How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Use giveaways effectively” With The Young Travelier, Chris Young & Candice Georgiadis

Use giveaways effectively. Giveaways are a great way to get new followers to engage with your page, but to do them effectively requires that you collaborate with the right people. For example, if your brand is a facial beauty product, it might make the most sense for you to collaborate with a hair tie brand or a bathrobe brand because those are products that are used in unison with each other. Think long and hard strategically in order to drive the most traffic and new followers if you are going to spend money on giveaways.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Young. Chris started his career as an entertainment lawyer and has since been the founder of multiple successful e-commerce companies, one of which was taken public. During the past few years he has developed his passion of videography, travel, and food into a lifestyle blog and Youtube channel with millions of views, and 250,000 readers and viewers.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Since I was 13 years old, I’ve always created content, starting with photography in the dark room. I had dabbled in it on and off since then but after selling my last company, I took some time off and started pursuing some of my old hobbies again. Photography turned into videography, then I started messing around with iMovie and Final Cut Pro and was instantly hooked. Quickly, I realized there was a need for clients in the travel industry to hire content creators for their social media needs, and that’s sort of how it all started.

Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?

I’ve been asked to create e-courses with other creators such as Erik Lauer and have consulted hotel groups such as the Ritz-Carlton, Anantara and Four Seasons on how to develop their social media marketing. I have also run multiple e-commerce companies that specifically use social media marketing to drive traffic and revenue. Additionally, I have an investment in a social media marketing tool called Magiclytics that helps brands identify what type of revenue they can drive off of influencers.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting thing that happened was the first time I got paid to go on a trip to shoot content for a hotel — it was for the Ritz Carlton Reserve in Bali. It seemed like a dream to be able to go to a hotel that was on average $600 a night and to get paid to do something I loved to do. It was surreal to me that this was even a real thing.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was asked to shoot for a hotel chain which I will leave unnamed, and they wanted me to shoot a model in one of their suites in a massive jacuzzi tub that had a view. We used shampoo to make the water more opaque so that there wouldn’t be any nudity, but what I failed to realize was that the mirror on the ceiling of the bathroom created a reflection that totally negated that. Needless to say, the pictures were not able to be used.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

Youtube and personal blogs seem to create the most business revenue. Instagram is probably the most popular, but its low barrier to entry and the need to create an endless stream of daily content on it really makes the return on investment incredibly low. You can write a blog article once a week, or create a Youtube video once a week, and the long tail on it is greater than a single picture or video on Instagram. As a result, advertisers and brands are willing to spend more on them.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Post consistent content. This seems so basic, but it’s something people fail to do. The Instagram algorithm rewards consistency and will make your profile much more available for new followers to find you or to view your work. When I post consistently, I notice my engagement and impressions improve by multiples.
  2. Tell a story. Every single article out there always suggests that your Instagram should have some sort of call to action, but what it fails to say is that you should use the text portion to also tell the whole story behind the picture. Although Instagram is very picture heavy, people will spend more time if you write something thoughtful and meaningful — something that tells the story behind the picture or video. I have found that my engagement dramatically improves if I spend time writing out more than a few words on a post.
  3. Try new types of content to test out what works for you. Each brand has its own feel and what works for one brand might not work for another. For example, I have seen some brands post only lifestyle content, but then change over to more product pictures and their engagement improves dramatically. If you’re not constantly testing new ideas and strategies on Instagram, you won’t know what works specifically for you.
  4. Use giveaways effectively. Giveaways are a great way to get new followers to engage with your page, but to do them effectively requires that you collaborate with the right people. For example, if your brand is a facial beauty product, it might make the most sense for you to collaborate with a hair tie brand or a bathrobe brand because those are products that are used in unison with each other. Think long and hard strategically in order to drive the most traffic and new followers if you are going to spend money on giveaways.
  5. Use tags in Instagram stories for related subjects. This is something that is often overlooked. If you are a shoe brand, for example, and you put up a picture on your Instagram story feed, you should research and use tags that are indirectly related in order to drive new traffic to your story. Hashtagify or Sprout Social are good tools to use when doing related hashtag searches. It doesn’t hurt to use a lot of them and then minimize them so they don’t detract from the story video or photo content itself.
  6. Don’t use follow unfollow techniques. This is an old technique to get people to follow your account. I don’t know why people are still using it — it’s outdated and will hurt the visibility of your account via the Instagram algorithm. I don’t know how many countless “services” are still being sold using this as a method to help “grow” your Instagram.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love for people to be more present. I know this is completely dichotomous for someone who uses social media constantly, but I believe that social media can be a great way to learn and see the world, but not at the expense of enjoying and experiencing it yourself. I force myself to put down my phone for at least a few hours every day at some point and focus on just being in the moment. I think everyone would be a bit happier if they did this at some point in the day, considering how attached we are to our miniature computers in this day and age.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to pick the brain of Elon Musk. He seems like a pretty enlightened individual who has some really out there ideas. I’ve met less than a handful of people who really thought truly outside of the box, and every time I have met individuals like that it’s made me reassess my own thinking and world views.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!


How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business: “Use giveaways effectively” With The… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.