Creating Conversions: How to Maximize Instagram for SMBs & Publishers

Instagram Icon
Instagram Icon

So you’ve survived the holiday season, but now your smartphone is filled with a veritable art gallery of filtered Instagram photos. Those Amaro- or Kelvin-tinted shots don’t need to sit there collecting dust in your phone, however, and this is especially true for small businesses and publishers. The question is: How can those Instagram pictures lead to more paying customers for your small business or publication?

Instagram’s core idea is less about cool filters and more about creating strong visual narratives. We hear all the time about how visual content draws the most eyeballs on social media pages. For you the business owner, this key insight can change the way you tell your brand’s story.

For instance, let’s say your publication holds a launch party. You can use Instagram to highlight portions of the party that make your brand stand out amongst your competitors. You can use Instagram to create a visual narrative that will draw new eyeballs, and thus new potential customers. This process is called conversion. Check out our Instagram profile to see an example.

Instagram_Logo_Large

Here are five tips to create business conversions on Instagram:

  1. Create clear branding on your Instagram Profile Page. When Facebook bought Instagram recently, social media users started noticing small but important changes in how the platform behaved. One of those changes was Profile Pages. Profile Pages are no different than a Facebook page. They house all the photos you’ve uploaded to Instagram, and allow you to browse your feed. To maximize this for your brand, make sure you have a link driving back to your business’ home page, write a short and catchy bio and display your logo prominently.
  2. Upload your Instagram photos to as many other social platforms as possible. This sounds counter-intuitive, but keep in mind Instagram’s core idea. Instagram tells visual stories. In order to tell that story to as many people as possible, post your Instagram shots to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. Spread the #love.
  3. Use hashtags. For those of you unfamiliar with a hashtag (#), it’s no different than your average pound key. But, when used in a caption of an Instagram photo as a theme, your photo has the potential to be introduced to a much wide audience. This is because whenever the hashtag is used, it’s picked up by Instagram’s search tool. For instance, if your publication centers on classic cars, and you’ve just uploaded an Instagram shot of your favorite ’67 Chevy, don’t forget to put #musclecar or #Chevy in the caption of your photo to introduce it to more potential readers.
  4. Use location tagging. But do it wisely. Many folks are afraid to tag a location to their photos, but it’s a great feature aimed at growing your exposure. When you tag locations, your image is grouped with all the others taken at that location, which again adds to the potential for your image to be seen by a wide audience.
  5. Be a consumer. Most brands and publishers use Instagram as a one-way street. They upload the pictures, with the appropriate hashtags, and then leave it alone. Make sure you add new followers with similar interests to your business or publication. Follow your readers. Like photos that relate to your own. This is called building a community, and doing so will reap large rewards in future conversions.

We here at MagCloud have talked about Instagram and seo services a few times in the past for businesses and consumers. Highlighting ways to use your Instagram photos to create business collateral whether that be a client calendar, trade-show or event poster or portfolio or photo collectible.  There are lots of ways to extend your Instagram conversations from the phone through other marketing and sales channels.

Do you guys use Instagram for your business? How do you use it differently from your own private Instagram account? What other tips do you have? Make sure to share in the comments!

Introducing the MagCloud Referral Program

Get rewarded when friends, family or colleagues sign up for a MagCloud account and become publishers.  Existing MagCloud users can earn $10 for every friend they refer that joins MagCloud and buys or sells $25 worth of their own published content through the website.

Participating is really easy:

  • Sign-in to your MagCloud account and share a link to a publication, seo company, a publisher profile, even a MagCloud web page via the MagCloud website, web viewer or iPad app.
  • Your friend signs up from that link and becomes a new MagCloud member.
  • They publish their first MagCloud publication.
  • Then your friend buys or sells at least $25 of their own published content.
  • You will receive a $10 cash credit for your referral.

You don’t need to sign up for our referral program all MagCloud members are automatically eligible.  Just start sharing links (while signed-in) from the MagCloud website or iPad app to participate.

For more information see our website or FAQs.

Improved Discovery and Sharing

MagCloud just got a bit more social with our expanded sharing functionality.  You can now like, tweet, pin, and share your favorite print and digital publications from our website, within the web-based viewer or via the updated iPad app. We’ve also given our storefront a pretty little facelift making it easier to discover, read and buy MagCloud publications.

New Sharing Features

Our enhanced features allow you to share a link from the publication details page or the publication itself with most popular social networks or via email.  You can also like, tweet, +1 or comment on a page or publication.

Share publications directly from our web-based viewer and the latest version of our iPad app.  While reading from with in the web viewer you can share a publication to your favorite social network, send via email, or  grab a link and/or embeddable widget to include on your website or blog.

On the iPad you can choose to share a page or the cover and send via Twitter, Facebook or email directly to friends and colleagues.

Improved Storefront

We’ve also made it easier to browse and discover the tens of thousands of publications available publicly in the MagCloud storefront.

The redesigned storefront makes it easy to find and read free and purchased  digital publications directly from the website.  You can browse both print and digital publications by popularity, recommendation, category or search.

Let us know what you think of the new sharing functionality and improved storefront in the comments section below.

View MagCloud Publications in Your Web Browser

Today we are excited to announce a new web-based viewer that enables publishers to bring stunning versions of their publications to life in any modern web browser on both desktop and mobile computers.

Now publishers can upload a single PDF file and immediately distribute as a free or paid digital publication, in print, in a web browser, via the MagCloud iPad app or as a PDF download.

The web viewer delivers an immersive reading experience for users. Simply click the “read now” button and the publication launches within the web viewer. Readers can page forward and back, rotate, zoom in and out, and enter full-screen mode. Pages can be viewed individually or as a spread, and are easily navigated with thumbnail and all-pages views. Additionally, users can buy a printed copy, download a PDF version or add to their Digital Library for viewing later or in the MagCloud iPad app.

The web viewer supports all HP MagCloud publications, regardless of format, on any desktop or notebook computer running a modern web browser.

The web viewer technology also offers hyperlink support, benefiting publishers and users by allowing you to link from your catalog of products back to an ecommerce site, link directly to advertisers’ web pages, allow customers to draft emails to an address listed in your brochure just by clicking on it or provide information about the author.

Publishers can also monitor how well their readers engage with their online publications via the Stats section in their account.  You can see important web viewer reading information including the number of total readers, how often your publication was read, pageviews, shares, hyperlinks clicked, click through rates etc. for all your collections or a single publication.

Publishers and readers can promote their favorite publications by sharing publications they like with friends and colleagues via email or social media channels or embedding a badge or link that launches  the web viewer directly from their own website or blog.

All publishers who currently have digital distribution turned on for their publications will automatically have web viewer versions available on the MagCloud website. To turn digital distribution on simply select Sell Online (after uploading your PDF and selecting your binding). This is where you will add any markup to your print version, and will have the option to opt-in to digital distribution.  Opting-in to digital distribution is a one time setting that instantly gives readers digital access via the web viewer, iPad app and PDF download.

What do you think of the new MagCloud web viewer?  Let us know in the comments section below.