It definitely feels like Instagram is the 'cool kid on the block' when it comes to social media right now, doesn't it?
If you're not already using it for your business, you're probably feeling like you're missing out on the action and that you should be making more of an effort when it comes to learning all things IG. Or, if you're just starting out on Instagram and feel like your account is a little lack lustre then the following tips are going to help you to step it up a level. In fact they're probably going to help you step it up several levels! You see, Instagram isn't actually that complicated BUT there's an awful lot of myth and misinformation floating around out there, so here's the truth about what's working (and what's NOT working) right now when it comes to growing your audience (and business) with IG.
Oh, and if Instagram is part of your strategy to start earning consistent money from your biz and replace your 9-5 income, don't miss the chance to sign up for my tutorial on editing your videos for IGTV with a free app called InShot
1) Improve Your Bio
First thing's first, please take a look at your bio. If you're not rocking your bio, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to attract more people. This is your elevator pitch - your chance to grab someone's attention in just 150 characters, so you gotta make it stand out! Here are a few key things to include:
A great way to get inspiration for your own bio is to take a look at the bios of the people you admire and follow on Instagram. What have they done that you liked? Of course, don't copy - but take inspiration and add your own touches too.
Here are a few more tips to help your bio stand out from the crowd:
2) Switch to a Business Account
There is an ongoing debate about whether it's best to keep your Instagram account personal or switch to a business account. My 2 cents? You should switch.
Not long ago, I was actually saying the opposite because I felt that Instagram were likely to start reducing the reach of business instagram posts in order to encourage paid advertising and following Facebook's lead in prioritising family and friends' content.
HOWEVER, there are just too many advantages of using a business account to ignore and now it just seems like a no brainer... Here's why:
Not sure how to switch? Here's a great article that walks you through step by step.
3) Don't Ignore Stories & IGTV
One of the fun things about Instagram is that they're always adding fun new features and Instagram Stories and IGTV should not be ignored if you want to maximise your impact on this channel.
According to Adespresso, there are 400 million users watching IG Stories every day. That's a lot of eyes to be missing out on if you're not posting your own stories yet.
As for IGTV, it's still in its infancy but many (including me) believe that it offers a huge opportunity as a potential rival for giants like YouTube. If that's true, then now is the time to get started - and get ahead. For more on getting started with IGTV, check out my Beginners' Guide.
4) Engage More than You Post
Ok, this is a big one. If you want more engagement on Instagram - you gotta engage too!
And just in case there's any doubt, I don't mean by using bots to go like a bunch of posts and leave random comments like 'this is awesome' or 'great pic'... please don't be that person.
Spend some time EVERY DAY engaging with other people's posts in a meaningful way. Actually take a moment to check out their bio and feed so that you get a feel for who they are. That will help you to make your comments so much more personal and memorable.... and you know, engaging...
Not sure whose posts you should be engaging with? Here are 3 simple strategies to find the perfect ones...
5) Create Your Own Instagram Links Page
As we discussed in point 1, you get to include a clickable link in your Instagram bio - so the question is, how best to use that link?
There are a number of different strategies on offer and I'll share them here - along with my preference (if you hadn't already guessed it from the title of this point!)
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, so why not use all of them? Each hashtag is an opportunity to reach a different audience so you may as well use as many as you can, right?
If you're not sure where to start when it comes to choosing (or using) hashtags for Instagram, then here are a few top tips to help you:
The key with hashtags is to be a scientist! Experiment, see what works and then experiment some more...
7) Create Content with Purpose
Do you ever find yourself realising that you haven't posted for a while, but being completely stuck for inspiration on what to post, you just find some random quote or cute cat pic and slap that on your wall?
Don't worry, I've done it too. I'm pretty sure most of us have.
The thing is, that's not going to get results. If you want an engaged audience of followers who love your content, then you need to spend some time actually planning it. Think about the topics you want to share and how you can give your ideal clients real value.
To keep you on the right track, try answering the following questions each time you create a new post:
8) Measure What Works
It's easy to become obsessed with your Instagram follower count. After all, that's what everyone seems to focus on. How to get to the first 1k and then the magical 10k when you can start using the swanky 'swipe up' feature in your stories....
But, there are FAR more important things to measure than just your number of followers and if you want to know which strategies are working for you and which aren't, then you need to measure their performance.
Want to know what days and times are best to post? Test it and measure what happens.
Not sure if pictures of people work better than flat lay images?.... you get the picture..
9) Be Consistent
This might be the most important tip of all when it comes to Instagram success. Whatever you try - be consistent. Don't expect to be able to engage for a few days and then continue to see growth if you stop.
Don't expect the engagement you create to remain if you disappear for days or weeks on end.
You don't need to post every day so create a schedule that's do-able and that allows you to be purposeful, present and consistent with all the content you post whether it be on your feed, your stories or IGTV.
Before you go..
Instagram can be a SUPER powerful tool when it comes to growing your biz. It's one of the few places where you can both grow your audience, build a relationship with them and even sell to them all in once place.
Even better, IGTV is still new enough for you to really make your mark...
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