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instagram updates

What You Need To Know About the New Instagram Updates

When there’s Instagram updates I get excited. It’s my favorite social platform so I love having an excuse to talk about it. New Instagram updates were announced this week that are definitely worth talking about. You’ve probably heard a bit about them: updates to hashtags, mentions, algorithm and shopping. So let’s hash it out. No pun intended.

ADD HASHTAGS AND MENTIONS IN YOUR BIO

Instagram has announced you can now include clickable hashtags and “@”mentions in your bio. Basically if you want to associate yourself with a specific hashtag or other Instagram accounts, you can do this right from your bio. Why would you want to do this?

Maybe you…

  • Want to brand a hashtag
  • Would like to link another business that you own
  • Want to link to an account you manage
  • Simply want exposure

How effective will this be? Time will tell.

ALGORITHM CHANGES

Most people hate the algorithm feed as opposed to a chronological order. Did Instagram listen? Perhaps. Here’s what they had to say:

“Today we’re introducing changes to give you more control over your feed and ensure the posts you see are timely.We’ve heard it can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top. So today we’re testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically. Tap the button and you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of feed — don’t tap, and you’ll stay where you are. We hope this makes browsing Instagram much more enjoyable.Based on your feedback, we’re also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up.Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing more about improvements we’re making to feed. Our goal is to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you.”

to summarize:
  • Instagram will be putting more of the most recent posts higher in the feed, less older posts at the top of your feed.
  • Instagram will let you refresh your own feed and not automatically refresh it for you. Thank you! That was so rude. Especially when you’re looking through your feed and suddenly Instagram snatches you back to the top and you miss what you were looking at. Instead, you’ll get a “new posts” button when you’re ready to refresh.

The algorithm has been modified so that older content isn’t getting bumped up in your feeds. It will give priority to newer content. There are other factors that determine the content you are served including how much engagement a post gets, how long people view a post, etc;. With this update, Instagram has adjusted the importance of these factors so that the time of a post carries more weight in determining what appears in your feed. 

While this is good news for users, as business owners, you’ll want to keep in mind your posting strategy and determining when your audience is online so you know the optimal times to post. Also, businesses may need to post more frequently. With older posts no longer appearing, businesses will need to create new, fresh content more often so your content stays in the newsfeed. Your content was likely to be pushed back into followers feeds with the previous algorithm. Consider these changes when adjusting your Instagram content strategy.

INSTAGRAM SHOPPING

The new shopping ability on Instagram is an expansion of the “product tags”  that was released last year. On March 21, Instagram discussed it in detail on their business blog. Business accounts will have an e-commerce shop on the platform so your followers can shop within the platform. Once they’re ready to purchase, they’ll be directed to the business’s mobile site. You can tag 5 products per post, or up to 20 products per carousel post.

 

What are your thoughts on the new Instagram updates? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

 

instagram news

The Best Instagram News This Year and What It Means For You

I haven’t been this excited about Instagram news since they introduced the ability to switch between Instagram accounts without logging out. Remember that?? You used to have to log out. Fun times.

Well this Instagram news is along those lines. The next big news marketers and business owners had been waiting on. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram has not had the ability to schedule posts. Up to this point, you could sort of schedule your content using a 3rd party app. But it wouldn’t schedule automatically, it still required a manual authorization to post.  So that meant you had to be pretty free and clear at the time you needed to post.

That has all, well mostly, changed. Instagram has updated their API to allow 3rd party applications to post for you. Cue the confetti!

Let’s look at what it means for you and your business.

You’ll need to use an application to schedule posts.

The feature is not part of the Instagram product.  You will need to use social media tools that are Instagram and Facebook Marketing partners.  You’ll need to stay tuned for when your preferred scheduling tool rolls this out.

This update is for business profiles.

Obviously, brands and businesses have a need to be able to manage and schedule content. This functionality is being allowed for that reason. Instagram says that support for non-business profiles is in the works for an early 2019 release.

Not everything can be scheduled.

This will not include ads, video, stories or multiple photo posts. Sorry.

Additional new features are being introduced.

According to Techcrunch, a new Instagram Graph API is being introduced and will include the ability to analyze metrics and insights about the business’s performance on Instagram, moderate comments and access the business’s mentions and add responses to them. It will also involve a new business discovery feature which will allow business profiles to view other business profile information and media.

A word to the wise:

Exercise patience. When new features are rolled out, there are glitches. I’m already reading some kinks with Hootsuite. The good news is, marketers and business owners have finally gotten what we’ve been asking for most to help our Instagram marketing a little bit easier. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

 

 

facebook

Facebook Fights Fake News

If you post links to Facebook and you modify the image, title or excerpt of the preview, that is all coming to an end. Starting Tuesday, July 18th, Facebook is no longer allowing modifications to link previews.

The official announcement from Facebook stated the following:

As part of our continuing efforts to stop the spread of misinformation and false news on our platform, earlier this year at F8 we announced an important change to our Graph API: Graph API version 2.9 includes a 90 day deprecation of the ability to edit previews attached to link posts. We’d like to share more details on the coming change.

By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news. We also understand that many publishers have workflows that rely on overwriting link preview metadata to customize how their content appears to audiences on Facebook. We’re committed to a solution that supports them. Read the complete statement here.

Here’s the bottom line:
  • Beginning July 18th, any scheduled Facebook messages with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview. This includes: the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made.
  • Beginning July 18th, any messages in a social media management tool (Buffer, Hootsuite, etc;) for Facebook with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview (the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made).

 

Why Is this happening?

As mentioned in the quote above from Facebook’s Developer News, this update is “eliminating a channel that has been used to post false news.” This is Facebook’s attempt to stop the spread of false information.

The reaction from many small businesses have been strong. While I think everyone can appreciate making sure that content that is true and factual is a good thing, I believe the critics feel this change seems to hurt small businesses while doing nothing to actually stop the spread of false information. The guilty false news publishers, will still publish false, misleading stories to their websites.

What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Share in the comment section below.

 

twitter analytics

Using Twitter Analytics To Improve Your Engagement

How much planning do you put into your social media marketing? For many businesses, unfortunately, a haphazard approach is all that resources and time will allow. That’s often because companies may not realize what the data is that can help them use social media more effectively.

Take Twitter, for example:

Twitter is a great way to get potential new customers to discover your company’s products or servicesClick To Tweet

But unless you understand how to use the Analytics Dashboard, you won’t be able to gauge your reach or your engagement.

Of course, before you even measure and analyze metrics, you have to figure out how Twitter fits in to your overall company marketing strategy. Do you care if you have more followers, or do you want the people already connected with you to become more active? All those goal-oriented questions are important to consider first.

Let’s back up a bit and take a look at some Twitter stats according to Hootsuite:

Twitter has 317 million monthly active users.

Twitter users are likely to be millennials with thirty-six percent of users aged 18 to 29 years oldClick To Tweet
  • Twenty-nine percent of online Americans with a college degree use Twitter.
  • Most have an above average income. Thirty percent of online Americans who earn $75,000 or more use Twitter.
  • Gender is evenly split: 24 percent of American online men use the service, and 25 percent of women.

There’s a saying that goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This is also true with social media marketing. To use Twitter effectively, you must be familiar with your metrics. The Twitter Analytics Dashboard is accessible for all users to use from their desktops at analytics.twitter.com.

Your Twitter Analytics dashboard shows your reach, engagement, and other important statistics. These metrics can help you to learn more about your followers, how to have better interactions with them, and help you to determine the best times to tweet in order to increase engagement, and discover what content works best for your audience.

Make your Twitter marketing worth your time. Improve your engagement by monitoring your Twitter analytics: watch your metrics, adjust your activity, and watch your Twitter results improve!

Want to dive deeper into Twitter insights? This graphic can help.


Simple Twitter Analytics Tips

By SurePayroll

engage

How To Best Engage With Your Social Media Audience

Social media marketing is an opportunity to publish relevant content, grow your follower base, generate thought leadership and to engage with your audience. Engaging with your online community is a key part of your social media strategy. An audience who is engaged, likes and trusts you. Engagement builds relationships, relationships ultimately lead to sales.

Engagement is a key part of growing your online community.Click To Tweet

Here are some suggestions on how you can engage your audience:

Make Connecting Easy.

For years we’ve seen social media buttons popping up everywhere.  These buttons can be used strategically. Use them to draw attention to platforms beyond Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a presence on Instagram that you want to direct a particular audience to? Or a platform where they can get customer service? Be sure to always provide a valuable reason they should connect with you. Don’t just tell them to follow you, tell them what’s in it for them.

Humanize the brand.

No matter what you do, you’re marketing to a person. People are much more comfortable talking and connecting with people rather than entities. They are more comfortable talking to a face as opposed to a logo.  Show you’re “human” in these ways:

  • Show the faces and names of people behind the brand.
  • Sharing behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Use less jargon and more conversational language
  • Use your sense of humor!

Don’t worry about the numbers.

Having a huge following is great, but you want to do it the right way. The tried and true method of sharing consistent and valuable content, responding timely, and being authentic, is what works best. There’s no point in having a huge number of followers who don’t engage you. Building relationships online is no different than offline – it takes time.

Help make your audience a more informed one.

You know a lot about your industry. And your audience is probably following you to gain some of that knowledge and insight. Share with your community and help them become more informed and educated. Pay attention to questions your audience asks and answer them in a blog post or on your website in a FAQ section and provide resources they can use to learn more.

Listen.

There are conversations happening on the internet all the time among your target audience that relates to your brand. To engage this audience, you have to know where to find these conversations, and figure out how to engage with them. This is called social listening. If you can find relevant discussions within your industry, adding thoughtful information and value without selling is a great way to engage. You can find those conversations through keyword searches and listening tools.

Create a schedule.

Creating a content calendar and posting schedule will help you maintain consistency. These days, we all have a lot on our plates.  Your audience will appreciate consistent, clear, concise communication.

Think about some of your favorite brands on social media. What keeps you engaged? Please share in the comments below.

 

Instagram Album: Share Multiple Photos and Video In One Post

What if I told you that you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an event, experience or moment on Instagram? Awesome, right? Well, it’s true! Now you can select up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to view them much like a carousel ad. Except it’s not an ad, it’s your very awesome Instagram album!

Here’s How The New Instagram Album Feature Works:

When you begin to select a photo to upload, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. You can easily determine how your post will display. You can tap and hold to change the order of the photos and videos you select, apply a filter to everything at once or edit each individual selection. As of now there is only one caption for the photo album. These photos are square only.

An “Instagram album” (not the official name) will display a small icon on your profile grid located on the first photo or video of your post indicating there is more to see. When viewing other posts in your feed, you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of photo album posts to let you know you can swipe to see more in that post. You can like and comment on them just like a regular post.

My first thought was “content overkill,” but, after seeing a few neat ways the feature has been used I realized it’s actually quite the opposite.

My early observations have shown that this new feature is clever and inspires creativity.Click To Tweet

Here are a few creative ways you can use the new feature:

  • Are you a cook? Or do you just love to cook? Either way, this feature is great for recipes.
  • Show your stuff! If you have work that you’ve created or products that you want to showcase, you can show many examples in one post.

I love what Canva did in a post showcasing one of their color combinations: Cool Meadow.

instagram album

instagram album

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Get feedback! Show a series of outfits, or design projects and ask your audience to choose their favorite.
  • Chronicle a Before and After experience like a makeover or design project.
  • You just took a fabulous trip and you want to share ten of your best photos without flooding your follower’s newsfeed.
  • Instead of posting behind the scenes photos of your business each day, take one photo every day and post a “My Week At A Glance” album at the end of the week.
  • You’re attending an event, a fancy dinner, a party or celebration and you want to share your experience from beginning to end with a combination of photos and videos.
  • Let’s face it. This is a good way to post a bunch of selfies without being incredibly obnoxious. Almost 🙂

Have you tried the Instagram album feature? What creative uses have you seen or used? Please share below in the comments.