With so many social media platforms to use, it’s hard to decide where to best spend your time, money, and other resources. So, to protect against this, many people spread themselves thin. While it’s okay to experiment with all your options, you need to go all-in on one or two in order to achieve the best results.

For many individuals and brands, Instagram is by far the best social media platform. It provides the best opportunity to not only share relevant content with their brand, but to also engage their target audience.

If you’re going to spend a lot of time on Instagram, you need to learn more about the steps you can take to grow your following. For example, you can seek out services that provide automatic Instagram followers, as this is a great way to put your growth into overdrive.

You put a lot of time and effort into growing your business and ensuring that it’s among the best in your space. So, there is no reason that you shouldn’t do the same in regards to your social media accounts. If you want to make the most of your Instagram account, as you think it’s best for your business, here are five things you can do today.

1. Create an Instagram Calendar

It’s hard enough to find enough time in your day to meet all your Instagram marketing goals. But when you don’t have a calendar pushing you in the right direction and keeping you on track, it’s even more difficult to make progress.

So, before you do anything, create an Instagram content calendar that tracks what you are posting and when you are posting it. And if you want to take your calendar to the next level, you can add in columns to track engagement and other important data.

You don’t have to pay for some fancy Instagram content calendar. You can use a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet to do the job. This gives you full control, allowing you to customize the calendar to suit the needs of you and your Instagram account. 

2. Learn to Take High Quality Photos

With some social media platforms, you don’t really need to know how to take high quality photos. Sure, it would help if you could put this skill to good use, but it’s not something you absolutely need to do.

But when you are spending more time and resources on Instagram, you absolutely need to learn how to take high quality photos. You can do this in many ways, such as by reading online tutorials and simply getting more practice.

Even better, pay close attention to the feedback that you receive for each photo. If people like it, you should make a mental note. But if your engagement suffers as a result of a poor photo, you’ll want to think about adjusting your approach in the future.

3. Learn to Write Better Captions

Even though Instagram is a visual social media platform, you still need to have some writing and creative skills to meet your goals. For instance, you need to learn to write better captions, as this can go a long way in helping with engagement.

It’s easy to spot an Instagram caption that was given no thought. You don’t want to go down this path, as doing so will make it more difficult to reach your goals. You want to put time and energy into every caption you write, as doing so will pay off by means of more engagement. 

4. Conduct Hashtag Research

There is no requirement to use hashtags along with each new Instagram post, but you are missing out on the ability to reach a larger audience if you ignore this feature.

With hashtags, people that are not following you will come across your content, which only increases the potential to engage with a larger audience.

As you get started, you don’t even need to do that much hashtag research. Make a list of the top tags in your industry and use those to start. As time allows, see what your competitors are using so you have a better idea of how you can follow suit.

Then, over time, begin to expand into other hashtags based on your findings and the audience you are trying to reach. The more time you put into this, the better your results will be in the long run. And that’s what you are looking for.

5. Hire Help

While Instagram may not be the best social media platform for you, it could be just what your business needs. But since you are not interested in managing your account, you need to get help.

If you don’t have someone on your team to assist you, it’s time to look into hiring an Instagram marketing assistant. This person can answer your questions, take your guidance, and do all the work that you don’t want to do.

The key to success is to hire a person that has the same goals and ideas on strategy as you. This way, you are on the same page from the start. And of course, it never hurts if they bring some creative ideas to the table, too. 

Final Thoughts

There is no way of knowing if Instagram is the best social media platform for your business until you actually give it a try. You really need to spend time on the platform to understand the ins and outs and ups and downs. It’s the information you collect that will help you decide what to do next. Be careful when you buy followers. If you aren’t cautious you could end up with Instagram bot followers.

If you decide that it’s best, stick with your plan and see where it gets you. You may come to realize that you’re making good progress in a relatively short period of time.

Why do you consider Instagram the best social media platform? How are you using it to boost your business? Do you have any personal secrets you are willing to share? Share whatever is on your mind in the comment section below.

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Do Apps Still Make Money? Here is What 6 Developers Think

The app market is extremely saturated. But the mobile market is still gathering momentum..fast. Mobile apps have changed how we work, live, connect and what we do for entertainment. Mobile apps will continue to shape the thoughts consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and even the government.

Forrester expects that more than 25% of companies will use mobile not as a channel, but as a fully integrated part of their overall strategy. They believe 2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.

There is still a lot of demand for apps. Mobile apps have evolved beyond providing just information. Artificial intelligent and voice-based personal assistants are inspiring conversational and smart apps.

But most app developers are struggling to get attention. Majority of app developers don’t get rewarded for their efforts. Most apps don’t generate profits but serve as an extension of an existing business. And he vast majority of apps are free.

In-app purchases and advertising allow app creators to make money off their free apps. There are only few hits though. Here is what some redditors think about the prospects ofaunching an app.

1. kevinbracken

Absolutely, yes they do. I sold my fitness app last year to a larger company, and know many people whose app-based companies are making money.

However, the thing that many people fail to realize is that you are not building “an app,” you are building a business, and mobile is simply the fastest-growing channel in the world. You can do your own research but in the not-so-distant future, mobile will make up the vast majority of all web traffic and online sales.

To answer the second part of your question, if you have limited resources, absolutely target iOS. Notice how when new, serious companies with venture financing and previously successful founders start companies, they launch iOS apps first. Reasons:

  • iOS users download more apps
  • iOS users spend considerably more through their phones
  • iOS users know they are iOS users. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: many Android users simply buy the cheapest phone and don’t spend much time thinking about downloading apps, would never put their credit card number in a phone, etc.

2. austincha

I created some apps for both the App Store and the Google Play store. The App Store is strict on the quality of apps they allow to be uploaded, so I then just focused on Android apps. I made simple games and even some Live Wallpaper apps. My best games only made a couple hundred dollars and the LWPs made about a hundred.

I’ve stopped creating apps because the payout wasn’t worth the time and effort I put into coding the apps. I’ll have to say 99% of the app developers out there are not making money for the time and effort they put into the apps.

3. ZeikCallaway

Android developer here. As others have pointed out, apps can still make money, but the days of just having an app for money are pretty much over. Apps become exponentially more powerful, and likely to be used if they’re complimentary to a bigger software or service.

Also when deciding Android vs iOS, if you can, you should target both because they’re pretty even as far as market share. If you had to pick just one to start, I can’t tell you which is better but from my perspective and experience, Android seems to be gaining more market share albeit very slowly but, iOS will have a more consistent experience.

In other words, some Android devices may not work with your app the way you expect, so even they do take a strong lead over iOS devices there will still be a number of them that have problems.

4. RPN

Of course they still make money. Actually now more than ever as every year the worldwide app revenue grows exponentially. AppAnnie predicts that gross revenue across all app stores will eclipse $100 Billion in 2020.

The problem is that it’s now more competitive than ever. For an independent developer it is getting increasingly difficult to make a living building apps.

5. EatSafeUK

A lot of people have a weird view on apps as if they are magical no effort cash cows. But you have to see it for what it is, simply a distribution platform.

Can you build an app, throw it out there and effortlessly get millions of downloads and rake on money? No.

But if you are developing a solution to a problem that is best served with mobile then an app is appropriate. My research for my current project showed that the problem was biggest when people were out and about, so a mobile app works best.

But it’s just the distribution method. The rest of the business is the same as before; you need to identify customers, you need to effectively promote, you need to push yourself in front of people.

The app store is too saturated to expect to be discovered there. But just like a real store, the brands on the shelves do everything they can to get you to want to buy their products before you ever get through the door. Its the same in the app world.

iOS does seem to have a less price sensitive user base though, so if you want to charge for the app they’re the best people to target.

6. the_brizzler

They haven’t died down. It is just harder for the average guy or gal to make sure it is discovered. Sort of like websites…anyone can build a website…but how do you get visitors?…well that takes some marketing and strategy.

There are plenty of people making a decent living making niche apps that serve a specific purpose. But if you are trying to make a flashlight app…forget about it…apple won’t even let you publish it since there are already too many. So you just have to be smart about what you make and how you get people to find your app.

Related: 6 Easy Steps to Get Funding for Your App Startup

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