Instagram Marketing Predictions for 2017

Instagram Predictions for 2017

In the past few years, Instagram has evolved from a static image-posting site to must-have marketing platform. This isn’t to say it’s the best marketing platform for every business, but there is no denying that Instagram has come a long way in the past few years. Perhaps the greatest addition to the platform has been Instagram Stories. Before InstaStories, businesses had to use Snapchat for that kind of spontaneous behind-the-scenes look, but Instagram now makes that kind of personal storytelling possible. And unlike Snapchat, Instagram makes it very easy to connect with friends and followers across other social media platforms. With features like a call to action that can bring users to your website by clicking on a photo, Instagram is taking the lead in the visual marketing world.

Two of the best business-savvy changes are shoppable tags and post notifications, but those are just a few of the ways Instagram is shaping up to be

Shoppable Tags

Shoppable tags are only visible if users tap the “View Products” button, so your photos feel more like beautiful photos and less like ads. When users click on a product tag, an in-app page pops up with details, pricing, and a Shop Now button that can take users directly to the page where they can place an order. Eventually it may be possible to put shoppable tags in videos as well as photos. This is a great improvement from only being able to post links in your bio! Shoppable tags are still in the testing stages, but they are a promising development for any business, from furniture to food.

Post Notifications

This feature was already available, but it will become even more important over the next year. Instagram is testing out a nonchronological feed – much like Facebook’s algorithm-driven feed – meaning users will see posts they are more likely to be interested in instead of posts from everyone they follow. While the new algorithms are still being tested (and probably won’t be as annoying as Facebook’s algorithms), it wouldn’t hurt to encourage your followers to turn on post notifications. Then they will be notified whenever you post a new photo or video to Instagram. Not only would this be great for rolling out new products, but it will safeguard against losing your posts in the shuffle.

Social Media Examiner inspired this article and is great resource for all things social media.

Facebook’s Algorithm Updates: What They Mean for Your Business

Facebook is notorious for its algorithms. They control what appears on your feed and when, which can be annoying or helpful, and they are also constantly changing. Stay up to date on the most recent changes so your Facebook marketing strategy can be as successful as possible.

The most recent algorithm update is actually two updates. The first affects how Facebook judged the authenticity of your posted content. The second changes how Facebook tracks real-time changes. Both affect how your Page appears on other feeds.

Facebook judges authenticity

Facebook determines what content should show up on a user’s feed by a) judging the user’s interests or engagement with other users and pages, and b) judging the content that they may see. If the content from your Page looks inauthentic, then odds are that your content will not show up on your audience’s feeds. Which is bad.

So what makes your Page look inauthentic? Explicitly asking for likes, comments or shares is a tactic Facebook finds to be “dishonest and inauthentic.” Another example is posting content that your audience frequently hides or reports, like clickbait or fake news. The more you have in common with Pages that do these things, the more likely Facebook will decide to keep your content off the feeds.

Facebook tracks real-time changes

You may already know that Facebook puts items on your feed that are relevant to you at that moment. That means that some of the posts you see could have been posted yesterday, or a few hours before. It also means that you might not see new content that was posted at the same time you’re looking at your feed.

The second algorithm update adds more relevant posts to your feed based on real-time activity. A post may appear higher on your feed if it is related to a popular topic on Facebook at that moment (like the Grammys, a national holiday or a trending news topic), or if the post is getting a lot of engagement at that moment. This doesn’t mean that you have to constantly monitor Facebook for relevant trending topics. It is better to schedule posts for publication in advance so that you are free to live post if the opportunity arises.

 

A good Facebook marketing strategy should be aware of algorithm updates and use them to their advantage, but won’t cut corners when it comes to genuine audience interaction. There is a lot you can do to draw attention to your Page. Feature fan-generated content. Reply to comments and tagged posts. Let your voice shine through so your followers can see the personal side of your business. Mix up the kinds of content you post: articles, text, video blogs, audio clips, photos, and slide shows. Not only will these strategies help your Page show up on feeds, but it will also keep your audience interested and engaged.

Find out more about these updates at meetedgar.com.

Website Thru The Nite Winner 2017

The first annual Website Thru The Nite is in the books!

Escape Muncie

Alexis Dishman, Board Member of WTTN representing the Innovation Connector, with the winner of the War Tournament.

From noon on Saturday (1.21-1.22) to noon on Sunday, six volunteer geek teams raced to build websites for East-Central Indiana nonprofits that would otherwise not have a site. They only had 24 hours to turn the materials given to them by their nonprofit organization into sparkling new websites. Sprinkled throughout the marathon were meals and snacks provided by Crestview/Mulligans, Pizza King, Jack’s Donuts, Dairy Queen, A-1 For Fun and No Crumbs Left Behind. By the end of the day (and night), websites for Philips Outdoor CenterYorktown Council of the ArtsMuncie Young ProfessionalsChildren’s Clothing CenterYouth Symphony Orchestra and Christian Ministries went live!

It wasn’t all work, no play.  When it was time to take a break, geeks could play with Play-doh and slinkys, practice paddleball or play cornhole in the lobby using boards from eKeeper Systems. If things got really tough, Muncie Massage helped knead some of the stress away, or tired geeks could take a quick nap on the comfy chairs and couches from Gill Bros. Furniture.  At midnight we had a war tournament and the winner walked away with a gift certificate to Escape Muncie.

Website Thru The Nite

Middle of the night working on the Yorktown Arts Council website

But the event wasn’t finished yet. From noon on Sunday, January 22 to noon on Sunday, January 29, people could vote for their favorite site by donating to the charity using the site’s PayPal extension. Every dollar equaled one vote. By the end of the week, Children’s Clothing Center was announced the winner of this year’s #WTTN, and the team was awarded the traveling trophy to keep until next year’s events. (Save the date, January 20-21, 2018)

Other awards were also handed out. The Christian Ministries team won the Exceeding Innovation award for thinking outside the box, and the Muncie Young Professionals group won the MVG (Most Valuable Geek) award for staying cool under some serious pressure. Though there is only one trophy, every geek is a winner in our eyes.
Spotted Monkey had a fun time at the event, too! We took many, many pictures for social media, and used our new Website Thru The Nite Snapchat filter to chronicle in-the-moment fun. Ashli, our Head of Monkey Business, worked her magic with Wordpress during some of the trickier stages of web maintenance.

All in all, the first annual Website Thru The Nite raised money for local nonprofits and churned out 6 new, amazing websites. We are looking forward to next year’s event!