Are you making the most of your Instagram?

How to compete in an increasingly popular network.

Instagram has been gaining momentum for the last five years but it’s never been more popular than it is right now, especially for targeting the younger generations who make up a huge portion of the users of Instagram.

The only problem with such a popular network becoming more established within marketing terms is that there is now more competition for engaging content than ever, particularly now that Instar introduced enhanced advertising options last year.

Instagram isn’t the easiest channel to spread brand awareness on, even though it’s popular. However, there are just a few of the ways you can and should help boost engagement with your product/brand.

Be an active participant on Instagram.


Instagram is all about interaction. It’s not enough to post a beautifully designed picture, you need to be a part of the community. Find, interact and follow. Hashtags and keywords relevant to your product/brand can be very useful here. And once you are involved in the community, react and respond to what is being posted. Comment on relevant things, you don’t always need to be pushing the sales talk but you might attract someone’s attention who in turn might check out your info and thus begins a relationship with a potential customer.

Ensure your content on Instagram is high-quality.


Anyone can upload a decent picture to Instagram and throw a pretty filter on it. What makes yours special? Spend the time and money investing in quality content to upload, it is the very first thing someone will check out about you and it’s amazing how quickly people can be turned off by a minor flaw in the branding. It helps to include a call-to-action accompanying your content too, asking for likes, follows or tags are fine and will help spread awareness of your brand. Also, don’t forget that Instagram is for PEOPLE. Of course, you need to post pictures of your product if that’s what your business is, but make sure to get a mix of nice product shots as well as people interacting with it or talking about it etc. The human factor goes a long way on Instagram.

Get the wording right!


A picture may say a thousand words but if you can also write the words… double whammy! Instagram captions give you the opportunity to provide more information on your content and tell the details behind the picture. You can include as much or as little information as you like (up to 2200 characters). And don’t underestimate the power of hashtags! It helps to do a little research into what’s currently trending too if it’s relevant. Don’t be afraid to create a custom hashtag that you can stick with throughout your campaign. Make sure it captures the essence of what your brand wants to give to its Instar audience.

Make sure your info is clear and PRESENT!


You need to write a bio to show who/what you are. Don’t go overboard on this. Short, sweet and simple is best. A few key facts about the brand and something a little bit more interesting. This post demonstrates some popular bios along with some top tips for writing them. Check out some examples here Instagram-bio-examples-small-business

If you include links in your bio (and you should if you want to create traffic to your website!) make sure that the links are mobile-optimised as most people will be accessing them from their phones. Instagram isn’t really a desktop kinda viewing app!

If you’re a startup then you might also want to check out the three keys to success here

The key thing with Instagram is that it is a community. So be part of it. React, respond, reach out. And continue looking for ways to up your game. New elements are being added all the time so spend time learning new tricks and putting them into action. Don’t be afraid to ask for support in the form of likes and reposts and do the same to others that ask. Finally make sure that you always observe what’s happening with your interactions, keep an eye on who is liking your posts and who is responding to them the most and learn from this data how to continue growing as an online presence.


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Startups Room

Social Media for Startups : The Three Steps for Success

In today's world, social media is essential for startups to create an online presence, showcase their brand to the world, and offer a way to communicate and cultivate new fans within their target audience.

Money for Startups One of the problems startups face is developing their brands' audience. It’s a bit of a catch 22 situation. You need customers to spend money so you can develop marketing, but you need marketing to get the customers in the first place. Luckily social media marketing is one of the most effective tools that a business can use. You won’t need a lot of money for a successful social media campaign that can make people sit up and take notice. However, you do need to be aware of a few things first which I’ll take you through in this post. Social Media Icons for startups

Why should startups use Social Media?

Using social media correctly can help define and bolster your brand, it can help you reach and connect with the right audience for your product and it can build strong relationships with potential clients. We are a nation obsessed with social media. And for good reason. Currently, the quality of content on social media is at a high. So many people use the various platforms available and the quality and quantity of content is growing daily. Startups are in a great position to take advantage of this, one of the key things with social media content is that new is good. And by definition a startup is new. So you are already set to provide the world with original content! Another useful part of using social media as a startup is that you can use it to gain feedback on your campaigns almost instantaneously. This is way past the days when you spend a fortune on a magazine advert only for it to not do as well as planned and feedback months down the line suggested that the font type wasn’t popular. With social media you benefit from extra information during the preliminary stages of your campaign, providing you with a more user-friendly successful campaign. (as long as you listened to the feedback!) If you want to outsource your social media you can read a handy guide here Here are the three main things you should consider when using social media for your startup:

Startup Strategy

1. Strategy first, profiles second.

It’s very easy to jump onto twitter and set up a profile and start tweeting, however before you steam ahead with setting up every profile and making them all look pretty, you need to focus on what you want to achieve. Create a social media strategy. You need to think about your startups business objectives and goals, and how using social media can help you achieve them. You need to make sure you have a consistent brand ‘voice’ across your channels.

2. Choose the right social networks and listen to your audience.

If your startups product is aimed at the over-sixties, you probably shouldn’t bother with Snapchat. Know your audience and know the network they use. You may find that not all networks are suitable for your objectives. Do the research and listen to what the audiences say on each platform. The great thing about there being a wide variety of choice in terms of social media channels is that they each have their own unique style, content and user. So even if your objective is targeting a fairly niche market, at least one of the social media networks will cater to them and help provide you with the platform to reach them.

3. Don’t stop developing.

Always be willing to evolve as you develop. Take advantage of new techniques and trends and experiment with what works for you. If a certain type of content isn’t having the desired outreach, try something new! In the early stages of a startups life, you have a lot more freedom to play around with content styles and engagement techniques, just make sure that you take the time to evaluate your social media approach frequently to ensure that your goals and targets are being met and if not, to analyse why this is and how to change it. Startups Ideas

Finally here are some tips for a startups successful social media presence:

Engage with your audience: by engaging with your users on a regular basis you provide a connection that will last. Be consistent: Rather than posting one decent post on a Monday then panicking to fill the rest of the week, take the time to ensure that each piece of content is of the same standard. Listen to your users: Focus on what your customers want, not what you want to give them. Hear their feedback and respond to it. Find your USP: You love your startups brand/product, right? So share that. Be proud of what you have to offer and find a way of sharing it that is original and demonstrates its value to your users. Share and Share alike: Be a contributing presence online. If you like someone else’s post or product, share it! Tell others to check it out. People will do the same to you. Startup Strategy on board

What should you expect to pay for social media in the UK? Click here to find out

outsource social media agency image

Should You Outsource Social Media Management?

Short Answer: Yes, if you are a Small or Medium Sized Business.

If you are a Small or Medium Sized Business, outsource social media management and hire experts to do a specialised job. And as it's outsourced, you are just paying for the service unlike hiring someone in-house, where you have extra overheads such as office space, tech and HR costs. An example of something that's typically outsourced would be company accounting. Most SMB's outsource their accounting to a professional accounting firm. Social Media is becoming as essential as accounting. If potential customers see that you're inactive on social media, or worse, if they cannot find you online easily, it can hurt your sales and business brand.

3 Options - Freelancer, In-house, and Agency.

I always like to say there is no black and white in life, and everything falls into the grey area that sits between these extremes. So in cost terms of deciding on your options to outsource social media, the grey area falls between hiring someone in-house for £23-30K a year, going to an agency for £10-18K a year, or hiring a single freelancer for £9-12K a year. Which is best for you? Here are the main pro's and con's for each option:


outsource social media freelancer image Pros - Cost. You can use sites like "Fiverr" or "People Per Hour" to get a freelancer for as low as £5 hour Cons - Finding a reliable, competent freelancer. Limited range of tools and experience at your disposal


in-house social media image Pros - Integrate deeply with internal departments in your company. Gives large companies both agility and control. Cons - Cost. Someone with proven social media experience and you are looking at up to 30K a year. Extra costs with employing additional team member (PAYE, pension, travel, computer, desk, holidays, etc.)


outsource social media agency image Note: This has a grey area too as agencies come in many shapes and sizes Pros - Flexibility of a freelancer but with a larger pool of resources. Also, it's a smaller commitment compared to an in-house hire, and if it isn't working out with the chosen worker, you can try someone/where else to outsource social media. Cons - Cost. Anything from £1K - £10K a month. However, agencies provide the best value for money as you can find an agency where the pricing matches the size and requirements of your business. Trusting Outsourcing? Can someone else write about your business? Yes. Absolutely. As long as they do their research on your business, your industry and competitors. They will then be able to find the best tone, create in-depth content plans and at the end of the day be able to speak on the companies behalf confidently.

If you're interested in finding out more about outsourcing social media prices then download our handy comparison guide here 

Nick S    
4 steps for image ROI

6 Popular Links on Social Media Marketing ROI Services

Here are 6 popular links to articles about the Social Media Marketing ROI (Return on Investment) Services. This is a must-read if you're wondering what kind of budget you should spend on social media or need to do some research to justify spend in this area to your boss.

I must give credit where credit is due and these ROI Social Media Marketing links were all recommended by the Content Factory 

Social Media Marketing ROI Picture

Which Online Marketing Strategy Has the Best ROI?

Social Media Marketing ROI

What Is the ROI of Your Social Marketing?

ROI of Social Media Marketing is money saved image

ROI Is Not Just Money Earned But Money Saved

What is your social media budget image

How to Determine your Social Media Marketing Budget

5 lies of social media image

The 5 Biggest Social Media Lies Ever Told
4 steps for image ROI

4 Steps To a Profitable Social Media Strategy Using Visuals and Illustrations
Thanks for reading.
If you're interested in finding out more about social media pricing - check out our prices here 
Nick S

What are the Best Posting Times on Social Media in 2017?

TIME TO READ: 2m 20s

Thanks to CoSchedule we did a review on the best posting times across each platform so far for 2017.

We tested the following text on each format. You can see an example of the twitter post below.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Director @TomPatonFilm will be on stage talking about indie films at 2pm this Friday for @MCMComicCon #MCMLDN17

Based on this we found best time to post for each platform:


Best Days to Post

Best Posting Times Facebook

Post to Facebook on Saturday and Sunday for 32% higher engagement. Thursday and Friday are also proven to get 18% higher engagement.

Best Posting Times

Best Posting Times Facebook

The best posting times to post to Facebook to increase your shares and click-throughs are 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 9 a.m.


Best days to post

Best Posting Times Twitter

Tweet on Wednesday at noon and 5-6 p.m. for optimal engagement. Monday-Friday at 12-3 p.m. and 5 p.m. is also proven to increase your reach.

Best Posting Times

Best Posting Times Twitter

The best posting times to Tweet to increase your shares and click-throughs are 5-6 p.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m.


Best Days to Post

Best Posting Times Instagram

Post to Instagram on Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3-4 p.m. for optimal engagement. Experiment with Wednesday at 7 p.m. to increase your reach.

Best Posting Times

Best Posting Times Instagram

The best posting times to post to Instagram to increase your shares and click-throughs are 8-9 a.m., 2 a.m., and 5 p.m.


Best Days to Post

Best Posting Times LinkedIn

Post to LinkedIn on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 7:30-8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5-6 p.m. for optimal engagement. Posting on Tuesdays at 10-11 a.m. is also proven to increase your reach.

Best Time to Post

Best Posting Times LinkedIN

The best posting times to post to LinkedIn to increase your shares and clickthroughs are 5-6 p.m., 7-8 a.m., and 12 p.m.

Google +

Best Days to Post

Best Posting Times Google

Post to Google+ on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. for optimal engagement. Posting on weekdays from 9-11 a.m. is also proven to increase your reach.

Best Time to Post

Best Posting Times Google

The best posting times to post to Google+ to increase your shares and click-throughs are 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12-1 p.m.

So there you have it! These trends are similar to what we have found works through 2016 as well.

If you want to optimise your social media posts and get your own free report then head on over to

And if you want to find out how much it costs for us to run your digital marketing visit