How to Get The Most Out Of Instagram

 
Amy Caiger Brand, Content, Website Design

Amy

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There is so much you can do on Instagram that is can become overwhelming and rather time sucking! Before you know it you have spent 1 hr scrolling through your feed or Stories. And you haven't even got round to what you went on there to do!

Here are the ways you can get the most out of Instagram, keeping you more focused and get more engagement.

Your Profile

1) Your profile image should be a picture of you - not your logo
People relate to people, so a picture of you will help connect with your audience a lot quicker.  As a small business your logo doesn’t mean anything to anyone you are not Nike!

2) Explain what you do and how you help in Your Bio
Make sure you have a punchy short, sharp way of saying what you do and what you help with. Remember to include the outcomes and answering those pain points. You can change this around it does not have to be a static description. It is good to keep this current and relevant, so if you are doing a talk, for example, you can also mention this here.

3) Add a call to action to your bio and use the link
Don't only send people to your homepage. Use this opportunity to promote your lead magnet, join your facebook group or buy tickets to an event. Change this link depending on what you are doing or promoting. A profile isn’t a once it's done leave it the same forever.

4) Use Linktr.ee for your profile URL link
Using Linktr.ee means that you can include more than one link. This is great if you want to promote an individual blog post, event, lead magnets or products/ services. You can also track how many people have clicked on the link too. Make sure each link title is clear and gives a call to action. Put your most important link at the top.

5) Have a business account
A business account means you will access to more features. These include analytics, connecting your Facebook and adding your business type. Don't stop getting a business account because you think this will affect your reach. Instagram is clever enough to realise if you're a business on a personal account.

6) Use your name/headline to explain more about what you do
This is a searchable field so take advantage of this. If your username is your actual name (or name of your business) then you don’t need to repeat this again in your headline. That is a waste of some searchable space! Instead use your headline to explain what you do e.g marketing strategist. If your username is your business name then use this place to mention your own name. This makes your profile more personal, and people are able to search your name. You can also change this as much as you want and it won’t affect your account, but don’t change your username.

7) Make sure you have your contact buttons correct
Add your email, phone number or address. This makes it easy for people to contact you or visit you if you have a bricks and mortar store.

Your Posts

1) Don’t make your feed too busy
Make sure you include some negative space. This means some white space or plan coloured space. This gives your images more room to breath and your feed won’t look so messy.

2) Editing your images
If you want to edit your images to make them look a bit more professional, to make sure they are brighter. Then I recommend using your editing app on your phone (rather than the one in Instagram. If you are after a lovely filter than I recommend A Colour Story

3) Make sure your photos are not wonky
When taking photos make sure horizon is flat. Use a grid rule (rule of thirds) to compose your photos. You can add the grid via the setting on your phone when taking photos. Use the grid when taking your photos. Or you can straighten out your horizon line on the editing software on your phone.

4) Getting the right photo format
Try not to use landscape photos as they come up small in the feed. Try to use portrait photos as they come up biggest, they take up almost a whole screen! But make sure they crop well in the square. Or you cause square images.

5) Don’t sell sell sell (but still remember to sell!)
Remember the 80:20 rule - around 8 out of every 10 posts should be giving great value. Around 2 are sales posts and these are when you can mention your services or products.

6) Behind the scenes
Instagram allows you to be a bit more personable. It is nice to give a bit more behind the scenes and info about your life. Mention as much as you feel is relevant and appropriate for your business and your audience. Think about what would they find interesting and resonate with. Allow yourself to be not so corporate.

7) Add location to your posts
Adding a location to your photos means it is searchable. This is particularly useful if you are in a smaller more local area. This is also great if you are attending an event or something that people will be searching for.

8) Hashtags - part 1
Try to use as many of the allocated 30 hashtags as you can. Try to have a mix of large, medium and small hashtags so you cover a mix of big fish small pond and small fish big pond. If you want to limit the amount of bots you receive? You know the ones, the follow/ unfollows or the strange comments on your post. Then use hashtags under 1 million.

9) Hashtags - part 2
Research what hashtags that your competitors are using. Take a look at what your ideal clients are using and other business that attract your ideal client.

If you are a local business try local hashtags.  

Make a list of these hashtags so you can use them for your posts. You can then copy and past the ones you want to use when you create your posts. This is will save you loads of time when you are writing a post. This will also help with the blocks when trying to think of hashtags to use.

10) Your caption is as important as the image
Think about what you say will interest your audience - it isn't only about having a beautiful image.  
Ask questions - ask for opinions - try to get your audience involved

11) Don’t stress about your numbers
It's far better to have fewer followers who engage with you, than loads of followers who don't. They will never buy from you. Remember that!

12) Use Stories
Many people now only look through their Stories.  So if you are only posting to your feed, your posts aren't seen these people. Try to do Stories everyday. You can also add more than one post to your Stories. If you have not posted on Stories much before, don’t start off with too many, have a max of 8 per day.

13) What to add to stories
Use a hashtag and location, both are searchable and will allow more people to see your Story. If you are mentioning someone in your Story tag them in it (@username).  This will 1) make sure they see it and 2) they can then promote your post to their audience. Using Stories allows you to give a more behind the scenes, less curated view of you and your business. You can include what you are up to, out and about, day in the office, a quick tip, client feedback etc.
If you are adding videos, they have a 15 second limit, so if you have a video you want to cut down - I recommend StorySplit.

14) Add to Highlights
If you want to keep your Stories for more than 24 hrs then add them to highlights. (those little circles under your feed).
You can create folders that categorise your Stories so it is easy to see the topic. You can then upload a cover image to the highlight folder. You can do this by clicking on the highlight and adding an image to it. You used to have to add it to stories first, but you no longer have to do this.

15) Lives
Lives are a great way of getting longer content out to your followers. Plus it means you don't have to worry about editing down your videos to fit the 15 sec time slots! Instagram also like you using Lives, so it a way to boost your content.

16) Try IGTV
This is still new, but use this to your advantage. If you are consistent you could get a name for yourself. Make sure you promote your video in your feed and also in your stories. Plus you get extra promotion direct to your followers profiles when you release a new video.

Extra Engagement

This part is so important! This is the bit where you grow your audience and how followers turn into clients.

1) Be consistent
Keep doing what you are doing even if you think you are getting nowhere. You are! Being consistent is the key to making our strategy work.

2) Insights and Analytics
Look at your insights to see how people are coming to you - you can see this via the individual post.

3) Engage with others
Make sure you are spending time each day connecting with others. Either by following, commenting or liking. If you follow someone, also like three photos and comment on two. Commenting is the key to start engagement and attract attention. Don't only like and follow as you will get lost in their notifications. Put time in your diary to do this two or three times a day. In the morning, lunchtime and in the afternoon. Also make sure you reply back to any comments on you own feed.

4) Make a list and check it twice (a day!)
Make a list of other accounts that would be beneficial for you to engage with. Do they have the same audience as you? For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you may want to connect with wedding cake makers. Or you think they would be an ideal customer by other accounts they follow or subject matter is their own feed?

If you make a list of who you are connecting with you can continue connecting with them rather than the once. This will help build the relationship and engagement.

So there you go. A massive checklist so you can get the most out of Instagram. Start implementing straight away to improve your engagement.

If you have any questions about your Instagram then comment below. Or you can message me in the chat box (bottom right corner).

 

About Me

I'm a Brand and Marketing Strategist with over 12 years experience. My mission is to help biz owners connect with their ideal customers through the power of brand, content and website design. 

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