Enlisting an influencer in 3 easy steps

Enlisting an influencer in 3 easy steps

So you did your homework, and found the perfect influencer to promote your optical business. Now what? It’s time to enlist the influencer and set the terms.

You just need to do three things:

  • Connect with them and gauge their interest
  • Figure out what to offer them, and negotiate payment
  • Then put it in writing!

Reach out to your influencer

The simplest and most effective way to make contact with an influencer is to direct message them on the platform where you found them. For example, if you’re trying to enlist an Instagram influencer, send them a direct message on Instagram from your business account.

Some influencers get a lot of DMs from bozos, so if you don’t hear back from them in a day or so, try another method. See if there’s a website in their bio, and look there for contact info. They may have a form specifically for collaborations, or they may have an email there you can send to.

Your message should be simple and direct:

“Hi, I’m Peggy from Heck Yeah Optical Boutique here in Albuquerque. We saw some of your posts, and we think you’d be a good influencer for us in this area. Can we talk about a collaboration?”

Note that I didn’t mention an offer or terms, just started the conversation. If you’ve tried two contact methods, and you don’t hear from them within a week, move on. They are likely not interested. But if they do show interest, it’s time to talk terms!

Make the offer

At this point, move the conversation to email. Ask for their email, and say you’ll send them details about what you’re looking for.

Then, write an email that describes:

  • What you want from them (say, 1 Instagram Post and 3 Stories promoting your shop),
  • What it will take to get there (an eye exam and a fitting at your shop), and
  • What you will offer in return.

For a local influencer whose following is in the tens of thousands, it’s usually enough to offer a free eye exam and fitting along with a free pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses. This gives the influencer the customer experience with you, which is probably the best source of content for their posts. It’s also the best choice for promoting a local business, so start with that.

However, some influencers work strictly for money. This is their full-time job, or they may be a local celebrity and an endorsement from them is quite valuable. In my experience, influencers who have 1M followers or more can command up to $2,000 per post. Under 1M followers, and it’s more like $250-$1,000.

But before you commit to a paid endorsement, please make sure that they have the audience you’d like to reach. Read my last blog post, and run reports on their audience. Did they artificially inflate their audience size with fake followers? Is their engagement percentage actually low, so people might have followed them, but don’t listen to them? Does something seem fishy, like they have millions of followers, but are a local average person you’ve never heard of?

Another consideration: be honest with yourself about the state of your business, and what effect you expect from influencer work. Social media marketing is a long game. Its effects are rarely instant.

Are you using it to build awareness, trust, and engagement among a community so its members patronize you? Or are you desperate for a quick fix?

If your business is sinking and you’re hoping for a miracle by paying top dollar to a big influencer, don’t do it. It won’t work, and you’ll be out the money.

Write the contract

At this point, you’re in tentative agreement with your influencer on terms. Now you just need to nail it down with a contract.

I am not a lawyer, and this is not a substitute for legal advice. I will just share with you what has worked for me in terms of drawing up an influencer contract.

If you Google “sample influencer agreement,” you will get any number of templates you can download and adapt to your purposes. Just make sure it includes:

  • Date
  • Deliverables (posts and follow-up stats reports)
  • Cancellation terms (for both sides)
  • Exclusivity terms (so they can’t go do the same work for your competitors within a certain time period)
  • Compensation terms (goods and services, or payment)
  • Signatures, names, and titles of both the influencer and the owner of the business

The most critical point to discuss and include in the contract is exactly what you want them to post (Instagram Post, Instagram Story, Facebook Post, Facebook Story, etc.), how many posts of each kind you expect, and that they be published by what date. These should be posted to their account – remember, they have the audience. And they should give you a follow-up report on how well the posts did: likes, comments, shares, views/impressions.

Once your contract is drawn up, get signatures from both parties. Then see how you can help your influencer as they create content for you!

Not sure how to find the right influencer? Read our last post.

Need someone to run a comprehensive influencer campaign for you? Contact us.

How to find an influencer to promote your business

Have you been thinking of hiring an Instagram influencer to promote your optical business? You’re not alone. The use of influencers is on the rise. But in order to get your money’s worth, you can’t just find an influencer, you need to carefully vet them. Just checking their follower count is not enough!

What is an influencer?

It’s someone who isn’t exactly famous, but has an impressive number of followers. Their photos are well-lit and professional, they’re doing fabulous things in fabulous places, and they strike a balance between perfection and relatability. Their captions often sport the hashtags #ad and #sponsored, because companies and businesses pay them to promote products and services. They may be well-known within a niche, like fitness, gaming, beauty, or eyewear.

Forbes estimates that the influencer market will hit $2 billion this year. And RetailDive found that 70% of millennials have a strong preference for recommendations from non-celebrity blogger peers.

Finding influencers by hashtag

Find an influencer with real influence

A recommendation from a credible influencer with a trusted voice can be absolute gold for your business. Hallmarks of a good influencer include a large following, in the tens or hundreds of thousands, or even the low millions. They engage regularly with that audience, commenting and liking often, and getting tons of engagement in return. They post often, usually daily.

But there’s a dirty little secret you should know. For every legit influencer, there are a thousand pretenders, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Some are attracted to the idea of getting rich quick by posting pictures of themselves. Others take a shortcut from the daily slog of engaging with people online, and simply buy followers to look popular. They don’t have the time, patience, or know-how to build a community, but they want the rewards. It’s this frivolous, “pretend job” image that gives influencers a bad name and makes them a target for late-night comics.

via GIPHY

But don’t laugh! An influencer that your audience believes in and finds appealing can direct a lot of eyeballs toward your business.

The question is, how can you find an influencer who is really influential, and has the audience that you’d like to reach?

Here are the steps I use to find the right influencers for my clients. You can do it, too – it just requires some homework.

Step 1: Start with hashtags

Using Instagram’s search function, find 5-10 hashtags that make sense for your audience. If you’re a local business, start with your city name (like #scottsdale). If that hashtag has more than 1 million posts, look for variants (#scottsdaleaz, #scottsdalearizona, #absolutelyscottsdale). Also try narrowing down to your neighborhood (#northscottsdale). As you type into the search bar, Instagram will show a list of related hashtags, so be sure to browse that.

Local hashtags will help you find an influencer with local pull

Avoid hashtags that are too broad, especially if you’re a local practice or optical shop. You want an influencer who’s going to come to your shop, interact with you, and make custom content. A hashtag like #eyewear (4.3M posts) will bring you top posts from frame brands, your competitors, practices in other cities or countries, influencers who aren’t local to you, and even online eyeglass stores. None of these are useful for promoting a local business.

Now that you have a list of relevant hashtags, look at the top 9 posts for each one.  A really influential post should be in the thousands of likes, or at least the high hundreds. It should also have dozens of comments, which are an even better measure of true engagement than likes.

Put the authors of these top posts on your list.

Step 2: Narrow your influencer list

Look at each influencer. Do they fit the bill for you? Are they the right age (i.e., old enough to manage their own eyecare), in the right location, have the right attitude? Do they wear glasses or sunglasses? If you want more kids and families in your practice, pick an influencer who’s a mom or dad. If your shop’s brand is luxury, pick a high-end fashion blogger. If you’re trying to attract a population of nearby tech workers, look for a hot nerd. Get the picture? You want to show that the kind of person who gets their eyeglasses from you is someone your target audience wants to be.

Whittle your list down accordingly. But don’t strike someone from your list if their follower number is only 1K-5K. Those are called “microinfluencers,” and 10 of them can be more effective than one influencer. They also cost less!

Step 3: Weed out the fakers

A sad fact of modern life is that many people buy followers. The follower number is a vanity metric that, if artificially inflated, makes people look more important and influential than they are. And those who have bought followers are not going to help you one bit to spread the word about your business. The followers they purchased are “dead accounts,” dummy profiles with little to no activity that are churned out by the thousands, usually overseas. Here’s an example of a “click farm” in China, where 10,000 phones have been automated to like and follow 24×7:

Buying likes and followers is incredibly cheap. Click farms are usually located in developing countries, use child labor, and pay their workers pennies. Using click farms is not just social media fraud that undermines trust in social platforms, it’s a terrible thing to support.

An influencer with a high number of dead accounts following them is basically sending your message to a rack of robot phones like this. What you want is a trusted voice who speaks influentially to exactly the audience you want to bring into your business.

Now, everyone has some fake accounts following them – even you. But an influencer who buys followers has them in large numbers. Fake accounts might actually be the majority of their followers.

So how can you tell if an influencer has bought their followers? There are a few methods.

Use SocialBlade to find unexplained follower spikes


SocialBlade will show you, for free, the last 14 days of follower/following/media activity for any Instagram account (or 30 days on the SocialBlade phone app).

A normal pattern for an account who doesn’t buy followers is a slow and steady rise over time.

Normal growth pattern for an influencer
Normal follower growth for an influencer

A user who buys followers will show a sudden, abnormal burst of hundreds or thousands of followers added in one day. If this miracle can’t be explained by actual account activity – they had no posts that day, they didn’t do a bunch of following themselves, and they weren’t in the news for sleeping with a Kardashian’s boyfriend
– then they likely bought those followers.

Unexplained spikes in influencer follower growth indicates buying followers
Sudden, large spikes in follower growth usually means an influencer has bought followers

Now, a spike of about 250 new followers doesn’t seem like much. But if someone buys 250 followers a week for a year, suddenly they have 13,000 followers – and a saleable position as an influencer.

If you ignore the bought followers and look at the normal activity for this user, they’re really at -23 followers for this two-week period – so their influence is actually flat or declining slightly.

If you see unusual spikes like this in a user’s profile, take them off your influencer list.

Use HypeAuditor to assess their audience

An audience assessment will not only reveal suspicious account activity, it will tell you whether the audience they have is the audience you want.

For instance, if you’re an eyecare practice in New Jersey, you probably want to target women 35 and up, and both genders 45 and up, in your state. (Women tend to be the health managers of their families, so targeting a mom brings you sales for her, her spouse, and any kids. Presbyopes spend more on their glasses and aren’t well-serviced by online stores.) Given that, the following HypeAudit report on an influencer would be pretty disappointing:

Don't hire an influencer that doesn't speak the audience you want

Is this account from someone in Turkey? Nope, it’s a US account, and the user posts in English. But they likely buy followers from someone in Turkey – and apparently Nigeria, Yemen, and Azerbaijan. This is all you can conclude if they have high followings there, but no natural connection to any of these countries.

You can also see the primary language spoken by their audience. If you’re marketing in English, and only 34% of their audience would understand the message, then this influencer is not a match.

Don't hire an influencer whose followers don't speak your language

HypeAuditor also tells you what you should pay per post for an audited influencer, based on market prices. This gives you leg up in negotiations.

Know estimated post prices before you hire an influencer

HypeAuditor is free to analyze one user, and $99 to analyze the next 10. Save $100 in your price negotiations and it’s paid for itself!

UPDATE: Use my code PEGGY43 and get 3 HypeAuditor credits for free.

If an influencer’s audience looks bought, or just isn’t what you’re trying to target, take them off your list.

Detect real engagement with FakeCheck

FakeCheck very smartly compares an account’s likes and comments numbers to others of their size to detect real engagement. See, you can buy followers, and you can even buy post likes, but you can’t really buy comments for your own posts. So any comments are likely coming from real users.

With this account, comments only appear 29% as often as is common for an account of their size. So you should drop your engagement expectations by about 70%.

Find out their true engagement numbers before you hire an influencer
Low comments indicate low engagement and possible suspicious follows.

Small variations of 5-15% from normal are likely not a sign of anything fishy. But 70% off? Something’s not right. Take this influencer off your list.

I found some great influencers! What’s next?

Okay, now you’ve weeded out the fakers and found accounts local to your business that have real influence. How do you enlist them as influencers? And how can you make sure they do what you ask them to do?

Read about that in my next blog post, where I show you what’s next after you find an influencer: how to reach out to them, what to ask for, how to get it in writing, and what you can expect to pay.

Want help to find an influencer and run an influencer campaign? Contact us.

Got questions? Ask me in the comments!


Instagram: To grid or not to grid

If you’re wondering why other Instagram accounts look more polished than yours, here’s a secret: they’re probably gridding. Instagram grids are created by simply arranging your photos before publishing in an alternating light and dark pattern so your profile page has a checkerboard effect. If you grid, then no matter what the subject of each photo is, or the colors used, all looks neatly arranged. It’s the online equivalent of a tastefully decorated living room–but like such a room, living with it has its pros and cons.

Grid examples

An excellent example of an Instagram grid is from @goddessofoptix. She alternates beautifully staged white-background shots of her favorite frames with colorful photos of herself in all kinds of backgrounds. You may think this is restrictive, but she actually has a lot of freedom within the form; all she has to do is make sure every other shot has a white background.

@goddessofoptix's Instagram feed

The key background color for your Instagram grid doesn’t have to be white. At Be Seen Optics in San Diego, we use the owner’s favorite color, orange.

Instagram account for @beseenopticssd

The eyewear line Thierry Lasry makes another kind of Instagram grid, which I guess you could call “striping.” Instead of alternating backgrounds on each photo, they post 3 similar photos at a time, giving a unified effect for each row.

Instagram account for @thierrylasry

How to grid

There are many scheduling apps (Iconosquare, Hootsuite, Later) and photo filter apps (A Color Story) that will let you preview your posts in a grid as they’d appear on Instagram. Those usually come with a subscription cost.

The free, DIY way is to do some simple Instagram grid planning with Microsoft Word or whatever word processing software you have. Just create a table with 3 cells to each row, then add your images, starting from the bottom right for your earliest image and working right to left, and bottom to top. Once you’ve arranged your images how you like them, make a second document that has a row for each image, starting from the earliest one, and write your captions there. Load them into your scheduler app, or post them manually from this second document.

Advanced gridding

There’s a more advanced kind of gridding out there, and it definitely requires an app. Here are two examples from @womenwithvision:

Instagram account for @womenwithvision

In these examples, several Instagram posts act like puzzle pieces and form a full picture, which one can only see if you go to that account’s profile page.

To achieve this look, you need an app like Grids – Giant Square Maker. It lets you upload your photo, slice it into every conceivable square or rectangular shape, divide it among Instagram posts, then save the result. It then guides you as to which of the image pieces needs to be uploaded in what order for the picture to make sense.

The downside of gridding

There are some definite downsides to that grid life. For one thing, you can’t be spontaneous and post whatever you want whenever you want – if your Instagram grid wants a white square, it needs a white square.

Gridding also identifies your content as pre-planned. If you prefer your audience to think of you as freewheeling and impulsive, posting photos as soon as you’ve taken them, then gridding is not for you.

Advanced grids present even more problems. Individual posts that make sense in the grid often don’t make sense to the user when viewed individually in their feed. This can lead to low engagement, and your posts falling a little further away from the front of the line for your followers’ attention.

And if, for example, you posted a large photo in a grid of 9 posts, posting just one photo on its own afterward throws the whole thing off. Your Instagram profile page will look a little like a puzzle someone dropped. To maintain the balance, you have to post 2 or 3 photos at a time (whatever the width of your grid is).

Will you grid?

Like most things in social media, deciding to grid is an individual choice. But give gridding a try and see if it’s for you. It’s a great way to add polish to a business account, or any account where post planning is a given. And you can always decide to give up the grid and go back to your freewheeling ways.

Want more social media tips and inspiration? Read our other blog posts.

Need help with social media for your optical business? Contact us.

Instagram no-no: Don’t abuse photo tags

Instagram no-no: don't abuse photo tags

One of the more powerful tools for engagement that Instagram gives us is photo tags, or the ability to tag our Instagram images with the names of other Instagram users.  The person (or brand) you’ve tagged is notified, and then it’s likely to generate likes and comments from them, increasing your relevance to each other in the Instagram algorithm, and reinforcing your relationship.

But like all powerful tools, this one can be abused. And you may be the one abusing it!

Don’t be that guy. Here’s how NOT to use Instagram photo tags:

Tagging people not in the photo


It’s really not a good idea to tag someone as being in a photo when they’re not, unless you think they would understand and agree with the tag. If, say, you photograph a gift basket that several people contributed to, and you tag all the contributors, that’s reasonable. But if you take a photo of your office, and tag a bunch of potential patients in the hopes that they’ll come in, that’s just weird. It signals that you don’t know how to be social or use Instagram.

Tagging people you don’t know as a means of introducing yourself


Tagging is sort of like saying “We’re besties!” So it feels presumptuous when someone you don’t know tags you (especially if you aren’t actually in the photo).  Start more politely with a like and comment on one of their Instagram posts instead. Then if you work up to actually being in the same room and taking a photo together, you can tag that.

Tagging people but having no other interaction with them

This is one of the more naked grabs for attention, and it absolutely does not work. If you post an image and tag a bunch of influential accounts just to yank their eyeballs over to you, how will they feel about it? Used, probably. And how will they feel about you? That you’re an opportunist who doesn’t care about them. Not a good start to any relationship.

This is a case where a hashtag would be a better choice than a photo tag. Many Instagram users, especially brands, have official hashtags they encourage you to use. For instance, I tell people to tag their photos with #thesocialeye if they want me to feature them. See if your potential tag-ee has a hashtag, and if you’re not sure if you should use it, ask them via DM.

Tagging too many people in a day

Instagram limits tags to 20 per image. But if you’ve gone really crazy with tags, at a certain point it will not let you tag anyone else for a few days. And “Instagram jail” can sometimes mean not being able to do anything on Instagram for a while. That’s a pretty good reason to chill on the tagging.

Tagging people as an insult

Even if you’re kidding, don’t do this. There’s a fine line between comedy and abuse, and Instagram takes a hard line against the latter.

Photo tags: Remember the goal

Now you might be saying…

But know this. Incorrect use of photo tags can actually lead to the opposite of what you want on Instagram. You want people to trust, identify with, and vote for you and your business with their dollars. Treat their photo tag with respect, and you’ll be on the road to getting that. Treat it with disrespect, and they’ll be much more likely to unfollow you, block you, or even report you to Instagram for abuse or spam.

Want to know what Instagram says about tags? We got you.

Need more advice about social media? Contact us.

4 reasons you should make Instagram Stories

Do Instagram Stories Scare You?

Are you feeling a little intimidated by Instagram Stories? You’re not alone.

Earlier this year, I managed an influencer campaign for an eyeglass lens manufacturer. We’d had glasses made for several fashion and beauty influencers which featured a new lens we were launching. We looked forward to them sharing what they thought of the lenses on Instagram.

But as the Instagram mentions started to appear, I was surprised to see that they weren’t showing up in regular posts as we expected, but in Instagram Stories. I panicked! Those Stories were going to disappear in 24 hours. How could I capture them to show my boss? Had I missed some already? Would their fleeting nature mean that few people would see them? And would the sponsorship dollars we’d paid the influencers have no return on investment?

You might be feeling similar discomfort with Instagram Stories. It can be exasperating to learn how to run a business account on Instagram, only to have them add a new publishing format that has its own rules. And why should you even bother?

Well, you really should bother, and here’s why.

  1. Instagram Stories are hugely popular

    Snapchat first debuted Stories in 2013, and this function helped differentiate the platform from others.  Then Instagram and Facebook cleverly figured “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” and added Stories to their capabilities in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

    Now use of Stories is growing 15x that of feeds, according to Techcrunch, and has over 300 million daily users. It probably helps that Stories are featured at the very top of the Instagram interface, and you can see that you have waiting Story content from 4 of your most relevant friends without scrolling.

    Instagram Stories position

     

  2. Stories do disappear, but not for you

    If you have an Instagram business account, your Stories are saved to an Archive, complete with stats and insights. So you can see exactly what impact your Story had, and the actions users took with it.

    Instagram Stories insights

     

    If you hired an influencer, and the Story is on their account and not yours, they can save it and send it to you, and take a snapshot of its stats. Specify this in every influencer agreement so you can track ROI effectively.

  3. You can reshare any post to your Stories

    Instagram is sometimes maddeningly simple. Every other social media platform has a way to reshare posts built into it (Retweet on Twitter, and Share on Facebook). But resharing on Instagram has always required a separate app, or crude screenshotting and cropping. There was no easy way to reshare a post and credit the original poster – until now.

    Now any public post can be reshared to your Stories, with attribution intact, and you can add GIFs, stickers, and your own comments. This is a great way to react to posts you find relevant, or reshare mentions of your account.

    Add post to Instagram Stories - step 1
    Add post to Instagram Stories - step 2

  4. You can reshare Stories you’re tagged in to your own Stories

Speaking of mentions, when your account is tagged in a Story, you’re notified and offered a way to add that Story to your Stories in one click. This is a great way for two accounts to bring attention to each other – say, you and your best customer, for example.

All these factors make Instagram Stories a publishing format you really can’t ignore. Have you tried it yet? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.

Are you an optical business that needs help navigating the ever-changing social media landscape? We can help. Contact us.

Instagram Stories tools you should use at VEW

Instagram Stories are perfect for VEW

Vision Expo West starts this week, and a lot of people will be following along on Instagram Stories. If you’re attending and want to capture all the excitement, consider using Instagram Stories and some of its new built-in capabilities. These encourage a give-and-take with your audience that you’ll both enjoy.

Instagram Stories: A little background

Instagram Stories are brief snippets of video, photo, or typed content that are available to followers for just 24 hours. They are found in the circles at the top of the Instagram screen, and are offered to you in order of each account’s relevance to you (in other words, you’ll see your best friends and most popular accounts first). Instagram Stories are great for sharing glimpses of live events, because producing them is quick and mobile-friendly.

Instagram Stories

New to Stories?

My advice: play around with making some Instagram Stories before you head to Expo. That way you’re comfortable with how they work before you try to use them on the loud, busy exhibit floor. There are all kinds of fun things you can do with Boomerang (looping video), Face Filter (bunny ears, anyone?), and Superzoom (zooming in with mood music). To make it fun for your audience too, try them on your kids or pets.

Ready to level up?

Awesome! Here are the new capabilities Instagram has added to Stories that are a ton of fun and will engage your audience.

Polls

Ask a question of your audience with the regular Text feature, then offer them two choices in response. It can be Yes/No, or you can change the response text to whatever two answers you desire.

Instagram Stories tool - poll

Q&A

Ask your audience a question, and let them type back an answer. The beauty of this is no one sees the answer but you, so you can share responses selectively.

Instagram tools - Q&A

 

Instagram tools - Answers

Share Posts to Stories

Instagram is brilliant in its simplicity, but it’s always irritated me that you can’t share other people’s posts natively like you can on Twitter. While you still can’t share a post right into the post feed, you can share a post to your Stories. This is wonderful, because you can add your commentary, and the original poster gets credited and notified.

Instagram tools - share a post

Share Mentions

Another new feature I really appreciate is that when someone mentions your Instagram handle in their post, you are notified and offered the ability to add it to your Stories in one click. Instagram even adds a background in a coordinating color (though you don’t have the ability to change that color – yet).

Instagram tools - share a mention

Emoji slider

Want to get an idea of how your audience feels? Ask them a question, then let them answer with an emoji slider. Not every emoji is available, but most of the basic emotions are covered: mad, sad, happy, on fire, crying laughing, etc. You can have text right above the slider, or not.

Instagram tools - emojis

Instagram tools - emoji slider

Where to find them

You’ll find each of these tools in the Stickers menu of the Instagram Stories creation wizard. Click that, and you’ll get a menu of these tools and many others.

Instagram tools - where to find them

 

Instagram tools - menu

Need more help?

Here are the Stories FAQs straight from Instagram. You’ll find detailed help for these tools and a lot more.

Want expert help for your social media? That’s what we do. Contact us.

Have fun at VEW! And if you’re not going, watch for our Instagram Stories at @socialeyesonyou.

Instagram Live tip: The right way to ask for questions

Instagram Live: The right way to ask for questions

Have you ever hosted a webinar or Instagram Live, and when you ask if there are any questions, there’s nothing but silence?

Oh, did I just describe every webinar you’ve ever given or attended? My bad.

Webinars can be deadly dull, but they serve a purpose – they’re meant to teach something, or share necessary information. And attendees are obviously interested in the subject, or they wouldn’t be there.

Instagram Live broadcasts are more fun, but can have a similar problem. If your followers tuned in to learn something, technical glitches or just the comments rolling up the screen could have left them remembering little.

But here are tips that can help!

Strengthen your request

Whenever you’re speaking to a live audience, try this technique from Louisiana high school math teacher Andre Sasser:

howtoaskforquestions

Give fair warning

I would add this: let your audience know at the beginning of your session that you want a question from them at the end. That will make them listen more actively.

Bribes are okay

Besides that, you might even incent them by saying you’ll send a small gift to the person whose question you like the best. Something small, like a branded notepad. (I’m an absolute sucker for branded notepads. There’s one within 3 feet of me at all times. Need to jot down a note? I got you.)

It’s always about engagement

The point is, their questions and your answers are literally engagement, and that’s what everyone’s going for on social media. It makes for a better experience, even for those who don’t pipe up. It increases the perceived value of what you’re saying. And it feels good to talk to an audience and have them be curious about what you said.

Have you tried this trick, or do you have others? Let us know in the comments below.

Need help hosting your business’s first Instagram Live? Contact us!

Got 30 seconds? Make easy photo albums for your waiting area

Examples of Chatbooks

If you’ve been posting to Instagram regularly for your business, good for you! Here’s a little side benefit that won’t cost you time or effort. Have your shop’s Instagram photos turned into photo books, and keep them in your waiting area.

There are many services out there that will do this for you, but my favorite is Chatbooks. If you subscribe to their Photo Book Series and connect your business’s Instagram account to it, they will create a 6″ x 6″ photo book for every 60 photos you post. Each book is only $10, and once you set up the subscription, you don’t have to do another thing. Just keep posting, and for every 60 posts, you get a photo book in the mail.

It’s a great way to connect your online and offline worlds, and it could convince your customers to follow you better than one of those “Please follow us” signs.

Chatbooks did not pay me to endorse them–I just really like the service. But if you follow this link, you can get $10 off your first order. (They’ll also treat you to this hilarious video.)