Social Listening: Best Practices For Growing Businesses

Updated on January 23rd, 2020.

More than listening to what customers are saying about your brand or industry in the social sphere, this one question is important:

What do you do with what your customers and prospects say on social media?

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5 Social Listening Best Practices:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate
2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation
3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In
4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool
5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

Hearing what customers say on social media is one thing, but understanding how to use their conversations to your brand’s advantage is another.

500 million tweets are sent every day. That’s ~6,000 tweets per second.

And that’s just Twitter.

A prospect could tweet something as simple as “I need a black shoe right now” and get the attention of seventy of her followers engaging with the post.

What would happen, if you as a shoe brand (for instance) chime into that conversation with a link to your black shoe — including a discount coupon?

Here are five social listening best practices that can make a huge difference in your business:

1. Pick a Successful Competitor to Imitate

When you learn from people who are already doing well, you’re in essence skipping the mistakes they made before getting to where they are today. You can avoid most of mistakes they made.

On learning from competitors, PR expert Gini Dietrich says:

“Analyze your competitors’ marketing—see which efforts work well, and understand why stakeholders like them: What is their primary messaging? Why does or doesn’t it work? How do people respond to the company’s overtures online? Is word of mouth positive or negative? Why?”

Businesses perform better at social listening when they ethically learn from competitors who are already doing it right.

Piecing together their strategy is like scoring a free cheatsheet. Visit their platforms to see how they’re doing their social media — responding to feedback, joining industry conversations, and so on.

Fashion company Topshop, for example, is a good brand to learn social listening from. And of course, there are several other brands out there that are awesome at this.

While many other fashion brands only only take advantage of world-renowned events like Valentine’s Day and Christmas, Topshop takes advantage of other smaller festivals or events — especially in entertainment and fashion space.

When conversations about #EEBAFTAs (the hashtag for British Academy Film Awards) were trending on Twitter, Topshop joined in.

Tweet of Topshop during the #EEBAFTAs

Remember, this is an event many other fashion brands don’t value as much as they do more popular events. Well, Topshop decided to participate in the conversation on Twitter and their engagement rate soared; one of their tweets with the hashtag became the most popular on their timeline.

So, when looking for brands to learn your social listening strategy from, companies like Topshop are good examples to learn from. They look at other industry-related events that most of their competitors aren’t looking at and take advantage of them.

There are hundreds or even thousands of other brands you can learn from. Do your research on brands doing social listening well in your industry and see how you can learn from them.

But what if you step into a lively conversation and get a slap in the face? You need to know when to enter an ongoing conversation on social media.

2. Determine When to Engage an Ongoing Conversation

Social media is built on conversations, and consumers want to be talked to, not sold to.

Social media marketing guru Carlos Gil put it more succinctly:

“Talk to your audience, make conversation, build relationships. Consumers are people and they don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged so engage them.”

But it’s not just getting into conversations with prospects that’s important, you also need to know when and when not to engage them.

Ever gotten into a conversation and then realized you shouldn’t have? Or maybe your timing was just off?

When to enter an ongoing conversation is crucial.

It determines whether or not you’ll be getting any benefits from your social listening efforts or not. It determines whether you’ll get bashed or praised for joining a conversation. Avoid regret. Pick and choose your times to engage.

Here’s a few examples of typical conversations, and how to engage them:

Customer Service Queries

Customer service related queries require your immediate response.

Customers get angry all the time for different reasons, and you want to ensure they don’t stay angry. Or they need to ask questions before buying from you.

In any case, you want to respond to customer service requests fast.

“Netflix is known for its superior online customer service. That is due in large part to a corporate culture that empowers employees to act quickly”

Rebekah Radice, Founder at RadiantLA

78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

An Ongoing Conversation About a Government Policy

Trying to take advantage of a social media conversation about a government policy that hurts people is an example of a potentially bad time to enter a social media conversation (depending on your stance).

For instance, following a ban from the US president last year, people from Muslim-majority countries were banned from entering the US. Taxi companies weren’t happy about this, and so they all went down the JFK airport and stopped pickups from working.

Amidst this commotion, Uber saw it fit to join the conversation and advertise their service, in theory helping stranded passengers. The turn out was bad. #DeleteUber became a thing on the Internet with many users posting how they weren’t happy without Uber’s position on the ban:

#DeleteUber campaign.

If you’re not going to sympathize with people who find a particular policy disturbing, it’s best to stay away from conversations like this.

When to Keep Quiet or Simply Apologize

Sometimes it’s best to remain silent — when saying anything at all will make a situation bad on all sides. Depending on the vitriol being spread, you may just want to pretend you didn’t hear a thing.

A smart rule of thumb is to only get involved in conversations when you know you won’t get burned or miss out on significant benefits.

For example, these conversation scenarios are clear enough to know whether or not to chime in:

  • An angry customer is egging people on and you feel you might be baited into a fight – Do not chime it.
  • You feel tempted to speak ill of a competitor’s product. – Do not chime in.
  • You feel tempted to market your Spring bouquets on Christmas Day (making you look like an extraterrestial)- Do not chime in.
  • You will literally miss the party if you don’t get into a conversation on time — like tweeting about Valentine’s Day on February 15 – Chime in!
  • You won’t get burned for marketing your Valentine’s products on Valentine’s Day – Chime in!

These are just a few examples. Think up a few you want to avoid or join.

But it’s still not always this straightforward, right?

Sometimes it can get really dicey and you won’t be sure whether or how to respond to feedback in the sometimes volatile social arena. Everybody’s watching, remember?

And bad news travels fast.

For example, one Clayburn Griffin mentioned Cap ‘n Crunch on Twitter, saying…

Tweet about Cap'n Crunch by Clayburn Griffin

Cap ‘n Crunch probably wasn’t sure what the outcome of their clapback would be. But they took the risk anyway. As it turned out, it worked for them. Cap ‘n Crunch’s tweet clearly got more love than KFC’s.

Cap 'n Crunch's tweet at KFC

Should you do the same if you were in this situation?

Speaking about the reason for their clapback, Andrew Cunningham from Huge (which managed digital for Cap ‘n Crunch) said: “KFC came at us pretty hard, and at that point we had full license to zing them back.”

Sometimes it isn’t rocket science to know when to enter a conversation. Sometimes it is. A smart rule of thumb, however, would be to only respond to conversations that clearly CAN BE handled. And apologize when occasion demands.

Another good social listening practice is to have your social media team collaborate with relevant departments in your organization to provide accurate information.

3. Have Relevant Departments Go All In

Social media is clearly not a secondary channel for marketing anymore, it’s the main channel today.

And if that’s the case, then it’s worth having all relevant departments in your organization collaborating on it.

When an issue is brought up by a customer that your social media team doesn’t have enough expertise to handle, have them link up with the relevant departments that can provide apt feedback or information.

78% of customers say competent service reps play a huge role in a happy customer experience.

Image of customer reps playing a huge role

Service reps can’t be competent if they aren’t fed the right information by relevant departments. So departments in your organization need to collaborate with your social listening efforts.

Customers hate it when they reach out to your customer service via social media and don’t get a satisfactory response. Or when you tell them to send an email to get an issued solved. Nothing beats you giving them the right response right from social media where they contacted you.

“I have for 10 years—long before Facebook was even on the map—called myself a ‘relationship marketing specialist.’ And I love that term because to me it transcends the medium. It’s all about people doing business with people.”

Mari Smith, Top Facebook Marketing Expert.

And remember, it’s social media — everybody’s watching.

This doesn’t mean your programmers, finance people, and other staff need to abandon their roles all the time to respond to customer complaints on social. But they can play a huge role in assisting your social media managers with the relevant information they need.

An open communication line between the social media team and relevant departments can work wonders here.

That said, your entire social listening effort, however, is nothing without a good social monitoring tool.

4. Carefully Consider Your Choice for a Social Media Listening Tool

Social media listening tools help you analyze what’s been said about your brand and industry on social media.

There are many social media monitoring tools out there, which makes choosing the right one a challenge sometimes. But you need to find the right one for your business anyway.

An inefficient social listening tool will make your social marketing efforts unnecessarily hard and frustrating.

If, for example, your tool can’t help you sort out the different sentiments in your social mentions, it’s going to be really hard to start scrolling through the many mentions you get to get the one(s) you’re looking for.

Want to monitor sentiment analysis for the hashtag you’re tracking like this? Try Keyhole.

Social conversation monitors have different capabilities. Some provide basic functions while others offer more advanced features. You want to pick the one that offers the functions that matter to your business.

5. In the End, How Much is Social Listening Doing For You?

You need to track metrics that matter. Otherwise, it’d be all for nothing. And there are lots of things to track, but you need to spot the ones that really matter to your business.

A few things to track:

  • Sentiment: How many mentions about your brand are favourable or otherwise.
  • Popularity: How many mentions are you getting per day, week or month?
  • Influencers: Who are the influencers talking about you, how many are they and what are they saying?
  • Most engaging topics: Which topics get the most likes, replies and reposts? Knowing this will help you understand where to focus your social listening efforts.

What you do with what you’re hearing about your brand is critical in this age where it feels like social media is controlling the world. Use the strategies in this piece to make the most of what’s being said about you and your industry.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword analysis and hashtag analytics. Get started for free and conduct social listening for your brand.

Brand Collabs Manager: What is It?

brand collabs manager: what is it?

With influencer marketing and branded content continuing to surge in the digital marketing space, it’s no surprise that Brand Collabs Manager for Facebook and Instagram is being introduced.

Previously only available to Facebook creators, it’s a new marketplace tool being tested with a select group of Instagram creators.

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What is Facebook Brand Collabs Manager?
What Criteria Do You Need to Qualify?

What is Facebook Brand Collabs Manager?

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager is a new marketplace tool that allows creators and influencers to easily share their insights and engagement metrics with brands, and help find brand partners that align with their audience or following.

It’s an easy tool that allows creators to manage their partnerships.

Brands or companies can also easily see insights when tagged in associated branded content within the Instagram app or within the platform.

What Criteria Do You Need to Qualify?

To have access to this new tool, Facebook requires its creators to meet a set of criteria.

In order to qualify, you must:

  • Comply with Facebook’s Branded Content Policies, which don’t allow certain forms of branded content, such as roll ads or banner ads
  • Meet Facebook’s Partner Monetization Policies
  • Have 1,000 followers and at least one of the following:
    • 15,000 Post Engagements (The number of times people have engaged with your posts through likes, comments and shares and more.) in the last 60 days
    • 180,000 Minutes Viewed in the last 60 days
    • 30,000 1-Minute views for 3-Minute Videos in the last 60 days
    • Be a Page Admin for the page you are submitting
    • Have a Page that is in a Brand Collabs Manager eligible country.

You can check your eligibility on the Facebook website.

If you are the admin of multiple pages, you’re able to check the eligibility of all your pages with a single click.

Haven’t met the requirements?

Not a problem. It’ll also show you what criteria you’re missing, and your progress on the requirement.


Interested in measuring social media analytics across different platforms? Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides social media, keyword, and hashtag analytics for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Get started for free.

Instagram Messages: How Businesses Can Engage Their Audience & Tools to Manage Your Inbox

instagram messages: how businesses can engage their audience and tools to manage your inbox

There are many ways you can capture the attention of your followers on Instagram (and social media in general), but hardly anything is as powerful as establishing a strong relationship with your followers and potential customers via Instagram messages.

In this post, we’ll give you a clear overview of why Instagram messages are important for your business, the different kinds of direct messages (DMs) you can send, and how you can use this feature to grow your brand.

Let’s begin with a quick intro to Instagram messages. 

If you’re already familiar with Instagram messages, feel free to jump to the next section.

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What are Instagram Messages?
Plain Text Messages
Pictures and GIFs
Video Content
Voice Messages
Video Calls
Group Messages
Reactions

Why Should You Include Instagram Messages in Your Marketing Strategy?

How to Use Instagram Messages to Build and Increase Brand Loyalty

3 Tools to Manage Your Instagram Inbox

What are Instagram Messages?

Instagram has its own private messaging feature, which enables you to have one-on-one or group chats with other Instagram users. 

Instagram messages, more commonly known as Instagram direct messages, or DMs for short, take the communication with your loyal followers and favourite influencers beyond your feed and allow you to develop a stronger connection with your network.

In today’s noisy world, being reachable and responsive goes a long way in building long-term relationships and driving competitive advantage.

There are a few types of Instagram messages you can send and receive:

Plain Text Messages

You can use plain text messages to answer questions and provide support, reach out to a particular Instagram user, and to start conversations.

How to create a basic text message within instagram inbox / instagram messages

Pictures and Gifs

Privately send relevant photos with your followers to let them know of a new arrival in your store, announce an event or raise awareness on an ongoing promotional campaign. 

In many instances, our clients will send you pictures to let you know that they’ve received your product or started seeing results from your service.

If you get consent, you can later use these photos as testimonials and share them publicly on your feed or via Instagram stories.

Video Content

The option to send videos can prove to be incredibly useful if you plan to send demos or showcase close-ups of your products and their attributes/functionalities.

Voice Messages

Instagram recently introduced the voice messages feature which allows you to record and send voice messages to your followers.

Brands tend to use pictures and plain text messages more often than voice messages.

What a voice message / audio message / audio note looks like on Instagram

Video Calls

Instagram supports audio and video chat, but much like voice messages, this is a feature that is mostly used by individual users. 

Group Messages

Instagram messages do not have to be a one-on-one thing. Instead, you can create groups of people with similar interests and share information with the entire group at once.

Reactions

When you “react” to an Instagram story, the reaction will be sent as a direct message. This is a great way to quickly show your support, and it can be an effective conversation starter.

Quick reactions to Instagram stories

You can send messages from four different places in your profile.

1. You can enter the direct messages screen (basically your Instagram Inbox) and search for a user that you want to contact – or simply click on a message you’d like to reply to…

Access your instagram direct messages screen / instagram inbox through the home page feed

2. You can search for a user and click the “message” button on their profile…

How to access instagram messages by navigating from a users' profile

3. You can respond to someone’s story by sending a text, a reaction, a gif, or a photo…

Send an instagram message or instagram dm by reacting or replying to their instagram story

4. You can directly share a post as an Instagram message, by clicking the paper plane button under the post you want to send.

access instagram messages on an instagram post by tapping the paper plane icon to send the post to someone

Why Should You Include Instagram Messages in Your Marketing Strategy?

Now you know what types of messages you can send via Instagram.

But you still might be wondering how you can utilise Instagram’s direct messaging feature to drive real business results.

Here are the three ways Instagram messages can help your brand:

Create Networking Opportunities

Instagram Direct is the perfect place to connect with like-minded people and professionals in your niche, or reach out to industry influencers who have an audience that might be interested in your product line.

Improve Brand Loyalty

You can use Instagram messages to answer to any of your potential clients’ inquiries, offer after-sales support, or show appreciation to your fans and loyal customers. 

Being reachable and available will allow you to gain your followers’ trust and connect them on a deeper level, which will ultimately help you drive more repeat purchases and increase your customer lifetime value. 

Increase Personalization

According to Forrester Research’s VP and Principal Analyst, Sucharita Kodali 36% of shoppers want brands to make more personalized offers.

Similarly, a recent Forbes article outlining the findings of a survey by Segment argues that personalization can drive impulse purchases, minimize returns, increase brand loyalty and ultimately – increase revenue.

And what’s a better way to increase personalization than by talking to your customers one-on-one, where they can ask what they want, and you can give them the information they need? 

Next, we’ll talk about…

How to Use Instagram Messages to Build and Increase Brand Loyalty

Answer Messages

A lot of brands focus on creating new content for their Instagram feeds and stories, but don’t pay as much attention to the reactions or questions they receive in their DMs.

Chances are, you have some unanswered messages in your Instagram inbox right now – if you do, we urge you to take a couple of minutes and answer them as soon as you finish reading this.

There is nothing that will repel your potential clients as much as getting the silent treatment from one of the brands they love.

So, whenever a member from your community reaches out to you through a direct message, make sure that you respond to their message and give them the information they’re looking for. 

Sometimes, your followers will reach out to ask you something about your products – be it where they can find them, or if the product they’re interested in is still in stock, or they’ll ask the typical “how much does it cost” question.

Other times they might raise a complaint or share with you how satisfied they are with their purchase. 

Whatever the case, if you wish to be successful in the long-run, you have to make sure that you handle all these messages the same way: with care and in a timely manner.

Show Your Top Fans Some Instagram Love

Every brand has at least a few loyal fans who are constantly engaging with their content.

Constant engagers are impossible to miss – even if you have hundreds of thousands of followers.

They’ll react to your stories, give you a shout-out whenever you post something new or interesting, join your Instagram lives, participate in your polls, and will like and comment on your photos. 

These people? They’re golden!

They’re practically promoting your brand without you asking (or paying) for it!

So, you need to do everything you can to encourage them to continue engaging with your content.

The easiest way to do it?

Recognise their effort.

Slide into their DMs and thank them for showing you continuous support.

If you’re feeling extra generous, offer them a special discount code.

These people have probably bought from you in the past and are very satisfied with their purchase, or they really like your products but have been postponing the purchase for some reason.

Giving them an incentive like a discount can easily turn their virtual engagement on social media into a sales conversion.

Suggested Reading: What is a Brand Ambassador? & How to Launch a Successful Ambassador Program

Reach Out to People YOU Admire and Would Partner With

You probably already know the power of influencer marketing – nowadays an increasing number of brands partner with individual creators with a huge following to spread the word about their products. 

People that follow Instagram creators are inspired by what these individuals do, wear, and consume, so appearing on their feed will likely help you get on the radar of a wider audience and sell more of your products.

However, the best influencers on Instagram are receiving hundreds of messages from brands that want to collaborate with them.

Getting your targeted influencer to commit to your brand before they commit to one of your competitors requires some work. 

That’s where Instagram direct messages come in the picture.

Establishing a direct communication on Instagram after you’ve engaged with their posts and stories gives you a much greater chance of being considered as a potential partner, than reaching out via email.

Engaging with each others' Instagram stories through instagram direct messages

Remember the story “reactions” we mentioned before?

Instagram messages keeps a history of interactions and reactions, so by sending a message, this influencer you’re contacting will be able to scroll back in time and see that you’ve been following their work for a longer period and that you’re genuinely interested in connecting.

This will give an edge over your competitors.

Suggested Reading: Influencer Marketing: An Expert Guide On Marketing’s Next Big Thing

Drive Sales

You can send or direct people to your Instagram messages using clear CTAs in your Instagram posts and stories. 

Suggested read: Instagram Stories: 16 Killer Tips to Stand Out in 2019

According to a 2017 story by Business Insider, a whopping 72% of Instagram users have bought a product that they’ve seen on the app.

Including adding a simple CTA to your content such as “DM me for more info” will do wonders for your business, and especially your sales.

Once people do contact you, you can give them the extra attention and the tailored info they need to turn to convert into paying customers. 

To make it easier for creators and businesses to respond to direct messages and inquiries, Instagram has rolled out a quick reply feature for its business and creator accounts.

As the name suggests, quick replies save you a lot of typing, by allowing you to use a shortcut in order to load a pre-saved message.

This works well if there is a campaign you’re currently running, you’re launching a new product, or you’re organizing an event – anything where you would need to write a lot of repetitive information, and things that people would like to know the details of.

Here’s how you can add a quick reply.

Step 1. Enter “settings” in your business or creator account.

instagram navigation bar. creating a quick reply.

Step 2. Click “business settings” or the “creator” tab in the menu.

Tap the instagram creator tab in the menu

Step 3. Select ‘Quick Replies’.

Tap quick replies

Step 4. Create your quick reply and add a shortcut.

How to edit a quick reply on Instagram

Remember to include only the repetitive info as part of your quick reply – you’ll still want to personalize your messages by greeting the person who is writing to you in the beginning and adding an appropriate CTA at the end.

Let’s say you’re launching a new organic skincare product. 

In this case, your quick reply should sound something like this:

ORGANIC PRODUCT is a premium blend of INGREDIENT, INGREDIENT, INGREDIENT, which are all known to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. ORGANIC PRODUCT is clinically tested and completely cruelty-free.

And then, let’s say someone has sent you a message asking for the ingredients of this product once you announced it on your feed. 

Here’s what you’d do:

Hi Jane Doe! Thanks for contacting us. ORGANIC PRODUCT is a premium blend of INGREDIENT, INGREDIENT, INGREDIENT, which are all known to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. ORGANIC PRODUCT is clinically tested and completely cruelty-free. (Add by typing the shortcut) Are there any other questions we could answer for you?

Accessing the quick reply feature on Instagram through instagram direct messages
Accessing the quick reply feature on Instagram through instagram direct messages

3 Tools to Manage Your Instagram Inbox

An even easier way to manage your Instagram messages is by using some of the following tools:

The Native Instagram App (Desktop Version)

Using the native Instagram app will allow you to easily track and respond to messages using your desktop computer. The native Instagram app is free and can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

IG:dm

IG:dm has the same functionalities like the desktop version of Instagram, and some other useful features like quoting messages, disable ‘read’ receipts and viewing unfollowers. IG:dm is compatible with Windows, Linux and MacOS. The basic version of the app is free.

Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a convenient inbox management platform that allows you to manage all your social platforms’ inboxes using a single dashboard. Agorapulse’s plans start at $79/month.

Final Thoughts

Even though Instagram messages are an effective way to engage Instagram users, a lot of brands don’t take full advantage of the Instagram DMs feature.

This is due to several reasons, including: not knowing what Instagram messages are best used for, thinking that one-on-one engagements with followers consume a lot of time, or simply focusing too much on other marketing tactics.

By allowing you to privately contact Instagram users, Instagram messages enable you to tailor your messages to cater to every follower’s interests and their stage in the buyer’s journey.

With DMs, you can create a sense of exclusivity and build stronger relationships with your audience.

Of course, you can expect positive results from your direct Instagram messages outreach if you take the time to tailor the messages. Sending copy-pasted, generic messages doesn’t have any impact – or, worst case scenario, could lead to negative consequences.

Happy DMing!


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Writing Instagram Captions that Convert: Content, Formatting, and Hashtags

Writing Instagram Captions that Convert: Content, Formatting, and Hashtags

In this guide, you’ll unlock how to get more likes, more comments, and better reach using Instagram captions.

You’ll discover why Instagram captions are so important, and why you shouldn’t ignore the powerful engagement that a well-written caption can garner.

We’ll also share can’t-miss tips on how to write a great Instagram caption—real, actionable tips you can use right away.

Plus, we’ll introduce you to how to perfectly format your captions, and how to choose the best hashtags for your posts.

Finally, we’ll sprinkle in some great, real-world examples of Instagram captions to inspire you.

Let’s get started…

Jump Links:

Why Instagram Captions are Important

How to Write an Amazing Instagram Caption
1. Write a Killer First Line
2. Add a Strong Call-to-Action
3. Be Authentic
4. Add Value
5. Tell a Story
6. Have Fun with Emojis
7. Be Purposeful with Your Caption Length
8. Use Hashtags
9. Practice Elsewhere First

Instagram Caption Formatting Tips
1. Use Line Breaks
2. Use Symbols for Bullets
3. Use Emojis like Punctuation
4. Use Short Sentences

Choosing the Best Hashtags for Your Posts
Branded Hashtags
Community Hashtags
Campaign Hashtags

How to Find the Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Post

Why Instagram Captions are Important

Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, with more than 500 million of them using the platform every single day.

Those users spend a whopping 53 minutes on average scrolling through their favorite posts, engaging with their favorite brands, and buying the hottest products.

So what’s the key to reaching that enormous audience?

Perfectly written Instagram captions.

They capture the attention of the casual scroller, and turn them into dedicated followers that engage and promote your brand.

How?

They allow you to unlock more followers, increase engagement, and extend your brand’s reach beyond the borders of the Instagram app.

A good Instagram caption will capture your scroller’s attention. A great Instagram caption will stop them dead in their tracks.

The more time a reader spends reading your caption and engaging with your post, the better your post will rank in the Instagram algorithm.

With enough engagement, your post can end up on the highly coveted Explore Page, bringing more eyeballs to your posts than ever before.

instagram explore page
Instagram’s Explore Page

That’s why captions are the gateway to building stronger relationships with your audience and customers.

But how do you write a compelling caption that inspires your reader to connect with you in a meaningful way?

Great question!

How To Write an Amazing Instagram Caption

So what is the secret formula to writing the perfect Instagram caption?

Use this formula:

Context + Personality + Inspiration = Engaged Followers

It’s a simple concept, but it takes planning to put into action. 

Here’s how to make it happen:

Tip #1 – Write a Killer First Line

You need to put everything into that first line. 

Not only does Instagram cut off your caption at around the first two or three lines, the first line has to capture your reader’s attention, or they will just keep scrolling for better posts. 

So make that first sentence count!

The trick is to deliver the attention-grabbing element of your post in that first line before the caption is cut off, making it visible in your reader’s feed, without them having to click “more”.

Laneige instagram post
Instagram only shows the first sentence of your caption on mobile.

Here are some attention-grabbing elements you can put in your first line:

  • Spark their interest with some hard-hitting stats
  • Pique their passion with a disruptive statement 
  • Tap into their egos by asking a question
  • Trigger an emotional response with a compelling narrative
  • Share an exclusive offer that they can’t pass up
  • Tease their curiosity and keep them guessing
Socialnature instagram post
Use humour to catch your reader’s attention

Whatever you choose, it needs to capture their attention quickly so they will actually click “more” and engage further with your post.

Tip #2: Add a Strong Call-to-Action

Once you have captured their attention, you need to give them something to do with that interest.

A strong Instagram call-to-action (CTA):

Use active language

Using phrases like “register now”, “buy now”, or “click more” help your audience know what to do next. 

If you don’t tell them what to do, they will move on and scroll to other posts that do tell them what to do.

Virgin mobile instagram post
Virgin uses active language in their CTAs.

Creates a sense of urgency 

Your CTA has to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Phrases like “for a limited time only”, “available to the first 100 customers”, “only 24 hours to use this discount code” will get your followers to act quickly before their interest disappears.

Hudsons bay instagram post
Hudsons Bay builds FOMO in their captions before a sale.

Uses “You” Statements

The goal for your Instagram CTA is to make your readers feel like you are talking directly to them.

“Create a free Keyhole account today” is just not as effective as “Create your free Keyhole account today.”  Make it about your reader, and not about you.

Keyhole instagram post. twitter audit: how to conduct and optimize your account
Keyhole connects the post to the reader with “you” statement.

Stand Out

Before you can get your followers to do what you want them to do, you have to capture their attention.

Make your CTA stand out. Make it colorful, use great images, and use emojis, anything that says “eyes over here”. 

sephora instagram post
Sephora uses vibrant colors to draw attention to their CTA.

Another great Instagram CTA tip: Ask your followers to tag their friends in the comment section of your post. Adding “tag a friend who needs this!” or “tag someone who would wear this” is an incredible way to boost your post with the Instagram algorithm.

hercampus instagram post

Tip #3 – Be Authentic

Write in a natural way. Authenticity is really what matters most on Instagram, and is what will register most with your audience.

While your instagram captions and posts should be thoughtful and strategic, you should speak to your followers like you would speak to a friend.

After all, your followers are your brand’s closest friends, so talk to them like they are!

sprouts instagram post
Sprouts uses authenticity to connect with customers.

Tip #4 – Add Value

Your captions are Instagram currency—what will you trade for their time?

Offer tips, expert advice, or even humor to increase the added value of your Instagram caption. 

Adding value to your posts will encourage your followers to engage more by sharing, bookmarking, or commenting, helping to boost your Instagram analytics in the process.

instagramforbusiness instagram post
Instagram For Business often adds value by posting tip, wins, and case studies

Tip #5 – Tell a Story

This is where your brand personality can shine.

Every brand has a narrative style, and every product or service has a story. Tell it.

Be specific, cover the senses by tapping into sensory words that describe taste, sound, sight, touch, feelings, or emotions. Connect your reader with what you are talking about.

redbull instagram post
Red Bull uses storytelling to increase engagement.

Tip #6 – Have Fun With Emojis

Emojis are everywhere on Instagram—if you aren’t using them, then you are not speaking the native language.

ben and jerry's instagram post
Emojis are part of Instagram culture.

With nearly 3,000 emojis (and counting) out there, you can have some fun incorporating them into your captions.

The benefits of using emojis:

  • They animate your captions
  • They add visual interest, helping your post stand out
  • They draw attention to actions
  • They break up dense copy in your posts
mcdonald's instagram post
Emojis are often part of McDonalds’ captions, bringing attention to CTAs and the eyes to keywords.

Just don’t overdo them. A few, carefully placed emojis can boost engagement, but if you overdo it with too many, you can lose your message and send your readers packing.

You should also make sure your emojis fit in with your branding and tone of voice. 

Many businesses are incorporating approved emojis into their brand style guides, ensuring consistency in overall messaging across all social media platforms.

Special note: While celebrities can get away with a simple emoji in a caption, brands and influencers need to be champion storytellers, especially in an environment where authenticity drives the best results.

Tip #7 – Be Purposeful With Your Caption Length

Like with everything in marketing, your focus should be quality over quantity.

Instagram trends have varied from the short and punchy to longer “micro-blogging” posts. There’s really no right or wrong length for Instagram captioning. 

The more you post, the more you will see what works for your followers. But when you are first starting out or if you are in doubt, it’s best to stay on the shorter side.

madewell instagram post
Madewell does a good job at fitting caption length to post type.

About micro-blogging: This is a newer Instagram trend and a fantastic way to connect with your readers on a deeper level—quickly turning them from followers to brand loyalists.

themiddleageddiva's instagram post
Micro-blogging is a popular trend for for storytelling

Tip #8 – Use Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are the key to ensuring people actually find your posts—so make sure you’re using them properly.

Hashtags act like keywords. They’re trackable on Instagram through Instagram Analytics and other sentiment analysis tools like Keyhole, and can be the difference between popularity and obscurity.

Read more about using hashtags to find influencers.

Tip #9 – Practice Elsewhere First

Before you jump right into the Instagram platform to write out your captions, draft them somewhere distraction free first.

Whether it’s a Google Doc or even pen and paper, find somewhere that lets you focus on your campaign and engagement goals without the notifications and nuances of the platform.

You can also write out several captions at once, keeping your brand voice and message consistent across posts and social media platforms. 

Your first attempt will most likely not be your best. Give your creativity room to breathe and grow—you will be surprised at what you come up with!

Instagram Caption Formatting Tips

Proper formatting makes your captions and posts easier to read. The easier it is to read, the more people will ready them and take action.

When you are formatting your captions on Instagram, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Formatting tip #1 – Use line breaks

Line breaks are a great way to split up long chunks of text.

In the past, you had to use periods to simulate line breaks. Thankfully, the Instagram app was finally updated in 2019 to allow for proper line breaks.

So to add line breaks on Instagram, just hit return! 

Formatting tip #2 – Use symbols for bullets

Bullet points are another great option for eye-catching text.

You can use emojis or copy and paste text-based symbols from a text editor for DIY bullet points.

Formatting tip #3 – Use emojis like punctuation

It’s easy to go overboard with emojis. Used the right way, they make your caption easier to read. Used the wrong way, they clutter everything up.

Use emojis like punctuation: at the end of a sentence or thought.

Formatting tip #4 – Use short sentences

Long posts have their uses, but long sentences rarely do. Keep sentences short and sweet to make them easier to read, and use punctuation where helpful.

Bonus tip: But that said—normal grammar and punctuation rules don’t always apply on Instagram. It may be more authentic to write more casually and without full punctuation.

Choosing the Best Hashtags For Your Post

Instagram hashtags are an important way to make sure your posts are searchable, and is the best way to get discovered by new audiences.

This can transform into better engagement, more followers, and ultimately, more customers for your business.

Make sure you are making the most of them.

The Different Kinds of Instagram Hashtags

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are your own creation—unique to your business. 

Common branded hashtags are company names, taglines, or the name of a product or campaign.

This is an amazing opportunity to extend your brand identity and show your marketing creativity. 

Remember, your branded hashtag might have nothing to do with your brand name, just make sure it has everything to do with your brand identity.

starbucks instagram post with caption
Starbucks uses branded hashtags to celebrate the opening of their new roastery.

Community Hashtags

Community hashtags connect groups of like-minded users to a specific subject. They don’t need to be connected to a business, but they can be.

This type of hashtag is broader and less focused than branded hashtags, and is all about bringing people together. It can represent a lifestyle, a philosophy, or a movement. 

There are well-established community hashtags that have stood the test of time, and there are trending community hashtags that can reflect a hot topic that many users identify with.

If you want to create a community hashtag, keep the scope narrow to optimize the amount of engagement. Stick to a niche interest that will easily build a community around it.

shakeshack instagram post
ShakeShack combines a community hashtag with their branded hashtag to connect the two communities.

Campaign Hashtags

Campaign hashtags have a shorter lifespan than branded or community hashtags.

They can last a few short days, run for a season, or even for a year. But the point of them is to promote a campaign, product launch, or partnership, and are stopped being used once the promotion has ended.

coca cola instagram post
Coca-Cola uses their campaign hashtag #KindnessStartsWith to engage users.

How to Find The Best Instagram Hashtags for Your Post

In order to be prosperous with hashtags, you need to be strategic—not only with which ones you choose, but when you choose to use them as well.

The most popular Instagram hashtags are used millions of times a day, but that doesn’t mean that you will get your fair share of engagement just by adding #cats, #truelove, or #blessed to your posts.

instagram hashtags cats
#cats has over 100 billion posts

To be found, it’s better to use hashtags that are more niche to get your audience truly engaged. It also will bring in more qualified users that are relevant to your industry and brand. 

But how do you find them?

The best way is to look. See what your followers, competitors, and industry leaders are already using. 

A great way to find more niche but related hashtags is to look at the “Related Hashtags” section under bigger topics, like in the example above.

To do this manually can be a daunting task, but there are many tools at your disposal.

Keyhole provides advanced hashtag real-time research and analytics tools to gain intelligence from social media platforms like Instagram.

hashtag tracking - oreo
Tools like Keyhole let you track top posts and see what hashtags your competitors are using.

Related reading: Read more about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Hashtag Marketers.

A Final Note on Instagram Captions

When it comes to creating Instagram captions, being strategic is key. 

Instagram is also a wonderful opportunity to show off your brand personality. Combining your own unique voice and point of view on this laid-back platform lets you reach out to your audience in new and exciting ways.

But all the best strategies include monitoring your hard work. 

Instagram analytics tools like Instagram Insights and Keyhole allow you to see how well your posts perform, giving you a powerful understanding of how well your social media engagement is tracking.

Keyhole also gives you real-time access to see your audience’s reactions as soon as you post.

This allows you to tweak your campaigns to ensure that you are getting the best ROI on your marketing time. 

Honing in on your followers and focusing on leading niche conversations in your industry is the surefire way to attract the best and more loyal followers to your Instagram account.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Social Media for Nonprofits: Proving Your ROI and Impact through Social Media Analytics

Social Media for Nonprofits: Proving Your ROI and Impact through Social Media Analytics

Social media has radically changed the way people discover, consume, and share information about issues that matter to them. 

For nonprofits, that’s more than a good thing. 

Now your work, your impact, and your stories can get the recognition and attention they deserve.

Social media for nonprofits gives you the chance to tell your brand story, interact with your supporters and get them interested to support your campaigns. 

If you haven’t already, you need to start thinking about creating or optimizing your social media strategy.

But wait… 

Being on social media is not enough. Your efforts have to have some sort of return on investment (ROI) otherwise why spend so much time and effort on social media?

So, in comes social media analytics. 

In this blog post, we’ll show you why measuring your social media ROI is important, what you need to be measuring, and recommended tools to use. 

Jump Links:

Why Should Nonprofits Focus on Social Media?

Why It’s Important to Measure your Return on Investment (ROI) / Social ROI 

What Metrics to Track
Engagement
Reach
Website Traffic
Most Effective Channels
Conversion

Assign a Monetary Value to Each Metric Measured

ROI / SROI in Real Action
#WorldElephantDay
United Nations

Best Social Media Analytics Tools

Why Should Nonprofits Focus on Social Media?

Before we dive in, let’s first touch on why social media for nonprofits is an important marketing tool. 

Data by HubSpot reveals that the main reason why nonprofits engage in marketing efforts is to fundraise, generate brand awareness, recruit volunteers and share news.

nonprofits: why they engage in marketing
Source: HubSpot

Social media is perfect to help attain all of those goals.

Why? 

Because over 3.5 billion people currently use social media, meaning there’s no shortage of opportunities to find people who can support your cause through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What are we trying to say here?

If used the right way, nonprofit social media marketing can greatly help you promote your organization and find people to help with your mission.

Why It’s Important to Measure your Return on Investment (ROI) / Social ROI 

Let’s get down to business.

According to The New Economics Foundation, Social Return on Investment (SROI) captures social value by translating outcomes into financial values.

While social media is exciting to use, it’s also difficult to place tangible value, especially in financial terms. 

So, even though you got 1000 likes on your Facebook post yesterday, how much did those likes contribute to your bottom line?

For marketers in nonprofits, this is a difficult question to articulate an answer for.

In a world where competition for grants is very significant, calculating your SROI can give you a competitive edge.

How? 

Measuring your SROI helps you to identify what is working and what is not. Not all social media platforms are equal. Some are better than others. 

By measuring your SROI, it will help you identify which platforms are giving you the most return, indicating which platforms you should allot time and energy towards.

Examining your social media analytics will help you see where your social media budget is most effective, especially if you use social media ads. 

You will get insights into areas where you shouldn’t be spending so much money on. 

If you don’t practice regular measurement and reporting on your social media efforts, you may end up spending time and effort on a strategy that is not getting you anywhere. 

The needs of your fans change constantly so you need to keep adjusting your social media content to match their needs. You can only do this by keeping up with your metrics constantly.  

Analyzing your SROI will give you insights into whether there are any gaps in your social media strategy, content, and key messages so that you can improve accordingly and continue to offer value to your audience.

By measuring your SROI, you will give everyone involved in the strategy a sense of purpose and a better understanding of why social media platforms are important to your organization’s mission. 

It will also help to emphasize the value your efforts are contributing to your organization’s overall goals. 

What Metrics to Track

Let’s get down to work. 

There are a lot of metrics that you can track if you want to know how effective your social media efforts are. 

However, not all metrics have the same level of importance.

Many nonprofit marketers focus mainly on vanity metrics, which is the number of fans, followers, and views. 

While these metrics are good to be aware of, they are not the most important when it comes to your SROI and measuring your impact. 

You may get excited to see your video got a million views, but you have to go deeper than just the views.

Beyond viewing the video, how many people out of the million viewers took a desired action such as making a donation? 

Worry not, there is an easy way to decide what metrics matter the most to your nonprofit. 

What you need to do is ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What does success look like to us?
  2. How will we know that we are achieving that success when we use social media?
  3. What three quantitative metrics can we create to measure this success? (eg. number of donations received)
  4. What three qualitative metrics can we create to measure this success? (eg. the interest created towards a cause)

With these questions in mind, here are five metrics that can help determine nonprofit social media success:

Engagement

Engagement refers to the kind of response your social media content is getting from your online audience. 

To measure your engagement look at the number of shares, comments, retweets, mentions, and link clicks. 

Here’s our engagement measurement formula:

Why is this an important metric? 

Engagement lets you understand what your target audience values most.

By tracking the amount of engagement your content receives, you’ll know if you’re offering people value and if not, you get a chance to do better in the future.

Reach

Reach refers to how far your messages go beyond your fans and followers. 

When your Facebook fans see your posts are they sharing them with their friends and family? When they read your blog are they sharing it on Twitter?

Reach is important, especially when you’re trying to create brand awareness or promoting a new cause.

You want as many people as possible to know about your organization and its campaigns. 

Website Traffic

You don’t want people to just see your social media content, you want them to take the desired action such as volunteer, donate, get involved in your cause, etc.

The best way to do this is to get them to your website where they can see more about your nonprofit and its activities. 

Make sure that you measure how much traffic your social media efforts are sending to your website, and the kinds of interactions these visitors have on your website.

Most Effective Channels

Focus on the channels that are giving you the most SROI. 

It’s important to understand your most effective channel so that you don’t keep wasting money and effort on platforms that are adding no value to your bottom line. 

Conversion

Remember when we talked about vanity metrics?

Here is where you separate the wheat from the chaff.

Besides attracting millions of fans, you want them to take certain actions.

This could be to donate, click on an ad, attend a charity event, visit your website, etc.

You need to know how many people take your desired actions because this is the one metric that truly informs your bottom line. 

Assign a Monetary Value to Each Metric Measured

Does your social media successfully convert traffic into donations?

proving roi and revenue for nonprofits meme
Source: Procurious

Your nonprofit needs to know whether the money and effort spent on social media are adding some monetary value. 

Guided by social media analytics, assign a bottom-line value to each type of conversion.

This will at first prove to be difficult, but as you continue to understand your social media efforts and corresponding goals, you will get better at it. So be patient with yourself. 

Here are some questions to help you assign a value to your metrics:

How much is each potential visit to your social media platforms and website worth to you?

How many donations can you collect through your social media platforms?

How much does it cost you to run effective ads to achieve your social media goals?

How much does it cost you in terms of labor? (consider the number of hours spent on social media marketing over a given period).

How much do you spend on social media tools? (eg. scheduling tools, analytics tools, etc.)

By answering these questions, you will be able to find out how much you spend and how much you make, thus allowing you to quantify (in monetary terms) your SROI.

ROI / SROI in Real Action

#WorldElephantDay Uses Keyhole to Help Find Investors

Every August 12th, the world gets together to save elephants for #WorldElephantDay. 

This annual awareness campaign is led by the World Elephant Society, a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity organization.

world elephant day

To make sure that the campaign increases reach every year, the organization uses Keyhole for Nonprofits to get more value out of its social media presence in two ways:

  1. Find and connect with influencers: Influencers are a great marketing tool to help make campaigns go viral through their spheres of influence. 
  • Identifying the right influencers can be a daunting task. World Elephant Society uses Keyhole to easily identify top influencers engaging with their hashtag (#WorldElephantDay), and directly reach out to them to amplify their message every year. 
  • By measuring how much reach their hashtag has garnered, they can know which influencers to align themselves with, in future campaigns.

    2. Collect campaign data to help secure investors and sponsoring partners: The organization works with Keyhole to help identify campaign reach, engagement, and growth and then organize all this data. The organization then presents it to potential collaborators and sponsors.

The United Nations Gains Consumer Insights with Keyhole

Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) is a global movement that mobilizes relevant stakeholders to address the major health challenges facing women and children.

Much of EWEC focuses on advocacy and helping people to understand why the health of women and children is critical to societies. 

They needed to understand who they were reaching on social media, and how they could measure the success of their strategies. 

Where are these people from? What devices do they use to access and engage with their content?

It was important for the organization to have this data so they could effectively drive their campaign forward.

Using Keyhole, the organization was able to measure:

  • Audience demographics (geography, gender, sentiments)
  • The effectiveness of partnership engagements
  • The geographical reach of their social media presence
  • How people were accessing their content

The UN was able to access these insights and extrapolate data to pivot their strategies as needed, and to measure success with their social media efforts. 

Best Social Media Analytics Tools

There are several good social media analytics tools that your nonprofit can use to measure its SROI. Here are our top picks:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the best tools to use when tracking your website traffic, audience demographics, on-site conversions and sign-ups emerging from your social media campaigns.

Facebook Insights

Facebook has become a popular charity fundraising platform. Facebook Insights, its built in analytics tool, is great in providing you with useful insights in the ‘People’ tab.

You’ll get to see audience demographics such as age, gender, and geographical distribution. 

These insights will help you understand if you are reaching the right audience and the kind of reach and engagement your social media content receives on Facebook.

Keyhole For Nonprofits

Keyhole helps hundreds of nonprofits prove their impact through Social Media Analytics to maximize reach, get more donors, and secure more sponsors over time.

Our tool helps you collect all the important metrics that you need to prove your impact to your donors and secure your donations.

Keyhole helps you to calculate how much interest and awareness your social media efforts have generated.

With this report, you can show your sponsors exactly how much value you bring as a brand partner.

More supporters bring you more funds. 

Through Keyhole you can practice social listening to find all the people talking about your cause and your nonprofit. 

These are your supporters, your advocates, and your ambassadors, people you probably didn’t know you had.

By knowing who they are, you can engage them and convert them into loyal supporters. 

We cannot emphasize enough the value of influencers to any campaign.

Keyhole will find and engage all the influencers and celebrities out there already excited about your cause. 

You want to know how much your nonprofit is growing, right?

Keyhole lets you watch your nonprofit grow over time. You will always be able to tell if your campaigns are reaching more people and if you have more followers and why. 

Wrapping Up: Where Do You Go From Here?

Measuring your nonprofit analytics is a necessary task that should be part of your social media for nonprofits strategy. 

When you’re armed with the right insights, you will always be able to make any necessary changes that will see your nonprofit achieve its overall goals. 


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Instagram Threads, Restrict, and Product Launch: 3 New Features & What They Mean for Your Engagement

Instagram Threads, Restrict, and Product Launch: 3 New Features & What They Mean for Your Engagement

Over the past few months, Instagram has announced three new features that are set to accelerate Instagram marketing—Instagram Threads, Instagram Restrict, and Instagram Product Launch.

While Product Launch is still being actively tested, Instagram Threads and Instagram Restrict are a big deal for marketers and brands using Instagram to promote their brands, businesses, and products. 

Ready to find out more?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about these three exciting features and what they mean for your online brand engagement:

Jump Links:

Instagram Threads
Instagram Restrict
Instagram Product Launch

Instagram Threads

Stories meets direct messages!

On October 2, Facebook launched Instagram Threads, a new stand-alone, camera-first messaging app that enables you to stay connected to your close friends and family.

At first glance, Instagram Threads looks a lot like your Instagram direct messages. 

Admittedly, this was done intentionally. 

Instagram Threads is meant to be a companion app to Instagram.

To use it, download it separately on the App Store or Play Store. Log in with your Instagram credentials. 

Next, it will import your list of “Close Friends”—a feature Instagram introduced late last year. This feature lets you select a handful of people to see content visible to them only. 

Only the people on your Close Friends list show up in Threads, so those are the only people who will be able to engage with you on the platform.

If you don’t have a Close Friends list already, you can create your Close Friends list on Threads. 

Threads makes it even faster than Instagram to share a photo or video with your close friends. It opens directly to the camera so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps. 

In addition, you can turn on Auto Status (🚗 On the move). This automatically shares little details on where you are without giving away your exact location. 

There are also preset statuses such as 📚 Studying or you can create your own (😅 Procrastinating). 

Again, only your close friends will see your status.

Instagram Threads

You may wonder why you need yet another app. 

But think about it. 

How many times have you posted a picture which was meant for your girlfriends or family members, only to see your colleague from work comment on it?

The whole point of Close Friends is to remove the unintentional posting of private moments publicly by making sure you are just sharing such moments with an intimate group. 

All in all, Instagram Threads will give you the ability to fully control who can reach you.

You’ll be able to quickly access the people you message most and passively connect throughout the day, even if you’re not actively chatting with your friends. 

So what does Instagram Threads mean for your brand?

You’re probably wondering just how this very-intimate-sounding app is going to be of any help to your brand. 

Well, you do have a bit of a point. 

Instagram Threads may not hold a ton of potential for your Instagram marketing strategies right off the bat, but there’s a good chance this could change in the long term as was the case with Instagram Stories. 

Did you know that one-third of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses?

Here are a few ways your business can use a Close Friends list on Threads to increase engagement:

  • Offer exclusive content. Create a list of VIP members who you only show specific content to. For instance, you can offer early access to new products or features to your most loyal customers.
  • Engage influencers. Use a social monitoring tool such as Keyhole to find top influencers to work with
    • Then create a Close Friends list consisting of these influencers and share information they can use to help grow your brand. 
    • Now you don’t have to email each influencer separately, saving you tons of time.
  • Localize your content. If you own multiple stores or offices in different locations, create a close friends list for a particular geographic area. 
    • This way you can share localized content with a particular list.
    • For example, if you’re having a sale in just one store you can share these details with the list of users or influencers you know from that location—without bothering the rest of your fans.

The hard task will be to get people to add you to their Close Friends lists because most users are unlikely to add business accounts to their close friends’ list right now.

If you continuously offer and provide value to your fans, it is definitely achievable. 

Instagram Restrict

Have you ever found yourself dealing with negative comments on your social profiles? You delete the comments but they just keep commenting. Aargh! 

Now you can permanently deal with such accounts, at least, on Instagram.

In October, Instagram launched its “Restrict” feature that allows users to shadow ban comments on their posts. 

The new feature is meant to be an anti-bullying tool that lets you “quietly” protect your account from unwanted interactions. 

Restricting an account is as easy as swiping left on one of their comments and clicking on ‘Restrict’. 

You can also restrict someone directly from their profile page or in the Privacy section in Settings.

Instagram Restrict

Once you restrict an account, comments on your posts from that account will only be visible to the commenter.

If you want to see the comment, tap “See Comment;”.

If you restricted them in the first place for offensive comments then you’re better off ignoring future comments from them. 

The best part about this feature is that you won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account. 

Any Direct Messages from a Restricted account will be sent to Message Request inbox, and you will not get any notifications of messages from Restricted accounts.

You can toggle and unrestrict accounts at any time.

Instagram Restrict is quite similar to Facebook’s ‘Hide Comment’ option, which allows you to get rid of unwanted comments on your account, leaving it visible only to the original commenter and their friends. 

‘Restrict’ however, goes a little further, in that no one else, even their friends, can see the comment other than the commenter. 

The main goal of Restrict is to prevent unwarranted conflict between the commenter and account owner by simply shadow blocking bullies or harassment instead of blocking them completely. 

We know what you’re thinking, we’re thinking it too…

Bullies deserve to be blocked completely. Forever. 

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri explained this in an interview on Today show

According to Mosseri, when asked why someone would choose not to block a bully, most people, especially teenagers, said that this often can escalate the situation.

Restrict remedies the situation by not completely blocking someone, but still shields users from negative comments.

How will Instagram Restrict help your business?

Businesses aren’t spared from bullies or negative comments.

Often, unscrupulous businesses will use bully tactics to attack competitors. 

This can really affect engagement on your account as people will often be put off by hateful content in any form,

By restricting people spewing hateful content on your account you can spare your fans from the hate and keep your feeds clean. 

Use social listening tools such as Keyhole makes it easy to find accounts that are mentioning your brand negatively, especially if you have high volume social accounts. 

Instagram Product Launch

Hey B2Cs! Here’s an Instagram feature that will really tickle your fancy.

Instagram has been adding features to make it easier for people to shop right from the platform, from shopping stickers in Instagram Stories to their native checkout feature which lets you buy products without ever leaving the app.

According to a blog on Instagram Business, the platform is about to take online shopping to a whole new level. 

The company is testing a new feature to inform users of upcoming product launches. 

The idea behind the new feature is to have a product launch sticker in Instagram Stories and a product launch tag in-feed posts.

Details of this new feature are still scanty, but it seems that businesses will be able to add a product launch countdown sticker in their Instagram Stories. 

The product launch tag in-feed, on the other hand, will enable followers to set reminders for the launch date, preview product details, and purchase as soon as the product is available— all without leaving the platform.

Now here’s the cool part. 

When the time is nearly up, anyone who had set a reminder for the product launch will receive a notification on their device. Your followers don’t even need to be in the Instagram app to be reminded of your product launch. 

Now imagine how many sales you’ll be able to drive in your next product launch on social media!

For now, only a handful of brands in the US are part of this beta test. You can see the list here

Instagram Product Launch
Instagram Product Launch

Why Instagram Product Launch? 

Instagram Product Launch will, hands down, open up enormous potential for e-commerce businesses selling physical goods via the Instagram shopping platform.

Two things have been driving sales in the current online marketing era: FOMO (fear of missing out) and anticipation. People don’t want to be left out, especially where new trends are concerned. 

But at a time when the business competition is so fierce, how do you get people excited about a new product?

Truthfully, product launches can be tricky. Don’t you think so?

If you announce your launch too far in advance, the hype will possibly wear off by the time it goes live for purchase.

On the other hand, if you don’t build enough excitement, the launch might be overlooked.

In comes Instagram Product Launch—which will offer the perfect balance and help you turn a simple everyday product release into a huge event that will result in huge initial launch sales.

Instagram Product Launch may be in the testing stage, but as has been the norm with the platform, we’re hopeful for a wider roll-out soon, giving more businesses a chance to scale their sales.  

Stay on the lookout!

Instagram Threads, Instagram Restrict, and Instagram Product Launch may be at very early stages for any concrete effects on your brand.

However,  these three Instagram features will bring a huge boost to your sales and engagement in the near future. 

So give it a whirl! 

Start using Instagram Threads and Instagram Restrict right now and see how it goes. 

Don’t forget to be on the lookout for the global release of Instagram Product Launch!


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

How to find influencers on instagram to boost sales

Updated on November 7th, 2019.

Influencers have the power to win the hearts of consumers.

It is no surprise that some of the biggest brands in the world are using influencer marketing to promote their products and services.

Influencer marketing is effective, but not a all brands have enough budget to afford a top tier influencer.

Fortunately, there are micro influencers on whom these brands can rely.

Micro influencers are everyday consumers who possess a large social media following; generally between 1,000 and 10,000, though some have up to 100,000.

These influencers offer better audience access and higher engagement than macro influencers at a fraction of the cost.

One major social media website on which you can easily find micro influencers is Instagram.

In this post, we’ll demonstrate how you can use micro influencers on Instagram to boost sales and how you can find Instagram influencers.

Jump Links:

Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

Finding Instagram Influencers
Turn to Your Audience
Use Hashtags

Micro Influencers Should be Relevant to Your Niche

Influencer marketing can be used for achieving different goals, such as driving engagement, increasing brand awareness or sales.

To be able to achieve these goals, you must promote your content to a relevant audience.

This means that you must work with micro influencers who are relevant to your niche and have a significant following.

Ideally, you should find an influencer who is considered an expert in a subject that is relevant to your niche.

If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to reach your target audience and there will be no point in using influencers to promote your brand.

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro Influencers

When consumers see a compelling product content, they may become interested in trying that product.

In order to make a major impact on your audience through micro influencers on Instagram, you must showcase their experiences using it.

This can compel and inspire followers to buy the product or service to enjoy the same experience themselves.

For example, if you want to promote your product, you can have an influencer use it and share their reviews about it with the audience.

Micro influencers on Instagram can make a video of your product, share stories or simply post a picture with an inviting caption.

The goal here is to demonstrate how your product is enhancing an influencer’s experience.

Because the influencer’s following trusts them, this will compel the audience to try your product themselves.

In a similar fashion, you can promote your services too by having the micro influencer show to their audience how your services enhance their experience.

Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when working with micro influencers on Instagram.

The reason why micro influencers have managed to grow their audience is that their audience trusts them and they know what content attracts the audience.

They know their followers, so they know the type of content that will appeal to and engage their audience.

Let them give honest reviews about your product and allow them to promote your brand in their own way.

If you tightly control the content that an influencer shares about your product or services, there is a risk of the audience losing their trust in the influencer due to inauthenticity.

If that happens, you won’t be able to successfully promote your brand.

Now that you know how to use micro-influencers, will you promote your brand through influencer marketing?

If so, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

I still haven’t told you how you can find Instagram micro influencers.

Finding Instagram Influencers

Turn to Your Audience

When searching for Instagram micro influencers, you should start with your current fan base since you know that a connection already exists.

Since they’re already interested in your content, you should examine their interests by looking at the pictures they post and the people they follow.

Then, you should analyze similarities among your fan base.

Do they all follow the same influencer or brand? Does your analysis indicate that many of the Instagram pages you’ve looked at have common content themes?

By finding these common interests, you’ll be able to create a target lookalike audience to draw connections with others like them.

If any of your followers themselves have a large following, it is an added bonus for you.

Reach out to them and recommend an exchange of service or product for a review or Instagram post.

It’ll be easier to convince them as they are already familiar with your brand.

Use Hashtags

The best method to find the right influencer is to simply search for the correct hashtag or keyword that’s relevant to the product you’re trying to promote.

For example, if you want to promote a fashion product, you can run a hashtag search for queries like #ootd or #instafashion.

You can then determine how popular an influencer is by looking at how much engagement their posts are getting or their follower count.

You can calculate engagement with the following formula:

Are they getting likes and comments on their posts, and if so, how consistently are they posting?

It is common to find influencers who have purchased their followers and likes, and barely get any authentic engagement on their posts.

Avoid partnering with these types of influencers!

Tools like Keyhole offer hashtag tracking and keyword tracking. This can help you find influencers who have already published posts with your search terms.

If the content they are posting is relevant to your niche, you can reach out to them to market your products or services.

In addition, you can also track all posts that contain your hashtags in real time.

This way you can analyze the engagement levels of the audience in your niche with influencers on Instagram.

You can determine the impact of influencers on their audience through engagement rate insights.

The hashtag you choose to search should be somewhat specific to reveal satisfactory results.

For example, if you wish to search for Persian cats, a hashtag search around #Persiancats would yield much better results than just #cat alone.

Alex of VM Interactive says that the more specific your hashtag is, the more actionable results you’ll get.

With the help of an Instagram hashtag analytics tool, you can simplify your research.

You can use specific keywords relevant to your niche to pinpoint conversations related to your business and target audience.


Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

This article was updated on October 29th, 2019.

Finding influencers has become much easier over time – especially with the explosive growth of social media and information that is now available.

You can use available data from social networks and social media analytics tools to rank their influence objectively.

Using hashtags will bring your influencer marketing to the next level by filtering out influencers based on your contextual needs.

For example, if you’re looking for influencers to promote the Audi A4, you don’t need to use generic users who are influential in ‘cars’ — that’s too broad!

Instead, hashtags like #AudiA4 can help you find influencers with true reach and power over their audience to promote the Audi A4.

Want to learn how?

This article will walk you through some simple methods to find influencers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using hashtags.

Jump Links:

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Instagram

If you’re looking to find social influencers, Instagram is a great place to start.

Instagram has grown to be larger than Twitter, and is definitely a tool you should incorporate into your social strategy if you haven’t already.

One simple way to find social influencers on Instagram is to search for relevant hashtags, such as #AudiA4, and take a peek at the profiles of images that appear in the Top Posts of the hashtag.

Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Using the Audi instagram hashtag to identify influencers who talk about audi.

You can also use a tool like Keyhole to track hashtags and sort results by highest number of engagements or likes.

You can peruse the profile and compare against metrics such as engagement to determine if they are a viable fit.

When checking their profile, you can also check to see if they have an email on their profile, identify as an influencer, blogger, or have their own website.

Twitter

Twitter is another lucrative platform where you can find influencers.

Many users use Twitter as a direct distribution method, sharing their thoughts, opinions, and resources such as blog posts.

To use Twitter to find influencers, use the search bar and type in the relevant hashtag you’d like to search.

We’ll continue to use #AudiA4 as our example.

Using the Audi twitter hashtag to identify influencers who talk about audi.
Using Hashtags to Find Influencers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Using the Audi twitter hashtag to identify influencers who talk about audi.

You’ll see a timeline of tweets for that particular hashtag. Twitter defaults to displaying the top search results, but you can also sort by latest Tweets, people, photos, and videos.

You can scroll through the list and begin to find influencers for your brand.

Some key metrics to examine when identifying influencers on Twitter are engagement, including Retweets and Likes.

You can click on their profile to learn more about the user, and examine metrics such as their follower count.

Facebook

Hashtags on Facebook are typically used less in comparison to platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, but there is still a plethora of opportunity to find influencers on Facebook.

In the Facebook search bar, type in the hashtag relevant to your industry that you want to search.

You will see all posts show up. You can choose to filter the search results by who the posts are coming from, post type, tagged locations, date posted, and more.

Explore a users profile to determine if they are a suitable influencer for your campaign.

Using hashtags to find influencers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will help identify users who may already be positively engaging with your brand, and will be a good fit for your marketing campaigns.

You can also use Keyhole to identify top influencers within a tracked keyword.

Hashtag Tracker - Snippet of Keyhole

Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

5 Valuable Hashtag Marketing Strategies Proven to Engage Audiences

Hashtag Marketing Strategies to Engage Followers

Updated on October 17th, 2019.

Using hashtags effectively goes beyond casually plugging them into your tweets and posts.

On platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, calculated hashtag marketing can boost impressions, make your content more searchable and encourage users to talk about your brand.

Learning how to leverage tagged topics should be a priority for marketers.

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1. Brand Hashtags
2. Trending Hashtags
3. Chat Hashtags
4. Content Reflecting Hashtags
5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

Here are five hashtag marketing strategies that social media teams have successfully used to engage their target audiences:

1. Brand Hashtags

Think of a brand hashtag as your signature. Unique to your business, it should be a concise and relevant slogan you include when sharing original content.

Encourage followers to use it as well. This way, they’ll have a clear method of sharing posts with you and others interested in your company’s products or services.

The online community will also know how to find content about your brand.

Why Brand Hashtags Successfully Engage Audiences 

A brand hashtag is a way for users to let the social community know what they think about your company. Instead of just sending you a message, they’re speaking to their followers and other users who look for tagged posts.

Everyone stands to benefit, because:

  • You build a discussion around your brand, encouraging the online community to learn more about your products and services while promoting them. Ideally, consumers will also follow links you share.
  • Those using the hashtag will draw attention to their posts, possibly earning more followers.

As a bonus, you can run a promotional contest. For example, the person who creates the most-shared post using your hashtag will win a prize at the end of each month.

Everyone loves to win. Just watch engagement steadily rise.

Example: #WinnersFabFinds

Winners, a popular Canadian apparel store, uses #WinnersFabFinds across all social channels. Both catchy and unique, Winners promotes the brand hashtag both online and in-store. Another great example of effective hashtag marketing.

With more than 4,500 posts, here’s what #WinnersFabFinds looks like on Instagram:

Customers share content, while Winners gets original pictures of them enjoying products.

Measure any hashtag you want, including brand hashtags, using Keyhole.

When a high volume of users include a specific hashtag in their posts, it “trends.”

Social media platforms have different ways of displaying trending topics. For example, trending topics on Twitter displays on the top right side of the screen, and Facebook has a trending section on the top-right corner of your screen:

see what's trending on twitter

Constantly changing in real-time, a trending hashtag can last for days or mere minutes.

When you see a trend that relates to your business, don’t hesitate to engage in it with relevant content.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

By sharing content through a trending hashtag, it’ll be seen by a group larger than your contacts and followers.

In a sense, your audience can be limitless — anyone who clicks on the trending topic can see your post. And if that post is witty, original or informative, the shares it generates will further boost impressions and comments.

Example: #CollegeIn5Words

When #CollegeIn5Words trended on Twitter, Denny’s Diner furthered its reputation as a company with a funny social media presence.

Being funny in this situation has its benefits, as Denny’s earned an enviable amount of likes and retweets. Not to mention all the replies it received, with people tagging their followers to share a laugh.

3. Chat Hashtags

Popular on Twitter, you can use chat hashtags to discuss a topic with users who are interested in the subject matter.

This is a form of hashtag marketing that calls for users to be directly engaging with a brand or an individual.

There are a plethora of industry and audience specific chat hashtags.

Chats are typically held at set times, sometimes involving one user asking questions and others giving their thoughts.

You can also start and promote your own, giving your brand more exposure. Make sure the hashtag is short – encouraging meaningful conversation is key, so it’s best not to deeply cut into Twitter’s 140-character limit.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

People want to talk about topics they’re passionate about, so Twitter chats can give you access to a receptive audience. With a popular chat hashtag, that audience is already established and waiting to be engaged.

What’s more, contributing to a Twitter chat can boost engagement by letting you:

  • Connect with like-minded individuals. Many people may be interested in your company, but not know about it. Using a chat hashtag is a way of informing them about your ideas, as well as your products or services.
  • Demonstrate your expertise on relevant topics. If people are invested in a certain subject, they want to know more about it. Sharing your content can spark meaningful conversations.

Example: #TMLTalk

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

During every Toronto Maple Leafs game, #TMLTalk is a trending topic. The team with the NHL’s largest fan base interacts with supporters using the hashtag, encouraging them to share opinions and content.

Fans are passionate – giving them an online forum helps them interact with fellow enthusiasts.

Organizations such as news sites can also use the hashtag to share stories and earn clicks. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs organization gains another way to build, and communicate with, a dedicated audience.

4. Content-Reflecting Hashtags

Content-reflecting hashtags don’t have to be trending or even popular, per se. They’re not specific to your brand, either.

They’re simply tagged words that relate to a posts’ content. For example, a tweet about social media ads may contain “#digitalmarketing.” A post about a tourist attraction may include the city’s name, and so on.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences

Think of content-reflecting hashtags as a way of optimizing content for search. Audience members may stumble upon your posts when looking for the words you tag.

This is useful for companies that:

  • Sell physical products
  • Operate in a set location
  • Participate in events
  • Share posts about niche topics that don’t trend or necessarily merit a brand hashtag

Content-reflecting hashtags become valuable when consumers perform general searches to find a certain item or learn more about a given subject. Being an early result can certainly earn you a click, reply or follow.

Example: #CleanEating

#CleanEating is a popular Instagram hashtag that carries over onto Twitter and other social platforms.

For example, here’s a typical post that would be associated with the hashtag:

Although it’s dominated by pictures of home cooking, a health foods store or restaurant could certainly leverage the hashtag to potentially earn comments or clicks to their website.

If used in conjunction with a location hashtag, an in-person visit also wouldn’t be out of the question.

5. Call-to-Action Hashtags

The goal of a call-to-action (CTA) hashtag? Encourage the online community to perform a specific action involving your brand.

It’s a traditional marketing concept that’s applied to social media.

A CTA hashtag usually starts with a verb, such as “share” or “talk.” Then, it should have a few short words that give additional instruction.

For example, a mental health organization may have a hashtag called “#TalkAboutMentalHealth.”

When a CTA hashtag gains traction, you’ll see posts across social platforms involving people taking appropriate action.

Why They Successfully Engage Audiences 

Social media users follow CTA hashtags because they:

  • Feel like they’re contributing to an important cause.
    • Going back to the mental health example, people would follow such a hashtag because they feel as though they’re challenging the stigma of certain illnesses.
  • Think the action is genuinely fun. Who wouldn’t want to take a silly picture or share an interesting story?
  • Earn a sense of participation. If your friends are posting with a certain hashtag, it’s natural to want to contribute.

That being said, a CTA should be doable. You likely won’t engage your audience by encouraging an action that’s almost impossible.

Example: #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaigns harnessed the power of a fun CTA and became a wildly-successful hashtag marketing initiative.

Creating cans and bottles that read “Share a Coke With …” followed by a name, the company encouraged social media users to post pictures of themselves sharing the drink with friends and family.

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Generating almost 700,000 Instagram posts, here’s a look at an example:

Like a brand hashtag, this particular CTA campaign benefits the company and individual users. The users get to share content with a wide audience, while Coca-Cola gets original images of satisfied customers and potentially increases sales.

These five hashtag marketing techniques are shown to boost engagement by encouraging consumer conversations, making your content more searchable, expanding your reach, and more.

Implement them in your social media marketing strategy to see how effectively they work for you.



Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword and hashtag analytics for Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free.

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