How to engage with your Instagram followers

Instagram is no longer just a platform for users to post images of their favourite things. Now businesses can use the social media platform to fill their pages with brand content. As a matter of fact, in comparison to other major social media platforms, Instagram has the highest engagement rates between brands and customers.

While it’s great that your followers want you to engage with them, how you go about it is what matters. If you’re uncertain about what it takes, follow these tips below to ensure you get the most from your Instagram followers.

Instagram

1.Teach yourself how to make most of Instagram for business

More and more businesses are setting up homebase on Instagram so they can stay in touch with their target market. In response, Instagram has created an Instagram for business, where businesses can now get tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news straight from Instagram’s headquarters.

2. Develop a following

Consider these three tips for growing your followers:

  1. Make use of popular and relevant hashtags
  2. Link your Facebook page to your Instagram account
  3. Follow back, comment and like others’ posts

3. Add an embedded Instagram video to your website

With Instagram’s embed feature, you can extend your content to users who may not be able to see your shares on other social media networks.

4. Contrast your posts by using filter types and no-filter types

You can use the various filters Instagram provides to change the look and feel of your page. A study conducted by Simply Measured  revealed the top filter choices, finding that top of the list was Lo-fi, followed by Valencia, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Sierra, X-Pro II and Hefe.

5. Host photo contests on Facebook

You can leverage photo contests on Instagram using hashtags so you can organise submissions and an RSS feed to keep up with entries as they come in.

To help you promote your contest, use Facebook status updates.

6. Post images of your employees

A few posts of some behind-the-scenes shots is a great way to showcase your organisation. It’s also a way to celebrate your employees and show how much you value them.

These are only a few ways to use Instagram to enhance your brand. If you have any tips of your own that you’d like to share, you can leave a comment in the comments box below.

8 tips to improve the way you study

Improving your studying approach is an important skill to master for your university studies. Add on the stress of a full-time job and it becomes even more essential to master the art of studying effectively. Instead of burning the midnight oil, scientific research has proven ways in which your brain can process and learn information smarter and within shorter time spans.

How to study smarter

Here are a few tips you can apply to your own life so you study smarter:

  1. Study in short small chunks. Break up your studies into twenty 30-minute sessions. According to scientists, your brain is better at coding information in short repeated chunks as opposed to one large chunk.  This is also true when you’re learning different skills.
  2. Set up specific times to study. Scientists suggest that after prolonged study sessions, reasoning and memory may be affected by up to 4 days. Setting up specific times to study trains your brain to develop a routine, and overtime studying becomes easier as your brain is trained to study during those times.
  3. Use key cards to understand concepts. Key cards are said to be the most effective memory reinforcement tool. Plus, you can always whip them out during times of heavy traffic congestion.
  4. Have a specific goal for each study session. Aim to master one concept per study session. This will enable you to grasp what you’re study. To test your knowledge, see if you can to someone in simple terms. If you’re unable to, it’s a sign that you perhaps don’t understand the concept well enough.
  5. Study like you’re preparing to teach a lesson. When you study like you’re going to deliver a lecture your brain organises the information in a more coherent manner.
  6. Practice, practice, practice. As with anything you’re learning, nothing comes too easily unless you practice. Writing a practice test will enable your brain to become accustomed to the learning environment. In addition, if you make any mistakes, the practice test will help you identify gaps in your knowledge.
  7. Designate a study spot. A go-to study area that is well equipped with every tool you’ll need, will prime your brain for studying.
  8. Put your earphones and phone aside. Interruption caused by a notification on your phone is the same as to the effects seen when users actively use their cell phones to make calls or send text messages.

Don’t forget to take breaks between your studies. Keeping your body refreshed, will keep your mind refreshed too.

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

So you think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Sure, it’s great to be a leader and to make your own decisions. But do you have what it takes? There are many things for an aspiring entrepreneur to consider.

YE3BR41KSE (1)Creating a business takes a considerable financial investment, a lot of time and many, many hours of hard work. Your starting point is therefore to ask yourself if this is really something you can see yourself doing for the next years. As mentioned on entrepreneur.com, there is a big difference between wanting to be able to make a living doing something, and the actual chance it’s going to work out.

Follow the leader

Are you a leader or a follower? Are you comfortable directing a team of employees? It is very likely that you will be hiring staff at some point, even for a starting business. Keep in mind that leadership skills are a part of making it as an entrepreneur. Good leaders make good entrepreneurs.

Money matters

How do you manage your money? There are really only two options: either you make it through the initial stage and get to build on your investment, or you don’t, which will be the end of your business. An entrepreneur knows how to handle uncertainty, and knows finance through and through.

Do what you enjoy

Seek out your talents and let your interests decide where you will go with your business. It’s all about distinguishing yourself out there, and what better way to do so than by doing something that you love and know everything about?

Business time

Your business plan is your bible. A solid business plan takes into account and analyzes as many different situations as possible. This is where your keen insight and experience with corporate and finance come into play. Formulate your goals and most of all, how and when you are going to achieve them.

Know your customers

 Yes, the start-up of a new business is a hectic time. But the fact that your business is small scaled has its advantages. It allows you to get to know your customers, for example. In the corporate world, most customers are just some file on a computer. Work on a personal experience for your clients, they will be sure to appreciate it.

It’s all about creating a competitive advantage: something that makes you preferable over your many competitors.

Invest not only in your business, but in yourself

Keen entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for ways to improve themselves.  This means you should keep cultivating yourself, your talents, and your interests. In other words: go to conferences, take courses and read books on relevant topics.

The best advice to anyone that is an aspiring entrepreneur is arguably: ‘Know thyself.’ It takes certain skills to be an entrepreneur. Being honest to yourself about whether you possess these assets is the very first step on an exciting road to building up a business, or choosing a career path that better suits you.

 By Laura Macek, Journalism and Content Intern at Who’s Who