Month: November 2020

Instagram. Not having a presence on this social media platform means leaving money on the table.  Here’s why:  Out of the 1 billion people who use Instagram, 81% of them use Instagram to research products and services, and 83% use this social media platform to discover new brands.  The potential that Instagram offers you is immense—you can use Instagram for Business to grow your beauty and wellness brand by showcasing your services, booking appointments and so much more. But most importantly your salon or spa business should have a presence on the platform because that’s where your clients' hangout, thereby providing you with the right platform to boost engagement and visibility.  What’s exciting are the various formats that can be leveraged to create content—there’s the grid, there’s IGTV for long form video content, there’s Reels and Stories and more recently Instagram Shops and Guide.    Phew the list of Instagram features keeps growing!  While Instagram may seem like a lot of work, Instagram tools can save you a lot of time and effort. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Instagram tools to stand out from the crowd and pave the road to success for your mobile beauty business whether you operate a salon/spa on wheels, rent a chair or work out of a storefront.  Best Instagram Photo Editing App Best Instagram Stories Editing AppBest Instagram Video Editing AppBest Instagram Automation AppBest Instagram SchedulerBest Instagram Analytics AppBest Instagram app to get followersBest Instagram Contest AppBest Instagram app for WOM Marketing Best Instagram Photo Editing App  Instasize Your brand is competing with more than 25 million business accounts on Instagram. You need to stand out. The trick to catching the eye of your clients is through attention-grabbing visuals. Instasize will help you achieve this by transforming your photos from plain vanilla to attention-worthy in just a few clicks.  Instasize provides you access to more than 130 premium filters and 80 trendy and unique borders for stunning photos. More than that, you’ll be equipped with comprehensive color editing and video editing tools to get your visuals picture-perfect. The effects of the Vibrance tool.  What puts Instasize ahead of other photo editing apps is its advanced beauty tools. The Vibrance tool will breathe life into dull and poorly-lit photos and showcase the glamorous makeup of your client. The Glow filter will give your photos that extra rosiness and brightness to emphasize the before-and-after results of any beauty treatment. For an extra pop on screen, use the Whiten tool to rectify stunning smiles tainted by food stains and bad lighting. You’ll have a slew of clients interested in your beauty services in no time.  The effects of the Glow tool.  Instasize is free to download with premium subscriptions starting at $4.99 You can download Instasize on the App Store or the Google Play Store. Best Instagram Stories Editing App Made Over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily. For you can be a principal medium to connect with your clients in an authentic way. And that’s where Made comes into play. Made is a storytelling toolkit that will bring your on-screen stories to life.  With over 8 templates to choose from, you find one that suits your brand to the tee. Your stories will pop off the screen upon applying artful customizable backgrounds that come in over 40 colors and 80 patterns. Wrap up your story with stylized text that comes in over 16 diverse fonts.  The Story Board feature is useful to organize your story from start to finish before sharing it with the world. Once you create your frames, you change the sequence of each frame that will best tell your story. You can download Made for free on the App Store and Google Play Store.  Best Instagram Video Editing App Animoto 81% of businesses use video in their marketing strategy and Instagram is one of the best platforms to engage your audience with your brand’s story.  Video is multi-purpose as it can be used on the feed, Stories, and even IGTV. Kenniqua Jones, an Instagram influencer and Genbook customer,  uses video to show just how their operation works and to feature the best hair transformations of their clients. Video is an immersive medium that confirms how your service will work when a customer hires you which builds trust with potential clients. View this post on Instagram A post shared by SILK PRESS & BRANDING JAWN 🤞🏾 (@stylesbynuk) Animoto is a video creation software even for those with no experience in video editing. The drag-and-drop interface equips you with the tools to create professional-looking videos in minutes. Simply drag photos and video clips and drop them into one of more than 100 templates available.  The templates make Animoto a cut above the rest. You can choose templates that are suited for behind the scenes videos, virtual tours of your mobile salon, and even testimonial videos to highlight happy customers and your best looks. Videos can also be reframed to any size for your Instagram Feed, Stories, and even ads.  A free version of Animoto is available with all the standard features. The Professional version is priced at $33 a month.  Best Instagram Automation App Bulk.ly As a beauty and wellness entrepreneur, you wear many hats. You’re the operations, marketing, finance and the talent working with clients. Bulk.ly is a social media automation tool that understands how busy you are and helps you update your Instagram pages while you spend more time engaging with clients and running your business. Bulk.ly enables you to upload hundreds of posts at a time, schedule the time and frequency of the posts, select hashtags, edit captions, and even recycle past posts with a click of a button. You can easily reschedule posts through the drag-and-drop method.  The Pro subscription starts at $12 a month while the Pro Plus subscription is priced at $25 a month.  Best Instagram Scheduler Tailwind 43% of small businesses spend 6 hours a week managing their social media channels; however, this time doesn’t include content creation, hashtag research, and social media analysis. This is where you can use an Instagram scheduling tool like Tailwind to get real results fast.  You save time using Tailwind by scheduling posts ahead of time.The 1-Click Hashtag suggestion feature widens your reach by recommending vital hashtags to target the right interest groups for your brand. The SmartSchedule feature selects the best time and days to post when your audience is most engaged.  Tailwind’s Smart.bio feature allows you to turn your Instagram bio into a branded landing page. The Smart.bio feature helps you set up a branded link that connects your followers to your important brand pages such as an email subscription form, your menu of services or a link to set up appointments.  You can begin with a free trial or subscribe to Tailwind for a monthly fee of $9.99 for each Instagram account.  Best Instagram Analytics App Metricool Metricool is a tool to analyze your social networks, plan content, and create automatic reports all on the same dashboard. The analytics tool does away with the tedious process of generating an excel report and it generates professional-looking ones for you. The insights you’ll gain from using Metricool can mean the difference between stagnant growth and a booming small business on Instagram.  What’s cool about this platform is the way you can seamlessly organize data and easily understand the information to make informed decisions. The Evolution tab gives you a one-shot look of all the key metrics you need to learn how your community behaves. This includes your daily engagement, follower balance, and social media posts with the most valuable interactions. Aside from information about your own Instagram account, Metricool digs up information about your competitors so that you can discover their strategies and learn from their wins and losses.  There are multiple subscription plans available on Metricool from a free version to an Enterprise subscription at $119 per month.  Best Instagram App to Get Followers Kicksta There are so many sites where you can purchase followers by the thousands; however, these followers may be bots or users not interested in your products. Kicksta understands the need to grow your followership organically by interacting with users with a keen interest in what you offer. This way, your followers can become real clients. Kicksta helps businesses like yours grow on Instagram by engaging with accounts that you’ve pinpointed as potential customers. To get started, you simply have to list down target accounts who possess the kind of followers you find valuable. Choose accounts such as your competitors, beauty influencers in your target market, and complementary brands in your area. Kicksta then engages with the followers of your target accounts so they will notice your business. The Standard plan costs $49 per month while the Premium plan costs $99 per month.  Best Instagram Contest App Vyper  Growing your social presence takes an investment in time and money. An optimal strategy to reach new customers and expand your brand is to attract an audience with viral content. Vyper is a growth hacking tool that enables you to virally grow your business using contests and giveaways. Eco-friendly lifestyle brand Coconut Bowls utilized Vyper to launch an Instagram giveaway with the goal to generate emails, social awareness, engagement, and sales about their unique product. They used Vyper’s built-in contest template that has the tools to collect emails, enable social sharing, and lead customers to their site or sign-up form to make a transaction. What was effective about this giveaway is that in order for the contestant to stand a better chance of winning, they need to earn points by performing specific actions such as following @coconutbowls, sharing the contest on their Facebook page, and more. This allowed the contest to reach each contestant’s own followership and it eventually went viral. In 4 weeks, the campaign earned Coconut Bowls more than 37,703 new followers and 41,280 email leads.  Vyper starts at $149 for the Enterprise plan.  Best Instagram App for WOM Marketing ReferralCandy Word of mouth is priceless marketing because people pay more attention to and trust recommendations from friends. Sharing positive experiences is something that comes naturally on social media. 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer to products and services; however, only 29% of them do. ReferralCandy aims to accelerate your business growth by making it easy for customers to tell their friends about your business. ReferralCandy simplifies the referral process through social media integration. Your happy customers will be given a referral link that provides an exclusive discount. When they share this on Instagram to their followers, their interested followers can click on the link, avail of the discount, and in turn, become your customers. Brazilian waxing service Strip launched StripMate, a refer-a-friend program. For every new friend a customer introduces to Strip, they receive a $10 store credit while every Strip Virgin gets 50% off their waxing service. New Strip customers can then refer their own network of friends to Strip on Instagram.  ReferralCandy has built-in templates that allow you to customize text copes and graphics to suit your brand voice. Once you share your prospective offer and incentive, the program is automated as ReferralCandy will handle the day-today operation of your referral program. You’ll be provided with real time analytics which will display sales and daily referral data, return on investment, and your top referees. The premium version of ReferralCandy is $49 per month.  Wrapping It Up There you have it—the best Instagram tool that you can start using right away and watch your business grow.  And if you want to leverage Instagram to book more clients, look no further. Genbook can be easily connected to your Instagram account and in a few steps, you can start taking bookings through the book now button. Take the 30-day free trial today.  Editor's note: This post is contributed by Denise Langenegger who is part of the team at Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. 

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