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Anyone on Instagram? Tips? Mutual support and following?
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Anyone on Instagram? Tips? Mutual support and following? Reply with quote

I just started an Instagram account, no idea if it will work, but it makes more sense to me than twitter as a visual medium. It also seems to be growing strongly at the moment and I know that in other sectors it is a great way to drive traffic to your website.

So, anyone else out there? Do you have any tips for hashtags or good accounts to follow? Anyone have any examples of successful accounts for holiday rentals on Instagram?

My account is https://www.instagram.com/villaarmeni/ if anyone cares to follow me I'll happily follow back!
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just me then!
I'm going to post back on friday - 1 week on from my first post - with some results and impressions. Meanwhile in case anyone is interested I am pasting below some really good and straightforward advice I am following. It was posted on the forum for Etsy sellers (I'm an Etsy seller too) but equally useful for holiday rentals I think:

"Hi, I just thought I would give you some advice about Instagram from someone who manages social media accounts for people, including plenty of people on IG. There is so much confusing advice and things said which simply are not true, so here is a list of things you should be doing and some myth busting.

1 Post 2-4 HIGH QUALITY pictures a day. I cannot stress enough how important the quality of the pictures is. The higher the quality the better the engagement and interaction rate with your account. Poor quality pictures that are dull, dark, have no color or "blue" as so many are; will turn people off your account.

2 Time of posting pictures matters, hugely. The time at which you post matters a lot. Depending on what niche you are in you will find certain times of the day will result in a much higher engagement level then others. Experiment to see what brings the most responses.

3 Hashtags. Again, a lot of people say not to use too many hashtags. I can tell you from working with many people on IG, that all large accounts have got to that stage by using at least 20 of the 30 available tags, and often all 30.

Nothing will get you MORE engagement and MORE followers faster (legally), than using as many hashtags as possible. Do not worry about the etiquette of this, in all my time working with accounts on IG I have never seen a bad issue from using all the hashtags and I have posted thousands of pictures in most popular niches.

4 Always write a caption to go with your picture and try to ask a question in your caption as this encourages engagement and response. For example if you are posting a picture of a jumper or t shirt, you would say "tag a friend who would look great in this", and this encourages people to think about your hypothetical t shirt and think of someone who might like it.

They then might tag that person in IG and all of a sudden someone else totally unconnected to your feed gets to see your t shirt. Of course you do this with the product you are selling, and not a t shirt!

5 Follow people who are in your niche area. Start to follow people who are interested in the same niche that you are in. Do not follow too many to start out or you will get a temporary ban, keep it under 60 follows an hour and do not unfollow people at the same time.

By following people in your niche area, they are more likely to follow you back. A good follow back ratio is around 15%, really good is 20%, and anything above that is outstanding; although not so common.

6 Unfollow people. Part of the "dirty aspect" of any social media account growth is the process of following and unfollowing people. There is no way around it, accounts that have say 5000 followers and following 200 look way more attractive than an account that has 200 followers and is following 5000. The goal here is perceived value, quite simply "well this account has a lot of followers, and they don't follow many....it must be good"

So, periodically it is necessary to unfollow people who don't follow you back, and as your account grows, to unfollow people who do follow you back. There is no other way in the early stages of building an IG account to make your stats look favorable...unless your account goes viral or a picture goes viral...(both completely possible I might add) There are resources on the internet to help you do this, Google is your friend.

7 Make sure you like some pictures that are in accounts related to your niche and make a comment or two a day, but again no more because IG monitors commenting closely, and if you comment too much you will also get a temp ban for this as well.

8 Interact and engage with people who engage with you. Sounds obvious but so many people do not do this. If someone likes something in your feed, go check out what they have in their feed and see if there is something you like, if so then like it back. If someone leaves a comment, go see if you can find something to leave a comment back on. Instagram is all about you scratch my back and ill scratch yours, so get used to checking out the people who interact with you, and return the favor.

9 Be consistent. The third most effective way to grow your IG account behind, following people in your niche and posting high quality photos is to ensure you post content every single day and try to not miss a day. People on IG love regular updates from the people they follow, and being consistent is one of the quickest ways for you to establish that you are dedicated to your account and people can expect to find new content from you every day.

10 Diversify hash tags through your products. So, if you sell a range of different products, related or not, this allows you to start tapping into new hashtag areas. As an example, someone in the original thread where I wrote this response made funny/humorous hip flasks. This allows you to start building out your tag selection into alcohol>alcohol humor>alcohol memes>drinking games and you can also say "tag a friend who you would like to drink with tonight"...obviously change the product but the method is the same.

11 Post related content to what it is you sell. You need to build up an IG account that isn't just about what you sell, but rather what you sell complements the other photos in your feed. Roughly 4 to 1 in terms of ratio for other photos is about right, but 5 to 1 or 6 to 1 is great too. The goal here is not to come across as pushy, more "hey check out these great photos, and you can click on my stuff too".

12 Put your hashtags 4 or 5 spaces down in your comments. By doing this your hashtags are not all clumped up under the caption you wrote for your photo, and it looks much cleaner and professional.

13 Think about hashtags and be creative. If you sell baths as an example (first thing that came to mind!), don't just tag it as #bath or #bathroom, you need to break out the creative tags as well as the straight forward ones.

IG gives you 30 slots per photo, so fill them up with other more cheeky/inspired tags like #fancyadip #treatfortwo #letsgetwet and so on...IG rewards creativity in both photos and their tags.

14 Mention others in photos by hashtagging them in your comment on a photo. If you want someone you know to see something, just put their IG ID in the comment and then they will be notified you have included them, a great way to let other people on IG know about something great you found.

15 Lastly, be PATIENT. As with an social media account building, all this takes time, a lot of time. It can take up to a year to get an account growing nicely so do not lose heart after three months if it is a little slow.

There is a lot more to IG than the above, but this is a solid starting plan and one that I use every day to grow IG accounts from a few followers, into accounts with thousands of followers....it it not a quick process but it works!

I hope this helps people understand how to set up and run an Instagram account.

Cheers

Nik"
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Afrique



Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Porto Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I use instagram for my art, so I will try these tips.😀
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Crossways



Joined: 09 Feb 2011
Posts: 78
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 16 year old daughter manages my Instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/devonholidayhouse/?hl=en
Let me know what you think?
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afrique, good luck, I know a lot of people on Etsy are enthusiastic about Instagram, and I'm going to be applying my new found Instagram knowledge to my Etsy shop soon.

Crossways, what an excellent idea, I think she is doing a great job. Maybe a few more tags would be good in there, like #cottage #holidaycottage etc. Anyway, you have a new follower.
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Crossways



Joined: 09 Feb 2011
Posts: 78
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Kirigiwi. She tells me that punctuation isn't important and lack of it makes the posts appear more relaxed!! What do you think?
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crossways wrote:
Thank you Kirigiwi. She tells me that punctuation isn't important and lack of it makes the posts appear more relaxed!! What do you think?


That's as maybe, but I have to punctuate! Also, it may depend on your target market Wink

Thanks for the follow!
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13143
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got an account, and I'm starting to add people, and a few have followed back, but I'm planning on starting to use it properly when I am in France next week. A good friend is a keen used, and he'll be there to give me tips I hope.
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent advice above. I know most of it having done a webinar recently but as yet I only follow accounts I'm actually interested in, so I'm afraid I'm a real slow grower. I have over 400 followers though. It's a really good medium that relates so well to the holiday rental business and an easy one to use I think in relative terms.
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amandajane



Joined: 14 Jul 2014
Posts: 182
Location: South hams, devon

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Kirigiwi. What a great post, it's inspired me to set up an account. Last time I was at our cottage we had some lovely wintery sun days and managed to get some pics. It sounds as though you need a good stock to keep up the "flow" so I think that will be my aim over the coming months.

Crossways, your place looks amazing! We are just across the water from you in Stokenham so your photos bring back the memories! Overbecks and walking to the Winking Prawn! I'll follow you once I'm set up.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2202
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I do - I find it quite useful for 'verification' so guests can see he are really here, and get an idea of the kind of things they might expect to see.
https://www.instagram.com/chaletlaforetchamonix/

You villa looks lovely!Very Happy
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amandajane yes I have a good stock of photos now from the area, and plan to do more of the inside and around the house next time I'm there, especially close up and vignette type photos. It does help that I really enjoy photography. People who live on site have it much easier!

Martha your feed is beautiful! I agree, it's a clear, visual guide, much more impactful than a facebook page I would say.

Yesterday I came across a photo of my living room, taken by our current guests. I reposted (with their permission) along with the lovely comment they had left. I hope this helps show, like you said, this is a real place where real people stay. Despite having a facebook page for over a year, I've never had that kind of guest interaction on it.
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, as promised, a quick update on my instagram experiences after a week.
First some hard data: I started my Instagram account just over a week ago and over 6 days I posted 28 times. My followers have gone up and down but I'm currently at 150. My Google analytics show 5 instagram referrals to my website, but having looked into it I discovered that most Instagram referrals show up as direct requests, and there were 31 of those (compared to 4 in a random week last month. So let's say around 30 visits to my website from Instagram.

For me that's a great result as my website traffic usually is pretty feeble.

In terms of gaining followers, a lot of people follow you hoping for a follow back, which I don't do unless their profile looks interesting or relevant in some way. I've connected with some local businesses and photographers which is great. I've also followed and been followed by other accommodation providers which is good, always nice to network and see what others are doing.

How many of my followers are people with even a vague intention of staying with us I really don't know!

I'm going to come back later with some more observations and my future strategy, but for now I'd better get to work!
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Running Chrissy



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great tips, thank you. We are in the process of buying our place but I plan to start an Instagram as soon as it's ours and to blog the renovation
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2803
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Kirigiwi - it is something I keep meaning to do and I am lucky as I am on site so I have photo opportunities almost every day. I am also very keen on photography (used to take b&w portraits of animals and children in my area, as a semi-professional, in a past life). I will be joining the ranks very soon....just as soon as I find the time. Does the account link directly to your website with a url or do you have to keep putting it in? Oh, I have looked now at your lovely photos and see you put it in at the top.... Don't really 'get' the hashtag thing at all so I need to do more homework.
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