Five Instagram Tips Part 6

We’re at the end of another good week. My personal highlight this week was my first social media article on Transworld Business that went live early Thursday morning.

My good friend Floris Gierman called me up 2 weeks and said that after checking out this website I should hit up some trade/B2B magazines. The next day I emailed a handful of action sport focused magazine, and Mike Lewis, editor of Transworld Business, said he would be down to get something started right away.

The article that went live on Thursday is about Instagram, and gives you 5 basic tips for using Instagram. Most of them I’ve already mentioned here in the past few weeks. My ugly smug even got a prime spot on the homepage. Scary but cool. So far the article got over 9,000 views in the first 3 days. Thanks again Mike!

OK, back to the Sunday Instagram tips on this blog. Just like every Sunday I’ll be giving you 5 more Instagram tips today.

1. How to change your Instagram password
You can’t change your Instagram password from your iPhone, so get behind a computer and go to Instagr.am or Instagram.com and click on “Edit Account” at the bottom of the page. Log in if needed and once again scroll down the page and click on “Click here to change your password”.  This will take you to the page where you can create a new password.
Once you’ve changed the password on your computer grab your iPhone and log in with you new password.

2. How to delete an Instagram comment
If you want to delete a comment, either your own or from someone else, go to the photo and click on “comment”. Click on the wheel in the top right corner and now every comment on your photo will get a red circle on the left of it. Tap on red circle and confirm your action by tapping “delete” on the right side.
I don’t really delete people’s comments on my own photos. If they are drunk or trying to be funny, let them be. Only if it gets offensive or just plain stupid I delete their comment. I do use it every now and then when I just uploaded the photo and I either made a typo in the caption/text, or I forgot something.

*Please note that if delete the first caption/text and you shared your photo to Twitter, Facebook or something else, that the text there won’t change. Maybe another good reason to not feed (every) Instagram photo(s) to your other social media platforms….

3. Have a plan for your hashtag for events
Going on a trip or tour? Decide before the thing kicks off what hashtag you want people to use, and inform everyone that is a part of this. Teamriders, filmers, photographers, TMs, shops you’re visiting on the trip and the media. Maybe even tell your followers to use it in some way and do a giveaway with it so people want to get involved. Who doesn’t want to win free shit?
When your hashtag gets used a lot by various people, you get more eyes on your brand. And besides that it’s a good way to look back on a trip after a few/weeks or months. Just search for the hashtag and bring back the memories.

4. How to handle multiple Instagram accounts with one app
Unlike Twitter the official Instagram account won’t let you handle multiple accounts. You have to log out of one and log back in to the other. Quite annoying and pretty time consuming.
Currently Instagram does not offer anything to handle multiple accounts. When I created an account for Altamont and Emerica in early April 2011, this was one of the first requests I emailed Instagram. I for sure thought they would add that feature quickly, but they haven’t yet.

I did find another app a few months ago called Fotogramme that will let you handle multiple accounts. Only downside with this app is that you can’t upload any photos to any of the accounts from the app. And that is of course the main feature we would like! With the Fotogramme app you can get profile information, view/like and comment on photos, follow/block users and search hashtag and users.

5. Give someone a shout out
In the last few weeks I’ve gained a lot of Instagram followers thanks to shout outs from Metro skateshop and Epidemic skateshop. And about a week ago Lowcard re-posted a photo I shot of my niece Cassidy rocking the world famous Lowcard longshoreman beanie.

You know that if you hit the “Sleep” and “Home” button at the same time you take a screen shot with you iPhone right?
Anyway, you think I was stoked and thankful that I got a shout out from Metro, Epidemic and Lowcard? Fuck yeah! Did I gain some legit followers? Yes. Is it most likely that I will (hash)tag them in the future? So true!
Support those who support you. U-N-I-T-Y! (Op. Ivy reference)

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 Instagram Tips Part 5

After the guest tips from Steve Clare last week, we’re back to another batch of tips from me.

1. Makes sure your hashtag works
You can’t use any punctuation marks in a hashtag. So the hashtag #iwon’t will be archived as #iwon. The hashtag ends wherever you put the punctuation mark in.  ( , . ; ‘ ? ! – + etc.). Also make sure to leave a space before, and after the hashtag to have it show up correctly.
I mostly try to use 3 or less hashtags per photo. An overdose of hashtags makes each hashtags less valuable.

2. Double tap to like
This is one of the basic ones but it wasn’t included in the first versions of the app. If you want to like a photo you can do so by simply double tapping on the photo. Of course you can also tap on the “like” button (once) below the photo.
The only downside with the double tap is that I keep seeing people go though their feed and like every photo…. Since it’s so easy to like a photo it’s also way less valuable.
So if you really want to show someone you like their photo, leave a comment.

3. Go to the top of the feed with one tap
This is something that works for every iPhone app. Tap the status bar, at the top of your screen (where the time is displayed), once and you’ll go to the top of the page.
I use this a lot with my email and phone list too.

4. How to change your username if needed
Both with Instagram and Twitter is super easy to change your username, if the username you want is still available. I understand that you have this super weird nickname that you like to use, but again, think long term and think big. Because of social media everyone is their own brand, so beware. Do you know any brand that uses a different name on social media?
Not saying you must use your real name, but it will help. If you don’t have your real name as your username, at least have your real name in your profile.
Tap the right button on the bottom and go to “edit profile” to change your info. The first 2 lines are for your regular name (first and last), the 3rd line is your username.

5. Do a giveaway and get other users involved
People love free shit, and skateboard kids are no exception. The most interactive instragammer in my feed is by far Metro skateshop from Pleasant Hill, CA (Bay Area). Every other week they do a giveaway with a product the sell in their shop. A few weeks ago they did a Thunder/Chris Cole giveaway.

Besides posting this flyer on their own Instagram it was also posted on the Thunder facebook page and the DLX website. Numerous DLX employees, as well as friends of the shop, posted it on their personal Instagram account.
Think that gained Metro some more followers? Think those followers are mostly skateboarders? Think it gained Chris Cole some more followers?
And besides all that, it also brought some extra attention to Metro, Thunder and Chris Cole. Plus someone won a free pair of trucks. So all this great promotion for all parties involved, for one set of trucks.
We asked Joel Jutagir, owner of Metro skateshop, about the impact of this giveaway: “We has been playing with different ways to garner attention to what we do at the shop. Our latest efforts have been focused on Instagram where there’s tons of interaction due to the platforms simplicity and the way you can tell a story visually. It’s right up our alley!
We did a giveaway for Chris Cole’s new Thunder Truck, what we saw was some large accounts, 5000+ came on board and posted for us. That helped spread the word to everybody in their feed. Even small accounts that posted helped us out a ton. More importantly it opened up lines of communication and exposed them to the fact that were a bunch of goofs, that like to ride skateboards, have fun and on occasion sell something. We are also involved in their feeds now, dropping likes and comments and staying in touch.
Instagram a great way to stay in touch and share what makes you tick!”

*Make sure whatever giveaway you do on Instagram complies with the Instagram terms.

Interaction on social media is not only a must, it’s also super easy. Do believe the hype.

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

For more Instagram tips see part 4 from last week.

Five Instagram Tips Part 3

In the last week some people mentioned some issues they had with the first Instagram tips post I did. In one of the 5 tips I mentioned some people that “clog the feed”, purely as an example. The social media nerd in me looks at some things a little more in depth as others, and all I wanted to do is share that with all of you so you can learn something from it.

I have a lot of respect for everyone in skateboarding that is working their ass off and trying to contribute in a positive way to this industry, and most of these people have inspired me for more that a decade. Besides that I want to be a part of this industry (I might be already) and contribute something positive that inspires others, so why would I try to burn my bridges?

In the last few days I’ve spoken with all 3 parties “involved”, and things weren’t half as bad as I thought (for a bit), but if I offended you or anyone of your close friends, I apologize for that. I had no intention to do that in any way. If you know me well enough I hope you can vouch for me on this. Overall I think I’m a pretty positive person, who is down to help out others at any time.

I did delete the people involved from the post but I still don’t regret writing it, since I wasn’t trying to make people look bad. My straight forward Dutch-ness, mixed with a lot of Henry Rollins spoken word and a ton of Gary Vaynerchuk social media videos might have triggered me a little bit more, but all of the words were my own.

In the future I might either use myself as an example more often, or try to mention some cases “in general”, to avoid further drama. After all, I’m only here to help you….

OK, back to business. Here are 5 more instagram tips to help your personal and business account on the Insta.


1. No need to tag someone when you leave a comment on their photo

If you leave a comment on an Instagram photo, there is no need to tag the person (or brand) that posted that photo. For instance, if you leave a comment on one of my instagram photos, you don’t have to write “@fredvanschie” in your comment. If you want to mention me just write Fred in the comment. Don’t double up!

2. Write sentences with usernames and hashtags
Use the usernames and hashtags within the sentence you write. Let’s say you post a photo of me doing a trick (!) in a skatepark, I suggest writing something like “this is @fredvanschie sucking at #skateboarding”.
Don’t write “Fred grinding his life away @fredvanschie #skateboarding”. Again, this is pretty much a double too, and it makes it harder to read. People are smarter than you think.

3. Stop asking to get followed
Any big name skateboarder (or anyone with a lot of followers) that I follow, will get a lot of comments and likes on any photo they post. And of course it would be so rad if they would start following me and start leaving comments or likes on my photos. But the worst thing you can do is to write a comment on every photo that person post, asking him to follow you. Want to look desperate? You really think begging for a follow is making you look serious?
Good content will get you somewhere, so post cool photos, write something rad/funny/honest about it and maybe add a hashtag or 2 that makes sense, and you’ll get somewhere. And don’t forget to think long term. It’s hard work and things won’t come overnight.

4. Don’t post the whole URL
As of right now, you can’t click on a URL you post on Instagram, so try and keep it as simple as you can. When I post a link to this blog post on my instagram, I just tell people to go to “fredvanschie.com”. Doesn’t make sense to post “http://fredvanschie.com/2012/02/05/five-instagram-tips-part-3”. A waste of space and it makes it harder for people to type it in.
Really hope Instagram will add this feature sometime soon, as it will help a lot!

5. Tag someone in a photo if you want them to see it
This one has to be explained with an example. Let’s say one of you friends bought a pair of shoes from brand X. After a few days the shoes start to fall apart and he posts a photo of it. He is obviously disappointed in the quality of the shoes. He doesn’t tag the brand in the post, nor is he following the brand. (The brand didn’t promote they had an Instagram, so how should he know?).
You are following brand X on Instagram, and one of your friends works there too. You can go to the photo that your friend posted of the shoes that are falling apart and tag the brand and your friend in the photo. Now both the brand and your friend get a message that they were tagged in the photo. They read that the shoes fell apart and are probably gonna reach out to your friend.
If they are smart they”ll be sending your friend a brand new pair of shoes, and include a t-shirt, some stickers and a note (with a mention of the instagram of the brand) for his inconvenience. Once your friend receives the shoes, plus the extra’s, he is probably gonna post a photo of the box with all the goodies in it. And he will tag your brand and say thank you.

Now not only did brand X take care of bad branding (with great costumer service), you also made the consumer,  and all of his friends, aware that you care about him/them. If you didn’t know about this, the person who bought the shoes in the first place would probably never buy your shoes again. And the same goes for his followers. People listen to the advice of their close friends, that’s a fact.
So you can thank the person who tagged your brand in the first place, since stuff like this will save, and grow, your business!

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

For more Instagram tips see part 2 from last week.

Five Instagram Tips Part 2

Another batch of Instagram tips for your personal or business (brand) account.

1. Write a caption with each photo (especially when feeding it to Twitter)
The power that Instagram has over Twitter is obviously the photo. On Instagram the photo is the main feature, on Twitter it’s the text. If you attach a photo on Twitter it becomes a link, which people aren’t automatically clicking on. Your text has to convince them why they should take the time to open the photo.
When you feed an Instagram photo to twitter it also becomes a link. If you don’t write any text with it Twitter will put “posted a photo”, followed by the link to the Instagram photo. Boring, and chances are people aren’t as likely to click on the link. Regardless, I want to know your thoughts or ideas about the photo you just uploaded to the Insta feed! Or when the products you’re trying to promote is dropping, or what the price is.

I’m not the biggest fan of feeding into all the different social media platforms, but Instagram to Twitter is one of the few that actually works. I highly recommend not doing it every single time, since you want to have some unique content on both platforms.
When you feed your Instagram photo into Twitter write some text with it. Only the first 140 tokes (plus the link to the Instagram photo) show up on Twitter, so keep it short and sweet. If you tag people make sure their name is the same on twitter (doesn’t make sense to tag some random person on Twitter right?). And don’t forget a hashtag or two, as the work both on Instagram and on Twitter.

2. Geo-tag with respect
Geo-tag your location if you can. Don’t ruin a brand new street spot you just found, but hype up (the exact) location of your favorite skateshop or skatepark. Make it easy for people to find it too. As a brand or (sponsored) skateboarder you can stoke out a skateshop with this. When you visit a shop, that carries your product(s), take a photo of the storefront or of the owner/employees and give them a shout out on the Insta. Maybe even leave some promo stuff for future buyers? They’ll be thankful when even one person comes in their store to claim the promo stuff.

3. Shoot photos with your regular camera
Even though the Instagram app allows you to take a photo from within the app, I highly suggest using the regular camera (or camera +) app on the phone. Within instagram itself the camera won’t focus as well, and you can’t really zoom out. With a bigger photo (taken with the regular camera), you also have a little bit more room to play with.

4. Resize the photo right after you upload it
If you take a photo with the camera first, and then upload the photo into Instagram, it might look as if the photo is stuck in a certain position. But when you put 2 fingers on the outside parts of the photo, and move the fingers towards each other, the photo becomes free to move around. I would also do this when you want to zoom in on the photo.

5. Comment on every photo in which people (hash)tag you or your brand
Like or comment on every photo that people tag you in, especially if you are a brand, shop or sponsored skateboarder.
For brands the tags and hashtags might be a lot in a short time, and since Instagram only shows the last 50 comments and likes, it can be hard to keep track of it and respond in time. But you can go behind a computer to take care of it. The best site to use for this is Ink361.com (previously Inkstagram.com). Log in and use the search bar to find mentions or hashtags. I’d prefer to leave a comment instead of a like, but it’s a little bit more work.
You should also search for some hashtags that aren’t about you or your brand specific, but are used by your (possible) consumer. Any brand in skateboarding could look at “#skateboarding” and stoke out some people.

You don’t think people would appreciate that? Here is an example….

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of the Fallen shoes I had gotten from Fallen TM Ian Berry. (Thanks again Ian!) After a skate session I posted a photo of it and used the hashtag #risewiththefallen with the photo.

Within a few minutes Jamie Thomas liked my photo, and despite the fact that I know him a little bit, it’s still pretty damn sick that the owner of Fallen likes my post (as the first person). And I know most people that ride a skateboard, young or old, would feel the same way. Yes, at the age of 33 I’m still a skate rat and people like Jamie inspire me a lot.

After a little bit I clicked on the hashtag #risewiththefallen and saw that Jeremy Wlaschin used the same hashtag (and #skateboarding) for 2 photos he had uploaded of his Fallen shoes. (For the record, I have never met Jeremy)

I texted Jamie Thomas and suggested he should like all the photos with the #risewiththefallen hashtag. At the time it was 5 photos, including mine. I knew the people would be stoked once they saw that Jamie Thomas liked their photo.

Only a few minutes later Jeremy Wlaschin uploaded a screen shot of the 2 likes that Jamie Thomas had given the photos with the #risewiththefallen hashtag. Both photos had Fallen shoes in them, and this buyer, and most likely Fallen and Jamie Thomas fan, was super stoked that Jamie liked his two photos.

You think Jeremy will buy another pair of Fallen pair in the next few months?
And if so, will he post a photo of it again on his Instagram? (For all his friends to see)
And maybe even tag Jamie Thomas?

This is a perfect example of why your brand should be pro-active on the social media platforms. And search Instagram (and Twitter) for the various hashtags that your consumers might use.
The ROI of Instagram, and social media in general….

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

For more Instagram tips see part 1 from last week.