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Social Media Resources

Avocado Social Instagram Cheat Sheet

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We find ourselves searching for the answers to quite a few of these Instagram related questions often, so we thought it best if we put them all together into one handy cheat sheet.

There are quite a few limitations and tricks to be aware of in the hugely popular social media tool.

It’s important to be aware of them when posting to ensure that you don’t receive any error messages that might hinder your activity.

We’ve also included a few tips into our cheat sheet so that you can make your posts more engaging:

Likes

You can only perform 350 likes per hour (unless you’re very quick not likely you’ll hit this limit!)  This is to prevent spammers and bots, which are software allowing you to buy likes and followers. We don’t advocate these bots as they tend to buy you fake followers, who then get removed by the social media platforms.

Followers

You can’t follow more than 7500 users according to Instagram.

However, some users can follow more than 7,500 users if they did so before I
nstagram imposed the limit. Some Instagram users also claim there’s an hourly limit to the number of users you can follow and unfollow. This is rumoured to be 160 per hour, although Instagram has not confirmed such restrictions.

We like to use the apps Cleaner or Followers + for cleaning out and mass deleting users. They are both free and can help you to work out where to focus your activity.


iOS Profile iPhone 6

Word Count

Whilst the limit on Instagram posts is 2,200 characters, we don’t recommend writing an absolute essay on Instagram! People scroll through quickly, so you want to grab their attention by using succinct sentences that inspire and tell stories in brief.

Your Instagram biography needs to be kept to 150 characters or under. Don’t forget to include a URL link!


Hashtags

Instagram limits you to 30, which we believe to be a good thing. Too many hashtags can be off-putting to your audience and could make you appear a little desperate for engagement! We recommend using somewhere between 5-10 hashtags, whatever feels right. Don’t forget to keep testing different tags, and not to use the same stock group of tags for every photo you upload.

Posts

There’s no limit on how often you post on Instagram, or how many times. If you change your mind after posting, you can delete each post individually but you can’t delete them all. Remember Instagram is your shop window so ensure that everything looks beautiful and relevant.

Filters

Did you know that there are 27 different Instagram filters that you can use to make your photos look beautiful? This infographic from Canva details which are the world’s favourite filters. Can you guess which it is?

It’s a good idea to use the same or similar filters each time for consistency. If you are looking for more, then the app Afterlight has 75 more!

Emojis

If you’re a fan of emojis (which we are massively!) then you’ll be glad to know that you can use them in your Instagram posts. This is a great way to make the posts more engaging and to help you stand out amongst the chatter. Did you know you can also hashtag an emoji!? #💚

That’s it for our Instagram hacks for now, but if you want more then join The Avocado Social Media Hub, our free Group for the latest social media updates, great examples and case studies, and support. 

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Top 5 Tips For Live Tweeting Events

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Live tweeting an event has become the norm for many business and event attendees. More often than not, dedicated tweeting at an event is now an integral part of the marketing strategy to enhance the reach and impact of trade shows, industry marketing moments, seasonal launches and company events, according to Twitter.

Here’s a quick round-up of tips for effective live tweeting:

  1. Be sure to add photos to make your tweets visually compelling. Good quality, varied shots taken from a unique angle increase the likelihood of retweets. Posting high quality photos of the event’s speakers, delegates or engaging shots of the venue can really help bring your tweeting to life.  It may sound elementary, but making sure you’re well prepared ahead of time and have a good seat can make all the difference. Worth considering are photo editing apps such as Adobe Photoshop Touch, Camera+ or even Instagram which can do wonders for tidying up images if the lighting quality is low at the event.
  1. Tag people in the photos, not the text – that way you don’t affect the character count in your tweets. Twitter has made it easy to tag up to 10 people at a time in each photo you share on Twitter. Every person who is tagged in a photo will receive a notification in their interactions tab, so doing this increases your reach and influence.  You might also want to consider inviting attendees of the event to tag you / your business in their photos of the event – this helps build relationships with existing and potential customers alike.Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 18.19.26
  1. Get the hashtag right. Familiarise yourself with the official hashtag of the event if you’re a guest, or if you’re creating one for your own event, make sure that everyone knows about it. Displaying it around the venue and on pre-event communications can help position it as front of mind and makes it easier to be seen.Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 18.19.10
  1. Use direct quotes when you tweet ideas and quotes from speakers. Be sure to mention their Twitter handle and use quote marks (and the event hashtag!) so it’s clear that it’s from them. Before you tweet a quote, ask yourself whether it is going to provide genuine value for your followers. It can be tempting to tweet everything, but a little discernment goes a long way.

The screenshots above were taken from our client, Headspace Group‘s live #TalkingHeads panel which we live tweeted. 

There are also plenty of opportunities to build your audience after the event as well: keep the conversation going by re-connecting with new followers, share analytics or promote blogs summarising the key takeaways from the event for example. Let us know how you get on in the Avocado Social Media Hub. 

How To Create Effective Facebook Carousel Ads

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It’s been one year since Facebook introduced their carousel ad format, allowing advertisers to showcase a variety of images that link through to different landing pages. The format, allowing multiple images and links all in one advert, is now available to both advertisers and Facebook users.

Since their release, advertisers have seen carousel link ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click when compared to single-image link ads.

Allowing you to upload up to five posts, carousel ads gives you the chance to share a variety of content for your audience to enjoy. Take a look at a few examples below:

River Island

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River Island took the advert format to promote their latest swimwear collection. The brand uploaded five images from the new collection along with copy with a brief description. The post also includes a clear call-to-action with an emoji for extra character and to stand out.

Ted Baker

Ted-Baker-Carousel-Ad

Following suit, clothing brand Ted Baker make good use of the carousel ad format as part of their Valentines Day campaign – managing to attract both males and females to their page in order to make a purchase. The brand doesn’t include call-to-action in their copy but go for a witty tone with a link to their website.

There’s much more that you can do with carousel ads. Interact with a call to action button, educate with links to your website content or promote your mobile app. How will you use them? Start by creating your own today (don’t forget your copy!)

Don’t forget to sign up to our FREE webinar to learn the basics of Facebook Advertising – the best way to boost your business and get infront of your target audience!

We’ll be offering some top tips on Thursday 24th March at 1pm.

Grab your spot NOW!

Top Image:Image source

The Latest UK Social Media Statistics for 2016

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As the Internet gains another 225 million active users around the world, social media growth is set to continue in 2016. In this blog we take a look at the latest UK social media statistics.

In We are Social’s latest figure report on digital, social and mobile media usage around the world, social has seen an 8.7%* increase in just over eight months.

So which social media platforms are the most popular? 

Facebook continues to take the lead with an influx of 1.5 billion monthly active users worldwide. The UK makes up 31 million of those users, with 60% of the population having a Facebook account. The most popular age group is 25-34 (26% of users) but Facebook is a great platform to speak to a mass market of ages and locations.

Much younger audiences may be looking elsewhere at private messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Viber , but there are still 2.5 million 13-17 year olds using Facebook.

Facebook’s messaging app making a steady pace, having recently reported 800 million monthly active users.  It will be interesting to see how many US brands take up Businesses on Messenger this year, enabling private, real-time conversations with your customers. They released this infographic below.

messenger2016

 

In terms of users, Instagram revealed it had 14 million monthly active users in the UK back in July 2015. Instagram has a younger audience than Facebook, with 39% of its UK users aged 16-24. Also a slightly female skew, with 64% of Instagram users being female compared to 56% of Facebook’s.  (Stats from Social Media Week).

2016 is going to be huge for Instagram as they have just launched their self-serve ad platform allowing any business to run adverts on the platform through Facebook. We recently found out, you don’t even need to have an Instagram account to run ads – just a Facebook Page.

Deliveroo-Ad

 

Back in 2013, Twitter reported 15 million monthly active users in the UK. Since then, we haven’t seen any specific UK data released from the network. It was reported that in September 2015, Instagram overtook Twitter in terms of users.

Two rumours circling the social media world regarding the little blue bird include the algorithm changing to show most relevant content to you, rather than most recent. This will allow Twitter to charge to get your content seen, boosting their advertising revenues. If this fails, then Google is rumoured to be looking to buy Twitter.

See Andy Crestodina‘s comments in Social Media Examiner.  

Google Plus continues to receive mixed response – with the social network taking a loss in active users despite having a redesign. Unlike Facebook, the network has kept the youth on board with 41% of their users falling into the 18-24 year old demographic in the UK.

54% of Google+ users log into their account to stay in touch with friends whilst a further 42% use Google+ to interact with brand content. Are you at Google+ user? We’d love to hear from you!

The latest social network of the moment, Snapchat has doubled their active users from 100 to 200 million globally. The video sharing platform has also dominated the youth, but there are no UK specific statistics to report on as yet. Take a look at this post for some ideas on how brands are using Snapchat.

Snapchat

 

LinkedIn, the B2B professional network, now achieves over 60 million views in the UK every month. In 2014, LinkedIn reported passing the 15 million users mark in the UK.  75% of users are over the age of 35 and 79% of users are male.

1 million professionals have now written a post on LinkedIn. According to LinkedIn, they’ve used the platform to discuss the future of work, the state of their industries, what companies are getting it right and which aren’t and how the professional world can be a better place.

So what about Pinterest? The bookmarking site reports 3 million pins a day in the UK alone. They do not reveal their UK user base, but research firm comScore estimates that in May 2015, Pinterest attracted 10.3 million unique visitors in the UK: 54% only visiting from a mobile device, 34% only from a computer, and 12% using both.

Pinterest is 90% female, with DIY and Recipes being the most popular content. Buyable pins have recently been phased in to the US, and are expected later this year in the UK. Pinterest is also working with brands like Manchester United, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer so we’ll have to watch this space with what’s next for the network.

Buyable-Pins

 

One platform that has welcomed an increase in unique users across all demographics is YouTube. The video sharing website is used by slightly older users than you might think. Around half of users are aged 35 and over, while 90 per cent are aged over 18. Just 10 per cent are between 13 – 17 years old. Take a look at this infographic from Google ’10 myths about YouTube users’.

Last year rumours surfaced that the video site was planning to develop a version of its site designed specifically for children aged 10 and under, but there has been no news since.

So, what could this mean for growth and audience behaviour in 2016? The smaller and more impactful your content is, the more likely it will lead to a view or purchase. Visual content will continue to rise and social overall looks to continue to expand not only in the UK but also all over the world. We’ll publish any news statistics that are published throughout 2016.

Sources: We Are Social, Social Media London, eMarketer, Rose McGrory, Warren Knight, Andrew McCarthy, Pingdom, The Guardian, The Telegraph. 

Trying out Hootsuite’s new Instagram Schedule Tool

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We were so pleased this month when Hootsuite, our favourite social media scheduling tool, launched its new Instagram Scheduler. ‘Can you schedule Instagram?’ is one of our top asked questions in training sessions!

The top requested feature will now help us to manage multiple Instagram accounts, without having to keep logging in and logging out on our mobiles. It also means we can line up Instagram content to go out at certain times and days of our choice.

All you need to do is save images on your desktop, and add them to Hootsuite as you would when writing a tweet. Once you have written the copy and added in your hashtags, you simply select the post to be scheduled via Instagram.

instagram-and-hootsuite

 

The only slightly annoying this is that Hootsuite posts a notification on your mobile, and you do still need to be around when the post is scheduled to go out, as it will open the post ready in Instagram on your phone for you to add filters, locations and tag anyone before you can post. This is Instagram’s issue not Hootsuite’s.

After testing it for two weeks we’ve found that it does cut down on time and helps you to feel more organised on Instagram. However, you do need to make sure you are logged in to the correct account on your phone at the time of posting!

To find out more details about how it works, and getting set up, visit the Hootsuite blog here.

How to post and publish blog content on LinkedIn

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LinkedIn Pulse is the news and insights area of LinkedIn, where you can easily explore professional blog content that’s relevant for you. Whether it’s a commentator within your industry, a fellow colleague, or Richard Branson, you select what kind of content you’d like to see by choosing relevant themes.

The other feature within Pulse is the LinkedIn Publishing Platform which gives any user the ability to self publish their own content to the social network. These posts can get massive exposure, particularly if you have a large number of connections on LinkedIn. Infact, the posts can deliver more impressions and engagement than if you published the same piece of content on your website – so it’s worth duplicating content from your company blog to LinkedIn too.

If your article is getting a huge amount of engagement, it’s possible that LinkedIn will publish it in one of the categories on Pulse or, even on the homepage (although this is rare).

 

LinkedIn-Pulse-1024x683

If you are thinking about posting content to LinkedIn Publishing Platform then it can be a great way to reach more like minded people, gauge the popularity of your content and find out what resonates with your target audience. LinkedIn offers the following advice:

“LinkedIn is an ideal platform to develop and strengthen your professional identity by sharing your knowledge and expertise in your job. It will be tied to your professional profile. The focus on your professional life is what differentiates it from other social media networks. Please keep this in mind when writing your long-form posts.”

To Post An Article

To get going, simply click on any content that already exists within Pulse. If you’re not sure how to do this, simply click on this article link, ‘7 Ways Highly Successful People Achieve More‘. In the top right hand corner you should see a yellow button called ‘Write A New Post’. From here, it’s extremely straight forward. Simply write and edit your post, and when you are ready hit Publish. You must add an image, otherwise the post will look unofficial and won’t catch the user’s attention. You will be able to see the article on your personal LinkedIn profile, but remember to share it across other social media channels too such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

LinkedIn-Button-300x96What To Post About

If you are stuck for content ideas, then here are a few tips from Avocado Social:

  • You are looking to share your professional expertise, so writing about your industry is recommended. Whether that’s tips, advice, trend forecasting or case studies; it needs to be up to date, relevant, and most importantly – interesting to your target audience.
  • LinkedIn does not want you to use these posts for advertisements and promotions for events, products, or services. No one wants to read an advert here either.
  • Keep your voice conversational and authentic. Don’t be afraid to offer your own opinion, no matter how controversial!
  • Upload pictures, videos, presentations, and documents to add to your content. It helps bring your insights to life and is a good way to showcase concrete examples of your experience.
  • Make sure your headline is engaging, as this is the chance you have to entice people to read your article.
  • There is no word limit, but according to LinkedIn, the long-form posts that are best received are more than three paragraphs in length.

For more ideas, see LinkedIn’s post ‘The 7 secrets to writing killer content on LinkedIn‘ (We’ve noticed people tend to love Buzzfeed style lists too!).

 

 

 

 

 

Social media competition Terms and Conditions free template

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If you are running a competition in social media, you must draw up some Terms and Conditions to communicate the rules of your promotion. As soon as you ask people to  ‘enter for a chance to win’ you will be running a  ‘legally regulated competition’.

Your Terms must include things like who is eligible, what the prize consists of, the time frame for the contest, and how will winners be chosen. Not only will this cover your back, but whenever you have users asking you questions about the competition you can direct them straight to the T&Cs on your website.

You must communicate the Terms and Conditions of your competition at some point during the course of the promotion, and it’s recommended that you do this at the beginning. The best way is to display them is to add them to a page on your website, so that you can easily link back and refer to them.

Here are some examples from London.Gov.UK, Network RailConfused.com, O2, and Center Parcs.

Social Media Terms and Conditions Template

Here’s a good template for standard ‘T&C’s’ that you can use for your competition…

  1. The promoter is: [……………… Ltd (company no. …………..)] whose registered office is at [……………………………………………………..].
  1. The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged X years or over except employees of […………………………………………] and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  1. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  1. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  1. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via [http://…………………] State which social media platforms you are running the competition on.
  2. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  1. Closing date for entry will be […………………………..]. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  1. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  1. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

Here write out in simplest form how you enter the competition.

10. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

11. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

12. The prize is as follows:

The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

13. Winners will be chosen: (delete as applicable)

[at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.] [as a result of a popular vote conducted via social media sites as measured and recorded and verified by Promoter and or its agents].

[by an independent adjudicator or panel of judges appointed by the Promoter].

[by […………………………..]

14. The winner will be notified by email and/or DM on Twitter/Facebook and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

15. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.

16. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

17. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

18. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by [English] law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of [England].

19. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.

20. The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: [……………………………]

21. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

22. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to [……………..] and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Policy found at [http://…………………..].

Some additional Terms and Conditions which you might wish to include if relevant:

  •  [Company Name] will judge the competition and decide on the winner each week, which will be picked at random from all complete entries via Twitter.
  • [Company Name] ‘s decision as to those able to take part and selection of winners is final. No correspondence relating to the competition will be entered into.
  • The entrant must be following @CompanyName on Twitter in order to enter.
  • [Company Name] shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
  • [Company Name] also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

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Picture courtesy of florianklauer.