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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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Published on November 12, 2020

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

  • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
  • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
  • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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Final Thoughts

If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

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