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5 Rules to Follow When Reposting on Instagram

Instagram is a great network for connecting with your audience, and if your business is just getting started, it can be a bit overwhelming to learn the ropes. Sometimes, it can be difficult to have your own original content when you’re a brand new account, so that’s why it’s a good idea to learn the etiquette associated with regramming.

One of the most common reasons to regram a photo on Instagram is because an influencer or customer has created and shared content about your brand.

Whether it’s because of a collaboration you started, a sponsored post you paid for, or an organic mention, there aren’t too many issues with using someone else’s image, as long as you remember to follow these rules, and consider that you don’t own the content – even in cases when you brand is mentioned or featured.

1. Always Give Credit

There’s a fine line between sharing someone else’s content and stealing it. Instagram doesn’t have a native sharing feature like you see on Facebook and Twitter. It’s not because they don’t want you to do it – but it’s because they want everything to be shared in “this instant” and re-sharing others content takes away from that.

That said, there are a few different ways you can do it, but you should always give credit back to the original poster, because it is their content – not yours.

You can do this by tagging the original account in the caption of your regram. It can be as simple as “Credit: @username” or, you can work into a sentence like, “We love this photo by @username.”

2. Ask for Permission

While most people won’t mind that you regrammed their content with credit back to them, it’s still a good idea to ask them for permission. This way, you’re completely covered legally.

When you come across a photo you want to regram on your own account, comment and simply ask. All you have to say is, “We love this photo! Can we repost it?” or, “Thanks for sharing our brand/product/service. Can we regram your photo?” Ask however you want, as long as you remain kind.

Wait for the account to respond with yes before you add the photo to your queue for regramming. If the person says no, respect that and move on.

3. Make it Clear It’s a Regram

Attribution should be enough to let your audience know your photo is a regram of someone else’s, but it’s always best to make sure your followers know this content did not originate with you. Use hashtags like #regram and #repost, too.

That way it is very clear you are not stealing other people’s work. When they see that you’re crediting another person with their work, they will be more apt to submit user-generated content for you to share.

You can even use it as a chance to invite people to submit content to you for that purpose. You can say something like, “Want your photo featured on our Instagram? Tag it with #brandhashtag for a chance to be included.” Then, monitor the hashtag for photos, and reach out to ask permission for the ones you want to use. You could make it a weekly feature if you get enough interest.

4. Don’t Edit from the Original

If possible, avoid making any edits to the original, because it’s not your work and you don’t want to change it in anyway. You can make minor edits like cropping the photo slightly, but too much and it becomes a different work – one that you’re stealing, since it’s not really something you can give credit back to the original poster for because it’s so different from the original.

If you feel the need to edit something before you regram it, then you probably should just skip regramming it in the first place.

5. Don’t Only Regram Other People’s Content

While it’s okay to regram other people’s content from time to time, it’s not acceptable to create your entire Instagram feed with curated content from other people. In fact, the time it takes you to ask and get permission from other people could mean that you’re left with nothing to post anyway, so you may as well spend time creating original content to share on your own.

You never know when someone might find something you share worth regramming. It’s always a good way to get exposure to other audiences’ and increase your overall following.

How to Save an Instagram Photo to Regram

Because there’s no built-in sharing option, you’ll have to go through some extra steps to get photos ready to regram to your account. You’ll need to save the photo to your phone and add it from your camera roll, or use a third-party Instagram tool like Repost for Instagram or Iconosquare. These will make it easy for you to give credit to the original poster, too.

Regramming quality photos that are related to your company or brand, or feature your company or brand, is a great way to engage your audience without having to constantly come up with your own unique and original content. But if you rely on it too much, or don’t take the right steps to get permission, you could land your brand in a lot of trouble.

8 Tips for Writing Better Instagram Captions

Instagram is a social media platform that’s driven by images. You know how important it is to craft professional and interesting photos. What some online marketers neglect to give as much attention to is their words. What you say matters just as much as the visuals you produce.

The captions that go along with your images matter a great deal. They tell who you are and convey your brand’s voice. Getting into a groove of crafting captions that resonate with your followers can be a bit of a process. It will likely take some trial and error, but these eight tips for writing better Instagram captions should get you started on the right foot.

1. Use Your Brand’s Voice

First and foremost, be sure to write your captions in the tone you wish your brand to convey. You want everything you say to reflect who you are, so think about your tone when writing each and every caption. Use wording that sets a mood and shows the personality you want to be known for.

2. Put the Important Information First

Depending on the device being used, captions usually are cut off after only a few lines. Users can view more, they just have to click through.

That’s why you should add the most important stuff first to be sure your message is seen. Writing longer captions is fine and is often necessary. Just keep in mind that the point of your post should be clear at the beginning.

3. Cross Promote

Cross promotion is when you share your social media profiles across platforms. It’s okay to mention your Twitter or Facebook accounts on Instagram.

You can invite users to follow you in those places, as well. This is an easy and efficient way to increase your social media engagement across your various social media properties.

4. Add Some Hashtags

Strategic hashtag use is important to driving audience engagement, so be sure you’re adding them to your captions. Incorporating hashtags that are relevant and specific to your brand and your post helps people with interest in your niche find you. You can do some easy hashtag research simply by looking for your subject matter in the search box or by checking out what your competition is using.

Try to seek out hashtags that specifically hone in on your niche, rather than more broad topical ones. This will allow users with interests that align with yours to find you. When you go too general, you’re more likely to get lost in an overcrowded sea of hashtags. You can even come up with your own branded hashtags. People can use them as a way to get your attention, participate in a contest or share your products with others.

5. Mix Up the Length

Sometimes people use captions as an afterthought, which is a mistake. This small area is a marketing goldmine. It allows you to impart the information you think is most relevant in a way that will resonate with your target demographic.

People may also underestimate the power of captions. You can truly tell a story that resonates with people within the caption. This is a very effective strategy when you have a post that lends itself well to emotion or when your goal is to truly show who you are. Longer story captions should be used sparingly, though. Mix it up with shorter captions that are to the point, as well. Sometimes a longer explanation isn’t necessary, and your photos can stand alone.

6. Give a Shout Out

Your Instagram captions are the perfect place to add tags. Tagging other users is a great way to engage followers or those you would like to follow you. You can give a shout out to anyone you’d like to recognize or show your appreciation for. You can even ask users to tag a friend on occasion. These types of posts are fun, and they introduce new people to your brand.

Don’t go overboard, though, as this could be seen as a blatant way to gain attention. Be genuine and sincere in your shout outs. Only tag users whose content you truly love or whose content is relevant to yours.

7. Be Strategic

You should always plan your caption. A hastily written caption typed out at the last minute wastes valuable social media real estate. Remember, your caption is an extension of your marketing goals.

Take time to write them with strategy in mind. If you want to increase engagement, ask users to tag a friend or give a shout out, as was mentioned above. When you want to drive sales conversions, focus on the benefits of your products. Emphasizing your specific knowledge is a way to portray you as a knowledge influencer. Be sure your messaging matches your intent.

8. Give a Call to Action

Finally, don’t forget to tell your followers what you’d like from them. When done in a non-pushy way, this approach can be quite effective. A quick call to action is a great way to accomplish your marketing objectives.

A simple one sentence CTA is all you need. You can ask people to follow you, sign up for your newsletter, enter your contest or visit your latest sale. Just be intentional and not too salesy, and you may be surprised just how effective this tactic can be.

Writing Instagram captions doesn’t have to be tricky or intimidating. Use these tips to create a strategy that works for your brand, and you’ll soon see increased engagement and more followers come your way.

11 Steps to Monetize Your Instagram Following

Instagram started out as an image-sharing app. Over the years, it has evolved into something much more valuable to marketers.

After Facebook acquired it, it grew to become number 3 on the list of the 15 most popular social networking sites with more than 1 billion monthly users. It falls behind Facebook and YouTube.

Step One: Define Your Audience

If you’re starting from the ground up, it is crucial to define the audience you want to attract. Unless you know exactly who your target audience is you could be wasting time and effort and end up attracting the wrong type of people. If the audience you cultivate isn’t in line with what you want to sell, you will have a hard time monetizing your Instagram following.

Think about what it is you want to market and sell through Instagram whether it is through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or your own products. Take some time to develop customer avatars for the various personas in your target market. The more well-defined these are, the better off you will be when trying to build your target following.

Step Two: Start Building Your Following

Whether you build your following before or after your marketing efforts doesn’t really matter. Before you can monetize your Instagram following, you have to have one. The more you have, the more you are seen and the greater your chance of turning leads to sales.

There are many ways you can grow your Instagram following. These include liking photos in your Niche, simply asking people to follow you, running contests, and running Instagram ads. it’s also important to research hashtags that are relevant to your niche and use them in your photos to extend your reach.

Step Three: Always Include a Link and Call to Action

Though you can only include a single live link on Instagram in your bio, It’s always important to include product links and links to your blog if you want to make money on Instagram through sales.

All your posts, whether they are images, videos, or stories should include calls to action with information about where your followers can go to purchase the item. Make sure to use product tags linked to your Facebook catalog to allow users to make purchases directly from Instagram.

Step Four: Create a High-Quality Feed Aesthetic

No matter how many new features Instagram adds, it is and always will be about sharing beautiful images. Nothing will encourage your prospects or monetize your account more than high-quality images.

Focus on sharing images and videos that show your followers what your brand is about and appeal to the visual senses. Tell them your brand story, and show off your products.

But beyond the individual images, think about how each piece plays into your overall feed aesthetic. Pay close attention to the colors you use as research indicates color influences buying decisions by around 85% and color increases brand recognition by 80%.

Spend some time planning your feed so you can see which posts look best to each other and which post do not. Though it may seem like a waste of time to plan, planning your Instagram feed could save you time and enhance your overall aesthetic.

There are free tools like Planoly available that allow you to drag and drop without actually posting anything until you’re ready. Once you find out where you want everything to go, you can use scheduling tools to save even more time.

Step Five: Make Use of the Right Hashtags

Hashtags help categorize and improve the discoverability of your content. Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags but it seems using 10 to 15 helps you get the maximum effect.

 While it may be tempting to use random hashtags, you’re better off conducting a bit of research beforehand to use the ones that are relevant to your post and will help you reach bigger audiences.

Remember, some hashtags even those that are seemingly innocent such as #dogsofinstagram are banned because of high spam activity. Check your hashtag list to make sure you’re not inadvertently using any that has been banned.

If you want to ensure the hashtags don’t ruin the aesthetic of your captions, you can place a few line breaks between the end of your caption and the list of hashtags. You can also include them in a comment on the post.

If you choose to do this however, it’s worth noting that images are shown based on the time they are posted rather than when the hashtags were added. This means that you will want to immediately add the hashtags in a comment as soon as the image or video is published to your feed.

Step Six: Build Relationships With Other Content Creators

As someone who is just getting started with monetizing Instagram, quality content and compelling captions are only going to get you so far. An important part of growing your influence and reach is building relationships with other content creators inside your niche.

You could always get in touch with them and ask for a shoutout on one of their posts or you could actively engage with them and their followers on their posts. Better yet you can work together with them to create content together that you can both use.

Step Seven: Choose Your Monetization Methods

 There are numerous ways to monetize your Instagram following in the ways that work best for you depends highly on your Niche and your overall go. If you are a brand that has products and services to sell, it makes sense to use your Instagram following to drive traffic to your website and promote sales there.

If on the other hand, you are an influencer, it may make more sense to focus on sponsored posts and affiliate marketing.

Instead of randomly trying monetization methods with your audience, focus on what you think your audience will respond best to the next steps, we will focus on various ways to monetize your Instagram audience.

Step Eight: Offer Sponsored Posts

Once you have cultivated a large enough following to reach influencer status whether it is a micro-influencer or a macro influencer, you can leverage that influence to promote Brands. After you have established thought leadership within your Niche, you can start monetizing your Instagram audience with sponsored posts.

 Brands often partner with influencers for sponsored posts that help them spread the word about what they’re offering. Typically these posts revolve around the product itself with a small review from you.

Though it may be tempting to take every sponsored post you can get your hands on for the sake of money, it’s important to remember that doing so will cause your audience to alienate you. And without an audience, you are no longer an influencer.

 As such, you should practice moderation with your sponsored posts and carefully consider whether or not it’s a good fit for you and your audience. Your sponsored posts need to blend in with your content so there is not seen as overly promotional.

Step Nine: Use Affiliate Marketing

One of the easiest ways to monetize your Instagram following is to become an affiliate marketer. Essentially, you are a brand ambassador for the products and services you use and believe in.

Your audience may find it helpful if you share a discount code or link within for the products you’re promoting on your page. Whenever someone makes a purchase through your link, you get a percentage of the revenue.

Affiliate marketing is a good starting point because there were any real barriers to entry. Most products have a self-enrollment program so all you need to do is sign up and they will provide you with the link to share on Instagram and other social platforms.

 The key is to use compelling copy and attractive photos that give users a reason to consider the product you’re marketing.

Step 10: Sell Your Own Products

If you have a strong personal brand and would rather not promote other companies on your page, you could always use it to market your own products.

As long as you have a strong following, you can design and sell your own products such as books, merchandise, cosmetics, and clothing. As long as the items relate to your niche and speak to your audience, you can use Instagram as a platform to sell them.

Step 11: Keep it Real

Above all, regardless of which monetization methods you choose, the key to maintaining a highly engaged audience is to keep it real.

Authenticity and transparency are important to Millennials and Gen Zers, so if you come off as nothing but a constant sales pitch, you will turn off your audience and likely decrease the chances of making any kind of money with the Instagram platform.

10 Ways to Build a Massive Instagram Following

If you run any kind of business, you know social media is a necessary part of modern marketing. In order to be seen and make sales, you need to have a presence where your audience is. Chances are, your target demographic is on Instagram. After all, it’s the second most popular social media site, right behind Facebook.

Having a profile on the site won’t do you any good if you don’t have an audience. Let’s take a look at some of the fastest ways to build an Instagram following. These ten ideas should give you a good start.

1. Post at the best times.

Remember, a post is no good if no one sees it. That’s why it’s crucial that you post at times when your audience and potential followers are online most. This is a process that will take some trial and error.

You’ll need to try posting at various times and then analyze which seem to get the most engagement. If you have a business account, you can use Instagram Insights to discover such important metrics as reach, impressions and interactions.

Adjust future posting according to the patterns you see and then continue to monitor your progress.

2. Use relevant hashtags.

If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out. These short phrases help people to find the topics they’re interested in and care about most. Hashtags are key to growing your audience.

However, you won’t be likely to attract the followers that fit your target demographic unless you’re using hashtags in a strategic way. You can find tags relevant to your industry by doing a search on Instagram for keywords people might use to find you. That’s a good start.

Another way to discover popular hashtags within your niche is to check out accounts similar to yours to see what they’re using and what seems to be getting engagement.

Try to use a variety of hashtags in order to increase your chances of reaching your intended audience. Broad tags will get you more eyes, but using ones that are more specific will attract those who are most interested in what you have to offer.

3. Use consistent filters.

Cohesiveness matters in the look of your Instagram feed. You want people to be able to recognize your brand as you begin to grow your followers. The filters and colors you use in your images can help tie things together and provide brand recognition.

You can try different filters as you’re starting out and use Insights to see if one outperforms the others. However, you’ll want to find a filter and color scheme and stick with it consistently in order to create the aesthetic that fits your brand and is recognizable by your audience.

4. Work with influencers.

When you need to grow your following, Instagram influencers can help. These are users who have grown large and engaged followings within their particular niche.

Take a look at some of your current followers or profiles you find through search of your keyword. See who has decent sized followings and which seem to get a lot of likes and comments.

You can then approach them through direct message or email, if they have one listed, to discuss the possibility of collaboration. You’ll want to ask their rate per post. This type of marketing isn’t free, but it can provide a strong ROI, as you can get exposure to their followers and may gain some new ones of your own.

5. Engage with your competitors’ followers.

A strategic way to find followers who are interested in your product or service is to research the competition. Take a look at the feeds of your closest competitors.

See who is engaging with their posts, and then take time to reach out to those people. You can do this very simply by following them. Folks will often reciprocate and follow you back.

Liking or commenting on their photos is also a good way to get relevant followers to notice you. In addition, by engaging with these users, you’re working to create a relationship. This is crucial to both social media and business success.

6. Add Instagram Highlights.

Instagram Stories are a fun way to feature multiple posts, but they only last for 24 hours. You can extend the life of your Stories by adding them to your profile as Instagram Highlights.

These are tabs featured at the top of your page that allow potential followers a deeper look into what you’re all about. You can organize your Highlights by theme or use them to showcase some of your featured products.

Clicking on your Highlights gives users an idea of your style and content so they know what to expect should they decide to follow you. If they’re like what they see, they’ll be more likely to give you a follow.

7. Use geotags so locals can find you.

If you want people in your area to find you, geotags are the way to go. A geotag is simply a hashtag that includes a location. This can be as broad as a city or it can be very specific, such as a venue or building. You can use these tags in your posts and in your Stories. Geotags are searchable.

When a user searches for a particular location, your post or Story will show up in the results. It’s a great way to be found. You can also search by location as a way of interacting with users who are in the area.

8. Follow the trends.

Following relevant things such as holidays, current events or other trending topics can help you to engage in a timely manner with new followers. Fun hashtag holidays like #CheeseLoversDay, #WorldEmojiDay or #TalkLikeaPirateDay are also a great way to get creative and generate interest among new potential followers.

You’ll expand your reach to people who may not otherwise have come across your profile, and there’s a good chance they’ll become your follower if they like what they see. Stick with trends that are relevant to your niche.

Otherwise, your current audience may be turned off or annoyed. You can research different holidays and events ahead of time. Then add them to your posting calendar so that you’ll always be prepared with fresh, timely content.

9. Ask for followers.

It may sound counterintuitive, but simply asking people to follow you on occasion is an efficient way to gain more followers. You can find creative ways to work the ask into photos or add it to a caption as a call to action.

Sometimes this simple reminder will spur users into action and get you the follow you seek. If someone likes what they see, they’ll likely take you up on your suggestion.

10. Run a giveaway.

One strategic way of gaining followers is to have users tag a friend in the comments of your post. This increases your reach, allowing you to potentially gain new followers. It also gains you engagement on your posts, which is favorable when it comes to Instagram’s algorithm.

More people will see your posts when you have higher engagement. Contests or giveaways are  useful when it comes to encouraging people to tag their friends. Just make this a requirement for entry, and you’ll see your follower numbers rise.

These are just ten of the best ways you can build a massive Instagram following for your business. Give them a try and see which are most successful for you.