Instagram is at the top of my favorite social media networks as a user and a marketer. 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business and 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services. Let’s get you in front of those people.
Here are 8 steps to help build your network on Instagram with the people you want to reach – the people you can help.
- If you haven’t done so already, make sure you set up a business account instead of a personal account. Business accounts give you access to more including analytics, ads, and a call-to-action button on your profile. With a business account, you will have:
- Your name: 30 characters
- Your username/your handle: Up to 30 characters – make it easy to remember
- Bio: your description
- Your website: this is clickable to your website, so decide where you want people to go (your blog, your homepage, etc.)
- Category of your business
- Contact info so people can find you
- Call-to-action button
- Take time to create your profile. Think about what your ideal customer would be searching for on Instagram when they’re looking for someone like you. Be sure to write that in your description. The shorter, the better!
- Images matter. Look at your favorite accounts and take note of what catches your eye. Don’t just throw any picture on there. From my experience, stock images don’t get much traction.
- Hello hashtags! You want people to find you? Use #hashtags. You can also choose to follow hashtags on Instagram. For example, at ARISE® some of the hashtags we follow are #recoveryispossible, #interventionist, #mindfulness. Then when we’re on our feed we can connect with others who have similar interests.
- Choose hashtags wisely, don’t go overboard. When you’re choosing hashtags, check out what hashtags other people in your field use. You can also see how many people are using that hashtag when you type it in. I recommend not going for the hashtags that are being used millions of times, it will get lost. You also don’t want to use hashtags that only have a few hundred posts – no one’s searching for those. You need to find a happy medium and try a variety. Don’t feel like you have to stick with the same hashtags all the time. Just make sure they have to do with what you’re posting.
- Be social. Spend a little time each day commenting on other people’s posts. Both on people who already follow you and people with who you’re not connected with yet. If you can only offer 5 minutes/day, do that, you’ll notice a difference. Offer support and encouragement. Build your network. Just because you post, you can’t expect instant likes and comments. They’re called “social networks” for a reason. You need to be social.
- While you’re being social, be genuine. Write comments that are meaningful and from your point of view. Don’t just write, “great post”.
4 tips to get more likes, comments, shares, and saves!
The more people interact with a post (by liking, sharing, and saving), the more it shows up in other people’s feeds.
- The first line of your caption is prime real estate. Don’t waste it. Make it count. Think of it as a headline. And when you’re thinking of what to write, remember to talk to whomever you’re trying to reach. What are their pain points?
- Remember to include your personal stories to hit your points. People are looking for authenticity. Don’t give them jargon. People have learned to suss out what’s b.s. and what feels genuine.
- “Saves” are where it’s at. The more people that save your post (hit that little bookmark icon) the more Instagram will push your post to the top of your follower’s feeds. So really consider what you’re posting. What are you offering in your posts? Are they “save-worthy”?
- After all this, don’t get in your head about it all. Just keep posting. If people are following you, they’re interested in what you have to say. So, be yourself. We want to hear from you!
As you do more social media marketing, you’ll find your niche and which channels work best for you. Pay attention to where you’re getting the most interaction. Maybe you’re a LinkedIn aficionado or you love writing in 280-character tweets. You don’t have to do it all and you don’t have to be perfect. You’ll learn as you go. Isn’t that what everything in life is about anyhow?