The Problem With Facebook Carousel Link Posts
They look great but..

You’ve probably seen Facebook carousel ads in your newsfeed by now. These are ads that have more than one image that you can scroll through, each image linking to a different page (see below). We’ve used them for We Teach Social and found them effective in the past.

carousel facebook ad example
Facebook carousel ads showcase multiple products.

Last week Facebook introduced carousel links. These look very similar to the ads but they don’t work in exactly the same way.

Firstly they only work when you post to business pages. When you post a link you are offered a number of images that Facebook has scraped from the post. You can choose to delete or add more as necessary.

Add or remove images before you post.
Add or remove images before you post.

They actually look pretty cool in the news feed when you post them. The problem is how to control which images get shared when other pages link to your posts? That’s the topic of this weeks 1 Minute Moment.

What do you think? Will this make you create more and better images for your posts and web pages?

Or is it a gimmick? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 



LinkedIn Emoji - Are they mad?
LinkedIn Emoji – Are they mad?

Have you noticed something different about your LinkedIn messages? Go take a look, a lot has changed. The change that everyone is talking about is the addition of emoji and animated GIFs. That’s the topic of episode 2 of the 1 Minute Social Media Minute.

When I first saw the conversation around this change I nodded, yes, LinkedIn is a serious network, it’s a very serious place to be. Adding smilie faces, ice cream cones, stars just doesn’t seem right.

But then I started to think. There was a time when I’d have thought it inappropriate to add an emoji to an email but now I do, when it’s appropriate and when I know that the person I’m sending it to will appreciate it. I’ve even started adding emoji to my email newsletter headlines.

But how would I use emojis on LinkedIn?

I think LinkedIn would like to become more than just a professional social network. Like many other social networks it needs to expand, it needs to find new ways to get it’s users interacting. We’ve seen them launch new products and apps and I have a feeling that it won’t be long before we see a LinkedIn chat app. We’ll use it to talk to our work colleagues and people that we have a less formal relationship with. This is when emoji will come into action. This is also where I see myself using them. If I’m messaging someone I know well, a friend as well as a connection I can see the odd smiley face creeping into my communications, I can see me trying to entertain them with the animated GIFs.

What do you think? Will you ever use them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



Is Scheduling On Instagram Ever Going To Be A Good Idea. My Thoughts

I thought it was time to try something new. I’ve been making video casts for years and they’ve taken different forms. Some of them were me just talking to camera, but over time I got more and more technical. I’ve had full on tutorials, short tutorials, videos with lots of me and videos with no me.

Today I’m launching a new series and going back to the start. The production values may be better but essentially I’ve gone back to basics. Here’s me, talking for a minute on something that is happening now.

I’ll be creating the videos on the day I share them so sometimes they will be polished, other times they will be off the cuff.

Episode 1 – Instagram Scheduling

It was hard to pick a topic for today. Should I talk about Blab? The Facebook dislike button? Instead, I decided to share my thoughts on Instagram Scheduling.

Yesterday I read an article that showed that Instagram is testing a feature that will suggest photos you took today for sharing. This makes sense. Instagram has always been an ‘In the moment’ network. People sharing snippets from their day as they happen. As businesses get involved this is getting lost.

As business owners, we want to schedule. Here are my thoughts. I’d love to hear yours.

How To Schedule On Instagram

Instagram doesn’t allow posting via a third party tool. All the current legitimate scheduling tools work via push notification, a reminder to post as such.

Here’s a couple of tools that can assist. I can’t vouch for either as scheduling isn’t part of our Instagram strategey at the moment. You can follow me on We Teach Social to see what I do get up to there.

If you really want to try it here’s some apps:

Hootsuite. This is a full social media dashboard that allows Instagram integration.

Latergramme. Just for Instagram scheduling.

Your Turn

Do you agree with my take on Instagram scheduling? Is there anything you’d like me to cover in future episodes? Leave me a comment below.




INBOUND15 Small Business Takeaways
#INBOUND15 digital marketing takeaways for SME’s

Last week I arrived in Boston, suitcase and iPad in had for the Hubspot marketing conference ‘Inbound’. I was excited, many of my favourite bloggers were speaking, there was a massive agenda and lots of knowledge to be sucked in.

For four days, I shuffled around the Massachusetts Convention centre, moving from room to room, from speech to speech. I came away full of ideas and a mountain of notes and I’m still sifting through them.

Today I’m sharing just three of my takeaways from the event. They’re easy to implement for small business and could make a big difference to your online marketing.

1. Stop Sending Emails To People Who Don’t Open Them

We spend a lot of time building our email lists but how many of those subscribers actually open our emails? Most businesses see less than half, many less than a third. That percentage is taking a dive as well due to the Gmail ‘promotions’ filter.

In his presentation ‘Seven Reasons Even Your Mom Would Ignore Your Email’ Tom Monaghan from Hubspot advised us to just stop sending your marketing emails to those who don’t open them.

Statistically, only 67% of people open the first email you send and only 23% the second. If you want to ensure that people continue to open your emails you have to send an amazing email the first time. It has to be the best email you have ever sent.


  • Clean your email list, you can either do this by deleting subscribers who haven’t opened your last few emails or send them a mail asking them to confirm they still want to subscribe.
  • Create an awesome, magnificent welcome email to new subscribers. Make it so good they’ll really want to open the next one.
  • Consider segmenting your emails by engagement level. You’ve cleaned your list so more people open but now look at clicks. Most email marketing software allows you to send emails to just the people who clicked a link in your previous email or those who didn’t. Experiment with sending only the important emails to those who don’t click and more frequent emails to those who do.

2. Create a style guide for your brand

Your brand is more than your logo. Your visual brand needs to be recognisable, consistent and eye-catching. Peg Fitzpatrick gave us a whirlwind session packed with tips for creating remarkable visual content but for me there was one section that left me feeling guilty.

Creating a style guide both for Spiderworking and for We Teach Social has been something that has been on the long finger. I do have a rough guide but it’s not written down and sometimes I just guess. Guessing, according to Peg is something you should never do.

A style guide is a list of branding guidelines for your business. It outlines the colours, fonts and feel that should inform your visual content. Maybe your graphic designer provided you with this when they created your logo, perhaps like me you have a rough idea of what you are doing but if you really want to be on brand don’t waste any time formalising your guide.


Peg took us through a simple step by step process for creating your style guide. Here’s the key points:

  • Choose two or three colours for your brand and be consistent with them. Make a note of the colour codes for these so you get it right every time. Peg suggested taking inspiration for these colours from a photo you particularly like.
  • Decide on a mood for your business. Are you fun? Playful? Serious? Helpful? Inviting? Ensure that your visuals reflect that feel.
  • Choose two or three fonts that you will consistently use for your brand images. Make a note of these so that you get it right every time.
  • Choose two or three filters, whether it’s in Instagram, Canva or another tool you use. This will add a consistent feel to your images.
  • For those of you that are using Canva I highly recommend upgrading to ‘Canva For Work‘, this allows you to create branding within the application, this is a massive time saver when creating blog and website graphics.

3.  Make Your Content Memorable

I have a terrible memory and it seems I’m not alone. One of the most revealing sessions was with Dr. Carmen Simon from Rexi Media who talked about ‘The Neuroscience of Memorable Content’.

What’s interesting, scary in fact is that as marketers we’re busy creating, creating, creating content but on average people will only remember approximately 10% of your content. This is a metaphorical number, because it’s difficult to place a strict statistic on how much they retain. But research shows us that people forget a lot at first and less later on. So there is a metaphorical 10% that does stick. It’s devastating to think you will forget most of this blog, but I am glad to know it is possible to control the little you will remember..

One of the key problems Dr. Simon discussed was Habituation. I used to work in a shop, we had a single CD player. Changing that CD wasn’t a priority for any of us so we’d hear the same tunes day after day, week after week. After a while we stopped hearing the music. When eventually someone changed the CD we’d be energised and happy until that too slipped into the background. This is habituation. Sometimes it’s useful, it allows us to block out unnecessary stimuli, traffic noise for example. Without it we would be overwhelmed with sensory overload. It’s bad news for marketers, we don’t want people to tune out our messages.


Our audience may already be tuneing out. To ensure this doesn’t happen, or to reactivate those we have already lost there are a few things we can do.

Here’s just a few:

  • Decide what your memorable message is. This is the 10% you need your audience to remember.
  • Vary the stimulus by posting a variety of content, some text, some visual some audio.
  • Change the perspective. Use simplicity and complexity in your content.
  • Use anticipation to keep people interested in your message. Build your stories over time.
  • Mix something familiar with something unusual. The memorable image from Dr. Simon’s presentation for me was the Einstein below.
Mix something familiar with something not so familiar
Mix something familiar with something not so familiar

Your Turn

Were you at Inbound?
Will you use these takeaways for your business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.



Two New Facebook Advertising Targeting Features You May Have Missed
Two New Facebook Advertising Targeting Features You May Have Missed

Facebook location targeting for Ads has always been slightly flawed:

  • In Ireland it won’t allow us to target by county so I’ve spent many an hour on Google maps drawing radiuses around towns to try to ensure that I’m getting at least most of the county with my ads.
  • If I wanted to target people within a radius of a small town it was impossible, Facebook simply wouldn’t recognise some of the place names I gave them.
  • I couldn’t easily see if I’d got my targeting right. I just had to hope my calculations and radiuses had hit the right spots.

The good news is that two of these problems have been fixed and the third, the ability to target counties has gotten a lot easier.

New Facebook location targeting features:

1. Show me a map of the area I’m targeting
2. Let me drop a pin instead of naming a location
3. Let me target people who ‘live in’, ‘recently visited’ or ‘are travelling’ in a specific location.

Watch this video to see how they work.

The drop pin function makes it easier for me to target a county within the Facebook interface, this could make my targeting more accurate in future.

Have you noticed these features? Will they make your Facebook advertising targeting more accurate?

Have you noticed any other changes in Facebook ads recently? I’d love to hear about your experiences below.



Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Facebook Advertising On A Budget – 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day

For many small businesses the concept of spending money on Facebook advertising is a scary one. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to see results. The minimum budget you can set for an ad set is €1 per day and even this will have an impact.

In this post I’m going to look at two ways you can spend your Facebook advertising budget for the best results on €1 a day. And two audiences you can create that will give you better value for your money.

Adverts to Create

1. Carousel ads

Carousel ads are a reasonably new feature on Facebook. You have probably seen them. They display multiple images and links within one ad unit. Look at this example:

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Carousel Ads let you showcase multiple products

If you sell multiple products or offer more than one service they are a great way to maximise your budget.


Before you can understand the full benefit of carousel ads you need to understand Facebook ad sets.

When you set up ads on Facebook they fit into a three-tier system:

  1. Your overall campaign, this defines the purpose of the ads, for example, you may want to get click-throughs to your website.
  2. Ad Sets. Within that campaign, you can have multiple ad sets. If you are selling a product you will have an ad set of each product, if you are selling to different audiences you will have an ad set of each audience.
  3. Ads, the individual ad units within the ad sets.

When you set up an ad for a product you should give it its own ad set. The minimum budget per ad set is €1, you can include multiple versions of an ad within that set.

Facebook will split test the ads within the ad set and prioritise the ones that get the best results. This is great for getting the most of your advertising budget for a single product but it means that if you put more than one product in one ad set some of those products will get limited reach.

A carousel ad displays multiple products or services within one ad. All your products will be there within the same ad unit for your audience to scroll through.  You can set up multiple versions of your carousel ad within a single ad set so you can still split test. The difference is that you are guaranteed to get all your products in front of your target market for €1 per day.

Carousel ads aren’t just for products, you can use them in place of any website clicks ad. Maybe you want to showcase your latest blog posts or services you use.

I particularly liked this one from Visit Scotland that used the carousel to display a widescreen image.

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Visit Scotland have been creative with their carousel ads

Expected Results

You shouldn’t be paying more than 25c per click, it can take a few days to know if you are hitting your target.

2. Facebook like ads

Facebook Like ads are by far the best way to get people to Like your page. Yes it may cost but you are guaranteed to get exactly the right people to like your page.

When you set up a Likes ad:

Make sure you target very specifically

The minimum amount of people you can target with a Like ad is 1,000. If you are on a low budget I’d recommend keeping the number of people you are targeting low. Try not to go over 5,000 people.

Include something related to the people you are targeting in the ad

This could be a picture of your town if you are a local business or a strong photo relating to an interest you are targeting.

Here’s a perfect example targeting me, a cat lover.

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
A perfectly targeted ad for someone like me who likes cats and wears t-shirts.

Use eye-catching images

Having a good image is essential. This is what will grab the attention of your audience. Don’t get hung up on one image, I recommend testing a few images within an ad set. I’m often surprised by the image that gets the best results.

Avoid adding too much text to the image itself, Facebook only allows you to have 20% of your image devoted to text so keep in minimal and use the caption section of your ad to tell the story.

Don’t be too spammy, tell people what is in it for them.

People don’t like seeing ads on Facebook. If you really want to succeed stay away from the hard sell. Instead tell people what is in it for them. What do they get in exchange for liking your page. Is it information? Humour? Tips? If people see you are offering value they are far more likely to click.

Here’s an example of a strong call to action, telling me the value of liking the page:

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Tell people what is in it for them.

Expected Results

You shouldn’t be spending more than 25c per like but let your ads run for a few days before measuring the results.


1. Retargeting Audience

You may not have a big advertising budget but do you get a lot of visits to your website? If so creating a remarketing ad, targeting people who have visited your website in the past could prove to be an effective use of your budget.

You are probably familiar with this style of ad. Perhaps you have looked at a product on Amazon and decided either not to buy or to think about it before you buy. Suddenly you notice this same product appears in a Facebook ad.

Here’s two I got in my feed recently after searching for accommodation in Boston on

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Retargeting audiences can help you get more page likes


Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Remaketing adverts on Facebook can bring people back to your site.

It’s not just big businesses that can benefit from this. If you are a blogger you can direct previous website visitors to your latest blog post. If you are a retailer why not tell previous visitors about a new product?

You should see a good click through rate when you are targeting visitors who have previously shown an interest in what you do.

To set up a retargeting ad you will need to create a pixel and add it to your website. Here’s how.

2. Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audiences are particularly good for getting Page Likes at a low cost. If you have already built a good, targeted audience for your Facebook page you can target people who are similar to those who already like your page with your ads.

To create a lookalike audience visit your ads manager. Click ‘Audiences’ under tools.

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Select ‘Audiences’ from ads manager


Click ‘Create audience’ and select ‘Lookalike’

Facebook Advertising On A Budget - 4 Ways To Maximise €1 Per Day
Choose ‘Lookalike Audience’ when creating audiences.

Once you have created a lookalike audience you can advertise to that audience. Because they are similar to the people who already like your page you should see a better cost per like than you do from standard Like ads.

What’s next?

I recommend that instead of spending €1 per day that you aggregate your budget over a month and split it between several campaigns. For example you may choose to run page like ads for a week and carousel ads for a week assigning a €15 budget to each.

Have you any Facebook ad tips to share? Have you failed when you have tried these methods? I’d love to hear about your experiences.



Are Facebook Like Ads A Waste of Money?
Are Facebook Like Ads A Waste of Money?

Last week I read this excellent article from Jay Baer. In it he discusses why you could be wasting your advertising budget on getting Facebook Likes. 

I love Jay Baer’s stuff, he’s constantly challenging the norm and if you agree or not he forces you to think again.

I read the article and tried to agree, but I just couldn’t. The first sentence I can get with. You’d be foolish to spend your entire advertising budget on getting Facebook likes but should you abandon the practice altogether?

The essence of his argument is that it’s cheaper to get people to click a website link on Facebook than go to the effort of getting them to Like your page. But I would argue that by doing this, you might get website clicks but you are missing out on the benefits of Facebook.

What’s the value of a page Like? That’s a big question and to address it I’m going to tell you a story of how I did it wrong the first time.

What I did wrong

When I started out on Facebook I wasn’t a marketer. I was someone starting out in business doing what I could in order to promote it. I was one of the first people I knew to get a Facebook page and I soon discovered I was going to need fans (as Likes were called back then).

This page was for my first business, a small eco-friendly corporate gifts company.

What did I do to get fans? I begged and begged and invited and invited. I spammed my friends, asked my Twitter followers, emailed my list, ran contests. I did everything. The result was that I built my fans slowly over a long period of time.

What did I get from this? Yes I got a lot of advocates, I got a lot of people to like my page at a time when Facebook still showed every post to everyone who liked it. Because most of the people who Liked were people I knew, I got a great response. I made sales occasionally directly from Facebook.

However… I wasn’t attracting the right people. I loved Facebook, but the value of the sales from my friends would never be enough to sustain a corporate gifts company. In reality, you’d have to question the logic of running a Facebook page for a corporate gift company at all but that’s another day’s discussion.

The problem I always had with building my audience this way was that it was hit and miss. A Like is just a number, it doesn’t represent a potential customer or even someone who falls into your target market. This is why I disagree with Jay.

How would I do it now

Facebook ads weren’t available when I started that first page and when the first appeared I was sceptical. I have become a convert. Now when you start a page, instead of begging and spamming you can, with a good ad campaign build an audience of exactly the right people. You can target potential customers directly and get them to take the first step down the sales funnel. Liking your page.

What Jay says is true, a Like doesn’t mean much, it costs to buy them with advertising (although in Ireland I’d expect to pay less than 25c per Like) and you can’t guarantee you’ll reach all of them with, organic, non-boosted posts.

I disagree that a Like is worthless. It is a step in the right direction, it’s a public show of interest in your business. Once you’ve captured their interest you can start to target ads at them. Knowing they are the right people. More importantly knowing that they are not just the right people but the right people who already have an interest.

As well as that you will reach a percentage of them with your organic posts. I wouldn’t underestimate this reach. The average figures Jay quotes are important, but you can be better than average, lots of my clients are. The beauty of non-commercial organic content is that it is shown to your top fans, the ones who really want to see your content, the ones that will like and share your posts with their friends. These are often your existing customers and your brand advocates. They are the people who will spread the word about your business both on and off Facebook.

These people are far more valuable than those who just find your website through an ad. Reaching customers regularly with your Facebook content keeps you top of their mind, they are less likely to abandon you for a competitor.

What’s my solution?

Firstly allocate a portion of your Facebook advertising budget to getting new page likes.

When I set up Facebook advertising campaigns I split the budget between three goals:

1. Getting Facebook likes to the page
2. Getting website clicks or conversions from existing page likers
3. Getting website clicks or conversions from non-page likers

To be successful at any of these you must target your ads at the right people. Here are three easy ways to do this:

1. Set up a hyper-targeted ad

It’s a good idea to create a basic buyer personas for each type of customer you want to attract and create ads designed to capture their attention. Now you can target them directly using Facebooks targeting options.

The more targeted your ads are both creatively and technically the better the result.

For example, if you are targeting local people make sure you show the location of your business in the creative and name the town you are targeting in the text of the ad.

2. Use Custom Audiences

If you have an opt-in email list you can upload this to Facebook. When you do this Facebook will try and match these emails with Facebook users and will create an advertising audience from this data. This is a great way to target existing customers with your Facebook Like ads.

To set up a Custom audience:

Access your ads manager

Click on ‘Tools’ on the top menu and select ‘Audiences’ from the drop down menu

Are You Wasting Your Money On Facebook Like Ads? I Don't Think So
Select ‘Audiences’ from Tools

Click ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Custom Audience’ from the drop down

Are You Wasting Your Money On Facebook Like Ads? I Don't Think So
Select ‘Custom Audiences’

A new window will open. Select ‘Customer List’

Select 'Customer List'
Select ‘Customer List’

You have the option of uploading a file with email addresses in it, copy and pasting or importing a list from Mailchimp.

It can take some time for Facebook to process the audience.

When the audience is ready you can access it when you create your ad you can select this custom audience from the targeting section.

Choose how to upload your audience.
Choose how to upload your audience.


3. Retarget

Facebook allows you to add a pixel to your website that will collect data on website visitors. If these visitors are Facebook users it will create an audience from them, you can narrow this audience by location, interests etc using Facebook’s targeting feature.

When Facebook has collected an audience of at least 1,000 people you can target ads at them.

To set up a Retargeting pixel:

From Ads Manager slect ‘Tools’ and then ‘Audiences’ from the drop down

Are You Wasting Your Money On Facebook Like Ads? I Don't Think So
Select ‘Audiences’ from the Tools menu

Click ‘Create Audience’ and ‘Custom Audience’ from the drop down menu

Are You Wasting Your Money On Facebook Like Ads? I Don't Think So
Select ‘Custom Audiences’

A window will open, select ‘Website Traffic’ from the options

Choose 'Website Traffic'
Choose ‘Website Traffic’

Choose if you want to target all visitors or visitors to a specific page and give the audience a name.

Are You Wasting Your Money On Facebook Like Ads? I Don't Think So
Give your audience a name

Facebook will prepare your audience. To get the code that needs to be added to your website click ‘Get help’.

Click 'Get help' to get the code for your website.
Click ‘Get help’ to get the code for your website.

This will give you the code you need to insert in the <head></head> section of your website in order for it to start tracking visitors.


  • Don’t’ blow all your Facebook advertising budget on Facebook Like ads
  • Create buyer personas for your target market and create ads that will appeal to them
  • Use targeting, custom audience and remarketing audiences to ensure you are attracting the right people to your page.



A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
How to meaure your Instagram Web Traffic

The more I use Instagram the more I love it. I love sharing stories from my working life. I love creating content for it, I love the way it allows me to meet and communicate with other people. I enjoy looking at other people’s content. I’m totally hooked but there’s one big downside for those of us using it for business and that’s linking.

Instagram only allows you one clickable link on your entire account and that’s in your bio. What’s worse that link isn’t trackable. When people click it Google Analytics records it as ‘direct’ traffic. Frustratingly this means you can’t even tell if that one link you are using is driving any traffic to your website.

In this post, I’m going to show you a three-step method for measuring Instagram traffic to your website.

Step 1. Create a Hidden Landing Page for Instagram

If you are linking to the home page of your website from your Instagram bio you have to stop.

Creating a specific landing page for Instagram serves two purposes

1. You are keeping content relevant for the people who click.

It is common practice to direct people to the link in your bio from your Instagram posts. But what happens when someone finds an old post from you? Perhaps last month you were promoting a sale but this month you are having an event. If people discover old content they will lose interest if the link in your bio isn’t delivering what was promised.

If you create a landing page it can be a gateway to all the content you are promoting via your Instagram account.

Take a look at this Instagram landing page from ShortStack. Scroll down and you will find all the recent content they have promoted via their Instagram feed.

A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
ShortStack have created a landing page specifically for Instagram visitors.

2. You are able to measure traffic to that specific page

To measure the effectiveness of your landing page tell Google and other search engines not to index it. This means you won’t see any organic traffic from search results. The only way people can find your page is if they click from your Instagram bio.

If your website is built on WordPress, the easiest way to prevent search engines crawling your landing pages is to use the Yoast plugin.

Once installed you will have the option to change the indexing settings at the bottom of each post (see below).

A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
WordPress Plugin Yoast makes it easy to tell search engines not to index your page.

If you aren’t using WordPress talk to your web developer about how to do this.

How to set up a landing page

The cheapest way to set up a landing page is to create a new page on your website. Remember, don’t link to it from your homepage. This is a secret page just for Instagram.

If you want to get serious about landing pages you can use a tool to create something special. Sites like ShortStack, Unbounce and Instapage offer easy to design pages for a monthly fee.

For a mid-budget solution try Thrive Content Builder for WordPress. We use this on the We Teach Social website and have found it effective and simple to use. Instead of paying a monthly subscription you can buy this tool outright. Perfect for those on a small business budget.

Step 2: Create a Tracking Link

Now you have a landing page you need to measure the traffic to it. To do this you will need to create a tracking link for that page using Google URL builder. This allows you track the people who visit your website using Google analytics.

Go to the Google Analytics URL Builder form.

Use Google URL builder to create a tracking link
Use Google URL builder to create a tracking link

Here’s what you will need to complete. These are my suggestions but you can add info that is more relevant to you:

Website URL: Link that you want to send your Instagram followers to
Campaign Source: Instagram
Campaign Medium: Bio
Campaign Name: Instagram Landing Page

Click ‘Generate URL’

Google will create a tracking link for you from the information you have given it.

A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
Copy the tracking link

Copy this and paste it into the address bar of your browser.

Now check that the link works, here’s how:

  • Log into your Google analytics.
  • Click on the date range at the top of the page and select today’s date
A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
In Google Analytics select today’s date to check the tracking link is working
  • Select Aquisitions from the side bar menu
  • Then campaigns
  • All campaigns

Your campaign title should appear here

A 3 Step Method To Measure Your Instagram Web Traffic
Check your tracking link campaign name appears

Step 3: Shorten It

Now you have a very long, ugly, forgettable link. The final stage is to shorten it.

I use to shorten my links. This makes a short, easy to remember redirect link for my Instagram bio. I can customise it to be more memorable and will show me how often it has been clicked.

Customise your short link with
Customise your short link with

Test the link and if everything is working use it as the link in your Instagram bio.

Now you have a system for measuring how much traffic you are getting to your website from Instagram.

What If You Don’t Have A Landing Page or Google Analytics?

If you don’t want to set up a specific landing page or don’t have Google analytics you can still use this method.

Each tracking link you create is a unique link to your page. This means that when you shorten it you are creating a unique short link.

Use the Google Analytics URL builder to create a different version of your link for each social network. Then measure click throughs from each network on the website.

Your Turn

How do you measure traffic to your website from Instagram? Have you tried this method or something like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts below.



How to create Instagram Video
How to create Instagram Video

Before I started my own businesses I used to work in the Irish film industry, prior to that I studied video and TV in college. This makes me a bit of a motion picture fanatic. When Instagram introduced video to their service back in 2013 I was delighted. I’d been playing with Twitter’s Vine app but that only gave me six seconds. Instagram gave me 15 and filters.

2 years on I’m still rarely using Instagram video and from the look of my Instagram feed neither are many others. But I saw this study today. Instagram video only accounts for 8.3% of posts but gets 11.6% of all comments. This must mean it’s worthwhile. Maybe it’s time to look again.

Here’s my quick guide to creating Instagram video. It first appeared as part of an Instagram for business lesson for We Teach Social:

How to create video via Instagram

It’s really easy to create Instagram video . You can shoot one long video or shoot a sequence of shots that show a process or tell a story.

To shoot a video click on the camera icon as if you were going to take or upload a photo.

Instead of selecting an image or hitting the shutter button click the video icon on the right-hand side.

A Beginners Guide To Instagram Video
Click on the video camera icon to shoot video.

Hold your thumb or finger on the red button for as long as you want to shoot video for. As soon as you remove your thumb you will stop recording. You can now point your camera at something else and take another shot.

To create a video with multiple shots release your finger, re-frame and shoot again.
To create a video with multiple shots release your finger, re-frame and shoot again.

Repeat this process until you are finished. Now click ‘next’ at the top of the screen.

You can now select filters just like when you use images. The filters for video are slightly different to those for images.

A Beginners Guide To Instagram Video
Add filters and click ‘Next’ to upload your video.

When you are happy with your video click ‘next’, caption your video and post as usual.

Because of the start-stop function of Instagram video it’s easy to create short animated video. I love this one from Gap. (for context Vine is a video app from Twitter that is very similar and was launched prior to Instagram video). This is something even a small business could create.

There’s a challenge for you!

Our first #Instagram #video. Peace, love & social media.

A video posted by GAP (@gap) on

What works best with Instagram video?

Video auto plays in the Instagram feed, this means that people don’t need to click to watch it. However the video remains silent unless clicked. Remember most people will watch your video silently so make it easy to understand without sound.

The BBC are really good at Instagram video with captions. The 15 second video snippets of new stories are just long enough to tell the story.

If you want to add text to your video clips try Text on Video for iPhone or Instacap for Android.


Hyperlapse is a cool app from Instagram that allows you to shoot high speed video. This is a fantastic tool for business. You can show slow processes fast. For example, if you want to share a how to recipe, shoot it in hyperlapse and you can shrink it to 15 seconds.

It’s also a great way to give people a tour of your office. Here’s an example from econsultancy.

A breakneck tour around the econsultancy office #hyperlapse

A video posted by Christopher Ratcliff (@christophe_rock) on

And one from The Whitehouse.

Want to walk around the White House? Take a 15-second tour right now! #Hyperlapse

A video posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

Other video tools

Bubble Frame App (iPhone)

There are always new tools emerging for creating Instagram video. This one from KrishnaDe stood out on my timeline. A really interesting video created using BubbleFrame App.

The small movements are enough to make the video stand out in the feed without feeling the time suck of clicking play.

I haven’t tried it myself yet but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.


The nice thing about Flipagram is that you don’t have to create video at all. You can let Flipagram make a video for you from photos.

You have the option of choosing photos from your phone, your Instagram account or your Facebook account.

You can also add a caption to each image in your Flipagram so it makes it easy to tell the story.

Flipagram will then make a video from the images. Here’s one I created from photos taken at a recent Instameet at the Irish National Stud.

And another that I made to illustrate a PicMonkey tutorial:

How to remove the background from your logo using #tip #instatip #picmonkey

A video posted by Amanda & Lorna (@weteachsocial) on

One note for Flipagram. There is an option to add music to your grams. However if you upload video with this music to Instagram you are infringing copyright of the music. This can result in you having your video removed or worse you receiving a bill for the use of the music.

There are lots more fun videos you can play with. My advice is to take it a few at a time. Work to create some really eye-catching videos demonstrating your product, sharing tips, showing aspects of your day. People will enjoy following your stories this way.

Have you used video on Instagram? What sort of results have you seen? I’d love to hear about your experiences.



4 Steps For Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram
4 Steps For Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram

Are you using Instagram for business? If so have you put a plan in place for building relationships with customers and influencers? Have you found the right people to follow and are the right people following you?

Relationship building is as important on Instagram as any other network. Like Twitter you can go out and find potential customers, you don’t have to rely on them coming to you.

In this post I’m going to discuss:

  • How hashtags can help you find people to follow and interact with
  • How to connect with these people
  • Creating follower lists with Iconosquare
  • Regram etiquette

Using Hashtags

Hashtags are the glue that holds Instagram together. Search a hashtag and you will find an album of images matching it.

Searching hashtags should be the first thing you do to find customers on Instagram. When you find relevant users like and comment on their content.

Before you start define what makes a follow-worthy user. For me, I’m looking for small businesses and bloggers based in Ireland. I’m also looking for tourism, food and dentistry businesses in Ireland as they are the type of clients I work with more frequently.

So my checklist is:

  1. Are they based in Ireland
  2. Are they a small business
  3. Are they tourism, food or dentistry related?
  4. Are they a blogger?
  5. Would their content be good inspiration for my clients?

Instagrammers have to fit at least two of these categories for me to want to follow them. Make your own checklist and set some rules, you’ll find it makes it easier to connect with the right people.

Later on I’ll show you a tool that can help you group these different kinds of users together.

Now it’s time to start searching

Start with a broad tag. In the example below I am searching #Ireland as this is where most of my customers will come from.

4 Steps To Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram
Switch to listview so you can see usernames and captions.

When you get the results, switch to list view as this makes it easier to see usernames. Scroll through, looking at photographs and liking any that strike you. Keep your eyes open for any usernames or images that relate to your target customers. I’m looking for small businesses so it’s the username I focus on first.

When you find a user that fits your criteria follow them and look at their images liking and commenting as necessary.

How To Connect

It’s very easy to slip into bad habits on Instagram. You will find that when you use broad hashtags a lot of people will follow you and like your posts. This is great for the ego, but you will notice that many of these people have no relevance to your business.

It’s painful, but you need to take the time to investigate each one to see if they fall into your target market. Refer back to your checklist to do this. If they match follow them back. If they don’t, don’t. Don’t worry about people unfollowing, most of these will be the irrelevant people who followed you in the hope you’d follow back.

Now you are following a good, targeted customer base it’s time to start interacting. Spend 10 minutes a day scrolling through your feed, liking photos that appeal to you and leaving comments where necessary.

Commenting etiquette

Avoid generic comments like ‘nice’ and comments purely designed to promote your business ‘we sell…’. These don’t start a conversation and are easily overlooked or at worse will irritate people. Instead find something in the photo to start a conversation about. The more someone interacts with you the more memorable you will become.

Creating Follower Lists With Iconosquare

Iconosquare is one of the best web-based tools for managing your Instagram accounts. Its best feature by far is the ability to create ‘groups’ of users similar to the way you can create lists in Twitter.

This allows you to filter your Instagram feed on Iconosquare to just the people in these groups.

Here’s how to create and add people to groups:

Set up a free account with Iconosquare.

Select ‘My followings’. This will display a chronological list of all the people you follow on Instagram.

See all the people you follow by clicking 'My Followings'
See all the people you follow by clicking ‘My Followings’

Click the small circle under a user. This will give you a drop-down menu of lists. By default you will be offered ‘friends’, ‘followers’ and ‘pro’.

Underneath you have the option to create a new group. Now select all the groups you want to add that user to.

4 Steps To Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram
Add users to groups or create new groups

I’d recommend creating a group for each of your checklist items. You could also create lists for people you want to interact with once a month, once a week or more frequently. It’s a good way to remind yourself to stay in touch.

To view group members click ‘feed’ and select the group you want to view from the drop-down. Now you can quickly and easily view content from those groups and interact with it.

Filter your feed to members of a specific group
Filter your feed to members of a specific group

Regram Etiquette

Unlike other social networks, there is no easy way to share posts from users within the Instagram app. There is no re-gram or share button. In order to reshare you will need to use an app to download or re-gram pictures.

There is a strict etiquette for those who want to do this.

  1. You need to ask permission to re-gram the post. Leave a comment underneath the picture you want to share asking for permission to re-gram and wait for a response.
  2. If you get a yes use an app like re-post, re-gram or Phonegram (iOS) (Android) to grab the photo from the web. I like Phonegram as it lets me download the picture without watermarking.
  3. Repost the photo and any caption that accompanied it. Make sure you tag the user whose post you are sharing.
  4. Here’s an infographic we made for We Teach Social showing you how to re-gram using Phonegram
4 Steps To Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram
How To Regram using Phonegram

Regramming the easy way

This process is quite cumbersome, but the good news is that once you’ve started building a good following you can start asking people for content. Create a hashtag, ask people to share photos including it and tell them you will re-gram the best ones.

See this example from Visit Dublin asking users to tag their posts #lovedublin

4 Steps To Building Relationships With Customers On Instagram
Visit Dublin encourage followers to use the tag #lovedublin

Whichever method you choose this is a great way to build relationships. People enjoy getting showcased on your page and it is a great conversation opener.

Your Turn

What techniques do you use to connect with your target market?
Have you used any of the techniques above? How did you find them?