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Tips to Obtain Your First 1,000 Instagram Followers

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By Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

 

Starting out in social media for any business seems difficult but it really doesn’t have to be so intimidating. Building a large following takes time and effort but it should be fun. There are a few things that you can do to help increase your followers and below are some tips to obtain first 1,000 followers a bit more quickly.

 

  • Hashtags

Using popular hashtags is a great way to gain followers but the catch is the hashtag must be relevant to your business. Additionally, be sure to mix a variety of popular hashtags with some less popular hashtags so that you don’t simply get lost if there is a high level of competition for the tags.

 

  • Eye Candy

If your content is not interesting or visually appealing, people are not going to follow you. Invest some time and effort into the content that you post.  Take time and spend the money to have a professional photo shoot to build a library of high-quality photos to promote yourself on social media. Spur-of-the-moment smartphone photos are great occasionally but followers will be more willing to stay engaged if your content provides high-quality eye candy.

 

  • Engagement

Set aside a small amount of time everyday to engage with your followers such as liking their content, responding to comments, mentions, and private messages. This is also a good time to search for other accounts that you would like to follow. Simply liking a post is not going to cut it. Your like will get lost in the hundreds of other likes and will go unnoticed. Comments force interaction and tend to stay more visible.

 

  • Giveaways!

To build your following, consider a giveaway promotion. Many giveaways have multiple rules that help boost your account, reach, and engagement. Ask your followers to “Follow our account and tag two friends in the comments below.” By having people tag two friends, you will gain more attention and, hopefully, a lot of new followers.  Don’t add too many rules, make your rules clear, make sure to add an end date to the giveaway and keep on top of the promotion to engage those playing.

 

  • Account Setup

If are using a personal account for your business brand, we highly recommend changing it over to a business account. The business account provides you access to analytics and other benefits that are not available with personal accounts. If you are using a personal account and do not want to switch to a business account, make sure your personal account is set to public. This may sound obvious to some but you really need to make sure that your account is not private. Business accounts are automatically made public.

 

  • Instagram Insights

If you have a business account, you have access to Instagram Insights for your account. Instagram Insights doesn’t necessarily provide super in depth analytics, but it does give you basic information that can assist you in understanding your followers, their behaviors, and the best times to post for engagement.

 

In summary, gaining 1,000 followers will take time.  Remember to be patient, post consistently, post quality, and engage your audience!  Remember to leverage relevant hashtags, tag other brands and individuals, and consider hosting a giveaway. Taking these steps will help your account grow and boost your business.

How to Utilize Social Media for Your Business

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By Debbie Gregory.

In addition to your website, a robust social media presence has become a necessity for most businesses. The more active or engaged your business is on social media (posting, sharing, etc.), the better your results will be.

Social media sites are some of the best places for you to communicate with your target audience or customer base, and vice-versa. Develop your reputation as a responsive, caring brand by offering support through social channels.

Social media boosts your visibility among potential customers, letting you reach a wide audience by using a small amount of time and effort. And it’s free to create a business profile on all the major social networks, so you have nothing to lose.

It’s important to remember that your social media pages are a reflection of your business, so make sure you let your brand’s personality shine through in everything you share on social media. What does your brand voice sound like? How does it represent who you are? Play with new ways to connect with your audience.

Make sure you have a system in place for tracking customer comments, questions, and complaints on social media. You also want to make sure that you respond as quickly as possible to any questions or concerns.

Provide the most excellent customer service you can, and go out of your way to be positive and helpful.

Psychology 101, listen to criticism and ensure that your customers feel heard. And last, but not least, know when to move the conversation off the public forum and resolve any issue via private message, email, or by phone.

By having robust social media, you are making sure that you’re not missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity, as social media sites make it easy to spread the word about your product and mission.

 

Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners

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By Debbie Gregory.

An effective marketing strategy is the most important tool in a small business owner’s toolbox. A marketing strategy looks at all of the areas of your business activities and helps each one support the next. Understanding how to create an integrated marketing strategy will help you make better individual decisions regarding specific marketing tactics.

To start, understand that it’s crucial to have a company name, logo, colors, imagery and other graphic elements that help communicate your strategic positioning to your customers.

Those marketing aspects can be displayed on your excellent website. Keep in mind that your website is the business card of today. And the first thing any potential customer will do is Google you and look for your site. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it count. Make sure your company website is attractive and easy to use. Keep movement, sounds and flashing graphics to a minimum.

Start thinking about content as the voice of strategy, so all the content that you produce, your web pages, social media articles, blog posts, newsletters and press releases, this is all content. You want to think about the intention that you have for every piece of content, because content today is used to create awareness.

Social media can be a good source of traffic and exposure for your business, but don’t just keep it limited to your company’s; also take advantage of your own personal social media.  Even if you only have 50 or 100 friends on a social media platform, each of them will know hundreds or even thousands of people.

Remember that there is a real world out there, separate from the cyberworld. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with real people offline. Join business groups that help promote each other, including county chamber groups, breakfast business groups, etc.

And last, but not least, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask for reviews, feedback, comments, likes, reposts, etc.

Gregory Media CEO Debbie Gregory is proud to announce that MilitaryConnection.com and its sister organization VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, achieved new records on social media, surpassing 1.2 million combined fans and followers.

This growth in social media is also having a positive impact and generating increased traffic on the websites.

MilitaryConnection.com, known as “the Go to Site” is one of the most comprehensive online directories of resources and information, with something for everyone. This site connects its audience with excellent jobs and employment resources, military/veteran friendly colleges, universities and vocational schools, benefits, news, resources and much more. There is also a comprehensive directory for each military service branch. MilitaryConnection.com is an outstanding online advertising venue to reach military, veterans and their loved ones.

The web site also works with a multitude of non-profits within the military and veteran communities, using it significant reach to help them “get out the word” on their causes and events, and facilitates win/win partnerships with organizations and clients.

“We are excited to see the continued growth of our social media reach, as well as website traffic,” said Gregory. “We know that we are delivering quality resources to our audience, including the daily articles on our Blog and our Newsletter.”

VAMBOA, a 501 (c) 6 non-profit trade association, has over 7,000 members nationwide. VAMBOA focuses on connecting members with corporations seeking a diverse network of suppliers. The association is supported through corporate sponsorships, and does not charge members any membership fees.

“Supporting the businesses of our military members and veterans and contributing to their successes provides us with the opportunity to express our pride and appreciation to and for the many who have served and sacrificed to make our country free,” said Gregory. “ It also enables corporations to work with companies run by America’s heroes.

Are you utilizing social media to help your business succeed? If you’re not, it’s a good bet that your competition is. Social media is one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. Social Media Marketing Made Simple is the second installment in the SBA’s webinar series for small businesses. The webinar, on June 24, 2014 at 2:00 EDT, will provide you with proven success tips that are easy, and that you can use right away. The SBA wants to help you build your own social marketing plan and get answers to your questions. At the conclusion of this one hour webinar, you will know:

  • How Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ -can help your business
  • How to win new customers and drive them to your business
  • Simple ideas to help you communicate with your potential, new and established customers

To register, please click here. There is no charge for the webinar.

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