Instagram for Business
Instagram now allows companies to change their settings and with the flip of a switch, becomes a business page.
Some benefits to this include:
- A specific Contact icon that users can click to see the email, the phone number or even directions to the business in question. This also allows for more space for the company’s bio, link, etc.
- An Insights feed directly linked to the business profile.
- Capability to still use features that all Insta users have access to, like Instagram Stories.
Speaking of Stories…
Inspired by Snapchat’s legendary off the cuff Stories, Instagram introduced its own version of Stories earlier this year allowing users to publish more content in short-lived daily photos and video slideshows that disappear after 24-hours.
Evans’s rules for Insta Stories:
(Note her disclaimer, though: “The best ways [are] to learn the rules and then break them to get attention. So you don’t have to follow this step by step.”)
- Evans is using Insta “the way it was meant to be used.”
- With the adoption of video on the platform or people posting memes or photos with text over them, the use of Instagram moved away from tidied up photography to more pithy content. Now Evans uses Stories to post the more engaged, more frequent, less staged photos and keeps her feed full of the cleaned up, stylized posts.
- Don’t give up on your Snapchat dreams✨.
- Evans still finds herself tailoring her content on Snapchat to a different audience. Her snaps are funnier and more carefree, while her Instagram posts are more tailored to a client-facing audience.
- Engagement is much higher on Instagram but…
- This is mainly because Instagram users already have a following. Evans adopted Snapchat a little bit later than others, she admits, and this has made gaining a following more difficult.
The new Instagram algorithm is a lot like a unicorn: Pretty. Shiny. New. Mysterious. A little bit hard to wrap your head around.
The platform has recently change the way your feed works. Instead of seeing posts in chronological order, content now shows up based on who you interact with and how relevant it is. This is more similar to how Facebook works.
And this has changed how people are engaging.
The Kylie Jenner Effect and Other Hacks
Fans of celebrities like Kylie Jenner are starting to comment on their favorite celeb’s Insta posts to get people to like their content with acronyms like “LB” – like back (which means that if someone likes your photos, you’ll like theirs).
Other tips increasing your following on Insta include:
Researching and using popular hashtags.
Engage with popular users in your industry (as long as they are NOT competitors).
Create an Editorial Calendar with stellar content – for both your feed and your stories.
Aaaaaand for Snapchat:
Promote your profile by using your Snapcode…
- As your social media profile pictures
- At the end of your blog posts
- In your email signature
- On your marketing material
- On your business card
- In the next update from your SMS system
Snapchat users are so much more likely to follow you via your snapcode than by typing in your username. (Shoutout to Collin Austin of New Scooters 4 Less for KILLING the snap game!)
Editorial Calendars are Definitely NOT Dead
Evans talks to the importance of editorial calendars, even though some media managers might see this as old school. She plans out her content for Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. because it helps her create relevant content for the unique audiences on each of these channels. She also plans out how she’s going to promote and boost her posts. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have made it super simple to create ads that increase engagement. The type of content you’re creating should shift if there’s a plan for paid media.
***Pro-tip: You don’t have to plan your responses out, but you should be engaging with your consumers every day. It is one of the best ways to gain a following and publicity.
Visual Content: Tips and Tricks
- Don’t be afraid to swim against the tide. Understand the rules and then break them.
- Good lighting is key . There are even phone cases you can purchase that have built in lighting for the perfect selfie, for example LuMee!
- Everyone loves videos. There are so many tools nowadays to simply and quickly improve the quality of video. Here are some tips:
- Use a tripod to stabilize the video
- Record in landscape instead of portrait
- Lighting is key (yes, we’re saying it again). You can even shoot in a white box to improve the light!
- External audio
Some resources Evans uses to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest apps, tools, and technologies include:
Tools to Use
Evans creates a folder on her phone for each social networking platform she uses with the best tools for each site.
Evans comes from a public relations background, initially working in healthcare and nonprofits. “I was doing so much nonprofit work that no one was really ready for how crazy I was about social media at the time….I essentially worked myself out of a job,” she said.
At one point, she was full-time as a director of communications and did consulting at night. She began her company and became a digital correspondent. She acts as a speaker for brands at events while managing their social strategies.
Her advice to those just starting out?
- Don’t be afraid of what you know. You provide value to the companies you’re working for, so don’t hesitate to speak up!
- When companies interview you, remember that it works both ways. You should like the business you work for and what you do.
- It’s not always glamorous. But find what you’re good at and the money will come.