Maximize Your Instagram Handle With These Ten Tips

More and more brands are getting on Instagram and it’s time we all up our game. No matter how big or small your brand is, Instagram is an excellent platform for your company. Recently we talked about ways to share some love and build your followers but at the core you need to make sure your Instagram handle is up to scratch! See some of our tips below to maximize your Instagram business handle.

Michael Kors’ Instagram profile

Optimize your Bio. Your bio not only clearly states who you are to someone having a look but it can also help drive leads or new users. When creating your bio, consider keywords that associate with your brand and constantly update the link in your bio to coincide with your posts.

HootSuite Editorial Content Template

Plan ahead. Create an editorial calendar (duh) that allows you to plan out your posts in advance alongside any other marketing or social media activations happening. Also consider any potential trending topics or holidays (think national ice cream month or Labor Day).  Our friends at Hootsuite have shared a great template to get you started on a full editorial calendar for all platforms.


Don’t over post

Establish a posting pattern but don’t over post. With your editorial calendar make sure you keep up to date with a posting pattern so that you give your users something to expect. On the other side, never upload an entire album and in fact with a small follower base it’s best to space out posts as to not annoy your audience. Photos on Instagram with accurate tagging will actually have a much longer lifespan so you don’t need to post as much as on, say Twitter.

Trending Hashtags via Instagram

Take advantage of trending hashtags. Instagram’s new Explore feature allows you to easily find posts related to trending hashtags such as #LoveWins, #CanadaDay and #FullMoon.If any trending tags are relevant to your brand, include them in timely posts to aid discovery.In addition, updating the hashtags you use based on what other users are using will allow you to stay in front of your potential audience.

#MontanaMoment on Instagram

Create your own hashtag to engage. Creating, using, promoting, and monitoring your own hashtag has some great benefits across all platforms. Encouraging users to use the hashtag will allow you to easily search out and engage your users. In addition, you can feature user generated content and amplify your efforts.

Camera Awesome

Shoot your photos square. If you are using a phone camera, choose a square option if you can so that you know what your image would look like within Instagram from the start. If that’s not an option, try using one of many apps to help you maximize your phone photos (try Camera Awesome).


Make your graphics share-worthy. Sometimes it’s not enough to just post an image but pairing images with captions is an effective way to engage your audience. Using a tool such as Canva can help you add any branding, hashtags or inspiring quotes to your images for stunning and shareable images.

Michael Kors Behind The Scenes

Tell a story. Using Instagram shouldn’t be salesy or too much of your brand but instead should tell your brand story. Sharing behind the scenes images, company shots or other exclusive photos to your Instagram creates a compelling reason for users to follow and engage with you.

Take and share high quality images. As an image-based social platform, content is high-interest by design. Make sure your photos are the best quality you can, even using a phone there are some basic techniques you should be sure you are using (no selfies). Give some of these techniques a try to make sure you are creating the best photos possible.

Measure, analyze and adjust. No strategy is complete without understanding what’s working and adjusting accordingly. Trying a variety of post types, times of days and hashtags will help you in the beginning to get a feel for how your audience responds. Once you get a good understanding you can adjust your strategy and incorporate it into your plan. We use Iconosquare to see how we are doing along with to check our hashtags constantly.

So now that you know how to build your handle and grow your following, it’s time to get creative. Push your boundaries, have some fun and see how well you can grow your brand. We’d love to see your best examples!

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4 Things Digital Marketers Can Learn From Taylor Swift

Digital marketing and social media have become so mainstream it’s hard to tell the difference between real life and digital life. Or maybe that’s just us over here :) Anyway, with the recent twitter feud sparked an idea on how influential Taylor Swift is (wait we already knew that) but what we can learn from her and take back to our digital marketing teams. So here are 5 things we thought all of us could learn from Taylor.

She Lifts The Black Curtain: As a celebrity so many people want to know what your life is like or who your friends are and Taylor shows/shares it all….Not only is she sharing promotional posts when a new album or tour is coming out but she is posting instagram photos with her bf and besties during nights out or cuddling with her cat on the couch. A great example was her 4th of July party, I definitely felt like I was a part of it along with the other millions of her Instagram followers. By lifting the curtain she makes you feel like you are part of her #squad and part of the crew. Brands can find evangelists in just the same way. Lift the black curtain and let everyone know the behind the scenes, members of staff or anything at all. When you stop just sharing your promotional marketing speak, users or consumers get to feel the real you and can relate a lot more to your brand.

Her Brand Slowly Evolved: Not only did she start out in country as a young teenager but she had a core fan base at the time. Instead of hopping onto a pop band wagon as soon as it was offered and lose her core group she slowly drifted giving herself a mix of her original as she evolved into what she is now considered a pop star. During this time she was able to pull in new fans and consumers and allow her existing fan base to develop more love for her evolving brand and tunes. For brands this can be hard because you may be in a position that you need to make big changes and it’s hard not to just wake up one day with a change. But it’s important to evolve your brand slowly, especially in the day of digital marketing, so that you don’t lose any of your core consumers while you move into a new group of consumers.

Rolling Stone Photos: (Getty Images)

Two Way Conversations: She talks to her fans and supporters. From posting encouraging thoughts on a fan’s cancer blog or engaging with specific users on Twitter she is having a two way conversation constantly. As a brand involved in social media it’s important to talk with your consumers and not just push content out. Sometimes just congratulating users or responding to something relevant to your brand will give you a loyal user for life.

Taylor frequently comments on Fan’s Instagram tags and posts.

She’s Positive & Supportive Always: We could go on for days about how she is constantly giving back in meaningful ways both small and large to let her supporters know she cares ($50k to NYC schools or $1989 towards a fan’s student loans). In addition to donations she finds ways to turn things positive. For example, in the recent feud talk with Minaj, she stays positive and supportive. Doing these small steps to stay positive and supportive can turn something bad around before it goes too far. Many times with social media we may get some negative press or customer reviews which can be alleviated before going to far with a bit of support and positivity. Many brands have found quite a bit of success just by listening on social and responding in a positive manner. She these great positive social media customer service examples.

JetBlue is known for responding to users within 15 mins.

There are plenty more examples we can take from many of the relatable celebrities today but Taylor Swift is a perfect example of how a brand can build loyal brand evangelists by being relatable and engaging. What other items would you add to the list or which celebrities have you taken a page from?

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How a little bit of love can quickly grow your Twitter & Instagram followers

We spoke to a few clients and contacts about their twitter growth and found that many small businesses and brands have used similar methods to gain traction and a following for both Twitter and Instagram. Here’s what we learned:


Hashtags are used differently. Many large scale brands and organizations create common hashtags they may use constantly for recognition and user generated content. Smaller handles or brands may not have the luxury of getting traction this way so the tactic for hashtags can be quite different.

  • Change it up: Instead of constantly using the same hashtag in that 140 characters, they change it up frequently and test and learn to see what gets traction. If your business is a jewelry company for example each post could have a different hashtag depending on the content: #Diamonds, #Jewelry, #Fashion, #Wedding, #Bridal, #Rings, etc. This method allows your content to appear in searches and feeds to a variety of users giving a larger amount of exposure. On instagram you have more space for more hashtags so keeping common ones with each post can still allow you to swap out a few new ones that is targeted toward the content you are posting (i.e. #Quotes or #Sale).
  • Use it for search: Use your own method of reach and start searching these users out with the hashtags you are commonly using. Finding users also using these can help you engage and take action with them (see more below) in the search of both Twitter and Instagram.

Engage, Engage and Engage. Find users and engage, it’s really that simple. Use those hashtags from above to search out key users based on the content they are posting and go from there. The more engagement you make with these users, the more you will get in return.

  • Like or Favorite: Simply liking or favoriting similar posts by users across both platforms will bring them back to your profile (better make sure your profile is spiffy and a good representative of your brand). The more you do the more you will get, especially across a range of key hashtags. There are a few tools out there that can help with this such as TargetGrow but taking the time to search out the users can also give you a deeper understanding of your target audience.
  • Follow Back: The old game of follow me and I’ll follow you back still works like a charm. Although not everyone will follow you, the ones that care about your brand will and they will stay loyal. Try using key hashtags to get started and then consider tools like iconosquare and communit to find new people.
  • Reply or Comment: Having something to say to a user’s post can make a huge impact. This extra step can mean the world to a loyal user who may not know about your brand just yet.

Giveaways, no matter how small. People like free no matter what. This can be true no matter what you can do and as a small organization you can normally pull this off with a lot less hassle than a large organization (legal, distribution, product, marketing team involvement is no where to be seen). No matter what you give away, make it product related and simple (free product such as jewelry or gift card for services). Now just make sure your execution is spot on to grow by asking users the following:

  • Twitter: Ensure they follow you, use key hashtags, request a RT and make sure you remind them.
  • Instagram: Ensure they follow you, use key hashtags (#giveaway), and have them tag a friend. This simple tactic can bring you a lot more exposure within Instagram.

Measure & adjust constantly. Although large marketing or brand teams may be looking at analytics monthly or quarterly, it’s important for a small organization to look at their analytics constantly. We have heard that most teams are looking daily or weekly at their traction and user response to come up with new content and adjust everything from hashtags, timing and images for the new week. In addition, we’ve even heard this is one of their favorite benefits about as they save a bit of time with our daily recommendations and game plan. Slight self promotion but have a look with our 14-day free trial so you can get some time back in your day!

Have you tried any of these methods or tools? Did they work? We’d love to hear! If you’re looking for a bit more about Instagram, check out our Blog post here or if you want to learn more about engaging on Twitter, check out that blog post here.

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Social ROI Measurement Solution

As an end to end Social ROI Measurement Solution, LiftMetrix ingests your data, computes your social ROI and gives you actionable recommendations to grow ROI. Without spending hours in spreadsheets, marketers (like you) are empowered to act easily and quickly on social media analytics.

Imagine waking up each day with a personalized game plan to give you the confidence that every piece of content posted and ads purchased are optimized to your objections and measured through a business lens. In addition, quickly access your true ROI for each platform based on specific business objectives without opening a single spreadsheet. Finally, adjust your content, ads and platform strategy with actionable recommendations based on your historical data.

Find out more by watching our video below and then sign up for a 14-day free trial to try it for yourself.



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