05-20-2015

How To Increase Your Instagram Followers in 24 Hours

The other day, I decided to run an experiment on my Instagram account. I had been stuck at around 880 followers for a while, but it had partly been my fault because I have not been engaging as much on that platform recently.

24 hours later, I had over 100 new (targeted) followers, and finally hit my long time goal of 1,000 followers!

So what did I do?

Increase your Instagram followers (without being spammy!)

I followed everyone! Jk. sort of. 

One of the number one tips I give to my clients is to engage, engage, engage. It’s not all about you. Social media is about building a community and connecting with like-minded people. And that’s exactly what I did.

I started searching through my usual hashtags: #fitfluential, #sweatpink, #runnersofinstagram. I would follow people whose profiles looked interesting to me (as opposed to following random @$$ people through those #followforfollow or #likeforlike hashtags). 

When you follow someone, sometimes a little drop down menu appears of people similar to that account who you might want to follow as well. I would go check out those people, follow, look at the drop down accounts, etc.

I didn’t stop there though. As I scrolled through those profiles, I would leave meaningful comments (not just “Cool pic!” etc.) relating to that photo. Sure, not everyone will follow back, but hey over 100 people did and also came back and commented on my photos!

I was talking to my sister about it, and she asked, “But isn’t it annoying to have a bunch of random people in your feed?” To me it isn’t, because it’s all content I would want to see anyway. I made sure to follow people in my “niche” and people I actually want to connect with and learn from. I love following any account that is running related because that inspires me daily to get out there and get my runs in.

It is important to note that I did not follow a million people within an hour. I spread it out throughout the day, following a handful in chunks, so as to not be penalized by Instagram or be marked as a spam account. After a few days went by, I used the app InsTrack to unfollow those who didn’t follow back (though I do keep many who, like I said, inspire me or motivate me in some way). My main reason for unfollowing after a few days is just to keep my feed unclogged. 

I wouldn’t recommend following, unfollowing, following, unfollowing people. It will come across as spammy and you don’t want your account flagged by Instagram. Instead, just follow people in the category that interests you, and after a week or so unfollow whoever you want, and then let it be. Take time to now connect with everyone you just followed and get to know your new followers.

I feel like I just wrote follow, followers, following a million times in this post :-P

So to recap:

  • Follow new accounts that relate to your blog or your interests.
  • Leave meaningful comments and connect with them.
  • Continue to exchange comments, likes, etc. with your followers and who you’re following.

And a few other tips:

  • Use relevant hashtags in your photos so people can find you. Apparently, now you can only hashtag once in Instagram. What I mean by that is, you can post, hashtag and then you’re done. You can’t go back and add more. Well, you can, but it will no longer show up in the feed of that hashtag. So if I could back on yesterday’s photo and add #igfitness, you won’t see it on the #igfitness feed. At least that is my understanding and I’ve tried it and can’t figure it out, so if I’m wrong please leave a comment!
  • Search through relevant hashtags and leave comments on interesting photos. I have a few Instagram “friends” that I now regularly communicate with just because I found them randomly! If you’re a runner, look for your state and running, i.e. – #NJrunning. It’s a good way to see who else might be running in your area.
  • Scroll through your feed. This is something I need to do more of. Lately, I’ve been slacking because I’ve been all over the place and managing client’s feeds so I feel like I’m never on my own! But scroll through so you can see what your other friends are up to.
  • Put your contact info and website in your bio. Sounds obvious right? But I’ve seen many without it. Use that ONE place on Instagram you can put a website to put in your website! Or in order to drive more traffic to your blog, change it to whatever blog post you’re talking about in your photo “I wrote about X today, read it by clicking the link in my bio!”
  • Put hashtags in your bio. I instantly follow back people who have #fitfluential or #sweatpink in their bios because I’m a fellow ambassador as well. If you have an affiliation, make it known so anyone else with the same affiliation can find you and follow you back!
  • Make your account public. I know many people are still wary about having their stuff out there to the public, but if you’re a blogger and serious about connecting with brands, you need to make your account public. As a brand manager, if you enter one of our contest as a private account, we won’t be able to see your entry. Furthermore, we just won’t be able to find you period if we are looking for relevant photos to share on our account. I just saw a group thread on Facebook discussing this as well, and many people won’t follow back a private account on Instagram. 

I hope these tips are helpful! I am working on building up my business Twitter account to share more tips relating to social media…please consider giving me a follow! I’m also creating a website under my name (pattyrivas.com) to blog specifically about marketing, my own experiences in the business, news (like Facebook changing it’s algorithms yet again), etc. I’ll let you know once it is live!

What tips would you add? Do you use Instagram regularly or is there another platform that is your favorite? Instagram is probably my #1!

*****************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

08-26-2014

Facebook News Feed Changes & What It Means For You

We’ve all seen it on Facebook.

You scroll through your feed and you see some outrageous headline like “10 ways to lose 10 lbs. in the next 60 seconds! Click to learn how.” Okay, that’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

Certain websites (ahem Upworthy) use click-bait titles to get users to click. Honestly, I never click on Upworthy stuff. I hate watching videos online. Unless I’m on YouTube looking fro a specific video to watch, I do not want to watch a video. I’d rather read whatever story it is you’re trying to tell me. Anyone else agree?

Anyway, the point of this intro is that Facebook is changing how these links will show up – woohoo!

facebook-updates

According to Facebook, this is their definition of click-bait:

Click-baiting is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

Facebook will try to make click-bait type posts less visible to users. While links like this might get lots of click throughs to the website, about 80% go back to their news feed pretty quickly because the actual article has not much to do with the headline.

If a link gets a lot of people quickly going back to Facebook, or not many users are commenting, liking or sharing a link, Facebook will make it less visible in your news feed.

But this isn’t the only update…

Facebook Links As Posts

This is a big change that I’m a fan of. Previously, sharing big photos on your business or brand page was what got more “views.” So people would share a photo and then add a link to it. Stop doing that! 

Facebook has determined that people are more likely to click on a link if it is in the link post format. You know…when you copy and paste a link as a status and the thumbnail image shows up? That’s what people (apparently) want. That format also allows people to see a short blurb or first few sentences of your post, which helps them determine if they want to click through or not.

From Facebook:

With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.

The best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. In our studies, these posts have received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions.

Random pet peeve: The “blah blah blah status update. links is in the comments!” I don’t know why this bothers me but it does. But if you do that, stop doing that too! Share your links as actual status updates and Facebook will show them to your fans more often.

We all know that Facebook Pages views has decreased and you have to work harder to get people to see your posts, so by implementing this change (and avoiding click bait) you increase the chances of getting your content out there.

Do you have a random social media pet peeve?

Do you like clicking on “Upworthy” type links?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

08-05-2014

How To Increase Your Facebook Page Likes

I get this question from clients all the time. Everyone wants more Facebook likes, and now that Facebook controls who sees your posts, everyone wants their “people reached” number to be high. But how do you do it?

facebook-engagement

What I tell people is that the number of likes you have on your page isn’t what matters. You could have 54,387 likes, but if no one is engaging with your brand (and if you’re a blogger, your blog is your “brand”), then who cares how many likes you have? You want quality fans who are interacting with your page.

I sent out a newsletter about this a few weeks ago on this topic, and used a fellow blogger, Slap Dash Mom, as an example.

 Her Facebook page is engaging and always has a ton of likes, comments, and shares. What I see a lot of bloggers do is just post links to their most recent post. And hey, it’s okay if you do, because I did that until recently too. I mainly focused on Twitter so I’d occasionally post on my Facebook page. But if you want to increase your page engagement and # of likes then you need to be posting regularly and NOT just about yourself (aka your own content).

That’s what Sadie of Slap Dash Mom does well. She posts funny memes, news updates, quotes, personal pictures & stories and updates about her blog. That’s probably why she has over 28K likes.

Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 11.39.53 AM

I mean check out those numbers! Posting funny things always gets people talking and interacting – and that should be your goal. Her page also has questions to her fans like, “What’s your dinner tonight?” So simple and effective.

I’m still working on this myself. As you all know, social media takes time. Between Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+…all of that takes up a huge chunk of time. But if you are serious about increasing your numbers and traffic to your blog, then you need to make the time.

As I mentioned in my post on social media tools for bloggers using scheduling software can really help. I schedule posts right in Facebook, and use Tweetdeck to schedule my tweets.

AND now that Facebook has added a “save” tool, whenever you see something in your newsfeed you can now save it for later. Check it out below:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 11.52.21 AM

I’m so glad they finally added this feature because I’d always see things in my feed that I wanted to read later on.

Keep in mind that 80/20 rule. 80% should be other content, and only 20% should be about you. Think about it – who wants to interact with someone who only talks about themselves?

Here are a few things you can share on Facebook (and even Twitter):

  • Ask questions, whether it’s something simple like “What’s for dinner” or “Would you rather…” type questions.
  • Share funny videos, memes, content, etc. Read something hilarious on The Onion? Share it! Even if it doesn’t fall under your blog niche, post it anyway.
  • What’s trending? Find what’s going on in current events, pop culture, etc. and share your thoughts on it.
  • How-tos and “lifehacks”
  • Share other bloggers’ content. It will help you expand your network and you’re helping out fellow bloggers.
  • Personal pictures. Out for a run? See something while out? Snap a pic and share it. Perhaps run a caption contest if it’s a humorous picture.

I’m sure there are many other things I can add to this list but this is just a starting point.

Homework: This week try to share one of each of these bullet points on your Facebook page and report back how it helped your engagement.

Takeaway: It’s how many people that interact with you that matters, not how many likes you have. The more people like, share & comment, the more people will be exposed to your page, which means your likes will increase! Create good content and followers will come.

For more tips, make sure to sign up for my social media newsletter! I’ll email you 1-2x a month with tips & trends in the social media world.

Subscribe for social media & blogging tips!

* indicates required



 

What is your current Facebook strategy? What could you do better?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

06-09-2014

Daily Social Media Checklist

Are you trying to grow and promote your blog? Then you know how important social media is. Which is why I wanted to create this printable social media checklist for you that you can use daily to keep up with your different profiles.

I’m not gonna lie…using different platforms to build your blog or brand takes time. Most days I’m on social media for a good chuck of my day. You should not only be promoting yourself, but also sharing relevant content from others in your niche. No one likes to hear someone talk about themselves all the time right?

I’ve written several other posts on blogging tips, which you can find here.

Anyway, for my checklist I focused on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. You may not be on all of these, so focus on the ones you are using. Don’t feel like you need to be on all social media platforms, especially if you’re new to blogging or social media. Focus on one, do it well, and then grow your online presence. Here’s what I think you should be doing daily:

Daily Social Media Checklist For Bloggers

 Notice the one thing they all have in common is to share other people’s content regularly! This is a great way to connect with other bloggers, find new blogs to read, and share great content with your followers. 

I know that I could certainly do a better job on Pinterest and Google+. I’m a big proponent of Twitter, which is where I spend most of my time. 

Find which platforms make the most sense for you and use them! Or if you haven’t used some, experiment with one for a week, then try a new one, etc. You may have a different “favorite” than everyone else. For example, I love Google+ when it seems most people I know aren’t a fan.

For more info like this, sign up for my social media tips! I’ll email you about once a week or every other week with tips and updates on social media. We all know Facebook is always changing, so you want to be on top of that news! ;) You can sign up below:

Sign up for regular social media & blogging tips!

* indicates required



 

Which social media platforms are your favorite?

Do you use multiple or focus on just 1-2?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

05-20-2014

Social Media Tools For Bloggers

I’ve written a few other posts on the topic of social media and blogging which have gotten pretty decent engagement, so I figured it’s a topic you want to read more about! Here are the previous two that I wrote:

I got a few questions asking me about what social media tools I use.

Social Media Tools For Bloggers

Here’s a list of what I use:

HootSuite App - I use the HootSuite app on my phone to schedule posts on the go in Twitter. Sometimes I scroll through my feed and see a million things I want to retweet, but instead of tweeting 50 things at once, I schedule them spaced apart. 

Tweetdeck - For scheduling on a computer, I use Tweetdeck and absolutely love it. You are able to have multiple columns showing you your main feed, @ mentions, your Twitter lists, hashtags you want to follow and more. It’s tough to explain without physically showing you, so I’d suggest you go in and play around with it. This is what I use to schedule all of my tweets. Here’s a screenshot of mine:

tweetdeck

Facebook - I don’t use anything other than Facebook to schedule my Facebook posts. I’ve read that using third party tools to schedule Facebook posts can affect how many people see your posts. Now, some say that this is no longer the case, but I just prefer using Facebook anyway and not having to have one more tool/website to visit daily. It’s easy enough and you can edit your posts in the Activity Log if you need to.

TweetChat - I love TweetChat for twitter chats. You input the hashtag and are able to get a live stream of everyone’s tweets. I usually have this open alone with Twitter in order to reply to people or see who has mentioned me.

Iconosquare - I discovered this about a year ago and it is my go-to for Instagram stats. I love seeing stats for each platform I use, and this is so easy. Also, it allows you to save photos onto your desktop, which for some reason I can’t do if I go to my instagram.com profile page. You’re also able to see your feed using this website.

One thing that annoys me about Instagram is that I have to sign in and out if I want to switch profile pages. Why can’t it be like Twitter where you can easily switch between accounts?

For more regular social media and blogging information, sign up for my social media tips newsletter! I’ll email you once a week or so with tips and trends that you can apply to your business or blog :)

Subscribe for social media & blogging tips!

* indicates required



 

 

What tools do you use to manage your social media presence (if any)?

Which of these will you try out?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

04-29-2014

How To Increase Your Twitter & Instagram Followers

As some of you know, I have my own social media consulting business, and help businesses in my area with their digital marketing. 

One question I get regularly is, “How can I get more followers?” This doesn’t only apply to businesses…we all want more followers. So how do you do it?

Well, a key thing I tell clients is that I’d rather have 100 followers who love my brand and engage with me regularly, than 1,000 followers who never comment, like, share, etc. It’s time to stop focusing so much on the amount of likes, and focus on the quality of likes.

But that doesn’t mean I’m telling them it’s not possible to increase your followers…it’s still important to build up a good following if your blog is your brand or business. Here are a few tips for Twitter and Instagram, since they are pretty similar in terms of how to engage with others:

How To Get More FollowersPhoto Source: M i x y via Compfightcc

Search through relevant hashtags. As a fitness blogger and runner, some of the hashtags I regularly look at are #runchat #marathon #healthyeating #gymtime #fitchicks and much more. I scroll through the feed and find people I’m interested in following. I’ll add them to my feed, whether it’s Instagram or Twitter, so I can start engaging with their future posts. On Twitter, you can also make “lists.” I have a running list, fitness list, and tech list, so I can keep everyone organized based on my own interests.

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Since I just went through the hashtags and liked a few new pages that appeal to me, I’m not afraid to leave a comment on pictures that catch my eye, or ask them questions about something. This usually starts a conversation, and gets people to your page. This goes for Twitter as well. Look through hashtags and don’t be afraid to jump into the conversation and reply to someone. You may feel like a creep at first, but think of it this way: When someone randomly tweets you asking you something or complimenting you, do you think their creepy? Probably not. You probably feel good and love responding to comments that come your way.

Use hashtags on your photos or tweets. If you want people to find you, then you need to use hashtags. Just like you’re searching through hashtags to find people to follow, other people are doing the same. Make it easy for them to find you by using relevant hashtags. Don’t go crazy though, especially on Twitter. On instagram, pick 2-3 hashtags, then later in the day, add 2-3 more hashtags in a comment. That way people who are on Instagram in the evening, who may have not seen your picture in the morning, will see if if they are searching those hashtags. I feel like I said hashtag a million times here…did I make sense?

Don’t be afraid to post multiple times per day. If you are tweeting a link to your most recent blog post, are you only tweeting it once? You may be missing out on views and on people finding you. I suggest posting 2-3 times per day during your prime hours. You can find out when the most followers are on using Follower Wonk. Are you not posting multiple times a day because you feel annoying? Let’s say you post at 9 AM, but some of your followers only check their Twitter during their lunch break at 12 or 1. That means they probably won’t see your tweet, since it will already be at the way bottom of their feed. 

As I tell my clients, yes this takes time and work. But if you’re serious about building your brand, whether it’s your blog or business, then you need to make the time! Dedicate 30 minutes a day to doing these things, and you will not only gain new followers, but YOU will also find new people to interact with, and new content that will interest you.

*Are you a blogger or brand that needs help with your social media? Shoot me an email to chat!

What tips would you add to this list?

Do you tweet multiple times per day?

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak: