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5 ways to ACTUALLY grow an Instagram Audience

Follow these 5 tips to engage with your existing audience while attracting new potential customers organically:

  1. Presentation is Key

Before you worry about content, you need to make sure your profile fits your brand. Cater the look and feel of your page to your specific customers.

For example, if you’re a clothing boutique, you might want to go with a sophisticated bio, minimal icons, some contact links, and maybe a quirky emoji to tie it all together. If you’re a mechanic, you’ll want straight-forward language, plenty of contact information, and no icons or extras that aren’t necessary.

Here are some examples of different Instagram profiles:

  1. Your Posting Frequency

This will vary from business to business, so the first thing I recommend is seeing how your top-of-industry competitors are doing it. I’m not talking about your local competitors, but the Pepsi or Starbucks of your industry.

These companies will often post 2-3 times a day in addition to 5 story posts. While this may sound daunting, there are important reasons:

Almost all social media platforms use algorithms and Instagram is no exception. Frequent posting will tell the algorithm to show your posts in the trending section.

To put it simply, the more you interact on Instagram, the more Instagram is going to reward you. If your posts get plenty of comments, tags, likes, and shares, they’ll sky-rocket to the trending pages.

  1. Post With Purpose

Engagement is key to a successful Instagram page. It’s no wonder meme and celebrity pages dominate the space—the nature of their posts is extremely engaging.

What makes them so powerful is that their pages get a reaction out of viewers, which make them like the post and want to share it with their friends by tagging and commenting.

This constant interaction boosts their pages to the top of the trending page because Instagram’s algorithms can expect consistent success.

It’s up to you to decide how your type of business should be posting engaging content. A cosmetics company might post videos of makeup tutorials, giveaways, and new product reviews. Viewers want to watch these videos, talk about the products, and share the content with their friends.

  1. Be Social, TRULY Social.

Getting engagement on Instagram is all about using the algorithm to your advantage. Aside from posting, there is one other way to maximize your chances of getting in front of clients faces; being truly social.

The best technique for getting social on Instagram is to search trending hashtags in your field and engaging with trending posts. Often times, you’ll find people talking about products in your field or even see your competitors’ posts.

This can all be used to your advantage by doing one simple thing—engaging. Like, Comment, Tag, Share, Repost, and repeat. Make yourself a part of the online community and watch your brand recognition grow, not because of the ads you’re running, but because each of these viewers have interacted with you personally.

This engagement tells the algorithms that your page is active and a prime candidate for the trending page.

  1. The Tactic That You Didn’t Think Of

Here’s the secret that might help you make the transition from small business to industry powerhouse (on the gram).

Social Media Influencers!

Now, this can be costly, but it’s one of the best ways of marketing online in the modern age.

Let’s face it, ads and big corporations have left a bad taste in our mouths and have made it hard to trust what we see online. At the same time, we’ve boosted our trust in influencers because they’re a familiar, accessible face that has proven themselves as a source of information in their industry.

You’ve seen this, but maybe you’ve never noticed. Take Kim Kardashian for example. She’s promoting third party products subtly throughout her timeline and being paid very well for it. Don’t worry; there are more accessible ways than celebs.

For example, in my early years of digital marketing, I was able to grow a cosmetics company by reaching out to micro-influencers in the cosmetics space. I’d offer them small amounts of money to promote my client’s products and link back to their page.

Consider reaching out to micro-influencers in your space and making some small deals. They’ve become a standard practice in social media and there are websites dedicated to finding influencers to promote your products.

Tip: Be wary of influencers who have a significant following, but low engagement.

Now, take everything you’ve learned, get out there, and take over your industry (at least on Instagram)! If you ever want to talk about marketing strategy, Yas is your #1 destination. Check out our many fantastic marketing services by clicking the button below!

 

Social MediaWeb Design

Doing More with Less | Why Instagram Works and Your Website Doesn’t

Identify The Problem

Websites are complicated, but your customer’s experience shouldn’t be. Confusing navigation bars, overwhelming blocks of endless text, and poorly optimized websites are what separates a good site from a bad one: the balance between content and user experience.

We often see our own websites as an extension of ourselves, which leads many of us to include too much information about ourselves and our business. While you do want to show your passion, you don’t want to overwhelm your readers to the point of disinterest.

Understand Beauty and Function

Beautiful like art—functional like design

Perfect balance between these two can create a website you’ll be proud of, and your customers will love.

One design principle has stood the test of time with this balance: Simplicity. Think of your favorite websites or social media apps. What makes them so easy to use day after day? What makes their content so easy to digest? What draws you and and causes addiction in some cases?

Study Instagram’s Psychology

There are many theories at play behind the scenes at Instagram. Searching “Why is Instagram addicting” will return results such as FOMO (fear of missing out), instant gratification and validation, and the appeal of filters.

I won’t be exploring these phenomena today, but rather how Instagram’s design releases dopamine in your brain through a Reward System.

At any given time, browsing instagram stimulates your brain very strategically. You see only two icons on the top, one large image from friends or family in the middle, and five navigation icons at the bottom.

Here’s the strategy:

  • Show the viewer bite-sized piece of information through a stimulating photo
  • Have the viewer perform an action in response to that stimuli by swiping to the next photo
  • The viewer forms a habit based on the reward of seeing the next stimulating photo by swiping
  • Repeat

Why Does This Work?

Leaving your user wanting more means more frequent and often longer visits. The method used by Instagram can be used on almost any website: give the viewer just enough to look at and reward them for looking at more.

Imagine a social app that does the opposite—ten icons instead of three, clunky interface, having to click back to see a new stimulus instead of swiping. Suddenly, what should be easy and enjoyable has become overwhelming, confusing, and a chore.

When thinking of content and design, consider the purpose and value of what you’re creating. Does your customer need to know every owner your business has ever had? Do they need a link to every given page at every given moment?

No. No they don’t.

Try This at Home

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and you don’t need to be an experienced designer to get this concept. Try out this activity and you’ll see exactly what I mean:

  • Go to your favorite websites and write down why you use them, how you use them, and what they’re doing right.
    • Look at how many paragraphs they use.
    • Look at how many sentences are in each paragraph.
    • Look at how they’re using the white-space around their content.

Now, go look at your competitors’ website. Chances are, you’ll find so many of these rules and standards thrown right out the window. I just hope you didn’t have to read… COMIC SANS.

Social Media

Friday Biz Tip #6: How To Get Value From Boosting Facebook Posts

TGIF!

It’s that time again…#fridaybiztip time that is!

In order to help all the lovely Saskatoon businesses thrive online, we started the #fridaybiztip. Our goal is to give you guys an online tip every Friday (or at least most) for you to hum and haw over the weekend.

Let’s talk Facebook. I am sure everyone who has ever made a post on Facebook has noticed the little button that shows up below each post. Let’s talk about that little guy today.

FRIDAY BIZ TIP NO. 6: how to get value from boosting your Facebook posts

When used, this little button can result in an increased reach and engagement of your selected Facebook post. This means more views, shares, and potentially traffic and sales. First off, for anyone who does not know or has not noticed the little button we are focusing on today, let us introduce you!

facebook post boost

There, now that we all know each other, we can begin. Because boosting comes at a price, of course, we get many questions from our clients regarding successful Facebook post boosting. Questions like:

  • When should I boost a post?
  • Why should I boost a post?
  • What post should I boost?

We have also had a lot of clients do Facebook boosting without asking us any questions. Unfortunately, when an inexperienced person does this, it can sometimes lead to wasted time and money.

QUEUE #FRIDAYBIZTIP

Today we will answer these questions and tell you how to ensure you are always getting value when boosting your Facebook posts.

1. When should I boost a post?

Fact: “Facebook gives increased reach to posts that perform well with your audience. This means that the more people who like it, comment on it, share it, etc., the more visibility Facebook will give it in your fans’ newsfeeds.”

Sometimes businesses have the mindset that they should boost a post because they notice it isn’t getting much traction on its own. Let’s think of why this might be… likely because your audience finds it boring, irrelevant, or uninteresting. This is the worst type of boosting you can do! Just because you boost your post for $10 a day does not mean it will get any more interesting or engaging to your audience.

Thus the best strategy for when to boost a post is to:

Boost a post that is already performing well on your page

You already know that people like this post. There are lots of comments, or maybe a few shares. Your reach is pretty decent or maybe even a couple likes! These are the golden posts and the only ones you should spend money boosting.

2. Why Should I Boost a Post?

This one is easy. The only reason you should boost a post is to achieve a business objective. These should be posts with a clear CTA (call to action). Business objectives could be different for everyone, but may include things like:

  • promotion
  • event
  • driving traffic to your website
  • getting more likes to your Facebook page

Basically, boosting a post should always have some sort of call for some sort of action from your audience, or provide an advantage or more exposure to your business. Boosts are not for random kitten pictures.

facebook kitten picture

3. What Post Should I Boost?

This is even easier.

We now know you should only be boosting posts that have been successful with your audience. How do you know what post to boost? Easy again! Facebook provides every business page with an Insights tab. Here you can find all sorts of data detailing your posts, engagement, reach and more!

Of course, you will want to boost posts that are somewhat timely (not something from years/months back). But the stats in here will give you a good idea of what post performed the best and let you know which would be the best to boost.

Here check out this quick video and you can see what we are talking about:

Well there you have it.

A foolproof way to ensure you aren’t throwing your cash out the window. Now you know the best tricks to ensure you are always getting value from boosting your Facebook posts.

Special shout out to Kim at Boom!Social who posts tons of great articles on using Facebook and other social media mediums.

MarketingSocial MediaWeb Design

Friday Biz Tip #4: How To Keep Your Colour Game On Point

TGIF!

It’s that time again…#fridaybiztip time that is!

In order to help all the lovely Saskatoon businesses thrive online, we started the #fridaybiztip. Our goal is to give you guys an online tip every Friday (or at least most) for you to hum and haw over the weekend. This week (and next) we are talking COLOUR!

#fridaybiztip no. 4 How To Keep Your Colour Game On Point

For anyone who is not a graphic designer by trade, matching colours with your marketing material may not be second nature. When creating materials for your website, social media profiles, posters, blog posts, etc. it is best practice to ensure your branding is consistent on all fronts. Colouring, logos, fonts, etc.

All of this may be easy for a designer to ensure, but what if you don’t have the time/money to spend on sending your marketing material to a designer every time you want to create something?

What are colour codes?

What does RBG stand for?

And what the heck does #ff8969 mean?

QUEUE #FRIDAYBIZTIP

We have already shared an awesome tip on creating your own visual content without a graphic designer. Again, we can’t stress enough how valuable FREE tools like Canva are to small businesses. Especially in the visual and digital marketing age we are in today.

So you already have the tools to create awesome visuals, but how can you make sure your colours match? It doesn’t look professional to have lime green in your logo, but a font that is a shade or two darker. Having the exact colour code of your specific colours is so important to keep your visual identity and branding consistent and on point. Having several versions of promotional material could not only cause brand confusion for customers but just looks plain sloppy.

But how do I find colour codes YasTech?

Presenting one of the most awesome Google Chrome extensions ever… ColorZilla!

Simply install ColorZilla on your Google Chrome browser, and use their slick Color Picker to grab any colour code you can imagine.

colorzilla color picker

Once installed, you will notice a funky little ‘dropper’ along the top of your browser. This handy dandy picker will allow you to select and find the colour code of anything you bring up on your webpage. Watch the screencast below to see how it works in action!

 

Simply copy and paste your colour code and vola!

ColorZilla is an awesome web extension that we love, is easy to use, and is our favourite four letter F word… FREE!

Now you can always rest assured that none of your marketing material will ever be “off a shade or two” from your logo or branding elements again! Whether you are making a Facebook cover photo or a Canva social media post creation, your colour game will always be on point – no excuses!

We hope you found this helpful. Stay tuned for our next #fridaybiztip featuring an easy way to create complementary colour schemes.

MarketingSocial Media

Friday Biz Tip #2: How to Make Bangin’ Visuals Without a Graphic Designer

TGIF!

In order to help all the lovely Saskatoon businesses thrive online, we started the #fridaybiztip. Our goal is to give you guys an online tip every Friday (or at least most) for you to hum and haw over the weekend.

#FRIDAYBIZTIP NO.2 – How to Make Bangin Visuals Without a Graphic Designer…For FREE!

How many of you are about 10x more likely to pay attention or read a social media post that uses a visual (photo, memes, GIFs, etc.) vs. just text?

Oh, that’s right… basically everyone! It is human nature. I think most people on this planet are more engaged by visual content. Visuals can often paint a picture that words simply cannot. The exception to this is of course, a novel. Again majority of the population can attest that the movie is just never quite as good as the book. However, when your business is posting on social media, creating a presentation, or putting up a poster there is simply no place to begin writing a novel, nor is that what your customers want to see.

Thus, a major online sub-biz tip: the best way to engage your audience or teach your audience is through visuals.

Here are some stats so you know I am not making this stuff up (it really is quite important):

  • Visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content (Source)
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images (Source)
  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images (Source)
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images (Source)
  • People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations (Source)

Okay, so it is official. Visuals are an important part of sharing your business’ content.

But how are you supposed to create these cool visuals? You’re a small local business, you don’t have the resources to have a graphic designer, photographer, or media specialist on staff. Nor do you have the time to learn fancy photo-shoppy software to create engaging material.

Queue #fridaybiztip

There are many quality and FREE online tools that you can utilize to create amazing visual content. Today we will spill the beans on one of our favourites: Canva.

Canva is a free tool that allows you to create all sorts of media for your business. It has pre-defined sizes for many of the most common mediums (i.e. Facebook cover photo, profile pic, Facebook Ads, Twitter posts, blog posts, postcards, invitations, presentation deck, etc.) No worries about trying to format and get your sizing right, Canva takes care of that for you.

free graphic designer canva

It also has several predefined layout options that look bangin. This takes out a lot of the guess work when it comes to design, as they have fonts and colours already matched up for you.

canva free designer

You can pretty much customize anything in Canva. You can upload your own pictures, logo, or branding elements and use them in a Canva illustration as well. Basically, the sky is the limit. It is truly an amazing tool for small businesses who may not have the means or experience to create amazing visual content. It is easy to use, FREE (unless you want to use upgrade images), and accessible to anyone! All you have to do is sign up for an account and away you go! Locked and loaded with an awesome visual creation tool for all of your business needs (print, social media, website, presentations, etc.).

Hope this helps our awesome local Saskatoon businesses! And don’t worry, we practice what we preach. (See that awesome feature image on the top of the blog post? … Yup, thanks Canva!)

Click here to start using Canva for your business today!

MarketingSocial Media

Friday Biz Tip #1: Getting the Best Bang For Your Advertising Buck

We’re starting something new! In order to help all the lovely Saskatoon businesses thrive online, we are starting the #fridaybiztip. Our goal is to give you guys a online tip every Friday (or at least most) for you to hum and haw over the weekend.

#fridaybiztip no. 1 – Getting the Best Bang For Your Advertising Buck

Do you have any special, promotion, service or work that you are offering over the Christmas season? If so, awesome! But how do you expect your customer to find out? Word of mouth? Flyers? Radio ad? How do you know anyone will hear about it? Don’t leave it to chance!

Over 80% of Saskatoon uses search engines to find info (that’s almost all the old people too!) And admit it…even most of your grandma’s have Facebook.

Though traditional advertising is great, how can you be sure that money you spend is actually worth your while? How can you measure your ROI (return on investment)? Was it your ads that brought in a new customer? Are the right people the ones hearing or seeing your ads?

There are so many questions/results that traditional marketing often can not answer. And even worse than not having the answers, is finding that the answers show you did not achieve your marketing goals.

Queue #fridaybiztip

Online marketing can literally solve all of your worst/most dreaded aspects of traditional marketing. And there are tons of different types you could try. With online ads you can:

  • target your exact audience – making sure only the right people see your offering
  • measure your return on investment
  • see how many phone calls you received
  • see how many people clicked your ad
  • see how many people saw your ad
  • see what they did on your website once they got there
  • customize your budget

Just to name a few!

Thus, hands down, the best bang for your advertising buck this holiday season is to advertise online.

If you would like to learn more about what type of online advertising would work for your business give us a ring! We’d love to help your business thrive online.

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