You’ve actually worked well for e-commerce as well. What I’m trying to do is to associate, would things that work well on Pinterest be right for the picking for Instagram?
Bree: Most likely, yes. Absolutely. The key is to really have a very specific Instagram account – a real targeted account that people know what to expect when they are looking at your posts. I don’t know if anybody out there is looking at my account. It’s @thebettyrocker. You can see how I’m branding my videos for example.
I want to do things with my account that really let people know that that’s one of my posts without having to put, like, my name on it. So you know, really making it very specific. I think that would work perfectly with Pinterest stuff. Except with Pinterest it seems like you can take any content you want, post it anywhere, you know it doesn’t have to be yours.
There’s no ownership, it’s all everywhere except for things that are backlinking into your blog or, I don’t know… specific picture.
James: Well, think of, I think of it like a Snakes and Ladders game. It’s like, literally people putting little portals back to your site from Pinterest.
James: With a picture doorway.
Bree: It’s probably way quicker, and way more effective. I don’t know. I really would have to check it out. Like I said, I’m just…
James: I wonder, do you get a sort of analytics with Instagram to see…
Bree: There’s a thing you want to download. It’s actually just a website. You can sign up for a free account. It’s called STATIGRAM and that will give you daily stats for your Instagram platform.
It will tell you when people are engaging with your posts the most. It will give you statistics about how much engagement you’re getting, how many comments you’re getting. What’s the most… the best time of day is to post. And you don’t want to use Instagram as a camera app ever.
You know, I think, when I saw you last weekend, I was sort of, I get really engaged with the picture we had taken because I would be running it through like three different apps before I posted it. That’s just to maximize the effectiveness of the picture. You know, I wouldn’t just take a picture raw and post it just as it is without using one of their little filters.
James: Well, I think that’s how most people think of Instagram. It’s where you put your picture.
Bree: Yes. The exact opposite of what you want to do with it, if you’re using it as a marketing tool.
Tools, tips and tricks
James: OK. So, I can’t let you off the hook this easily. My listeners love tools, tips and tricks. You’ve already given one – how to get stats. What are the tools and applications do you use to run the Betty Rocker?
Bree: To run my Betty Rocker Instagram account? I would love to tell your listeners exactly what I use. I got a few that are really cool. First of all, the one thing we haven’t talked about much is how to use feature accounts to get your name out there, how to actually leverage the other people that are on Instagram like the accounts with like half a million followers, with 250,000 followers, how to make those people post your stuff so you could skyrocket your followers and grow your Instagram account and the app that you want to use to communicate with people…
It wasn’t made for Instagram but it has been adapted by the Instagram community. It’s called Kik. It’s a messaging app, it’s international, and what you’ll see, this is how you find out who these people are that you’re gonna be doing paid features that you can utilize for your business.
Anytime you read a profile that says, KiK or Kik is this, or hashtag this for possible feature, that lets you know that person is probably running a paid feature account and they’re a good person to Kik and ask them what their feature policy is or what their pricing sheet is for features. You can get… There’s a lot of organic shout out for shout out for Instagram where you don’t have to pay for feature but Kik is a messaging app that you want to use.
To make your images look cool, there’s some other apps that I highly recommend and one is SnapSeed which when it first came out, it was a $4.99 app. It was a little mini photoshop. It’s very easy to use and it was bought by Google and it’s now free so that’s definitely one you want to get.
The second one is called InstaCollage. This is a pretty basic one and whenever you have the option, always get the pro option of this app because they’re like 0.99 cents and they give you so much more fonts and options that are way cool.
This is an app that I’ve been using for captions which is so cool and no one else uses it. It’s called Mystic. And it comes with all these really cool, like pre-made captions that even if you’re not gonna use one of their captions, it might give you some inspiration for doing a cool caption of your own. TitleFx is another one.
And whatever caption app you go with maybe, pick one that has fonts that you really like because you want to brand your images with a specific font or a specific color scheme because that will let people know that every time they see that image or an image of that in your feed, that’s you. They associate that with you. I’ve been really consistent with that kind of stuff.
If you are trying to take pictures of yourself or yourself doing something, there’s an app called Self Timer. It’s a self-timer app – really simple when you may not think of, it’s very useful for Instagram. PicArt is another one that has great fonts – that has really, some of those really good, really modern handwriting fonts that are really hot right now on Instagram. Those are great. That’s on PicArt.
And then when it comes to making my videos on Instagram, I really just have two that I’m kind of consistent right now. The first one is the iMovie – they have the best app ever for making little quick videos and then PicPlayPost. That app is money and when you first get it, you cannot, it will give you a little tutorial of how to use it.
So, you can edit a video in iMovie and drop it into PicPlayPost and add a caption. You can make four videos that play at the same time. You can time them to play one after another. It’s basically like a video collage app – very, very effective. Awesome.
So, those are my, those my, I guess, those are the top ones that I’m using right now.
James: Very cool. And what’s the difference between videos and pictures, what are you using mostly?
Most ‘like’-catching posts
Bree: I’ve been testing out what they respond to the most as far as that goes and what I found in my demographic anyway, is that it’s really specifically like a picture of food is going to perform way better for me than a video of how to make the food. They’re going to want to go on YouTube or on my blog to watch a full video of how to make a dish but there are other accounts that are just crashing it with food. So, maybe, I don’t know.
I think that’s because my audience really wants workouts. So like I just posted a little mini circuit on my Instagram just now today and I gave them three moves in 15 seconds and told them that the full 5-move circuit is on my blog and that they can get there for the full thing. That’s… And it’s already, like it’s over a thousand likes within an hour which is really good.
So, they’re definitely responding to workout videos so it’s like a useful piece of content that gives them something they can use right away in the moment.
They also respond really, really well to quotes – just straight up text on the screen. Because remember, what’s really special about Instagram is that you can only use it on your phone, in your life devices. I’d like to call it that because you got it with you, all the time, you freak out when you lose it. It really just allows you to establish this rapport with your audience because they’re interacting with you in what they feel like is real time.
You comment, they like, you comment back, it shows up on their phone right away. They really are super engaged and they will tell you right away if they like it or not because you’ll see how many people like it, immediately. It’s just, it’s just such a simple, easy thing to do.
Sorry, I’m going off on a tangent. What was it that we’re talking about?
Long versus short captions
James: No, you’re not at all, actually. It’s a… You’re talking about the font before that, you’re talking about captions and that’s the beauty of Instagram. Now, let’s talk about captions a little more… long versus short?
Bree: Yes. Long versus short.
James: I’ve seen you engineered these things. I’ve seen you take a picture. And then the next thing I see this amazing work of art with words, story… this seems to be the skill that you have that engages people. I really want to find out more about that.
Motivating and inspiring your audience
Bree: Well, thank you for that. I got two things to say. I like to really motivate people and be very real with them. So, sometimes, I just straight up take a beautiful photograph of myself. And by the way, I’m 37.
And I really like to celebrate like, being physically fit and healthy. And that’s what I’m selling my people. It’s nice when they’re like, oh you’re a babe, or you’re beautiful but, it’s really about empowering them through food and fitness to be their best self. So if I can stand up in front of them and say, I feel great when I show it to you.
And then I can actually intelligently talk about the strategies that I use in my own mind, to be this person that I am right now. And hopefully that inspires and motivates them.
Like, I did a post when we were at the convention the other day. I woke up and I just thought great, like I looked great, I felt great. I took a quick picture and I gave a little checklist of the things that were in my mind about how I sort of stay motivated. And I based it around, we all get the same 24 hours, and now here’s my checklist of what I do to make the most of that time, and please use it, if it’s useful for you.
And of course I went and made a blog post out of that, and made a little PDF so they can print out that checklist and people really like that.
When to use short and long captions
But, I kind of go back and forth. Sometimes, I’ll do a very short caption that’s really funny or quick, and just give someone a useful little thing that goes with the picture and ask them a question. Because I always like to engage people with my content. And sometimes I write something long and motivational.
I mean it’s really, really various. The picture that you took, the one with the New Orleans caption on it, with the handstand, all I did was write, “Love this city! ♥♥” That was it. And it got almost 2,000 likes.
James: It really did surprise me.
Bree: Well you know, it’s probably because you took the picture. I mean that’s why it got so many likes. They secretly knew that.
James: That’s partly what surprised me because generally my pictures don’t get that much a review, but let’s hear it from you, there wasn’t anything super tricky about it. It’s just that you hook it up to this huge audience to…
The magic of filters
Bree: I did, there’s a little bit more to it than that. That actually, this picture specifically is a good example of some of the things you asked me about before. Now I took this picture and I ran it through three different apps. I ran it through SnapSeed first and used the HDR scape filter which gave it a really cool kind of polished, almost a cartoon-like look, which really fits with my brand.
Second, I ran it through one of the apps that has text, and added the New Orleans caption, which I slanted sideways to go with the building. So it looks cool.
And then I put it in an InstaCollage, and made it a square. And then, that was it. But that wasn’t just it. I mean if I just posted that picture you took of me, I think it would have gotten over 1,300 likes, but because we added these filters that made it really cool, it made it much more appealing to the audience.
I mean it’s very cool. And it got, that post got a ton of comments where people were very upset with me for putting my hands on the ground. And that was fun ‘cause it’s a lot of engagement, like when they have something to say.
See how Betty enhances images: