The reason why I love social media marketing is its vibrancy.
It never stays the same – platforms add new features and ingenious developers keep coming with innovative tools.
As such, marketers can never rely on a static set of tactics. Marketers can’t remain stagnant, even for a year – without constantly experimenting, testing new platforms, trying new tools, without trying out new and improved ways to grab your followers’ attention, you’ll soon be forgotten.
With that in mind, here are some of the best apps that I’ve found for Instagram marketing, which can help to add something fresh to your platform efforts.
1. Pixaloop: Animate Your Pictures
Pixaloop is a photo animation app which promises to “breathe life into your pictures”. It’s a nice tool to diversify your Instagram feed and engage more of your followers – and it can, indeed, add a “wow” factor to your social marketing.
The main feature is that it gives you the ability to animate sections of your images. I’ve tried a few other apps that promise to do this, but I had never had much luck until I tried Pixaloop.
The free app comes with a few fundamental picture-animating features including:
- Designate an area to animate
- Freeze whatever you want to remain still
- Set up the animation direction and speed
There are plenty of neat features to play with, including adding animated objects, overlay with moving objects (like stars and bubbles), add 3D motion, etc.
The paid plan costs around $1 per month (if you pay for a year) and comes with more filters, as well as the capacity to export your creation into an animated GIF (which is quite awesome if you want to repurpose your creations across other channels, or even your on-site content).
2. Later: Schedule Your Instagram Updates and Stories
In order to succeed with Instagram Stories, you need to publish fresh content consistently. But if you don’t have a dedicated team working on your Instagram stream, that can be hard to do.
So how can you maintain consistency, without having to constantly be online?
Instagram stories can be scaled through scheduling, but not many tools offer you the flexibility of scheduling a week, or even a month-worth of content beforehand.
Later is a professional Instagram platform which enables brands to schedule Instagram updates and stories.
Later offers a few really cool options allowing you to:
- Use the storyboard tool to visually plan your stories
- Add links and/or captions to your scheduled stories
- Track up to three months’ worth of data and get detailed analytics on completion rate, engagement, impressions, and clicks
It’s worth noting that you still have to manually approve each story when it’s time for it to go live (as Instagram API doesn’t allow automatic publishing) but it’s a one-click process and relatively easy.
3. Linktr.ee: Create Your Instagram Landing Page
The only place that you can add a clickable link on your Instagram profile is in your bio, which is often not enough for brands looking to build their business presence, and drive traffic back to their owned sites.
That’s where Linktr.ee comes in. Linktr.ee enables you to create a handy landing page on which you can list all of your CTAs and links, in order to help guide your Instagram followers to your other channels and relevant web pages.
Basically, it is a modern version of About.me. If you subscribe to the paid plan, you can also add media and graphs to go with your links.
4. Unfold: Use Modern Templates for Your Stories
Instagram stories are highly engaging, and can help to keep your brand front of mind with your followers, which is crucially important. If you have over 10,000 followers, you can also add external links into your Instagram Stories, which can be a major traffic and conversion driver.
But with every other brand now publishing their own stories, it’s getting more difficult to stand out.
Unfold offers an array of modern and memorable Instagram story templates that can help you brand and diversify your stories content.
Unfold regularly updates its collections, offering themes based on seasonal or trending topics.
5. Finteza: Build an Effective Instagram-Driven Sales Funnel
Finteza is a web analytics platform which focuses on conversion monitoring and analytics. The nice thing about Finteza is that it’s very easy to set up and use – there’s no need for additional training to figure it out or set up conversion tracking.
All you need is:
- Add a tracking code (this part is similar to installing any web analytics tracking)
- Use Finteza’s WordPress plugin to mark any links as “events”
- Login regularly to monitor your analytics
Using your events, Finteza will even build automatic funnels for you to analyze. You can also add your own funnels.
Finteza is also a great Instagram traffic analytics solutions too:
- Locate “Instagram” by going “Sources” -> “Social”, and click the link to see more details
- Go to “Funnels” to see how your Instagram traffic performs.
The report will be limited to “Instagram” traffic, so you can analyze its performance:
You can further limit your report to a landing page (e.g. analyze traffic coming from your story).
Hopefully, these Instagram tools will help you uncover new Instagram marketing tactics and generate new results.
UK teen died after ‘negative effects of online content’: coroner
Molly Russell was exposed to online material ‘that may have influenced her in a negative way’ – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Philip FONG
A 14-year-old British girl died from an act of self harm while suffering from the “negative effects of online content”, a coroner said Friday in a case that shone a spotlight on social media companies.
Molly Russell was “exposed to material that may have influenced her in a negative way and, in addition, what had started as a depression had become a more serious depressive illness,” Andrew Walker ruled at North London Coroner’s Court.
The teenager “died from an act of self-harm while suffering depression”, he said, but added it would not be “safe” to conclude it was suicide.
Some of the content she viewed was “particularly graphic” and “normalised her condition,” said Walker.
Russell, from Harrow in northwest London, died in November 2017, leading her family to set up a campaign highlighting the dangers of social media.
“There are too many others similarly affected right now,” her father Ian Russell said after the ruling.
“At this point, I just want to say however dark it seems, there is always hope.
“I hope that this will be an important step in bringing about much needed change,” he added.
The week-long hearing became heated when the family’s lawyer, Oliver Sanders, took an Instagram executive to task.
A visibly angry Sanders asked Elizabeth Lagone, the head of health and wellbeing at Meta, Instagram’s parent company, why the platform allowed children to use it when it was “allowing people to put potentially harmful content on it”.
“You are not a parent, you are just a business in America. You have no right to do that. The children who are opening these accounts don’t have the capacity to consent to this,” he said.
Lagone apologised after being shown footage, viewed by Russell, that “violated our policies”.
Of the 16,300 posts Russell saved, shared or liked on Instagram in the six-month period before her death, 2,100 related to depression, self-harm or suicide, the inquest heard.
Children’s charity NSPCC said the ruling “must be a turning point”.
“Tech companies must be held accountable when they don’t make children’s safety a priority,” tweeted the charity.
“This must be a turning point,” it added, stressing that any delay to a government bill dealing with online safety “would be inconceivable to parents”.
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