As Instagram continues to gain in popularity, many haven't started to leverage the opportunities that Instagram provides businesses. Neal introduces his own story of the why and how he is transitioning to use Instagram as a more integral part of his social media marketing - and why you should as well.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business and the soon to launch Social Media Centre of Excellence. Neil Schaefer. Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social Help Wherever you are in the world, you're having a great day so far. Great week. In fact, we're beginning of Q four mid October. This is October 20th when I'm recording this. Well, a little while ago, I was obviously in Boston, where I recorded my last podcast last Saturday. I actually had a chance to present for the first time on maximizing social media for relationship marketing to a company in Dallas. Texas had a lot of fun. Ah, lot of people that were really, you know, beginner's with social media. But the beautiful thing is that, as I always say, and hopefully you read my recent block post my top 25 social media for business quotes, which I just published last week, full of photos and quotes, a mime. But one is you're never too late for social media. And in fact, those that are Maur experiences professional, always believe, pick it up much quicker than those that don't have that professional experience. They realize very quickly how to use it effectively with little time for business results. So today, with that in mind, I want to talk about something that has been fascinating. Me as well has been obviously a leading trend in 2014 which is really that the rise of visual, social media, marketing And when we think of visual social media market, obviously there are two social networks that are devoted to the visual Well, I guess we should say three, right? We always talk about Pinterest and Instagram, but we should really add slide share in it. And as Jason Miller was talking about at marketing problem would be to be a summit when I presented with him. That slide share really is the biggest visual content marketing platform on the earth, and he's probably right, unless you consider Pinterest to content marketing platform. But where does Instagram fall in all of this? And Instagram keeps on revving up in popularity, you know, passing some of the other major social notebooks in terms of mobile minutes that we spend and anyone who starts to spend a lot of time on Instagram realizes that there's a lot of engagement. I always talk about how I have, I don't know, 4000 or so followers on Instagram. I have 11,000 plus followers on Facebook, but because of Facebook's ed drink and because people will, for lack of a better, we're just engaged Maur casually, it seems on Instagram liking photos just immediately upon seeing them, I find that I get way Maur engagement on Instagram than I do on Facebook. So with that in mind, let's take it to the next step and I you know, I won't say I've had a Navajo moment, but I know that there were Brown's that have done really well. Using Instagram as their primary marketing channel may come as a surprise to someone, but if you're selling, you know, one of the examples that I used to maximize your social and I'm forgetting the name of the exact company, but they sell basically, you know, used clothing, and whenever they got some new used clothing and they would post it and people would literally be following the instagram feed to find out stuff that they might want to buy. It's a perfect example. We know that hotels, you know, the hospitality industry has really gotten into Instagram. When I was working on an advisor for a social media agency out here in the west of the United States, and they're working with a sushi restaurants, and they were sort of wondering what's next after Facebook and, you know, immediately with the ability of photo tag, I immediately thought of Instagram is really If you're a brick and mortar, that might be the second best place you want to be after Facebook, just as if you're in e commerce story. Believe Pinterest should be your second best place to be after Facebook as well. So with that in mind, though, what if you're just another company? You're not a brick and mortar, and you don't sell stuff you know, retail stuff like a Tiffany where if you have a new type of jewelry or a new type of hair style wig or new types of clothing in her fashion, what if you don't fall into that category? How do you use Instagram and I'm seeing more and more people use it. Vory strategically for marketing, because if you think about it and it's just the same with Facebook or with any other social network, you have eyeballs that are drawn to the news feeds and instagram because so many people are on it and so many people are following others. And navigating the news feeds is very similar to one of the other 25 quotes in the block post, which is, you know, deciding which social network you want to invest in. It's similar to, you know, deciding what freeway you're gonna put a billboard up next to. And I remember when I was asked this when I spoke in La Jolla, California, at my first book signing for Maximize Your Social. And there's little B three different freeways that run through San Diego and they each have different demographics, depending on the freeway, right? So well, which demographic do you want? A truck that's basically, you know, one way of thinking of all the difference users, different communities, different ways. They engage with news feeds and what have you. But you begin to get a feeling that instagram because it's attracting so many people. It's another example of those billboards a tweet, ah, post on Facebook of video on YouTube. It's another thing that grabs people's attention. Now Instagram does not have a clickable link within a post. You can hashtag something and see everybody else an instagram who's used the same hashtag. But in order to get someone to click something, it either has to be a brand, you know, like the clothing store that people already go to or you have a link in your bio, right and say Hey, for more information, click the link in my bio and you can change that link as often as you want so you could literally have monthly campaigns on instagram and change your link on a monthly basis that coincides with what you're doing. An instrument that's one way in which you can use it strategically and get over the handicap of not being able to link back. But, you know, I see people using it because of this notion of billboards and, you know, maintaining mine share and brand awareness. People are starting use instagram in ways that was never originally intended, and that's okay. We all hijacked social networks. Now I personally have some issues with people that are just posting quotes all the time. They're literally taking the Facebook strategy of, you know, putting up quotes and names in order to engage with people and for lack of a better word, just living off that engagement in order to build popularity. You know, I'm all about trying to contribute original value to social media and hey, on Facebook for my Facebook page, where I represent a brand and not a person. I do leverage that, actually, and you will see on maximize social business Facebook Page. You will see things like that. But I do try to find those that are extremely relevant to my community, and I do try to add my own sort of commentary to its. But Instagram really was four photos, right? You know, the instagram logos of an old Polaroid camera, and I think I just aged myself. But for those you remember what they looked like, that is, that's what it looks like, right? So really Instagram was about photos that you take on your smartphone and that you immediately post and once you start doing you no quotes or another thing I see people doing is just these beautiful photos. But it's like, Hey, did you take that photo? In fact, they even ask that of one of my Instagram friends this week. Hey, did you? Where did you take that photo? And they didn't admit they didn't take the photo. But then they commented on another foot and said, This is the photo that I took yesterday. So you know, there's a part of it which is authenticity, that it is something about you. It is relevant to your brand and curating. Third party content for any social network is one strategy. But instagram I think it's sort of the final frontier of sort of the personal social network. And now we see social networks line and we chat and WhatsApp that are the extreme personal frontier where you know it's it's hard for brands to make an impact. Although we chat is changing and lying is changing. But that's a topic for another podcast. But I want to get back to Instagram and the content now I've had my ah ha moment was not saying, Hey, I'm gonna post quotes and photos that I didn't take and just take him off a flicker and just post them and try to build engagement of daily basis. But one thing I was looking for is we have all these social media got sports come out. Why can't they handle Instagram? Why can't I schedule post in advance on Instagram? So I have daily engagement with my audience, like I do in any other social network but using my own photos, Okay, Not curating content, not putting up random codes or means. But I've taken enough photos, I have enough interesting things to say. And the funny thing is, you know, I had iPhone three and I upload all my photos to Google plots, right? So I have, like, you know, 45 years of photos and I've only shared my most recent I don't know, 12 to 18 months in Instagram. So I start a lot of photos I could go through that are still relevant today. And when I was looking around for tools, I really only found two tools. But now we do have tools that allow us to do this, and in doing so, it gives me a completely different perspective on utilizing instagram of utilizing it just like any other social network. I don't have to necessarily be out on the road. I don't have to see anything or think about what am I gonna take a photo of today? In fact, when I take a lot of photos when I go to a scenic place like when I was in Budapest, Hungary, and I uploaded like 50 different photos in the day. I can save those for later Now if I had the right tool and it's gonna allow me to engage with more people on a regular basis, and I can start to experiment with different times and everything because now I'm in control. So I found two different APs in one app required Iowa's. They do not have an android app yet, and it required basically for them to send you a notification. And I think you had to literally go through a notification on your phone in order to trigger the upload. And to me, that sounds really complicated. Now the good news is the other company found, and it's it's a nominal. I forget, like between eight and $14 months, a nominal fee you pay, but they have a really really eloquent system were literally you upload on your PC. You type in whatever description you upload a photo. It even has little photo editor, the same one that male chimp uses. If any of you understand, when you upload a float in a male champion and you edit it, you have all those options and it even has its own filter options and then it seamlessly will post to instagram. Now, it's interesting. When I went through the process last night of getting this launched that they're a company based out of Australia and the first time you try to post from Australia, instagram immediately, you know, send you a notification. Hey, you know, the next time you log in Instagrams Okay, Did you really try to post from Melbourne, Australia? If so, let me know it will cut off all of your third party app authorization. So it cut me off cloud an Empire Avenue and everything else I had to reauthorize. But after it's been seamless and it works. So once you have a tool like that and you begin to consider instagram or strategic because there's so many eyeballs on it, you want to maintain a daily basis of engaging with others, not just commenting and liking on friends, your network, but also being able to post more often and using it. When I talked about social media productivity used as part of a weekly task to upload photos, just one photo a day for a week, I think it's plenty. You don't need to go overboard on Instagram. Yeah, I really do think it could be effective even one or two photos a day. And that goes the same for Facebook, for that matter of my own personal policy. In fact, I've noticed some of the leading Facebook experts. When you look at how frequently they post on their Facebook page, it really isn't that often anymore. It's almost like once a day for many people don't know about the personal page. That's another story. So the name of the APP without further ado and I'm sure you've been waiting for it is called Schedule Graham. Okay, s C h e d u gr dot am. So it is a dot am domain. But if you do a search for schedule Graham, you'll find it. And and like I said, I did a little bit of research. A lot of people mention a lot of tools. There was a tool that used to do Instagram that doesn't handle anymore, others that do other things. It's just a real simple tool that does instagram, and it doesn't well and you begin to think of things. Definitely. Now how do I take it to the next step? Above and beyond? Brand awareness to tie it more directly into the products and service is I offer is going to be the challenge. Now, as a social media speaker, I can upload photos, and I've been doing it when I've spoken right. And that's a really, really easy thing to Dio to indirectly remind people that I'm a social media speaker and I'm successful speaking all these places. So even in the art of doing that indirectly already promoting my business right now, how his Instagram contributing directly Well, who knows? But people touch you on so many different social networks now, unless you have a direct click through into a marketing funnel that's all being tracked. Sometimes it's hard to understand, right, but I will say that, you know, for brand awareness, Instagram is extremely important right now. and with the tools, we have the opportunity to take it to the next level. The final frontier. Maybe when I launch my Social Media centre of excellence. Social media sioe dot com for more information. Maybe I'll be a little bit more direct there and change my bio. U R l two, that's and when I have an upcoming event, an upcoming webinar I will maybe promoted through Instagram. I want to do in an authentic way using a photo and not a logo. So that's gonna be the challenge. And, you know, I do see a lot more people being a lot more direct with the market and Instagram. I'm not really a fan of it. I don't know how effective it is, and I would say to try to avoid that at all costs if you could. I really do think that it's important to retain the authenticity with Instagram, and I think it's gonna like you have a deeper connection with other people, and at the end of the day, it's gonna help you be more effective with your social media marketing. So those are my thoughts today, October 22,014 about Instagram, about what I plan to do with my own instagram and about this great tool that I just found that you should definitely check out called Schedule Graham. What about you? Are you using? Instagram is part of a marketing Have you found our ally from INSTAGRAM are using different tools. I think most people and you know, there's a lot of savvy social media marketers that may have already been doing this for the past several months, but I think that you know the notion of scheduling unless you're a brand that's been doing a lot of instagram. I think it's still relatively new to a lot of marketers and a lot of small businesses, and I hope that this gives you the knowledge, the inspiration and the courage to go out there and do it yourself and not miss out on the potential there. So that's it for this week. Hey, I want to hear from you. If you've been doing a lot of Instagram, you've had success, let me know, let the set you up for an interview on the show. A lot of people are still really, really confused about Instagram and the final that final mile right, The final connection with Instagram in your business that you can find on Pinterest or the other networks because you have that direct linkage, which is a little bit harder to find an instagram. I love to know what successes you've been having. Feel free to contact me until next week. Wherever you are in the world. I hope you're getting ready for Halloween, and I know when I lived in Japan sometime ago, no one had ever heard of Halloween, and now they even celebrated there. So I know it's become more more global of a holiday. It's a lot of fun if you have kids like I do. It's one of the most memorable holidays a year. I hope you're getting all set up for it, getting those costumes and order decorating around the house, and I look very much forward to talking to you again next week. Until then, make it a great social day. But everybody, thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize your social dot com please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social media. C o e dot com Thanks again and make it a social day.