Happy Customer, Kim S., Recommends Select Blinds for the Office

Kim S. used our Classic Cordless Blackout Shades to cut down on glare and cool off the new office of CeramFab Inc. , a ceramic fibers company that sells products like blankets, bricks, paper sheets, etc., used in high temp furnaces and areas requiring high temp/flame resistant protection.

” We are very happy that we chose to go with SelectBlinds.com for our office window blinds. I was having a hard time finding blackout shades that would fit our windows because they’re a little outside standard measurements, but these were easy to order and the color selection was fantastic. We needed blackout shades that could keep the glare off of the computer screens in the offices and darken the conference room enough for a projector, and the Classic Cordless Blackout Shades (Wirecutter’s Top Pick for Blackout Shades in 2019) work great. We received our order in less than two weeks from the date of order. The shades were very easy to install. Two people put up 10 shades in about one hour. I would absolutely recommend these shades to anyone looking for window blinds.”

Office windows with brown honeycomb blackout blinds from SelectBlinds.com

Thanks for letting us hang out in the office, Kim! Enjoy the cooler temps and shady headquarters to relax in while you work!

Need something like this for your office? Check out our huge selection of window treatment styles at SelectBlinds.com!

Office Kitchen Window with Honeycomb Shade from SelectBlinds.com

Select Blinds Happy Customer Contest: A Winner on the Green

Each year we encourage our customers to send us photos of their newly self-installed window treatments from yours truly for a chance to win a $250 Visa gift card! We’ve been gifted with a large collection of wonderful photos from the happy homes of our most dedicated customers

We enjoyed seeing happy customer photos so much that we decided to run not one, but TWO Happy Customer Contests this year! That being said, we have a winner for the first half of the year, and that’s Karla H. from Sibley, Iowa! She used our Classic Light Filtering Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades and Classic Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades! Classic Blackout Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades in her home near a local golf course!

Top Down Bottom Up Cordless Shades from Select Blinds in Living Room
Karla shows off the Top Down Bottom Up feature on her new window shades!

Congrats, Karla! We hope that you enjoy the gift card. Don’t spend it all at the clubhouse!

Select Blinds top down bottom up cell shades
She can lower the top or raise the bottom to have total control of light!

Thank You to everyone who entered for the first half of the year! Here are some runner-up’s that almost won the prize!

Light Filtering Honeycomb Shades in Greige cover bay window
Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades in Greige from Courtnee S.
Two blinds in one window for Living Room Window in Snickerdoodle
Read our interview with Marilyn on her Classic Light Filtering Cordless Cell Shades
Select Blinds 5% C
Classic Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades in Grey from Stephanie B.
White Cellular honeycomb shades in living room windows
Classic Light Filtering Cordless Top Down Bottom Up Shades from Toan T.

Don’t forget to submit your photos for a chance to win during the second half of 2019! #WhatsInYourWindow

2019 Select Blinds Scholarship Winner Claire King

Winner of 2019 $1000 SelectBlinds.com Scholarship
SelectBlinds.com 2019 Scholarship Winner, Claire King

After sifting through a handful of finalists for this year’s SelectBlinds.com $1000 Scholarship, the shimmering winner rose to the top of our list! Meet Claire King. Claire is currently attending The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., where she’ll graduate in 2023 with a degree in English Language and Literature.

This year, we put a slightly different spin on our scholarship, requiring entrants to use our window treatment samples to create an inspiration board for a room design that spoke to each individual’s style. Claire’s submission encompassed everything we expected from the winning entry, so we’re pleased to award her with $1000 toward taking her education to the next level. Here’s a little bit more about Claire, and be sure to check out her submission at the bottom of this post!

1. What inspired you to enter our Scholarship Program?

I love design and art, so it was refreshing to find a scholarship that allowed me to express myself with creativity but also with purpose. I also instantly knew what my idea would be, because I had thought about it before.


2. What influenced you to attend the Catholic University of America?

There are dozens of reasons why I love the school. I consider it my dream school. It’s located in Washington, D.C. (my favorite city), its association with Catholicism, and the honors program offers many different educational benefits. Also, the people there are really kind and welcoming because of the small size of the school.


3. What are some of your hobbies outside of school/work?

I love working with kids in the arts. I work at different centers in my community to work with kids at art camps. I also volunteer abroad teaching English to kids. I do art within the community, like mural painting and collaborations with other artists. I am going to continue this at Catholic U, because the school is in the center of the arts district of Washington, D.C. (another reason I love it).

Congrats, Claire! We hope that this scholarship helps you follow your passion! Click below to check out Claire’s entry and keep an eye out for your chance to win our 2020 college scholarship, opening up next month!

Marilyn C. Eats Up Our Snickerdoodle Shades!

Two in one window brown cellular shades from SelectBlinds.com

“I just love my new blackout shades! We ordered them in Snickerdoodle, and they’re just great! So much easier to operate than the vertical blinds we used to have, too. Great job, SelectBlinds! You rock!”

A huge “THANK YOU” to Marilyn C. of Pennsylvania for sending in photos of her new honeycomb shades! She replaced her old vertical blinds on this wide double window to make way for two of our beautiful Select Single Cell Blackout Shades in Snickerdoodle. No more broken, swaying vanes for this front yard view! Our Cordless Lift and Lock system is easy up / easy down for quick privacy and light blocking! MJ even had great things to say about our customer service agents who helped her with custom sizing so her new window treatments covered her windows perfectly!

SelectBlinds.com shades block morning light in living room

“Just to let you know, your salesman Charles Arrington was AWESOME. We didn’t even think we were capable of measuring for these shades and he was so helpful! He guaranteed me these would fit and they  do — to a ‘T’! Thanks again for your awesome product and believe me, we looked all over. Even saw shades over $800 that were nowhere near as nice as yours!”

Thanks again, MJ! We look forward to working together and hope to hear more stories from the East Coast (the birthplace of many of us here at SelectBlinds) in the near future!

Meet Our Customer Service Employee of the Month: Devyn Brewer

Select Blinds Customer Service Agent holds award

When he’s not balling on the basketball court, Devyn Brewer is center court as a key Customer Service Agent here at SelectBlinds.com! With a positive attitude and dedication to customers , both new and old, he stood out as an integral part of our team. So much so that Simas Tamosaitis, Director of CS, wants us all to know that Devyn wasn’t just handed this award, he deserved it:

“Devyn wasn’t given the title of employee of the month, he went out there and earned it. He is customer-focused, hardworking, and is flexible to help meet our team needs to serve our customers. He brings his A-game to every shift and every interaction. Look out for Devyn on Live Chat, he just accepted this new role this month and we’re looking forward to seeing him grow more.”

Since he was hitting the phones like a boss all April, and just scored a position on our Chat team, we wanted to give you a little intro to one of our star players and April’s Customer Service Employee of the Month!

Where are you originally from?

I’m originally from Redding, California, and grew up in San Bernardino. 

Where did you work before Select Blinds?  

Before Select Blinds I worked as a telemarketer for a company and as a delivery driver for Dominoes Pizza, both good training grounds for the customer service I provide here.

What do you like about working here?

I like that this company is constantly trying new things to grow and become a better business in every aspect. It’s a very positive, happy, fun environment to work in for employees in all departments .

Who is your favorite Select Blinds co-worker and why? 

My favorite would have to be [one of our managers], Katie, because she is ALWAYS there to help and has the perfect solution for any problem a customer may have. If she doesn’t, she will go above and beyond to get me that answer.

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not on the clock?

I like to play video games like 2k, FIFA, Fortnite and Spider-man. And I love basketball! Anything basketball — playing, watching — which is why my favorite thing about working here is the indoor basketball court. It’s fun to shoot around with co-workers on breaks.

Inspiring Decorator: Audrey Sprinkle of The Black House on the Corner

Audrey sprinkle sits on leather couch in front of paintings of women

Welcome back for another designer spotlight from one of our favorite Instagram innovators! This time, we’re going dark with The Black House on the Corner, and we mean that in the best way possible! Audrey uses a collection of darker hues in her 1900 Greek Revival Craftsman, bringing out the beauty in the design of her home by collating the moody shades with a pop of bright white and custom themes that give every room it’s own bold personality.

Audrey sat down with us to shed some light on her home, style and what motivates her and her husband after years of designing and flipping houses. Here’s what our newest Inspiring Decorator had to say.

1. What inspired you to become a decorator? What has your journey been like?

I have been into home design and decor since I was a kid! I was 10 when I designed my first piece of furniture and had my dad (against his will) execute it. 

It’s been an exciting journey. We took a leap of faith about nine years ago to start flipping homes and it paid off in a big way. My husband and I work — mostly — really well together and the experience of re-building and designing spaces together has definitely strengthened our relationship! 

2. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

 Definitely eclectic vintage modern. I find myself attracted to strange decor items but mid-century modern furniture!

Eclectic vintage modern decor in dining room

3. What was your favorite project(s)? Why? 

 Probably my painted wallpaper in our hallway! It was free and a huge transformation. I also didn’t expect much out of it so when it turned out so great, that made it even better! (Check out how cool this is!)

4. What’s your favorite trend right now?

I love seeing more personality come back into design. The all-white and farmhouse aesthetics are on their way out and that excites me because they’re kind of boring!  

Flowery Backsplash in Vintage Modern Kitchen with Blinds Over Sink

5. What inspired you to paint your walls black?

I love moody, dark colors and since we have 12’ ceilings and tons of windows, I figured I could get away with it!

We really love Classic Shoreline Cordless Woven Woods and get so many compliments on them! My favorite feature is the cordless option. Having four rambunctious boys, it gives me peace of mind that no one is going to choke on blind cords!

High Ceilings Highlight Select Blinds Layered with Curtains

We’re currently working on a huge master suite renovation. My husband’s “day job” is with a European company, which means he starts work at 3 a.m. our time. He’s in bed by 7 p.m. and it’s still pretty light outside the majority of the year, so I’m most excited to try out the Select Blinds woven woods with a blackout liner feature for our bedroom windows!
We can’t wait to see what Audrey does with our blackout-lined woven wood shades, can you? Until then, it’s a wrap on our Inspiring Decorator: Black House Edition! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Black House on the Corner on Instagram! Audrey has plenty more projects, insight and style to love coming in the future!

Help Us Choose a Winner! Who Will Be the Happiest Select Blinds Customer from 2018?

Happiness Is a Choice

And choosing one Happy Customer from all of you who joined our Happy Customer Program last year makes us very happy! But it’s so hard to decide. It’s like trying to choose the best window treatment to complete a room. It can be a daunting task, but putting the time in to discover and sample new shade styles and colors will ultimately lead to honest home happiness – and, possibly, a $250 Visa gift card!

We honestly love seeing how the final product you choose looks in your own home. That’s why we started this contest. We narrowed down our favorites from 2018, but now we need your help. Which picture do you like best? Who do you think we should dub the winner of a $250 Visa gift card? Take a look and place your vote at the bottom of this post!

1. Allison W.’s Beachfront Signature Sheer Weave 5% Solar Shades

Feel the breeze coming off the waves? You can even watch them crash along the shore near your beachfront home / condo with our light filtering, transparent solar shades! Allison can relax inside without glare reflecting off the floor or harmful UV rays damaging her furniture or art work! Need something like this but a little darker? We also offer solar shades in 1% and 3% to dim down the hot summer sun.

Select Blinds Sheerweave Interior Solar Shades by beach front propertyBlock the light but save the sight with our 5% Signature Sheer Weave Solar Shades in Light Sandstone!

2. Dile B. Weaves a Wonderland with Premier Woven Wood Shades

This happy customer decked out their sitting room with our light filtering woven wood shades! If you prefer a darker room, we offer privacy and blackout liners for most of our bamboo blinds. With a plethora of colors featuring a variety of reeds, twines and woods, you’ll be able to find the perfect woven shade to match your room’s style!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Premier Woven Wood Shades in Bodhi!

3. Morgan R. Makes Her Dining Area Blossom with Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades

Morgan had her husband, Michael, self-installed these elegant roman blinds to block some of the morning sun coming into their kitchen/dining area. The new, flowery window treatments are the centerpiece of this ship-lapped galley!  If you’re looking for something a little more light blocking, sample our Signature Blackout Roman Shades to keep out the rays!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Light Filtering Roman Shades leaves guests blue with envy!

4. Morgan A. and Signature Shoreline Woven Woven Shades Get Fresh on the Farm!

Keep an eye on the fields from the safety of the farmhouse! Not only do these custom blinds go well with farmhouse style, they look beautiful incorporated in coastal, boho and vintage design styles! Add some texture to your interior design with bamboo/woven window dressings at your ranch, home, farm, or cabin!

Select Blinds woven wood shades over many windows in living areaBlock the light but save the sight with our Signature Shoreline Woven Wood Shades in Hilleria leaves guests blue with envy!

Time to Vote!

There you have it! Now we need YOUR help to choose a winner! Who do you think styled SelectBlinds best in their home? Comment with the number (1-4) below!

I Wanna Win!

Want in on the action and a chance to win our next $250 gift card? Just sign up here for our Happy Customer Program. (It’s FREE!) Then send us some photos of your new SelectBlinds.com window treatments to happycustomers@selectblinds.com. We’ll be happy to share your in-home shots here on The Blinds Spot. And we’d love it if you’d share your happiness with them, too, by tagging us (@selectblinds) in any pics you post on social media.

Select Blinds 2019 New Year’s Giveaway: 6 Chances to Win!

Start your New Year off with new blinds, shades, shutters or curtains from Select Blinds! Simply add your name and email below for a chance to win our Grand Prize of a $1000 gift card to SelectBlinds.com or 1 of 5 second prizes of $100 to use toward any order on our site! Sweepstakes begins 12/21 and ends 1/13 at 11:59 PM (MST).

What Blinds Should I Buy?

You’ve just moved into a new home. The movers are gone and all of your belongings are safely encased within your new abode. As you sort through box after box in your bare living room, you get the feeling you’re being watched when you realize your windows are bare, too. Or maybe, comfy in your long-lived-in surroundings,  you randomly glance up at your bruised and broken accordion shades and think, “You know,  I need something new on the windows, but what blinds should I buy?”

No worries; you got this! Here’s a quick overview of our most popular window blind categories and suggestions on which rooms these products work best in.

Cellular / Pleated Shades

Signature Light Filtering Cordless Cell Shades in Gray from SelectBlinds.com

Our Signature Light Filtering Cordless Cellular Shades provide year-round insulation and privacy.

Cellular and pleated window coverings are the most popular and cost-effective way to cover windows while also reducing heating/cooling costs via their insulating honeycomb design. Pleated’s are made from a single layer of fabric filled with tiny, insulating cells, whereas cellulars are made from multiple layers with single or double cells. The accordion-style pleats in both styles block harmful UV rays and trap incoming air and even noise. Try them in a light filtering material to illuminate living rooms or dens, wherever you need some protection but also want adequate light penetration. A blackout, or room darkening, material is recommended for bedrooms and media rooms to keep out natural and artificial lighting. Steer clear of cellular/pleated shades in areas of high moisture, though. Humidity in the bathroom or kitchen can cause the adhesive on the cells to loosen, causing them to separate or sag (and nobody likes a droopy shade!).

Wood/ Faux Wood Blinds

Signature 2 Inch Faux Woods in Porcelain from SelectBlinds.com

Our Signature 2″ Faux Wood Blinds are the perfect window covering for the bathroom or kitchen.

Which brings us to our next window covering option! Wood and faux wood window treatments are like step-brothers; same basic concept, different materials. Our wood window treatments are made of soft, light basswood whose consistent grain offers an intellectual look with a traditional feel. Although wood can be prone to warping in moisture and intense heat, available in various stains and paints, they’re an inviting option for almost any room in your home.

Faux woods, on the other hand, are made from a polymer composite in a variety of colors with either a matte finish or textured, wood-grain-like vinyl finish. This PVC-like material provides a more pliable and resistant slat that is impervious to warping. Keep in mind, these are heavier than their real-wood counterparts, so they aren’t recommended for wider windows. If you’re looking for the perfect window coverings for over your kitchen sink or bathtub, sample a slat of our faux Venetians here!

Roller Shades

Designer Roller Collection II in Room Darkening Lillian Silver from SelectBlinds.com

Our Designer Roller Shade Collection II inherits its patterns from historic Italian design books.

Like a well-oiled machine, rollers are smooth, consistent and dependable. The perfect foundation for popular layered looks, add a cordless lift and you have an affordable, child-safe product that’s applicable in any space. In a rainbow of brilliant colors, they’re a great transitional product in kids and teens rooms. If you’re looking at a vinyl roller shade, be leery, though, when installing in areas near condensation and vapor. It’s possible to see water spots or experience slight material distortion where splashing water is frequent.

If you have a really high or hard to reach window, add motorization to your rollers to make raising and lowering your treatments as easy as pressing a button, tapping your phone, or asking Alexa!

Woven Wood Shades

Cynthia Harper's Kitchen with Designer Series Woven Woods in Jute Natural from SelectBlinds.com

Our Designer Series Woven Woods Shades (no liner) make Cynthia’s light and bright kitchen pop!

Take a look at the plethora of photos featuring natural woven wood and bamboo window coverings on our Instagram and you’ll see why they’re a designer favorite! With their ability to adapt to surroundings, no wonder designers call them “window chameleons.” Farmhouse, coastal, rustic, boho, you name it … these shape-shifters are real game changers. Bamboo blinds are typically a series of tiny wood slats bound together with a tough twine, or a medley of straws, grasses and woods entangled in an idyllic weave (hence the alias “woven wood blinds”). With three choices of transparency — no liner, privacy, or blackout liner — these eco-friendly products are bound to be the focal point in any bedroom, studio, or sitting room!

Roman Shades

Select Light Filtering Romans in White Canvas from SelectBlinds.com | Fox's Home Free

These White Canvas Romans were featured on Season 2 of Fox’s Home Free!

Do as the Romans do! Voluminous and voluptuous, roman shades are a true window dressing. With so many fabric and fold options, you’ll find no shortage of inspiration to conquer a clash with home design. Another great candidate for homes that need insulation, these Italian-inspired, centuries-old classic window treatments work great in bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. The luxurious and elegant fabrics can be reinforced with a light filtering or blackout liner, too.

Sheer Shades

3 Inch Room Darkening Sheers in Cocoa Bean from SelectBlinds.com

Versatile 3″ Room Darkening Sheer Shades combine the fabric of shades with the slats of a blind.

For the look of sheer luxury and intrigue, try the unique style of this 2-in-1 window treatment. Constructed with wide fabric slats between two delicate sheets of sheer fabric, they create a stunning shadow effect on windows. Open and close them like a traditional horizontal blind; raise and lower like a regular shade. Their light and airy construction in sheer and contrasting colors make an impressive design statement, particularly on extra wide windows. And most of our sheers come standard with a motorized wand for easy, child-safe operation with the touch of a button.

Vertical Wood, Faux Wood & Cellular

Select Textured Verticals in Charleston White from SelectBlinds.com

These Select Textured Vertical Blinds are an example of a stellar sliding glass door window treatment.

A long-time favorite for covering tall and extra-wide windows and doors, today’s vertical window treatments make a towering design statement in a variety of easy-care materials to fit any style. Like horizontals, verticals are available in wood, faux wood, fabric, and textured PVC vanes in popular patterns and colors. One of our newest additions to the family is the Vertical Cellular. Since windows and doors account for a third of all heat/cooling loss in homes, use them to harness the undeniable insulating quality that honeycomb window treatments bring for a modern spin on patio door window coverings. Or try a new, avant-garde wide panel vertical treatment you can also use as a unique room divider.

Solar Shades (Interior and Exterior)

Exterior Signature Sheer Weave 1 Percent in Light Sandstone from SelectBlinds.com

The Exterior Signature Sheer Weave 1% solar shade blocks 99% of UV rays, keeping you cool in and out.

Solar shades create a barrier between you and the sun, without compromising your view. Varying degrees of “openness” (1%, 3%, 5%, 10% and 14%) allow for just the right amount of light control. The lower the percentage, the more they  block light.

Exterior solar shades are excellent for patios and decks, while interior solar shades help reduce glare and heat in kitchens and sun rooms. Like roller shades, cordless solar shades are easy to use and install. Free cordless operation is available with many of our solar products, or for high, hard-to-reach areas, consider a continuous cord loop or motorized lift.

Drapery/Curtains

Grommet Drapes in Linen Weave Rich Ivory from SelectBlinds.com

The wide selection of colors in our Grommet Drapes/Curtains to complement any furniture or decor.

Whether you want to store heat or prevent it, curtains are one of the best ways to keep your electric bills down. Use drapery to highlight a window all on it’s own, or combine forces with a horizontal blind for full room darkening, layered look! To see how to hang curtains pleat-by-pleat, watch this video from Better Homes & Gardens.

#GoCordless

Clean looking cordless gives window treatments a more modern, streamlined appearance, and make it easier to raise and lower them (no more tangled cords!). But more importantly, we always recommend going cordless to keep your little ones safe from strangulation hazards posed by dangling lift/tilt cords. And at SelectBlinds.com, you’ll find a cordless option for every product in every category listed above.

Start Shopping!

Now that you’re well equipped to handle your own window design, it’s time to start shopping! SelectBlinds.com has a solution for any window or door in your home, even skylights, french doors and arches! Check out our Buyer Guides and watch our YouTube channel for quick tips and and answers! Your SelectBlinds.com Customer Loyalty Team is always here to help, too:

Phone: 888-257-1840

Email: customercare@selectblinds.com

or Chat online at SelectBlinds.com

Social Media Marketing Start-Up Tips: Increasing Engagement on Instagram

Social Media Marketing with Instagram

In 2018, more companies than ever are using the social platform Instagram (IG) to spice up their marketing. The ease of access, quick points of contact and visual inspiration it offers have become key marketing enhancers that influence sales, leads, advertising and customer connection.

Starting an IG social media strategy from scratch can be overwhelming.  There are virtually caves full of ‘how-to’ articles on building a following, the pros/cons of original vs. shared content, and measuring the effectiveness of IG and other social platforms that would keep you digitally spelunking for days. Since we’re relatively recent deep divers ourselves into using IG to engage with our brand’s audience, we thought it might be helpful to share some of the “lessons learned” from our own experience in increasing that engagement.

Here’s Our Study, Buddy

We did a little research on tools and techniques like timing, following, sharing and hashtags to see which of those impacts our posts the most as far as greater reach and engagement. Here are a few questions we asked ourselves:

1. Will posting at a certain time get us more likes? 
2. Do the number of posts containing a certain hashtag make for better reach? (FYI, in doing due diligence on this, we also found out there’s a really fancy-schmancy name for the use of the former “pound sign” in social content. It’s called an octothorpe. Feel free to impress your friends.)
3. Does sharing someone’s photo (commonly referred to as UGC — “user generated content”)* or tagging someone with a larger following increase our social engagement?

Okay, let’s dig a little deeper here. This screenshot should help:

Comparison of Social Reach Based on Times, Followings and Hashtags

Timing Is Everything

As far as when you should post, we like to think of our own daily routines, so ask yourself, “When am I most likely to be tapping on the rounded, pink Instagram bauble?” If you’re a diligent worker, it’s not between 8-5, other than a few swipes while on your lunch break. If you’re a responsible driver, it’s definitely not on the ride home (Snapchat lovers, I’m talking to you!).

In the chart above, we compared the “time posted” stats from seven of our posts (some  posted around noon MST and others around 4 p.m.). You can see that the majority of our posts at 4 p.m. did much better than those posted around noon. Then we compared our own schedule with our audience to find out when they start to relax and mindlessly flick through their social feeds.

It’s About Time — Zones!

We’ve gathered that our viewers are most active after dinner, between the hours of 7-9 p.m. Picture it: You’re sitting on the couch, phone in hand, letting reruns of The Office play in the background, or laying in bed, waiting for the veil of slumber to creep over you. Half awake, half bored, waiting to be entertained. One could say we’re more apt to tap right before we sleep. In other words, the perfect captive audience.

As the sun drips down over the horizon, the linear pattern o’ darkness and relaxation follows suit. For a company based in Arizona with a primarily North American customer base, that means we want to schedule our posts between 4 and 5 p.m. MST  to cover the 2-3 hour difference in prime-scrolling-time zones across the country.

Hashtag! You’re It!

Now, let’s move on to hashtags. Why use hashtags? And does quantity matter?

This study from SproutSocial shows increased engagement from Facebook and Twitter when using 1-2 hashtags, but Instagram is a free-for-all. With IG’s threshold at 30 hashtags, we don’t recommend spamming the living heck out of your posts, but a good #standard is between 10-15 per post. Most of the posts on our chart above had an average of 10-12 hashtags.

We also calculated the number of posts, including each of our selected hashtags …

Hashtag results for Window Treatments

… and actually discovered that the post with the least amount of hashtag exposure did the best! Not to mention that the page that we shared UGC from had the smallest following of all the shared posts we gauged. Just because the person who originally tagged you in their content doesn’t have a large following, doesn’t mean that you won’t get a great response from your own, and other folks who follow the hashtags you chose for that post.

Vice versa for sharing content from someone with 100k followers. You may be exposed to people who follow both accounts, but it doesn’t gain you a spot on their feed or any additional exposure for tagging their handle in your shared post. However, including that handle is a must. Most people love when you share their pics, as long as you give them credit within the shout out.  More often than not, you’ll see a notification for a “Thank You!” comment from the source for sharing. This not only provides validity and consent, but also gives your following proof that your brand is engaging and trustworthy.

Give ‘ Em What They Want (Plus a Little Somethin’, Somethin’)

The last key factor we found for increasing our IG engagement is content. We found out what our following wants to see, and we show it to them often. For instance, our company sells custom blinds and shades. We have plenty of different styles such as  Roman Shades, Wood Blinds, Roller Shades, Shutters and Drapes. Current trends in our niche of influence — home decor/interior design — favor farmhouse style and rustic decor. Our Bamboo/Woven Wood Shades complement this style, so we get a lot of outreach from bloggers and a 300-400% increase in likes from followers when we show that style of window covering. The screenshot below from the IG tracking app, Followers Chief, shows our Top 3 Most Liked and Top 3 Most Commented Photos. Four out of six feature Bamboo Shades.

SelectBlinds social following stats from Followers Chief App

We’ve found that all of these things work together to create interactive and higher-yielding IG posts, but another big tip we have is to offer variety in your feed. In addition to showing your audience what they want to see, don’t hesitate to introduce them to droplets of what they’re not sure of. Increasing exposure of your less popular products/services is just as important as “feeding” your viewers what you know they love. Switch it up! Instagram is your farm; don’t just grow one crop!

Stay Thirsty, My Friends!

Keep in mind different niches or products may yield different results, so IG or any singular social platform may not be the be-all-and-end-all for a successful social media strategy.  Equip yourself with a full arsenal of unique tactics for social media marketing. Get ideas from publications like Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner and TechCrunch. Stay vigilant with collecting your own data, experimenting and self-review; you’ll eventually find that ever-so-sweet spot and continue to grow!

*User Generated Content, alternatively known as colominary-created content (CCC), is any form of content created by users of a system or service and made available publicly on that system. (Source: Wikipedia)