How to Get (Insta)nt Success
Contrary to popular belief, Instagram isn’t just about brunch photos and doing cartwheels on a beach.…
I’ve got five top tips on how to make Instagram work from a commercial point of view. Because it can work, whether you are on it as an individual representing a business or as a business itself.
Instagram is a massively powerful platform, whether you’re a fan of it or not. With 24.5 million users on Instagram in the UK alone, your business could be significantly missing out.
Don’t be fooled…
There is also a perception that Instagram is mainly for the young, which isn’t true. A third of people who use Instagram are between the ages of 25 to 34 but, to be honest, that could fit in with your customer avatar anyway, so happy days. However, 29% of Instagram users are between the ages of 35 and 54, so Instagram can reach pretty much anyone – no matter who your customer avatar is.
It’s also got the power of Facebook behind it. A lot of business owners don’t realise that Facebook own Instagram, so you’ve got the whole volume and depth of consumer data behind it. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all part of the same “happy” family. They are on one side, with Alphabet (Google and YouTube) on the other.
One – Complete your profile.
Use a professional looking headshot, where you look nice and smiley. Bonus tip, use the same headshot you use across all platforms, so you’re easily identifiable. People love consistency.
If it’s a business account you’re using, you may want to use your logo instead, as long as it fits OK into the small space. Codebreak uses a shot of Joel and I. Whether that’s for the best or not, who know…?!
Make sure your bio is filled out with the relevant hashtags too. Throw a couple of emojis out there, if you wish, so you can grab people’s attention from a visual point. Finally, use the opportunity to have a link to a page on your website.
Bonus tip – there is software out there, which can enable you to have multiple links within your Instagram profile. Drive people to a choice of webpages.
Two – Content is king.
Post five to seven times a week. You don’t need to spam people and post 20 times a day.
It is like Facebook, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.
Post real pictures wherever possible and don’t rely on stock imagery. Your competitors may be using similar imagery and you want to stand out. Be different! Plus, some stock photos look too good, if you know what I mean. You want quality, sure, but you don’t have to be Lord Snowdon. (Yes showing my age again.)
Instagram for SMEs has to be about being genuine, so actual photos you’ve taken yourself will better showcase the human(s) behind your business. Pictures of you or your team, selfies, pictures of your products, landscapes, clients, etc. will perform well.
Also remember that variety is the spice of life. Don’t be afraid to chuck in a famous quote you like, words you found funny or inspiring. Brand it up rather than nicking the image quote direct from someone else.
NB If something gets great engagement, don’t be tempted to overdo it. You still have to keep your content fresh. People have a short attention span.
Three – Don’t just take, take, take.
Seek out relevant people and organisations to follow, and engage with them.
You can’t just post stuff. It’s a two-way street. Social media done properly is about relationships.
Comment on people’s posts, engage with them, maybe give their posts and/or stories a heart, whatever. Show that you’re interested, basically.
It’s the same with any social media. Don’t strut around the edge of the dancefloor – go and dance with people.
Four – Shake what your business gave you.
Use Instagram stories daily.
This is where you can inject some real fun and personality and have a play, showcasing the people behind your business and what you’re into. This is the kind of content people find relatable, which ultimately builds trust.
There’s a lot you can do; you can ask questions, run polls and competitions, incorporate gifs…. You can get creative! Make sure you share your Instagram stories onto Facebook as well.
Here at Codebreak, we have a story running pretty much all the time. Maybe three or four pictures, or videos under 15 seconds.
It’s a massively easy, effective and fun way to engage with people and build a good following.
Five – Advertise.
This one’s a biggie, especially if you are selling products online.
As Ted Turner said, “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”
It is difficult to reach enough meaningful targeted people by organic posting alone. Let’s face it, Instagram and Facebook, they’re a business. They want to earn money like we all do.
So, if you can utilise Instagram Advertising, brilliant. We run most of our clients’ ads on Facebook, through Facebook Ads Manager. However, we’ll pretty much always get those ads, depending on the kind of ads they are, to also appear on Instagram.
So, for Insta(nt) success…
One – complete your Instagram profile.
Two – post a variety of content, five to seven times a week.
Three – seek out and engage with interesting people and organisations.
Four – play with Instagram stories.
Five – advertise.
That’s it for today. If you need help with how to make Instagram work for your business, book a free 20-minute call with myself or Joel. We’d be happy to help.
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