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What Are Instagram Stories?

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Introduced in 2016, Instagram stories is described by Mark Zukerburg as a way to “share a series of videos or photos — and have them disappear after 24 hours.” It has since evolved. It now includes a variety of fun features and can be used to highlight special moments, launch a livestream session, promote a product or service. As these features continue to develop, it becomes more important for brands to learn the platform and adapt. Below we explain what Instagram stories are and how they can be used to increase your social media exposure.

What is a Story?

On Instagram, a “story” is a short video clip or photo that appears on your profile for a single day. This kind of content can be less curated than your normal posts. It’s a great medium for quick bursts of follower engagement because every day is a chance for a new story.

Types of Stories

Some accounts post personal behind-the-scenes moments, while others share sneak peeks of upcoming projects. Livestreams offer real-time communication with your followers. Verified business profiles have access to more story tools than personal accounts. These include promoted stories, user analytics (also known as “insights”) and a “swipe up” feature that links back to your product or service.

Stories for Your Business

The type of content and ideas you share in an Instagram story depends solely on your business objectives. If you are trying to increase awareness about your product or service, show why it’s important. Explain how it can be used in everyday life. If your goal is to inform and educate your audience on certain topics, Instagram stories can be a great driver to your resources. Take it one story at a time, and find a way to work them into your existing social media strategy.

Stories Highlights

Instagram has more recently rolled out highlights, which allows users to save stories indefinitely. This archive can be viewed by anyone who clicks on your profile, and each one can be tailored to a specific theme or subject. Use highlights to save brand-relevant content that may not otherwise fit into your feed.

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How to Get New Instagram Followers!

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Instagram is currently one of the most popular social networking sites. As the platform continues to grow, getting new followers will becoming more and more difficult. Users are streamlining their feed and selectively choosing which accounts to follow, so refining your strategy is increasingly important. Read below for primary ways to gain new Instagram followers.

Post Quality Content

The first step to getting instagram followers is keeping your account active. Post new content to your feed at least once or twice per day, but space them out to avoid coming off as spam. Back to back updates can clog your followers’ feed and may prompt them to unfollow your account.

In addition to posting regularly, it’s also important to make your feed look nice. When potential followers look at your profile, it should pique their interest and encourage them to click the follow button. Try editing your photos in a similar manner for a cohesive look.

Hashtag and Geotag

Hashtags are marked by a number (#) symbol, while geotagging is done by flagging your exact location on any given post. Both are a great way to increase engagement. Users search hashtags to find specific posts and geotags to browse updates from a specific area. If you tag your content accordingly, they’ll find and follow your content.

Hashtags should be relevant to your brand or business and can be categorized by topic, location, idea and more. Include them on every post for a boost in visibility. On the other hand, geotagging works best in popular locations. Not every update will be a good fit for this tactic.

Engage

Another straightforward way to gain new instagram followers is by engaging with like-minded users. Check out the explore tab to find interesting posts and new accounts to follow, or look for people posting similar hashtags. Like and comment when something stands out. You’ll find that many people will return the favor.

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How to Have a Great Instagram Feed

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Instagram is one of the most popular and influential social media platforms available. The service is free to use and easy to learn, making it a valuable marketing tool for any brand. Unlike other social sites, an Instagram feed focuses heavily on visuals and engagement. One does not thrive without the other, and it’s not enough to just post a photo with a short descriptor. The goal is to foster community and inspire your audience to connect with your core message.

Consider what your brand stands for and post accordingly. Whether you’re sharing photos, videos or stories, there are a few ways to make sure your feed stands out and makes a memorable impact. Read below for tips on how to have a great Instagram feed.

Consistency

The first rule for a thriving Instagram feed is to post regularly. Many users follow thousands of profiles and are subsequently scrolling through hundreds of posts each day. Your brand can’t make a proper statement if your content isn’t appearing often enough.

Make it a point to post at least once per day. If engagement is still low, try posting twice per day. The content should always align with your unique style, and each post should complement the ones before and after. If you’re struggling to keep up on a daily basis, use a feed-planning app like Planoly or UNUM to outline posts and captions ahead of time. This will make uploads quicker and easier.

*Tip: To avoid being labeled as spam, don’t post back-to-back updates. Spread them throughout the day to reach users in different time zones.

Quality

In addition to a consistent upload schedule, it’s important to post photos that look good. These snaps don’t need to come from a professional camera or world-class photographer. Smartphone cameras have come a long way and can produce high-quality images that work well in any feed.

Whatever you’re taking a picture of, make sure the lighting is crisp and the main subject is correctly in focus. Photos in your Instagram feed should be likable – something that will make users stop scrolling and actually read your captions. Additionally, your captions should be engaging and informative. Use a call to action or ask questions to encourage a discussion in the comments.

*Tip: Try posting images or videos with a similar color scheme for continuity and visual harmony.

Drive Back To Your Brand

There’s more to having a great Instagram feed than the daily content. It’s also important to have a quality bio. At first glance, new users should be able to identify who you are and what you have to offer. They should also be able to make contact quite easily. Switch to a business profile for an in-app email feature, or list an email address above your profile link. Make sure to closely monitor the inbox and respond in a timely manner.

*Tip: Use your profile link wisely. Update the URL as often as needed, especially if this is where you’re directing people from your posts.

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How to Take Better Pictures with Your Smartphone

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Great pictures are always within reach, thanks to modern smartphone camera technology. It’s been said that “the best camera is the one you have with you,” and if you’re looking for quality photos for a noteworthy Instagram feed, your mobile device is a great option. Below we’re sharing the fundamentals for high-quality smartphone photos.

Lighting

Sunlight is the best source of light for crisp, clear smartphone photos. It offers a natural glow and helps keep your smartphone camera from producing grainy images. Position your subject next to a window or outside in a bit of shade, and avoid direct beams of sunshine for the best lighting conditions.

Angles

The right angles for your pictures will vary from one to the other. Some shots, like flat lay snaps, look best from above. Alternatively, food and drink images usually look better when taken at eye level. There are no absolute rules, so play around with the positioning of your smartphone photos until you find what you like.

Composition

After you’ve mastered lighting and angle techniques, it’s time to consider the composition of your smartphone photos. The goal is to capture the attention of your audience, so everything in your photo should draw the eye to your subject. Play around with negative space, or crop the final snaps so the focus point is centered. Mixing up the composition is a great way to add visual interest.

Editing

Even the best smartphone photos need a little editing from time to time, and there are many apps available for both iOS and Android. These applications offer full control over the brightness, contrast, saturation, tint, and temperature of your images to help fine-tune the final product as needed. Small edits can make a big difference while intense edits can transform the entire photo. It’s important to find a style that fits the message you’re trying to share. This can take time, so find apps that are easy and fun to use while you explore the process.

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Understanding How to Succeed on Instagram

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If you have internet access, you’ve probably heard of Instagram, but what is it exactly? Whether you’re new to the platform or just seeking more information, the first step is to understand its significance. Read below for a simple definition and explanation of Instagram as a social media networking site.

What Is Instagram?

Instagram is a social networking service that was first launched in 2010. It was designed as a medium to instantly share photos of everyday life, through the lens of a mobile camera. Today, it has over 800 million active daily users posting both photos and videos from various devices.

Originally only available to iPhone users, it is now accessible to anyone with access to the internet. While you don’t need a mobile phone to create an account or follow new profiles, an Apple or Android-powered smartphone is still required if you want to upload content.

What Makes it Different

Instagram differs from other popular social media platforms in many ways. While Twitter focusses heavily on text updates, Instagram has built its growth around images posts. Unlike Facebook, your profile refinement options are limited, and although you can share 1-minute clips, Youtube still reigns supreme for video content.

Instagram is quickly growing as a marketing and advertising vehicle for many businesses. Both older and younger generations are active on the site, and users come from all different backgrounds. As a result, it’s a great way to connect with your target audience, show off your brand and share important updates.

How to Use It

Like all social media platforms, internet access is required to use Instagram. You’ll need to download the mobile application for access to all the features, but you can also visit Instagram.com on your web browser to view, like and comment on posts from people you follow. Whichever route you choose, make sure you post often. Consistency with posting content and engaging with the community is the key to success on Instagram.

Instagram & Grow Tent

Grow Tent is a tool for Instagram accounts to be successful on the platform. We use Instagram to showcase beautiful content and engage with the community. We use best practices to market accounts to reach the audience you want. Check out our plans.

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What is Social Media Marketing?

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In today’s age, if you own or operate a business, it’s important to establish your brand on social media. As the number of users on each platform continues to grow, so does the need for a well-managed social content strategy. Read on understand what it means to market your brand on social media and how you can use it to boost your online fingerprint.

Definition

Social media marketing is a way of promoting your product or service in an engaging and interactive way. Traditional marketing is often one-sided. Print ads, commercials and radio spots are presented in a way that speaks directly to your customer, but generally, the customer is unable to respond. With social media, your audience can reply, like and share your messaging, making it easier to connect with the consumer.

Social Media Platforms

There are many social media sites on the web. Most are free to use, and all were created for a different purpose (and more are being created every day). You don’t need to use them all, but it’s important to have some sort of presence on the most popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Other options include Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Why it’s Important

Social media marketing offers instant access to your brand and is a way to share real-time updates related to your products or services. A solid social media presence can also boost your search engine rankings and make your website easier to find. With the right plan in place, this kind of marketing can become a driving force for sales and help you reach broader audiences.

Strategic Usage

To form a social media marketing plan, you must first determine your strategy. First, establish an account with the larger platforms mentioned above, and start posting brand-relevant content as soon as possible. If your company relies heavily on visuals, focus your efforts on Instagram. If you share lots of helpful tips and information, Facebook or Twitter may be a better fit. The more you use each platform, the easier it will become to learn the algorithms, develop a schedule and find your groove. There are many social media marketing tools that provide helpful features to quickly develop your audience. Compare many tools to find the ones that best fit your workflow and needs.

Instagram & Grow Tent

Grow Tent is a tool for Instagram accounts to be successful on the platform. We use Instagram to showcase beautiful content and engage with the community. We use best practices to market accounts to reach the audience you want. Check out our plans here.