This week has been the week of “what took so long”: Instagram is finally taking an action on fake followers and Firefox is finally addressing its speed issues.
In other discussions of note, members provide tips for how webmasters can control for “dodgy” reviews, Google provides a not-so-clear clarification on duplicate content, and more!
The consensus on Webmaster World seems to be, “what took so long?” .
There’s the “follow the money” and there’s the “brand recognition”, and then there’s “pr by spam” … all detrimental to most communities.
Glad it’s happening. Wondering why it took so long. Maybe they needed the Fake Numbers to bolster their sale to FB?
One member also noted that if Facebook was keeping up with Webmaster World User Agent and Bot ID Forum, they may have done its sooner
With the latest update, Firefox promises faster speeds and reduction in memory usage. For those of us wondering, what took so long?
According to the scoop in this article here, it seems that the issue was moving from a single process architecture to a multi-process architecture. Nich Nguyen, Product VP at Firefox, urges former users to give Firefox another chance,
“if you’ve stopped using Firefox, give it a try again.”
In a most recent case of moving to HTTPS, member asks about changing from absolute to relative link references and if this may have a potential impact.
There’s no earthly reason ever to use absolute links for your own site, except in the rare case where some areas are http-only while others are https-only.
That’s assuming when you say “relative links” you mean ones beginning in / or //. If you mean links beginning in ../ then it’s time to have a talk with your host.
Changing references from absolute to relative has been a controversial topic in the past but on this thread, members seem to agree that the relative links are fine, so long as all the steps involved are done correctly.
Cre8asiteforums Member Tam asks about dealing with dodgy reviews on her website, and member earlperl discussing methods used by other providers to control reviews
In a recent tweet, Google’s Gary Illyes, when asked to define a tweet gave an appropriately short and sweet answer,
“Think of it as a piece of content that was slightly changed, or if it was copied 1:1 but the boilerplate is different”.
Unfortunately, this provides very little guidance for webmasters in terms of threshold, especially for enterprise websites where content is mostly dynamically driven.
Members discuss crawl delay and it is still used. Member NoOneSpecial clarifies that robots.txt is obsolete, since systems are sufficiently advanced to not require it. Clarify specifically in terms of Google, NoOneSpecial says that they ignore it.
Instagram recently announced it reached 700 million users!
Of those users, 100 million signed up in the last four months, marking the platform’s fastest-ever growth rate.
If you’re wondering how it stacks up against other major networks, see for yourself:
It’s currently the third most popular social networking site and has a commanding lead over Twitter.
Here’s another visualization of this data:
This, of course, means there’s a serious opportunity to build a following.
And the beautiful thing is Instagram doesn’t discriminate.
If you know what you’re doing, post epic content, and genuinely entertain your audience, your following will grow.
But in order to expedite this growth, I find it helpful to establish a regiment, a routine.
You need to be practical and tactical with your approach.
I’m a huge fan of routines—daily processes you can follow to achieve massive results.
Recently, I developed a focused strategy to help one of my clients—a B2C e-commerce brand—to curate a massive following (25,590 to be exact).
Here’s the sequence of steps to follow daily that will help you build a 25,590-member following.
(For more information on building your Instagram following quickly, be sure to check out another article I wrote on the subject.)
Let’s start from the top.
I’m not trying to bore you with trivialities, but the first two steps are an essential part of the routine.
The first order of business is to spend a few minutes engaging with your followers.
Identify all valuable comments and questions, and respond to them individually.
If you’re just starting out and currently have a minimal following, you can do this in no time.
I like to be on the offense when building a following.
Unless you already have a built-in audience, it’s up to you to make the first move.
Look through the photos of the people you follow, pick three photos, and leave comments.
Stay away from the generic comments like “nice pic!” and say something that stands out and shows you put some thought into it.
This will put you on people’s radars and should eventually lead to return engagement.
One of the great social media debates is how frequently you should post.
This, of course, depends on the specific network in question, but the average Instagram account posts once per day.
However, profiles with larger followings usually post more often than that.
A 2015 study from Quintly found a correlation between a higher frequency of posting and a higher follower count:
Notice that profiles with 10k-100k fans post 41 times per month, or 1.32 times per day.
However, those with over 10 million fans post 95 times per month, or 3.06 times per day.
By examining these findings, you can conclude you should post at least once a day.
But if you can post three times a day, you’ll be in even better shape.
The bottom line is you need a steady flow of content.
Don’t allow yourself to become complacent and have major gaps between posts.
Research proves that brands that post often tend to have bigger followings.
You may even want to batch your posting by auto-scheduling on a platform such as Hootsuite to save time.
You probably already know the timing of your posting is a major factor dictating how much visibility your content receives.
According to an article from Later,
Instagram announced that they would be replacing the chronological feed with an algorithm that gives more priority to posts with higher engagement, which means the more likes and comments your post receives, the more people will see your post!
Here’s a screenshot from Instagram’s blog that confirms this:
What are the implications of this algorithm?
It means if your content gets a lot of engagement shortly after being posted, this tells Instagram you’re posting quality content.
In turn, your content will move toward the top of your followers’ feeds.
This means one thing.
You need to figure out the optimal time to post.
Numerous variables go into determining this factor, including where the majority of your audience is located, when they’re most active on Instagram, etc.
Different studies suggest different optimal posting times.
For instance, one from HubSpot found that the best time to post on Instagram is anytime between Monday and Thursday, except between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
A 2015 study from Mavrck found that “midnight, 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. were the most popular times to post, with Thursday, Friday and Wednesday being the most popular days.”
They also said that “posting between the hours of 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. during off hours when posting is low could work to your advantage, because users are still browsing their feeds.”
The point here is that there are different types of logic you can use when determining when to post.
I recommend doing some of your own experimentation to pinpoint the sweet spot for your brand.
The Later article I mentioned earlier offers some solid advice for doing your own testing.
For instance, you can start by posting at different hours Monday through Friday for week one and measuring engagement.
Record your results in a spreadsheet. Google Sheets works great for this:
Week two, repeat the process, but switch the hours.
Again, record your results:
Keep repeating the process until you know for sure what the optimal posting time is.
Once you’ve figured it out, rinse and repeat.
Your engagement level should continue to increase, which will help your content rise to the top.
This ultimately translates into a bigger following.
Hashtags are a big deal, especially on Instagram.
Countless studies have attempted to figure out the ideal number of hashtags for each social network.
While some people may use only one or two hashtags on average, others may use as many as 30 (the maximum).
Here’s a post with a ton of hashtags:
Although using “X” number of hashtags per post won’t necessarily guarantee you a 25k+ following, it can definitely give you an edge.
To determine the ideal number of hashtags, let’s look at the data.
According to a study from TrackMaven, “interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.”
A separate study from Max Woolf seems to concur.
Here’s what the distribution of likes on 120,346 Instagram photos looks like:
This means the odds of engagement increase when you include 11 or more hashtags on an Instagram post.
So don’t worry about “hashtag fatigue.”
Just be sure your hashtags are relevant to the content and not spammy, and you should be good to go.
My last point demonstrates that hashtags are a good thing on Instagram.
But how do you go about choosing hashtags to populate your posts with?
Should you just pick them at random, or is there more of a science to it?
Well, of course, each individual post will require certain hashtags to properly describe it.
That’s common sense.
But if you’re consistently posting around a central theme, it’s smart to do a little hashtag research to spot winners.
From there, you can make a list for quick reference.
One of the easiest ways to generate quality hashtags is to type a relevant keyword into the Instagram search box and see what pops up.
First, click on the search box:
Then start typing a keyword. I’ll use “content marketing” as an example:
Just like that, you’ve got several ideas for hashtags.
You can also gauge how popular a hashtag is by checking how many posts are using it:
Another approach is to use a tool called Hash At It.
It’s really simple to use.
Type in a keyword in the search box, and click “Search”:
Here’s what pops up:
Scroll down, and you should be able to quickly generate some good ideas for hashtags.
I suggest making this part of your daily Instagram routine.
This way you’ll always have a rock solid list of hashtags ready to go every time you post.
For more tools to help you research hashtags, check out this post from Kickstagram.
The way I look at it, captions can turn a great Instagram photo into an epic one.
Some people just have a knack for writing awesome captions that hit all the right notes.
Take this one from Doug the Pug for example:
It’s super funny!
I suggest spending some time looking through lists of captions and recording some you could use in the future.
Here are a few resources worth checking out:
Of course, originality is important, so try to tweak them whenever possible to fit your brand.
Finally, be sure you’re continually following new brand-related accounts.
I recommend seeking out at least three or more each day and following them.
Ideally, they’ll be major influencers because any engagement from them can quickly boost your following.
This will ensure you stay on the radars of others, which should bring additional exposure to your account.
As long as your content is high-quality and relevant, a sizable percentage of people should return the favor and follow you back.
Let me summarize everything I just discussed in a step-by-step sequence for your daily Instagram routine:
A steady routine like this should help even the most obscure account build a 25,590-member following fairly quickly.
If you follow this routine daily, you’ll gain followers steadily and consistently.
Having more Instagram followers provides a ton of benefits, including increased brand exposure, continual lead generation, networking opportunities, and ultimately increased sales.
How big of a role does Instagram play in your brand’s overall marketing strategy?
Instagram is taking over the world! Seriously, according to a study by Hootsuite, in 2015 the average number of photo shares per day on the platform was 70 million. And this year there are even more users, so the number is climbing every day.
Obviously it is a network with increasing influence. So you should be taking advantage of it, and the only way to do that properly is by posting incredible, eye catching content that gets plenty of attention.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to do it. You just need a few tricks up your sleeve.
Instagram works only through a mobile app. But did you know it can be customized using supporting apps? Or that you can create photos on other apps, and then post the results on Instagram?
Considering IG isn’t exactly the feature-heavy powerhouse we all might like it to be, this is a must for anyone serious about the platform.
These are the ones I can personally recommend.
Create beautiful images and graphics on either an iPhone or iPad, save to your gallery, and upload to IG.
It is easy to use and customize, comes with its own overlays and filters, has a large library of typography, and is perfect for even those who have never tried an imaging program before.
InstaPad is a gorgeous way to use and look at Instagram using your iPad.
It will seriously change the way you look at the platform, and the layout is so much better.
This is hands down one of the best photo editing apps I have seen. It is intuitive and simple to use right on your phone, with advanced features that will make gorgeous images.
What I love about it is that it takes you beyond the IG filters that make everyone’s photos look the same. Your content will stand out, which is crucial.
Tiny Planet is so much fun! It works by taking your photos and folding them into a circled panorama that look like a little planet.
It is certainly attention grabbing, and looks really cool. Not a lot of people are making them on IG, so you can get away with posting a handful and getting some likes and comments.
Take multiple photos, fit them into the framing requirements of IG, and present them as a collage. A lot of apps do the same thing, but this is the best one I have found.
It gives you plenty of options, and is just simpler to use than most, less clunky. Anyone who has used some of the other apps will know what I mean.
Who doesn’t love charts? IG is seeing a lot more chart and infographics making their way on, and this is a pretty easy way to make some.
Since most people reading this aren’t graphic designers, it is a good alternative to hiring people to make one for you.
I will admit that in the beginning I didn’t get the visual quotes phenomenon, and I avoided making my own for a long time. Now they are some of my most shared content on every platform, not just Instagram.
Easy to make, effective and attractive, you should add them to your content regularly. You can make your own on any image editor, but I like to simplify things by using Recite. It is a super quick generator with plenty of background images to choose from.
A great tip someone gave me a few years ago about photography was not to waste my time on images no one cared about seeing. That really hit me, because I definitely took a lot of pictures just to take them, and they never came out well (much less got any praise).
One of the best things you can do for your Instagram gallery is only fill it with worthwhile shots that meant something to you at the time you took them. For example, say you are sitting in a park and you seem a woman sitting on a bench, reading a book. Is it worthy of capturing? Does something about her stand out? Can something be enhanced, like the yellow of her coat?
Don’t waste your time on shots that mean nothing just because you have space on your phone. If you question each shot while framing it, you will take better photos naturally.
Instagram photos are a dime a dozen, and so many of them look the same. Seriously, these so-called “models” on the platform are all either pouting, over-painted women in hipster dresses, or muscle bound men in denim and shirtless doing some kind of sensitive post.
Do we really need more of that? Or can we start to push Instagram into a place more like Flickr used to be, where genuinely unique photography could be found?
Don’t be like everyone else, be different.
Have any tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!
The post How To Create Awesome, Eye Catching Instagram Content appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.