Hashtags, filters, short videos, oh my! Instagram is like a virtual playground for digital marketers, but are you truly playing to the platform’s strengths? It’s to get one over your competitors, find out how to gain an unfair advantage with our Instagram for businesses video:

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Social Media Marketing
Video Transcription

Hey, it’s Neil here from Powered by Search and this is the Instagram Tutorial for Business. Okay, so what you’re going to learn during this video is what online tools will give you that unfair advantage over the competition, and marketing tactics and insights for Instagram. Just to give you a bit of an outline before we start, here is setting goals.

The first thing you need to do in any marketing campaign is set goals, and for Instagram it’s going to be to gain general exposure of your business for your company, to generate awareness, maybe a new product or services coming out, to increase the interaction between your followers and engagements, and also to improve your branding, brand equity.

Okay, so another type of setting goals would be, if you have a special campaign coming up, you would do a lot of different techniques and tactics, methods to use Instagram and promote that, and also have goals specific to your events. We’ll also learn how to discover and utilize influencers and your brand advocates, people who are already engaging with your Instagram following, or Instagram accounts, really commenting a lot on it, liking it.

We’ll be creating and managing an editorial calender. And the tools that we’re using would be Simply Measured, awesome tool, tons of insight for all the big social networks; Webstagram, I’m sure you’re familiar; Hashtagify, which is great for hashtags; and Followerwonk by Moz.

Let’s go to, just as an example, we have no affiliation with Tough Mudder, but it’s a pretty popular event throughout North America, and they have a strong social following, so we thought we’d use them as an example for this tutorial. If you’re not familiar with Tough Mudder, it’s basically an obstacle course that happens over, I think, like 10k or 15k with different obstacles. It’s pretty dirty, pretty fun, and it’s gained a lot of popularity recently.

They do have an Instagram account that’s been established. It’s been engaged with, I think they have a post basically every day, at least a few posts every day, and the pictures are high quality, the interaction’s high quality. So what can they do better? So let’s say our goal is just to generalize, see who the influences are in the industry, see who’s engaging with this account, and what can we do to promote this account further?

This is Webstagram, and it’s a great alternative to using Instagram online. You can see the hashtags. You can browse the users. It’s pretty user-friendly. The popular hashtag program to discover the popular hashtags that are being used in conjunction with #toughmudder, we would just plug in “toughmudder” up here in the search bar, okay, and this would bring up the all-time top 10 hashtags related to what you searched for.

So it’s pretty surprising some tags came up here that I wasn’t familiar with at first, such as this one, you know, “#nobullshit2013,” not sure what that’s about. “#SpartanRace,” I know that’s one of the competitors, “#fitness,” “#RT,” retweets.

Let’s open up the “Top Influencers” tab, here. And this is also pretty interesting. So you can see that the number one users that are using the Tough Mudder hashtag, obviously ToughMudder, second to that would be GoPro, and MooseDiesel81, that looks like a real person. And it also has this matrix, here, where you can see the user specialization for the hashtag, and the user influence of this hashtag. So they do have a very great video down here that explains how this is calculated, so I suggest taking a look at that.

And another tab here, another great thing, is the Usage Patterns, so you can scroll down here, and you can see this matrix. So the first thing you want to do is, you want to make sure this is set to your timezone, this is correct, and unless you’re tweeting out — because you’re not tweeting, you’re Instagraming a lot of follows throughout the day, you really need to have that volume to get really good data, and for this to be accurate.

So by assuming this is accurate, you can see that, high being yellow, being the most engagement, and black being the least engagement, between, this would be the hour scale here, and looks like between 7 a.m. and then after noon would be similar, but it doesn’t differ that much, so I’m not sure how accurate it is. Now, between the days of the week, Monday to Sunday, you can see over here that, looks like that’d be Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, are a lot more engaging than mid-week based on the scale here. So it just gives you a little extra insight for when you do create that editorial calendar, and you need to associate times to your postings.

So here’s another tool that I’m sure most of you are familiar with, is Followerwonk. This allows you to search for hashtags or users, and it can either search the Twitter profiles or bios. Okay, so this could bring up a list, and then you could sort it based on social authority or the number of followers they have to best find the person that you want to utilize and give free tickets to, so they can promote your event.

So let’s say this guy here or let’s search under “Followers.” Okay, so obviously, Tough Mudder’s at number one. This is some guys down here that looks like personal profiles, so Barry, we can get his Twitter account right away because we’re using Followerwonk, but let’s say we want to find him on Instagram. We can just do a search for his username. And a lot of times, these are similar between Twitter and Instagram, or we could search for under his profile. There’s different ways of searching. So I just searched his username, and his profile came up. It looks like he’s a decent guy. He’s into, obviously, like Tough Mudder, so it’s the right profile, it’s pretty active. Now, this might be somebody that we want to utilize to promote Tough Mudder and give free tickets to.

Okay, so another one would be… Let’s search under “Social Authority,” here. So, Simon David would be the top guy, here. And just by searching his username, I was able to find him on Instagram. But he doesn’t really have a lot of… he has no photos, or no followers, so I’m not sure how he was given the Social Authority. You know, he’s really active on Twitter, so it’s definitely somebody you’d want to utilize on Twitter, but not so much on Instagram.

And you can export this list and download it as a C.S.V. or Excel file, but you’d need the parole account to do so. I’ll let you see what that looks like. It gave me more information than was on the Web, here. So you’ve got the screen name, the user’s full name, the location, which could be good for sorting and using later on, and some other social metrics over here, and a website URL. So this also might be a good idea to scrape this list. Use SEO tools for Excel just to get the domain metrics and see which domain is the most popular and has the most authority online, and then reach out to that person.

So let’s close that, and this is the other tool that we use, Simply Measured. It’s a great tool. I’ve used it for probably about a year now. And it has every social network, all the major ones, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. It has different metrics reports for each. So I want to… I found Instagram down here. I did an account report on Tough Mudder’s Instagram account, and this is the dashboard that it spit out. So you can see, within a glance, it’s very visual, easy-to-read numbers, lots of white space, and this is a wealth of information. Even if you only get one piece of actual insight out of this report, it’s definitely worth engaging with.

So you can see, the most engaging Instagram post, I believe that’s it’s caption. It’s not too descriptive, I think it could’ve been a little more descriptive, better as far as keywords and enticement. The most engaging filter, I guess they use “Skyline” a lot. I’m not sure how much, really, the filter impacts the engagement of the photo, it might be the context itself, or whatever it is.

And most engaging location. So right now, I really want to see what’s engaging about this photo? So I’d scroll down, and looks like they have the Instagram activity, how many posts and engagements you have any given day. But unless you’re really posting the same amount of, and the same type of images every day on Instagram, I’m not sure the time would really give you good insight on when to post the most because there’s so many factors involved such as, what times of pictures you post, when you post them.

Let’s scroll down a bit, and this also gives you engagement outside of Instagram. So now, let’s create extras and followers over time. Let’s look for that post we were talking about before. Okay, ‘Worth it’ is right at the top, here. So it looks like it was posted on the 27th of May, and it has the number of likes here, the number of comments, you know, Twitter, Facebook engagement, and total engagement across all channels.

So the metric that I’m mostly interested in is the Instagram likes and comments. Okay, so a lot of times these would correlate with each other, but sometimes not. For instance, right now this is sorted by Instagram likes. And let’s check out what this is, here. The ‘Worth it.’ Okay, this is pretty cool, a little inspirational saying. And, as most of you know, on Instagram, inspirational memes are becoming very popular, they’re spreading a lot. This is great because it’s watermarked, it’s Tough Mudder, and this might have been liked the most because people agree with this statement and this inspiration.

So if you go back to their Instagram feed just to see how this relates as far as the context of the inspirational message, where is it? It’s right here. It looks like Tough Mudder doesn’t have, it has a few inspirational things, but not quite like what we saw, where most of the photo was the message. So the insight, the take-away for Tough Mudder is if we produce more inspirational messages that take up the majority of the photo like this, can we get more likes and engagement?

Now, going back to Simply Measured, let’s look for the most commented-on. So if we just kind of scroll down on the list, let’s see, this one pops out at me. Almost 600 comments. That’s crazy. But why did this get 600 comments and not as many likes as the one we just saw? Well, I think comments are more engaging than likes, and a lot of times, when people comment on a photo, they don’t like it because the comment button’s the first button they press, and once you do that action, you’re kind of done with the photo. That’s my theory, anyway.

So it looks like this one was the most commented-on, and that’s an actual video, so let’s check this out. It looks cool. Yeah, that looks wicked. So, I mean, it’s…this is something that I might comment on, and, when we look at the comments, here, it looks like people are really getting stoked, getting excited about the obstacle. And a lot of these comments on here are just people mentioning others that are their friends, because they want their friends to know about this photo. So that’s really how people share on Instagram. And this is gold right now, so I’d say this is definitely, going back to review their Instagram. They don’t have a lot of videos, it’s mostly images. Actually, they’ve got some there. So, potentially, more videos could get them more comments and more shares in terms of engagement.

Okay, so let’s go back to the report here and see what else, what other goodies we can find. Okay, so this is really interesting. The most active commenters, this is really your brand advocates, the people that are most interested in following your Instagram account. So these are people, especially this guy here that I might want to utilize and give free tickets to, and just make sure give him what he needs to increase his voice more and be a better brand advocate, because these people are loving your company, loving your business. It’s best to really treat them like customers and your V.I.P.s.

Okay, this is something to see, too. Obviously, you can run your account through this tool, or your competitor’s. You can really use it in so many ways. I’m scrolling down here, you can see that the top day for engagement is Saturday. So, it is likely, I mean, most people have more time on Saturdays and Sundays to use their Instagram on their phone, because they’re not at work. But you do have to take into account that you’re posting regularly throughout the week, so those posts are all measured equally, and you can find the best day that the engagement happens on. Also, it gives you the best time for engagement, too. So it’s like, as soon as people are done with work, maybe, that’s how it got its stats, they jump on their phones.

And one thing that kind of surprised me, that I learned that I didn’t know before was the top photo tags, the top hashtags. And I think this actually differed a bit from the top hashtags that Hashtagify Me gave me. So, it did slightly, and I will investigate this in the future as to how they came up with these hashtags.

But going back to Simply Measured, you can see that Huntergandee is the first one, Cerebralpalsy is the second. So I want to find out more about why these are big. Say I just got onto Tough Mudder’s social media team, I’m new at this, I want to research their Instagram situation. So I did a Google search on Huntergandee. I think it’s this guy here. Let’s see. That’s right. So his name is Hunter Gandee, and I guess he has a brother that has Cerebral Palsy, and he did this event and carried his brother on his back. It’s really nice, really emotional, inspiring, uplifting. This is really… any emotional trait, whether it’s funny, sad, angry, that’s what people share. And because of those shares, those hashtags just increase the reach.

If I was new to the social media team on Tough Mudder, I might reach out to more causes and more potential influencers, like this guy. Not only to help him out and do some good, but also to connect my brand with that cause, and that words of inspiration.

So going into the influencers, what you do is something like Followerwonk, find the influencers, you can export these lists, and you can also use Simply Measured to find the influencers. There are different tools that you can use, but once you do have those influencers, make sure they don’t overlap. Remove the duplicates and add them to a list, a spreadsheet, that you can really keep track of people, keep track of stuff by using multiple methods.

And, say that this was one of the guys, he’s very popular, he’s a very high influencer on Twitter for Tough Mudder, and one thing that we wanted to do to increase his reach for us is offer him free tickets. So let’s say I offered him free tickets. I messaged him on Twitter, and the response is pending. We’re going to keep track of how you utilize your influencers, either by a bus stream or a simple spreadsheet.

Okay, so you can supply, this is pretty simple and it could be built over time. It could also include social metrics if that helps you. And in addition to this, a great thing to use in all Instagram, any content marketing campaign, is the editorial calendar, or content calendar, and this is one that I created with a publish date. You could also include a publish time based on the recommendation that Simply Measured gave you. It’s between, like, say… Always do your post between 5 and 6 if you only have, say one picture a day to post on Instagram.

So when we go back to the list here, you can see that I put down the publish date, and I put down some personas. So say we’re targeting some causes, and doing some just general promotion, but we’re also targeting some people by location. Okay, So you could segment your list of influencers and followers that you get from Twitter, and I’ll show you that again. If you scrape this off Followerwonk, you could actually segment it by location, and then, say we’re promoting Tough Mudder in Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. We would message out all the top influencers that reside in that location.

And just to show you before I skip ahead again, this is the export from Simply Measured. As you can see these tabs on the bottom… Simply Measured gives you a wealth of information. It’s very flexible, it’s very robust, and it’s definitely worth opting for the free trial and purchasing if you have the volume. It gives you tables, it gives you the table calculations, it gives you controls over the tables, the users, filters, the tags. And once you export this, you can filter the spreadsheet to find the user and to do your tasks on this a little easier.

Okay, so we do have this persona type for the segment, and that’s hooked up with the persona. So there’s different causes, cancer is one, maybe there’s another cause that you can connect with. General is just general. And you can connect to different locations. Okay, and because a lot of people that market Instagram try to use desktop programs because it’s a lot easier from a business perspective, especially if you’re in an agency and have multiple accounts to work with, it’s hard to sign out and sign back in using your phone. It sucks, but, I mean, I tried a couple desktop programs and haven’t had good luck with any, so I recommend this strategy. If you do try it, please write back on this post, and we’re on Twitter, and let me know how it goes for you.

So what I recommended is putting your content calendar on a spreadsheet first, really getting it organized, and then transferring all of the information, including the picture, to a webpage on your site that maybe only you can access. And once this webpage is created, you can access this page on your phone, see it on your iPhone or Android. And say this is the post you have to post next, you can simply click on this picture on your phone, press the “Share to Instagram” button, share it to Instagram, then go back to your website page, select this whole thing, copy it, then go back to the Instagram app, paste it, and then apply your filters and publish it, instead of actually writing this all manually on your phone. Like, that would suck and be very time consuming, and you would be very frustrated.

So I recommend that, just like setting up a site. So it would be your site name and then “dot com,” whatever URL you want to give it. Okay, so that’s what I would recommend. You can obviously add the hashtags and the description in the same box, just to make it easier to transfer to your webpage, whatever it may be.

This is almost it. And during my research, I came across this site, Totems Analytics, and I browsed this resource, and briefly, this had really great content, so I recommend checking this out and letting me know how it goes for you. Okay, so it has different chapters, it’s pretty lengthy.

And Instagram for business, it won’t be having as promoted tweets. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, you might be able to manage Instagram ads using the same Facebook dashboard. Not too sure at this point, but they are in the middle of rolling this out. And on Instagram’s site, it does give you some general ideas of how to optimize and use Instagram for business, but it’s not too extensive. I would recommend this resource over anything else right now.

Thanks guys. I hope you enjoyed this video. Please let me know how it goes for you, and if you found this a bit helpful, even if I just gave you one take-away. Please connect with Powered by Search and myself on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks, bye.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Tagged with: insagram for business, instagram marketing, unfair advantage

About Neil Reeve-Newson

Neil is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Powered by Search. When he isn't working, he's probably still working. Connect with him on Twitter and Google+.