Elwood Library: Social Media and Your Small Business

  • Instagram/Facebook basics - how can you use social media for YOU?

  • Engagement on social media - hashtags and more - organic growth - loyal followers

  • Social media content and recycling

  • Instagram stories and telling a story

  • Analytics - what’s working and what’s not?

What are hashtags?

The fancy definition: A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content.

Simply put: Hashtags are essentially a search engine on social media. By both using and searching through specific hashtags, it can be a very significant tool in Instagram growth.

Engagement with Hashtags:

Engagement is how you grow your followers with real true people who are excited about your product. 

  • To find potential followers, it is important to find the hashtags that they are using.  Once again, your best bet is with very specific targeted tags.  Larger broader tags are often cluttered with other businesses and fake accounts. 

  • Now that you’ve found these great folks, the engagement comes from liking and commenting on their photos. 

  • Make sure that your comments are specific to the image and perhaps ask a question for them to respond to. 

  • This starts a dialogue that will interest them in your account/product. 

  • This process takes time and strategy, but will yield you an interested community of people who love what you do.

Hashtag Hints:

  • We recommend saving your hashtag sets to the notes section of you phone and copy and pasting them into your Instagram posts to save yourself time.

  • Hashtags are essentially Instagram's sorting process. With around 95 million photos posted on Instagram every day, it's difficult for Instagram to efficiently deliver the right content to the right people. Hashtags help your post get discovered by viewers most interested in seeing it.

  • You can post up to 30 hashtags in one post, but we recommend posting somewhere between 15-20; these can be a mix of general hashtags and targeted hashtags.

  • It's great to test hashtags and see what works best for your account; you can also follow a hashtag, so don't forget to follow your most used hashtags so they come up within your feed when they are used.

Top Hashtags of 2018:

#love, #instagood, #me, #cute, #tbt, #photooftheday, #instamood, #iphonesia, #food, #motivation

Handy links for social media:

Social Media Scheduling Websites to Check Out:

Planoly: Planoly is ideal for Instagram planning, it's easy to see your whole grid planned out and has a phone app as well.

SmarterQueue: SmarterQueue is fantastic for scheduling blog posts and articles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Later: Later is a planning app for Instagram.

Plann: Instagram planning app.

Hootsuite: Is a scheduling app for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkdIn.

Tweetdeck: A quick way to schedule tweets.

*a note about these websites: most of these programs are paid, and have different levels of memberships. However, many of these have free trials for a week or two, so we suggest trying a few programs until you find one which fits with your style.

Photo Editing Websites:

Instagram Story Apps:

  • Unfold: Unfold is a wonderful app for Instagram story design. They have various themes and styles and often offer new packages for .99 cents. You can design in Unfold and then download to your phone to upload to Instagram stories. You can also include videos in the Unfold graphics which looks very professional.

  • Storeo: Storeo is an app to organize and edit Instagram stories into 15 seconds.

  • CutStory: If you have a longer video, CutStory is a wonderful way to edit the videos into 15 seconds.

  • Storeo: Storeo is an app to organize and edit Instagram stories into 15 seconds.

  • InShot: InShot takes any video you have and can crop it for Instagram stories; you can also create collages and edit photos for Instagram stories.

Photo Editing Apps:

  • WordSwag: WordSwag is a great app for creating quick and professional looking graphics. You can use these for Instagram and Instagram stories.

  • Canva: While Canva is known to be a computer program (you can access via any browser), the phone app is also fantastic for on the go graphics.

  • Font Candy: An easy to use app for quickly adding text on to graphics.

  • Snapseed: Snapseed is a wonderful graphic's editing app to boost your photos in a natural way.

  • Hype Type: Another great app for adding text to graphics.

  • Photofy: Photofy is an editing app and also has additional text/graphic options.

  • VSCO: If you're looking for editing your photos with filters and themes, VSCO is a simple tool for editing.

Helpful Free Stock Photo Websites: