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 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 Facebook Tips #4

A little late this Friday but with the weekend coming up you’ll have all the time in the world to read this 4th Facebook post. Haha!

1. Look at the “hidden post” tab daily (fan page only)
If you’re an admin of a fan page, you see a “hidden post” tab between the wall and the info tab on the left. The “hidden post” tab is a spam filter that catches a lot of comments that aren’t spam. So you should check it daily and approve the comments that aren’t spam, and delete the real spam comments. You can even block the user of the spam comments if needed. Click on the arrow in the right upper corner of the post to see the options.
Once you approve the non-spam comments make sure to respond to them. If people leave a comment on your page, but don’t see it (because it ended up in the “hidden post”) they might have posted it a few more times. So you might see the same comment multiple times in the “hidden post” tab. Approve one and delete the other one(s).
Even if you reply after a few days people will still be thankful that you took the time to respond. You might have missed a few chances for a sale (real time social media is coming up big time), but now you know for the future.

2. Stop liking and start commenting back
It’s easy to like every comment that people post on your Facebook wall, but does it really take that much extra time to write something back? Even a simple “thank you” will be appreciated 10 times more than a like. You agree with me that your (possible) consumer is worth this extra effort right?

3. No need to “use Facebook as YOUR BRAND”.
If you’re an admin for a Facebook fan page you can’t leave a comment on your personal name. If you’re logged into (your personal) Facebook and you leave a comment on the fan page (that you’re an admin for) your comment will automatically be posted as the fan page (the brand). Makes it easy right?
The fact that you can’t leave a comment with your personal profile on the fan page you manage is awesome. I would like to see actual comments (and likes) from your fans. Besides that, I’m already assuming you like the post you just wrote. And you’re not the consumer, so your opinion doesn’t matter. Good content will always get likes and comments. Your one comment (or like) is not going to change that.

4. It’s not just about the number of fans, it’s about the people that are talking about this
How many fans does your page has? People ever ask you that? It would be one of the first questions I would ask. But it’s not just about the number of fans. My next question would be: Below the number of fans it says “talking about this”. This number is the number of fans that “talked about you” on Facebook in the last 7 days. They did one of the following things in the last week:

– Liked your page
– Posted on your wall
– Liked, commented, or shared a page’s status update, photo, or video
– Answered a question posted by a page
– RSVP-ed to an event hosted by the page
– Tagged your page
– Tagged a page in a photo
– Liked or shared a check-in deal
– Checked in at a place

Now this is what you should be trying to increase! Every time people do any of the things mentioned above, all their friends will see it in their feed. So your page gets exposed to all the friends of your fans. Who wants fans if they don’t interact?

5. Ask your fans questions!
Remember the time before Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? All these brands, in every kind of industry, would hire different companies to do surveys to see where their brand was positioned among the consumers.
Ever done once of those surveys? I did a couple, in high school. Thought I was taking it super serious and answered every question with a long and valuable answer? Or did I just check off a bunch of multiple choice questions so I could go home earlier and skate? Yeah, I was just another one of those teenagers….

So here you have it. 800 million people all across the world are using Facebook. Think your consumer is on there? I think so too. And the parents and friends of your consumer are on there too. So start asking them some questions!!!
Want to know if your fans like blue shoes better than red shoes? Or if they want stretch in their jeans? Or would you like to know where they buy your product?
People love to tell you what they’re opinion is and what they do! And if some people start talking shit about your brand, your other fans will answer back to him. Try it out, you won’t regret it.

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

Also check out “Five Facebook Tips #3” from last week.