7 Instagram Features you need to know about…

Going all-in on Instagram as a main marketing channel right now would almost certainly be a smart move.. In fact, the Influencer Swap Team believe that this is the biggest opportunity in marketing right now.

We’ve ditched Twitter & Snapchat to put everything into Instagram for the rest of 2017, and will always double down where we think the biggest future opportunities are in business.

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So far we’ve managed to get 10x more data on Insta performance than ever before, and we’re already offering a significantly better all-round service, with big focus on quality and retention + rapid audience growth.

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We’ve freed up some time to run a few fun experiments and will be reporting back here on the results …

Insta made some major changes recently to ‘help’ businesses & influencers get more value from their platform, & they’re coming down hard on automation, + continuing to encourage usage of stories.

So here are 7 points worth noting:

1. Brands can now limit who tags them

(takes away the ability to piggy-back big brands) + helps brands track influencer campaigns more effectively.

2. Brands can now view metrics directly from

Influencer posts. Improved transparency, rewarding the most influential accounts and punishing the fakes.

3. Polls and extra hashtag functions in stories

Insta pushing more engagement in stories – they will continue to reward those who are regularly using their new Snapchat-esque features. Stories, stories, stories <<<

4. Rate limits on likes

From Sept 21st auto-likes got killed off in a big way. Thousands of accounts could no longer send mass likes on auto-pilot, and it’s had Growth hackers searching for new ‘optimal’ settings.

5. Monitor Engagement via Facebook

You can now check & respond to Instagram engagement through your correlating Facebook profiles and Pages, further tying the two platforms and their users to each-other.

6. Threaded comments

You’ll notice your followers can now have more direct conversions with each-other (and with you). Try to reply to all of your comments directly. Also, an extra tip is to try to like and reply to comment from your previous post just before you make your next post – That way you’ll get extra engagement!

7. IG for Desktop

Probably the biggest update, will give considerably traffic to stories. If you’re serious about Instagram and not using stories every day then it’s time to rethink. Stories are now available on desktop, so for all those people browsing Instagram at work on their lunch-breaks, they’ll probably be watching your stories just as much as your news-feed. This is a big change because stories are harder to schedule and automate. We’re thinking about launching story pods.

So, what do you think?

Instagram is changing fast… the ones who adapt to these changes quickly will benefit the most. Many of the old techniques will still work just fine, but a major point to take from all of this is, more than ever:

‘👑 Content is king 👑’

You can sign up for Influencer Swap’s growth service or free engagement group here:

How to post better photos and make your feed awesome

How to post better photos and make your feed awesome

Wondering what to post? Want your photos to boost your following? On a platform based primarily on images you can bet visuals mean a lot. Although that doesn’t mean you can only post if you have pictures of 1000 beaches, 60 plates of expensive tiny meals and a bikini body. You need to engage people, catch attention and stick to your brand.
You need to post better pictures.

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“On Instagram hashtags are King but CONTENT is Queen”

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Improving your shots

To stand out you need to make sure your content looks good, This means having the right proportions on images, good quality and if something is a focus make it central. I’ve put together some tips I find most useful to make your feed look aesthetically pleasing and interest more people.

  1. If you’re taking pictures on your phone use Instagram’s camera to line it up in the usual square dimensions to see how it’ll look on your
  2. Increase your Exposure, Contrast & Sharpness, This will make images cleaner, brighter and generally more appealing.
  3. Add a little fade around the focus on the picture, this will bring the photo together for that instant wow.
  4. If you can use natural lighting, do it! As awkward as it can be to get a shot just right, artificial lights will tint the colours of your image.
  5. Turn on the grid feature. Use the feature to line up all the elements as perfectly as possible.
  6. Bright pictures always look better so if you’re taking pictures of a model use clothing and backgrounds to brighten up the picture or juxtapose a dark setting.
  7. Use shadows and darkness too! Silhouettes make awesome features in pictures.

What do I post?

If you know how to post better photos you need to know what to take pictures of, I’ve put together some ideas of what to post as an Influencer or Business to get you started.

Influencers
Yourself- Wearing an outfit you love? Post it! Feeling confident? Share a selfie! People love positivity so if you’re feeling good someone else will love to see that!

Food- If you go out for dinner make the most out of it! look for a wooden table as a backdrop or a clear surface to maintain focus.

Things you like- Suggest to your follows if you find a really good camera, App, shop or similar! Posting like this can lead to brands sponsoring you to post their products too if you develop enough of a following and exposure.

Landscapes or your travels- Travel pictures makeup over 30% of Instagram, it’s undeniable that people love looking at holiday destinations and day dreaming or planning, your images could fuel someone’s adventure!

Businesses
Behind the scenes- What’s going on in the office? Giving your customers an insight to your business makes you more approachable and interesting!

Your product in use- Remember if someone is following an account for Teddy bears they probably want to see some Teddy bears. Don’t get carried away with becoming approachable and forget your product.

Staff profiles- Show your followers the faces of your brand, it helps, again, make your brand look approachable and real but also shows you to be more of a community.

Animals- Everyone on Instagram loves animals. If your office allows pets, take a few pictures for a “Pet takeover” it’s fun and engaging especially in a multiple post story or adventure showing the pet’s day at work!

So get on it! Tag us in your better posts @influencerswap and follow us to join our free group.

Grow your Instagram with us!