3 Weird Instagram Strategies that Work

We all have those friends or family members who are super into pop culture and can tell you exactly what antics Miley Cyrus has been up to of late, the perfect Snapchat selfie lens to make you look like a bug-eyed fairy, and which weird Instagram account is “totally blowing up.” I’m talking about your tween niece or your always stylish and perky happy hour buddy. Whether you love it or hate it, they keep you in the loop, right?

My two main sources for pop culture news have been feeding me a steady stream of Instagram accounts to follow for laughs. From 3-legged goats to avant garde tattoos, I feel like I’ve seen it all, but it keeps coming! Every time I take a look at one of their recommended accounts I can’t help but note what these people are doing to engage with and build their audience. They of course have entertaining content but beyond that there are fun little tricks they use to build on their followers and keep them coming back for more. So, here are some of my findings mixed with others’ – try ’em out!

1. Copy the McGyver Lizard Tag Game

No, that wasn’t a collection of random words, this pet-stagram account is dedicated to one very large reptile named McGyver. The lizard’s owners LOVE spoiling their pet and posting pic and videos of him enjoying life, usually with his human mother. I have a feeling most people are repulsed by McGyver, but one thing is for sure, he definitely is loved by his owners like a child. The owner dresses him up, feeds him treats, brings him to community parties and takes him for walks. The videos are accompanied by simple, melodic music that always makes me chuckle.

Tag a picky eater

A video posted by MacGyver the Lizard (@macgyverlizard) on

The content is definitely entertaining so for that reason alone I could understand a small community around the Instagram account. However, the account has 115,000 followers at the time of this post… The McGyver secret sauce is the account owner’s tag game. It’s so simple and it REALLY works for them. Typically when they post a photo or video of McGyver doing something mundane or otherwise, they write a brief description asking followers to tag someone along the theme of the post. For example, if McGyver is just relaxing on the bed doing nothing, they’ll post the video with a description “Tag a lazy bum” and I kid you not, hundreds of comments erupt below with people tagging their friends’ accounts. What happens next? Those friends check out this account and follow the weird lizard lady and her pet. Genius.

2. Act Like a Teen and Spam Kylie Jenner’s Feed

Instagram is favored over Facebook and Twitter by the younger crowds so following their unconventional social media habits could help you grow your own account. For example, as Taylor of Later.com found, teens frequent Kylie Jenner‘s (of Kardashian fame) Instagram account not to check out her latest outfit or the yacht she is hanging out on that day, but instead to comment with 2-5 characters, usually “first” or “lb” on her most recent post and then peruse other accounts.

A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

(Expand the comments to see what I mean.)

Why? Taylor dug deep to figure this out. He found that “first” meant like my first post and “lb” meant like and I’ll like you back. Visitors who are looking for more followers could go to the “lb” posters’ account to like them and ensure that they would receive a like back. Same with “first” posters. Taylor defines this practice as a sharing economy. It certainly is a strange community that’s formed around, but unrelated to, Jenner’s account. I’ve tried this on my own accounts and definitely saw an uptick but it seems that I see the most success when I’ve engaged on Kylie’s post within minutes of it being published.

3. Post a Video of You Playing with Your Food

Honestly, you’re going to do it anyway so why not take a video of the fun and then put it on Instagram? Add a note about your current state of inebriation for extra comments. The key seems to be to get all the juicy, messy, weirdness in without demolishing your food – you must respect the food (don’t be wasteful). This is simple and worth a try accompanied by some #foodie hashtags and a dash of dry humor.

Let me know if you implement any of these weird Instagram strategies in a comment below!

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Elevate Your Marketing in 2016 with These Resources

We’re a month into 2016 now and I hope your new year has been going strong. If you feel like your marketing efforts could use a little juice, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these online resources for amping up your marketing in 2016 from the top marketing experts out there. Click the titles and/or images to open up the goodie.

1. The Top 20 Social Media Trends in 2016 – Bitly

Bitly asked industry experts to weigh in on where they think social media is going in 2016. The experts give anecdotal evidence for their opinions, making the article is particularly interesting and relevant.

The collection of insights vary from which forms of content will be gaining steam to rising (and falling) platforms. You’ll even learn some new terms (like, “crowdspeaking”).The Top 20 Social Media Marketing in 2016, According to the Experts - Bitly

2. Social Media in Real Time – Social Hospitality

Social Media in Real Time - CoupofySocial Hospitality’s post features Coupofy‘s amazing real time social media statistics. There isn’t much to say, except check it out, you’ll be surprised.

According to the data, in 25 minutes (on a weekday afternoon) there were:

  • 8 million status updates
  • 9 million tweets
  • Over 1 million new photos uploaded to Instagram
  • Over 350,000 new pins on Pinterest

Impressive! Take a look for yourself.

3. The Marketer’s Pocket Guide to Writing Well – Hubspot

The Marketers Pocket Guide to Writing Well - HubspotHubspot is a marketing platform provider with powerful tools for the modern day digital marketing pro/team. They regularly produce great marketing resources that consist of fantastic tips, sage wisdom, a pinch of motivation and a splash of healthy humor. Although free, they will request your contact information so be prepared for some follow up from them if you’re an ideal candidate.

This particular resource is a fun, quick read that will amp you up for your next writing project, whatever type of content that may be. This is more of a motivational piece. It will get you GOING and strip any fear of writing you may feel. In truth, a general guide to writing can’t be any more specific without focusing on a particular topic. It’s worth your time, go get your copy right now.

4. How to Build a Massive Mailing List by Adding Content Upgrades to Your Site – Beth Hayden

Beth Hayden is a marketing guru well-known for her email marketing and list building success. One of her latest blog posts includes instructions for and examples of content upgrades. This marketing strategy is common but Beth Hayden explains the details so that anyone can get in on the practice. Enough said, go check it out.

5. The Definitive Guide to Successful Email Marketing – Hiver

The Difinitive Guide to Successful Email Marketing of Hiver with Julia Gulevich of G-LockThis guide will help those new to the concept start their first email marketing campaign. In fact, this guide will help anyone, even the experienced email marketer, brush up on the essentials as well as the nitty gritty details. The suggested sequence of automated emailing alone is pure gold.

The piece features great insights into the all important analytics aspect of email marketing. You’ll learn some key troubleshooting techniques for when your analytics reveal your open-rates are less than ideal.

Hiver provides a killer Gmail collaboration app. Although in the email business, Hiver does not offer email marketing services. The guide is a guest post from G-Lock email marketing provider’s email marketing expert Julia Gulevich – she knows her stuff.

6. How to Find Amazing Content for Your Social Media Calendar (And Save Yourself Hours of Work) – Buffer

Coming back to social media, here is a great blog post from the ever-essential Buffer Blog. In the world of social media, content is king. Sometimes it’s tough finding good bits of the internet to post.

How to Find Amazing Content for Your Social Media Calendar (And Save Yourself Hours of Work) by Buffer Blog

This article will help if you, like most people, find it difficult to identify quality content to share with your followers. In fact, the tips and source ideas in this guide will help just about anyone involved in social media marketing.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

Unexpected Marketing Tips from Celebrities

It’s that time again when I highlight a few current events and pull out some marketing tips and insights. Today’s theme is celebrities. Celebrities are known for their popular social media profiles, fundraising efforts and unfortunate paparazzi pictures. They often have marketing super powers themselves (or on their publicity team, within their company, etc.).

1. Grumpy Cat – Tony La Russa Hilariously Tries (and Fails) to Copycat at Diamondbacks Game

The cutest and most famous moody kitty in real life has some expert marketing and licensing staff behind her. Grumpy cat has been absolutely everywhere the past few years. She appears on TV talk shows, t-shirts and even her own upcoming cartoon series. Most recently the feline paid a visit to an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game where she “threw” the first pitch. In reality one of her handlers threw the ball, but that’s besides the point.

Grumpy Cat and Tony La Russa Diamondbacks

Everyone on the team got to spend some time with the cat, including Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa. When La Russa had his photo opp with Grumpy Cat, he tried out the expression for himself along with the handler and the results were amazing. I am siding with the various media outlets reporting on the event that La Russa is clearly getting his duck face on, failing at the frown completely, but seriously great try, man. We can’t say for sure if the idea was proposed by Team Grumpy Cat, the photographers or La Russa, but boy was it a smart, simple marketing move.

Marketing Tip: Whenever possible, get your fans to do the marketing for you – whether encouraging them to post a selfie with the product to social media or just share a positive experience with your product/service with friends, family or a company representative.

2. Mark Cuban – Provide Great, Evergreen Content to News Sites

Mark Cuban is a legend for being one of the most successful serial entrepreneurs in our era. Immediately after college he got involved in selling software and therefore developed deep roots in technology. He has a knack for social media and often takes to Twitter to share news and commentary. He is very vocal about his concern over social media paper trails and the danger of not being careful with what you say online. In fact, he’s so concerned with this problem that he has created 2 unique companies to fight back. Cuban is an incredibly savvy marketer and decided to start publicizing his startups by reaching out to Inc. last year for a special interview about them and the problems they will solve. He started early and certainly got the word out across many channels.

So what’s so genius about this strategy? He is a celebrity so he can definitely snatch up these interviews without any trouble, creating a huge ripple of publicity after the fact. That aside, the key takeaway here for every marketer is that Mark Cuban didn’t just offer original thoughts and conclusions to address a problem, he provided evergreen content. News sites are still picking this interview up and writing about it a whole year later. The video went viral and continues to be shared. The content still strikes a chord today and is likely to continue to carry resonance, not because of the solutions Cuban proposes but the problem that will continue to exist for many years to come as social media networks show no signs of slowing down in popularity.

Marketing Tip: Incorporate evergreen content when pitching journalists or creating content so that the topics carry a longer lifespan.

3. Kate Hudson – Silly Instagram Post Promotes Clothing Brand

Kate Hudson is famous for being film legend Goldie Hawn’s daughter as well as a talented actress in her own right. She is very active on Instagram, where her per-post engagement is through the roof. Kate is very good at posting little insights into her life while sprinkling little tidbits of promotion for her various projects, posed as personality-rich, behind the scenes snapshots.

#repost #regram 😂😂😏😂😂 @theoliverhudson @fabletics @fl2

A photo posted by Kate Hudson (@katehudson) on

In particular, this post from September 3rd, 2015, featuring Ms. Hudson and her brother, Oliver, modeling garments from Kate’s workout clothing line Fabletics. Oliver is wearing a fabulous Fabletics body suit and Kate is wearing leggings, a sports bra and jacket. The image is staged as a “Who Wore it Best” contest with Oliver winning by a landslide. Kate reposted the image from Oliver’s Instagram account. The picture is funny, interesting and captures a special family moment, all in one – great appeal for both their fans.

Marketing Tip: When posting a promotion to Instagram, make the image a special peek into your personal life, ideally with humor when possible.

 

-Sarah Le
View Sarah Roullard's profile on LinkedIn

FYI Social Media Marketing Acronyms List

The world of Marketing closely follows current trends and cultural tendencies. Acronyms are one of these cultural tendencies that marketers are keeping close tabs on, so much so that they are now a permanent facet of marketing vernacular. Marketers have adopted many of the common acronyms in their messaging, keeping a pulse on consumer behavior and interacting appropriately. Beyond that, Marketers create their own social media marketing acronyms to make internal communication faster and easier. It’s a good idea to know these acronyms as you may find them around the internet and in communication with marketing professionals.

Acronyms are particularly useful in social media where character limits often apply or time invested is minimal. You may find your consumers regularly using common acronyms on social media. I definitely recommend that you take a moment to understand their messages – you could otherwise be missing valuable insight into consumer behavior!

Don’t let this overwhelm you. It may seem as though there is a new acronym every week, and that may be true. I’ve found that once I nailed down the essential, basic social media marketing acronyms, I have been primed to quickly pick up new ones, which are often derivatives of those already in common use. Once you get the hang of it, you may even be able to decode new ones as they crop up, without any help.

Before you navigate to Urban Dictionary, take a look at this awesome list of social media marketing acronyms compiled by social media management platform Sprout Social:

 

Social Media Acronym Cheatsheet - Sprout Social

Courtesy of Sprout Social

Outstanding Facebook Pages

Facebook logo - Outstanding Facebook PagesFacebook is a powerful tool that can carry a brand beyond the remote nature of its website home-base and into a highly social, discoverable space where that brand can find and build its community of like-minded supporters. Some pages are successful, many more are not. Below are examples of outstanding Facebook pages and what they’re doing right. These pages demonstrate what can be achieved through passionate, creative Facebook posting.

1) Humans Of New York

With over 10 million “likes” on Facebook, HONY is a groundbreaking photojournalism site that originally started out with subjects in New York City. Posts consist of individuals or small groups around the city and a short quote from the subject, with the occasional promotion of the brand owner’s photo books. The brand has recently broadened to a global focus as the founder travels the world with his camera for 10 months. HONY benefits most from the subjects themselves, however the photojournalist behind the brand also seeks out the raw, humanizing truth of his subjects. He’s capturing a person’s personality, even their soul, through his photography and interviews. Conversations crop up with almost every post due to the diversity and often controversial context of many photos and their messages.

What we can learn: Authentic messages, true to the page’s mission, are the mark of a good brand that inspire conversations and sharing.

 

2) Forest Freak

Environmental awareness and education oriented Facebook page Forest Freak posts daily reminders of the preciousness of our natural world. Their posts are inspiring and informative, consisting mainly of beautiful images of natural scenes. From time to time Forest Freak asks followers to share posts. This Facebook page has quite a following, boasting over 50,000 “likes.” This page draws people who are passionate about the environment and want to help spread environmental awareness.

What we can learn: Occasionally ask followers to share posts.

 

3) The Imagination Tree

Parents and teachers flock to this page to get educational craft ideas for young ones. The Imagination Tree has a popular blog counterpart. The brand was created by a teacher from the UK. She creates bright, exciting images of the crafts to accompany tutorials, which also offer explanations on how children benefit from each activity. Due to her background as a teacher, followers of the page can trust and depend on her to provide credible tutorials.
What we can learn: Tutorials with great visuals presented by an expert generate trusting followers.

 

4) Beautiful/Decay

This page features unique art from around the world. Posts exclusively link to articles on the Beautiful Decay website. The artworks are often shocking and depict odd, even confusing scenes. Almost every image will stop visitors in their tracks. Posts receive plenty of shares and “likes” but few comments. Still, at over 65,000 “likes” this page has quite the following.

What we can learn: Eye-popping images attract followers.

 

5) Carol Roullard Art

As you may have noticed, all of the pages listed in this article have a lot of followers. However, engagement is really what you want out of a Facebook page. The Carol Roullard Art Facebook page has much fewer followers in comparison but much the same level of engagement. In some instances, this page beats out the other members of this list for engagement. I help manage this Facebook page with my mother, Carol Roullard. We post pictures of her micro-crystal fine art, potential pieces, new experiments, event info, press, etc. Often times we pose questions to the community and ask what followers see in her work, as everyone seems to see something different in the abstract art. Followers respond positively to this. We often get a lot of comments and “likes” on posts that request followers’ input.

What we can learn: Don’t focus on follower count. Aim for engagement as it is the sign of a healthy community, which is the true goal of social media marketing.

 

 

6) Puppy Bowl

Proof that a successful Facebook page can be created from something truly bonkers, but in some way attractive to the masses. Mix humor with cuteness and you have the Puppy Bowl and its very successful Facebook page. Almost every post on the page features an adorable pup. As far as these outstanding Facebook pages go, this page is unique in that it has a powerful marketing campaign behind it due to its major television network roots. Animal Planet provides the marketing arm for the Puppy Bowl and so the Facebook page benefits in turn.

What we can learn: Cuteness wins hearts (and “likes”).

 

 

7) Hidden Los Angeles

The “things going on in my area” category, when done well, can be a highly popular resource for those living in and interested in a particular location. Los Angeles, being very expansive as well as a top travel destination in the world, is an easy target for the category. The page has well over 300,000 “likes” and lots of engagement, meaning that posts are relevant and high quality.

What we can learn: When you have your page’s mission, always reference back to it when determining each post. Followers will increase as a result.

 

Summing Up these Outstanding Facebook Pages

Across all of these outstanding Facebook pages you will see these key points for the page’s success: regular, frequent posting and adherence to a mission. Once a page has determined its goal, it can begin to post high quality content tied into the mission at a regular pace and new followers will come. Keep posts high quality and engagement will follow as well.