Beginners & Basics: Instagram 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Instagram 101.

What is it?

Over the past decade, Instagram has grown into one of the most prominent social media platforms. The photo and video-sharing social media network heavily focuses on photos, videos, and visual communications, and boasts its own brand of “influencers.”

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a place to check out what brands are doing next. Much like other social media channels, users create accounts with profiles and newsfeeds. The newsfeed, which allows people to interact with other users by liking (double tapping) photos, is super user-friendly.

Extra credit: Instagram is owned by Facebook!

Instagram Features:

  • Instagram Stories: temporary posts (photos or videos) that live on a user’s account for 24 hours and is accessed by clicking their profile photo
  • Instagram Highlights: categorized collections of stories on a user’s profile
  • Instagram Live: videos streamed in real time that disappear after they are ended
  • Instagram TV (IGTV): a special section of IG that allowing for hour-long video posts
  • Filters: allow for editing photos in the app
  • Location tagging on posts & stories: the ability to tag restaurants, shops, cities, or other locations in newsfeed posts or stories
  • Direct messaging: also known as “DMs,” allow you to chat via Instagram through the arrow in the top righthand section of your profile

Who uses it?

A lot of people! Of Instagram’s 1 billion users, 11% of users are located in the US. Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia are among the top countries of Instagram users.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram typically appeals to younger generations — almost 70% of users are 18-29 years old. Among U.S. teens, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks. 

How can it help businesses?

Instagram is one of the best platforms for marketing because it’s easy (and entertaining) for users to follow favorite brands and discover new ones. When users have a business profile, Instagram also lets you use features like the “shop” feature, which tags products and transfers users to different sites.

Analytics (on Instagram Business accounts) allow you to analyze post performance to see what works best. If you want to use Instagram effectively, strong images are the key. To best connect with your audience, avoid using stock photos whenever possible and use high quality images.

You may be a business that doesn’t often have compelling images, and that’s okay! It just means that Instagram may not be the best social media platform for you. Check out our Beginners & Basics articles about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see what would be the best fit for you.

Brands that are killing the Insta game:

Why Hire a Communications Consultant Amid COVID-19?

The coronavirus outbreak has changed so many aspects of daily life — many people are working from home or taking online classes for the first time. It seems our lives have been put on pause, but there are still some things you can take control of amid COVID-19, like hiring a communications consultant to help out.

Our friend and PR expert Tiffany Napper shared how to work on the “backbone” of your business during this time when business may be slower. Another way to make the most of the world’s weird situation is to hire a communications and social media consultant to handle digital marketing for your business. 

We offer services including social media management, content creation, and public relations, so that you don’t have to worry about managing those projects.

During this pandemic, we’re all uneasy about spending money. But here are six reasons why hiring a communications consultant amid COVID-19 is a worthy investment!

1. People have more time for social media.

We’re willing to bet that you’ve spent more time scrolling on your phone over the past few weeks than you’d like to admit. Us, too! Many people have more time on their hands — which means more time for social media.

Hiring a social media consultant to elevate your brand and your online presence can make you stand out to potential customers. As experts, we know how to utilize social media to help you reach more people online.

2. People want to support small businesses. 

People are looking to support small businesses now more than ever, so it’s a great idea to have an active social media account. Let them know you’re there and open for business (or that you will be once the pandemic slows)!

A communications manager can get people excited about supporting your business. Letting your community know that you are still up and running during this health crisis is key. 

3. It’s affordable. (Yes, really.) 

Hiring a consultant is much cheaper than hiring a full time staffer. (The average cost of a communications manager with seven years of experience is $65K per year.) We offer a variety of services, including social media management, content creation, digital marketing, PR, and media pitching — for a cost that won’t break the bank.

A consultant can help manage your external communications needs without bringing on a full time hire. That saves you money and the cost of benefits.

4. Take stress off of your employees.

You may already have an employee managing your social media, but that isn’t their speciality. By hiring a communications consultant amid COVID-19, you can remove extra stress off from employees that may be especially taxing during the pandemic. It also frees up their time to do what you hired them for, rather than creating social media posts or press pitches.  

5. Be strategic during this unprecedented time. 

You may not know what to do with your social media now during this health crisis. Do you talk about coronavirus? Or do you not? Do you stop posting if your business is closed? It’s time for you to stop worrying about that and let someone else strategize. That’s our job! A social media manager can help you stay active on social media in a relatable and appropriate way.

6. You can support freelancers and small business owners (like us)!

Because so many consultants and freelancers don’t have a set income, we’re worried about our next paychecks, too. If you have the ability to hire am independent contractor or communications consultant amid COVID-19, rather than a big PR agency, you should!

Smaller businesses like ours often have more time to spend on clients and are able to offer more personalization — while building a real relationship and collaborating with you! Supporting talented freelancers is always a good idea.  

Contact us if you’re interested in working together and building your social media presence! We have special discounted rates over the next 3 months to help make sure that our services are available to everyone during the pandemic. 

Beginners & Basics: Facebook 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Facebook 101.

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms worldwide. The platform has revolutionized how we network, connect, and interact online. This Facebook 101 will teach you everything you need to know about the world’s most popular social media platform.

What is Facebook?

It’s hard to remember a time before Facebook. While it began as a college-based network in 2004, the company has now grown to dominate social networking.

The platform allows users to post comments, share photos and videos, share links to news or other content, and chat live. Facebook is able to appeal to both individuals and businesses, which is the reason for its rapid success and growth. It is user-friendly, appealing to any and every type of person or business around the world. 

Who uses it?

So why do you need this Facebook 101? Facebook takes the lead as a social media platform reaching over 60% of internet users.

In 2019, Facebook had almost 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.6 billion users daily. With billions of users monthly and daily, its users consist of a wide variety. Young adults continue to incorporate social media into their everyday routines, with Facebook being a continuous, dominant platform within the demographic.

Why is it helpful for businesses?

With its user-friendly features and prominence in our culture, Facebook is going to share your target audience. Whether your audience is younger or older, male or female, from a different part of the world, Facebook has something for you.

As a business, a Facebook page can be a great place to engage with your customers, share your messages, and build your brand. A business Facebook page is more similar to a website than to a person Facebook account, and will serve as a resource for people who want to learn more about what you do.

A Facebook page will not only increase your business’ online presence, it will also be key to reaching your target audience and connecting them to your purpose. 

Brands that are killing the Facebook game:

  • Samsung: 159M followers
  • Coca-Cola: 106M followers
  • Youtube: 90M followers
  • McDonald’s: 79M followers
  • Netflix: 64M followers

We hope that this Facebook 101 was quick and easy so that you can get the hang of how social media can help your business. If you’re still not sure, or if you feel overwhelmed on where to start, get in touch! That’s what we’re here for.