Five Instagram Tips Part 10

Let’s try to keep this going (talking to myself). Weekly Instagram tips are back on the top of my list, so hope these ones are once again helpful/useful for you.

Instagram has gained a lot of traction in the past year. And even though I’m still a big fan of the platform, I also notice how hard it is to interact with your audience on Instagram. And even though that might be just what some are looking for, being social on social media is key to it’s success for most. Or ROI as you will, as most companies have to make sure they see a Return On Investment (of time/manpower). While people most of the time people hardly question the use of the telephone or email, they do with social media, as most of it see it as another marketing tool. But how priceless is it really to interact with your fans and followers? Here’s a tool that let’s you interact with your past/present/future consumers, isn’t that good for your business/brand in the long run? And a picture tells a 1000 words, so let the photo do the initial talking, and then jump in later for the interaction.

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1. Promote your name/brand hashtag & the other “branded” hashtag

Assuming people will find you and know what hashtag(s) you want them to use is not easy in a day and age where so much is going on. You can blame that on the smartphone and social media for most of it, but you can use this in your own advantage. Adapt or die right?

So promote your brand name as as hashtag in all your other marketing efforts (print ads, back of a sticker, on a sign during events, via your sponsored athletes, your employees, retailers, etc) and of course in your Instagram (and Twitter) profile. This is the gateway to your brand/name for most people. So at the first point of contact you have a change to explain who you are, and what you want your audience to use when the post something about you.

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Since you can only see the last 50 likes/tags on Instagram, it’s hard to keep track of the people that tag you. So here is where the hashtags come in handy. I totally get that you want to promote #yourbrand, but most people might now want to use that all the time. This is where your slogan or campain tagline comes into play. Make sure the 2nd hashtag does NOT contain your brand name. It looks tacky and it shows that you are trying to hard. When people really start to use this it will become synonymous with your brand name.
Best example, in skateboarding, is the Nike SB hashtag #skateeverydamnday. Other good examples are #theyturnandstuff (from Krux trucks) and #skatemore (from DVS Skateboarding).
As I’m writing this (May 2013) the hashtag #skateeverydamnday has been used more than 300,000 times on Instagram. It’s used by a lot of skateboarders around the world, even by some who are sponsored by other shoe brands. That’s when you known it’s a real success. Which die hard skateboarder wouldn’t want to tell the world he/she is skating “every damn day”?

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2. Interact with your 2 main hashtags
So now that you have people using your #notthebrandname hashtag, as well as the #brandname hashtag, you have a chance to reach out and interact with these people. And I know this might get full-time job (hint?), but people will go crazy if their favorite brand/famous person will “like” their photo. Or even better, will leave a comment on the photo. Chances are they will take a screenshot of your like or comment, so all their followers see that you actually talk back. How rad would it be if the brand of the product you just bought, and posted a photo about on Instagram, comes back to you and says thank you for buying the product? Think that will have an impact on the brand perception? Think the chances just increased that you will buy that brand again? I think so too.

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3. Don’t abuse the hashtags
One of the problems with hashtags that become popular is that people start using them to get more followers, and adding them to photos that have nothing to do with the subject. This is where the term “MySpace photo” pops back up. Lots of selfies and other bullshit now comes up in the feed when you look up certain hashtag. Best is obviously to not do anything with these photos. I guess if you have lots of time on your hand you can start to comment on them and saying the need to chill out, but you’re never gonna win that battle…. Just stay away from it yourself. 13 years olds grow up eventually and they will get it someday. But don’t bet on that.

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4. Stay away from the most used hashtags
Yeah, I know, we all want to get more followers right. Justin Bieber has 8.3 million Instagram followers (May 2013) and it’s totally reasonable for you to get at least half of that. Within the next month. Yeah right. And the trick to your followers explosion is more hashtags. Especially the ones that everyone uses.
How many friends can you really have if you’re not famous? Best trick on getting more followers? Post great photos. Good content always wins. And of course make sure other people, preferably those with a lot of followers, tag you (more then once).

The no go hashtag list for me contains of #followme #swag #lol #instagdaily #popularpage #like #picstitch #10likes #20likes #30likes…. yeah you get it…. Embarrassing.
Huffington Post made a top 100 of most used Instagram hashtags, and I’m glad to say I’ve never used most of them….. #tbt and #friends might be the only 2.

5. Tag others when you can (as they most likely will do the same)
Tagging others in an Instagram post is a way of letting your followers know who else they should follow. It’s a stamp of approval more or less. And once they see that you tag them they will most likely do the same in the future. It’s all about supporting those who support you right?

Have a question? Feedback? Drop a comment here or tag me (@fredvanschie) on Instagram or Twitter.  Or shoot me an email at fred@fredvanschie.com.

For more Instagram tips see part 9 from a while back. Until next time! Quite possibly next week….

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.