I love Instagram! At first, it might seem just like a platform where you post eye-catching images and where celebrities share their pictures and engage with their fans. However…
Instagram is much more than that. If you own a business you can build a solid presence on this specific platform to help to connect and engage with your target audience. It is a very useful channel to ultimately drive traffic to your website so that your audience can find out more about what you do and eventually become customers.
Bear in mind that growing your audience and followers organically is a process that takes time and commitment. It does not happen overnight but if you are constantly putting efforts into it, you will be able to see results.
Here I will highlight 10 easy to follow steps to help you create an effective Instagram strategy.
1. Change from a personal account to a business account.
This is simple. From the settings in your profile choose “business account” and it is done. A business account will allow you to use “Insights” for each one of your posts and you will be able to see how each one of them is performing.
With a business account, you will also be able to boost posts and create ads. Keep in mind that to create ads you will also need to have a Facebook personal account.
2. Choose a theme for your feed.
Having a specific theme will increase your chances of people following you. Remember Instagram is all about visual and eye-catching pictures. Have you ever come across an Instagram feed and thought: “Wow! That just works!”. Exactly, that is what I mean.
3. Optimise your profile.
You want to make sure that your profile is clear and easily recognisable. Follow these simple steps:
Make sure your image is in line with your brand. Make your logo your profile picture.
- Add a specific location for your business.
- Use your bio to clearly state what you do. Use emoji. Write your bio on notes first and then copy and paste onto Instagram.
- Add a link to your website or to a specific website page you want your visitors to go to. For example, if you want to drive traffic to your latest blog post or a special offer you are running at the moment, add that specific link.
- Create brand-specific hashtags so that people can find you through that.
- Brand your images. Add your logo to your images and if you do not have a logo make sure to always add your website to your images.
4. Use a hashtag strategy.
Instagram is all about hashtags. The more, the better. Use between 15-30 hashtags with 30 being the maximum allowed. You can use either popular or less popular hashtags.
When you start writing the hashtag, Instagram will automatically suggest hashtags starting with the most popular ones. Choose the hashtags on the base of the picture you are posting, the topic you are talking about and the audience you want to reach.
Remember to create branded hashtags and use them in all of your posts.
5. Be aware of posting frequency.
If you want your followers to grow you have to be active on Instagram constantly. Post several times a day.
Post 1-4 posts a day with 1 being the minimum. You can start with 1 post a day and increase it to see what results you are getting. Experiment until you find what suits you best.
6. Engage with the community.
A great way to get followers is to engage with the community. Like other people’s photos and comment. Don’t limit your comment to just an emoji, as this can be a little annoying. Read the caption, are they asking a question? If so reply with an answer. Is it a picture of a place you have been to? Comment your experience. People like that and they are more likely to follow you.
7. Grow your followers.
As you keep engaging with the community and constantly posting, your followers will grow organically. There are a few things to keep in mind to help you grow your followers at a steady pace:
- Post quality images. That is what Instagram is all about, remember? People want to see great catchy pictures.
- Include a relevant caption and/or ask a question to get engagement.
- Be consistent with your images. Know whom you are posting for.
- When people comment on your photos, engage with them. Like their comment and reply back. If they paid you a compliment about your feed or a specific post, thank them. They will like you for that!
- Promote your Instagram on other social platforms or to your subscribers when you send out a newsletter for example.
8. Use a post scheduler.
Not everybody has the time to physically post on Instagram 1-4 times a day. We all know it can be very time-consuming. Let’s face it, you will never get up at 3 am to post!
There are great tools you can use to schedule your posts even on Instagram. My favourite is Later.
9. Post a variety of engaging photos and videos.
There are many ideas you can take from:
- Behind the scene.
- Happy customers.
- A typical day in the store.
- New products.
These are just a few ideas. Try things out and see what works better for you.
10. Follow people!
It is good practice to follow people back and find people to follow that you are personally interested in.
You can find people you already know or people you would like to follow by using Instagram’s Search and Explore feature.
Search for a specific person using @ and their username or you can also search by hashtags to see a range of pictures for that specific topic. For example #scubaholidays, #scubadiverlife, and so on.
I hope you found this article helpful! Start implementing these tips today and reach out if you have any questions.
If you are seriously considering outsourcing your social media management, I am currently taking on new clients. Reach out through the contact form or apply for a strategy session. We will discuss your goals and determine if I would be a good fit.