Social Media

Instagram for Business: Are You Checking Insights?

Instagram for Business: Are You Checking Insights? 800 533 Susan Rapaglia

Instagram Insights are Really Insights into Your Business

As Instagram continues to evolve as a business platform, we’ve kept a watchful eye on not only the new content features, but also its reporting and analytics capabilities. Many of us who have converted to a business account have first grappled with the potential trade off:  Will more insights and business tools be a trade off for our current ability to connect with users/followers?

To be honest, our team has long suspected Instagram will slowly reduce the amount of organic engagement and exposure a business profile can enjoy without participating in some form of advertising. It’s exactly what happened to Facebook, so why wouldn’t they do the same for the most engaging social platform of 2019?

Here’s the good news:  Up to now, we haven’t seen any major engagement restrictions for business accounts. (We’ve been frustrated by the “algorithm” changes like the rest of the world, but it’s nothing that was tied directly to business profiles). In fact, Instagram business accounts are enjoying more reporting and tracking insights than ever before.

Take Notice to These Instagram Insights

Profile Visits

Pretty straightforward on this one. It’s important that you check month over month your profile visits. Of course, special events or promotions can cause some serious fluctuation, but otherwise you’re looking out for a nice incline of more profile visits each month. It’s a numbers game at this point. The more eyes on your Instagram profile, the more conversions (be it calls, clicks, purchases) that you should see.

Email/Phone/Text/Get Direction AND Website Clicks

Like a goal conversion on your website, these actions indicate some pretty clear intentions and interest from your audience. Depending on your business, these numbers can vary drastically and should be reflective of your goals. Are you a restaurant/bar/cafe? Directions should be your #1 insight, as that’s a good sign they were a real, interested future customer. Do you sell e-commerce? You probably guessed it, but website clicks would be your most important action-related insight.

Reach Over Instagram

Instagram offers you both, but if you ask us, reach is more important and the stat you should key into. Instagram considers “Reach” to be the number of unique accounts/users that have seen your post in the given week. “Impressions” by comparison are the total number of times your posts have been seen that week. While together they are a great metric of your overall presence, we like Instagram Reach because it is more focused on the discovery of your page, and views by different people. And if you’re tracking growth, growth in reach would be most valuable.

Follower Location

This statistic is two-fold in our opinion. First, if you are a brick and mortar location, you want to be sure that you’re followers are relevant and can take the desired action of walking into your place of business. That’s not to say you don’t want to be followed by people from all over the country, but as you execute a growth strategy it’s most effective to have relevant local followers for a business with localized operations. The second piece of this statistic is relevant to businesses that benefit from filter markets. A boutique hotel would likely know their filter markets before executing on Instagram, and with this statistic they can better understand their actual social presence there.

Like all reporting statistics, the point is to analyze and then use the information to better your business, refine your marketing or identify opportunities. Using the boutique hotel example above, the business could take stock of their current position and filter markets and use targeted social and digital advertising to improve their presence.

There is a lot to learn about your business via Instagram. As part of our social media services, Coast Creative tracks all of these statistics (and plenty more) in order to gauge performance and create ROI-driven social media strategies. If you are interested in learning more, just give it a little CLICK CLICK right here!

Cohesive Quality: Create an Instagram Aesthetic

Cohesive Quality: Create an Instagram Aesthetic 1798 1148 Susan Rapaglia

Agree or Disagree:
Your Instagram Feed Is As Important as Your Website Homepage

Say hello to 2019’s version of the first impression. Like it or not, it’s not just important, but imperative that your Instagram profile aesthetic matches your brand in both style and quality. As more people than ever take to Instagram to find and research businesses, now’s the time to dedicate some resources to crafting your “Instalook” … or finding some nice people to help you do so 😉

Fear not, as part of our Coast Creative social media marketing services we work closely with companies of all industries to find an aesthetic (think mood, color scheme, etc) that properly represents one’s brand. Here’s a few of our top Instagram tips for a feed that will convert.

Executing Your Instagram Aesthetic

One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive look/feel to your Instagram feed is to edit your photos with similar filters and colors. Below are a few great apps that can help create some harmony amongst your photos.

VSCO

This beautiful app has a plethora of filters and variables that you can use to customize the color, hue, saturation, and light in each photo. VSCO also has a huge community of users whose public profiles you can browse for inspiration.

Snapseed

You can easily save, share, and edit your favorite photos with Snapseed’s variety of editing tools and filters. The sliders and customizable focus features allow you to edit with precision, and the special effects and filter combinations can help give your Instagram feed a little something extra.

Instagram

While there are some great photo editing apps out there, the selection of filters on Instagram work great, too. The key to executing a beautiful Instagram aesthetic is consistently using the same filters and settings, no matter which app you use for your photo editing.

Lightroom Mobile

While Lightroom (part of the Adobe fam) can be daunting and more technical than other photo editing apps, it’s common for Instagram personalities to now sell their photography presets for Lightroom. Upon purchasing, you simply download Lightroom Mobile (yes, there is a free version), upload the presets and your future photo editing is as easy as one click!

Planning Your Instagram Feed

After editing comes planning. In order to create an aesthetically pleasing visual feed that flows seamlessly and works cohesively, you must plan!

There’s no “I” in photo! Instagram photos work best as a team. The three apps below help you plan and curate your feed by mimicking your Instagram grid. Plan out a week (or a month for you overachievers) at a time and be careful to place photos in a way that makes your overall feed visually pleasing:

Planoly

One of the most effective Instagram planners on the market. This handy tool allows you to organize posts, write captions, create sets of hashtags, and even pull in “reposts” from other Instagram URLs in one spot. With the scheduling ability and mobile app to remind you of your posts, your feed will never skip a beat.

Preview

Say goodbye to posting and deleting photos because they didn’t align with your feed! With this free app, you can load your photos onto a grid that mimics the look of your Instagram feed. Once you’ve uploaded your current photos, it’ll be easier to add photos to the grid to see if they harmonize with your feed before you post.

Unum

Like the Preview App, Unum allows you to plan out the aesthetics of your feed without actually posting them to Instagram. With fun features like “Live Mode” that allow you to shift photos straight from your Instagram feed, this app is popular among all kinds of creators and Instagram junkies.

Chat with us about our Instagram strategy or growth services. Call (858) 859-2378!

Maximize Your Instagram Strategy

Maximize Your Instagram Strategy 1600 1066 Susan Rapaglia

With over 500 million daily active users—a number that steadily growing—Instagram is a place your business (most likely) needs to be. In order to get the most out of your time (and money) spent on this addictive platform, it’s imperative your business has a strong and consistent Instagram advertising strategy in place.

Social media advertising and Instagram advertising is an area we’ve spent a lot of time in. So, we decided to share a few of the most effective tactics that you can use on your Instagram marketing and ad strategy!

1. Be a User

(As in User-Generated Content, of course)

One of the best parts about having a loyal following is that your customers become your advertisers. When they organically post about your business on their page, it’s seen as a digital endorsement. Don’t let this valuable user-generated content (UGC) slip by and don’t miss the opportunity to get fresh content without any of the heavy lifting (ie professional or on-the-fly photo shoots). Lastly, customers love to see their images shared on other profiles. They’re one step closer to Insta-fam. Just don’t forget to give them credit with an @!

*This works for both your Instagram feed and on Instagram Stories.

For a great UGC example, check out Crayola https://www.instagram.com/p/BsQeTTMg0m2/

2. Create the Content YOUR Users Love

Balance content to portray your brand and reflect your followers.

Sounds simply enough, but you would be surprised by how many brands miss the mark. One of the most important strategies for Instagram is to create and share content that your fans care about. If your business, for example, is in the health industry then it’s pretty safe to assume your fans are into health-related topics. Topics found on your feed should probably be a nice balance of promoting your business’ products/services plus eating tips, fitness posts, mental wellness etc. Stay true to who you are and what you’re about and create content around that.

3. Turn Customers Into Insta-Models

Make your customers and followers your digital advocates.

Similar to what we said about user generated content, we love to take customers and turn them into Insta-models. Real people, really using your product is an incredibly powerful tool on this social platform. Photos + captions and video testimonials are just two ways to utilize your real customers in a social content strategy. And let’s be honest here, people LOVE to talk about themselves. So…give the people what they want

Here is a great example done by Nike https://www.instagram.com/p/Bntg5pxBcwU/

4. #Hashtag The Right Way

Avoid the shadowban while improving visibility.

If your brand isn’t using hashtags (and using them right), your photo’s overall impressions will be hindered. According to Simply Measured, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those with no hashtags.

We don’t just think it’s important to vary your choices and balance micro- and macro-hashtags, Instagram thinks so too. Have you heard of the Instagram Shadowban? Shadowban intentionally blocks an account’s post from being featured in hashtag searches when users deliberately use the same hashtags repeatedly. It’s easy to avoid this by only using the hashtags that are most relevant to your post and switching up your tags regularly.

5. Hop on the Carousel

Don’t skip out on Instagram’s Carousel feature.

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, ten pictures are worth … ummmm, math’s not our strong suit 😉 Instagram’s carousel feature is a super valuable tool for situations where one photo simply won’t do. It’s also idea for e-commerce brands who want to feature multiple angles of the same product, product bundles or new lines of products. Basically. Instagram carousel allows you to really show off your brand without oversaturating your feed with too much promotional content.

Adidas has some great examples of utilizing carousels. https://www.instagram.com/p/BmVTL67lCxZ/

6. Be Bossy!

Utilize Calls to Action (CTA’s)

It’s okay to tell your followers what to do. By that, we mean make sure that you’re using calls to action (CTAs) on your posts and stories. This can include telling viewers to like, tag, comment or check the “Link in Bio.” If your CTA’s are driving traffic to a third-party website—e-commerce brand promoting a product—make sure the CTA button is Shop Now.

Wrapping It Up

Now that you have a better idea of what Instagram marketing strategies are most effective, it is time to get to work! Just remember, the most important thing your brand can do is to connect with your audience on a meaningful level. Speak to them in a real way and they’ll start speaking back. Give it time and stay consistent!

If you’ve got questions or need some personalized strategy assistance, feel free to hit us up! hello@thecoastcreative.com.

5 Tips On Building Your Instagram Audience

5 Tips On Building Your Instagram Audience 1200 770 Susan Rapaglia

Instagram is by far one of the most powerful social media tools to grow your business online. However, there are a lot of accounts that we have noticed which aren’t using the platform to its fullest potential.

That is why the Coast Creative team put together 5 tips on how to build your Instagram audience which you can start implementing today!

1. Set SMART Goals

Before you focus on your content, the number 1 thing to do is to focus on your goals for Instagram. Who do you want to reach? How many hours per day/week do you want to set aside for posting + creating content? What number of followers/engagement rate is a success in your book?

We at the Coast Creative are big subscribers to SMART goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound. Lofty goals are an easy way to set yourself up for failure. If you’re just starting out on your Instagram account, instead of having a goal of gaining a bunch of followers, a s.m.a.r.t. goal would be to grow the Instagram channel by 10% in three months. A goal that is both achievable and measurable.

2. Stick To A Schedule

After you set your goals, the next step is to plan out a set schedule for your Instagram posting and community management/engagement. This part is really up to you and how much time you can dedicate to the platform. If 3-4 posts a week is too many (or too few), adjust to your own needs and goals. Once you find a posting frequency that works best for you, it is super important to stay consistent. The quickest way to build an audience is to stay consistent with your posting schedule. Your fans will tune out if you go weeks without a post.

3. Remember Content *Still* Reigns Supreme

Beyond setting goals and sticking to a schedule, an equally important task is creating compelling and engaging content for your audience. It doesn’t matter if you have the best target audience and schedule set in place, if your content is terrible, then your audience will look elsewhere.

We also recommend to our clients when creating content that each piece should inform, reveal and engage. We tend to stray away from promotional/advertisements in our organic content because the user can easily get turned off to it. Building brand awareness and affinity with our content are what to strive for.

4. Don’t Overlook The Power Of Stories

If you’re currently not using Instagram Stories in your marketing strategy, then it is time to make a change right now. Instagram Stories are not only arguably the most fun and creative part of Instagram, but they also are such an easy and an effective way to have your posts seen and shared by millions of daily users.

Instagram stories are meant to showcase and highlight content that you don’t need to have on your regular feed. For example, if you are a restaurant you don’t need to post about your weekly happy hours on your feed, but creating captivating Instagram story content is perfect to promote your specials without backing up your curated feed.

Instagram stories only last 24 hours (unless highlighted) so you also don’t have as much pressure in perfecting the content as you would on a regular post.

5. Here Come The Hashtags

If you aren’t promoting your Instagram content via ads then it is extremely crucial to be using quality hashtags on your posting. Using hashtags helps your content reach your target audience and also can build your following at the same time. Not to mention, potentially getting on Instagram’s explore feed as well.

Instagram allows each post to include 30 hashtags in the copy. Even though you have plenty of hashtags use, you should make the most out of them, and make sure they’re relevant and targeted to your audience base.

One Final Word

It is safe to say there are plenty more tips & tricks on growing your Instagram audience, but they all start with creating a strategy + implementing it. If you’re overwhelmed on keeping up with social media trends, send a message and see how we can help!

The Best Photo Editing Apps

The Best Photo Editing Apps 800 482 coast.admin

If you ask our Coast Creative team “What is the best photo editing app out there,” you may get a difference of opinion. What we are in agreement of, however, is that we all need photo editing in our lives.

Listen to us now: ALL photos should be edited before posting. Just like we as people can use a little sprucing up here and there, so do our photos. So, while we might not be able to choose the “best,” we have selected our top 3 favorite photo editing apps.

Best All Around: SNAPSEED

Snapseed, a Google product, got a few votes here at Coast thanks to its primary processing abilities when it comes to things like exposure, ambiance, sharpening and straightening. We love that in addition to “Tools,” Snapseed also offers “Looks” that includes your last edits. This comes in quite handy when you’re editing multiple photos in a row. This consistency is key to a cohesive to that enviable Instagram feed.

Best Filters: VSCO

You can’t really talk about photo editors without mentioning VSCO. Pronounced “Visco,” no one does filters better. These are not your overpowering filters, these are the filters that make you say “oh hello, photo.” Not to mention their basic photo editing tools are pretty on point as well.

Best Creative: A COLOR STORY + A DESIGN KIT

There’s a little something for everyone (who loves color in their lives) with A Color Story and its new sister-app, A Design Kit. Enjoy an incredible range of presets that can take your photos from nice to “I got how many likes?!?” Pair that with A Design Kit and you’re able to develop really creative photos that will stand out from any crowd.

We feel it’s only right to note that a both VSCO, A Color Story and A Design Kit offer a good number of their features for a fee. A small fee, but nonetheless a fee.

Photos and the editing apps that beautify them is a piece of the overall social media puzzle. If you’re looking for more ways to increase your following, improve engagement and build your brand, get in touch today!