Instagram for business: Part Four

Welcome back for another instalment of our Instagram for Business masterclass series!

This week, we’re looking at how you can use the increasingly popular ‘Stories’ feature to boost the visibility of your profile, better engage with your customers and show off your personality whilst beating Instagram’s sometimes tricky algorithm…

For those feeling out of the loop, Instagram’s algorithm is the way the app sifts through all of the content available and selects what will appear on a user’s feed, which means that on average, users often only see 30% of the posts from the accounts they follow. 

But what can you do to make sure your posts are visible? It’s simple – Instagram’s new Stories feature!

Ever since being added to Instagram back in 2016, statistics have shown that not only are users staying on the app longer and visiting it more frequently throughout the day, but that more than 300 million people are using Stories daily. Stories appear on the top of the Instagram feed and regularly reappear as users scroll down with an “in case you missed it” headline, which is why they should definitely become a part of your regular Instagram activity.

One use of Stories is sharing pictures/videos that you might not want to put on your Instagram grid, because they don’t fit in with your chosen theme, etc. For example, you can re-share pictures that customers have shared of your business to your story which shows you appreciate your customers, without messing up your pretty grid that you’ve worked so hard on.

Stories are also excellent for going behind the scenes of the business and showing a more personal side of both the company and staff and can also be used for important announcements and reminders of events if you don’t want to keep posting about them on your regular feed.

There’s more to Stories than just posting a picture or a video…

Polls

Polls are a sticker which can be added to a story that ask the viewer a simple question. It’s an excellent tool that can be used for market research purposes as the results are instantaneous. For example, you can post a pictures of potential colour schemes for a new range of products and ask your followers which ones they prefer.

Ask Me Anything

‘Ask Me Anything’ allows your followers to, well… ask you anything! It’s great for allowing your followers to ask you questions about your products or services or about the business in general. Answers to the questions can then be shared on to your Stories so that the rest of your followers can see them too.

If you have anew product being launched, you can encourage your followers to ask you questions about it, like how it works, when it’ll be released, how much it will cost, etc. Not only are you directly engaging with your customers, you’re also advertising your new product at the same time – it’s a win-win!

Swipe Up

Once you have over 10,000 followers, Instagram adds a swipe up feature to your Stories which allows you to add external links. A good use of this, for example, is when you’re sharing a new product on your Stories, you can add a direct link to it on your website. 

Story Highlights

Unlike regular posts, stories only remain on your profile for 24 hours and once that time is up, they’re gone – unless you save them as Story Highlights. We first discussed Story Highlights in a previous blog post when we explained how to set up a compelling Business profile. You can have an unlimited number of story highlights on your profile, and each time you add to one, it will appear first in the Story Highlights.

To add Stories to your highlights, you just need to select the ‘Add to highlights’ option after clicking ‘share’. If you ever want to delete an image from your highlights, you click onto the one in question, select ‘edit highlight’ and untick the images you no longer want to appear.

Story insights

Instagram has a number of built in analytical features for Stories that allow you to see what’s getting the best engagement from your followers. You can see how many people viewed, how many swiped off before viewing all of your Story, how many visited your profile and any answers to poll questions, to name a few. By analysing the statistics, you can see any areas that need improvement and try to get better engagement for your next Stories campaign.

Next week, we’ll be looking at how to plan your Instagram campaign to achieve maximum success, and discussing how to choose campaign targets, time management and determining the role Instagram will have within your overall marketing campaign. If you have any questions about Instagram for business or want to know more about the services Pink Media can offer to assist you with social media, get in touch with us on 0151 909 2231. See you next week!

Black Friday

Christmas shopping season is officially upon us! With festive gifts in mind or just a treat or two for yourself, we take a look at some of today’s best Black Friday offers from our clients across the region…

Suites Hotel & Spa

Those looking for the perfect gift are in for a treat this Black Friday thanks to the award-winning Suites Hotel and Spa.

The four-star Knowsley venue is making gift-giving that much more exciting with a free gift up for grabs exclusively for the Black Friday weekend. With a spend of £80 or more on vouchers for its ‘Five Bubble’ spa, you’ll receive an indulgent treat from luxury skincare brand Decleor, which you can keep for yourself or give to a friend if you’re feeling generous!

Vouchers make the perfect gift for anyone in need of a well-earned pamper session and can be redeemed against a range of treatments or spa packages including Tranquillity Scalp Massage, Aroma Body Wrap and Discovery Facial to name a few.

This special offer is available throughout the Black Friday weekend in store only at the Spa at Suites Hotel (November 23 – 25).

For more information, visit www.suiteshotelgroup.com or call 0151 549 5400

 

Delifonseca 

Find the perfect gift for your favourite foodie this Black Friday with the help of Delifonseca.  

As part of its exciting Kickstarter campaign, Delifonseca are offering a spectacular range of money-can’t-buy rewards as a thank you for getting behind the worthy cause, which will see the Dockside eatery expand its premises in the new year. 

Stuck for ideas when it comes to gift ideas? Amongst the many rewards on offer are some excellent offerings that can’t be bought on the high-street.   

The range of gifts covers everything from experiences to bespoke artwork and includes the likes of breakfast for two, luxury hampers, soup for a year, chocolate masterclasses, cheese club subscriptions and even a trip to the champagne region of Bollinger for one very lucky recipient! 

Prices start from £15, with all funds going towards the Kickstarter goal.  

For more information visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/214922065/the-missing-ingredient-0/?ref=kicktraq  

 

Leasowe Castle  

If you’ve always dreamed of spending the night in a historical castle, now’s your chance!  

Leasowe Castle on the Wirral Peninsular is offering 50 rooms for £50 for a January stay when booked on Black Friday exclusively.  

Guests can beat those January blues and sleep like royalty in their own castle bedroom before waking up to stunning views of the coastal Peninsular.  

With only 50 rooms available to book, those looking to get a bargain will have to be quick to bag a mini-getaway. 

Leasowe Castle’s offer is for a room only, based on two people sharing – available for bookings made on Black Friday (November 23).  

For more information, visit leasowecastle.com 

 

Trattoria 51 

For one weekend only, Trattoria 51 is adding some special items to its menu in celebration of Black Friday. 

A Black Squid Ink Pasta dish and a delightful ‘Black Fri-yay’ Cocktail will be on offer to help refuel you after a busy weekend of bargain hunting.  

Accompanying the Black Squid Ink Pasta will be *ingredients*, whilst the The ‘Black Fri-yay’ cocktail will feature *ingredients* 

The Black Squid Ink Pasta dish and the ‘Black Fri-yay’ Cocktail will be served at both the Southport and Liverpool restaurants throughout Black Friday weekend, costing XX and XX respectively.  

For more information, visit www.trattoria51.com 

 

The Dental Café 

The Dental Cafe will be giving the gift of pearly white teeth this Black Friday weekend.  

The South Liverpool dentistry boutique will be offering a free treatment with every Boutique Whitening course booked between November 23 to 25, ideal for those looking for a whiter, brighter smile ahead of the party season.  

Clients can get their teeth around a free Grande treatment before starting their whitening journey. The treatment promises to lift stains leaving teeth perfectly clean – the perfect canvas for the base shade of the teeth to be lightened with Boutique Whitening.  

Grande uses advanced technology to clean teeth and gums with a powerful yet controlled jet of water, compressed air and fine power particles available in a range of flavours including Orange, Berry, Tutti Frutti, Mint, Cherry, Blackcurrant and Neutral. 

Normally £60, Grande will be offered as a complimentary treatment for a limited time only so whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself it offers the perfect solution for a sparkling smile.  

As part of the Black Friday offer, customers can enjoy Boutique Whitening plus a Grande treatment for just £199 – a saving of £60. 

For more information visit www.thedentalcafe.co.uk  

 

Star Salon  

Whether you’re after Christmas presents or just fancy treating yourself to something extra-special, Star Salon is giving the gift of star-worthy hair this Black Friday.  

The Aigburth hair salon is offering a range of must-have hair care gift sets to leave you or a loved one feeling prepped and pampered for the party season. 

When you buy one full priced luxury hair care gift set from Star Salon, you can purchase a second with 25% off only for Black Friday weekend (November 23 – 25). Gift sets include Shampoo and Conditioner sets as well as Styling and Treatment products and include brands like Matrix.  

Gift sets start from £16 with a limited number of each available. 

For more information, visit www.star-salon.co.uk/ 

 

Opal Rooms Beauty Spa 

Exclusively on Black Friday, the Opal Rooms Beauty Spa on Smithdown Road is giving you the chance to properly treat a loved one or even just yourself with an additional 20% on the value of every gift voucher purchased.   

For example, when you buy a £50 gift voucher for a loved one, you’ll receive an additional £10. Gift vouchers can be used towards spa treatments, beauty packages or just to get your nails done.  

In addition, the Beauty Spa are also offering 10% off the highly popular celebrity skincare brand Environ. With products ranging from face washes, to serums, to sun protection, Environ is designed to address your skin’s specific needs, for example, aging or problematic skin.  

For more information, visit www.opalroomsbeautyspa.com  

Instagram for Business: Part Three

3. Growing your presence and boosting engagement

Welcome back for week three of our Instagram for Business Masterclass. Last time we discussed how to choose the right imagery for your profile and now you’ve got a load of great content, it’s time to get it seen by the masses.

This week, we’re looking at how to grow your business’s presence on Instagram…

The dos

Do post consistently

It sounds obvious, but your followers want to see content from you – that’s why they’ve followed in the first place and when they interact with your profile, it’s visible to their followers too which means your profile is seen by a wider audience. Studies have also proven that if you post every day compared to once a week or less, you’ll get better engagement and more followers, with the number of followers increasing by more than 40% on average.

Do share your Instagram account across your social channels.

If you want to get more followers on Instagram, you need to direct as many people as possible to your page. If you already have a huge following on Facebook or Twitter, ask them to give you a follow on Instagram too. Try sharing sneak peaks of your Instagram posts to your Facebook and Twitter and encourage followers to head over to the app to see the rest of your content.

Do get tag happy

Using the right tags can expose your image to a large and targeted audience. If your business has a physical location, or you’re onsite somewhere, make sure to tag it and encourage your customers to do the same. When users click on the location, they’ll see other posts from your business and your customers and it’s an easy way to increase your business’s presence.

Take the time to research and create a list of the hashtags that are most popular for your area of business, your products, your surrounding location, and even what your target audience are using. Make sure you check out how many posts have already been shared using these hashtags too as this can impact how visible your post will be. For example, #selfie has 367 million posts which means yours will only appear in the search for a few seconds before getting lost in the masses. Try to use hashtags with lower numbers to increase the chances of your post being seen. Studies have also shown that using nine hashtags per post seems to be the optimum number for getting the most engagement – so choose them wisely!

Do encourage more engagement.

With Instagram’s current algorithm, the more engagement a post has, the more users it will be shown too. For every Instagram post you share, try to write an interesting caption, that encourages your followers to like and comment. Ask a question in your caption that can be answered in the comments or ask your followers to tag a friend with a fun caption like “tag a friend who needs to treat you to one of our cocktails this weekend.” Doing so will expose your post to a wider range of users. It’s also best practice to respond to as many comments on your posts with a comment back or even a simple like as it shows that you appreciate the followers who actually took the time to like and comment on your post in the first place.

Do run competitions

Competitions are a great way to organically grow your presence on Instagram. They can help grow your audience, drive traffic to your website, and even sell products. To enter the competition, ask people to follow your page, like or comment on one of your photos, use a specific hashtag, or repost one of your photos. Remember to pick a winner and share when they claim their prize.

 

The don’ts

Don’t follow every account you see.

Chances are they will have no interest in your business and whilst it might seem impressive to have over 10,000 followers, if your engagement is low and you’re not seeing an increase in business, is there any point? Instead, build your network with local, relevant and industry specific accounts and you’ll see more quality results.

Don’t set your profile to private.

You’d think this is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of business profiles that have their privacy switched on which means they aren’t visible to potential customers in searches. If this is you, make sure you get it switched off ASAP.

Don’t use blurry images.

As we’ve said in previous weeks, Instagram is a visual platform. No user wants to see blurry pictures and you’ll run the risk of getting a few unfollows if your content isn’t good enough. Quality content means quality followers so keep that in mind when uploading your posts.

 

Next week, we’ll be taking at Instagram’s increasingly popular stories feature and show you how you can use it your advantage to keep your profile at the top of your followers feeds.

Instagram for Business: Part Two

2. Compiling the right imagery

Welcome back to our Instagram for Business Masterclass Series! Last week, we discussed the different features of a business Instagram profile and in case you missed it, or need a little reminder, you can check it out here: www.pinkmedia.co.uk/instagram-for-business-part-one

This week, we’re going to be discussing how to choose the right imagery for your business profile. Obviously, Instagram is a visual platform. The most successful businesses understand that the images they share are essential when it comes to building their success, so if you have good-looking products, Instagram really is a no brainer.

Unfortunately, it’s not just as simple as uploading a nice image – although wouldn’t that be great! You need to consider the message you want to send with each post, how it’ll fit in with your brand and the rest of your grid, and if each post will be recognised as being from your brand when your followers are scrolling through their feed. It might sound confusing but don’t worry, we’re going to break it all down for you…

 

What works for you and your business?

First things first, you need to think about the type of posts that you want to share on your feed. Pick a few things that best represent your business and brand, ideally no more than five, and stick to them. For example, if your business is an Italian restaurant, you might choose to post images of food, drinks, the interior of the restaurant, diners and guest reviews. It would certainly confuse your followers if you started posting completely off brand and may even result in a few unfollows! Another thing to consider is the use of graphics when posting things like guest reviews, as studies have shown that Instagram users are more likely to engage with a post that contains an eye-catching graphic.

 

It’s all in the theme…

Next is choosing a theme. Choosing an Instagram theme is so important as it allows you to create visual consistency across your feed and if your Instagram profile grid looks good, new visitors are more likely to follow – simple as that. Aspects of a theme include taking photos from the same angles, featuring the same colours in your images, applying the same filters when it comes to editing and the order you post your images in.  There are so many themes out there to choose – black and white, minimalism, bold and colourful – and it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Our advice is to take some time to browse Instagram and get inspired before you decide.

 

Do I need to use a filter?

With your theme decided on, it’s time to edit your images. Using the pre-loaded filters on Instagram just won’t cut it in 2018 but don’t worry, you don’t need to be a Photoshop pro to ensure your images are aesthetically pleasing. There are plenty of user-friendly apps you can download to your phone to edit all your images in. On a number of apps, you can even save the combination of filters you use and apply them to new photos with one simple click. Using the same set of filters on all your Instagram posts will ensure they look and flow better on your grid.

 

Consistency is key

Once you’ve chosen your theme and filters, it’s important to stay consistent. We’re all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and statistics show that on average we spend less than a second looking at a post before scrolling to the next one. Continuously posting the same style of images means that users will be able to instantly recognise and associate them with your brand and increase the chance of engagement with them.

 

Planning in advance

As mentioned earlier, it’s essential to have an idea of the type of images you want to post on Instagram, but it is also important to think about the order in which you post them too. This is a great opportunity to show the creativity of your brand and create a feed that looks highly stylised and flows from one post to the next. Not only is it visually pleasing for your followers, it allows you to show off all the aspects of your business without focusing too heavily on just one.

 

Next time, we’ll be looking at the dos and don’ts of growing your Instagram presence including things like running competitions and building engagement. If you have any questions about Instagram for business or want to know more about the services Pink Media can offer to assist you with social media, get in touch with us on 0151 909 2231. See you next week!

If you’ve got it, haunt it this Halloween!

Spooky season has well and truly arrived in Liverpool and here at the Pink Media office, we’ve been getting into the Halloween spirit by sharing our scariest ghost stories and best jack-o-lantern carving tips.

Every year in Liverpool, Halloween seems to get bigger and bigger, and this year is no different with so many events taking places for both mini monsters and big kids at heart. Take a look at some of the frightfully fun offerings from our clients across the city…

 

Dutch Flower Shop

Dutch Flower Shop is set to give its customers a real ‘treat’ this Halloween in the form of a range of imaginative festive decorations.

As part of its autumnal offering, the famous florist will be stocking a range of seasonal wreaths, ideal to give front doors and interiors alike a frighteningly fun update for trick or treaters to enjoy.

Just in time for Halloween, Dutch Flower Shop will also be transforming its already hugely popular autumnal floral door arrangement at 60 Hope Street into a scarily spooky masterpiece. The makeover will be taking place a few days before Halloween and as with Dutch Flower Shop’s previous creations at the esteemed eatery, it is a spectacle not to be missed – or photographed!

Dutch Flower Shop’s autumnal wreaths are available to buy now at its Woolton Road store for £35.

For more information, visit www.dutchflowershop.co.uk

 

Leasowe Castle

There’ll be no tricks this year but plenty of treats will be served at Leasowe Castle as it celebrates the spookiest night of the year with a devilishly delicious ‘Witches Brew’ cocktail.

The ghoulishly green concoction comprises Mahiki Coconut Rum, Midori Melon Liquor, Sweet and Sour Mix and Apple Juice – the perfect treat for grown-up Halloween fans that are still big kids at heart.

The exclusive ‘Witches Brew’ cocktail will be available at Leasowe Castle’s in-house Wreckers Bar from Monday October 30 until Saturday November 3 and is priced at £4.

For more information, visit www.leasowecastle.com

 

 Delifonseca

Delifonseca is conjuring up a selection of devilishly delicious dishes just in time to celebrate Halloween.

The Dockside eatery will be serving up a real ’treat’ in the form of Martin Cooper’s famous Wedge of Stuffed Pumpkin, filled with Mushrooms, Chestnuts, Lentils, Rice & Herbs served with Maple Roast Parsnips and what’s more, it’s vegan friendly.

A frightfully delicious cauldron of Diabo ‘Devil’s Stew’ will also be stewing for Halloween – This traditional Macao dish includes succulent meats including Salt Beef, Duck Legs, Pork and Smoked Ham and combined with Pickled Chinese Shallots and Spices for a dish that packs a punch.

To really get in to the Halloween spirit, the Deli will also be selling Pumpkin Pie on its cake counter and at £2.50 it’s perfect to grab on the go.

Proprietor of Delifonseca Candice Fonseca said: “Carving out spooky Jack-o’-lanterns this time of year is all part of the Halloween fun but let’s not forget that Pumpkin also makes a delicious ingredient in food. It can be used in a multitude of ways whether it’s in a soup, a pie or even stuffed so we encourage people to get creative in the kitchen and come up with a spooky dish of their own!”

Delifonseca’s Wedge of Stuffed Pumpkin will be available at various points throughout the season and is priced at £12.95.

For more information visit www.delifonseca.co.uk

 

 

Trattoria 51

Once again, Trattoria 51 is getting into the Halloween spirit by offering up a spooky concoction in the form it’s ‘Zombie 51’ cocktail.

This frightfully delicious cocktail features Midori Liquor, Malibu, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine, Milk and a topping of squirty cream – the perfect treat for all the grown-up Halloween fans.

‘Zombie 51’ is now on the Italian restaurant’s cocktail menu in both its Liverpool and Southport restaurants and is priced at £6.95.

For more information, visit www.trattoria51.com

 

The Dental Café

The Dental Cafe is encouraging kids to swap sugar for sparkling teeth in a bid to keep little fangs healthy this Halloween.

Liverpool’s first drop-in dentistry boutique is inviting little ones to pay a visit, where they will be able to trade in Halloween sweets for a tube of toothpaste.

To really get into the spirit, The Dental Cafe will be undergoing a ghoulish makeover as it transforms into a Halloween Spooktacular. And not forgetting about the big kids, adults can ditch old ‘tricks’ and ‘treat’ themselves to one of the hugely popular teeth cleaning treatments on offer.

Prices start from £38 for the Short Scale and Polish.

For more information, visit www.thedentalcafe.co.uk

 

The Brink

The Brink will be going all out for Halloween this year when the venue hosts its Halloween and Bonfire Night Extravaganza on Friday, November 2.

Perfect for all the family, there will be plenty of frightfully fun entertainment on offer for both little monsters and big kids alike with ghoulish party games including Mummy Wrapping, Apple Bobbing, Face Painting, and a Halloween Disco.

A fancy-dress competition will also be running on the night, with prizes and goodie bags for all followed by a fantastic fireworks display to end the night in style.

Children’s entry is £3 when accompanied by a non-paying adult. For more information, visit The Brink’s Facebook page on www.facebook.com/events/246807349326135/