Can you really schedule Instagram posts?

The Truth About Instagram Scheduling

 

The truth about Instagram Marketing? There are a lot of rumors going on about the different features Instagram allows for marketers these days. So how is it, can you really schedule images to be posted at certain times? Can you find out where your followers are from? Can you identify the hashtags that generate the most engagement and virality?

 

Scheduling on Instagram

 

Instagram report: best time to publish

 

The answer is complicated. Yes you can, and no you can’t. The truth is, Instagram limits the use of it’s API (application program interface), even for Facebook Marketing Partners, and these limits include scheduling. This means, that at the moment Instagram doesn’t allow marketers (or even it’s marketing partners) to schedule posts. On top of scheduling posts, any type of automation, including automated following. liking and commenting are not allowed.

At the same time, there are tons of third-party apps that offer the possibility to schedule on Instagram. Some, like Schedugram actually let you schedule a post, and they will publish it on your Instagram account at the defined time. This, however, is against Instagram’s API restrictions and by using an app like this, you are actually violating Instagram’s terms of use and risk getting a temporary suspension for your account.

Many other tools and apps, like Hootsuite, have found a way to work around these restrictions. They say their tool allows you to “schedule” posts on Instagram, but the truth is more complicated. You can upload your picture, include your caption and hashtags and schedule it to be published on your account, but the picture is not actually published without you manually approving the publishing at the set time. This means that at the time you’ve scheduled the post to be published on Instagram, these apps will send you a notification and a link to go and click on “publish” to have your image published. So you’re not really scheduling, just planning ahead and clicking on publish at the right time. This way you are not violating Instagram’s terms of use and the activity remains legal, although manual.

That is also why Allin1Social, being a Facebook Marketing partner with direct access to Instagram API, doesn’t offer Instagram scheduling at the moment. If this feature becomes available on the API in the future, we’ll be among the first to implement it also on our platform. Also post creation & Instagram publishing are not currently available on Allin1Social. In the meanwhile, publishing pictures on Instagram remains manual and “instant”, through Instagram’s own platform, just like Instagram wants it to be.

 

Instagram analytics and reporting

 

Instagram analytics report

 

There’s a simple answer to this: yes, you can get Instagram analytics and performance reports. They’re not available directly from Instagram, but several social media reporting platforms offer detailed stats and data about your Instagram marketing efforts and performance, including Allin1Social.

There are no restrictions for reports & analytics data provided by third-party tools & apps, like there is for scheduling. All the reports available follow the Instagram API terms of use and provide clean statistics and insights into the performance and engagement of your Instagram account. There’s a lot of extremely detailed information that you can find out about your Instagram marketing, your followers, engagement rate, filters, hashtags, publishing time and other details, that you can’t even imagine – let alone count manually.

The amount of data you can get for your Instagram performance is incredible. A marketing manager who sees our Instagram report for the first time is always amazed. There is no way to get these stats from Instagram, and, let’s face it, any serious marketer needs proper performance stats and analytics to back up their strategy, to understand their performance and to get insights for the ways to improve in the future.

 

Instagram report filter analysis

 

So what kind of Instagram analytics can you get? 

Your Instagram report, at least the one available on Allin1Social, will give you detailed follower data, including growth, the amount of new and lost followers, daily followers growth, the percentage of female & male followers and your most active followers & potential influencers. The details about your posts (posted pictures) include e.g. the number of likes and comments, and engagement by publication type.  You’ll then get insights into your best performing posts, post distribution, time analysis, best time of the week and the best hour of the day to publish in terms of engagement, and hashtag & filter analyses. The amount of available data is big, and the ways you can use the insights to improve your strategy are endless.

But can you find out where your Instagram followers are from? So many marketers are looking for this extremely useful demographic data. Unfortunately the answer is no, Instagram doesn’t provide this information at the moment. The only location-related information available is where the posts have been published from (if a location was added to the picture). As soon as Instagram adds new data to its API, the reporting tools will start providing the same info as well.

 

Instagram Report - hashtag analysis

 

When it comes to professional Instagram marketing, there are many tools and apps out there helping you out. But beware of the scheduling tools. Instagram API does NOT allow scheduling, and doing so might get your account banned. For as long as Instagram doesn’t release a scheduling feature in its API, we won’t implement it in the platform. Instagram reporting and analytics data however, is fully available on several third party platforms, including Allin1Social.

Marketing on Instagram is becoming a normal part of more and more social media strategies – and so should professional reporting. You can’t have one without the other. Let’s hope proper Instagram scheduling will also become available in the future.

Have you been using any tools to schedule Instagram posts? Have you generated a free Instagram Report yet?

Avoid these Holiday Marketing Mistakes

[Download the complete Social Media Guide in the end of the article: What NOT to do this year – Avoid these social media strategy mistakes on Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day]

Holiday Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

 

Holiday Social Media Marketing is hectic. We haven’t even gotten over Thanksgiving and Black Friday yet, but must be looking ahead for the next holidays already. How about Christmas & New Year’s marketing strategy? Let alone Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year.

One thing we should all do, is to really look back at the previous performance and learn from our past mistakes. What was our worst performing post last year? Which social media channel created least engagement?

There are some holiday marketing mistakes every social media manager should avoid this year, in order to have a well-performing, optimized strategy.

 

Make sure NOT to make these social media strategy mistakes:

 

Forget targeting

 

Don’t forget to pay attention to targeting: Christmas is not celebrated in many parts of the world, so specific holiday posts should only be published in the correct target areas. Remember to provide other relevant content for the non-festive areas as well.

Use Audience insights to define your audience segments and target your posts accordingly. Are your biggest audience segments in South America or Europe? Women or men? Create different tips for different audiences to maximize engagement.

 

Ignore your mobile pages

 

Do not skip optimizing for mobile. A large percentage of people  browse via mobile and tablets, especially during the holiday rush. Check to make sure your conversion scripts are properly tracked and your mobile landing pages and images are visualised correctly.

 

Use the same images on every channel

 

Staying visual and including images is essential for any social media channel now, even Twitter. Stay professional and make sure you images are correctly sized for different channels to avoid blurry pictures or weird cuts.

Check this Infographic to see the correct image sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Linkedin and YouTube. Use Canva or another free design tool to create beautiful and original visuals for your posts.

 

 

Optimize your Holiday Marketing this year and use the tips on our Social Media Guide, prepared by real digital experts, to make sure you won’t make the typical social media strategy mistakes over the holidays.

Holiday Checklist for Social Media Managers

Download the Complete Free Holiday Guide for Social Media Marketers, including a real checklist and a holiday calendar with content & strategy tips to guarantee a successful holiday period.

Holiday marketing, if done well, can maximize your results!

Download the guide

How to nail a Social Media Pitch

Nailing a Social Media Sales Pitch

 

First things first: there really isn’t a 100% correct way of nailing a social media sales pitch. Every prospective client who wants to work with you is different, and the best way to approach them and convince them you’re perfect for the job, is never the same.

Of course, we at Allin1Social understand that, which is why we’re giving you some of our best tips on what to do to nail that social media sales pitch, and how we can help you do that.

 

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENT & THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA

 

It is always important to understand your prospective client and what they are like with social media. By this, we mean getting down to the basics. What does your prospective client understand about social media? Do they know the differences between Pinterest and Instagram? Are they just following the crowd or have they tried to do something original with their own social media channels?

From there, you’ll understand why they chose the channels they did, the reasons behind their current social media goals and what they were have been trying to achieve through social media.

This will help inform your research and create a better insight into what you can offer to your prospective client. You should also review what they are trying to do with their website, so that you understand more about them and are prepared to share your findings and your recommendations on what their goals should be. So take your time going through their website and social media channels – this is a crucial step in getting your facts right to be able to start working towards a digital strategy that’s based on real data.

 

2. CONDUCT A 360° SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYSIS 

 

Social Media Comparison Report - content type - Allin1Social

By 360, we truly mean 360! You will need to do an all-round social media situational analysis for your prospective client in order to get a complete understanding of them and their social media. Yes, this calls for in-depth social media research.

Gathering such research is, without a doubt, time-consuming but there are many tools out there that can help you with this. Our expertise in social media reporting means we know what you are looking for when it comes to an all-in-one social media analysis. We built our reporting platform to ensure you get a full social media performance analysis at the click of your fingers, or mouse.

(To know more, check out the different types of reports and benchmark analyses Allin1Social can help you with.)

 

Why do you need such research?

 

Competitor report - engagement - Allin1Social

 

You want to ensure that you know what your prospective client’s social media performance is like right now, and more importantly, what their competitors are doing. How does your prospective client benchmark against their competitors? Who has the best strategy? What is working for them and what is not? Where are your clients posting and when? What are they doing differently than the rest of the industry?

Knowing what your client does and what your client’s competitors do is important to understand what their target audience wants, so that you can understand how to get more customer engagement, which can ultimately translate into more sales.

 

How to get all the facts & stats?

 

You might be surprised to see how many statistics and insights your prospective client, and maybe even you, never knew about. Instead of spending hours on different social media channels, a social media reporting platform can make your life a whole lot easier because you can get all the reports you want at the click of a mouse. You can find out the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ of all social media actions of your prospective client, and their competitors. This will help you to draw insights that you can then present, all of which are backed up with proper social media analytics so you can prove your point.

Industry comparison - engagement - Allin1Social

 

The main point is to wow your prospective client at your social media sales pitch by showing them how well you know their industry, their positioning against their competitors and their own performance statistics.

This is the moment to really win them over and to prove that you’ve done your homework; that you know a lot about your prospective client and their social media presence and perfomance, and that you are a dedicated collaborator and contributor even before you nail the job.

 

3. USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE TO PLAN A WINNING STRATEGY

 

Now that you understand your prospective client and their social media, and you have done your 360 social media situational analysis, it’s time to get cracking on what recommendations you can give and the strategy and campaigns you can plan.

These recommendations can make or break your pitch presentation, simply because once you wow them with research and figures, you need to continue that wow by showing them why you are the expert they should work with. Most of the time, your prospective client may not be an expert in social media. This is where you come in: to tell them what they are missing out on and what they can do better. It could be anything from the voice of their social media posts to joining some new social media channels they might have not considered before (Pinterest? Snapchat? Or if they’re targeting Chinese customers in particular, maybe WeChat?).

But most of all, you need to create a creative, well-planned strategy /campaign – whatever it is you are pitching for. Use the detailed insights you have in your advantage. You now know what has been working well for the prospective client in the past, and what not. This information will help you plan a rocking strategy to present.

Comparison - best time to publish - Social media report by Allin1Social

Have a think about how you can best use your expertise to enhance what the prospective client has been doing after all the research that you have done. You want to include all of this in your pitch, and you also want to assure your prospective client that you have social media monitoring built into the strategy you’re planning, and that you have chosen the right tools to help you.

 

4. NOW GO ROCK THAT SOCIAL MEDIA PITCH! 

 

So you’ve done your research, created your strategy and slides and you know the data you have to present. Next, take a deep breath and go ROCK that social media pitch. The amount of detailed data that you have, if you did your research well, is going to blow your prospective client’s mind and get you the job. Good luck!

Social Media Check – Ferrari

social media check ferrari

 

Ferrari took the finance world by the storm this week, when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday October 21st. Ferrari’s stock, which is trading  with the symbol RACE, is fetching a premium to its IPO price.

We’re not that into finance and stock rates, but we do love social media and big brands. So we asked: How is this exclusive, luxury car brand doing on Facebook? With over 16 million fans following their Facebook page, their social media team has a big audience to engage with.

Here’s what Allin1Social’s Benchmark Report revealed us:

 

ferrari - facebook page

 

In just 30 days, from mid September 2015 to mid October, the brand has gained over 9 thousand new fans on their Facebook page. It sounds like a huge amount of people, but actually only represents a growth of 0.1% considering their massive follower base of over 16 million. A steady growth is always a good sign, so it means the luxury car brand is going in the right direction with their social media marketing on Facebook.

 

ferrari - fans growth on facebook

 

 

The engagement figures seem pretty impressive as well. Ferrari has gotten over 500 thousand likes, 8000 comments and 77 thousand shares on its posts in the past month. Likes and shares represent the biggest part of engagement, whereas commenting is a much less common type of action within the followers. Perhaps the brand could try to spark more conversations by asking questions and replying to comments.

 

Ferrari - engagement on Facebook

 

 

When taking a better look at the type of content Ferrari posts on their Facebook Page, the distribution is almost equal between photo posts, videos and link posts. It’s obvious Ferrari knows what to post in order to gain more engagement on social media. Simple status posts are history, and photos, videos or links are the only way to attract attention these days, in the overly-crowded Newsfeeds.

 

Ferrari - content by type

 

Based on the number of people reached and the engagement the different posts have generated, we can determine that by far the best day of the week for Ferrari to post on Facebook, is Wednesday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday perform pretty well too, but the remaining days seem pretty slow  in terms of post performance, which means that the brand should consider some other content or time of the day for publishing to get the figures up on those days.

 

Ferrari - best time to publish on facebook

 

 

Ferrari’s best Facebook posts of the past month in terms of engagement they generated are the ones below. An image post about the launch or a new car model on Cctober 13th gained more tan 22 thousand likes and almost 4000 shares. Another image showing the unveiling event of a new Ferrari Spider in September did almost as well in terms of shares, although it gained less likes and comments.

 

Ferrari - best performing post on Facebook

 

 

This social media analysis report is merely the tip of the iceberg in social media monitoring, and it’s strictly focused on the performance of Ferrari’s Facebook page in the September and October 2015.  The analytics data available on Allin1Social’s performance reports is incredibly detailed and can reveal surprising stats on a brand’s audience, engagement rate and post performance.

Ferrari, and any other brand, should really take a careful look into their social media performance, and use all the insights in their favor to determine the optimal time for publishing, the best type of post and the mistakes that shouldn’t be repeated. Even the best of the industry can do better and keep on improving their strategy and ROI. Past performance is the key to future development, and all the manually retrievable data can actually be automatically loaded in no time.

 

Congratulations to Ferrari for their launch on the New York Stock Market, and keep on the good job on Social Media!

8 Best Practices for Successful Instagram Marketing

8 Best Practices for Successful Instagram Marketing

 

Beyond just being another social media platform, Instagram is a phenomenon that took the internet by storm, growing from zero to 100 million users in just a few years from its launch.

Perhaps its wide user-base and big potentials for marketing are what makes it appealing for more and more brands to build presence on the network. Yet, despite the competition, it’s never too late to join and master how to use the platform in a way to stand out from the competition.

Once you decide to create a presence on Instagram, it’s important to know how to make the most of the tools and features available on the platform to effectively build more brand awareness and community engagement. Use these Instagram marketing best practices to maximize your results.

 

  1. Determine if Instagram is right for your brand

Retail, fast food and construction are some of the top-ranked industries on Instagram in terms of engagement. But just because your brand is not in retail, doesn’t mean you can’t use Instagram for successful brand marketing. Many supposedly ‘boring’ brands are effectively using Instagram to boost their brand awareness and engagement. Just look at Intel and American Express, both top brands on Instagram, engaging their followers by creating behind-the-scene images, sneak peeks and employee and user submitted photos and videos.

 

Intel Instagram American Express Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some companies, even B2B,  also use Instagram to show the daily office life and to introduce their employees in order to give a “human touch” for their rather professional brand.

In addition to that, 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35. If your main target audience falls within that age group, it’s already a big enough reason for you to build an Instagram presence. Define your audience and decide whether Instagram is the right platform for you –if your main audience is not there,  can you use it to engage with new potential target audiences?

 

  1. Create content that resonates with your audience

Brands that are successful in making social media marketing work for them, do so because they focus on their followers. They are aware that it’s not about their products, but about what their audience wants. Entertain and engage with your followers by telling your stories in ways that you can entertain and engage with your community while communicating about your brand and products at the same time. Imagine what kind of pictures you like to see while browsing through your Instagram feed. Your picture can show an everyday situation, but your product can be a part of the picture – often a subtle presence is enough.

This applies even more on a photo-sharing network. Determining what your audience wants and letting them connect with your brand at a personal level pays off in the long-run.

 

  1. Leverage user-generated content

Getting followers to submit photos is a creative way to boost engagement, to get “free” content  and to create social proof. Your followers can share photos or videos of them using your products, receiving a giveaway from you, sharing their experiences with your products, etc. Find the best way that suits your brand. Top brands are having success in encouraging their fans to submit content with a specific hashtag, by giving them credits or rewarding them. Often being featured on the brand page, or receiving a like from the brand is a big enough reward for many.

 

  1. Understand how linking works in Instagram

Note that on Instagram, links are not clickable except on your profile page. Whether you want to link to your site, pages, a contest, or a giveaway, your best option is to include a call to action in your posts, images or captions. Create compelling post captions with a call to action for your followers to click on the actual link on your profile bio.

 

  1. Include Hashtags, always

This should be obvious – hashtags matter on Instagram more than anywhere else. Use them! Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. Including hashtags in your posts also helps you get found by your target audience; especially with the updated ‘Search & Explore’ feature on Instagram that has made it easier for users to explore images with specific hashtags.

 

  1. Cross-promote

Instagram lets you publish content on other social media sites with a click of the mouse. But aside from that, you can integrate your Instagram marketing within a cross-platform strategy and use Instagram in conjunction with your other social media accounts to publish content.

This helps you not only to get more eyes on your content, but also to use the integrated power of your presence on each social media site to your advantage. For example, include a call-to-action on your Instagram posts for your followers to check out your free offer on Facebook or a contest on Snapchat.

Instagram notifications

 

  1. Ask your followers to turn on notifications

Instagram released a feature earlier this year, which allows users to be notified whenever a brand or a person they follow publishes something.  This is a great opportunity for marketers to make sure their top followers never miss a post. Don’t be afraid to be direct and invite your followers to click and turn on notifications.

 

  1. Analyze your performance and use the insights to do better

Monitor your performance and use analytics to define your strong and weak points as well as to optimize your strategy. Instagram doesn’t provide statistics yet, so you need to use a social media platform to get performance data on your Instagram presence: track your most engaging hashtags, your filters that are gaining more likes, the best time of the week or the day to publish, the potential influencers within your followers and optimize your strategy based on these insights to improve your performance.

Instagram Report - Allin1Social

What ideas have you used and worked for you? Have you created your Instagram performance Report with Allin1Social already?

Do you have some marketing tips to add to the list? Share your knowledge on the comment box!

Infographic: Top performing Expo pavilions on Facebook

The global event of Expo Milan 2015 is heating up … and competition has started! All participating countries are showing their best at the event, but are also competing on social media with an increasing number of posts every day.

To find out which are the winning Expo pavilions on Facebook, we used our social media management platform that gives access to detailed reporting and Analytics. We collected interesting and useful information on the top performing pavilions in terms of community, engagement and growth. In this infographic, you can see the social media winners of June 2015.

You can generate similar reports and use Analytics by connecting your social media accounts to Allin1Social platform!

Click here to sign up for freehttp://www.allin1social.com/registration/

 

Allin1Social-Infographic. Best performing EXPO pavilions on social media.Download the full size PDF here.

Is the Automotive industry really behind the rest when it comes to Social Media?

This week we will analyse how well the Automotive sector in UK performs on Facebook in terms of Fan Growth, Engagement and Content distribution. The analysis is run on 12 brand pages and data refer to December 2013 as the period.

 

automotive_uk_fan_growth

Community growth:

  • Peugeot, Mercedes-Benz and Ford are the 3 pages that have experienced the largest growth in terms of new fans aquisition.
  • the performance of the top 3 pages has been 2-3 times better than the average +5%

Content distribution:

  • all 12 pages published a total of 411 posts
  • in the previous month (November 2013) the total posts published were 492, +16.5%
  • the most popular Post type was Photo with 353 posts representing 86% of all content published

 

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Quilmes and Skol, the battles of Latin beers on Facebook

Today we are going to analyse an interesting comparison between two of the top beer brands in South America: Skol (Brazil) and Quilmes (Argentina).

If we had to judge on popularity and decided to use the number of Fans as a metric we could assume that both brands are pretty much even since their market penetration on Facebook in their respective countries is rather similar (between 15% and 16%).

Instead we want to assess the type of strategy that both brands adopt in terms of communication on Facebook and the level of engagement they are achieving. The period analysed is June 2013 during which Skol have published 130 posts while Quilmes only half of that number with 67 posts.

 

 

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Facebook Page Fans distibuted by local country

Have you ever wondered if all those fans on some Facebook pages are really genuine?

Well now you have a way to find out where those fans are coming from in terms of location at least.

Surely you have come across browsing statistics website some pages allegedly allocated to a specific country where their number of fans reach and some time even go over the total of number of Facebook users for the same country. How can that be possible?

Allin1Social is now making available publicly the source of fans by location meaning that you can find out for any Facebook page the distribution of their fans in terms of their location.

Take a look at Coca-Cola for instance, did you know that Brazil and US make up for 40% of all their fans?
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Want to know the most used terms of any brand in Facebook?

Allin1Social releases today a new Tag Cloud functionality across all Facebook and Google+ pages.

Wait a second, aren’t Tag Clouds a thing of the past? Well, just read a bit more and judge it yourself…

This new feature is available to all Allin1social users allowing them to find out about the key terms used by any brand within their post content and not only. In fact you can search for the most popular terms for both Page Posts and Users Posts.

Now, just for a minute, imagine you are a top brand in a competitive sector and want to find out about the communication strategy of your main competitors…
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