Five Instagram Tips Part 7

Last Sunday I skipped the Instagram tips, been busy with a lot of other cool social media stuff (more on that in the near future), but for today I have another batch of 5 tips for you.



1. Instagram is growing fast, but it’s nowhere near Facebook (or Twitter)
In my eyes Instagram is by far the coolest social media platform to date, but it’s still very small in compare to Facebook and Twitter. Recently Instagram past 25 million users, which is an insane number when you realize it started in October 2010. I’m assuming most of the users are active users, meaning they upload at least one photo every month. Right now Facebook has more than 845 million active users, of which 500 million log in every day. Twitter recently passed the 500 million users, but “only” 100 million are active users. Bottomline, as rad as Instagram is, it’s reach is still limited in compare to Facebook and Twitter. And sure, you can feed all your Instagram posts into Facebook and Twitter, and that will definitely increase it’s reach, but then you aren’t optimizing each platform to it’s full potential. And it looks rather messy and lazy to me.

2. Don’t feed Instagram posts with links into Facebook and Twitter
Numerous times I’ve told you not to feed your Instagram into Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes it works for Twitter, Facebook is pretty much a no go. Maybe once a month you feed it into your Facebook page to show your Facebook fans that you have an Instagram account. A lot of times when you feed Instagram into Twitter you use more than 140 tokens (160 minus 20 for the Instagram link), so you’re already blowing it.
The worst thing to do (at the moment) is put a URL in your Instagram post, and feed that to Twitter. Why? Cause a URL isn’t clickable in Instagram, and therefore it also won’t work in Twitter. All you do is show people a picture of the link (and text). Think people are gonna type in a YouTube URL in their web browser on their phone? Hell no!

3. Don’t like your own photos or ask (beg) for a follow
No need to like your own photos. I’m assuming you uploaded something you like right? Even worse is to leave the same comment on photos posted by others, asking for people to follow you. I will never follow people that want to tell the world how bad they want extra followers. And for what, just for the number? Relax, you will get more followers. Maybe not as many as Andrew Reynolds, and that’s fine. Post some cool photos (max 3 a day), add some text and a couple relevant hashtags and give it some time.

4. Post real photos, taking with your phone
I’m guilty of this a well, but the best photos on Instagram are the ones shot a few moments before it was posted, with you iPhone. Real time! I’m posting flyers and screen shots (of this post for example) too, but Instagram is really about photos that are shot right here right now. It’s cool to show off your huge photo collection you shot with your high tech digital camera last year, but I’m way more impressed if you took a cool iPhone photo. Like this Insta photo shot by Don Brown a little while ago in Laguna Beach, CA. Simply amazing!

5. Plain product is just fucking boring
This last tips is for any social media platform, and it’s by far way underrated by a lot of people and brands. The best thing about social media is that it’s 2-way traffic. So don’t treat it like a website. I strongly believe social media is mostly about interaction, and not so much about what YOU post, especially for brands. If your website (homepage) is filled with strictly product shots that’s one thing, but please be less “business minded” when it comes to social media. It’s all about creating an emotional connection with your fans and consumers.
I get it, you sell online and you want your stuff to sell. But pushing it down people’s throat is not gonna help you out. So stop posting plain product shots! Sneak peak your designers computer screen by giving away a little bit of a future graphic, show a teamrider wearing a new product, or repost a photo from a fan/follower rocking your stuff. The best way to thank someone for buying your shit is to give them a shout out on social media. They will be stoked out of their mind, and probably gain some of your followers. And buy your stuff again, and tag your and so forth.

Sharing is caring right? Humanize your brand before it’s too late!

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

For more Instagram tips see part 5 from last week.

Five Facebook Tips 8

After Facebook allowed fan pages to switch over to the timeline layout last Wednesday, it’s pretty obvious this week’s Facebook tips is all about the new layout. On Wednesday I did a quick tutorial on some of the basics of switching to the timeline layout, today I’ll go a bit more in depth.

Let me start of by saying the new timeline is really sick, and will be much better. No one likes change, but just adapt to it asap and you’ll be used to it in no time. You don’t really have an option either, as Facebook will force you to switch no later than March 30th 2012.

1. The link button is gone once again
Once again Facebook decided to remove to link button, so most people might not know how to post a URL in a post without showing the URL. It’s pretty simple. Copy the URL of the blog post or video in the status update bar, hit the spacebar once and wait for Facebook to populate a thumbnail. If your blog post has multiple images you can choose which photo (thumbnail) you want to show. Now delete the URL and type your text. Once you’re done hit “post” and you’re all set!
This works the exact same way for your personal profile FYI. Keep it clean!

2. Your about section has a main spot now
Make sure you put in the about section what you want people to know that are new to your brand. In the timeline the about section shows up right under your cover photo, so everyone that comes to your page will see this text. Keep it short and simple, but make sure you say what you want people to remember.

3. Pin a post to the top of the page
In complete Pinterest stylo Facebook now gives you the option to bring any post from the past to the top of your page. Want to highlight that video one more time, that cool photo or the event that is coming up? Pin the post and it will be on the top of the page for a maximum of 7 days.

How to pin?
Go to the right upper corner of your post and click on the pencil. In the drop down menu click on “pin to top” and you’re done. Now the post will show up on the top of your page, with an orange icon on the upper right.
FYI: You can only pin one post at a time. Once you pin a new post the older pinned post will move back into the timeline.

4. Star a post
Similar to pinning a post, you can now also “star” a post. This blows up the photo or video to the full size of the Facebook page. The size is 735px for a starred post, so make
sure that if you star a photo that it’s of decent size/resolution, so it doesn’t get all blurry. See here an example of a Theeve trucks post on Garrett Hill’s Facebook page.

To star a post go to the upper right corner of your post and click on the star icon. You can star multiple posts, but don’t overdo it. You want to draw attention to a few key posts, not all your stuff.

5. Choose your tabs/apps wisely

With the new timeline everyone will see your cover photo first. You can’t have people that aren’t a fan (of your page) yet land on a different (welcome) page. Underneath the cover photo, on the right side, there is room for 4 tabs. The first one in the row, on the left, is always the “photo” tab. The other 3 tabs can be whatever you want. You can decide which other tabs you want to show there, and in which order. Technically you can have up to 12 tabs, but you have to click on the arrow next to far right tab to see the other 8 tabs.


Example: The Skatepark of Tampa Facebook page

FYI; I just checked out 30 different skateboard brands and barely anyone had changed their page to the timelime yet. Pretty shocking! Props to SPoT for adapting so quick!

You can also decide to put one of your custom tabs in the main row. In the example above you see “photos”, “likes”, “what’s up @ SPoT” and “events”. Again, the “photos” tab will always be in the position where you see it now. The “like” tab is not really needed since you already see the number of total likes (fans) next to the profile picture. I strongly suggest adding the YouTube tab there (which you can install really easy) and then go with 2 other tabs that showcase your brand, organization, or shop.
You can also add custom tabs to the top 4. You can even upload your own thumbnail so you can get an image in their that will attract the attention of your fans. (Specs: 111px by 74px)
I recently built 2 custom tabs for Garrett Hill and David Gonzalez that showcase their sponsors. Below is part of the Garrett Hill one. Go to the actual tab to see it in full. Also check out the sponsor tab I did for David Gonzalez.
Each sponsor logo links to the Facebook page of that brand, so in this case the rider is helping the brand gain more (legit) fans.

Please note that these tabs where designed for the old specs of the Facebook page (516px wide). With the timeline the tabs can be up to 810px wide, so expect an update of both tabs very soon.

If you are interested in building custom tabs for your Facebook page and you don’t know how or don’t have the time for it feel free to hit me up. I can built and host multiple Facebook tabs for you. Just email me at fred@fredvanschie.com and I’ll let you know how it would work.

Don’t forget to check out the Facebook post from last Wednesday with a step-by-step tutorial on how to switch over the the timeline, including all the specs for the cover photo and the profile image.

Questions or comments? Drop ‘em below!
Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #7” from last week.