Category: Social Media Blog

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

What if I told you engaging with your customers on Instagram can double or triple your revenue?

That’s exactly what happened to Southern Elegance Candle Co. as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell told us:

“Our social media makes us a lot of money… We went from doing maybe $20,000-30,000 a month just posting pretty images to well over a $100,000 a month now simply by engaging people more.”

Russel and Southern Elegance Candle Co aren’t alone. Brands like Glossier (which attributes 70% of its growth to owned, earned, peer-to-peer, or organic channels), MadHappy, and Sass & Belle, focus on responding to almost every customer on Instagram.

So it can be incredibly powerful to focus on engagement. But how do you actually stay on top of every comment?

After working and testing with thousands of customers, we have developed a solution that is truly focused on enabling you to build better relationships and a stronger brand on Instagram.

We are excited to share it’s available to all Buffer customers today!

(If you are not a Buffer customer yet, you can get started at just $15 per month.)

Introducing Instagram engagement in Buffer

Every time an Instagram comment goes unanswered, an opportunity to create a lifelong customer is lost.

The problem?

Staying on top of these interactions is really hard.

Notifications from Instagram quickly disappear and important comments slip through the cracks. And we get why — no one has the time to hang out on Instagram 24/7. Your time is precious, and we’re here to help you win it back.

With this latest addition, you’ll be able to reply to more comments, stay on top of important interactions, and turn your followers into fans. All from the comfort of your Buffer dashboard.

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Never miss a comment

It’s really easy to miss new comments among the likes, follows, and mention notifications on Instagram. For most small business owners and marketers, this means checking Instagram regularly to keep a close eye on important comments.

We have experienced this ourselves with our own Instagram account and have heard the same from many customers. And that’s why our engagement features are built specifically to help you stay on top of all your comments.

There are all the benefits of community building and engagement but it’s also a huge time saver for me. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been.

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Right at the top, you can immediately see how many unanswered comments you have. The familiar grid view make it super easy and quick for you to jump to the respective Instagram posts to respond to a comment.

You can quickly reply to as many comments as possible, and if there’s a comment that doesn’t need a respose you can easily dismiss it by clicking on the checkmark beside the comment, and it will be considered as “answered”.

Course creator and artist Tamer Ghoneim shared with us, “it’s really important to me to try to reply to every comment but finding them was impossible, notifications expire, and I just didn’t have a good way to manage comments on Instagram. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when saw the engagement features in Buffer. I literally spent hours if not days looking for something like this. There are all the benefits of community building and engagement but it’s also a huge time saver for me. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been.”

Prioritize important conversations

Notifications in Instagram are shown in a reverse-chronological order. So for most people you’ll see the latest notifications first and likely work your way through in the order they are displayed.

But the latest notification might not be the most important or urgent one to respond to. There could be a comment about a major issue with an order or a comment from an influencer asking about your products—hidden somehow in the middle of all your notifications. These are the comments you might want to prioritize.

With Buffer, you can do just that. We use a mix of filtering and machine learning to identify three types of comments that you might want to check out first:

  1. Negative comments
  2. Comments about an order
  3. Comments with a question
Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Posts with one or more of these comment types will have a label so that you can spot it right away. No more scrolling and searching. Just click on the post and jump right over to answer the comment.

“We use the Engage tool on a daily basis to ensure we never miss a comment or question from our community. I really like how it flags out comments that may be an issue or that is potentially an important question that we may have missed,” said Stephanie Kaluza, the social media manager of Sass & Belle.

The fastest way to engage on Instagram

Time is one of the most important assets for small businesses. There are always so many things to do and so little time. We want to help small business owners and marketers take back their time so that they can work on other parts of their business and also contribute back to their communities.

First, being able to reply to comments on a laptop and desktop allows you to get through the comments much faster than doing so on a mobile app—without compromising on the quality and thoughtfulness of the response.

“It is difficult to stay on top of Instagram, especially since as a full-time marketer, I’m on a laptop/desktop most of the time and IG is so mobile device oriented. You can’t do everything on the platform from a desktop. Bravo for Buffer’s ingenuity!” Beverly McLean, CTC, Director of Social Media at Covington Travel told us.

Second, there are hotkeys to help speed up your engagement:

  • Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate your comments
  • Hit CTRL + D to dismiss comments
  • Hit ENTER to send a reply (and you’ll automatically be brought to the next comment)
Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Finally, sometimes you might just want to respond with a quick emoji (especially when responding to an emoji comment). Buffer studies the emojis you use most often and suggests them to you when you are responding to a comment.

Build a lifetime audience

For many years, businesses have simply focused on publishing lots and lots of content. The ones that have been able to build a community of loyal following are those that understand our human instinct to connect and socialize.

While many businesses are not being super responsive on social media, this is an easy way to stand out from the crowd, impress your fans, and build a relationship.

If you have a Buffer (Publish) subscription, this has been added to your account for free! Simply click “Engagement” in the upper-left corner to start engaging your fans on Instagram—right within Buffer.

Otherwise, we would love for you to try Buffer for free for 14 days.  


FAQs

Do I have to pay extra for this feature?

Nope. If you have a Buffer (Publish) subscription, this has been added to your subscription for free. If you are not a Buffer customer yet, you can get started here at just $15/month.

Can I use this for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn?

We are working on integrating with Facebook right now, so that you’ll be able to reply to comments on your Facebook Page. We do not have a timeline for Twitter and LinkedIn yet.

Does this work for all Instagram profiles?

This only works for Instagram business profiles. If you are using an Instagram personal profile for your business, you could consider converting to a business profile to take advantage of this feature (and our publishing and analytics features).

https://buffer.com/resources/buffer-engagement/

Web Design Trends and Statistics 2021 [Infographic]

It may be time for a website refresh. Check out the 2021 stats, trends and advice for powerful website design.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/web-design-trends-and-statistics-2021-infographic/593965/

The Perfect Social Media Posting Schedule for Your Business in 2021 [Infographic]

Explore new benchmark data around the best times, days and frequency to post on social media. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/the-perfect-social-media-posting-schedule-for-your-business-in-2021-infogr/593948/

Facebook Begins Rolling Out ‘Facebook News’ in UK

Facebook News, Facebook's curated and personalized news tab in the native app, has officially launched in the UK.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-begins-rolling-out-facebook-news-in-uk/593951/

Instagram Launches New ‘Professional Dashboard’ Platform to Provide Quick Guidance for Creators

Instagram is rolling out a new 'Professional Dashboard' to make it easier for creators to access relevant tools to help maximize their performance.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-launches-new-professional-dashboard-platform-to-provide-quick-g/593839/

Snapchat Launches Test of Dark Mode with Small Percentage of Users

Snapchat has confirmed that it is testing a new Dark Mode option with some users.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/snapchat-launches-test-of-dark-mode-with-small-percentage-of-users/593848/

16 Website & Blog Content Ideas to Get More Traffic & Engagement [Infographic]

Stuck for content ideas? Check out this list of helpful prompts.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/16-website-blog-content-ideas-to-get-more-traffic-engagement-infograph/593841/

TikTok Launches New ‘Creator Portal’ Education Platform to Help Creators Maximize their Efforts

TikTok has launched a new set of education resources for creators in order to provide guidance on how to build an effective platform presence.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-launches-new-creator-portal-education-platform-to-help-creators-ma/593836/

LinkedIn Adds New Post Visibility and Reply Controls to Manage On-Platform Discussions

LinkedIn has added some new control features which enable users to restrict who can reply to their posts, and what they see in their feed.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedin-adds-new-post-visibility-and-reply-controls-to-manage-on-platform/593835/

Pinterest Adds New AR ‘Try-On’ Tools for Eyeshadow, Expands Product Tagging Within Pins

Pinterest is expanding its AR tools with new eyeshadow Try-On Pins, while it's also looking to expand its shopping tags.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/pinterest-adds-new-ar-try-on-tools-for-eyeshadow-expands-product-tagging/593703/

Twitter Reminds Users of Upcoming Changes to Verification Policy

Twitter's new verification policy comes into effect this week, which means all currently verified profiles that don't comply will lose their blue tick.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/twitter-reminds-users-of-upcoming-changes-to-verification-policy/593787/

LinkedIn Provides Notes on Effective Campaign Measurement [Infographic]

LinkedIn has provided a new overview of key tips to help marketers slow down their campaign measurement approach – and why they should. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedin-provides-notes-on-effective-campaign-measurement-infographic/593786/

TikTok Provides New Video Overview of How to Set Up a TikTok Ad Campaign

Looking to set up your first TikTok ad campaign? This new video overview provides a complete rundown of the basic process. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-provides-new-video-overview-of-how-to-set-up-a-tiktok-ad-campaign/593769/

Facebook Announces New App Login Parameters to Assist with Transition to Apple’s IDFA Update

Facebook has announced new login options within its SDK to ensure app developers can continue to gather user data in light of the coming IDFA changes. 

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-announces-new-app-login-parameters-to-assist-with-transition-to-ap/593766/

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

As the buying power of Gen Z grows, marketers at businesses of all sizes are searching for novel ways to connect with this audience and build lasting customer relationships.

It’ll come as no surprise that social media platforms are of the best ways to connect with this generation — which includes today’s teenagers and those in their early 20’s. But marketing to Gen Zers means much more than simply posting pretty pictures and memes.

So what does it take to stand out and connect with this valuable audience in 2021?

One brand that has mastered the art of marketing to Gen Z is Blume, a fast-growing skin, body, and period care brand on a mission to break boundaries and smash taboos.

In this interview, you’ll hear directly from Janice Cheng, Brand and Community Manager at Blume, and you’ll learn:

  • How to build a brand that connects with Gen Z
  • How to market and sell on social media
  • The key to understanding Gen Z’s preferences on social media
  • Successful strategies to use when marketing to Gen Z
Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

This post is part of the #BufferBrandSpotlight, a Buffer Social Media series that shines a spotlight on the people that are helping build remarkable brands through social media, community building, content creation, and brand storytelling.

This series was born on Instagram stories, which means you can watch the original interview in our Highlights found on our @buffer Instagram profile.


Tell us more about you! What’s Blume all about and what’s your role there?

My name is Janice and I’m based in Vancouver! I’m the Brand Manager at Blume—a fast-growing skin, body, and period care brand on a mission to break boundaries and smash taboos. I joined the team back in June 2019 as the 3rd hire and EA to our founders Taran & Bunny. Now, I’ve been in this Brand role for almost 9 months.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience

Why do you think your Gen Z audience connects with your brand?

Gen Zers are conscious (smart) consumers and the most connected generation ever. Growing up with social media, they want transparency, community, and look for brands that align with their values. I think Blume checks off all those boxes in a really genuine way! Since day one, we’ve been more than just our products. Blume is breaking stigma by having conversations about extremely normal, yet still taboo topics, like acne, puberty, periods, and sex ed. As I’m sure most of us know, these are “issues” that carry well into adulthood, so a lot of our audience are millennials as well.

Gen Zers are conscious (smart) consumers and the most connected generation ever. Growing up with social media, they want transparency, community, and look for brands that align with their values.

We’re also a brand that cares. We launched the thestatesofsexed.com, Future World Shapers Award (created for Gen Z change-makers), and generally produce engaging and shareable content. More importantly, we prioritize using our platform to amplify the voices of our community and speak up on issues important to us; this includes climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement, and even our pandemic response. Our audience teaches us a lot, and more than anything, they’re our friends! This is all translated through our brand voice cohesively across all channels.

Tell us about a recent social media campaign. What made it so successful?

We’re only about 2.5 years old but one of my fave moments was our in-house Blume Celebrates Skin campaign (a campaign focused on being confident in our own skin is undefined and unrestricted by our physical appearances or the bumps and blemishes on our skin). We were only about five people then (half of our team now) and it was so much fun because it came from our hearts. Quickly and organically, it grabbed the attention of Allure and Daily Mail UK. Sometimes metrics are tricky with these kinds of campaigns. Say someone comes across this campaign and finds new strength and bravery in their natural skin. Although can’t quantify feelings, the reviews and customer testimonials are invaluable to our team.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Instagram post found here.

BUT! Meltdown (our best-selling acne treatment) continues to be our top community favorite and campaigns like Celebrate Skin reinforce that. Ultimately, our social media goal is to increase engagement, and this campaign accomplished that for us. We’re about to have some of our biggest campaigns this new year! So stay tuned.

Where do you find inspiration for Blume’s social media content?

Recently, a lot on TikTok (obviously), community pages like Girlboss, and also meme pages. We have an #inspo Slack channel where we share things we see on our feeds and Explore pages and what’s circulating in our own friend’s groups! Pro tip: start an #inspo channel whether just for yourself or with your team.

How does Blume leverage user-generated content to connect with its Gen Z audience?

Community is core to all we do. Beyond our products, for us, it’s about adding value to Gen Z, and user-generated content (UGC) is a huge part of that. Using UGC is more impactful than using traditional models or lifestyle images because UGC is by actual people in our community—reflecting a range of real skin. It’s the best way to relate to this audience!

Using UGC is more impactful than using traditional models or lifestyle images because UGC is by actual people in our community—reflecting a range of real skin.

Also, Gen Zers are so creative because producing content is second nature to them so partnerships together are so fun. I love looking through our tagged posts every week and seeing people embrace their shelfies and natural skin. We give them full creative freedom! So rather than believing what we have to say about our products, you should believe our community through UGC, their captions, reviews, and experiences.

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Instagram post found here.

How does Blume embed UGC, customer testimonials, and reviews across all its marketing channels?

We have an incredible tiny team of two that keeps the rest of the team, especially marketing, up to date with all inquiries, trends, and themes of the week. For example, our Meltdown before & after shave has always been highly effective for us because a photo equals a thousand words.

In skincare, especially clean beauty care, it’s really important for us to spotlight the effectiveness of the product and how our products actually work. We’ll use before/after photos and other UGC in ads, Instagram story features, and email newsletters. With permission, of course.

On a regular week, we try to post UGC and/or testimonials about 3-4x on our social media channels.

In skincare, especially clean beauty care, it’s really important for us to spotlight the effectiveness of the product and how our products actually work.

What are Blume’s most successful social platforms for selling and why?

Definitely Instagram—still cracking the code for TikTok. Ultimately, Gen Zers are the trendsetters and determine what’s next. Something can come and go overnight so we have to be quick to pivot, adapt and execute. We can plan all we want but our best performing posts often tend to be non-product focused ones. If we had a Meltdown post planned on a day where the world actually needs more empathy and love, we’ll swap it for a journal prompt post or check-in.

What advice do you have for brands that want to start selling on social media?

Make a list of brands that you love and dig deep into the “why.” For Blume, the core criterion for selling on social is based on value; we focus our marketing on educational content about our products and brand, community building through UGC campaigns and partnerships, and aesthetic shareable graphics.

Also, GET. ON. TIKTOK. Whether to start your brand page or just to get in touch with Gen Z culture, it’s worthwhile I promise you. Here are three easy things you can start right away: write copy like a human (not a robot), have fun with emojis, and start following people to bring eyes to your page!

Selling on Social 101: How Blume Markets and Sells to a Gen Z Audience
Fllow Blume on TikTok here.

For Blume, the core criterion for selling on social is based on value; we focus our marketing on educational content about our products and brand, community building through UGC campaigns and partnerships, and aesthetic shareable graphics.

Personally, I follow Gen Z brands that I admire, read lots of Glossy and Beauty Independent, and ask our awesome Influencer, Lead Eman, for the 411 on what’s cool and what’s not. I also used to scroll TikTok for 4 hours a day (lol) for simultaneous entertainment and market research.

What’s your favorite Blume product and why?

I’d like to say Meltdown because that’s everyone’s #1 and I’ve had a lot of stress acne through 2020, BUT my runner-up is definitely Hug Me, our natural deodorant. Random fact: the probiotics, our secret ingredient, has adapted to my body so well I hardly need deodorant anymore. It’s also unscented so I recommend it to EVERYONE. I might be biased but these two are also my faves because their names are so fun to play with when copywriting. 👋

Thanks for Bluming with us, Buffer friends! ❤️


We hope this interview with Janice helps you get started with or double down on your social media efforts. You can follow Blume on Instagram here!

Have any questions for Janice? Feel free to reply with your questions to the Twitter post below and Janice or someone from the Buffer team will get to them as soon as possible.

https://buffer.com/resources/how-blume-markets-and-sells-to-a-gen-z-audience/

Google Outlines New Deal to Pay French Publishers for Use of Their Content

Google has announced a new deal to share revenue with French publishers while avoiding more complex regulation on the same.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/google-outlines-new-deal-to-pay-french-publishers-for-use-of-their-content/593761/

Facebook’s New, Independent Oversight Board Will Make Final Ruling on Decision to Ban Trump

Facebook has referred its decision to ban the account of former US President Donald Trump to its recently activated Oversight Board.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebooks-new-independent-oversight-board-will-make-final-ruling-on-decis/593759/

Buyer Personas Demystified [Infographic]

Effective buyer personas can enhance the focus of your campaigns, and improve your results. Check out these tips.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/buyer-personas-demystified-infographic/593681/

A Quick Guide to SEO for Non-Profits [Infographic]

With COVID-19 pushing most professionals and consumers into their home offices, being found online via SEO for non-profits is paramount.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/a-quick-guide-to-seo-for-non-profits-infographic/593679/

Lessons from UGC in 2020 – and How it Can Help You in 2021

From building communities to cementing customer trust in uncertain times, UGC can play a key role in your 2021 digital strategy.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/lessons-from-ugc-in-2020-and-how-it-can-help-you-in-2021/593678/

Pinterest Tests New Stories Panel at the Top of User Feeds

Pinterest is testing out a new panel of Story Pins on the main home screen, aligning with the broader Stories trend.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/pinterest-tests-new-stories-panel-at-the-top-of-user-feeds/593677/

Facebook Launches Updated ‘Account Quality’ Dashboard to Help Businesses Address Concerns

Facebook is adding a new dashboard to help businesses keep track of any suspended ads or impacted posts as a result of rule violations.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-launches-updated-account-quality-dashboard-to-help-businesses-ad/593676/

Shutterstock Outlines Emerging Visual Trends for 2021 [Infographic]

Image-hosting platform Shutterstock has outlined its listing of creative trends for 2021, based on search behaviors on its platform.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/shutterstock-outlines-emerging-visual-trends-for-2021-infographic/593621/

10 Social Media Trends That Every Marketer Should Know in 2021 [Infographic]

Stay in touch with the key social media trends of the coming year with this overview.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/10-social-media-trends-that-every-marketer-should-know-in-2021-infographic/593528/

Facebook Updates its Automated Alt Text Process to Identify More Objects Within Posted Images

Facebook has announced a significant update to its Automatic Alt Text process for posted images.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/facebook-updates-its-automated-alt-text-process-to-identify-more-objects-wi/593606/