The Buyer’s Journey: Converting Followers into Customers in a Digital Age

Navigating the online space can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to engage with consumers through a screen. The journey of a purchase has dramatically shifted from its original in-store, in-person style to an online venture. According to Mary Meeker’s annual KPCB Internet Trends Report from 2017, U.S. adults spend more than three hours per day interacting with digital media on their mobile devices, which means that your social advertising strategy has to be stronger than it has ever been before. Below is some insight into the stages of a buyer’s journey, as well as the type of content we recommend using in the digital space to accompany each stage in order to see the best ROI.

Awareness

Your consumer has realized they have a need. Whether it be a product, an idea, or a service, there is now a level of need that needs to be satisfied. This content should be informational, not promotional. You want to fill an empty space for your consumer who is currently at the beginning stages of their buying journey. Think about different ways in which you can provide educational information about the broader topic of what you’re trying to sell.

For example, if you’re selling juices and someone is looking for “new ways to improve overall health”, this is the perfect stage to provide information about why healthy eating and drinking can better a person’s lifestyle. The less specific to your brand and the more specific to the general message the consumer is trying to learn more about, the higher the chance you have at carrying them to the next stage in their journey.

Examples: eBooks, blog posts, shared news articles.

 

Consideration

This is the stage in which the consumer will now look at products, ideas, or services that fulfill their needs. Circling back to the juice example, after a consumer researches “new ways to improve overall health” and finds information on the benefits of drinking green juice, they’re more likely to now take it one step further and research brands that can provide them with this product.

This content should be more catered to what you’re trying to sell. Feel free to pull from your competition in order to demonstrate what you have, as this is the stage where you’re trying to show consumers why they should buy from you over other brands. However, you still want to err on the side of informational. You should be informing your consumers as to why your products, ideas, or services will best suit their needs. A great way to do this is to explain how it will make their lives easier.

Examples: Brand-specific creative content for social media platforms, competition comparisons.

 

Decision

This is the last stage and arguably the most important when discussing ROI. You’ve provided the consumer with information, showed them how your product will help, now what? Instead of just sitting back and hoping they pick you, use this time to offer incentives to work with you. Whether it is a promotional price, an added service, or even a more personalized shopping experience, making the consumer feel like working with you is the best decision will be the step that brings in the ROI.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

We’d love to hear about some of your favorite marketing campaigns. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Influencer Marketing 101

Influencer Marketing 101: What you need to know before starting an influencer marketing campaign

In the new world of digital and social media marketing, we’ve seen influencer marketing explode as a way for brands and companies to get their products and services introduced to new markets. This new form of advertising has only just begun and because of that, there is a lot of gray area. It can be confusing to determine if your brand should launch an influencer partnership initiative or which influencers you should target for your promotion. We’re breaking it down below, starting with the basics.

First of all, what is an influencer?

An influencer is anyone in the digital space that has a following, or an audience, that you are trying to attract.

How many followers does someone need to have for them to be considered an influencer?

This number varies and is a matter of opinion. Typically, we only work with individuals who have at least 10k followers on Instagram. But, for some brands, or some initiatives, someone with a smaller following could be a better fit for a brand. For example, a female influencer with a smaller following of 6k probably isn’t the best fit for a national beauty brand looking to increase sales from their online store, but would be a great fit for a local coffee shop looking to increase their customer base and spread brand awareness.

Is that what a micro-influencer is?

Yes. We define micro-influencers as someone who has a unique following of 5k to 50k. They usually have one central topic that their blog, account, or community revolves around whether it be fashion, fitness, health, beauty etc. We often find that the followers of micro-influencers are more engaged and trusting of the influencer’s brand recommendations.

What are the pros of an influencer marketing campaign?

Generating unique content. Increased brand awareness. Targeting new and niche audiences. Increased impressions and reach.

A great example of this is by @She_Went_West. @She_Went_West partnered with medical boutique, Facile, and posted about her visit to their office. The post accomplished all of the above for Facile and helped provide @she_went_west with amazing skincare.

How much should I pay each influencer to post about my brand?

This number varies based on two different factors: how big your budget is and how large of a following an influencer has.

What if I don’t have a large budget but I want to launch an influencer campaign?

A lot of brands don’t have the budget to pay for sponsored posts or influencer partnerships. Ask yourself what else you have to offer. Can you package your product nicely and gift it to some influencers with the hope that they’ll post it on their social media? Can you offer them anything else in exchange for a post on social? Requirements for someone to post vary per person.

Influencer marketing might not be right for every brand but we find it to be one of the most beneficial tools in growing a brand’s audience, engagement and sales. However, while influencer marketing is now an important part of any overall marketing strategy, it isn’t the only necessary component. Influencer marketing should be just one subset of your overall marketing campaign. Brands still need to focus on creating unique and original high-quality content, generating a community on their social platforms and having top-notch customer service. All of these things work together to create a well-balanced and successful digital marketing strategy.

Influencer Marketing is a shifting space. Have a question? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Demystifying the Instagram Algorithm

Engagement

‘In the beginning, when brands were becoming more savvy on Instagram, there was such a focus on content. Back then, high-quality content in and of itself was enough to drive engagement. But as the platform has progressed and gotten more saturated, premium content has become less unique. Now, it’s all of the other supporting factors that play into making an account successful, like engagement (which means how many likes, views and comments your content is receiving — and how much you’re liking, viewing, and commenting in return). It’s now not just about how active your followers are with your content, but also about how active you as a follower are on other people’s content.’

Tip: Read into app updates

‘If you pay close attention to the updates and the new features that Instagram rolls out, you can kind of connect the dots as to what the algorithm is favoring based on what’s becoming more important on the platform. For example, when Instagram introduced the ability to “like” comments, they made it clear that they were putting a greater focus on community engagement — both incoming and outgoing.’

Relevance

‘While engagement is the most important factor in the new algorithm, another very important factor is relevance. Instagram will look at what other accounts you and your followers are engaging with. And based on where the overlaps are, they will deem your content relevant to people who are engaging with similar users as you.’

Tip: Take a look around

‘Spend time engaging with relevant audiences that aren’t following you. Go to the geotags of relevant places, or to hashtags you’re using, and make a list of 5-10 accounts who have similar content as yours. Then, go in to each of those accounts’ followers and like, comment and engage with them individually. That’s been a great tool for brands in terms of getting discovered on the platform.’

Instagram Stories

‘Even the way that Instagram Stories are engaged with is tracked and monitored by Instagram. For example, the more DMs and screenshots that your Instagram Story receives, the more that they think that people care about your content — and upping its chances of appearing in the Discover page. If you screenshot someone’s story, the other user isn’t notified (don’t panic!), but Instagram is made aware that you screenshotted it. To them, it means you’re highly interested in that content.’

Tip: It goes down in the DM

‘A good tactic to enhance engagement on Instagram Stories would be to use a call-to-action. For example, you could use a caption like “DM me what you think about this” or “Does anyone have any recommendations?” because the more DMs you get, the higher your engagement will be. When we’re working with brands, we’ll post a Story that’s worth a screenshot — like a recipe, or even a giveaway where a user will have to screenshot our Story, re-post it on their own Story, and tag us for a chance to win. If you’re successful at prompting genuine engagement, you’ll end up being be favored higher in the algorithm.’

Posting Time

‘Even though your feed is no longer organized chronologically, posting time still does play a role in engagement. Pre-algorithm, you’d see higher engagement if you posted within very specific time frames, and post-algorithm, the best time to post is really contingent on your dedicated audience and when they’ll be the most active on the platform. If your followers start seeing your content and engaging with it quickly, it will place higher in the algorithm.’

Tip: Good content will snowball

‘Pre-algorithm, the best time to post used to be in the early morning, but now a lot of our clients are seeing that later afternoon or evening posts tend to perform the best. It’s weird to wrap your head around, but by the time someone access the platform at the end of the day, a post you may have posted earlier in the afternoon will have garnered enough engagement to then be deemed “relevant” to them then.’

Be Consistent

‘It sounds so simple, but I find that consistency in visual content really matters. You can’t be flying all over the place with different filters and aesthetics because people get used to a certain type of content and that’s what they’re expecting to see in your posts.

Consistency in post frequency is also important. I’ve noticed on my personal account that if I go for too long without posting, that post will usually perform worse than if I’m regularly posting about once a day.’

Tip: Quality over quantity

‘We usually advise brands to post once a day as standard, but if there’s more captivating content at hand, it’s worth posting more than once. And whether you’re running a brand or personal Instagram, it’s not worth posting just for the sake of posting. Instagram is so oversaturated now that each post has to have meaning behind it in order to be shared.’

Interview by Soho House’s Head of US Content, Charlotte Steinway.

Article originally posted on House Seven. For members, click here to view the original article. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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Someone Social: Jennifer Jaden

How has social media helped you grow your business?

Social media has been a huge impact in my life and business. I grew up using myspace, aol & dare I say chat rooms… “Your true self, your first email address.” Social media is your medium to the world and you can find, connect and engage with people all around the globe in an instant! Kinda cool when you think about it. I love how I can find people with similarities and connect with them. I use Instagram the most and I honestly meet the most incredible people because of it!

What accomplishment are you most proud of with Societygal?

The fact that I have been able to connect so many women and given people a place to collaborate. So many collaborations and friendships have come from the community so that would definitely have to be the greatest accomplishment.

Where do you see the future of social media headed?

I really think people want to see peoples authentic lives — video is where its headed. People want more and they want to get to know other people on a deeper lever than just photos.

As far as businesses go on social media you HAVE to create a community aspect with your brand. People want the experience not just the product.

Women empowerment and inclusivity are key conversations right now. How do these tie into your brand and why are they important to you?

I feel like I was raised to support each other and especially women. I have always been such a collaborator in everything that I do — so it really just comes naturally to me. I love the saying “women supporting women is not a trend.” Although it may be a hot topic now I choose to believe it’s not a trend but rather an up-leveling of women everywhere. We are all in this together and there needs to be more love & support in this world.

What would be your dream project to work on?

I would love to do more traveling and trainings around the globe. That is my goal for this next year! I really feel blessed to be able to truly work from wherever so I really want to take advantage of that!

Where do you find inspiration?

I am really inspired by people who are really going out in the world and making a difference. I get so inspired when I see others stepping outside of their comfort zone and really taking time to help others. I aspire to do that more!

Favorite Instagram accounts?

@somethingsocial of course! @mariannahewitt and @theskinnyconfidential too.

Favorite secret spot in LA?

So recently my BF & I have been going to a place called EP & LP — they have a summer rooftop movie series. It’s so awesome; we watched grease a few weeks ago. It’s definitely a summer must! Nothing like watching a movie under the stars.

Favorite piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t internalize things. Simple but so important.

Latte or cold brew?

I am all about the decaf life – ice please!

Leave us with an Instagram caption you love.

Good things come to people who wait, better things come to those who go out and get them!

Follow along with Jennifer Jaden on her WEBSITEINSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK and THE SOCIETYGAL. 

Interview by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Know someone you’d like to nominate for our next #SomeoneSocial feature? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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8 Key Social Media Tips from Calli Cholodenko

Founder of Something Social, Calli Cholodenko, has been described as a social media maven who knows just how to stay ahead of the curve. Since she is our boss, we can confirm that Calli is all of that and more (we promise we’re not just being biased). We know how much we love her, and we’re so excited that after today, you can all get to know her and love her too, via The LadyGang Podcast.

If you don’t have time to listen to the whole podcast episode, we’ve rounded up eight key takeaways to help you up your social game thanks to @Calli.

Keep it consistent and authentic.

Everyone is going to be doing something different, and that’s okay. Not everything works for every brand/person. Social media is not one size fits all. We constantly see different looks and aesthetics and as long as they fit your brand and voice, that’s the one you should be going with. Choose the one that fits you.

Answer the questions – “Who am I?” “What am I trying to put out there?”

This is so important when trying to figure out what content to post. There are a lot of things that are fun, cute, or relatable, but do they fit with what you’re trying to share online? There is a time and a place for everything, and your social posts should address these questions when picking content. It even applies across platforms – the content you post on Instagram might not be the same for the content you post on Twitter or Facebook. It’s all a matter of figuring out what you’re trying to say.

Plan out your feed.

We can’t stress this enough! We’ve written a previous post on this exploring different ways for you to plan your feed, but we’ll elaborate again now because it is so important. Take the time out of your day every two weeks or so and plan out your content. There’s obviously going to be the random posts that have to get thrown in last minute sometimes, but the extra time you take to plan will really help create a cohesive statement throughout your social media.

There is value in having a business profile, even if your engagement looks slightly different.

So unfortunately, if you’re a business profile, Instagram’s new algorithm pushes all of your content to the bottom. This is why people running business pages may complain about lower engagement. However, we prefer having a business profile and taking the lower engagement for our clients because with a business account you can see Instagram Insights (a.k.a. analytics), and that’s honestly more valuable. What does that mean? It means you can see when your audience is most active, what’s performing the best, the demographics of your audience and more. This information will provide you with the right guidance in ensuring your posts are reaching the right demographics of people – therefore translating into more engagement, higher chance of sales, etc.

Be clever with your captions.

This is where you have your moment to display your voice. Use it wisely. Literal captions don’t show that much creativity, and overused captions (think: ____ vibes, or cotton candy skies) are oversaturated and nothing new. Here’s your chance to be creative – use it!

Be your own hype-man (or woman), even when promoting.

If you believe in something, put it out there. Be your biggest hype-man/woman. You’re giving people a chance to engage with content you care about when putting it out there on social media, so be proud of it. Let them get to know you, let them get excited to know you. If you believe in it, that spirit will resonate with them through the post.

Use community management to combat the Instagram algorithm.

Get in the mix with your audience. If you’re trying to avoid paying for promoted posts, engagement is key in making sure you stay visible. The more you’re responding to comments, commenting on and liking other people’s photos, the more you’re getting in the mix. This means your content will then in exchange be exposed to more people, and your engagement and growth will continue upwards organically.

Social is the quickest, fastest, most direct, authentic way to reach your audience.

With your social, you are in control of the narrative. You get to tell the story, so make sure what you’re putting into the world is what you really want to share with your followers. Go in and find other brands that resonate with you, engage with them, comment, join in on the conversation. Stay active, stay relevant, and share your true self. Don’t just look at number of followers, look at what people are saying. Do they care? Does it matter to them? Be real with your audience, because in the end you want to be able to share your stories, beliefs, and passions with them.

See, we told you we weren’t being biased. She’s an expert in her field and we’re proud to work with such an awesome lady. Now check out the podcast on iTunes or at www.TheLadyGang.com !

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Are you as obsessed with The Ladygang as we are? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Instagram Analytics Updates

Instagram Analytics launching last year has been a major game changer for businesses, bloggers, and pretty much anyone who has made the profile swap from personal page to business page.

Inside Instagram Analytics, you can see your profile’s overall impressions, reach, views, and more, as well as seeing those statistics for specific posts.

Today, Instagram updated their analytics for Instagram Stories. While these stats were available previously, they’re now located in a more obvious place, and include a bit more information. Don’t see the new stats yet? Updates are rolled out continuously, not hitting every account at the same time. Keep an eye out and your analytics will be updated soon.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Want to talk Instagram Analytics? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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How to Get to 10k Followers on Instagram

In the world of digital marketing, it’s hard to ignore the importance of having a large following. Whether you are a brand, blogger or an individual user, more followers = more reach and impact. Maybe to you more followers simply means getting more likes on a photo, or maybe it means sale conversions and the livelihood of your business. No matter your motivation for growing your following, there are a few universal tips that will impact your account growth and help you get to the next level.

Have Good Content Consistently

I can’t say it enough, if you want to grow, you HAVE to have good content. More importantly, you have to have good content on a consistent basis.

What is good content? The short answer is that it depends on your brand & the audience that you are trying to target. But that doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. A lot of times in the social media marketing world, people want the easy out. They want to spend a few minutes taking and editing some photos, just to throw them up and call it a “strategy.” The truth is, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. You need to do a deep dive into who you are as a brand, who your consumer is and how they want to be spoken to. Once you dissect the characteristics of your company & your consumer, you use that information to develop an overall aesthetic & create content that is unique to you.

If you aren’t a content creator or don’t have any content creators on your team, you may have to outsource to creative individuals or photographers in your area. This is also a great way to establish relationships within your community and learn from industry leaders.

Good content is high quality photography, video with good lighting & sound or photos that involve your brand message. Good content doesn’t have to be professional photography nor does it have to be trendy, edgy, bright or anything specific. Good content is what represents you/your company and what engages your target audience. Here are some accounts we love with great content.

How often is consistent? Absolute minimum 5 posts a week. Enough said. Need to stay on top of it? Check out some content calendar ideas.

Get reposted by other accounts

A great way to grow is to target other brands & companies that you want to work with or are a fan of and create content they can use on their own social channels. Look at the style of their product shots & create images in the same style for your own account. Target brands who regularly regram fan posts & spend your time focusing on creating content for those brands. Learn how to make content that speaks to your brand voice.

Collaborate with people in your same space

Use the power of relationships & reach out to a few key people who you’d love to work with. If you have similar audiences, you can use each other to grow your accounts. Get together to create content or collaborate on a project that will be beneficial to both of your followers. Promote the project on both of your channels to reach a wider audience. For some ideas on how to collaborate with other accounts, check out our article on Creative Social Media Giveaway Ideas.

Instagram videos

Video is the fastest growing form of content online right now. I predict that within one year it will be absolutely necessary for every brand to have regular video content going up online if they want to stay competitive in the social space.  Also, Instagram currently highly favors video content and more regularly shares videos on the Discover page.

Pinterest

If it makes sense for you and your brand, Pinterest can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and social channels. The great thing about this platform is that content has a longer lifespan. What will be forgotten in 48 hours on Instagram can live for months or even years on Pinterest. This is a great way to drive continual traction to your website or sales database.

Having 10k followers isn’t just all about the numbers, it’s also about the features. Instagram rolls out new features and updates to select accounts at a time. First, they will test out new features, such as the link to swipe up or the “Click to buy,” with a few select accounts, then usually with verified accounts, then business accounts with 10k followers or more. If you want access to certain features that may better help your sales growth or corporate reach, having 10,000 followers is important.

 

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Did you hit 10K? What has contributed the most to your growth? We wanna know! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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The Top 5 Social Media Mistakes

1. Posting Without A Strategy

The worst mistake your brand can make is not having a strategy for your content.

Having a social media strategy helps you stay more organized, less frustrated and keeps you focused on your brand’s overall messaging and goals. Once you’ve created a strategy, utilize scheduling platforms, like @planoly or Sprout Social, to schedule your posts in advance. Not sure how to create a social media strategy? Check out our blog post on content calendars for some ideas or contact us about our one on one consulting sessions.

2. Being Too Sales Oriented

It’s a give & take.

Obviously, as a brand, your ultimate goal is increasing sales. However, consumers & social media users are on platforms because they want to establish a relationship.

Give away free bits of information to your followers or include content that they can learn or grow from. As an example, at Something Social, we give away blog posts, such as this one, to help educate our followers about the social media space. We want to help our community grow & establish relationships that will be active long-term, instead of constantly pushing purchases and isolating our followers.

3. Not engaging with your audience

Your followers know best.

We can’t say it enough, it’s called “social” media for a reason. Your followers are your direct audience; take time to get to know their likes & dislikes before determining your social strategy and planning your content.

Regularly engage with your audience by doing giveaways or asking questions in your posts. Run Twitter polls to get direct feedback from your followers & ask for their input on design elements.

Utilize Instagram stories & Facebook Live videos to have open discussions concerning your product or business. For more ideas, read our blog post on “8 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Make Your Business Stand Out.”

4. Pushing the same content across all platforms.

Your content should be platform specific.

 If you have the exact same content on all of your social platforms, it doesn’t give your followers a reason to follow you in multiple spaces. Use Twitter for short facts & insights about your company, Facebook for sharing articles & videos and Instagram to establish your overall aesthetic and visual branding. Combining the strengths of all of the platforms in one social strategy will give your brand a well-rounded presence in the digital space.

5. Doing too much or too little.

It’s a balance.

A lot of companies are still stuck in the mindset of traditional marketing & tend to ignore the power social media can bring. Not maintaining a regular posting schedule can be detrimental to the growth of engagement and following on social platforms. On the flip side, posting too frequently can drive down your posts in Instagram & Facebook algorithms and can annoy your following, leading them to unfollow you. The cure? Test out posting frequency with your audience.

We recommend our clients post a minimum of 5 times per week on Instagram & Facebook with a maximum of two posts per day. Twitter should always be the most active platform with multiple posts going up daily. However, every single brand and account is different. Go back to who your target audience is and what their habits are online. If they are more active, then you can be more active too.

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

How many of these were you doing? We won’t tell! 😉 Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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Instagram Shadowbanning & What You Can Do About it

Ever since Instagram rolled out it’s algorithm in the middle of last year we’ve heard a number of complaints from users & brands who have seen drops in their engagement. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you’ve been putting a lot of effort into creating original content & engaging with users to grow your fan base.

Recently, the engagement debacle has gotten worse, much worse, especially with brands on Instagram. Clients have been noticing that they’re not gaining followers as quickly or are even losing followers and that their posts are no longer showing up in popular hashtags that they’ve been successful using in the past.

This anomaly has come to be known as “Instagram Shadowbanning.”

What does ‘Instagram Shadowbanning’ mean? 

Shadowbanning, also known as Stealth Banning or Comment Banning, is the act of blocking a user from an online community in a way that doesn’t let them know they’ve been banned. So this could be happening to your photos & you would have no idea you’ve been Shadowbanned!

What does Shadowbanning look like on Instagram? Instagram will now hide your posts that are connected to a hashtag from users that aren’t already following you. So if a user clicks a hashtag that you have used in association with a brand post, your photo won’t show up in the hashtag feed unless that person is already following you. So if you’ve previously been using hashtags to grow your account and gain new fans, this will definitely have an impact on your account growth and could even result in you losing followers.

“I have been experiencing less engagement, does that mean I’ve been Shadowbanned?” 

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, all of the algorithms that Instagram has been rolling out over the past year are known to negatively effect engagement on users’ posts. Just because you’ve been experiencing lower engagement rates doesn’t mean you’ve been Shadowbanned.

The easiest way to discover if your posts are being Shadowbanned is to ask a user who doesn’t follow you to click on a hashtag that you’ve used and see if your photo shows up in the feed. If your photo isn’t in the feed, you have most likely been Shadowbanned.

If they do find your photo, then you’re experiencing low engagement for a different reason. Try switching up your posting times, create new types of content or make more of an effort to engage with potential new fans (like and comment on their photos) on a daily basis.

“Why have I been Shadowbanned?” 

There are a few different reasons that your posts could have been Shadowbanned.

You use the same hashtags repeatedly. 

We’ve discovered that some accounts who use the same block of hashtags on every single one of their posts have been Shadowbanned. Because you’ve been using the same ones, you might have been flagged as a spam account. Make sure to mix up your hashtags on every single post in order to keep them fresh & avoid being banned.

You’ve been using a bot for follower growth. 

If you’ve been using an automation tool to help increase your follower base & engagement, you’re likely to have been Shadbowbanned. These tools, like (the former) Instagress and Likestagram are clearly against Instagram’s Terms of Service which prohibit use of automation services, such as bots.

You like & comment too frequently on posts. 

Instagram has limits for how many photos you can like or comment on in a given hour. If you’re being super diligent on your engagement and notice that you’ve been reaching the liking limit (you’ve reached the limit when you’re no longer allowed to like photos), it’s likely that Instagram has flagged you with bot behavior and has Shadowbanned your account.

You’re using a “broken hashtag.” 

A “broken hashtag” is a hashtag that has been flagged with inappropriate content. When a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it can become overrun with inappropriate content. Even if the hashtag itself is innocent, Instagram promotes a safe online space and will have to remove the hashtag from their community. Double check all of the hashtags that you’re using to make sure that they aren’t associated with vulgar or inappropriate content.

Your account has been reported. 

If your account has been reported to Instagram, someone thinks that you’ve been acting in an inappropriate way on the platform. If this happens, Instagram is likely to Shadowban you.

“How Can I Grow My Account if I Don’t Use Hashtags?” 

Focus on content. 

The best thing that you can do to grow your account is have great content. Focus on a great photoshoot highlighting your product or brand or brainstorm ways to produce new & unique content that users will associate with you. Take time in using other features, like Instagram Stories, to find new fans.

Engage Organically

Don’t use bots to increase your following. Make sure that you are behaving in an authentic way on the platform & doing your engagement by yourself. This is also the best way to make sure that the fans you are targeting are ones that will interact with your brand & will be interested in what you have to offer.

Play by the rules. 

Especially if you’re using Instagram as one of your main methods of marketing for your business, make sure that you know what the Terms of Service are and that you are abiding by them. Shadowbanning is bad, but it could be worse. Instagram has been known to delete accounts that repeatedly don’t abide by their terms and you definitely wouldn’t want that to happen.

At the end of the day, remember that Instagram is a community. Use the platform as it’s meant to be used, to foster a community of creative individuals and friends.

Written by our Vice President of Operations, Marissa Stahl, find her at @MarissaCStahl on Instagram and Twitter.

Share your experiences with engagement and Shadowbanning on Instagram. Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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The Importance of Content Personalization

As technology and social media platforms continue to develop, we create more and more ways to reach consumers on a personal level. Whether it is developing a specific brand voice catered to certain types of consumers, sending targeted advertisements or emails, or even just including a consumer’s name in an email subject line, we’re armed with many personalization tools.

The first question one might ask is why? Why do we want to spend time on customization? Isn’t our time better spent creating more ads or content instead of building out different options of the same content?

Yes and no. While having enough content at any given time is crucial to maintaining an organized content schedule (see why having an organized content schedule is important here), creating content that will resonate strongly with your consumers is just as important.

We’re provided with so many tools that allow us insight into each and every one of our consumers, it would be a waste to not use those to our advantage. On Instagram alone, Insights provides you with the gender breakdown of your following, their age ranges, top locations by city and country, and what days and hours your followers are most active. Using other services, like Iconosquare, can provide you even more in-depth information, leaving you no room to be lazy with customizing your content!

If you’re sending out email campaigns, many email softwares, like MailChimp, enable you to do A/B testing.

SSLA Quick Tip: A/B testing is a type of comparative content testing that allows you to see which types of content performs better. This can really help you reduce unsubscribe rates and increase Click Through Rates.

Spend some time playing around on any analytics page for platforms you use (most have them) and you’ll see the plethora of information you have right at your fingertips. Going the extra step to make sure you’re curating your content correctly for your consumers will really add a new dimension to how people view your brand.

Written by our Digital Specialist, Nora Henick.

Have any questions on how to optimize your content? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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