4 Tips to Stand Out on Instagram

4 Tips to Stand Out on Instagram

It’s no secret that Instagram is a powerhouse player in the social media world. With over 600 million active users, the platform only keeps growing as it’s boasted 100 million new users since June.

If you want to create a popular Instagram brand for your company or even create and monetize a new brand, it’s easier than ever in today’s world. The attention is there. There are willing buyers. And as always, content is king.

Here are some tips on how I’ve grown an active an engaged community of over 12,000 followers in just a few short months:

1. Know Your Niche

This is arguably the most important part of growing a strong Instagram fan base — knowing what type of visual content your target audience wants to consume.

What started off as a realization that I followed numerous accounts that posted pictures from around the Pacific Northwest turned into an idea that I could capitalize on the cult following these accounts got.

People in the PNW are so proud of where they’re from and are always excited to share pictures of their favorite places. In the midst of luscious landscapes and hidden lakes, I discovered a community of passionate people who love where they live.

Not only do they love to see pictures from around the PNW, but they love to share their adventures with others.

With this idea in mind, PNW Paradise was born.

2. It’s Okay to Crowdsource Content

We live in a day and age that’s marred by social media users wanting more. More likes. More comments. And yes, more followers.

In a time where some people think our follower count becomes our social worth, so many social media users try to find outlets to get their content and name out to the masses.

Gone are the days where bigger accounts get in trouble for reposting content that isn’t original without giving credit to who it came from (yes, I’m looking at you @FuckJerry and @TheFatJew). Now, with a simple @mention you can usually turn repurposing content into a positive by giving credit to the original creator.

It’s a give-and-take scenario. You’re using content from another user in order to consistently post on your account and, in turn, you’re providing photographers an outlet to get their work showcased.

*In the rare case, you may have a photographer reach out and ask you to take their photo down or have you ask for permission the next time. Not a huge deal, just be a kind person and always put other users first to respect their creative abilities!

3. Use #Hashtags

While the #hashtag was born on Twitter, social media users long for being able to find relevant content to consumer and using hashtags on Instagram is a great way to do this.

First of all, I really recommend creating a brand hashtag for your page. For PNW Paradise, I use #PNWparadise (pretty simple, right?). What this does, however, is create a hub for your content and for similar content. Users are able to click on that hashtag to view pictures and videos that align with your page’s vibe.

In addition, once you build this hub it begins to work as a marketing tool for you. Users will become familiar with your hashtag, utilize it in their own posts, and, in turn, attract their followers to your hub.

Step two of hashtags would be utilizing the way Instagram works. In each post, you’re able to use up to 30 hashtags. I recommend sourcing hashtags from similar accounts. Yes, other brands are using hashtags! Which leads me to my next point…

DO NOT spam your captions with a list of hashtags. It’s a huge turn off to consumers, looks spammy, and quite frankly is the sign of terrible marketing. Rather, hide the hashtags within your comments section (with periods . . .) like so:

By using a brand hashtag and hiding up to 29 other relevant hashtags in the comments, you’ll gain extra exposure, new followers, and a hell of a lot more engagement.

4. Engage, engage, engage…

Sometimes, it’s like beating a dead horse. But, you will get absolutely nowhere on social media if you’re not using each platform for what they’re made for — socializing!

Yes, there are plenty of tools like Instagress to help you automate this process, but nothing will compare to actually putting in an extra 15-30 minutes throughout the day to like and comment on other users content.

While doing so, try to be unique. No one is blind to the fact that there are social media bots that post generic, annoying comments like “Nice!” “Great work!” or my personal favorite “Thanks for this one! Have a great day!”

Thanks man… I will have a great day.

With a feature account like @PNW.paradise, I get a lot of Direct Messages asking me to feature images or inquiries about products. I make it my goal to respond to every single message I receive and have gotten an overwhelming positive feedback from doing so. Here are a few great examples of a positive consumer response by simply engaging:


Long story short:

If you’re trying to organically grow a social media account, there are no shortcuts.

Put in the work, get results. It’s as simple as that.

With this tips above, I’ve managed to grow the PNW Paradise Instagram account to over 12,000 followers, amass over 500,000 likes and 5,000 comments, and turned a simple social media account into a side hustle in just a few short months.

If you’re a brand that needs help with Social Media Marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Wake Digital today to get started!

4 Reasons Social Media is Important for Your Business

4 Reasons Social Media is Important for Your Business

Austin Dixon, Head of Development

October 28th, 2016

It’s 2016 — if your business isn’t active on social media, you’re losing the game. According to brandwatch.com, there are 2.3 billion active social media users. Even if your target market is a small chunk of this, it’s essential in today’s digital world to not only be posting consistent content on social media, but also to engage with your consumers on these platforms. Here are 4 reasons why building social credibility for your business is important:

1. You learn about your audience


Your audience is the key to your success. With social media, it’s easier than ever to get to know the types of consumers they are — how they buy, when they buy, & [most importantly] why they buy. With things like

Facebook Insights, you’re able to dive into key characteristics that help you fully understand your market.

From the types of things your followers ‘like’ down to the topics they’re talking about on social media, these insights are essential for knowing what type of content to post, what voice to use when engaging with consumers, and how to more intricately market to your audience. Not only will this help with engagement & growth, but understanding your audience better gives you a unique advantage over your competitors because you start to build relationships with your audience as opposed to being a static brand.


Linking your Instagram to your Facebook business page gives you in-depth analytics of your audience


2. Ability to reach a local market


Social media has made it easier than ever to use geographic locations to your advantage. Want to find where people are eating brunch in LA? Look at the geotags of Instagram users in the area that post food-related content. Do you want to find out where millennials are sharing their experiences with their friends? Check out Snapchat Stories and monitor geofilters that are being used.

As platforms evolve, geolocations are becoming a vital part of social media. Use this to your advantage when targeting a local audience. Tools like Instagress have advanced targeting capabilities that allow you to like/comment/follow content and users that are located near you. That simple ‘like’ could turn into a new follower, which could then easily turn into a paying customer. Think about social media as an acquisition strategy: Research > Engagement > New Follower > Sale.


3. Improve customer service


With the continued evolution of social media, consumers are spending more time than ever on mobile devices. According to marketingland.com, nearly 80 percent of all social media time is spent on mobile. Consumers expect to have answers to their questions about your business at their fingertips. If you’re not monitoring your social media engagements, you could miss out on valuable opportunities to convert interested buyers.

Simon Mainwaring, a leading branding consultant, so accurately highlights this in saying, “Social media is not about the exploitation of technology but service to community.” It’s your obligation as a business to provide real-time support for your customers. In return, you’ll create unique relationships with your audience that speaks volumes about the value you place on customer retention.

Nike is a great example of timely, accurate customer service on social media

Nike is a great example of timely, accurate customer service on social media


4. Affordable way to create brand awareness


As is the case for any business, marketing can get costly. If your budget is tight and you’re looking for a cheaper option to get your brand out there, social media is the perfect avenue to do so. While many platforms these days offer paid options to market your content, engaging with your audience will only cost you a little time and effort.

If you want to stay on top of your game, use an app like Buffer to schedule out your social media posts. This only takes about 1-2 hours a week and can provide immense value for your business.


All in all, social media is an essential marketing asset for any business, small or large, to reach their target audience. If you’re strapped for time and/or money, think about utilizing just 1-2 social media platforms that suit your business the best. You’ll be amazed at the results you can get by simply creating personal relationships with your consumers!

Need help with your social media marketing? If so, shoot us an email today and our team would be happy to help!  

4 Tips to Brand Your Business Like A Champ

4 Tips to Brand Your Business Like A Champ

Austin Dixon, Head of Development

August 4th, 2016

Brand Yourself Like a Champion


What’s the best way to grow your small business,  you ask? Be the company that everyone in your city thinks of first when they get asked, “Do you know anyone who does [insert industry service here]?”

It’s 2016 — building a brand is much more than just creating a logo, some signage for your storefront, and a few nifty business cards to hand out. In order to brand your business like a champ, follow these 4 simple tips:


1. Be Consistent


It’s amazing to me how many companies out there have variations of their logos floating around and marketing material with old branding on it.

There’s nothing more confusing to consumers than seeing mixed messaging from a company. With this new wave of digital marketing, it’s even more important these days to make sure your brand is consistent.

Do your social media handles all match? Instead of being @your.company on Instagram and @your_company on Twitter, make the simple switch to @your_company on both platforms since Twitter doesn’t allow periods within usernames.

Also, having a unique Facebook URL is a MUST these days. All it takes is 25 likes in order to acquire a unique URL, so make sure to invite any close family and friends if you’ve yet to hit that mark!

At the end of the day, consistency helps consumers remember your brand.


2. Develop a Voice


In this day and age, quality products and services aren’t thing only thigns you need to market to consumers. Your audience wants more.

Consumers are really looking to connect with brands — from the ins and outs of company culture to the daily work that gets put into the products they’re purchasing.

Make sure to develop a unique, thoughtful voice for your brand that portrays authenticity in your work. Keep in mind that when posting on social media, language may change between platforms but your voice should always remain the same.

An example of a brand that does this well is The Great PNW. By being laid-back, playful, and strategic, they’re able to engage with their target audience socially in order to gain more exposure for themselves.

The Great PNW has created a unique voice that relates to its target audience


3. Engage With Consumers


Taking things a step further, it’s simply not enough to post on social media on a regular basis. If consumers are engaging with your social posts, it’s imperative that you interact with them as well. Starbucks is great at this:

Starbucks does a wonderful job engaging with consumers on social media

Starbucks does a wonderful job engaging with consumers on social media

Engaging with your consumers really speaks to the values your company embodies. Are you a company that truly values quality customer service? Are you willing to go out of your way for your clients? Engagement subconsciously shows consumers what type of experience they’ll get with your business.


4. Plan Long-Term, Think Short-Term


If you’re a business owner, you should already know how to plan long-term. From the day your company was just an idea, you’ve been thinking about your brand and how to craft its image for consumers. A brand should be built to be everlasting — build the foundation and continue to grow from there.

But what about the short-term? We live in a digital world where everyone has a computer in their hand. Your brand needs to be relevant on a daily basis and, as a business owner, you need to be thinking about ways to do that.

Is it the perfectly-timed Tweet? Or is it a promotion for hungry Pokemon Go players? Thinking short-term allows for your business to be a voice on a day-to-day basis as opposed to a company in hibernation.


Need help with your businesses branding? If so, shoot us an email today and our team would be happy to help!  

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