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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 November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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