As of June 2018, Instagram had over 1 billion active monthly users. If your business is struggling with your Instagram strategy, you need to fix it–stat.

Unfortunately, sometimes improving your social media strategy can be a bit more challenging than one may think. Fortunately, we’re here to help with these 5 proven tips for substantially growing your Instagram traffic.

Get ready to pull out all the stops and see your numbers start going through the roof.

1. Cross-promote

You may have come up with the most clever hashtag in all of Instagram history, but it’s little good if users don’t know it exists. This is where cross-promotion becomes essential.

Invite your customers, clients, and the general public to use your brand’s hashtag and share content by publishing the hashtag on other materials. Put it on your billboards, fliers, other social media pages, receipts, and just about anywhere else people are sure to see it.

Make sure you reference it in emails or other campaigns so that very-clever hashtag gets some traction.

People are much more apt to share photos and experiences with your brand if they know of a hashtag to attach it to.

2. Reach Out to Influencers

Do you know your target audience? You should. Once you do, it’s easy to identify local “influencers” who your target audience tends to follow and listen to. Once you have a list of local influencers, visit their profiles and “turn on post notifications.”

This will let you know any time they post new content so you can interact with it regularly. Try to become one of those influencer’s favorite brands or products via these fancy editing tools.

If you play your cards right, you can eventually get one of these influencers to promote or mention your brand.

3. Make Yourself Unique

When you’re trying to succeed, it can be tempting to model your account after other accounts that are doing well. While modeling principles is a good idea, you don’t want to look just like any other account on Instagram.

The way up is by standing out. 

Find a way to make your content recognizable as unique to your specific brand. This can be by developing a standard color scheme, photography style, using a pic collage app for certain posts, or whatever you choose.

4. Review All Tags

We are all about accessibility and transparency when it comes to customer relations. But that doesn’t mean you should allow just any photo or post you’re tagged in to show on your profile.

Change your account settings so you must approve photos and posts you’re tagged in. 

This will prevent your brand from being tagged in irrelevant or inappropriate content.

5. Develop Your Own Voice

Just as with photos, your writing should be unique to your brand. While the photo should do most of the talking, you’re wasting a great opportunity to connect with customers by not including enough words in your post.

Telling a compelling story, including background information, or giving interesting details about your photo will make your post more shareable.

Growing Your Instagram Traffic

At the end of the day, there are many effective ways to boost your Instagram traffic, but these tried and true methods are a great start.

For more advice on social media strategy, browse the technology portion of our site. Happy Gramming! 

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6 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.

But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.

1. Boring headlines

In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.

Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.

2. No blog

If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?

It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.

But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.

Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.

3. No website marketing plan

Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.

Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.

Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?

4. Being too modest

The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.

The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.

The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.

Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.

If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.

5. Failing to list on established sites

Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.

The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.

The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.

The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.

6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising

In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.

Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.

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