How many Instagram hashtags should you use?

When it comes to social media best practices, every “expert” has their own opinion. The problem with that is that it can get really confusing for brands who want simple answers to their burning social media questions, such as: How many Instagram hashtags to use? 

How many Instagram hashtags should I be using? 

Instagram limits the number of hashtags per post to 30. But should you be using all of them? Some experts say you’re best using 3-5 hashtags and making them super relevant. 

That puts a lot of weight on every single hashtag you use. 

In our professional opinions, using so few hashtags is a great strategy when you’ve got a big following that grows easily. But for smaller brands, you’re going to want to cast a wider net to increase your chances for growth via hashtag discovery. 

That’s part of the reason we find it more effective to use 15+ hashtags. When we do that, our clients see more social media growth and more engagement. But it’s not just about how many hashtags you put on a post; it’s also about the quality of the tags. 

How do I make sure my hashtags are helping my social media presence? 

One: Don’t be spammy 

You don’t want to just use any old tags to get to 15+. Make sure you’re using hashtags that fit with the post. Also mix up your tags from time to time. This will let you engage with different audiences and will make sure it doesn’t feel like your spamming with the same set of tags on everything you do. 

Two: Research the best tags for your industry 

Before making posts, you wanna know the hashtags that are most useful to engage with your target audience. Check which hashtags are big in your field and with your target audience. Remember to make sure that the tags you use have the right level of engagement to ensure you get eyes on your post without getting lost in a sea of content. 

Three: Track what’s working – and what isn’t 

Once you’re starting to post, it’s important to track the responses you’re getting. Don’t have the engagement you want? It’s time to rethink your content and/or hashtags. Getting good responses on certain posts? Great! Now you know what works for your audience and can lean into that. Over time, you should be honing in on what your social media voice is – and how to make sure your target market is hearing that voice. 

Four: Bring in the experts

If you’re still struggling or just not getting the engagement you’re looking for, it may be time to get some help. There’s a reason social media marketing firms like Legendary exist. We know our stuff and we’re experts in getting your business the best social media presence possible. So if you’re struggling, let us handle your social media… and then you can get back to running your business and doing what you love! 

 

How to find the best hashtags for Instagram posts

We’ve talked a lot lately about how the ‘gram is changing. As it does, best practices for the platform are changing too. So if you want to be rocking the social media game, you’ve gotta get with the times when it comes to hashtags. 

Six tips for killing it with your social media hashtags 

One: Group your hashtags 

You want to have a variety of types of hashtags on Instagram. So think about four categories: 

  • Brand – the tag you want used in relation to your product name 
  • Industry – hashtags related to what you do so people interested in, say, #sweettreats can find your bakery 
  • Audience – tags that might describe your target audience and what they like 
  • Location – where you are so people in your area find you 

You want to have a few of each type of hashtag in your posts. This way, all your social media bases are covered. 

Two: Clean up 

Don’t make a mess with your hashtags! You don’t want a post that’s hard to read. but that’s what happens when you put your hashtags right at the end of a line. Instead, keep a separator between your post caption and your hashtags. That could be just a few blank lines, or a set of dots, or some dashes. The style is up to you. 

Three: Don’t get banned 

Before putting your hashtags out there, make sure that the ones you’re using aren’t banned. How does that even happen? Well, when someone reports inappropriate material in a hashtag, every post with that tag can be hidden until the issue is sorted out by Instagram. You don’t want that to happen to you, so that’s why you want to make sure you’re not using any of the hashtags that are out of commission for the time being. Research the hashtags before you use them to see what kind of content is associated with that hashtag, and make an informed decision if it’s the right fit for your post, and for your brand.

Four: Keep things focused 

You don’t want a bunch of hashtags that don’t matter to your business, content, or audience. Then people will just get annoyed because it’ll feel like your tagging randomly or trying to get attention for content that shouldn’t be in those tags. Instead, choose relevant tags. Some people say that, if you do this, you only need 3-5 hashtags, but we disagree. Our clients get the best engagement when we use 15+ hashtags on their social media posts. 

Five: Go for the perfect volume 

Not all hashtags are made equal. When there aren’t enough people posting with a hashtag, you’re probably not going to get anyone looking at it. Too many posts on a tag means your content is going to be buried in seconds. So go for the middle. The ideal range is generally 10,000 to 200,000 posts on each tag you use. 

Six: Tell some stories 

Instagram isn’t just about posts. There are also Stories. But are you using hashtags on your Stories? If not, you should be! That’ll help make sure that people are actually seeing the Stories you’re telling, which is the whole point. 

 

Social Media Client Feature: Trasolini Pools

We’ve loved working with Trasolini Pools since April 2017. Now, we want to intro them and the work we do with them. 

Our social media client, Trasolini Pools 

After starting out in 1983, Trasolini has spent over 30 years creating high-end pools, hot tubs, and water features. The company remains based in Vancouver to this day. Trasolini specializes in creating custom designed Gunite pools. These pools are the perfect blend of quality and luxury. That is why Trasolini is the pool builder of choice for celebrities and high-end developments on the West Coast, including the ARC Vancouver building and Trump Tower. The quality of their work is unparalleled.

Our social media work with Trasolini Pools

When Trasolini Pools came to Legendary, they’d been working with a marketing agency that just wasn’t delivering the content they promised.and was overcharging for essential services like phone calls. So Trasolini decided to move on – and we were delighted to have them join our social media client ranks! 

Since then we’ve built a great relationship with the Trasolini team. Over the past 3 years, we’ve helped the company with the following:  

One: Instagram

We handle Trasolini Pools’ Instagram account. Their pools, hot tubs, and water features are works of art. Because of that, we try to use as many of Trasolini’s own project photos as we can. To go along with the images, we craft sophisticated but fun captions that capture the company’s vibe. 

Two: SEO Blogging

Captions aren’t the only pieces we write for Trasolini. We take care of their Facebook posts and blogs for their website too. All the blogs we create are search engine optimized to make sure potential clients find Trasolini when searching for pool companies in Vancouver. 

Three: Website 

Trasolini Pools’ website design wasn’t able to be transferred away from their previous provider, so we created a carbon copy of it for the company to own without worry. 

 

Thank you to the Trasolini Pools team, especially Lori and Ed, for entrusting us with your social media for the past 3 years. We look forward to many more productive years to come! 

 

Is Instagram limiting your social media growth?

I called June 2019 the Twilight Zone of Instagram growth. And I’m not sure that things have really changed since then, or our pivoting to keep our clients’ accounts growing just paid off.

It’s no secret that Instagram limits your ability to follow others en masse. The rule is: 

You can follow and/or unfollow up to 200 accounts per day.

But in June 2019, we heard that Instagram had tightened its limits even further. Or maybe it was a bug. There’s still no confirmed report of what happened, but accounts all over the world were affected by slow growth and reduced engagement.

Here’s what we do know.

 

Social media truth or fiction: was Instagram limiting your growth?

Prior to June, Instagram wasn’t limiting engagement overall – just following/unfollowing. You just had to know how to make the algorithm work for you. How did you do that? You needed to… 

  1. Get likes and comments

It sucks to constantly be hearing Instagramers ask their followers for likes and comments, but there was a good reason why they do that… The more likes and comments a post got, the more Instagram promoted it. So everyone was focused on racking up those engagements. 

  1. Post consistently 

Instagram used to reward regular users. If you were always sharing things, especially on a regular schedule, you’d see your stuff getting shown to more of your followers. That was great because you could just schedule your content, having it come out at appropriate intervals. 

  1. Engage with followers 

Before, engagement was read as closeness. So if you chatted via comments a lot with a follower, Instagram decided you were probably friends or family and showed lots of your content to them.  

  1. Use Instagram a lot 

Users used to get their content bumped if they were on the app frequently. So if you were part of the community, Instagram had your back and made sure you were promoted harder. 

 

But all this is from before June… What’s been happening since? 

Is Instagram changing its social media algorithm? 

Since June, our team over here at Legendary has seen a huge change in Instagram engagement on the accounts we manage and those we follow. All of a sudden, follower growth and engagement has slowed down. We’ve heard that that’s because Instagram has been placing limits in these two areas, but there’s no official confirmation of that from Instagram or other experts in the industry. 

We have our own theory, though. We suspect that Instagram is moving closer to the pay-to-play model that Facebook has. (Remember: Facebook owns Instagram.) Basically, this model forces you “boost” your content with $ to get a lot of people to see it. 

Where does that leave your business? Well, there are still some things you can do to help… 

  • Plan to take more time to build your following. Just be realistic about the situation and keep at it. 
  • Work with influencers with established followings. Then you broaden your exposure. 
  • Get creative with your content to make it really standout when people do see it. You want it to be memorable. Not sure how to do this? This is where a social media company like Legendary can be really helpful!
  • Use every aspect of the platform. Make sure you are not just creating posts, but also stories. 

 

Keep an eye on our page for continued blogs about how this situation unfolds.

 

Use these 3 awesome Instagram contest ideas

Sometimes social media in Vancouver can feel like being screamed at by a million different voices, all trying to get your attention.

Wanna have some fun, and stand out from other brands? Run an Instagram contest.

But how? Here are three of our fave ideas.

3 perfect Instagram contest ideas to take your Vancouver social media to the next level

1. Most comments wins

This one is common with large brands.

To start, you pick a topic – let’s say, “unicorn hair”! Then you announce the competition to your followers, telling them to take their best unicorn hair picture and send it to you.

Don’t forget to set a deadline for the photos!

As soon as the deadline passes, go through the pictures, picking your top five. Repost those five on your Instagram feed – and let the photographers know that whoever gets the most comments on their picture wins a prize!

You’ll get two major benefits here:

  1. Your Instagram engagement will improve, since the finalists will ask all their friends to comment on their picture, in hopes of winning. More comments on your account = you look better in Instagram’s robo-eyes = your posts show up more in people’s feeds.
  2. This builds bigtime cred with your community. People love having their pictures reposted by others! It’s a great way to show some love back to your followers (in addition to giving out a prize).

2. Hashtag party

Hashtags are the lifeblood of social media in Vancouver… making this competition the perfect way to get some Insta engagement!

All you have to do is announce the contest – and the hashtag you’re using for it. You tell your followers to take a picture, using your contest hashtag when they post it. Then, after the contest deadline, you look through the hashtag, seeing all the entries and picking the winner. Simple and awesome, right?

Pro tip: Make sure the contest hashtag isn’t a common hashtag! You want something unique so that it’s easy to identify which photos are part of your contest.

3. Follow to win

This is the younger, hipper cousin of #FollowFriday!

Instead of just telling people who to follow, you create a fun contest – with a killer prize. So how do you make this competition happen?

First, you team up with another brand or an influencer (micro-influencers work well too). Together, you decide on a great prize that both your sets of followers will be into. When you’re ready, you announce the contest with a photo you both share. Anyone who wants to enter has to follow you both, then comment on the contest photo.

Once they do that, they’re entered to win the prize!  

Our #1 Instagram contest tip

This may seem obvious; but, a lot of people overlook it when running contests on their social media in Vancouver… You have to pick an awesome prize! If people don’t care about the prize, they’re not going to jump on the competition. Pick the right prize though, and – bingo! – everyone will be rushing to enter!

 

Looking for other ways to raise the profile of your social media in Vancouver? Drop us a line. We’re know just how to build your following – and get you the engagement you’re looking for!  

 

6 ways your small business can use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories to the rescue!

Have you noticed that your business’ Instagram isn’t getting the same response it used to?

Or that photos from days earlier are first on your feed?

If you’re at a loss for what to do with your next upload, don’t panic. Just scroll up to the top of your feed.

Your new weapon of choice is staring right back at you with a pink halo. Instagram Stories are a tool that can save your brand by allowing you to interact with your followers in new and exciting ways!

Skyrocket your Vancouver social media’s success with these 10 ways to dominate Instagram Stories

1. Expand your reach

Quality over quantity isn’t always the case in the wild west of stories. It seems that the more you post, the more often your Story appears first for your followers. So where do you begin? To prevent disappearing from your followers’ feeds (thanks to the new algorithm) upload Stories to remind them you’re there!

Use stickers and text to shake things up aesthetically and don’t forget that #hashtags count on Stories, too. By using hashtags and geotagging your location, your content can more easily gain traction from those who don’t follow you…yet! Using these features can give your content hundreds of extra views.

2. Post with purpose

Uploading often on Instagram Stories can boost you up in the ranks, but make sure there’s a purpose each time you publish!

New shipment of plaid shirts in your boutique?

Different hours for your tasting room tomorrow night?

Holding a theme night at your bar?  

Often, showing people a behind the scenes look at your business is a great purpose for your Stories. Let your followers get to know you personally, so show your face! Take a fun selfie and share it as a Story.

*Tip: Does your business already have over 10k followers? You can insert a link that they can swipe up to access right from your Story! Not only is this a great way to share extra content, but it also saves your followers time.*

3. Show your personality

It’s hard to avoid colour-coordinated themes scheduled to perfection on Instagram feeds these days. But all of this focus on perfection can sometimes lead to people forgetting about the beings behind the brand.

Use your Instagram Stories to show the human side of your business!

One perk to uploading to Instagram Stories is that it takes no time at all. It’s a medium that inspires in-the-moment creativity. For example, introducing your staff’s personality with a Boomerang video can gain you more than views.

Turn another faceless follow into a regular local customer who already has formed a deeper connection with your business.

4. Instagram Story Highlights are key

Instagram Story Highlights can help take your Instagram to the next level! This new feature can really elevate your company’s social media success… but it does require some strategy.

You may notice when you click on someone’s profile that they have pinned Stories. A regular Instagram Story will expire after 24 hours but highlights live directly on your profile for as long as you choose. You can use them to feature recipes, an event you hosted, menu items, sale updates or even as a way to expand your bio and introduce your business. How you use Highlights to work around your specific brand is up to you.

5. Build relationships with a tag or repost

Right now, we can’t repost Instagram Stories from our followers like we can regular photos (though rumour has it that this feature is on its way). For now, you can screenshot someone else’s Instagram Story or photo they tagged you in and manually tag them when uploading to your Story. While this is a little extra work, it really does go a long way!

Let’s say you’re a yoga studio and a new member just joined. They uploaded an awesome Story saying they loved your candlelight freedom flow. You then re-share their experience to show your followers an authentic interaction with your brand.

The more you engage with, recognize and appreciate your customers, the more they will do the same to your business.

Plus the more engagement your prospective customers see, the more likely they will want to engage with your business, too.

6. Instagram Story ads

This feature is a baby – born in January of 2017, businesses could place an ad within Instagram Stories! One of the biggest perks of Instagram Stories ads is that they blend in with other users’ Stories. These ads are great for generating brand awareness and attracting website sales. However, there are few things to consider first when constructing an Instagram Stories ad:

  • Make your ad in a vertical format.
  • You can either choose to post a 15-second video, or a photo.
  • If you go with a single photo, bold images with simple text may perform best!
  • If a video is more in your company’s taste, ensure it is quick to the punch and self-explanatory for best results.
  • Ensure that your ad stands out and informs the user about your business efficiently.

To create an Instagram Stories ad, simply connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Page (you do not need to convert to an Instagram Business account in order to do this) and use the ad creation tools on Facebook to put your ad together.

The more most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to using Instagram Stories for your small business it to have fun!

It’s Instagram’s world, we’re all just living in it. Social media in Vancouver is always evolving, so how will your business keep up? Try out Instagram Stories – and watch your engagement and reach flourish.

Need direction in your social media strategy? Contact the social media wizards at Legendary Social Media Vancouver. We’d love to help your business in the ever-changing landscape of social media.

How to: Small business Twitter lead generation

Ah, Twitter. The noisy social media platform where Trump makes vague threats and brands shout their 140 character messages to a sea of followers who aren’t listening. But hey, despite a lot of recent changes to the platform and increasingly lower engagement rates, Twitter still has an important place in your social media toolkit. Especially for generating leads for your small business.

Let’s look at some ideas and tips to help you make the most of Twitter to find and generate leads without getting into the advertising game. We’ll save the topic of advertising for another post and get right into some free (‘cause who doesn’t like FREE?) tools and techniques to help you start your Twitter lead generation campaign.

Start at the top – your Twitter header

You can make the most of your Twitter header by using a call to action in your image. Make sure you clearly communicate what your business is and give people an easy way to contact you. For example, let’s say you are a plumbing company in Vancouver – your Twitter header can feature your logo and phone number in the image along with text to support it like, “Let us know you found us on Twitter for 10% off!” Simple and effective.

Pin a tweet

Build your perfect tweet – something that offers your services, perhaps an important image or link to your website and pin this tweet to the top of your profile. You can pin any tweet – so select one that can help you sell. It’s the first message that followers will see on your profile, so make it count!

Search hashtags

Depending on what kinds of leads you’re looking for, start searching on industry terms or topics that are being used by the people you are looking to find. If you’re a Vancouver clothing retailer, search topics like #Vancouver #Fashion. Perhaps you’re a Thai restaurant in downtown Vancouver, searching for #Vancouver #foodie will help you find people who might be interested in you. You’ll need to try a few different hashtags and terms to zero in on the market you are looking for.

Build Twitter lists

When you find people in your market, follow them, of course, and add them to a Twitter list. These can be public or private. Adding users to a public list can get their attention, like a soft tap on the shoulder. Beyond the relationship building, lists can help you keep track of important users out there… as you’ll see in our next tip.

Build a relationship with the people on your lists by retweeting and liking their tweets. Your actions in becoming a fan of their will go along way in gaining their interest in you. Make sure you are following and sharing content from as many different users as you can. Spend some time on them!

Use free Twitter lead generation tools

Using a publishing platform like Hootsuite can make your life easier for a few different reasons when looking to help generate leads from Twitter. How?

Save your searches into visual streams

This allows you to scan each stream at a glance without having to return to the search results every time you execute a search. Being able to organize your Twitter data like this allows you to quickly interact with and act on lead generating content that is applicable to your business.

Schedule your tweets

Batch your work to save time, and pre-plan your tweets. Doing this helps create a more consistent marketing message for your brand, plus saves you hours of searching for stuff to tweet about (especially when the Trump BS that dominates Twitter isn’t going to help you get leads).

Now, not only do you have the convenience of being able to schedule tweets and other social content, but you can review a much larger and relevant picture of what your Twitter audience is up to at any given moment.

Set up automated Twitter lead generation platforms

Twitter has recently updated its policies to block third-party platforms from sending automated direct messages, welcome tweets and other automated content.

The use of automated DMs was always controversial (can you say “SPAM”?). However, automated DMs were a handy way to send out offers and links.

All of that doesn’t really matter now – so if you were thinking of using automated tools or had set these up in the past, they certainly won’t be working any longer.

Play the long game

Once you’ve begun to build up your community, you can then start inviting them directly to your business. You’ve earned the right to approach them on occasion, but keep in mind – no one, not even you yourself – likes the hard sell. Ask them directly, send them links… but then go right back to supporting and reinforcing your audience.

There are really two ways to look at Twitter to generate leads:

  1. you’re either going to spend money (on ads)
  2. or you’re going to spend time to generate leads

No shortcuts, my friends. If you opt for time, we know these tips will help get you out of the gate faster, help you to be more efficient and at the same time, build a solid community around your brand.

Have questions or need help with your Twitter marketing or using Twitter to generate leads for your business? We do that! Get in touch with us awesome people at Legendary Social Media Vancouver to start your Twitter lead generation campaign.

Why is your Instagram shadowbanned? Tips and a rant from Legendary Social Media Vancouver

Got no likes on your latest Instagram selfie? Did your last #foodporn pic of your ramen dinner not get the #feedme comments you’ve grown used to?

People of Instagram, we are under attack by the platform itself. Instagram is shadowbanning accounts at an increasing rate.

Our Vancouver social media agency manages a slew of Instagram accounts for our clients. We looked into why this is happening, and laid it all out for you here.

What is the Instagram shadowban?

In short, getting shadowbanned means Instagram no longer shows your posts in people’s newsfeed. So when other Instagrammers scroll, your most recent picture of your puppy rolling in a mountain of garbage doesn’t get seen.

Shadowbanning also renders your hashtags pretty much useless. So although you added #pupstagram, #puppiesofig and #iguessitsbathtime to your caption, your award-winning photo doesn’t appear in the recent posts feed for those hashtags.

 

Why accounts get shadowbanned

Most often, Instagram accounts get shadowbanned when they do “bad stuff” that Instagram doesn’t like.

This includes:

Using a bot

Bots or apps that automate likes, follows and comments for you to increase engagement and followers is against Instagram’s policy. Doing so could get you on the naughty list.

Using a banned hashtaginstagram shadowban - legendary social media vancouver

Incredibly, #dogsofinstagram was banned because people misused it and ruined things for everyone (thanks a lot…). #asia is currently banned. Go figure…

Using the same hashtags over and over

This is a new one. But if you just copy and paste your hashtag cloud onto everything you post to Instagram, that can get you shadowbanned.

Getting reported

Those risque bathroom selfies or outright sexual/gross/spammy pictures you see in your feed can cause real-world problems. Not just the obvious problems, but if your photo or account gets reported for inappropriate content, that’s grounds for shadowbanning. So cut it out.

How to get un-shadowbanned

It’s usually pretty easy to un-shadowban your account. Here are a few things to try:

  • Stop all activity on your Instagram for 48 hours. You’ll likely be un-shadowbanned after that.
  • Stop using bots. They’re not “social” anyway, friends!
  • Click on each of the hashtags you use. If you see a message that pops up saying that hashtag has been disabled, stop using it, as it might be the culprit. Check this list of banned hashtags on Instagram.
  • Mix up your hashtags. No more copy and pasting. Get some variety in there.
  • Make an appeal to Instagram. Do it here.

 

And now a little rant from Legendary Social Media Vancouver

First, let me say that I LOVE Instagram. Like, too much. I love mindlessly looking at pictures and videos posted by people I’ll never meet, and food porn pictures from my friends.

But I’ve got to say that while Instagram has good intentions behind its shadowbanning spree, it’s causing legit accounts a lot of headache for no good reason. How would normal people know not to use #asia? Why punish regular people for doing what Instagram was all about, all along?

And overusing hashtags? Instagram wants us to change all the hashtags, every time we post. That can be a LOT of work.

I guess that’s why Vancouver social media management agencies like ours are in higher demand than ever: Instagram is (like Facebook) becoming more of a “job” than a fun social media platform for people to connect on.

 

Have you been shadowbanned? Need help upping your Instagram game? Drop us a line!

 

What is influencer marketing (and how does it work?)

People (especially Millennials and Gen Z) are becoming immune to traditional advertising.

Still advertising on TV? No one’s watching.

Still buying ads in magazines? No one’s reading them.

Still creating banner ads and pop-ups online? No one’s clicking on them (or even seeing them thanks to ad blockers).

So how can your business talk to customers? How can you tell people the benefits of what you’ve created when they’re working so hard to, essentially, ignore you?

The solution lies in using social media, and specifically “influencer marketing”, which is a social media marketing technique. The goal of influencer marketing is to get your product or brand in front of people who want to buy from you. If you want to reach those under the age of 35, aka the most valuable demographic, then you’ll need to play by their rules.

Here’s how it’s done.

Who are influencers?

Influencers have been around for decades. Traditionally actors, athletes, models, and musicians have been featured in ads in order to equate their image with that of the brand they were promoting.

Think David Beckham and Armani. Britney Spears and Pepsi.

While most traditional celebrities are certainly still considered influencers, social media has created new channels for people seeking fame. Nowadays everyone has a chance at creating followings of thousands of people online.

Once a person has amassed a dedicated group of followers that regularly interact with them online, they can be considered an influencer.

How does influencer marketing work?

Influencer marketing really grew out of online reviews. If someone online says that a product is good or terrible, that will certainly influence the people that read that review.

On social media, if someone’s trusted and followed by thousands of people, they can hold a lot of influence. If that influencer then says that your product is fantastic, that can result in higher brand awareness and sales.

By aligning your brand with an influencer whose personal brand aligns with yours, it brings a more personal element to your advertising efforts. Instead of shoving an ad in someone’s face, you are simply showing that your product is part of a certain lifestyle.

How to find the right influencer

When searching for an influencer to work with, you can either choose to seek one out on your own or there are many companies, such as Legendary Social Media Vancouver, that will do the matchmaking for you.

To find the right influencer for your brand, keep these things in mind:

  • Ensure that the influencer 100% aligns with your brand’s core values.
  • Do their followers fall in your brand’s target market?
  • You’ll want to find someone with 1,000+ followers that regularly like and comment on their posts. There’s no point in working with someone who gets low engagement, no matter how many followers they have.
  • Find an influencer that matches your brand’s aesthetic. Both YouTube and Instagram are such visual platforms, and if your products don’t fit in seamlessly with the influencers’ look, the end result will come across as disjointed, sloppy, and forced.
  • Do they post on a regular basis?
  • Watch out for Instagram pods. This is a false type of engagement, used by instagrammers to grow and nurture their account, but the people commenting aren’t buyers – they’re virtual friends of the influencer. This practice can be tricky to spot, but if you notice that the same people are always the ONLY ones commenting on an instagrammers post, then they may be using a pod. Look for a wide variety of commenters on each post.

To actually search for influencers, start by looking through your brand’s existing social media followers. It’ll always be easier to come to an arrangement with someone who already likes what your brand has to offer. Beyond that, you can use google to find local bloggers that fall within your target market or search Instagram hashtags that are relevant to your brand.

When you find an influencer that you want to work with, you’ll want to offer something in the way of compensation, be it free products, promo codes, or a flat fee per post. Keep in mind, that the bigger the influencer’s audience is, the more they’ll likely charge.

What are the rules for using influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing has been a hot topic this year. From the disaster of Fyre Festival to the report that was released stating that 93% of sponsored posts on Instagram did not clearly disclose that they were, in fact, advertisements. To keep your brand out of hot water, it’s good to note some of the rules and changing attitudes associated with this practice.

In order to properly disclose that a post is, in fact, being sponsored by your brand, ensure that the hashtag #ad is part of the caption and that it’s easy to spot. Simply tagging your brand in the post is not enough.

Back in June Instagram released a blog post about the coming changes to how influencer marketing will soon work on the platform, which includes adding a clear “paid partnership” tag at the top of posts and enhanced analytics for influencers and brands that use this tag.

As things change we’ll keep this blog up-to-date, but keep in mind that these rules apply more for the Kylie Jenner set than for local brands and micro-influencers (those with a following of around one to five thousand people).

Looking for an influencer in Vancouver?

Remember that no matter how big your business is, influencer marketing can help drive brand awareness and sales when done properly and strategically. If you’re looking to connect with a social media influencer, contact Legendary Social Media Vancouver, we’ll help you find the perfect match for your brand.

Hashtags on Facebook: Yay or nay?

I don’t blog often, but when I do, it’s because a certain topic keeps coming up again and again. This past week, it’s:

hashtags on Facebook.

A few clients and acquaintances have asked recently about whether hashtags on Facebook are useful, tacky, good practice or a negative thing for your company’s social presence.

First, let’s take a look back at how hashtags on Facebook every became ‘a thing’.

Back in 2013…hashtags on facebook - legendary social media vancouver

Facebook announced that hashtags were clickable and would help people find certain types of content. The idea was just the same as on Twitter and Instagram: you’d click a hashtag to find out what other people were posting with that hashtag.

Anyway, after a short time, Facebook’s searching algorithm got dysfunctional, which you can read about from Social Media Examiner, and hashtags on Facebook became unimportant.

And fast forward to today.

It looks terrible

One of the things I love about Facebook is its use of NO HASHTAGS. I don’t know about you, but I find hashtags cumbersome, difficult to read, annoying to research and too often misused.

They look really bad on Facebook.

But apparently I’m not the only one who felt/feels that way. In fact, a Buffer blogger compared whether posts on Facebook did better with or without hashtags.

Yay or nay?

The answer, my friends, is nay.

The Buffer research showed that Facebook posts with hashtags got less engagement than posts without hashtags.

Why? The exact reason isn’t clear, but the Social Media Examiner article does make mention that the hashtags made posts harder to read. I agree.

Facebook is more visual than Twitter, and looks very different from Instagram. Using the same mentality across all platforms, and cross-posting with tools like Buffer and Hootsuite without tailoring each post to its platform, is one of the biggest mistakes I see companies and marketers making when it comes to their social media management.

Why do I care?

I like seeing companies make awesome connections with their customers via social media. I like seeing your sales increase because of it. I like seeing more traffic through your door because you’re actually offering customer service where your customers want it: online.

I like doing it right when it comes to social media management. Don’t put hashtags on Facebook. You’ll see better engagement from your audience if you don’t!