Wham bam Instagram!

After a week off enjoying the April sun it's straight back in the deep end for me with presentations to give, travelling to do and new services to launch. Working in digital means that I'm seldom away from my screen during the day and social media is something I do for income rather than fun. I vowed to have no screen time at all during my break which was particularly welcome. However, there was one platform I couldn't be without (even in my spare time) and that's Instagram.

I have previously mentioned that this is my most used app on my phone but as I have just setup an account for Kier I thought I'd take some time to write about why I like it so much and how it can be properly utilised for businesses.

Firstly, I find that I use my phone for taking photos more than anything and with three young children there's also plenty of high-jinx to photograph! By locking down my account to a select few followers I can then share the fun with family and friends and geotag it whilst saving the future embarrassment of my children and not recording their every move on a public Facebook account. The main reason I do this is for my parents who can chart where we are and never tire of photos of their grandchildren.

I have also found that the two Instagram sister apps (Hyperlapse and Layout) are great for adding variety to the account and being able to make a nice collage from your phone makes a nice change.

Our Instagram wall using DEKA
wire courtesy of Ikea!
The really fun part though is getting prints of the photos and then displaying them around the house. This is something we do on a yearly basis and have a nice display over our stairs of our adventures from the previous year. I use Polargram for this who offer an excellent service (and free sweets!)

One of the popular misconceptions abut Instagram is that its results for campaigns cannot be measured and because there is no built-in insights tool this has to be done manually. However some analytics platforms do exist.:

1. Iconosquare -This is the unrivaled leader among all free apps for Instagram which delivers extensive reports and various stats on your account.

With Iconosquare you can:
  • Discover the best time to post
  • Compare the tags you use with the most popular one
  • Get filter usage stats
  • Get an overview of your Instagram activity, plus the information for any activity within the last week
  • View monthly analysis on photos & view how popular your content is 
  • Check growth history, most liked and commented pics, most engaged follower
One more fantastic option offered by Iconosquare is the Promote section which gives you the following possibilities:
  • Get Public URL and link it to your Facebook page (people who do not have an Instagram account can now view your Instagram photos and comment on them using their Facebook account)
  • Create a Tab for your fans to discover your Instagram feed (and at the same time tightening the bonds with both of your networks) 
  • Integrate the Gallery Widget and the Follow Buttons to your blog or website

2. Union Metrics for Instagram - If you're ready to step up a gear then this is a promising tool that offers a set of useful features:

  • Discover your most popular pics and hashtags
  • Benchmark competitors by analysing their accounts
  • Analyse likes and comments
  • Monitor hashtag reach & discover the best time to post
  • Identify your brand’s biggest fans and advocates

  • It's clear that Instagram is a great place to promote your business if done correctly. We're hoping that with the right tools for Instagram analytics we can lead our Instagram strategy in a smarter way with better engagement to our content and more enjoyment for our followers. We're just starting out though so we still have lots of content to generate!
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