Category: Expert Tips

4 Tips to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm in 2019


If your social media marketing strategy relies on Instagram, chances are you’re aware of the algorithm changes that rolled out last year. To recap, users now see 90% of posts from their family and friends, which is great when you’re trying to catch up on how Jenny’s kids are doing… but it isn’t as great for businesses posting organic content.

Since you’re reading this, I bet you are wondering what the Instagram algorithm takes into account and how you can outsmart it to show your content more often. Well you’ve come to the right place! As of today, here are the top three factors:

  • Interest
  • Timeliness
  • Relationship

Other factors that the Instagram algorithm takes into consideration:

  • Frequency
  • Following
  • Usage

Understanding the factors is a step in the right direction, but if you’re going to take your social media to the next level, here are some tips to get ahead of the Instagram algorithm and stay relevant!

Tips for Outsmarting the Instagram Algorithm

Tip #1 – Engagement Is Key

There’s no rule to engagement, the rule IS engagement. Getting your followers to interact with your brand signals to the Instagram algorithm to put more of your posts in their feeds. High quality content on social media is more important than ever so be sure to use photos and captions that inspire your followers and compel them to interact with you.

Don’t expect your followers to constantly tell you how great your business, product or service is though. Start meaningful conversations with them by posing questions or asking them to tell you about their own experiences! Make sure your message is clear and don’t forget relevant hashtags.


Tip #2 – Know Your Social Media Followers

It’s going to sound like common sense, but engaging with your audience means first knowing who they really are. Instagram Insights is a great analytics tool to learn about the demographics of your social media followers. Developing buyer personas is a great step in defining your audience and it comes in handy when you’re building a strategy for writing content. While learning the age and gender of your followers is important, there are often more important things to record like where they live, what hobbies they enjoy, and when they’re most active. Knowing when to post is a perfect transition into our next point.


Tip #3 – Timing Matters

The Instagram algorithm takes the fact that followers want to see fresh, new posts seriously. If you know when your followers are the most active, you can make sure to time your posts so that they see it. Instagram Insights can also help you obtain this information. Now more than ever it’s important to respond to your followers’ comments in a timely manner.


Tip #4 – Get Organized Then Listen

Planning ahead and staying organized with your social media posts creates a cohesive feed. There are a number of tools available that let you manage your accounts, schedule posts and plan content. You might not be on social media when your followers are, but these platforms can auto-post for you at the most preferable time and they also offer pretty robust analytics.

We at ChicExecs use a platform called Planoly to organize our images and captions then schedule them out, which enables us to focus on strategically adding value to the content instead of live posting. There are also a number of social media listening tools that monitor and track how and where your brand is mentioned in posts, comments and hashtags. Awario and Keyhole are two examples that can save you time researching as they gather data across multiple social media platforms.


Contact us today and we’ll drop some more truth bombs about the Instagram algorithm! We kinda know all about it!

How to Photograph the Perfect Flat Lay for Social Media


Flat lays are taking social media by storm, even if you’re unaware of what this term means. The style focuses on a group of items where the photo is shot from above. Think of a magazine photo displaying an array of products from an intricate leather-bound journal that sits next to a coffee mug filled with steaming hot tea, there’s a pair of reading glasses in the corner, an eye-popping tube of lipstick at the opposite end of the page and flower petals scattered in between. You wonder why you’re taking the time to look at this page of top editor favorites this season, but you can’t look away. This type of product photography is so aesthetically pleasing to your eyes you can’t pay attention to anything else right now.


Flat Lays Aren’t Just for Professionals!

Flat lays carry two misconceptions that lie within two extreme trains of thought. One: The objects in the photo were randomly thrown together and photographed. Two: It takes a savvy photographer to achieve this type of photo.

While creating the perfect social media flat lay takes inspiration, it’s not impossible for amateur bloggers and those just beginning to use social media to capture this stunning visual effect with your camera phone or a DSLR! See some of our tips below on how to get started and take a flawless flat lay.

Start planning your props

Gather together what you’ll need for this photoshoot. Think about the items that inspire you, but have these points in mind:

  • Choose a theme for the photo. What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
  • Pick objects that vary in shape and size to build visual interest
  • Think about color. Have a palette in mind to start organizing the overall composition
  • Showcase texture

Don’t be afraid to grab more items than you’ll end up needing. This way, you have more options to see what works in the photo and what doesn’t. Need some inspiration before you start? Search for #flatlay on Pinterest and Instagram to get those creative juices going.

Choose a background

A plain white background is your smartest choice. You don’t want to take the attention away from your props. A neutral wood floor or tabletop may work as well depending upon your theme. When it comes to choosing a background, use what you have on hand. Lots of top bloggers use a flat white bed sheet to create their flat lay backgrounds. Depending upon the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve, a crinkled white bed sheet in the background can showcase amazing texture within your photo. If you’re looking to go bold, try colored wrapping paper or school project poster board.

Keep the light au naturel

Let’s face it, very few of us have access to a photography studio with professional lighting equipment. Luckily, your social media flat lay only needs natural light. Try to set up the photo near a window. You’ll get the best light in the morning or the late afternoon. Avoid using flash as it creates unwanted shadows. Another way to avoid shadows and give your photo the most light possible is to photograph toward the window light, not away from it.

Composition is everything

This might be the hardest part of setting up your flat lay. For some, the artistic eye of perfectly placing each item is natural talent. For others, it takes time and practice. Remember to take your time. There’s no rush to find your style. Here are some more tips in creating that ideal composition for social media:

  • Figure out which item is going to be your main focal point
  • Create a balance between different size objects, colors and textures around that focal point
  • If you plan on adding text later on, think about where you want it to go and create that space
  • Play around with your spacing. What kind of a look do you achieve by layering objects compared to leaving a little space between them?

Shoot from high up

You have the light, you have the backdrop and all of your objects placed to perfection. Now you need to take a photo that’s … well… flat. The only way to accomplish this is by getting height between you and the props. You might use a chair or ladder to take your photos from above. If you’re using the floor, you might be able to achieve the perfect flat shot by standing up over the display and photographing downward. Continue to play around with the composition as you photograph to see what looks best in each shot.

Edit before posting

Use photo editing software or apps to take your social media flat lay to the next level. A few simple edits or a preset filter can make a mediocre photo into a stunning work of photography!


Contact us today so we can show you some of the amazing flat lay work we’ve done for our clients. Let us take your social media to the next level!


Five Tips To Establish Good On-Air Presence

Our Senior Director of PR & Operations, Kristen Wessel, shares her tips with Forbes for being comfortable and confident for those on-air interviews.

“Whether you’re a born natural or camera shy, you can still have an amazing on-air experience.”

Ready the full article here and start developing your on-air presence skills!

5 Tips From A PR Agency To Position Your Brand For Media Coverage

ChicExecs Co-founders, Nikki Carlson and Kailynn Bowling discuss the importance of growing a brand with media coverage in the newest blog from she is bold.

“For many media-savvy brands, the right coverage can grow your business rapidly.”

Read the full feature here.

Are you interested in learning about how to get your brand more exposure? Contact ChicExecs or call directly (760) 992-9113.




How To Align Your PR Campaign With Your Retail Strategy

Kailynn Bowling, Co-Founder of ChicExecs shares business leaders can align their PR campaigns with retail strategy.

“The thing is, a retail strategy will only get your brand so far. If you want to achieve real success, your retail strategy has to connect with how you sell your brand.”

Take a look at this Forbes feature to learn how aligning your PR campaign with retail strategy can benefit your business.

Year in Review: How to Use Past PR Coverage to Drive 2019 Strategies

Kailynn Bowling, Co-Founder of ChicExecs shares why a new year is a perfect reason to revisit your PR strategy.

“If you want a bright future for your brand in the new year, look no further than your past.”

Read her top five tips on

Are you ready to take your PR strategy to the next level in 2019? Get in touch with us and learn more about our PR services.

ChicExecs Discusses Retail Strategy and Brand Loyalty on CEOWORLD Magazine

retail strategy


Kailynn Bowling, Co-Founder of ChicExecs, discussed how retailers can use customer loyalty to outdo their competition on CEOWORLD Magazine.

Learn how to create unique experiences that will not only bring in repeat customers but create raving fans that promote your brand by reading the full article here.

Are you ready to take your retail strategy to the next level? Get in touch with us and learn more about our retail strategy offering.

9 Secrets to a Successful Trade Show


Prepping for a trade show is more than just booth set up. While some businesses have the secret recipe for networking at trade shows – it’s no secret. It’s simple: trade show success is measured by how much effort you put into it. 


But what specific strategies will boost your business? Check out our top nine tips for making the most of your trade show experience:


 Prep with a Press Release



Send a press release to media prior to the show, inviting them to your booth for a new product reveal.

Boost with a Buyer Release



Send out a buyer release to existing and new buyers, inviting them as VIP to set a meeting with you to review your product launch at your booth, before it’s released. Get them excited about your brand new business!

Tease with Treats



Offer special treats for VIP guests, such as cupcakes and drinks if they schedule a meet and greet time with you. Everyone loves freebies, and this will help you network and get face to face with the right people! 

Send Special Gifts

Send unique invites through the mail, like ice cream or cookies, prior to the show. This will attract buyers to your booth!

Meet & Greet

Schedule influencers to be at your booth at a specific time, while inviting buyers and media outlets to come at the same time for the perfect meet and greet sesh!

Use Social Media



Plan live social media streaming at your booth! Whether that’s an Instagram story, live Tweeting, or a customized Snapchat story, it’s essential for media and buyers to see the behind the scenes action during the trade show.

Keep Features Front and Center



Prepare press features that you can hang in your booth for credibility and recognition. Show your company off, you work hard – tell the world all the great features you get from that hustle!

Don’t Let Anyone Miss Out

Can a buyer not attend this year? Don’t forget to alert them about pre-show specials that they can take advantage of! No one should miss out on the ability to network.

It’s All in the Details



Make sure you have a compelling catalog, look book, and line sheet for your buyers to peruse.



Gear up for that next trade show with tips that will help you and your team thrive!