Instagram can be a great platform for your brand if you learn how to make the most of it.
But let me start with a word or warning. If you expect to go to Instagram and have big successes quickly, you’ll be disappointed.
Like any platform, Instagram takes time, effort, consistency and strategy.
The tips below will certainly help you show up better with your business in that space.
Let’s dive in.
- Your Bio
Make sure you have a well constructed bio. You have limited space to sell yourself to people who come to check you out. Your bio should quickly and clearly tell people who you are, what you do, and most importantly the solutions you provide. People want to know how you can help them. Using your bio to talk about how you love walks in nature is a waste of your bio space. Your bio should be like your short, punchy elevator pitch, and when anyone reads your bio they should immediately know what you do, and how you can help them.
- Your Bio Link
You have the opportunity to put one link in your Insta bio, although there are ways around this. If you’re going to put one link in your bio – most business owners put the link to their website or marketplace platform – because of course what the business owner wants is sales. I get that. But a more important link in your bio is a link you use to push people from Instagram and on to your mailing list. This should not be ignored. A work-around so that you can send people to more than one place when they click the link in your bio is to use either linktr.ee or beacons.io – these free platforms allow you to create menus with a link you can set inside your Insta bio. When someone clicks that link it opens a menu with options.
- Your Content
Instagram, like any social platform can quickly turn into a hamster wheel you end up running around, just to try and keep up. Good use of Instagram means having a consistent posting strategy, but you also need to make sure that the content you’re posting is well aligned to the audience you’re looking to attract. If you keep an eye on your insights, over time you’ll start to see the type of posts your audience interact with the most, but it’s also a great idea to get to know your audience as much as you can, and to understand the issues they need help with, what their likes are, what they’re searching for solutions to, so that you can make sure that rather than posting any old content, you’re doing your best to make it of value to the people you want to serve.
Instagram gives you lots of opportunity to create different types of content – and you should make the most of all the tools available on the platform to keep your account interesting. Stories, stickers, polls, questions, surveys, music, captions, reels, carousels, video and static posts, lives.. It’s very easy to drop in to your comfort zone and only post the type of content that’s familiar and unscary. But variety adds flavour to your Instagram account, and it’s important to keep things interesting on the platform where you’re trying to show up and stand out.
The good news is that at the time of writing this post hashtags can still help people find your content, although Instagram is moving more and more towards the use of keywords for SEO over hashtags. But whilst # are still there – you should use them. 5-8 good hashtags may help new people find your content. Research good hashtags that align to the content you post and the people you serve. Try to use hashtags with values ranging from 5000-100,000 posts. Any higher than that, chances are your content will be lost on that hashtag page. Don’t bother using hashtags in stories – they’re no longer valid there.
- Good Quality Images And Videos
It’s perhaps not the most important part of your strategy, but I still believe if you want to show up professionally and be taken seriously, your content has to have some quality to it, some branding that makes you memorable. This is not difficult to achieve. Think of your Instagram content as your shop window, and consider what your potential customers/clients would think if they stopped to check your window (Instagram content), out. Would it showcase you well? Or would it make you look like a half-effort kind of business. Worth considering…
I know lots of female business owners who have never taken the step to collaborate with anyone. They’re too frightened to ask the question in case the other person says no. They think that if they collaborate the other person will steal all their followers/customers/clients. Not so. Collaborations can be one of the quickest ways to grow on Instagram, and doing collabs should be part of your strategy. Reach out to accounts you’ve followed and engaged with who are well aligned to your niche. Ask if they would like to collaborate. Make the collaboration a win win so that you both benefit by being seen by each others audiences. If done right and and done well, this can be one of the fastest ways to grow your account on the platform.
- Never Ignore
Finally, if anyone engages with you – don’t ignore them (unless they’re trolls). If someone drops a comment on one of your posts – don’t just like the comment, it’s rude. Be a good business owner and drop a comment back. I know Instagram accounts with 100s of thousands of followers and the account owners respond to all the comments dropped – with comments. People want that connection, especially when they’ve taken the time to comment on your posts. Ignoring those comments can quickly lead to the person feeling they’re not important enough to you, and that can cause them to move on and away from you, never to be seen again.