Category: Tools to Use

Great social media and other communication tools you want to try.


Instagram Reels and Your Brand

Instagram Reels is a relatively new Instagram feature. They offer a way to build your community and grow your reach on Instagram. Reels make it easy to build relationships with your customer base and strengthen the community you’re trying to build.

They are also a fun and engaging way to share viral (and creative!) snippets with your audience. Users create 15-second video clips set to music and share to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile.

You can find the Reels feed on the Instagram Explore Page. Instead of only seeing Reels from accounts you follow as you scroll, you will see Reels from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.

While the Reels algorithm isn’t known, it is likely influenced by who you already follow, what content you interact with, and where you’re located.

How to Create Reels

Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:

  • Search for a song from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a reel with it. When you share a reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you.
  • An effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world, lets you record clips with different effects.
  • Use the  timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
  • You can speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow motion videos.

Product and Branded Content Tags for Reels

Product tags, which are also available for Instagram posts and Stories, make Reels posts shoppable. Posts with product tags, from businesses and creators, can now be promoted as ads as well.

In addition to product tags, Instagram has also added branded content tags to Reels and Live. These tags are intended to improve transparency for sponsored posts.

What’s Next: Instagram Reels on Facebook?

Speculation is that Instagram Reels will soon appear in Facebook news feeds. The option to share Reels across platforms advances Facebook’s vision of interoperability between its family of apps.

How to Use Hashtags on Instagram

Hashtags make or break your Instagram campaign. Without them, your audience will not see your posts. The right tags also help shape your brand image on the platform.

The Power of the Instagram Hashtag

Hashtags are a crucial component of Instagram’s categorization system. They create the content streams that people use to find content.

Instagram hashtags are clickable, so people can see them on another person’s post, and click a tag to find your content elsewhere. Plus, users can choose to follow hashtags, giving you yet another method of discovery.

Types of Instagram Hashtags

The best Instagram posts usually contain about 11 tags that are one or more of the following types:

  • Basic words that describe the service or product
  • Specialty area or industry
  • Event tags
  • Location tags
  • Day of the week themes like #MotivationMonday
  • Branded hashtags specifically designed for the business

Use Hashtags Wisely

Develop a list of the hashtags that are best to use with your content. Don’t just make them up – research what is in use and double check the meaning of any hashtag before you use it.

Find tags by looking at related content and what’s trending on the platform. You can also use a hashtag generator to suggest hashtags based on the words and phrases already associated with your business.

Where to Use Hashtags

Hashtags should be used everywhere on Instagram: stories, videos, reels, captions and your bio.

Assess Hashtag Performance

The easiest way to discover which tags are working best for you is to use the Instagram Insights feature in your Business profile. The data will show you impressions and engagement.

Under the Discovery section, Instagram will tell you how many of your impressions came from hashtags, compared to the number coming from your profile or the Instagram home page.

Podcasting Thrives in COVID Times

When COVID arrived, I wondered how it would impact clients who use podcasting as part of their digital strategy.  People stopped commuting. Would they find time to listen to podcasts?

Apparently yes. Data show that podcasting is thriving during COVID times.

The podcasting industry is strong. There are more podcasts and more listeners. More tools and platforms have come online to help creators and consumers.

Podcasting Stats Show They Are COVID-Proof

Here are 5 stats about the podcast industry shared by Resonate, one of many podcast production services.

1. The podcasting industry is projected to be more than $1 Billion by 2021 (https://www.iab.com/insights/third-annual-podcast-ad-revenue-study-by-iab-and-pwc-reports-significant-growth/)

2. 90 million Americans listen to podcasts monthly (https://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcast-research/2019-podcast-statistics/)

3. 43% of monthly podcast listeners say they have listened to a podcast on Spotify, and 35% on Pandora (https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2019/)

4. 51% of Americans 12+ have listened to a podcast (https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-2019/)

5. According to a study conducted in the UK, most podcasts are listened to on weekday evenings. (https://www.acast.com/uk-audio-intelligence-report)

Consider Podcasts for Your Marketing Strategy

Podcasts connect people and ideas, entertain, inspire, and teach. Do you have content that fits with these goals? It may be time to look into podcasting as part of your digital strategy.

Learn More: Podcast Secrets From Behind The Mic