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Instagram Has Added Stories To Its Explore Tab


Instagram is starting its first maneuver with its new focus on Stories.

The photography-phile social media platform has just now announced that Stories content will be displayed on that platform’s Explore screen to help users find more relevant Stories content.


As you can see, Stories are now displayed along the top of your Instagram Explore feed. The Stories content shown in this section will highlight “the most interesting stories from across Instagram’s vast global community – and like the rest of Explore, the stories you’ll see are personalized to your interests.”

Most importantly, the Stories shown will be from users you don’t already follow. That’s a big deal because discovery on Snapchat is virtually impossible. By design, Snapchat is made to be more of an ‘in the know’ app, there are no search features, you have to come across relevant Snap profiles to follow – though that have been looking to make this easier by adding direct links to high-profile accounts in Live Stories and tools to suggest users your contacts should follow.


However, discovery on Snapchat remains problematic on the platform – but on Instagram, which can also use its advanced algorithms as fuelled by Facebook data, you’ll now be shown recommendations tailored to your interests, which could boost Stories consumption on the platform.


Stories has been a success for Instagram thus far. Despite criticisms of load time delays for Stories in comparison to Snapchat, which has lead to lower audience retention for some users, more than 100 million people now view Instagram Stories content every day. That’s particularly significant when directly compared to Snapchat use (150 million daily active users, 50 million+ creating Stories content daily), but that also still means that the majority of Instagram’s 300 million daily active users still aren’t using Stories. As such, there’s likely more potential in Stories yet – maybe, if Instagram can highlight more relevant and better quality Stories to each individual user, that’ll prompt more people to check them out, boosting both engagement and use.

Twitter Is Targeting Small to Medium Businesses For Their Ad Platform


The actual percentage of SMBs that incorporate Twitter as a part of their social media marketing strategy.

Small and medium sized Australian businesses can now advertise on Twitter. The social media company is launching its self service ad platform in Australia, as it looks to broaden its audience base and uplift ad revenue.

Small and medium sized Australian businesses will now be able to advertise on the social platform for the first time using its promoted tweets, promoted accounts and targeting tools. Previously, there was a minimum spend required from advertisers to use its full service offering. Now, advertisers can advertise on the platform as easily as sending a tweet.

The self-service ad platform has already been released to more than 20 countries in the past 12 months. In the US, many small and medium sized businesses use Twitter’s advertising platform. They are expected to participate just like larger businesses. The platform is being launched in Australia by Richard Aflonsi, Twitter’s Vice President of global online sales.

Furthermore, Twitter also revealed its modular training program to encourage agencies in how to get the best out of Twitter for clients, thus scaling up a brand strategy team to work more closely with clients. The social media corporate expects small businesses that already use Twitter to organically take up the opportunity to boost their reach with paid ads, which has happened overseas.

Twitter is publishing a research report designed to persuade small businesses. It claims 61% of people had recently discovered a new small business on Twitter, and 31% went on to make a purchase. It also claims that 70% of respondents “feel better about an SMB after reading its tweets”.

Moreover, Twitter defines an small and medium sized business term as “any company that is not a large corporate, ranging from retailers to app developers.” The company has surveyed 1,000 Australians who use Twitter every month and follow a small business.

Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories Head To Head (Infographic)


Instagram and Snapchat are rolling out new features in an effort to be the best and emerge as the dominant social platform for sharing photos and videos.

Until recently, Instagram has been the preferred platform for well-edited, highly curated, aspirational photos and videos, while Snapchat has been steadily attracting social media audiences—teenagers and millennials, in particular—by providing a way to share raw “in-the-moment” content which disappears after 24 hours. With the launch of Instagram Stories, however, the Facebook-owned app is now encroaching on Snapchat’s territory (and making a play for its users) by offering its own version of Snapchat’s ephemeral, off-the-cuff content.

Instagram’s new feature raises a number of important questions for marketing professionals, chief among them: Is Instagram Stories or Snapchat a better use of my company’s marketing resources? While similarities between the two apps are numerous, knowing how each platform differs can help marketers make an informed decision on where to invest their time and advertising dollars.

For a side-by-side comparison of what each social media app offers in terms of audience, reach, functionality, and other important features, consult the following infographic which quickly distills the salient differences between Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories:


Infographic credit: MediaKix

Social Media Strategy for Startups and Small Businesses (Infographic)


There is no doubt that social media can drive business. However, most small businesses have no idea whatsoever on how to maximise its power for their brands.

One of the big benefit of social media lies on its ability to drive traffic to a website, whether it is a blog, business website offering products, services or a non-profit organisation. Also, since social media is addictive, it can hook users and keep them occupied for hours.

Businesses love social media and the user attention it gets. Some businesses are strategic about getting their user’s attention and they have a plan or strategy, while others take a deep dive, pray and hope for the best. Some businesses only rely on organic or free reach and some are willing to spend for paid social media ads to multiply their reach.

Here is a social media marketing strategy that is visual and easy to understand. Take this social media strategy as a starting point, start customising it with your goals and target audience to create your own killer strategy.


Infographic credit: SocialMediaMarketo

5 Great SEO Tricks To Be More Discoverable On Instagram


Instagram has exploded in popularity since it first launched in 2010.

Now with more than 500 million monthly active users, including both consumers and businesses, some 70 million photos are shared on the platform every day. Marketers have been using Instagram for promotion from the get-go, but it wasn’t until recently that the company rolled out a dedicated profile for businesses. And now that there are more features for business owners and marketers, as well as a new algorithm in effect, it’ll become increasingly difficult for a business to stand out in coming months.

Similar to Facebook’s algorithm, Instagram wants to present its users with more of what they find interesting and less stuff that would be considered intrusive, less relevant, or ‘spammy,’ such as business content and company posts.

But with a little creativity and the right tools, it is possible to maintain and build upon your Instagram growth – here are five things you can do to start making your brand more discoverable on photo-sharing platform.

1. Publish Higher Quality Images

Instagram is all about visual engagement, so the quality of your posts is extremely important. Your audience is used to seeing bright, colorful, and engaging images – if you’re uploading dull and uninspiring content, then they’re going to scroll right past without giving your updates a second look.

Your Facebook fans might forgive a boring post here and there, but your Instagram followers are less likely to forget your mishaps.

The good thing is, it doesn’t take an expensive camera to take quality photographs for your Instagram. Above all else, this is a mobile application – if you have a newer smartphone, then your camera is probably capable of taking quality photos.


That’s what you want to aim for, anyway: authentic, high-quality photos taken in the moment and shared by your brand.

Here are some basic tips for taking better Instagram photos with your smartphone:

  • Get up close; new cameras can focus and capture amazing details. This is great for product photos
  • Crop pictures instead of zooming, as this might make images grainy
  • Don’t apply a filter “just because”
  • Don’t add artificial blur; go with what your camera does
  • Avoid using flash
  • Try different angles
  • Focus on one subject at a time
  • Be interesting, funny, and sharable

2. Run with What’s Trending

Pay attention to what’s trending, both on Instagram and around the web. Hashtags sometimes carry over from one social channel to another. If you find a trending topic that is relevant to your industry or your audience in some way, then leverage it to get their attention.

If a trend features one or more hashtags, be sure to use those when you write captions for your posts or curate content. Fans use hashtags to follow discussions and see what posts other people have made on subjects that interest them. Including a relevant hashtag in your trend post will cast a wider net so new followers can discover you and your content.


To really expand the reach of your posts, consider using Instagram’s ad platform – if you combine paid promotion with a popular hashtag, you could get your brand in front of a huge audience even on a modest budget.

But before paying for advertising, be sure to spend time carefully choosing the right audience. This ensures your promotion will get in front of the right people.

Bonus Tip: Research the most relevant hashtags and use several of them in your post. A TrackMaven study showed that interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

3. Cross-Promote

If you want more of your audience to discover your brand on Instagram, then make every effort to cross-promote it across other channels, both on and offline.

  • Offer promotional stickers with products or include them in giveaways
  • Host an Instagram account takeover with an influencer
  • Share your images and videos on other social channels and point back to your Instagram account
  • Include your Instagram account in email signatures with a call-to-action to follow
  • Include calls-to-action in your content marketing
  • Post printed badges or stickers around your location (if you’re a brick and mortar business)


4. Swipe What Works

Smart marketers have a swipe file they refer to for headlines and other content ideas when the creative well dries up – you should do the same with Instagram.

Find out what’s popular and what’s most engaging for others, especially brands, and run with it.


You can find a ton of inspiration by following other brands on Instagram. While searching through other brands’ images, pay attention to the posts that garnered the most engagement (likes and comments). Look for patterns in what audiences enjoy and try to leverage that insight with your own posts.

5. Engagement Matters

One of the most effective ways to get noticed on Instagram is to engage with people.

Browse your brand’s followers on Instagram and start engaging the most relevant people, especially influencers. By responding to people and commenting on their images, you’ll gain regular followers who appreciate your natural (non-promotional) engagement.

Snapchat Is Changing Its Brand Name To Snap Inc.


Snapchat is re-branded as Snap Inc., which is reflective of their broadening product scope that they’re moving into wearables also.

To coincide with the release of its Spectacles, Snapchat Inc. has undergone a major rebranding. From now on, the main body that oversees both Snapchat and Spectacles’ day-to-day activity will be known as Snap Inc.

The company’s Twitter accounts have already been updated to reflect the change.


Spiegel believes that the new name will not only benefit potential investors, but customers too.

Snapchat Has Launched Spectacles, The New Smart Eyeglasses


Finally, Snapchat’s smart eyeglasses is ready for all of you selfie lovers.

We’ve been waiting for Snapchat to respond after Instagram launched Stories, and now we may have seen just what their counter-punch will be, with the first look at their long-awaited smart glasses project, called Spectacles.

Spectacles enable the wearer to capture their perspective without having to take out their phone and film the moment – in speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s new company name) CEO Evan Spiegel describes this as being “like a wall in front of your face”, taking you away from the moment.

Capturing the moment is what Spectacles is all about – Spiegel, again talking to WSJ, described one of the first times he wore the glasses, on vacation with fiancé Miranda Kerr, in particularly passionate overtures.

“It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes. It was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

Instagram Announces Its 500k Advertisers


Instagram announced that there are more than 500,000 businesses using the platform for advertising.

That’s a pretty amazing achievement considering they only launched their ad API just over a year ago. What’s more, Instagram says that in the last six months alone, the number of advertisers on the platform has more than doubled.

That, of course, would’ve been influenced by the introduction of their business profiles and analytics tools which make it easier for brands to understand how and when to reach their audiences with ad content. And the other factor in this would be the introduction of their feed algorithm, which would have prompted more businesses to consider Instagram ads to reach their established audiences.

Accompanying their announcement, Instagram has released a range of stats on how businesses have been using their platform to reach a bigger audience, including:

  • 50% of Instagram users follow a business, with more than 60% of them indicating that they’ve learned about new products or services via the platform.
  • 75% of Instagrammers have taken action after being inspired by a post – “like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend”.
  • The top five countries using Instagram ads are the US, Brazil, the UK, Australia and Canada.
  • Since opening their ads platform to all businesses last September, more than 1 billion actions have been taken on Instagram ads.
  • More than 1.5 million businesses have already converted to a business profile on the platform.

And while Instagram didn’t include any revenue figures along with those notes, it’s safe to say that advertising on Instagram has been a success thus far, and looks to be a big winner for the app, and parent company Facebook, in future.

It’s certainly been a big year for Instagram. The platform hit 500 million users in June, then followed that up with the introduction of their Snapchat-cloning “Stories” addition two months later. And while the platform did take some criticism for blatantly copying a key Snapchat feature, the option has already proven popular, with more than 100 million users using Stories every day.

Right now, however, Instagram is no doubt monitoring their growth and engagement stats, in response to their latest additions, and working out how to double-down and improve the user experience, while also adding to their ad offerings and boosting their revenue-generation potential. And with 500k advertisers already on board, you can bet Instagram will be providing a significant contribution to Facebook’s bottom line when the next reporting period comes around.

Top Ten Perks Companies Offer To Its Employees (Infographic)


More and more companies are discovering that holding on to their best employees takes more than just paying them a living wage and providing them with basic health care.

The bare minimum just isn’t good enough anymore. People who care about more than just the “basics” often need something extra to convince them not to explore greener pastures—which is why many companies use enticing bonus “perks” to attract those people and convince them to stay.

Some of the larger companies like Google and Dropbox offer truly exceptional incentives which go beyond free coffee —things like free food and fully stocked game rooms. However, employee perks don’t have to be quite so extravagant to attract top talent. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of effort to show that you care about your team’s happiness and well-being. This could mean allowing employees to work remotely and set their own schedules, or it could mean taking a personal interest in their physical fitness and mental health.

Whether you’re looking for some “talent bait” to reel in discerning employees or playing the career field, it never hurts to take a peek at how other businesses deal with this dilemma. This infographic illustrates some of the truly creative job perks that major companies are using to attract and retain employees.


Infographic credit: Company Folders

Stories on Snapchat and Instagram: Which One is Better? (Infographic)


Two major social media channels has released the new feature under the same name: Stories. The question is, which one is better?

Instagram’s ‘Stories’ has ignited controversy in social media circles, mostly focused on how they could so blatantly copy Snapchat’s feature. However, it’s not a secret anymore that imitation is common  in social media – Facebook, in particular, has been copying elements from other platforms for years, from the ‘Like’ (from FriendFeed) to the ‘Trending’ (from Twitter). While it does seem overly brazen in this case, it happens pretty regularly when you look at it.

Still, there are some important differences between Instagram Stories and Snapchat, and those differentiating factors will play a part in how their ongoing battle for attention plays out. To give you a better idea of those variations, take a look at the following infographic, which compares the two oppositions side-by-side.


Infographic credit: One Productions