Posts

Instagram stickers you might not use (and why you should)

Have you used Instagram stickers? These can be such a great way to add something extra to your Instagram Story and, actually, encourage engagement too. And that’s what today’s Small & Supercharged Podcast is all about.

In addition to Instagram stickers, I’m also going to talk about GIFs, which can be great things to add to your Instagram Stories, to make them more fun or relatable, or just to add an extra dimension.

Instagram stickers, GIFs and more that you might not use…

In today’s Small & Supercharged Podcast, I talk about Instagram stickers that you might not use, the great things about GIFs, and what you can link to from Stories. Here are the show notes from episode 22, Instagram Stickers you might not know about or use…

  • I talk about GIFS. I love a GIF. I talk about the kind of GIFs you can use, when and why you could use them, and why you need to keep on brand when adding them.
  • The Product Tag. I talk about how the Product Tag works, when it’s useful for brands (especially those with under 10k followers). The Product Tag allows people to move from Instagram to your website without having to go to the link in your bio and embark on a rather clunky process. If you have over 10k followers (and a business account) you can have swipe up (which is also good!), but the product tag can provide more information in a shorter amount of time.
  • The Countdown Sticker. This is a great way to show how much time you have until a launch, event or something else. The Countdown Sticker automatically updates too, so you don’t need to worry that someone looking in 12 hours will be receiving out of date information.
  • The Poll Sticker. This is not a new thing, but it’s still great. It’s a really good way to get feedback on any question you like (that has two possible answers!). You could ask people what colour they prefer in a piece of clothing, for example, which can be useful and great for engagement. You can also change the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to words of your choice. Don’t forget, you can share the results of the poll, which can help you with your content creation and, also, shows that you value the opinion of your fans.
  • The Questions Sticker. This is good for lots of different things. Make sure you guide them with the sticker – sometimes being really broad, like ‘Ask Me A Question’ can be a bit wide, depending on your audience. Try and make it easy for them to ask a question. You can use the Questions Sticker for so many reasons – what’s your favourite event, share a winter must have, etc. Use these instead of Polls when you have more than one possible answer.
  • Links. Not quite a sticker but (maybe) even better. We talk about what you can use this for. If you have over 10k followers, you can link to a URL, and then swipe up to a page on your or any other website. If you don’t have over 10k followers, you can add a link to an IGTV video, which can be a good way to get it under the noses of your following.

Don’t use the same stickers each time as people will just switch off… and you don’t want that. It can turn something that should be engaging and fun into an annoyance.

So here are six ‘functions’ you can add over your Instagram Stories. Go off, have a play, and I would LOVE you to tag me if you give them a spin. I’m @rheafreemanpr on Instagram, as always!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
5 ways to use Instagram challenges

Did you take part in Sophie Callahan’s #jan19ruralbusiness challenge? I dipped in and out (sorry Sophie!), but I did do most of the days and really enjoyed in. At the end of December, I ran a short five day #5thingsimproudof Insta challenge too, so I have experience from both sides of the coin! With this in mind, I thought I would use the opportunity of two recent Instagram challenges to chat about their value and how you can use Instagram challenges for your own gain.

How to use Instagram challenges – five ways…

  1. They inspire you. If you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ about Instagram, an Instagram challenge can really help. With specific prompts for as long as the challenge lasts, you can use the ideas listed to create your content. Saving you from having to worry about the idea behind the content.
  2. For blogs. Yep – you read that correctly. I launched my Instagram challenge with a blog about five things I was proud of. I did this as a way to explain the challenge. However, a number of people also wrote their own blogs around the theme, which was great. If you can use the prompts or ideas to create additional content, then get on that case!
  3. They can organise you. If you know you need to get images for your challenge, you can look ahead and see which images you have/source the props you need for when you get time to take the images. This can be really useful if you’re a busy bee.
  4. You can use it on other social media platforms too. You might be taking part in an Instagram challenge, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use the prompts on other platforms too.
  5. To connect. Most Instagram challenges are connected by a hashtag. Search that hashtag and you can find others who are also taking part. You might find new people to follow in your field, or new brands to love, And you might get found by these people too.
Rhea Freeman Newsletter

5 things I'm proud of5 things I’m proud of, hey? This might be one of the most self indulgent posts I’ve ever written, so please don’t discount me as an egotistical so and so. If you know me at all, you know I’m not. However, as we look ahead to 2019, I think it’s also important to look at how far we’ve come in our businesses. Do you ever do that?

See, I am a devil for pushing on with things. I’m always looking ahead and onto the next thing. I’ll work my backside off to get it and I’m pleased when I have, but I’ll then assess what’s happened, improve, and move on. Sometimes without so much as ‘yeah- good job’ to myself.

Can you relate to this?

I meet so many business owners who are the same. And that got me thinking. So for the next five days (please join me!), I’ll be sharing five things I’m proud of over on Instagram… and I really would love to know five things you’re proud of. As I said, I’m going to run this over on Instagram (#5thingsimproudof) where I’ll be giving more detail on each of these each day… and I would love you to join me…

5 things I’m proud of…

1 – Two TEDx talks. Being the ‘special’ person I am, I decided getting the first, and not combusting/being heckled or booed, must have been a fluke, so I went again and secured a second at TEDxTelford. I’ve talked about my TEDx talks on my blog before, but I’m really proud of both of these achievements. I know many people have this as a life goal and I would urge you, if you do, to follow it. It did take work to land both, but I think it was a lot easier than many people would have you believe…

2- The Small & Supercharged Podcast. You know when something has been bouncing around your skull for a while and then, even though you’ve spent AGES convincing yourself it’s too difficult, you give yourself a slap? Yep, that’s what happened to me. The Small & Supercharged Podcast is alive and kicking and I’m SO proud of it. I love it.

3- I had a flipping photoshoot. I tell all my clients that they need good quality pics. Because it’s true. But I do not like having my photo taken. And I don’t HAVE to take my own advice now, do I? Well, when Sophie Callahan gifted me a shoot I was kind of screwed as it would be rather rude not to take her up on such an amazing opportunity, wouldn’t it? Well, I had the shoot, and it was incredible, I’ve written all about why having a photoshoot is important and… wait for it… I loved it. I know. I was surprised too.

4- The Small & Supercharged Mastermind Group. This only launched a few months ago but the results that the amazing people inside the group have seen warms my heart. And makes me smile. And I’m so so proud of them all. I can not wait to see the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group grow and develop more during 2019!

5- Getting out of my own way. This year I’ve told my negative self talk to pipe down a bit more… and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve given a seminar at the Farm Business Innovation Show (which was packed out and people were waiting outside), chaired the PR and marketing panel at the event, worked with the Hiho team on the really successful Style, Skills & Silver event at The Fish Hotel in September and more. If I’d listened to the voice in my head that said ‘I’m not sure you can do this’ I wouldn’t have done any of these things…

I wanted these five points to be specific, rather than ‘grew my business’ or ‘helped other businesses grow’. It does, however, go without saying that I am so, so proud of all the businesses I work with. Working with some of the best businesses in the industry and seeing how hard these people work and the results they achieve is a constant source of inspiration. I know that sounds a bit slushy but it’s true. When you’ve seen people making faux grass boards for selfies, going above and beyond on a customer service level, taking some of the most amazing images you’ve ever seen, designing jaw droppingly beautiful stands and products. Well, it just spurs you on, doesn’t it?

Will you join me and celebrate 5 things you’re proud of?

OK, not me, YOU! Using the #5thingsimproudof hashtag  on Instagram I’d love you to join me in celebrating five things you’re proud of between now (27th December) and the end of the year (31st December, inclusive). Each day, I’d like you to post something you’re proud of, using this hashtag. I’d also love you to search the hashtag and support other people using it… who’s with me?

You can find me on Instagram @rheafreemanpr – come and join me and see 2018 out with a bang!

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram StoriesDid you know that you can use hashtags on Instagram Stories too? Actually, you can hide hashtags on Instagram Stories too!

If you use Instagram at all, you’ll know that hashtags are really important. These nifty little words and phrases prefixed by  a # allow your content to be categorised and searched by these terms making it a lot more discoverable.

But what about Instagram Stories?  You might not realise, might think that not that many people use them, or might thing they would look ugly. Thing is, you can hide a hashtag on an Instagram Story, which means that more people might be using them than you think… and that they won’t mess up any aesthetic either. So, without further ado, here are five ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories.

5 ways to hide hashtags on Instagram Stories…

1 – Colour match. This is particularly good for still images or text based posts on a coloured background. You can type your hashtags in and then just use the colour match option to make the hashtags the same colour as the background. This hides your hashtags. Simples.

2. Make them REALLY small. You can make your list of hashtags really, really small by just pinching them and making them tiny. This doesn’t mean they’re completely hidden from view but depending on the image or video, it’ll make them hard to spot.

3. Put them behind a sticker. For this one, just put your list of hashtags onto your Story and then use a Sticker (like Location, Mention or Hashtag) over the top. Shrink the list down and it’s a lot easier to hide!

4. Put them behind a gif or Emoji. The same as the above applies really – get the hashtags added, decrease their size and pop them under a gif or an Emoji as relevant – and then you’ve hidden them on Instagram Stories.

5. Put them behind a shared story. When people tag you in Stories you usually have the option to share on yours (depending on their settings). When this is the case, you can share at full size, but you can also shrink and rotate the shared image and, if you like, you can pop your hashtags behind it. Good eh?!

These are five easy ways to hide your hashtags on your Instagram Stories. Of course, if you want to use them and not hide them, all power to you! You can even use the hashtag sticker if you like (although this will only allow you to post one). But do give it a spin and have a look and your insights to see if it helps the reach of your Stories, you might be surprised.

 

Pssst – Episode 8 of the Small & Supercharged Podcast was all about Instagram Stories… you can listen here

5 easy ways to use Instagram Stories

Well hello there- and welcome to this Small & Supercharged podcast… well, the show notes. To listen to the Small & Supercharged Podcast, you can listen below or you can follow the iTunes link here. Today it is all about Instagram Stories. I adore these. I add to mine every single day and I love the engagement, the comments, the responses and more I get from it. In this Podcast, all about Instagram Stories, I share why I love them, five ways to use them… and there’s a freebie you can download too. I know, I spoil you. Enjoy…

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories…

 

Let’s talk about Instagram Stories and how you can use them for your small business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 8 – Instagram Stories. What you’ll hear in this episode..

  • The difference between Stories and the grid… and the difference in the kind of content you’d post on the two
  • How Instagram Stories can be used to show the behind the scenes of images you post on the grid
  • How to access Instagram Stories (sorry if you feel I’m teaching you how to suck eggs. I just think it’s good to make sure everyone can get involved).
  • We talk through the different kinds of Stories.
  • Why I usually do Stories when walking the dog (and why you might like to do something similar).
  • We talk through ‘behind the scenes’ ideas.
  • How you can use them to share a thought, talk about something you’ve seen and loved… or just #firstworldproblems. Such as when you have a hole in your sock… yeah… I’ve added that to notes too. I’ve not got over that…
  • We talk about how you can use Instagram Stories to show a process – taking ‘behind the scenes’ to an extra level.
  • How you can use stickers and how these can encourage engagement and can also create additional content.
  • Using Stories to show what’s new. You should never use social media as a hard sell, but you should use it to tell your customers, fans and followers about you and what’s new.
  • I touch on shoppable links and how these can be integrated.
  • How to hide hashtags in your Stories, and why hashtags are good on Instagram Stories.
  • And for the freebie – download the pdf here about Five Ways To Use Instagram Stories.
  • Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

If I’ve whet your appetite, I have a few blog posts about them too. To get some tips, tricks and hacks to take your Instagram Stories to the next level, they’re all on this website!

In this episode, we’re talking about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality… and how all this matters to your business! This is a solo show, so we’ll be hanging out for the next few minutes. I hope you enjoy it. So, without further ado… shall we have a chat about Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter, augmented reality… and why I’m very excited about both!

Have a listen here…

 

Let’s talk about Kylie Jenner, augmented reality and why Face Filters could rock your business

Show notes for the Small & Supercharged Podcast – Episode 4 – augmented reality, Face Filters and Kylie Jenner… what you’ll hear in this podcast episode…

  • What augmented reality is and how you’ve (probably) already used it.
  • How Kylie Jenner’s Face Filter didn’t just make me look a whole lot more polished, it also signalled the start of new applications for this function inside an app.
  • How powerful Instagram really is and how many users it has.
  • How the Face Filter and its application connects to real life sales.
  • How filters could help to bridge the gap between the online and in store shopping experience.
  • How augmented reality could make shopping from home even more realistic and useful than going to a shop.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Small & Supercharged Podcast so you don’t miss an episode! You can find it on iTunes, Spotify and Podcast Player – just search ‘Small & Supercharged Podcast’ or my name. Another perk of having a weird name!!

As I was looking through Instagram Stories on Friday night, something caught my eye. I was watching Jasmine Star’s Insta Stories and under her name it said the filter she was using. The Face Filter to be precise. What was strange was that I hadn’t noticed she was using a filter. And that was kind of the point. This was no ordinary Instagram Face Filter. This was an Instagram Face Filter by Kylie Jenner. And, for me, it’s really changed the game on filters.

What’s an Instagram Face Filter?

First things first, if you’re not sure what I mean by Instagram Face Filter, let me explain. Have you seen people on Instagram Stories with dog ears and rainbows and other craziness on their faces? Yep? Instagram Kylie Jenner Face Filter - augmented reality (1)That’s a Face Filter. They’re usually comical in some way and it’s very, very obvious that one’s in use. But this was different. It wasn’t like that at all.

Kylie Jenner

I am sure you don’t need me to tell you who Kylie Jenner is… but I’m going to because if you don’t know then the next bit of this blog is going to make very little sense to you! Kylie is part of the Kardashian clan, and she has her own make up collection. As you’ll know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I have no idea about make up. It’s more luck than judgement that I know about her make up range, but I digress…

So what’s the Kylie Face Filter?

It’s a form of augmented reality and an absolute stroke of marketing genius in my opinion. I had a jaw dropping moment when I realised what the filter did and how it worked. So, unlike comical filters, the Kylie Face Filter makes you look, well, really quite good. But it’s more than that. Inside the Kylie filter you can chose from one of eight different looks with the central focus being the lip colour. These eight different options show a range of colours and are, wait for it, based on her lip colour collection. This sounds good – I mean, when I discovered it I was pretty tired and I was not looking my best…. and this filter definitely improved things, put it that way. But it’s SO much more than this. I really believe that this is part of the future of marketing. Want to know how make up is going to look on your with your colouring? Easy. How about furniture in your house? Clothes? All from your phone. Even through on of your favourite apps?

The one obstacle in the way of shopping online has always been that you can’t really see the products and how they’ll look on you through a computer screen. With this kind of technology being used, can you imagine the scope? Can you imagine the potential?

Blummin well done Instagram. Another absolute triumph in my eyes. And I for one can not wait to see how augmented reality grows in this accesible way.

5 easy ways to Instagram StoriesHello there – today it’s all about Instagram Stories (I know, I know, I’m addicted), but not just this – I have a freebie for you! Yes, I have launched a downloadable PDF freebie that talks you through the different styles/types/modes of Instagram Story AND five easy ways to use Instagram Stories.

Why have I created a freebie about Instagram Stories?

Because I love them. No, it’s more than that. Instagram Stories can be HUGE for building businesses and brands and, now, they have the added bonus of allowing you to link to Instagram TV. Even if you have less than 10k followers, you can ‘taste’ the joys of swipe up!

Instagram Stories are very, very different to the highly curated content we seen in the main feed. Because of the options available and how the Story is only there for 24 hours (unless you add it to Highlights), you CAN be a bit more spontaneous, fun and natural. It’s a great place to test new ideas and see the response. It’s a fab place to ask your audience questions using the poll feature. It’s a great place to ask opinions using the slider feature. You can also use it to promote your feed posts too (you can share from your feed easily). It’s great. But I just don’t think it gets the credit it deserves. The potential is HUGE.

So what’s the freebie about?

I know that many people feel a little afraid of Instagram Stories. It’s not edited. It’s raw and real. What happens if you made a fool of yourself? OK. Let’s stop. You CAN edit clips if you want (you can record using the Camera and then edit before uploading), it can be raw and real- but you can also apply filters and edit. And what if you make a fool of yourself? Delete it, don’t post it… or rest safe in the knowledge that in 24 hours, it’ll be gone.

I created the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram’ freebie to give people a little bit of a kick to explore and have a play with this fab free marketing tool. And I thought providing five ways that you could use Instagram Stories would be a good way to do this. But don’t feel that the freebie is trying to clip your wings – it is not. It’s a basic foundation for you to explore, play and create your own amazing Instagram Stories. These are just five easy ways to use Instagram Stories. There are soooo many more.

How to download the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories’ freebie

I’ve created this freebie for my email newsletter list subscribers, but I’ve also added a freebie page here that will allow you to download the ‘Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories’ freebie at any time you want to join my mailing list. My fabulous email subscribers receive these kind of guides and videos first, so if you want to improve your PR, marketing, social media and grow and develop your business, it’s a great list to be signed up to. If I do say so myself!

If you use any of the tips or ideas in the freebie, I would love it if you tagged me so I can see what you’re creating (I’m @rheafreemanpr on Instagram) – no obligation to do this, I’d just love to see.

So there you go – Five easy ways to use Instagram Stories – enjoy!

How to mute someone on InstagramIn May 2018, Instagram announced the introduction of the mute feature. In the last month, Instagram has announced some ginormous changes, granted, but this one, I think, is an important one. First, I’m going to tell you how to mute someone on Instagram, and then we’ll chat about why…

How to mute someone on Instagram

I believe there are two ways to do this: one from an image in your feed and one from their profile. Both seem to work in a similar way- tap the three dots, select ‘Mute’ and Bob’s your Uncle. It’ll give you the option to mute just the posts on the main feed or the posts AND story. And it really is just a few taps away. From the reading I have done, these people will be completely unaware on their new muted status too… so that’s a win,

The other thing is, it’s really, really easy to unmute. Just visit the profile, tap the three dots on the right next to their name and select unmute. You can unmute stories, posts or both. It’s really very easy.

Why would you want to mute someone on Instagram? Why wouldn’t you just unfollow?

This is a very, very fair question and I have been giving it a lot of thought.

Instagram has said that mute has been introduced to allow people to personalise their feed more, to see the content that they want. And before you think ‘well, I’ll just unfollow’, don’t forget that Facebook has offered the ‘unfollow’ option for a long old time now… and lots of people use it. Mute might be new to Instagram, but to social media it isn’t.

I think that, in today’s social media and digital world, unfollowing someone is like a virtual slap in the face and being told that they don’t want to be your friend anymore. It’s a bold statement. Realistically, it’s a click, but people take it really badly and it’s used as a gauge for someone’s like/dislike of you… sad but true…

So – a few reasons why you might want to mute someone on Instagram:

  • Maybe your friend is doing something seasonal you have no interest in and although you love them, you just don’t want to see all the images of something you have no interest in.
  • Maybe people are posting too much and it’s drowning out the content from friends and family members you really, really want to see.
  • Maybe you follow a large number of people because they’re clients or even potential clients and even though you like to keep in touch and see some of their pics, you don’t want to see all of their pics.
  • Maybe you like their Stories but not their posts. Or visa versa.
  • Maybe you’re trying to become less addicted to your phone and Instagram feed and want to give yourself less to be distracted by
  • Maybe you’re suffering with a horrible case of comparisonitis – you know it’s your issue but you need a bit of space away from everyone’s shiny Instagram feeds…

I kind of think I see muting someone as a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ thing. What your friend/the person you’re following is posting is not wrong, and you don’t like them any less as a person (you’d probably unfollow in both these cases), but you just don’t see their content in the same way as before. You’re still able to go and visit their profile and like/comment away whenever you like, so it’s not so much a ‘go away’, more a way to give yourself a little bit of mental space.

I know there are conflicting views on the mute feature – personally I can really see where it can add value. But I do also agree with the fact that you shouldn’t follow people just for the sake of following them… and then mute them. If you want to build genuine engagement on a genuine account, when a follow from you actually means something, use mute wisely. And if you don’t want to build this kind of account, I’m not so sure that social media is the place for you to hang out… because the ‘social’ part is really important!

Are you on Instagram? I’m @rheafreemanpr – come and share your views on ‘Mute’ over there…there’s a Tip Tuesday post all about it.

Behind the different types of instagram storiesOh, Instagram Stories – how I love thee! I’m a big fan of Instagram Stories, and get a tiny bit excited when a new feature is unveiled. As Focus has recently joined the Instagram Stories family, I thought it would be a good chance to have a chat about the options currently available, the different types of Instagram Stories, and how you might be able to use them. I use quite a lot of these in my own Instagram account...

The different types of Instagram Stories

So, just to recap on how to get into Instagram Stories… open your Instagram app > press your home button (bottom left) > press the camera button on the top left.

Now you’re here, should we explore the options together?

TYPE – if you have something to say or you maybe want to introduce a poll, Type is a good option. You can select different colours an different font styles. You can also hide hashtags quite easily on the Type background.

LIVE – pretty much as you’d expect, this is for you when you want to go Live. I am going to cover Instagram Live in more detail in a different blog because it’s a different beast to Stories (in my opinion), but when you want to go live, it’s there.

NORMAL – this is for still images and short videos. To take a pic, just tap the button once. If you want to record a short video, hold the button down. Colour will fill around the edge of the button and this is your countdown timer. Each clip is 15 seconds long if recorded through the app. There are ways you can chop a longer video up into 15 second clips, but 15 seconds is how it will display.

BOOMERANG – I love Boomerang. It’s a really simple way to creating a more dynamic shot. It actually works by taking a load of photos and playing them in order and reversed. Nifty.

FOCUS – a bit like my beloved Portrait mode. Focus allows you to bring the person into focus and the background becomes blurred. This works on still images and videos.

SUPERZOOM – this is a bit of fun. Select this if you want to zoom in on something in an amusing way. You can also select the style of your Superzoom from Dramatic, Beats, TV Show and Bounce. Just tap the little musical note (oh yeah- there’s music).

REWIND – plays the video in reverse. I’ve only tried this once… I tend to use Boomerang instead.

HANDS-FREE – lets you record a video without having to have your finger permanently welded to your phone screen, which is a bit of a win.

STOP-MOTION – I love stop motion. I created my Christmas campaign using stop motion (OK, I used an app and posted on FB, but still). The stop motion in Instagram Stories required a lot of tapping but it’s a fun way to show a sequence of events or process.

As if that wasn’t enough, you can also add text, stickers, GIFs, hashtags and tag people to all of the above!

Instagram Stories should be fun to watch and do – so mess around with the different styles inside the app… if you don’t like the result, delete it and no one ever need see it. And if you post it, it’ll be gone in 24 hours anyway! Enjoy!

If you’d like to see how I use Instagram Stories, you can find me at @rheafreemanpr

…and feel free to tag me if you’ve tried something new on Instagram Stories as a result of reading this!