Instagram is now one of the biggest social media platforms and is a must use tool for businesses who are selling anything online. There are 4 key Ways to Use Instagram for Your Business and themes to keep in mind when using Instagram to grow your business. First, you need to understand the language of Instagram, otherwise known as hashtags. You also need to consider sharing other people’s content because it can help you build a community faster. Using influencers to help promote your content is another high growth hack which could add in hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers fast of your perfect fan base. Lastly, you need to make sure to mix up your content and keep it interesting by using simple apps to create video clips and collage images. The most important thing to remember is this… Mobile is where we are headed and Instagram was born as a mobile app!
Excited about the potential of Instagram? Then check out our article with plenty of case studies “10 Instagram Tips For Small Business Growth“.
It can be lonely and confusing trying to figure out online marketing by yourself. Don’t let overwhelm creep in. Get access to Andrew and Heather inside Digital Traffic Institute and ask them (yes, you can ask them questions) to guide you through what is holding you back online.
In this episode:
02:30 – A platform you can use to run contests on social media
05:12 – How Google is sharing content differently in their search results
09:42 – Some stats about Instagram that prove why it is valuable for your business
12:20 – 2 things that make Instagram different from the other social media platforms
13:10 – What is a hashtag
15:00 – How can you create your own hashtag?
17:00 – Ways of using hashtags in your posts
19:35 – Some results we have seen by using hashtags strategically
21:45 – 2 tools you can use to generate hashtags
24:22 – Ways of sharing other people’s content to get more followers and engagement (Case Studies of Hello Hair, I Quit Sugar and Frank Body)
27:25 – How to work with Instagram influencers to promote your business
29:55 – 3 apps you can use to create creative content for your posts (Hyperlapse, Boomerang and Layout)
31:00 – Some ideas on how to use quotes in your posts
33:40 – What is one of the biggest hashtags that is used
34:15 – How to promote your website when you can’t use links in your posts
Andrew: On today’s podcast, we’re talking about four ways to use Instagram for your business. We’re going to cover things like hashtags, other people’s content, paying influencers and mixing up your content. Hey there everybody, this is Andrew McCauley. Welcome to podcast #111. We are going to dig into Instagram, one of our favorite tools of the month right now. We are loving Instagram. We’re getting some really great results from Instagram so we thought, let’s share with our listeners all about the things that are happening for us right now. Heather Porter is going to join us. Hello Heather.
Heather: Hello guys, how’s it going? Hey Andrew.
Andrew: Hey how are you doing?
Heather: I’m good, I’m good. I’m just sitting here in the heat in Sydney. Gotta talk a little weather here. I love this because our listeners are from all over the world and we’re all on different seasons so I’m hanging on to my end-of-summer autumn period right now.
Andrew: Yes, we got a little hot where I am and then we got snow on the weekend. Like, whoa, what’s this? We’re back into the heat again today so… Up and down like a yo-yo right now.
Heather: Good ol’ Palm Desert.
Andrew: Palm Desert. Yes. It’s a busy time of year, here in Palm Desert. Lots to see and do. Speaking of lots to see and do, what have you discovered over the last week or so?
Heather: I’m always discovering things as you know. Here is a little tool that I came across that I thought is quite interesting. It’s called Gleam and the website is gleam.io. Inside of there you can basically run competitions across all of your social media platforms but not in the way that you might think. The way you use it is you get them to take actions and each action might have a score or rating on it or a point. So for example on Facebook I could say, “share this with your friends” and each friend equals a point and when you get the four points then you unlock something. So you might unlock a piece of content or a product or something like that. Pretty cool.
Andrew: It goes across which platforms?
Heather: It has Pinterest; it has Facebook; it has Twitter, off top my head that I know about. I think it has a couple of others as well. The big ones that we all care about. It’s this little app that works in conjunction with your account. So you can get viral sharing going on if you have good enough, I guess, “rewards” for your people.
Andrew: When you’re sharing or there are other people sharing for you, do they know that they are in part of a competition?
Andrew: So it’s clear that that’s what they want them to do is actually share it for a reason?
Heather: Yes. It’s like a little pop up thing that works and it will tell you what you’re going to get and what you have to do to get it to unlock it. Then it makes it easy to share the post or whatever. There’s lots of different ways of building the contest and different rewards and different unlocking and points and all that. It’s quite full-on actually. I went in for a free account and got the dashboard and I’m in there and I’m going, “oh my god.” But I can see the power, so much so that I actually want to set one up for us.
But for those of you that are thinking about running competitions and you’ve always thought “wow, how do I get people to share my stuff and how can I reward them?” Look, I would check them out — gleam.io. It’s being used by lots of large companies as well, so we know it’s a trustworthy resource.
Andrew: Did I sense a feeling of overwhelm when you went into that dashboard?
Heather: You did, Andrew. I was overwhelmed.
Andrew: Interesting. That’s a word that’s coming up more and more every day, I think, that word “overwhelm.” So that’s what we’re here for is trying to help people get over this overwhelm. So there you go — Gleam. Go and get some overwhelm, drop in there and check it out.
Heather: Only if you want to run a comp. Pretty cool for that. But yeah, it is pretty full on. But they have good resources.
Heather: What about you? What have you learned?
Andrew: You know what I discovered this week was that Google — always changing, ever, ever changing their ways — but they’ve just rolled out a new way to share more content on their search results. Currently it’s only rolled out to a number of celebrities or politicians and some larger businesses right now, but they say it’s going to roll out a little more.
Effectively what it is — if you do a search for a specific business owner or celebrity and when you get that search result inside the Google results, just after the main news or the main item that’s there as a result, there’s a new, like a series of posts — a little bit like Twitter — but it’s there in chronological order so that you can see the latest information from that person or that business.
As I said, it’s really new so we haven’t seen a lot of it. I’m looking at one of them right now and basically it tells me how long ago that post was there; it gives me the share icon so I can go and share it to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or email; I can copy the URL as well. But it almost looks like a Google+ post, even though Google+ doesn’t seem to be around too much, they are. But it looks like a Google+ post. It’s just a new way of rolling out more information on the Google search. Google is changing their search, by the way, a lot right now. You know, they got rid of their sidebar ads on the right hand side; they’ve disappeared. So I think we’re seeing a lot of changes on Google right now so I think that’s going to be a pretty big continual pattern for the next couple of months from Google.
Heather: It’s pretty cool. Because I’m a little bit behind sometimes in Australia, we get stuff rolled out later. I had Andrew show me, guys, what this actually looks like. And it actually looks like little mini — if you look at, say, Instagram or even Facebook, how each social media platform has a post that’s like a box with the image and then the blurb below it or above it, — that’s what it looks like; it’s embedded in the search results, these little mini posts like that. It’s pretty cool.
Andrew: I’m just looking at the search box right now. I’m looking at this presidential candidate — I won’t say which one — but I’m looking at this presidential candidate who is in the news so he’s got some news items on the left. On the right hand side it’s all about him, what his past is and that sort of stuff and what his issues are and what’s his policy and all that sort of stuff. It’s given us his profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well, you can click on. Then on the left hand side it goes back and talks about these new posts.
The actual top of the search bar looks pretty exciting now, you know, the top of the search results. It looks pretty exciting; there’s colored things, there’s videos; there’s all sorts of things going on that’s related to this particular search result and it’s not the boring ten lines of different web pages that Google have been known for. So I think search is getting a little bit more exciting if you like.
Heather: Dynamic. Exciting. Everything’s all about the content, multimedia. I think what you’re saying is it’s pulling loads different ways of looking at content now all inside the platform rather than clicking off away from the platform. It’s interesting.
Andrew: Yes. So keep an eye on that. They haven’t given it a name, actually; this is how new it is. Google posts — people are calling it Google Posts — but Google are saying it’s not any actual posts. We haven’t given it a name yet so we don’t even know what to call it.
Heather: Take-away for me for that is, guys, content’s never going to go out of style. Make sure that you’re doing good stuff, whether that’s podcasting, blog posts, you’ve got to be continually educating and putting out valuable information for your business.
Andrew: Content is the answer right now and I am head-deep in content, all sorts of content, but not just the content that we’ve been used to doing for a long time. Now it’s really getting to multimedia stuff. You know, content — can’t talk enough about it — but Instagram is another platform where we are going to put content on and we’re finding some really crazy results going on right now with our Instagram accounts and that sort of thing.
So we thought we’d jump in and talk about Instagram as another content platform. Because Instagram — I think you’ve got some interesting stats around Instagram — but they are… Is it the second fastest growing platform out there?
Heather: Well, if you look at YouTube as a social platform, which it is, because it has the sharing aspect, it’s the third largest. So it’s basically Facebook, YouTube and then Instagram is the third largest social media platform as far as active monthly users go. So it’s huge. You know what’s interesting is 40% of the users on it are in between the age of 16 and 24 — 40% — and then 90% of the users are under the age of 35.
Andrew: So does that say to business owners, while my target market is not there. Do I need to go and spend time on Instagram or not?
Heather: I think it says, like if you’re a business that wants to be in business for a while, you better be reaching out to the younger generation. This is where they’re hanging out.
Andrew: You know what I say to this — this is exactly the same as what happened to Facebook. “Facebook’s for the youngies, Facebook’s for the kids.” Well, who’s the fastest growing demographic on Facebook right now? It’s grandmas, right? It’s 50+ ladies, right? All these business are trying to get on Facebook to tap into that market. Er, too late. You should have been there five years ago.
Don’t wait until the older generation catches up. Get on Instagram now; start to build that platform; become a solid user in Instagram and then when the market finally sees you they’re going to say, wow, you guys have been around for a while. We really respect and love what you do. You obviously got it down pat. We’d love to follow you even more. I think you’re going to only build your strength early rather than trying to play catch-up later.
Heather: Yes. I totally agree. Not everyone’s an early adopter and you don’t necessarily have to be but the key here is that when the tipping point — love that book, by Malcolm Gladwell — when that starts to happen, you want to be there for that. And it’s happening. With some of these examples we’re going to share with you, you’ll see how it’s happening, how we’re witnessing it happening. But you want to be there for when that happens.
You know what? If you are in retail; if you’re selling anything online which is pretty much most of us — even consultants — it’s a really good tool for that.
Andrew: Yes. Really.
Heather: So I’d consider it. It’s in the top three. Or if you don’t think YouTube is social, it’s the top two.
Andrew: Definitely. So tell us about Instagram. What have you got to start us off with?
Heather: I think that Instagram is an interesting platform for two things. Because it’s a little bit foreign to those of us that are accustomed with more Facebook style social. The two things that it has that are quite different are that it is completely dominated by hashtags. I know we will explain what that is because that some of you guys still don’t know what a hashtag means and also the fact that you cannot put a link inside of your posts. You cannot actually link to a web page. So for example if you’re like — hey check out my latest blog post — you can’t link to it from there. So those two things make a lot of people go — how could I possibly use it in my business?
So let’s start with that the whole hashtag thing. That’s a huge part of using it for your business is you need to understand hashtags. So Andrew, how would you describe a hashtag?
Andrew: Always a question that comes up often.
Andrew: I think hashtags are a way to signify a theme. So what I mean by that is it’s almost like filing… You’ve got a filing cabinet and you’ve got folders for different topics — your electricity bill and your doctor’s bill — think of a hashtag as your filing cabinet. Basically what it does is, if you hashtag an image… Let’s say you’ve taken an image of a beautiful sunrise and you put a hashtag there saying #sunrise or #goodmorning sort of thing —
Andrew: — it gives people who are searching — because hashtags are searchable — it gives people who are searching for that sort of thing… It gives Instagram a way to categorize what that photo is about. So hashtags — the same use on Twitter, the same use on LinkedIn and Google+ and Facebook as well; you can search by hashtags — hashtags is a way to actually categorize what it is that you’re talking about.
Heather: Yes. And I love how you say “theme.” I’ve sort of talked about it as a sub-community. It’s like a community within a community, like what you were saying. You can click on a hashtag, not only for sunsets or #blackcats — I have a black cat, obviously — but you can follow live events and things that are happening and are trending. A lot of seminars will say, “use the hashtag” whatever it is about their seminar. What that means is that you can go into Twitter or Instagram and in the search bar just search # and then that particular hashtag that they’ve assigned to their even and you can see every single person who is actually communicating around that event, a subculture, a theme, like what you were saying. A lot of people say, well, how do I get a hashtag. How do you get one?
Andrew: Well, we sell them pretty cheaply. A dollar a hashtag. Come and see us. No not really.
Hashtags are free. Hashtags are used by anybody and everybody. One of the things you want to think about is, is the hashtag relevant to what you’re doing? But also, has the hashtag been used for something else — and it’s OK if it has — but has it been used for something else that’s detrimental to what you want to use it for?
So for instance, sometimes people will use acronyms as a hashtag. So they might say #BFJJ3. Now, BFJJ3 might mean something else in another country. It may mean something that you really don’t want to be a part of and if you’re hashtagging something you don’t want to be a part of you could find yourself on the end of some unwarranted emails and hate-mails and that sort of stuff too. So always just do a search; it’s very easy to do a search hashtag in Google; you can do a hashtag on the platform that you’re looking at, in this case Instagram — and then see what people are posting with that hashtag attached to it so that if it looks like it’s the polar opposite to what you’re doing and not even fitting in, maybe rethink what the hashtag is that you’re using.
Heather: Yes. Also, I like when I look for hashtags, if you’re wanting to find one for your business, try and find one that’s not being used in huge bulk amounts that’s really generalized. Like for that whole seminar example that I gave, if you’re going to use something like that, try and use something a little bit more specific. But hashtags for the sake of using them for the viral sake, you do want ones that really, really popular.
I know, Andrew, you have been testing stuff in our Autopilot Your Business Instagram account and getting… I’m still kind of shocked. I was looking at the results. Talk us through how you use hashtags.
Andrew: OK. That’s a good point. I just want to touch on that before I dig in to what results we’re getting on some of these accounts.
With the hashtags, yes, you want to be able to use hashtags that identify your individual brand. But there is no stopping you using more than one hashtag. What you want to do is use hashtags that are actually things that people are looking for. In our case, we’re talking about social media; we’re talking about online marketing; we talk about all sorts of different online aspects so we’ll use a number of different hashtags in our posts so that anybody looking for any of those topics will find us and then like our image and share it and possibly go to our website and that sort of thing too and then engage with us.
So here’s what we’re doing with our hashtags right now. We are posting an image, let’s say it’s a quote — quotes are working really well and as much as many people go, “ugh, quotes, I’m sick of quotes, I’m sick of seeing them all” — the thing is, the truth is they work. They work; people want them; they want to check it out. Make sure the quotes are relevant to your business and make sure they’re not the usual standard boring quotes with boring images. Make sure that you’ve got some sort of connection to the quote for your business. So we’ll make sure we’re posting quotes about business, about social media, about content marketing, about online marketing, because it’s relevant to us, relevant to our followers.
When we post an image, we might put a little caption in there in the caption space, but we don’t put any hashtags in that caption space. We just put our little, our little brief maybe — and some of them don’t even do this, actually don’t even just put the quote there, the picture — but then once they’ll put that picture up, a minute or two later I’ll go back and I’ll add relevant hashtags into the first comment line.
So I’ll add my own comment to this particular image. It used to be — and this is going back probably six months ago or longer now — but you could go back to all your images and add your hashtags in there after you’ve posted the image; you can go and add your hashtags there three weeks later, four weeks later — but now what Instagram are doing is they want to see that the hashtags are relevant to the picture at the time that the picture is posted. Within 20 minutes half an hour you’ve got to have those hashtags in there otherwise you’re wasting your time. I’ve experimented with this a lot and seen that hashtags don’t work after the image has been up there for a couple of days.
Here’s what’s happening for us. I’ll just give you an idea these results. On one of our accounts we have, we just really started digging in to this account, but we have 150 followers. Not very many at any stretch. But by doing this little tactic we are getting — this may sound not that impressive — but 150 people that are following us; we’re getting 50 people liking our image. 50 people liking our image. In fact, in an hour I can get, there’s nothing for me to get 30-odd people to like the image and maybe 5 or 6 comments on the image as well using this hashtag little method. So it’s working pretty well.
I thought, yeah, that’s OK, and then I started checking — and I haven’t even spoken to you about this Heather — but I started checking some other people with some big accounts.
Andrew: OK, so I’m looking at this particular person’s account who is in our space. They’re in our space; they’re teaching social media and online marketing. They have 49,527 followers.
Heather: Mm-hmm. Wow.
Andrew: They have a lot of followers. They have on their last couple of posts, 100 likes. That’s all. Just 100 likes. 200 likes on one of them, 127, 206… They’ve got… We’ve got 150 people. They have 50 thousand people and they’ve only got twice as many, sometimes maybe three or four times as many likes. But they have literally — 10 times 50 — 500 times the amount of followers that we do.
Heather: So hashtags are totally the engagement X-factor of Instagram.
Andrew: Right now is what’s… And you know what? I’ll tell you right now, it has been working like that for a long time. In fact, I know when we started… When I started my Instagram on my personal account a couple of years ago — four years ago?
Andrew: I’m just thinking, I know it was four years ago because I know who was doing it for us. He was doing this hashtag thing and it was instantly. It was crazy. Instantly getting these results from a hashtag. So hashtags have always been working. I don’t understand why people are not doing it more often.
Heather: A quick little bonus tip as well, because you were saying basically, post the image and then from there you go in as a commenter straight away into your own post and then do a whole bunch of hashtags. What is a really cool little app or tool that someone might use to just generate a whole bunch of hashtags that can copy and paste?
Andrew: A number of places you can go. Tagsforlikes is a tool that often gets shut down by Instagram I’ve noticed. But their website doesn’t, so you can go to tagsforlikes and you can copy their… You can look for a specific theme, so you might say sunsets or sunrise or clouds or nature or sporting and you’ll find that it will have a whole range of hashtags for you. Just be careful because what it does is let you copy them all in one hit, with one tap of a button; go back to your Instagram account and hit paste. But often these little tools will have — inside those lists of hashtags — they will have their own hashtag, like #tagsforlikes or their business name. Sometimes they’re not really relevant either, so just be careful when you’re using those things.
So, tagsforlikes is one of them. Tagstagram is another one that lets you do this sort of stuff. I think there’s another one… In fact, there’s a whole bunch of them. But honestly, just making your own.
Here’s what I did for ours. I went to some of these tools or I got some of the good ones that were there but then I went and found out who were our biggest competitors in Instagram. Who were the biggest ones that are getting the best engagement with the best results that are in our space? When I found them, of course I looked at what they were doing and which hashtags they were using and I modeled them. I copied them and stuck them on a spreadsheet —
Heather: You straight out ripped them off. Just be honest.
Andrew: I completely copied them. Yes. I. Did. I copied them, but here’s the thing hashtags aren’t illegal to copy, alright? So I copied them; I said, you know what… And I end up getting 91 hashtags from these different methods. I’ve split into groups of three. Now when I post my Instagram posts I just rotate my groups of hashtags around.
Heather: Love it. If you you guys are listening to this and you’re still thinking “I still don’t get it.” Just do it. Just try it, seriously.
Andrew: Autopilot Your Business. Autopilot Your Business on Instagram. Check out that account and you’ll see what we’re doing on that one and see how it’s going.
Heather: Come join us and then you can follow along the ride that we’re taking in Instagram ourselves and all the tactics that we’re testing so you can see what’s working.
So that’s hashtags. Do you want to move on to the next one?
Andrew: Yes, let’s go on to the next one.
Heather: OK. Another thing that you can do to attract more followers, more businesses to your account is sharing other people’s content. To do this… I think the best way to talk about this is with a case study. There’s actually a few but I’ll quickly name a couple of them.
Hello Hair, I always talk about these guys because they do a really great job in this space of social media and e-commerce. Hello Hair, what they do is they sell a hair oil product to keep your hair healthy. They go around and they find Instagrammers with large followings, basically women with beautiful hair that are sharing photos of themselves and they’ll take a copy of that photo, they’ll then post it in their own Instagram account and they’ll reference that person, saying “this person is crushing it with their beautiful long braids.” You know what I mean? So they’re making a cute little comment about this gorgeous photo with this woman with beautiful hair. Then they say something like, thanks so-n-so for your photo, or “image via” this resource and they tag in the user name of the person that has posted that photo. So a couple things happen. The second somebody tags you in to a photo or comment in Instagram, you then are alerted in your Instagram app and then you can then go see where that photo has been posted. So obviously they’re going to be getting interested traffic from women with beautiful hair to drive traffic back into their page but also they’re just building that community. Community is what Instagram is all about. It’s not only just about you, but how can you bring in other people that are doing really great things within your space.
So they do it, Andrew. I Quit Sugar — they do a great job of it that as well. I Quit Sugar, they basically have this hashtag that they have claimed called “simplicious”, so #simplicious. They basically have recipes on not using sugar and what happens is people are now taking photos of themselves cooking the recipes and then putting on Instagram and then using #simplicious and then the I Quit Sugar account goes, does a search, scoops up those images, shares them and says — thanks so much so-n-so, this is great — and then tags them in. Again, referencing their community.
Andrew: GoPro does it very well as well.
Heather: They do. Yes. So be thinking, guys, about how you can do that not only for referencing and building community and reaching out to new people but you can even do it for contests and rewards. There’s businesses that use a hashtag and say “take a snap.” Frank Body actually does this. They are a coffee scrub company. Frank Body. They basically — gosh you can hashtag, share a hashtag and some people will even give you a discount or a free product or… So there’s lots of cool things that you can do with hashtags and sharing of other people’s images.
Andrew: Very good. Yes. Love it.
Heather: Next up, we have… Well, obviously you’re in business for business and we as business owners know that sometimes you have to spend a little money to grow your business, especially when it comes to getting more traffic.
The third one is to pay influencers. So how does that actually work?
Andrew: That’s a very interesting method. There are a lot of people out there with some large Instagram accounts; they’ve been growing them for a long time. It’s almost like cash for comments. You know, like the old days when a famous person would be on the radio and they might mention your brand, or product placement in TV sort of thing. Put your drink inside the hands of the actor that was on the screen; it’s product placement.
This is a little bit same sort of thing. There’s some Instagrammers out there that would charge you money to post your post for you so that people get to see it. It may be in the form of an ad sort of thing; it might be an image with some directions. It might be something like — this great webinar is coming up on Tuesday; go and check it out. In front of 200,000 people, from an Instagram account that’s got 200,000 people it might be a pretty effective way to get that name across there. You might find that it costs you 2 or 3 hundred dollars to get that post put up there. I know people are saying whoa, 2 or 3 hundred dollars? Well, think about if you can get five people to sign up to your webinar and you can sell somebody a $300, $500 item on that webinar then it’s probably going to be worth it for you. So have a think about that and just do some research into it. Some people would try and charge you $1,000; others will charge you $200 or $300. Just do a Google search for “pay Instagrammers” and you’ll get a whole range of methods and a whole range of people that will actually accept money to do it and all that sort of stuff, too. So have a think about that as an option, too, just to get your voice out there.
Heather: I even know people that have targeted people on Instagram. They really want to share their products and they’ll actually just use the link in the bio. So, I said earlier you can’t link specific posts but you can hyperlink a URL in your bio. They’ll go into that to find their website; they’ll go to the contact page; they’ll email them and say “I love what you’re doing on Instagram. Do you take paid post opportunities for Instagram?” Or sponsorships. And you could just email them. Reach out and ask; see what they say. Some people say, “Yeah, sure. Why not?”
Andrew: If someone’s willing to throw cash at us and you want to put up one post. Yeah, well, it could be worth your while.
So let’s go on to the fourth, another method here on how do you use Instagram for business. That is to mix up your content. With Instagram, it is not all about the photos. You can do other types of content as well.
Instagram actually itself has developed three other apps that are quite good to help you make good dynamic content and I’ll quickly tell you guys what they are.
The first one is called Hyperlapse which allows you to do sped-up, quick little fast-speed videos, because you can only do about fifteen-second videos on Instagram, so they’re short. Hyperlapse.
The other one is Boomerang. This creates a one-second video loop. It’s very fun. Literally you can be very creative with that eye-catching sort of stuff.
The other one is called Layout. That does images within images. You basically have an image and you can move around the frame so you might have three images within one image.
Really cool tools to be eye-catching and stand out and Instagram created those so as you have your Instagram app, you might as well go into the app store and look for those three items and you can easily link them with your Instagram account and post straight in.
Mixing up content. Andrew, you were talking about quotes earlier. So what are some quote image-building tactics?
Andrew: You can do quotes and stuff. You can add images; get some free images, backgrounds from Pixabay or something like that; you can go to Canva and get some images. You can use a tool called Pablo which I like to use which is a tool that comes out of Buffer. Actually Buffer created this tool. It lets you create little images that will fit exactly right for Instagram. You can put quotes over the top. In fact, this tool actually even has quotes all built into the images already. You can flick through and change the images; change the quotes as you go, so it’s a pretty cool tool. But then also you’ve got other things like videos and stuff. You can put little 15-second videos up there for Instagram as well.
We’re doing a mix right now, a mix of quotes and real images like images of what we’re doing, where we’re at and that sort of thing. If we’re at an event, we’ll put images up there on our account too. So we don’t want to be just quotes. We want to be sort of a bit more that; we want to show the face behind the team at AYB.
Heather: Love it. I just have to mention this because I find it so amusing. So you know how in Instagram, a big part of Instagram for those of you guys that have been on it, are like all the girls that kind of are all photoshopped and stuff to look really good. Andrew, there are apps, like beauty apps — I about died, seriously. I got one because I’m thinking, how do they do it? There are apps where you can run your photo through and it will airbrush your skin and then you can put these little targets on your eyes and your lips and you can actually expand.
Heather: Yes. All you have to do is go into the app store and type in Instagram beauty apps. I was laughing so hard because I was doing it on my face, like making my eyes really huge.
Andrew: Wow. Did you actually post one of these to your Instagram account?
Andrew: I was just checking. I still have a photo off your phone. You look all dressed up. But maybe you just weren’t. [laughs]
Heather: No there was… I don’t know, which was that… No, that was probably my “awesome lighting” that I have by my computer for our webinars that we do for Digital Traffic Institute. Guys, we do them every two weeks and I have these lighting kits behind because they mask the wrinkles. It’s probably the “awesome lighting.” But I about died when I saw these apps because so many young girls are using… There’s a whole other subculture of Instagram where they are just doing this, not feeling good about themselves and using these apps and I could not believe how many are on the market.
Andrew: One of the biggest hashtags out there is called #nofilter.
Andrew: #nofilter has 158M posts with the hashtag nofilter. Basically saying, I’ve got no filter on this; this is a real image; it’s got none of the Instagram filters; it’s got nothing else; it’s real. This is how I took it. So there is a lot of posts out there — people are saying, hey this is real. That’s the flip side of that one.
Heather: Which I like. And I’m going to leave people with one more little bonus tip. We said earlier a couple times, you can’t use URLs inside of your posts, so how do you get around to promoting your business? Here’s a really good way I’ve seen it done.
Let’s say you have a blog post that comes out and you want to promote it on Instagram. You can put a really cool quote image, maybe perhaps a quote or a stat that you’ve talked about in your blog post or just an image from your blog post and you put that in; you put the comment; you put the hashtags as a comment. Then as part of that initial comment that you put in when you were posting you’d say, “come and learn more about this or read all about this in my latest blog post, the URL is in my bio.” So you can actually say that in your comment when you are posting your images — the URL is in my bio. I’ve seen businesses, they change their URL literally every single day to represent whatever their posts are.
Andrew: Very good.
Heather: There you go. So I think we’re coming to the end.
Andrew: Oh, wow, look at the time. This time flies. Where does time go? Someone is stealing our time when we do these podcasts.
Heather: Oh no…
Andrew: Alright, so let’s take a quick break and we’ll wrap it up.
Alright. Let’s quickly wrap up those four points we covered just so people can, if they’re taking notes they can quickly check to see they’ve got all the notes covered for this episode.
Heather: Yes. So you start. What’s the first thing we talked about?
Andrew: The first one was hashtags. Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags and stick them inside the first comment, not inside the actual description box but inside the first comment of your post.
Heather: Brilliant. Number two is — don’t be scared to share other people’s content. But if you do, make sure you reference them. So use their handle, their little user name inside of Instagram and say “via.” — “Image via this person,” or tie them into the conversation so you’re referencing them.
Andrew: Good. Number three. What was number three?
Heather: Pay influencers. Don’t be scared to pay influencers. Find people who have big followings, that have a lot of engagement that are in your space and reach out to them and ask them if they post your content or your product or service or something you provide them — would they do that for you and how much would they charge?
Andrew: Yes. And the final one. What is the final one? It’s all about content. Mix it up, right?
Heather: Love the content. Mix it up. Use videos; use those little quick Hyperlapse loops; use layers, images within images; use quotes; mix it up and keep it exciting.
Andrew: There you go. That’s a quick summary. Get on Instagram; come and follow us — autopilotyourbusiness is our Instagram account. Come and check us out. You can also follow Heather’s and my personal accounts from there. Hey, send us a message; let us know you’re following us so that we can say hello to you as well.
H, that’s it. I think we are done for today.
Heather: That’s a wrap for the Instagram podcast. We have some really cool stuff coming up, you guys. We’re not only going to break into some more social media but we have a really great interview coming up so you definitely want to make sure you’re subscribed to us if you’re not already. Easiest way to do that is inside of your iTunes, just hit subscribe, or go find us in iTunes because you can then get push notifications on your phone every time we release a new episode and you do not want to miss this next one. Seriously.
Andrew: Alright. Thank you very much. We’ll talk to you all later. Goodbye.
Heather: Bye guys.