Tips to Improving Your Instagram

At this point, most people are familiar with Instagram, the highly successful social media network that shares photos and videos with followers. When it was first developed, Instagram was used as an outlet to share photos with friends and family, but it has since grown in unbelievable ways. Today, there are over 800 million current users on Instagram- ranging everywhere from teens, to companies, universities, and even pets! While many businesses already use Instagram as a way to grow their brand awareness, there are a number of tips and tricks that you can use to boost your business’s Instagram game!

Shoppable posts

Have you noticed Instagram’s new feature: shoppable posts? Shoppable posts make it easier for businesses to produce advertisements by simply just posting a picture where the product is included! This feature allows businesses to tag and identify the products shown in their photographs. When you click on the tag, it shows the product, description, and price.  The tag also gives you a “shop now” option, which takes you directly to the business’s website. Talk about easy! Using shoppable posts, businesses are able to generate sales by doing what they were already doing: posting pictures. Doubtful about the effectiveness of this feature? 72% of users report purchasing products via Instagram shoppable posts.


Instagram stories

Instagram stories are an incredibly underrated feature of Instagram. If you don’t know what Instagram stories are, they are photos or videos that followers can view for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the posts are either archived, or you can add them to your profile as a highlight for as long as you want. Instagram stories are great because they are an easy way to get information out to your customers without cluttering your feed. Having a flash sale? Post it on your Instagram story to remind customers! Instagram stories also have features where you can post polls, quizzes, or even ask questions. This is a quick and informal way to get information and feedback from your customers. Stories can also be a great location to repost photographs from satisfied customers. Overall, stories can help you increase your accessibility to customers. It’s so easy to view businesses as a face-less corporations; Instagram stories can help you to better personalize your brand!

Hashtags

Many people forget about hashtags when posting on Instagram. While they can seem like a nuisance, hashtags can be so effective in increasing brand reachability. For example, is your business a hair salon? Including  “#hairsalon” at the end of your caption can help connect people to your profile. Get creative with your hashtags! You will be surprised by the amount of new engagement that it will bring you. #Easyaspie!


Giveaways

Who doesn’t love giveaways! Instagram is a great way to show off giveaways or special promotions. Promoting your giveaways via Instagram can help you to gain positive brand awareness while increasing your followers and follower engagements. In most giveaways, accounts ask users to follow their account and tag a friend to enter. Not only do you gain a follower, but a new user is introduced to your page!

Partnerships

Many businesses do not take advantage of business partnerships as much as they should! By partnering with another business via Instagram, you are connected to a whole new set of followers and engagement. Small businesses need to stick together! Partnerships can be easy: post a story promoting their products, find a way to combine your services, or host a joined giveaway. Connecting with other businesses can help you to gain new followers, awareness, and engagement.

Try using one of these tips to improve your Instagram game! Click here to view our products!  

5 Millennial Marketing Tips for Hotels

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The hotel industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Travel has become increasingly popular over recent years, expanding much of its popularity with the Millennial generation. Bookings in travel and tourism reached almost $1.6 trillion in 2017, with global hotel industry estimated to exceed $500 billion by the end of 2018. Although this industry is growing rapidly and expected to continue to grow in the coming years, it is still essential that businesses operating within the hotel industry market to their customers effectively to continue to stand tall in this competitive landscape. Here are 5 marketing tips for marketing to Millennials in the hotel industry…

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 5.17.27 PM.pngOne of the most important aspects for customers in choosing a hotel is what it looks like; does the bed look old and dusty? Are the carpets outdated and ugly? How big is the bathroom? Is there a TV? The questions are endless. Customers turn to pictures to answer their questions. It’s easy enough for you to claim, “Beautiful, picturesque views of the countryside right outside your window!”, customers need to see it to believe it!! Posting pictures of your hotel rooms is a great way to attract customers as well as gain their trust that you offer high quality accommodations!

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LOYALTY is KEY

In the hotel industry, customer loyalty is essential. Once customers have had a good experience at your hotel, they are encouraged to choose your hotel brand for their next travel location as they are already familiar with it. Offering discounts for first time customers is a great way to get new customers in the door and enjoying your services. If your hotel is offering a lower rate and your hotel looks high quality in your pictures, they will be more willing to give your hotel a try over others they have already visited.

There is no Such Thing as no Transparency

With all of the reviews on travel sites for hotels, airlines, and so on, there is no such thing as no transparency. Be sure to be 100% honest on your site and social media accounts in regards to the services your hotel offers and the quality of the accommodations. If customers visit your hotel with false expectations, they will be disappointed by what they receive and therefore give your hotel a terrible review. If they go in with more realistic expectations, they are more likely to be presently surprised by extra offerings they are given and added customer service they did not initially expect!

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Maximize Reviews and GET MORE VIEWS!

Reviews are extremely important in the hotel industry as many customers first instinct in searching for a hotel to stay at is to look at third-party sites such as Expedia or TripAdvisor. After looking at price and pictures, the third aspect they’re going to look at is your customer reviews. To insure you build up your reviews and always have relatively new reviews for your hotel, offer incentives such as, “free breakfast in the morning if you write us a review!”

If you want to increase the amount of views your hotel receives online by improving your SEO click here to view our MaxExposure SEO products!

Utilize Online Efficiencies

With the new technologies and advances in Internet usability, you can greatly enhance your customers experiences in booking a hotel room, viewing new price deals, and so on. Many hotel chains have taken advantage of this by adding virtual 3D visualization of hotel rooms on their sites so customers can get a more enhanced look at what their accommodation is going to look like. Making customers’ experiences on your hotel site easier and more engaging encourages them to directly visit your hotel’s site as opposed to looking for deals online amongst you and all your competitors. This will maximize your hotel’s profitability by increasing your customer loyalty and sales!

Click here to check out our MaxExposure website builder product!

How’s your mindset?

Your mindset in business is just as important as anything else. If you don’t know how to deal with adversity or don’t have the right attitude to fix problems that come up, then you might be in trouble. Check out our video about how the ocean is alot like entrepreneurship.

Perfecting your company’s Instagram Bio

An Instagram bio is the header underneath you account name that defines the purpose of your page.

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A well-crafted Instagram bio should convey the following points:

 

  1. Explain what services or products your business offers
  2. Communicate how a potential customer can contact you

 

In the above example, the business has set up their page as a “business page.” They have defined that they are an “American Restaurant” and that their mission is to have food that “tastes good, feels good and does good.” The have also attached their delivery website from which you can purchase their products.

 

Instagram has two settings, a “business page” and a “personal page.” The business pages are connected to Facebook pages while personal pages are just private accounts not connected to any products or services. The left profile is an example of a business page, dubbed “fast food restaurant” while the right profile is a personal page with no affiliation to any products or services.

However, the one thing that separates this “well-crafted” Instagram bio from a “superbly-crafted” Instagram bio is a call to action. A simple call to action can create an incentive to purchase a company’s products or services. This company could have offered a 10% off coupon if they ordered food from their phone. Below, find an example of a “superbly-crafted” Instagram bio with an explanation of services, means of contact and call  to action.

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Oh and PS. don’t be afraid to throw a pun or some humor into your bio (as long as you keep it appropriate!) This is a great way to attract customers because it makes your company seem a little more “human.”
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All screenshots were sourced from Instagram.

 

The Fears of a Boss Babe and the Journey to Success!

When I agreed to take on an upper level management role in my father’s company, there was the desire to jump right in and get started, being a TOTAL boss at 22; but there was also an anxiousness in taking on a role I was completely inexperienced with. I quickly went from a newly graduated college student, to an upper level management position. I went from being a college student, to training and teaching college students all within a matter of 2 years. I also struggled to find my voice, not coming off as too much of a b*tch, but standing firm and getting my point across. I never had that chance to “dip my toes in the water” as some might say. I cannonballed straight into that water, and started swimming without anytime to catch my breath!!

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Relying on my own instincts and skills, as well as trusting that my dad knew what he was doing in hiring me, I took the job and started working almost immediately. Who knew that this job I was pretty anxious of going into, would result in me growing into the inspired, hardworking, self motivated and confident boss I am today. I couldn’t possibly list everything I’ve learned throughout the past nearly 7 years, but there are 5 essential things I’ve learned that have helped develop me into the successful businesswoman I am today…

 

If you’re gonna cannonball, don’t hesitate…

pexels-photo-618550.jpegOne of the most difficult things to overcome from moving so quickly from college student to boss, is the confidence to hold true to your convictions. This doesn’t just apply to entrepreneurs, or upper level management, but any sector of your business. No matter what department you are in, or what role you have, you are always going to be faced with people who do not think you know as much as they do. It is your responsibility to stand up for your ideas, your intelligence and make them listen. At 22 this was immensely difficult as I didn’t trust myself as much as I should have and felt the need to over compensate by making myself sound tougher, which in turn made me sound rude, condescending, and b*tchy.

You will never feel like a worthy contributor, and they will never see you as one, unless you show them you are. No matter how scared you might be to be wrong, slap on your best poker face, look them in the eye, and give them your opinion. If you’re going to do the job, do it to the best of your abilities.

 

Take the advice and learn from it

No matter what tier of the business you are in, mistakes are inevitable, and learning from them is the only way you will grow. Although you do need to have confidence in your ideas and intelligence, you need to make the decision that is best for the company.

No matter how hard it might be to admit to the new coworker that he or she is right and you think their idea is better, doing so will not only help your company, but make you a better business person. Keeping track of and reminding yourself of your main purpose and motivation in working for that business will increase your value to the company, even if it does mean you don’t move forward with your suggestion. Learning how to best manage people and communicate with customers is something my father and I still work on to this day, taking his advice & constructive criticism on best ways to communicate isn’t always easy though. I have definitely fallen on my face several times, and absolutely stuck my foot in my mouth, but those lessons are the ones I’ve learned the most from.

 

Know your limits

pexels-photo-313690.jpegApproaching any new job, it’s exciting, scary and anxiety provoking all at the same time.  Starting my career as a top level manager, I wanted to do the best I could possibly do, and I soon realized it is extremely easy to get ahead of yourself, especially when you are 22 and think you can do it all. Doing higher quality work is better than doing increased quantity of work. Everyone has their limits, and as you continue your job, you will gradually progress and become more accustomed and comfortable with your responsibilities.

Knowing your limits and knowing when and how to remind yourself to slow down is essential in maintaining high quality work and improving in your job. Make a list of the needed tasks each day of work, complete those accurately and thoroughly, and as you start to have more and more extra time, you can begin to add in those extra tasks. Burning out, when you are an integral part of running your company’s daily activities isn’t an option, so it’s important to stay organized and know when to ask for help.

 

It takes time

Going into my job, I wanted to automatically be an amazing boss and impress my dad and my other coworkers. I came into work ready to learn, and eager to improve.  I have undoubtedly improved by leaps and bounds from where I was when I first began at this company, but I am STILL learning and growing. I could never have imagined I would be where I am today and accomplish all I have accomplished this quickly. Looking back to the first year I started however, I did have doubts as to how much and how quickly I would grow to be able to manage on my own, without my dad holding my hand every step of the way.

Day to day, it can be hard to see the bigger picture, especially when you’re focused in the trenches, but every experience helps you become a stronger leader. Getting to that point where you can look back at all of the progress you’ve made, takes time. No one walks into a new job and is automatically great at it. Even when you get great at one job, you maybe get promoted to a higher level job, and have to start all over again learning that position. Accepting the time that it takes to slowly improve and grow in your job is essential to succeeding in it.

 

Never lose sight of the person you intended to be

pexels-photo-450271.jpegThis is might be the most important suggestion I can give you. If you strive to grow, accomplish great things, increase your knowledge and become a true boss, you cannot lose sight of yourself, or who you are working to be. Its taken me nearly 7 years to get to a point where I am truly comfortable in my skin as a “Boss Babe”, but I am nowhere near the finish line. I still have so much to learn, and I continue to be thrown curve balls as my position evolves, but what I do know is who I am and that I am absolutely where I am meant to be.

 

Life Experiences & Dictation by Aly Grushkin

Copy written by Alli Burns

The Camera has to Eat First!

Food3Out of all the things I take pictures of, food photos definitely take the cake. When it comes to social media, I am not a huge selfie girl, but one thing I do snap all the time is pictures of doughnuts, aćai bowls, and pizza. Whether I bake homemade cookies or go out to a restaurant, you can bet my phone camera will be eating first.

I usually will post the picture on my Snapchat story or on my Visco account, but most of the time I just save the photo for myself. Taking pictures of food for me is a way to remember a fun night out with my friends or a delicious homemade meal that my mom cooked for the family.

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My food photo addiction started when I studied abroad in Europe for a semester. Everywhere I went I indulged in amazing food and I would have been crazy not to take a picture to remember it. I’m talking about cheese fondue in Switzerland that had your mouth watering, heart shaped pizzas in Italy that made you fall in love, and hot chocolate in London that brought tears to your eyes.

Some people are against this trend in social media and think it takes away from living in the moment. They also think people will only buy or order a certain food just for the picture. I however think that there are many more positives to this movement than negatives. Taking pictures of your food encourages people to live a little more outside of their comfort zone. For me personally it has inspired me to try different restaurants I have never been to, or order something that might seem a little crazy. It also has allowed me to show off my cooking skills, get a little artsy and creative, and really express how much of a foodie I am.

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Since I am a trained professional (or so I’d like to think) at taking pictures of my food, here the top 5 tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Find the perfect lighting

Natural lighting is usually the best way to go. Using the flash sometimes shows strange shadows and can make your meal look slightly less appetizing.

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Play with your food

I know this goes against everything your mother taught you, but sometimes the bun will fall off your burger or a French fry will be astray. Before you get the best picture possible move around a few things to makes sure your plate is at perfection.

Get creative with angles

Just like us, food has their good side too. Depending on how you hold your camera can really impact your picture. My go-to trick is getting the camera eye level with your plate and tilting it slightly downwards so everyone can get a better look at all of the delicious ingredients.

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Work with the background

Whether you’re sitting at a cool wooden table or you’re outside at a barbecue, the background adds to the personality of the picture. Get your friend cheesing in the background or show off the freshly squeezed orange juice behind your omelet at brunch.

Tag the location

This is super important so you can remember where you enjoyed that delicious and picture worthy meal, and so your friends and followers can check it out too. If you’re posting on Instagram, tag the restaurant’s name so other followers can click it and see other people’s delicious meals they’ve tagged as well. On Snapchat swipe left until you get the geo filter that shows your location. Your followers will thank you later.

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If you really get the hang of it and don’t want to clutter your Instagram feed with only food pictures you can make your own food account. These accounts are an awesome way to check out cool places to try, and you can brag to your followers when you discovered the most beautiful piece of pizza in all of Boston.

One of my friends started her own food account that is strictly gluten free foods (@gffoodie_boston). She extremely allergic to gluten and wanted to provide a way for other GF foodies to find great places to eat without sacrificing taste. Her account has over one thousand followers and she even gets cool promotions and deals from restaurants to check out their menu and post about it.

Snapping a pic of your perfect Panini is always a good idea, but it is also important to put your phone down after the photo and actually enjoy the food and the conversation.

Whenever my friends and I go out to eat, we have a rule that we all stack our phones in a pile faced down in the middle of the table. If someone reaches for their phone out of habit, they are stuck with the bill at the end- unless of course it’s to take a quick picture.

It sounds a little silly but there is always a time a place for your phone, but checking twitter while you bite into a juicy burger definitely isn’t it.

Happy snapping!

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