Last November Instagram announced a new feature on photos and videos! The ALT text or tag. What does ALT text mean? ALT text stands for alternative text. If you have added images to your website or blog, this is probably something you are already familiar with. ALT text strengthens the message of your articles with search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website.
Instagram announced that they introduced ALT text to make the platform more accessible for visually impaired users. ALT text descriptions can be read by screen readers so visually impaired readers can hear about the photos in their feed.
How do you add it?
Open your Instagram account and add a photo and caption. Then go to Advanced Settings at the bottom of the page.
Scroll down to accessibility and write ALT Text.
Next add the ALT text.
Your followers will not actually going to see this text. Instagram will automatically set your alt text on every image if you don't add them. However if you do use them strategically, you will be able provide further SEO value for your brand. Your photos are now going to start getting rankings on Google Image search.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your Instagram strategy, I would love you to come to my Instagram For Business Workshop on the 5th of February in Guildford. If you can't make this one, subscribe to my email list to get notified about the future workshops.
Instagram was launched as a photo sharing app exclusively in IOS in 2010. When Facebook purchased the photo-sharing platform in 2012 it had just 30 million users. As of June 2018, it has become the world’s second largest social media platform with one billion monthly active users.
The platform is constantly evolving with new functions such as Instagram Stories and IGTV. Today, it isn’t just the young people who are on Instagram though. The older generation has also embraced Instagram in recent years, even if they don’t post to the platform as actively, they are engaging with the content. *
Instagram users are much more engaged compared to Facebook and Twitter ** and they love brands. Instagram states that 80% of people are following a business account on the platform.
Brands love Instagram as well because it is cost-effective: The Instagram app noted 20% as many ad impressions as Facebook and 9% as many clicks.***
Instagram trends are changing fast and we need to keep a close eye to determine the best practices. Here are my expectations for Instagram in 2019.
As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on what has worked well this year and my expectations from 2019.
I started my business towards the end of 2015 and 2018 has been my best year. I worked with some amazing businesses. At times I was too busy and worked long hours but lots of exciting things happened.
I was featured on Metro, Enterprise Nation, Talented Ladies Club and on a couple of other websites.
I have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic clients with whom I have built relationships and collaborated on various projects. I had the chance to go to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister’s Financial Advisor alongside other business owners in October. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity which I was very happy about.
Online networking is great but meeting people face to face lets us nurture those relationships. This year I tried to attend more events to meet people and it will be one of more priorities in 2019.
In March I delivered my first workshop in London and throughout the year I partnered with my client We Give It to deliver workshops to the charity sector. In February, I will be delivering a workshop for the first time in my hometown in Guildford.
I invested a lot in my business this year. I am working with a business coach to help with my mindset and to develop my business. I have been taking courses in photography and filmmaking. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creativity this brings, I will continue to develop my skills in this area.
When I get too busy with client work, my own social media channels, my email list and blog suffer. This year, I will make sure that I make time for these.
In February I will be starting a Facebook Advertising Course with one of UK’s top Facebook Ads Expert. I feel very excited about the impact this will have and all the other possibilities 2019 holds.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a prosperous New Year!
If you'd like to work with me in 2019, there are a couple of ways you can do this: One to one Power Hour sessions, workshops or daily social media marketing: you can check out my all services here. Any questions? Just drop me an email.
I am delighted to share my blog post about Instagram Stories for Enterprise Nation.
Read on here
So you have established your business and set up your social media accounts. You started posting with the best of intentions but you're struggling to grow your accounts. Maybe you are looking at your competitors' accounts and wondering why you aren't as successful as them. You want more followers, a bigger community and ultimately people who will click through to your website and buy from you.
Let's have a look at some common mistakes and take it from there:
1. You don't have a strategy.
You created your accounts and started posting content but you are not approaching it strategically. What are your goals? Who are your trying to reach? How are you going to measure your success? You need a strategy with measurable KPIs to be able to define your success so that you know you are not wasting your time and resources on social media.
2. You are not sure where your ideal clients hang out online.
People use different social media platforms for different reasons. It may be because of their age, gender, their profession or their lifestyle. If you are not sure what your audience's social media habits are, you are missing a trick. It doesn't matter how popular Instagram is if your audience isn't there!
3. You are posting on the go.
You know you need to push out content but you are struggling to come up with content ideas every day. If you don't have a content plan, when things get too busy, you simply won't have the time to dedicate to social media. Planning your content even on a weekly basis will help you be more organised about it.
4. You are not consistent.
You start posting with good intentions and post 3 times a day for a week and then disappear for 4 weeks. You then find time for social media and pick it up again but once you get too busy you, you forget about social media. Social media marketing is a long term game and consistency is one of the keys for success.
5. You automate all your content but forget that social media is meant to be social.
Scheduling your content is great. You know what you are publishing and when. But you also need to talk with people to build relationships by entering into conversations. This is how people will start to get to know you and buy from you. This is actually where magic happens!
6. You are always trying to sell.
We all love buying stuff! But we don't like being sold to. If you are trying to sell your products in every single post, it comes across very pushy. Instead, show people how your products and services can help them. You must give before you take. If you can earn people's trust first, by adding value first, then you can start selling.
7. You are not creating great content.
Consistently creating interesting and engaging content is hard work. Whether it is writing blog posts, publishing social videos or photographing your products, you need a lot of high-quality content to stand out from the crowd.
Social media marketing needs to be integrated into your whole marketing strategy. You need to at least give it 12 months to start seeing some results. People need different touch points to start buying from you. Strategic social media marketing works, but it is not magic. It requires consistency, dedication and hard work.
As always, if you have any questions or need help with social media marketing, please get in touch. You can find out about all my services here.
Hashtags play a crucial role in social media marketing. Using the right hashtags will help you cut through the noise and get your content seen.
By engaging with the key hashtags in your industry, you will be able to discover new accounts to follow and engage with. Consequently, you can reach a wider audience and influencers.
Hashtags evolve and change all the time. Some hashtags get oversaturated,some are not used much any more. So it's a good practise to check them from time to time.
But how do you find the best hashtags?
There are a couple of tools.
1. Ritetag: This is a tool that I mostly use for Twitter but it also analyses hashtags for Instagram.
It has browser extensions so you can quickly look up hashtags and analyse them. It suggests hashtags to get seen and lets you know about the ones you should not use.
I searched #smallbusiness, and as you can see from the below photo, it also suggests me other popular hashtags that are related to it. Not every one of these may be related to my business, but it's good to have alternative hashtags to maximise the reach.
2. Makelight Hashtag Tool is the one that I use regularly for Instagram. It indexes hashtags and you can see how many photos each hashtag contain. Hundreds and thousands of photos are being published every second so some hashtags are very large.
If you only use the most popular hashtags, your content might not get the best exposure. Therefore it is better to use some popular hashtags and some not so popular ones to cut through the noise.
When you search a hashtag in Makelight, it tells you how many photos are indexed under that particular hashtag, how many times it is posted (every few minutes, every hour etc.. It also gives you related hashtags.
3. Display Purposes for Instagram. This tool gives you a number of hashtags around the keyword you enter, however it doesn't let me know how big or small that hashtag is so I don't tend to use it. Although if you want to, you can go to Instagram and find out how many times each hashtag is used.
4.Hashtagify.me is another tool that tracks hashtags both for Instagram and Twitter. It has some beta features which are still being developed. It gives you some statistics around popularity and suggests other hashtags that are popular.
I personally like Ritetag for Twitter and Makelight for Instagram. There are a couple of other tools but these are the free ones. It is worth trying out which one you like to use most as they have different user interfaces.
Instagram sometimes bans a hashtag if they find inappropriate content or something that violates their community guidelines. At the time of writing (2nd February) #ValentinesDay is banned.
This is what I see when I search for it.
I see that there are 10.648.881 posts under #ValentinesDay and it shows me the top photos.
However it is a different story if I scroll down.
As you can see below, there is a note from Instagram saying recent posts have been hidden because they have been reported.
If I had a gift shop, I would probably be promoting some items at this time of the year using this hashtag and if they weren't getting much exposure I would wonder why. I have been keeping an eye on this particular hashtag for almost a week now, and it has remained hidden.
This is why we should not rely on using the same hashtags day in, day out. We really need to be careful about them.
I would love to hear from you if you use these hashtag tools. If there are others that you like, please share in the comments.
As always, if you have any questions or need help with social media marketing, please get in touch.
If you have a Facebook business page, I am pretty sure by now you must have heard about the Facebook Pixel. Not sure what it is: It is a piece of code that tracks your website visitors.
You can use pixel data to:
Go to your Facebook Ad Manager. Click on Create Ad.
Once the code is uploaded on your website, you can check whether it is working or not with the help of the Pixer Helper.
Now you can create
1. Custom Audiences. For example you can target people who visited your website in the last 50 hours), people who visited certain pages but not others, people who haven't visited your website in a while etc
2. Now that Facebook knows who visited your website,and knows its demographics and interest, it can also find similar people who would be interested in your business. (Lookalike Audiences)
3.Remarket to your website visitors.
Have you been using the Facebook pixels? Have you got any questions about uploading or using them?Let me know in the comments.
Social video has become hugely popular in the last few years. As a result, there are a lot of tools in the market that enable you to create decent quality videos on your smart phone.
Almost all the social media platforms are encouraging people to share and consume video and it definitely is a great way to connect with your audience.
Today I would like to share five apps that I use frequently for my business:
1. Ripl Ripl app has built-in templates so it's super easy to use. All you need to do is adding photos / text and customising your design. Amazing!
2.Adobe Spark Video: Adobe Spark Video has built in story templates: Promote an idea, Show and Tell, Teach A Lesson etc. Add photos, text, music and voila! Adobe Spark Post app also has an animation option that is equally eye-catching.
3. InShot Video Editor is great for editing your videos on your phone, add music, text, stickers etc. It literally transforms your video!
4. Flixel lets you create beautiful cinemagraphs. Being able to create these videos on the go, is absolutely mind blowing!
5.Clips by Apple. If you're an Iphone user,chances are you already have the Clips app. Like the above mentioned apps it has some features to make your videos more exciting by adding text and music but it also has an additional feature which sets it apart:It has a voice recognition feature and thanks to that you can add text overlays with your voice!
There are many more apps in the market. But these are the ones I use frequently these days?
What are your favourite apps to create video? Let me know in the comments.
If you don't have the time to do it yourself, this is a service I am offering. Just get in touch and we can talk about your requirements.
Social media platforms are immensely powerful for businesses but when they are not used wisely, they can cause some problems. When you are starting out, it's important to define your objectives and strategically plan how you will achieve these goals. But before you dive into the world of social media, I would love to share a few points:
1. Don't spread yourself thin.
With so many social media platforms out there, it's really important to decide which are the best for your business. If you're not outsourcing social media,it's difficult to keep on top of them. The best thing is to choose two and branch out if / when you can handle it.
2. Don't be salesy.
People go on social media to have fun,to share news or to educate themselves. If you constantly share posts about your products and services, people get bored.
It's not about you or your business, it's all about your community. Before sharing any post, ask yourself: Does this post entertain, inform or educate my community?
3.Don't forget that your community is watching you.
Dedicate a staff to monitor the platforms and answer each and every comment. If you receive negative feedback, don't get aggressive.Take the conversation offline and bear in mind that sometimes negative feedback help you improve your business. Remember your community is watching! Angry customers can be very helpful in amplifying your message if handled well.
4. Don't leave your social media to unqualified staff.
Managing a company's social media accounts is very different from managing a personal account. You need a strategy and expertise to achieve your goals so make sure you have a qualified expert to look after your accounts.
5. Don't buy followers.
It might sound like a good idea if you are just starting out but don't ever fall into this trap. Yes, you might have thousands of followers but the number of followers don't mean anything. The important thing is having an engaged community, even if it's a small one. You won't gain leads from a group of people who are not interested in your products.
Social media is not magic. It works but it takes time and requires effort! If you don't have the time or the knowledge to do it yourself, just get in touch and we can talk about your requirements.
Building a vibrant and growing community is no mean feat. It requires hours of planning and execution.
First things first: we must know our ideal client. Who are we trying to reach? What is their lifestyle? Where do they hang out? What are their problems? How are we going to solve these problems? To be able to connect with the audience, we need to know them and send them the right message.
Plan and schedule your content
Think about what you want to achieve: Creating a buzz around a campaign or an event, drive website traffic, increase brand awareness. Consistency is the key to success and this can only be achieved by planning. Plan your content with your end goal in mind, around key dates, Christmas, Easter etc. Once you have a plan, you can start scheduling it. If you’re scheduling in advance, always remember to tweak things for any last minute news or crisis.
Don't just broadcast.
Remember that social media platforms are social. Ask questions, reply comments, be kind and friendly. When dealing with negative comments, be careful because your community is watching. Last but not least, show the human side of your brand. Make sure your posts are not too salesy. People buy from people so nurture the relationships you’re building and sales will follow.
Use the analytics to gain insights.
All social media platforms have analytics tools that give in depth data. You can get a lot of insights about your audience (for example how old are they, where do they live, when are they online) as well as how successful the content that is shared.
If you haven't set up Google Analytics on your website, I highly recommend you do this in order to track traffic from social media. Monitor the activity, reflect on the results and adjust your strategy.
Consistency is the key to success on social media. Building an engaged community is a lot of work and takes time, but it works.
As always,if you need any help, please get in touch.