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9 Instagram Tools for Generating Small Business Leads

9 Instagram Tools for Generating Small Business Leads

In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched a photo sharing app called Instagram. Within a week, they received 100,000 visitors. Today, over 300 million people use Instagram.

Since Instagram is such a popular social media site, it can be a powerful marketing platform for small businesses. There are a number of great Instagram tools that can help you generate more leads.

Here are the five best Instagram tools for small businesses.

1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite has made managing an Instagram  profile easier than ever. Here are some of its main features:

  • You can monitor your Instagram account from your dashboard, without having to log onto the site.
  • You can generate comprehensive analytics reports.
  • You can share videos with your followers.
  • You can schedule your posts a month or more in advance.

Hootsuite has a free package, which gives you access to most of these features. However, you will need to pay to access real-time analytics, unlimited content suggestions and unlimited RSS integrations.

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2. Buffer

Buffer creates a seamless experience across your social media platforms. There are many reasons small businesses depend on it, including:

  • Scheduling Instagram posts.
  • Automatically resizing images for maximum exposure.
  • Seeing which posts receive the most views and social shares.

Buffer is slightly cheaper than Hootsuite and has many of the same features.

3. IconoSquare

IconoSquare (previously known as Statigr.am) is an Instagram analytics and marketing automation tool. It creates multiple feeds, which makes it easier to monitor your followers’ activity. IconoSquare also makes it easier to share content. If your viewers don’t have an Instagram account, IconoSquare lets them share your content through Facebook.

4. Instafamous

You can have the best Instagram posts in the world. Unfortunately, they won’t do you any good if nobody sees them.

Instafamous is a great tool that helps you generate a strong base of followers. Unlike similar apps, all of the followers are real. You can usually earn a number of new followers within 24 hours. If you don’t receive the followers you ordered, you will receive a money back guarantee.

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5. A Color Story

Sometimes poor lighting or inappropriate colors ruin an otherwise good picture. You don’t want to share these pictures on your Instagram profile.

This is where A Color Story comes in. A Color Story has a number of filters that let you create thousands of unique images from a single picture. You can play around with it until you create a custom image that you want to share on Instagram.

The app itself is free, but you can purchase some amazing in-app features for the price of a cup of coffee.

6. Later

Images receive more visibility during certain days and hours. Later (formerly Latergramme) is one of the best Instagram scheduling tools on the market.

You can use Later to schedule Instagram posts when they are most likely to be seen and shared. The free version of this tool allows you to share up to 30 images a month.

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Try posting images throughout the day. You want to find the “sweet spot” when your images receive the most shares and views. Once you know when your content receives the most traction, you can start scheduling future posts.

7. SnapWidget

SnapWidget lets you embed your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds on your website. There are multiple ways that you can promote your content, including:

  • Slideshows
  • Photomaps
  • Grid layout

It is a great way to promote your social media profiles, which helps strengthen your online presence.

8. Repost for Instagram

Too many small businesses are preoccupied with sharing their own content. If you want to make the most of Instagram, you will need to build strong relationships with other Instagram users. Repost for Instagram will help.

You can use Repost for Instagram to share images from other Instagram users. There are a couple of reasons to use it:

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  • You can share content with your followers, without having to create your own images all the time.
  • You build strong relationships with other Instagram users, which encourages them to share your content.

This app makes sharing photos easier than ever. All you have to do is copy the URL of the photo in Repost for Instagram. The image will automatically be shared to your own followers with attribution to the original user.

You can download Repost for Instagram for free. However, you can upgrade to a premium account for $4.99.

9. Have2Have.It

Many local businesses are selling their products online.  Have2Have is a great tool that can you boost online sales. You can come up with enticing calls-to-action, which will draw Instagram followers to your website.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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