How to gain Instagram followers

One of the questions we are asked frequently is, "How do I boost my followers on Instagram quickly?" We have decided to answer it in this blog post once and for all. Here are our top tips on running your Instagram account.

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Instagram has changed a lot in recent years with their algorithms, aesthetics, and features, in order to have any success on Instagram, you need to be exploiting all of the resources that you have at your disposal:

  1. Instagram Stories
  2. Highlights
  3. Follow Hashtags
  4. Collections
  5. Hashtags and Profile Links in Bio
  6. Archive posts
  7. Instagram Live
  8. Polls
  9. Posting multiple Photos or Videos

(If you are unsure what any of these features do, just click on them to get a brilliant explanation)

You have all of these amazing tools to use - and so much more - but we need to go through some steps to get your content looking great.

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Use stories to your advantage

 

If you want to keep your profile predominately business orientated, you can use your Instagram stories to show more of your business' personality. Instagram stories are an important part of keeping your brand in your follower's minds. The reason for this is that stories sit at the top of the home feed which is a brilliant opportunity to always be in a prominent position on your followers home feed. 

Tagging the location of your stories is a good idea, as this will broaden your audience and potentially enourage new people to follow you. 

You could use the superzoom feature (shown above) to highlight your favourite moments in work, to create buzz about new products or to just be a little bit more light-hearted.

Maintaining a light-hearted element to your business will help people to stay interested. The presence you create online is just as important as the information that you share. You could have the best product or service in the world but if your social campaign has no enthusiasm behind it, it will just flop and be forgotten about. 

Insta Stories Made Easy!
Still struggling to get your head around Instagram stories?

 

Another important new feature for Instagram is Highlights. It is now possible to archive your stories into public folders that are sat on your profile. This creates an album that can be viewed at any time. We recommend creating custom highlight covers like this:

 Image found on Plannthat.com

Image found on Plannthat.com

This simple change to your stories will help your whole account look a lot more professional and may even entice more people to follow you. 

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Be Content-Full

No, this section is not just about what makes you happy. Unless creating great content makes you happy?

Producing attractive, relevant and interesting content regularly is the basis for a successful Instagram campaign. You will know if the content you are producing is relevant if can stand against the following criteria:

  1. Is it attractive? 
  2. Is it meaningful? (Does it mean anything to anyone else other than you?)
  3. Is it for my audience? 
  4. Is it fit for purpose? (Does it meet your brand value and principles?)

If you can honestly answer "Yes" to these basic questions about any content you create for Instagram, it should be relevant to your Instagram. Looking to up your Instagram post game? Check out Chloe's 5 tips for creating engaging social media posts!

Even though Instagram is an image based platform, words are still extremely important. Using hashtags creatively will push your content towards people who want to see it. For example, most people who have an interest in sport will follow sport related hashtags. If your business is in that industry, it will help your content to use the hashtag #Sport. It is also useful to note that you should use a mixture of relevant, trending and niche hashtags together in a post for maximum impact. To get some more understanding of how to hashtags effectively, check out our hashtag rules

Top tip: Always post your hashtags with the post, do not post them as a comment. This is because by the time you post the hashtags in a comment, your image will be lower down the running order in the Instagram algorithm. 

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Find your followers

You cannot just sit back on your laurels and expect people to just follow you, you need to do the instigating. Instagram has put all of the tools to do this at your disposal, the new feature to follow hashtags has made finding your audience a whole lot easier. Just follow the hashtags that are relevant to your business and the whole world will be open to you:

 Found on Instagram.com

Found on Instagram.com

When you begin to search through these hashtags, you will start to find other accounts that would be interested in your service. Once you find these accounts, leave some meaningful comments, like some of their pictures and follow them. This small act of kindness will usually result in a follow.

You can use a similar method where you follow the followers of accounts similar to yours. Typically, if someone is following an industry-specific account, they are likely to follow back other accounts in that specific industry. These are methods that work and have created success time and time again for us.

Top tip: Don't forget you can promote posts from your Instagram account to gain profile visits. This works directly through the Instagram platform and can lead to more followers. 

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Stop Hunting for Likes

Even though likes are important, you shouldn't make that your only goal. You may look at other people who have fewer followers than you but have loads of likes. You may also see the same vice versa. This is because they see engagement as more important, the more someone engages with a post the more they will do more than just like it. Make your focus posting great quality content that is relevant to your brand. If you also look for ways to start conversations with your followers, this will prove to be invaluable to your business.

Don't be fooled by people trying to sell you likes or new followers. If an account with 3 posts, 2 followers and following 7,340 (We're stereotyping here) messages you offering you a way to gain thousands of followers, the likelihood is that it's a scam. Whether they are looking to do you a free service or a monthly plan basis, buy followers or likes is not recommended. Not only could they be trying to steal your money, they could also be compromising your account or using click farms to boost your following. Not only that but the new followers you will gain will never engage with you and it could cause your Instagram account to be banned. 

If you do want to speed up the rate at which you gain engagement, you could try systems like Social Drift, which use bots to engage with a targeted audience. This is proven to steadily increase followers, but it is a grey area. The audience you will attract with this method will be engaged, it is like a human constantly using Instagram each hour to engage with a target list of profiles. This method may not be safe - use at your own risk!

 

Avoid Click Farms!
Want to learn more about why click farms are bad?

 

It is impossible to build a genuine customer base from fake followers. This will only bring your business into disrepute so we would strongly advise against using any services like this. 

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Make conversations meaningful again

When you receive a genuine comment, how does it make you feel? Good, right? Now imagine how someone in your industry would react if you left a positive comment on their post. This simple idea of making conversations great again can actually help you to gain real followers.

Asking people about their businesses, congratulating them on an achievement or just telling someone they did a "great post!" could really boost morale and will boost positive engagement. Like with any conversation, it is rude to just ignore someone - without good reason, of course -  so it is important that you keep on to of the comments and replies you receive. 

Here is the real secret to gaining Instagram followers that everyone wants to hide from you: Hard-work! This includes:

  • Liking other peoples posts.
  • Commenting on other peoples posts.
  • Regularly posting brilliant content to your profile.
  • Posting stories.
  • Following other accounts that either match your targeted customer base or that align with your interests. 

Putting in the time to make meaningful conversation or create engaging posts all takes time and hard work. There is no substitute for Instagram success other than hard work. If you are willing to put in the work then Instagram will serve you well. However, if you are unsure how to balance all of this, why not trust a social media agency like us. We know what it takes to create a successful organically grown Instagram campaign. 

Like this blog? Why not follow us on Social Media?

Don't forget to leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you.


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Author: Darius Smith

 

How to use Easter for Social Media Marketing

 

Special offers and discounts

If you are in the food industry, or can easily find a way to relate your products to Easter, now is a great time to offer a discount to your social media followers. Not only will this drive some extra traffic to your website, it will also help to build upon your customer loyalty and improve your brand image.

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Easter Social Competitions

Competitions are an eggcellent way (pardon the pun, more on that later though) of increasing your engagement over this short holiday period. Many people will have a few extra days off around the Easter weekend, and so an increased amount of time on social media is to be expected from these yolk folk. Offer a special Easter prize with a super simple way for people to enter, perhaps related to the season, and the entries will follow.

Trending Hashtags

We’ve talked about using trending hashtags multiple times before. Easter is yet another opportunity to use hashtags to your advantage. A few to look out for include: #happyeaster #easteregghunt #easterweekend #easter2018 #easteregg #easterbunny

Remember to keep an eye on Twitter and Instagram on the day to see if there’s anything new that is trending which you could get on board with spontaneously.

Puns

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Easter might be one of the only times in the year that everyone seems to go pun mad. Eggcellent this, eggstraordinary that - they’re everywhere, so get on the bandwagon! Throwing a pun into your Easter social media posts is a great way to humanise your marketing message and add some personality to your brand. While it may seem silly now, showing your brand to be approachable and friendly will help you massively with your customer service reputation in the long run.

Branding

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We spoke a little bit about changing up your branding for Valentine’s Day in this blog post. Branding is something which everyone is used to staying exactly the same, so when it is changed slightly people tend to notice! Whether you sneak a couple of Easter eggs into your logo, or completely change up your cover photo for the weekend, change can be good.

Check out what we did with our logo, we made him into an Easter bunny! 

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Easter Activites

Those of you with children are likely to have seen all the Easter-related games, puzzles and activities which are available on the internet for keeping the little ones occupied through the spring holidays. So, why not make your own for the adults to have a go with, relating to your business? An example of this might be to hide some tiny egg graphics in a product lifestyle image. Again, it sounds silly, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who can’t help but get involved. The benefit to you is increased engagement, which also means increased reach.

 


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Author: Chloe Welch

 

Years and Years use Chatbots to promote new single Sanctify

As a die-hard fan of Years and Years, I was amazed to see the marketing behind their new single, Sanctify. With all the talk of Facebook news feed changes and the adoption of chatbots into social marketing, their use of this medium was innovative and exciting. 

The campaign revolved around an advert which encouraged you to engage with their account on Facebook messenger. Instantly you are propelled into an Orwellian narrative being welcomed to the "PSEN Server" claiming to represent androids and non-humans. 

   This was the first message users received.

This was the first message users received.

 

A sense of belonging

As the chat progresses, the story builds as Y&Y are portrayed as a "human collective" of rebels fighting against the authoritarian regime. Images of the symbol they used are sent to you along with 1984 style images and video clips. Its fun and intriguing and builds the anticipation of what is to come. 

   The underlying message of "How to treat humans" underlies a lot of the themes Y&Y explore with their music, from LGBT rights to Human rights. 

The underlying message of "How to treat humans" underlies a lot of the themes Y&Y explore with their music, from LGBT rights to Human rights. 

 

The day of release...

Of course, all of this leads nicely to the release date of the single and on the day of release, more messages came through, finally inviting you to listen to the music or to watch the music video. 

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This form of marketing really resonated with me. It was fun, intriguing and quirky and I enjoyed getting the messages. Real thought and planning had gone into the campaign and it did not feel like I was being marketed to. It felt like I belonged to the human collective, or at least that I identified with it. 

I do not know who the agency was behind this, or creative, but it bravo to them. I look forward to more campaigns like this and it has certainly inspired us to think harder and more creatively about how we can use Facebook messenger and chatbots to better effect. 

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Author: Richard Hunter
Linkedin
Email: richard@socialsidekick.co.uk

How are you using chatbots? How do you plan to use them? What did you think to this campaign? Let us know in the comments below 👇

We are now a recommended Social Media Agency!

We are excited to announce that we have just become recommended on the Recommended Agency Register. This involves clients recommending us on the RAR website for work that we have carried out or are currently carrying out. Clients are asked to rate us and leave a comment about our work.  It is a lovely feeling to have had so many recommendations from our lovely clients - it makes everything we do extremely worthwhile. 

From all of us at SocialSidekick we would like to thank all of our clients for working with us and for your continued usage of our service - what a way to start 2018!

 

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Dust off your social media platforms - Time for a Spring clean!

Over the holidays, I can guarantee that your social media marketing consisted of 3 things: a happy holidays post, a dry sales post and - maybe - a forced happy picture of you with your colleagues, right?

Social Media Marketing

It’s time for things to change, we’re 23 days into the new year and if those things are still lingering on your account, you are giving the wrong impression. Creating fresh content, finding excellent free images and regularly updating your profiles will give your socials a good spring clean. But hiring a social media agency will give you the best spring clean you have ever had.

From content creation to lead generation, Social Sidekick will provide you with the best social media packages that will work for you. We will strip back the cobwebs and clean the clutter to help you find a clear message that fits seamlessly with your brand values.

Social Media Agency

Our services provide you with regular high-quality posts that will improve both your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SMO (Social Media Optimisation) rankings. We do this through:

  • Scheduling tweets/posts for evenings and weekends so you don’t miss out on peak times for traffic.
  • Creating fun posts that reflect your business e.g. including emojis and photos of your team.
  • Using both negative and positive feedback to your business' advantage - it’s a chance to let your business shine!

There are so many other tricks that we use to boost your social media marketing, you can find some of them on our blog. Every day, our strong, young and vibrant team are working hard to make sure your social media marketing excels, builds an audience and brings your company sales.

Social Media Success


Your search for a perfect social sidekick is over! You can trust us to be the friendly & flexible social media management agency you’ve always dreamed of.

Top Tips from the Social Sidekick Team

The Social Sidekick team have put together their top tips for social media marketing to help you improve your campaigns! Whether you are a Marketing Manager looking for new ideas, or a start up business owner using social media for the first time, the top ideas and tips from our Account Managers are sure to help you increase impressions and engagement…

Rosie

1. Use negative and positive feedback to your advantage - it’s a chance to let your excellent customer service shine!
2. For B2C businesses, schedule tweets/posts for evenings and weekends so you don’t miss out on peak times for traffic.
3. Share ‘personal’ updates about the business, e.g a charity day, an employee's birthday cake etc.. It makes the business seem more human and approachable.

Chloe

1. Use hashtags to get your posts noticed, but don’t over do it. Carefully pick which hashtag will have the most impact in your content.
2. Keep on top of your comments and messages. It doesn’t look great if your business is unresponsive to customer queries online. 
3. Look into what hashtags are popular that day and get involved, this will expose your business to a larger audience and make you look on trend!

Nicole

1. Interact with users on social media: retweeting, liking, adding people to lists and mentioning users. This will encourage people to engage you with too!
2. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing: how often they post, what their popular posts are, what time they're posting etc so you are always a step ahead.
3. Use images and videos to create more visual content that will capture your audience’s attention.

Darius

1. Republish old content. If something was successful in the past, there’s no reason not to shout about it again! 
2. Build relationships with influencers in your industry who are likely to shout about you on social media.
3. Create fun posts that reflect your business e.g. including emojis and photos of your team.

Jake

1. Use the right platform for your target audience. Research into which platforms your customers are likely to be using so you don’t waste your time posting to the wrong places.
2. Don’t be too aggressive with the amount you post - focus on quality not quantity. As long as your posts are consistent, once a day is plenty!
3. Engage with your audience and share their content - they might just do the same for you.

Click here to Meet the Team! 

Want to chat with someone about your social media campaign? Give us a call on 0333 6666 193 or fill in our contact form.
 

How to Create a Simple Social Media Strategy for your Business

(Updated on 27th February 2018)

Social Media can sometimes be a minefield of hashtags, mentions, and gifs that can be hard to decipher.

A Social Media Strategy will help you to navigate how you will manage your accounts positively and professionally. We are giving you the perfect tips for strategic success.

What is a strategy?

A Social Media Strategy is a document that you share with your team to make them aware of how to approach your Social Media accounts. This will also be inline with your brand value and will help you to create a content calendar. (For definitions, check out our Social Media Decoded glossary) Here are the best three steps for creating a simple social media strategy:

  1. Set clear goals & objectives 
  2. Figuring out strategies to meet those objectives
  3. Extrapolating your strategies into bite-size tactics that can be implemented to reach your ultimate goal

Goals & Objectives

This section will not be about the wonders of chess. However, when you approach chess in a logical way with room for flexibility, you are most likely to win. It is the same with social media. When you have a logical plan with room for flexibility, you are likely to succeed

When starting with your strategy, it would be advisable to sit down with your team and brainstorm the following areas:

  • What do you want to achieve? 
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Why are they your target audience?
  • Why do you want to advertise to them?
  • What Platforms do you plan to use?
  • What tone do you want to have?

The list of questions you could ask yourselves about your business could go on for a while but we feel these questions will get the best responses. It may even be advisable to do a short questionnaire asking members of your staff how they perceive the business. 

Your objectives may end up looking like the following:

  • Increase traffic to social media
  • Increase brand awareness through social media
  • Sell more products through the website as a result of social media traffic

This initial stage of the strategy could be better questioned as, "What are the long-term goals for your business on social media?" Once you can answer this in detail, you are ready to move onto the next step.

Strategy

End goal strategy

Using the right platforms for your brand could actually be crucial to your success, take a look at our Top Tips for Managing your own Social Media to assist you in your strategy writing.

Going deeper into how you will actually manage your accounts involves considering:

  • How many posts would go up each week
  • Who will be responsible for posting
  • Analysing where your social media stats are and how you would like them to grow on a monthly basis
  • Monthly themes
  • How your posts would be structured 

It would also be worth reading through our Social Media Do's and Don'ts when tackling this task. It will give you some insight into how your final product should (and shouldn't) look.

Here's a short example of what part of your strategy should look like:

  • At least 150 new followers on Twitter per month
  • At least 60 page likes per month
  • An engagement rate of at least 1.5% on Twitter

Once you have a strategy like this for your different social media platforms, it will make it easier to formulate tactics to reach your end goal.

Be Tactical

You have your objectives, you have your strategies and now it is time to get tactical. Having precise tactics can really help streamline your focus when putting together posts. 

Useful tactics to come up with:

  • Post structure e.g. Persuasive text - relevant #hashtag - link to website - engaging rich media
  • Individual tactics for each platform you are using
  • Hashtags you should use

 Once this is done correctly, you should have something that looks like this on twitter:

Twitter tactics:

  • Tweeting content to promote (Your business), linking directly to your website
  • Using events, seasons, trends to promote your (business)
  • Using hashtags such as *** to increase the reach of tweets
  • Retweeting relevant tweets to do with (your business)
  • Posting relevant third-party content from the internet 
  • Engaging with users who are discussing relevant topics on Twitter 
  • Use trending hashtags whenever relevant and possible 
  • There will be (your chosen amount) tweets posted every week

Structuring your tactics like this gives clear instructions of what to do and should be accessible to all using your social media, whether that is your staff or your social media agency.

Social Media Strategy Right direction

With everyone who signs up to Social Sidekick, we provide them with a Social Media Strategy that fully explains how we will manage their accounts. Give us a call today on 0333 6666 193 to find out how we could help you take the next step.