#MDMC19: Instagram Expert Jenn Herman Shares How to Grow Your Instagram and Make More Sales

By Sarah Thomas

Here’s the undeniable truth about Instagram at the moment – it is POWERFUL. The engagement rates on Instagram are higher than all social media platforms making it is the best platform to build a community for your brand.

Instagram expert Jenn Herman, who you may know by her Instagram handle, Jenn’s Trends, shared everything you need to know to strengthen your game on Instagram at MDMC this year. Jenn is a social media marketing consultant, author, and speaker with a huge community of followers on Instagram. One thing is for sure, Jenn packed the room during her presentation and captured the attention of the audience with her vivacious personality and humor! Continue reading for a recap of the valuable steps Jenn provided to grow your Instagram and make more sales.

Clearly, you should not want to miss this, I mean look at how packed her session was!

Create a Profile That Attracts Followers

Jenn shared that the most important factors in your profile are as follow:

  • Name & username
  • Profile Photo
  • Bio Description
  • URL
  • Contact Info

These are the first impression of your audience so use them wisely! One thing Jenn stressed is the use of hashtags in your bio – do not overdo this. The only hashtags you should be using in your bio are hashtags that are specific to your brand, otherwise, you are sending viewers to a hashtag that has nothing thousands of photos with no relation to you.

Better Attention with Better Content

Jenn explained that less is more when it comes to content. The quality of your content is much more important than the quantity of content. A couple of posts a week that get engagement are much more effective than posting every day with little to no engagement. To get more engagement with your content, find ways to connect to your audience through emotion, this can be done using humor or relatable stories.

Get More Reach and Followers

Strategies you should be using to get a larger reach include:

  • “Tag” friends – have your audience tag friends in the comments, this gives more exposure to your posts
  • Hashtags – use hashtags that are specific to your brand or industry
  • Resharing to Stories – make sure your audience is able to share your stories to theirs, you can find this option in your settings.

With all of this in mind, you are officially ready to go step up your Instagram game and build your brand’s community! If you aren’t familiar with Jenn be sure to follow her on Instagram @jennstrends, there is no doubt you will benefit from all of the tips and tricks she is constantly sharing with her followers.

Instagram: Then and Now

On October 6, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a free mobile app to the world known as, Instagram. The two developed the simple application in San Francisco, California; naming the app after the combination of words “Instant Picture” and “Telegram.” Quickly gaining traction, the app gathered enough attention to accrue one-million users by December 2010, and ten-million users by September 2011. During the same year Instagram was awarded, “iPhone App of the Year.”
For nearly two years since its inception, Instagram remained an application available exclusively to the iPhone. In April 2012, Instagram made a huge move allowing people who owned Android phones to now download one of the most popular mobile applications in the world. With this flood of new users and surge in popularity, Facebook decided to seize the moment and purchase Instagram for one-billion dollars: $300 million of it was in cash, and the rest was invested in Facebook’s stock.
After Facebook’s hefty investment, Instagram continued to explode in popularity. By integrating new features into their still-photo dominant system – the application kept evolving through the introduction of Instagram Videos, as well as the ability to now view Instagram media from the web. These simple yet groundbreaking additions to the app pushed the company to have 150 million users by the year 2013 – to now having doubled that with 300 million active users as of August 2015.
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” For some, a simple post of a picture is all the person needs to convey the exact message they are trying to send to their followers. With other forms of popular social media such as Twitter and Facebook; Instagram separates themselves from the pack by focusing their attention on making photos the main form of communication among their users. Through the use of filters and simple yet very clever photo editing tools accessible right from the application; the user can make their picture look as if a professional photographer took it and edited it.
Many celebrities, as well as companies – make full use of Instagram’s large following by advertising their products and themselves to reach the masses much more effectively. Celebrities who have large followings on Instagram include, Taylor Swift (the most with 48 million followers), all of the Kardashians (Kim has 47 million – Khloe has 32 million), soccer stars Neymar and Christiano Ronaldo with 32 million and 31 million respectively, as well as many more who have well over 10-20 million followers a piece.
These staggering numbers obviously mean that these people have a lot of social influence when it comes to their followers. Companies of course then look to these people to help promote their company or brand whenever their celebrity has the opportunity to take a quick selfie and write a caption about it.
One celebrity who does a very good job at promoting himself as well as other ventures is, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Becoming most popular in his early days as a professional wrestler in the WWE, ‘The Rock has since gained even more popularity by staring in many action films such as, “The Fast and Furious” franchise; as well as “San Andreas”, and “Hercules.” With 28 million followers on Instagram, ‘The Rock’ has one of the largest influences when it comes to the app. Sharing pictures of his everyday life, as well as hilarious videos of him on set or working out – ‘The Rock’ makes sure to make his presence known in the Instagram community, and many companies take note. He recently announced that he partnered up with Ford motor company as their official Spokesman of Service. This announcement of course came through the use of Instagram by using a picture of him standing, arms crossed, with the Ford logo floating beside him. Simple posts like these influence the minds of thousands of followers who happen to take a glance as they scroll through their ‘feed.’
Companies not only make sure to post through the use of their sponsored celebrities, but also make sure to post pictures on their own Instagram accounts. Many major companies that make products for consumers now-a-days have their own official accounts, keeping their potential buyers up to date with the latest clothing, gadgets, and services that they are willing to exchange.

Companies such as Nike and Victoria’s Secret (23 million and 22 million followers respectively) make sure to constantly flood their followers’ feed with new and upcoming products that can be purchased on their website; if not the store. Accounts such as BodyBuilding.com announce product deals that can be viewed first from Instagram.
It is through these simple pictures and captions that celebrities and organizations alike hold a very large influence on society. By tracking how many likes a picture gets and understanding who the target audience is, companies can position themselves to appeal more to followers who will in turn, hopefully, become customers.

Instagram by the Numbers

Here are 5 quick Instagram facts according to ICONOSQUARE’s Instagram 2015 Study:
Fact #1 – 61% of Instagramers like at least 1 media/day and more than 30% like over 10 media/day
Fact #2 – 64% of Instagramers are women, 36% men. 73% of Instagramers are between 15 and 35 years old
Fact #3 – 70% of Instagramers have already looked for a brand on Instagram. 41% follow or would follow a brand to benefit from special offers
Fact #4 – 48% of Instagramers are professionals. 46% of Instagramers have higher education degrees
Fact #5 – Top 3 reasons why users follow brands on Instagram: 62% because they love the brand, 54% to discover new things, 48% because they find content interesting or funny.
What is your favorite brand to follow on Instagram?

Instagram's Answer to Snapchat, Bolt, Is Here — But There's a Catch

blot instagram

It’s official, Instagram’s SnapChat rival Bolt is launching in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. But don’t worry, Instagram plans on rolling it out to other countries soon.blot instagram
What is bolt?
Bolt is a new messaging app that allows users to send short-lived photo and video messages from mobile devices.
Isn’t Instagram owned by Facebook, and didn’t Facebook launch SnapChat-like app Slingshot recently?slingshot by facebook
Yes, you are correct. Last month Facebook launched Slingshot, an app similar to SnapChat except that you can’t view an incoming “shot” until you send a shot back to the sender. Check out the Slingshot app here.
Learn more about the launch of Bolt on Mashable: Instagram’s Answer to Snapchat, Bolt, Is Here — But There’s a Catch.