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The Fool-Proof Guide to Running a Business Instagram Account

The Fool-Proof Guid to Running a Business Instagram Account

Instagram is a key tool in today’s marketing arsenal for businesses. Using Instagram for your business, whether big or small, helps potential customers find easy information about you–this means you need to be strategic about what you post, when you post, and how you post!

Marketing on Instagram shouldn’t feel stressful, instead it should be an exciting creative opportunity! Below we’ve outlined a simple strategy to get Instagram to work for you. If you have any questions, we are more than willing to help you build your Instagram strategy and help you see online success!

Create a Strategy

Many companies make the mistake of using Instagram without a strategy. Your Instagram profile is a reflection of your business and you will want this to be as professional and strategic as possible. Your Instagram Strategy will include information about your audience. Having a better understanding of your audience allows you to post better content that they are more likely to be interested in.

Define your strategy by answering these questions:

  • Who is my Target Audience?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What do they respond best to?
  • Why would they be searching for your product or service and what questions do they have once they find you?

Engage your Audience

People work with brands they know and trust–which means you need to be authentic! Your social media should feel like a real person is on the other side, not a business. Use these tips to engage genuinely with your audience:

  • Like & comment on your follower’s post
  • Like & comment on potential follower’s posts
  • Respond quickly to comments and mentions
  • Ask open ended questions so your followers have something to respond to
  • Showcase loyal followers on your story

Use the Instagram Algorithm to your Advantage

Does the phrase ‘Instagram Algorithm’ leave you scared and stressed? No worries! It is easy to use the Instagram Algorithm once you know what important factors it is looking at to put your posts at the top of your followers’ feed.

The top factors in the Instagram Algorithm are Relationship, Interest, and Timeliness. Use these tips to make the algorithm work for you:

  • Relationship – Instagram prioritizes content based on relationships. If you interact with someone frequently, you’re more likely to show up on their timeline. In your captions, ask your followers questions that will lead to comments.
  • Interest – Instagram prioritizes content based on how much a viewer would potentially like a post. Be sure that you’re posting content relatable to your audience.
  • Timeliness – Instagram shows users the most recent content first, so posting when your audience is online is important.

Use Instagram insights

Instagram Insights is data that helps you understand what is working and what is not working about your social media strategy. Keep in mind that Instagram Insights are only available for the previous week, so we highly suggest that you track this information on the same day each week and save it in a spreadsheet.

The insights will help you learn about:

  • Activity – to see how many people see your content, where they see it, and how many interactions your profile had in views and clicks.
  • Content – to view data on your posts, stories, and ads.
  • Audience – to know who your audience is, where they live, when they’re online, and more demographics.

Social Media Managers

If all of this information sounds a bit stressful–do not fear! You can hire a remote social media manager that can help create your strategy, design and write content, and schedule your social media posts. Reach out to CAST Design Team today and let’s talk about your social media needs!

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Using the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

Using the Instagram Algorithm to Your Advantage

How can you use the Instagram Algorithm to your advantage when scheduling content? This is a question we at CAST Design Team receive all the time. In this blog, we’ll explain three Instagram Algorithm facts that come straight from the pro’s at Instagram.

What is the Instagram Algorithm?

Before 2016, Instagram shared posts in reverse chronological order–meaning the most recent posts appeared at the top of your feed and you scrolled back in time. July 2016 brought a change in Instagram when the company opted for an algorithm. The mysterious algorithm shares posts in what can seem to be a random order. The Instagram Algorithm, however, is anything but random!

A Learning Machine

The Instagram Algorithm is a learning machine. Instagram looks at your past behavior and how you interact with accounts to then show you a feed curated to your tastes and actions. Accounts that you interact with will show up earlier on your feed and accounts that you don’t comment and like as often will fall lower in the feed. There are 3 specific things Instagram uses to decide what posts go where: Interest, Recency, and Relationship.

Interest

Instagram can predict what you are interested in by reviewing past behavior. In simple terms, if you like and comment on Instagram posts about Disneyland, you are going to start seeing more posts about Disneyland in your feed.

If you want to show up in your followers’ feeds more often, find out what they are interested in and incorporate it into your Instagram content, so they are more likely to comment and like these posts. This is a smart way to use the Instagram Algorithm to your advantage and get in front of your audience more often.

Recency

Timeliness of posts is also a factor in the Instagram Algorithm. More recent posts get priority over posts that are weeks old. Companies can benefit from this knowledge by posting regularly to consistently stay in their followers’ feeds. Another great way to use this to your advantage is to track your analytics and make sure you know when a majority of your follows are online this way you can post at those times.

 

Relationship

If you regularly interact with an account’s posts, such as commenting and liking, you will see more posts from that account in your feed. Your relationship with accounts is important to the Instagram Algorithm. Utilize this knowledge by using a call-to-action in your content asking your followers to comment their opinions and experiences and ALWAYS respond to their comments.

Instagram Algorithm Help

Does the Instagram Algorithm still give you anxiety? Don’t stress–contact CAST Design Team today and we can help you master the Instagram Algorithm and get your posts seen by more followers.

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3 Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

3 Tips for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

Facebook is a great place to share your products to potential customers. Creating Facebook Ads that convert can be a difficult task, and it is harder than throwing a link and some text into the program. We’ve compiled our three best tips for creating Facebook Ads that convert.

Share the Benefit

On Facebook, about every 5th post is an ad. Why should a potential customer stop and read your ad long enough to click ‘Learn More’? Entice your customers by telling them not what you sell, but what your product will do for them.

Many people stop at the features of their products, but do not go into the benefits of those features. Instead of stopping at 24/7 support, printable PDFs, or access to a library of video content for life, share what benefits those features will bring your customer. An easy way to share benefits is to use the ‘so that’ phrase. Here are a few generic examples:

“You’ll have 24/7 access to our support staff so that you never feel alone during your purchase.”

“Printable PDFs help you accomplish your goals so that you can see your progress and feel motivated to continue.”

“Have access to the library of video content for life so that you always have the resources you need.”

Use Specific Numbers

It’s easy and boring to say that a customer could save money by choosing your car insurance firm. It’s creative, attention grabbing, and memorable to say that, “[Business Name/Service] can save you 15% or more on your [problem].” Think of Gieco in this example. The simple addition of a specific number has made for one of the most memorable slogans in advertising.

Implement this strategy by gathering data on what you are trying to share in a Facebook Ad and include specific numbers that resonate with your ideal customer. These numbers will supplement your credibility while catching the eye of your customer.

Simplify Your Call-to-Action

You want your customer to click on the link, check out the website, buy the product now, give you their email address, and follow you on Facebook. That is too many things for one customer to take in, so you need to simplify your call-to-action. Decide on one thing you’d like to ask them to do and include that in your Facebook ads. For example, ask them to redeem their 20% off offer now, or sign up to receive a free PDF that leads them to seek you out for more.

We’re Here to Help

Facebook Ads may seem like a daunting task. You are not in this alone! CAST Design Team is here to help when Facebook Ads feel intimidating. Contact us today for a consultation and we can get your Facebook Ads up and running!

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5 Things You Can Do to Standout at a Networking Event

5 Things You Can Do to Standout at a Networking Event

Have you ever been to a networking event? If so, you know networking can be intimidating, especially if you are stepping out of your comfort level, looking for a new job or just trying to get to know like-minded professionals like yourself. Many people like to use networking events to find potential clients or customers for their business. Are you one of them? If so, here are the 5 things you can do to stand out at a networking event when promoting your business:

  1. Conduct a Survey

Surveys, whether interview style or gathering specific data, this can help you document your experience, make a list of who you spoke to and be a great ice breaker. Surveys help you connect with someone more quickly by asking questions and find similar interests. It’s a unique and interactive way to “take notes”. Plus, it’s great market research!

  1. Be Your Own Publicist.

Ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s a short description of a product, company or about yourself such that any listener can understand you or your business in a short period of time. It’s a great way to showcase yourself or business. Tell them how your product works, your specialty and why they should give you a chance. Don’t forget to mention how you’re different than competitors.

Elevator Tips:

  • Skip Industry Jargon. Make it simple and relatable to anyone. You never know who may be listening to your pitch.
  • Practice before attending the Networking Events.
  • Identify your Desired Action. What do you want to get out of your pitch?
  1. Show Enthusiasm.

Show interest in the person you are talking to. Engage in conversation and ask questions. Be patient. The conversation may not always be about you and your business. It’s important to be an active listener.

  1. Build Relationships

Showing how your product works, what skills you have and how you can easily connect with people from all lines of businesses is something we all want to do when we’re in front of a group of potential clients/customers. But this should be done, IF and only IF, the particular event you are at is the appropriate place to do this. The last thing you want to do at a networking event is come off as salesy. These things are about building relationships. So, while it’s important to let people know about what you do, there may be a better time and place for a more in-depth conversation. As long as the person you met knows what industry you’re in, they’re probably more likely to think of you first when they come across someone that needs your services because they actually had a genuine conversation with you!

  1. A Take Away

People will remember you if they have something to remember you by. Whether you’re looking for a job, new clients or customers, or just there to meet people, this is providing them with your business card, resume or something that will make them want to connect with you outside of the event.

Don’t forget Networking Events are about building relationships over time. It’s making that first impression, sharing contact information and making it easier to reach out to them outside of the event dynamics. Now go through your notes, start sending out emails and build your relationships for yourself or for your business! Good Luck!

How do you prepare yourself for Networking Events? What works for you? Share your experiences!