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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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Ryan Kh

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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