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5 Instagram Hacks To Get The Most Out Of Your Marketing

5 Instagram Hacks To Get The Most Out Of Your Marketing

With more than 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is bigger than Twitter today. It is not surprising then that a growing number of businesses are flocking to this social network platform. But being completely image-based and targeted at a younger demographic, Instagram may be a little more challenging than marketing on Facebook or Twitter. In this article, we have listed out five Instagram hacks that marketers can take advantage of in order to get the most out of their campaigns.

1. Like-Comment-Follow

As an image-based social network, the engagement rate on Instagram can be quite high. But you may not be able to make the most out of it unless you already enjoy a large list of followers. One of the most effective ways to reach a larger following is by using these steps below:

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Step 1 : Follow your direct competitors’ accounts
Step 2 : Use Instagram recommendations to follow other top accounts in your niche
Step 3 : Visit each of these accounts, build a list of their followers
Step 4 : Like, comment and follow each of these followers
Step 5 : Repeat Step 4 for as long as you can

As long as you have quality posts on your own account, the five steps above should yield you pretty high follow-back rates. One study puts the follow-back rate for the above strategy at 34%.

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2. Hashtags In Comments

Hashtags are a great way to ride the wave of trending topics and get seen by people who may not be following you currently. One mistake that many marketers do is to clutter their image description with dozens of trending hashtags. They do this in the hope of getting maximum views for their images. While your photos do get discovered well this way, you also run the risk of annoying your legitimate followers. Avoid this by adding hashtags in the image comments section instead. This way, you do not clutter your image description while attracting new visitors at the same time.

3. Organic Vs. Inorganic Shoutouts

Social media marketing, including marketing on Instagram, requires a lot of perseverance. You begin by engaging with influencers, commenting on their photos and over time build a rapport that is good enough for them to start engaging with your photos. This strategy is organic and is the most sustainable way to build a social media following. However, this may not be the quickest. For businesses with a marketing budget, a viable alternative is to find influencers in your niche and pay them for a shoutout. It should typically cost you between $100-$150 to receive a shoutout from an influencer with 500K followers.

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4. Marketing Campaigns For Contests

Photo contests are a great way to build engagement and followers on Instagram. But offering a freebie or reward alone is not sufficient to execute a successful campaign. Your photo contests must have their own independent marketing campaign. This includes paying influencers to promote your contests on their Instagram page, requiring contestants to use a unique hashtag to participate as well as using other social media platforms to advertise the Instagram contest. You may also make use of the Instagram API to instantly interact with participants, use the posted photos as part of your contest campaign or create custom collages. In short, your photo contests need to be properly planned and executed for maximum ROI. Simply announcing a prize may not cut it.

5. Go Beyond Linked Accounts

Instagram lets you link your other social media profiles on services like Facebook and Twitter so that what you publish here gets automatically posted elsewhere too. While this is good for engagement, you may also want to re-use the photos published on Instagram for other social media platforms or your own blog. An easy way to do this is to use a tool like Instaport – this tool lets you download all your Instagram photos to a local desktop folder. You can set this desktop folder to your Dropbox folder and make use of the API to automatically publish photos from here to your other social networks on a pre-set schedule.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Anand Srinivasan

Marketing Consultant

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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