As a social media manager one of the top things that I am asked on an almost daily basis is how to win at Instagram. Instagram for your personal use is very different from business use. When it comes to using social media for business people feel overwhelmed and confused. What are hashtags? How do I use them? Where do I find the right hashtags? What are Instagram stories? Why am I not gaining any followers? How often should I post? The list goes on!
Today I am going to share with you a few simple, yet effective ways to win at Instagam.
1. Complete your Instagram bio. This is crucial because it is your one chance at a good first impression. Our attention span is incredibly short, only a few seconds long, so if you don't grab your audience here odds are that they will move on and not follow you.
Make sure all the fields are completed, especially the bio and your link. The bio is important because this is your chance to tell potential followers what you do (why they should follow you). A big proponent of using Instagram for your business is engagement which includes following other accounts (I'll get into this more) but if I land on your account and don't know what the heck you do or sell I am moving on. Be clear on what it is you do/sell. While I love to know about your kids or wine drinking habits that is not why I would follow a business account. You can trickle these things into your feed but your bio should be clear and concise about your business/brand.
FILL IN THE WEBSITE SPACE!!! This is (in my opinion) the most valuable piece of real-estate available to you on Instagram. It is the ONLY place you can include a clickable link in your account, This is so important because this is where you will funnel your followers to your website, Facebook page/group, your sales lead page, your Etsy shop, etc. If I am shopping on Instagram or checking out someone's services and there is no link in their bio I move on, most people will not search any further for that information.
2. Hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize content and this is how your posts/account/information is found on Insta - this is why hashtags are soooooo important on Instagram. My research has shown that not using hashtags in a post is detrimental to growing your following. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags PER post. It makes me sad when I see accounts using only 1 or 2 hashtags because they are not taking advantage of Instagram's' hashtags search/find capabilities for your business!!
Now do not just throw in 30 random hashtags, spend some time and research the hashtags that are relevant to your audience. A few key things to note about hashtags:
3. What to post??? This is probably the are m clients (and everyone else!) struggle with the most! This is also one of the most difficult to answer because it is so dependant on your target audience. Everyone's is different! Besides promotional posts you should be posting content that is relevant to your target audience. It is really important to know your ideal client for this reason!! If you are posting content that doesn't connect with or serve your ideal client then you will have trouble gaining engaged & loyal followers which translates into potential sales. SO whether you are posting an inspirational quote, a question, a meme or a picture make sure it is relevant. Always ask yourself, "how does this post serve my audience".
4. A Call To Action. This is where your get to tell your followers what to do! Research shows that if you tell your audience what you want them to do that they are more likely to do so. A call to action does not need to be an aggressive sales pitch or even a sales pitch at all but it does help to spark engagement with your followers. Remember how I mentioned that valuable piece of real-estate in your bio, the only clickable link available to you in IG? Direct your followers to click the link in bio for more information. Another example of a call to action would be to encourage your followers to comment or like your post. This is a great way to engage your followers and start a conversation.
5. Engagement. Engagement is probably the number one key to rocking Instagram! It does not matter if you are doing absolutely everything right on Instagram if you are not engaging your followers and other accounts you will not grow on Instagram.
Always reply/respond to comments on your posts - do not ignore engagement. The more engagement on a post the better so thank and respond to commenters! Make sure that you are using more than 3 words and NOT just a handful of emoji's. This often look like a robot commenting not only to humans but also to the Instagram algorithm.
Engage with posts that are using the hashtags you use. If they are using audience centric hashtags then the accounts using those tags will include your target audience. I suggest trying to like/comment on about 40-50 posts per day.
A good way to find your target audience is to see what hashtags your competitors are using and WHO is following your competition. Simply click on the accounts that are following them then go through and comment/like on posts that make sense for your audience.
Now get out there and implement these tips. Share your success or questions in the comments below!
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Enjoy the day!
My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.