It seems a little bit over the top, doesn’t it? Whilst Instagram is an app many of us know and love, are you aware that you’re really not getting the full benefit of Instagram unless you get a bunch of Instagram apps to go with it???
Lately, I have been playing with Instagram a lot and I am particularly intrigue with Instagram’s hashtags and their obvious connections with Facebook and how they can be potentially used from a business’ perspective.
The first habit I’ve gotten into to really improve my Instagram activity lately is taking images on my phone, but rather than sharing them directly to my Facebook, uploading them to Instagram, applying a filter, adding a bunch of tags and then sharing it to Facebook and/or Twitter from there to get the full multiple-network benefits. Other networks such as Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare are also possible.
What has been most amazing is how engaged Instagram users can be. I am still relatively new to it and only have around 100 followers. Yet, within minutes of posting anything on there, I usually get 10-15 likes and comments.
This got me thinking, “Are there other things you can do on Instagram? A seemingly simple social network that could be used for more business purposes?” So, I went exploring….
Tags for Likes
During the school holidays, I hung out with an 11-year old, who, like many others her age, is using Instagram prolifically. The legal age for Instagram use is officially 13 years old, but it is not uncommon for those younger to be using social networks and in particular, Instagram, Snapchat and Kik, but to delve into those other networks would be a whole different story. The 11 year old gave me one particularly great tip for my Instagram use, which is an app called “Tags for Likes”. It’s a free app which you can download to your phone, and before posting any given image on Instagram, identify sets of hashtags which you can use for posting an image. Instagram allows up to 30 tags per image and Tags For Likes makes it easy to grab a collection of relevant tags, which will help your post get seen.
Let’s say I am posting a picture of myself and a friend on a Sunday, at a music festival at the Sunshine Coast, which was indeed the case one day. Using Tags for Likes, I clicked on the ‘friends’ category and obtained bunches of tags such as #besties, #bff, #happydays. These are tags which have been proven to get more likes and interests on your Instagram activity. You simply need to select all of them and paste them along with your message, deleting the ones which are not relevant to your photo.
Instagram allows up to 30 tags per image and Tags For Likes makes it easy to grab a collection of relevant tags, which will help your post get seen but my personal philosophy is that it is best to post just the relevant ones. Personally I feel comfortable with about 4-6. Any more, and your post looks a bit…welll…hash taggy!
You’ll find that within minutes of using Tags for Likes tags, people are liking and commenting on your photos, even those that aren’t your friend.
Now, this might be scary for some who are a little bit concerned about their privacy anyway. So it’s important to know you can change your Instagram profile in the privacy settings or you can have a very public profile which what I have chosen to be.
Whether the people who found my image stored under the category that happened to be on Instagram the day I uploaded it, or the moment I uploaded it, or whether they have been monitoring the particular tags I have chosen, the fact remains, it is still a powerful tool for exposure, which is what many people who use social media are after.
One of my Instagram friends, Inspiring Moms has a couple of thousand followers and recently, she posted a tip about a nifty app, Repost.
I myself had found I was wanting to share posts made on Instagram, but hadn’t worked out how, until, thanks to Inspiring Mums, I discovered Repost.
Again it’s a free app and very easy to install. Essentially, it allows you to repost any activity you like on Instagram. So for instance, on the weekend, an old girlfriend of mine who is based in London posted a photo of Battersea Bridge, which is a bridge in London I used to walked on over every day to work. It was a great image and had me feeling all nostalgic so I clicked on re-post, like a re-tweet and shared it with my network, saying exactly that, “Here is Battersea Bridge that I used to walk on to work every day. Isn’t it beautiful?” because it really is an artistic bridge. So that’s yet another one which you could use.
Want to see how well your Instagram activities are tracking. Use statigr.am to get your total number of likes received, your most liked photos ever, your average number of likes and comments per photo, your follower growth charts and more advanced analytics. You can also use statigr.am to to create and run a contest on Instagram which can be very powerful.
Instafollow will help you manage your followers quickly. With its simple interface you see who is not following you back or who just unfollowed you to grow your follower list. It is solely focused on the following counts for your account and those of your followers and the people you follow. As a result, you can see at a glance almost every statistic related to who you follow, their recent activity, who they follow, and more. This allows you to curate your account to a certain degree, while the engagement pack option allows you to take things even further with more statistics, comment overviews, like data, and ghost follower locating and removal. By identifying your best followers you can improve engagement, and this app helps you get there.
What it all means
What all of these have taught me is that as soon as you conquer one social network, there is another which continues to emerge and you really do have to have an absolute interest and curiosity to consider what might be possible and to go looking for it.
Follow people who know what they are doing and get tips from them, like what I have done. Ask a child who might be more advanced in the use of social networks like these than you. This is very common.
Do not be afraid to go to the App Store or go searching online for more apps to help you in your Instagram or other social network activities. If you find some good ones, be sure to let me know on the comments below.
BREAKING NEWS: INSTAGRAM has banned other apps from using the word “Insta” or “Gram” in their names so some of the apps named in this article may change their names. Read here for more:
Follow me on Instagram on @yradams