How Instagram Can Help Promote Your Businesses Marketing Strategy

When forming your social media strategy for your business, Instagram is an excellent mobile marketing app that can effectively carry over your companies marketing strategy. While Instagram is not the only tool that has been proven effective for businesses, it is hard to ignore as it is currently valued at One Billion dollars and 80 million+ users. There are many ways that Instagram can be a huge benefit when promoting your businesses: marketing strategy, philosophy, and brand image. Here are a few key tips to keeping your Instagram account consistent with your marketing strategyCreate your own unique hashtagCreating your own unique hashtag is a simple way to build a loyal following on your businesses Instagram. Once you establish a name for your hashtag, make sure that you are promoting it to your audience by posting it across all social networks and as a caption on every Instagram post. Instagram also makes it very convenient to monitor which followers are actively using your businesses hashtag. I recommend engaging with the users who post your hashtag by either thanking them personally or re-posting their photo, and tagging them. By recognizing the users who are actively using your hashtag, new users will be encouraged to post as well.Geo-Tagging Your PhotosGeo-Tagging your photos on Instagram, will allow your business to involve your community on a completely different level. By Geo-tagging photos, your followers will be able to view the location(s) of your business if you happen to be a: retail store, restaurant, or office location. Geo-tagging is another great way to build your businesses following. If you and a co-worker go out to lunch at Chipotle, you can geo-tag your photo at the location you are dining at. By doing so, Instagram users who also geo-tag this same location will be able to see your photo, which will hopefully encourage them to follow your businesses account.Encourage Employee PostsSome of your most loyal promoters should be your employees. Encourage your employees to be actively involved in posting photos on your businesses account a few times a week. By having your employees on board, users who are following your account will appreciate the ability to get to know more about your company’s employees. As long as you set clear guidelines of what is appropriate to post, you should gain a following rather quickly due to the variety of different types of posts your account will consist of.Connect your Social Media AccountsBe sure to sync all of your businesses other social media accounts to your Instagram every time you post a photo. Having all of your social media accounts connected, your audience has a high potential to expand, because not all of your fans and followers will follow your other accounts such as: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. Syncing up all your other social media accounts not only allows for additional content but an opportunity for more frequent posts.

The Battle For Vacation Rental Supremacy – HomeAway Versus TripAdvisor

The sum paid for Holiday Lettings has not been disclosed but one would assume that it generated very good value for the 2 co-founders of Holiday Lettings. And, since TripAdvisor is owned by the publicly quoted Expedia, one would also assume that it represents value for Expedia’s shareholders over the long term.But question: Is this value for the customers of Holiday Lettings, the owners and renters that have made the site so successful until now?The Advantages of CompetitionFor starters, someone that challenges the supremacy of HomeAway brings competition to the market place. And with competition, usually the consumer wins either through price or through an improved product. Price is unlikely to change because an annual listing fee on these sites is typically around $300 hundred dollars. If you achieve a few weeks rental then it’s a relatively cheap and hassle free service. So if not price then what?Perhaps investment in product? Bearing in mind the millions which HomeAway is setting aside for it’s marketing programme, including the recent Super Bowl ad, then it’s likely TripAdvisor will put some money into Holiday Lettings, or it’s US based vacation rental business, Flipkey. But aside from investment and some competition for HomeAway it’s hard to see any other advantages, especially as TripAdvisor claims to be leaving Holiday Lettings to run independently.The Downside of GrowthWith boasts from HomeAway that they have 500,000 listings worldwide, and TripAdvisor surely having similar ambitions, we have to wonder whether these sites are becoming too large. With growth you usually risk losing sight of your customer who, in the end, controls the success of the product. And with growth some owners claim that their rental listing is lost among the masses of other rentals in their area.Where Should the Investment Go?What are vacation rentals all about? Surely they are now exactly what they were 10 years ago – a more personal vacation accommodation option than corporate hotel chains, with very good value and facilities. With the explosion of social media and the trend towards people wanting to engage with real people, we believe there is a perfect storm between social media, the internet and vacation rentals. If there is investment money available then let’s refine the product to bring real value to customers – give them the platform and tools to promote everything that’s great about vacation rentals. Let’s see the owner, let’s hear their knowledge of the local area, let’s see their videos, their Facebook pages – let’s bring personality back into vacation rental websites.

For Fat Loss and Improved Fitness You Need Exercise, Not Just Activity

There are many different opinions about fitness and fat loss, but one of the more common viewpoints suggests that all you need to do is increase your activity level and/or decrease your caloric intake to be successful. While this may have some truth in theory, it does not always hold true in real life and it is certainly not the best strategy for improving long-term fitness and fat loss.Note: For the sake of this article I will only discuss fitness and fat loss as it relates to activity level and I will not address anything related to nutrition or calorie intake. I will cover the calorie intake component of this viewpoint at a later time.If you only take one thing away from this article, I want it to be that increasing your activity level and exercising are definitely not the same thing. While they are related, the difference between them is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to losing fat and improving your overall health and fitness.Exercising is obviously a way to increase your activity level, but there are many ways to increase your activity level that should not be classified as exercise. Webster’s defines exercise as: bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness. The key point in this definition is that activity has to affect fitness to be considered exercise.A good exercise program will always be designed to improve various aspects of fitness (strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.), as opposed to being designed just to burn calories. Having the goal to increase your activity level will increase the number of calories you burn, but it will not necessarily improve your fitness level. This is incredibly important, because increasing your fitness level is essential to long-term fat loss and improved health.It is common to start a new program with the goal of increasing your activity level and burning more calories to lose weight, but this approach usually only results in short-term success. You may have experienced this at some point yourself, if you ever had initial improvements, which were followed by a lack of further results. Personally, I went through a period where I was doing cardio workouts once or even twice a day to increase my activity level and lose fat, but soon after I started, I stopped seeing any improvements whatsoever.My problem was not that I needed to increase my activity level more, but rather I had to stop focusing on doing activities to burn calories and start exercising. In other words, I needed to perform activities that were designed to improve my fitness level and not just burn calories. There may not seem like a big difference between the two, but this small change in approach will lead to a huge improvement in results.Let’s go back to the scenario where someone initially sees results by increasing their activity level. I would argue that, especially for people who have sedentary (non-active) lifestyles, the initial increase in activity should be considered exercise. If someone is out of shape, almost any type of activity will improve their fitness level. I believe it is the improvement in fitness level and not just the increase in activity level that ultimately is responsible for the initial positive results.To further illustrate this point, let’s take a look at probably the most common scenario for increasing activity. Walking is a natural choice as a starting activity, because it is something people already know how to do, requires essentially no equipment (although appropriate shoes are recommended), and it can be done almost anywhere. For people who are not used to walking, it will be somewhat challenging at first, and their body will be forced to adapt to the new stimulus, thus improving their fitness level.However, as the person’s fitness level improves, chances are they will not make changes to their walking routine. It is very common for people to walk the same distance and speed, often taking the same route whenever they walk. Over the course of time, what was once a challenging walk that stimulated improvements in health and fitness, becomes a walk that just burns calories. More importantly, when the walk stops being challenging, it is also the point when fat loss usually stops occurring.Another important point is the more you perform an activity, the more efficient your body becomes at that activity. For example, take the person who goes for the same walk every day. After the initial fitness and fat loss improvement from starting the walking routine, not only will the walk stop being a challenge, but the amount of energy required to perform the walk will decrease as well. In other words, the same walk will result in fewer calories burned than when the person first started walking. This is another reason why walking or doing any activity just to burn some extra calories will not work in the long-run.I should point out that I am not trying to say there aren’t any health benefits to increasing your activity level and if you are currently not very active, doing anything to become more active is a good thing. However, if you want to lose fat and improve your fitness over the long run, just increasing your activity level will not cut it. You need to exercise and challenge your body if you want to experience continued improvement over time.One final note: Nutrition plays at least as big of a role as exercise in health, fitness, and fat loss. Even the best exercise program cannot make up for poor nutrition, but this article is only meant to address the activity level component of an overall health and fitness program.


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