photos for Instagram:

3 USEFUL APPS TO EDIT YOUR PHOTOS FOR INSTAGRAM

1.   A Color Story

This is a app by a beautiful mess sisters and it’s one of my favourite apps along with VSCO.  This app is especially great if you want bright colour photos. Along with filters this app also provides you with the option to add leak colour and bokeh along with more options.  You are also able to save your editing workflow which you can use again and again to edit your images. This gives consistency to your images which then results in a cohesive feed! . They have loads of different options and this is definitely a fun app.

2.    VSCO

This is one of the best apps to use for editing images for Instagram and also one of the most popular ones.  There are loads of free filter and editing options that come along with the app. This app is especially great for photographers and quite popular with the blogger circle, especially fashion bloggers.   It has a very user friendly interface and it’s own community as well.  The best part is that it has a grid that imitates the Instagram grid, therefore you get a preview of what your grid would look like if you choose to publish the image you are editing on VSCO. 

3.  Snapseed

This is another popular editing app.  It allows you to apply different edits to different parts of an image.  The user interface is also really user friendly You are also able to see what your image looked like before your edits were applied and you can do this while you are in the process of editing.  

It just takes trial and error to see which editing app you like using and what aesthetic you prefer. Any which way editing apps help you with your editing workflow and can lead to cohesive feeds when you use the similar settings each time you use the app.  The best part about editing apps is that they mean you don’t require big expensive cameras and editing software to achieve those amazing looking Instagram images and feeds! 

cross promote your social media platforms to grow your following

Growing your following on social media platforms can sometimes be a frustrating process.  

Early on in our blogging career I was hit with a lightbulb moment - Why not use twitter to promote my other social media accounts? And guess what it worked! And guess what it actually has a name and is a legit strategy!

Grow your following on social media by cross promotion of your social media accounts!

So what do I exactly mean by cross promotion? I mean your followers on your twitter about your pinterest account. Tell people on your instagram about your periscope etc.

So let’s just distinguish between cross post and cross promotion.

Cross posting is when you post something on one social media platform and then share that post automatically to another social media platform.

An example of this would be, when you are posting on Instagram there are options where you can share the post on twitter, facebook etc. All you have to do is toggle over.

This is great - but sometimes not the best. This is because sometimes one social media’s posts do not fit into the other social media platform’s formatting.

So when  you share your instagram post to twitter it really doesn’t show up on twitter in an ideal way. It shows up as a link to your instagram post and not the actual image.  

 

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Cross Promotion is when you utilize one social media platform to promote your other social media platform.

Cross promotion on social media is actually a strategy that a lot of social media managers utilize and contributes to social media success. It is a great way to build your social media following without spending any money! It also means that you get to leverage your following on one social media platform to build a following on another social media platform. This is especially great if you have a big following on one platform and not so big following on another.

Also, note when we are speaking of cross promotion here we are speaking of all your social media accounts affiliated with your blog/smallbusiness, so your professional social media accounts.

I mean if you don’t mind everyone on your private facebook knowing about your business or blog then great! Ask your facebook friends to give your facebook a like!

But for this post we are going to be referring to all your social media accounts that are professional and not private.

So firstly you need to be present on many social media accounts for this to really work.  Or at least two social media accounts that you can utilize in this strategy.  

Examples of cross promotion of social media platforms: 

Promote your Pinterest on Facebook:

“Did you know we are also on Pinterest? Follow here (insert link to pinterest here)"

Promote your social media platforms by snapping your social media profiles / usernames on Snapchat!

Promote Pinterest on Twitter:

“Love spending my Sunday mornings Pinning away, check us out here” Include link and maybe a screenshot of your pinterest profile!

Below is an Example of Cross Promotion we did. We posted to our Buzzing Creatives Twitter Account Letting People know about our Pinterest Account!

 

Promote your Periscope on Instagram

Create a graphic using the periscope icon and your username, post on instagram and ask people to follow you on periscope and let them know what you will be live streaming about! 

Below is an example of us utilizing our Buzzing Creative Instagram to promote our Periscope!

For places such as twitter you should use a URL shortner such as bit.ly since twitter is limited to 124 characters.  

These are just a few ways to cross promote and grow your social media following, an often overlooked strategy!








The number one strategy small businesses overlook

It’s difficult to run a small business. Often times, they are run from creative entrepreneur’s homes or in the after work hours of the day/night. Most times, it’s run by one person and that means that this one person has to do everything from product design to creation to shipping to trouble shooting. Social media is a god-sent form of promotion for small businesses, but what if after all that work and all those hours you still weren’t seeing an increase in sales and followers even though you have an instagram, a twitter and even a facebook page and you’re posting frequently enough?

You may want to look at your branding and ask yourself: Do I have a clear branding strategy in place? Branding is all about customer experience and it is the most important piece to your social media strategy that can help you convert people into followers and followers into customers.

Why is branding so important you ask? Here are 5 reasons why branding is important for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs:

1. Branding creates recognition 

Having consistent branding across all social media platforms and in your visual content makes it easy for people to recognize you, your shop or service. This recognition familiarizes people with you and your brand and that helps build trust. What this results in is more sales and follows because it has been shown that people tend to buy from brands that they are familiar with.

2. Sets you apart from your competition


In this day and age you are no longer competing on just the local level. Social media has made a global reach possible and this makes branding all the more important in setting you and your shop/service apart from the rest of your competitors. A good brand identity will make your Instagram, Twitter and website/blog stick out.

3. Tells people exactly what kind of business you are

Branding is the whole package. Everything from colours, fonts, visual cues, styling, word associations to the description is a part of creating an overarching image/lifestyle/ideal person that your brand projects. When all of those individual pieces come together, people landing on your shop/blog or social media platforms know exactly what you stand for, what you do and what need you are fulfilling for people of that particular niche. People will either resonate with this image/lifestyle/ideal person and follow or they will move on. And that’s okay! Because you want to attract the right people and this is what branding does: It weeds out the people you don’t want and keeps the people you do want enticed and willing to become customers.

4. Your brand is YOU

While it is important to keep private and business life separate for professionalism’s sake, you need to remember that at the end of the day the brand is a representative of YOU and what you are selling. This is important because if you’re shop and social media platforms are disorganized, non-cohesive or in-consistent then people will associate you and your products with such concepts and will then be less likely to trust you and buy from you. However, when we say your brand is you we mean that it is still important to remain true to you and why you began creating or offering a specific service in the first place. Often times people are able to see through forced branding. Meaning, if you are a surfing-Californian-beach-lover then sell your shell jewellery with similar people and that brand identity in mind, don’t try to appeal to the urban young hipster.

5. People invest emotionally in brands

If people stumble upon your website/blog/shop and its cohesive and consistent AND they resonate with your brand identity, then they are more likely to become loyal followers and customers. This is because people invest emotionally in brands.  Playing on emotions is another form of trust building that is created through an understanding of a specific lifestyle or ideal person that your brand identity is built upon. Resonance with a brand leads to many things, but most importantly, it means that people tend to spread word about brands they love and remain loyal to brands that remain consistent and loyal to them.

If you want to learn more about how Instagram is key to growing your brand and how you can use Instagram to increase your sales, followers and traffic then click on the button below to sign up for our FREE 7 day Instagram course!