Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular social media network.  The site is a good place for businesses to post photos and interact with potential customers and reach their target audience.  As with any social network it is important to post regularly and interact with your users.  But there are some specific things you can do to gain more popularity on Instagram.

Start by making sure you post good content. Get creative with your photo editing. Don’t limit yourself to Instagram’s filters.  Find a great photo editing or creative app and make your photos distinct.  Doing so makes it easier to get noticed and build a following.

Be sure to use popular hashtags. Think about the subject matter and popular instagram hashtags. You can tag photos based on subject matter but you can also tag them based on style, location and things #instagood, #photooftheday and more. Just take a look at hashtags being used by others ad seek out the top Instagram hashtags .

Don’t clutter your feeds.  Post fewer quality images so each photo has a chance to be noticed.  Take time between postings, but be sure to post on a regular basis.

There are a ton of Instagram activities taking place on the mobile social network.
There are many communities worth participating in.

Try to get featured on Instagram. Getting featured by Instagram could gain you thousands of followers per day. Instagram doesn’t really let on how it chooses users to add them to their ‘suggested users’ list, but it is worth a try. If you are added to the list, you’ll stay there for one week, giving you lots of exposure on the social network.

Like any social network or community, Instagram is all about engagement. It’s about the give and take. Liking other users’ outside of your circle of friends or personal network is a great way to get noticed.  Commenting with thoughtful ideas is even better.  The more you interact with other users, the more they will do the same for you.

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LinkedIn – the social media site used by millions of professionals has streamlined its search function. Now instead of looking for people, companies or jobs separately, users can get comprehensive results in the same search.  When users visit the site all they will need to do is type what they’re looking for into the search box and they will see a results that pull content from across all LinkedIn groups.

The improved search function also includes auto-complete and suggested related searches. Users can save their search queries and receive automatic notifications when results for that search change. – As they type their search term they’ll be prompted with options for what they may be looking for. Now when they type in a search term such as “project manager” they’ll see example search queries for people or jobs related to “project manager” as well as a preview of top results to help them find what they are looking for in one click.

LinkedIn hopes to get more functionality and usability into its platform as it continues its transformation away from being a simple database and point-to-point communication platform, and into more of a social network.

In addition to the improved general search function LinkedIn also added other features.  They include:

  • Smarter query intent algorithm – The more you search for content on LinkedIn, the more it learns and understands your intent over time to provide the most relevant results.
  • Enhanced advanced search – Advanced search gotten a new look.  It’s also easier to deepen one’s search with filters like location, company, school and more.
  • Automated alerts – Users can save time by saving individual searches and receive alerts when the results change.

This is one of the LinkedIn’s first big overhauls to its search function in years.  LinkedIn sees an average of 475 million searches a month, according to the company. The network has 200 million members.

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Google+ has been viewed by many as the search giant’s answer to Facebook.  A lot of people believe it’s just another social networking service where friends share photos, status updates and messages with one another.  The company’s foray into the social media space has been a mystery to some and has its share of doubters.  But it’s really more than that.

Google+ is really Google’s value added contribution to its already dominating search. Sure, there’s a social networking aspect to Google+.  But the real value to Google+ is its groundwork for an enhanced level of search quality.  It’s Google’s way of starting a hub that will ultimately connect all the other Google products like Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books and more. Piece by piece Google is starting to roll out these products and combine them into a user experience by way of Google+.

First let’s start with Google Authorship.  Bloggers can link their Google+ profile to the content they create. A Google+ account with a headshot that is attached to all your posts can offer value to bloggers who can now claim their posts instead of having Google show ‘another’ version ahead of their own.  It allows the searcher to find the person who truly generated the content and lets the content provider know the real author will be found.

Want your business to appear on Google Maps, Google Local, etc. so that you can tell your prospective customers where you are, what you sell and your business hours?  You need a Google+ Local Business page now.  This way reviews, hours, pictures, videos, local search are all housed in one place.  This account must be managed by a real person with a real Google+ personal account.

The newest introduction of Google+ Communities gives you the opportunity to connect with those who help enhance the things you already love.  You want better music, book recommendations, can’t remember the name of something—or want to find a community of skiers?  When you have Google+, those communities and that book recommendation just appear when you search for your best guess.

Simply put – imagine if Google knew all the info about you that Facebook knew.  They would be better equipped to serve you and what you are looking for. By gradually absorbing bloggers, small businesses, etc. they will ultimately make all of us – social media fans and doubters – users.

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