So you have a business, and you made an Instagram account… Now the questions left standing are…. What do I post and how do I gain followers who are interested?
In this post, i’ll be touching on the subjects that are most important when using Instagram to your business’ benefit to get the best possible results!
It’s important to set goals at the beginning of each month, or whenever you do your primary goal setting. For example, this month, I have a list of goals I want to achieve by the end of the month and will implement my own personal strategy to reach them. It’s important to give yourself reasonable and attainable goals (especially for short term). If your goal is to reach 5,000 followers by the end of the year, your short term goal should be to gain X amount of followers per week or month, to aid in the long term goal of 5,000.
Scheduling your content
Scheduling your content will make your life so. much. easier. I can’t stress the importance of this enough! There are many apps and websites to help you in this area such as Hootsuite, Social Pilot, Later, Planoly etc. I plan out content for my clients and myself every Sunday so everything is organized and ready for the week!
You know what they say, consistency is key! You want to stay consistent with your posting schedules, and scheduling your content will keep you on top of your consistency game. This will not only help your audience get to know you, but it will also help keep your engagement healthy, so your content will rank higher in Instagram’s algorithm. I aim for at least 3 posts per week!
Use Stories to your advantage
When you’re not posting on the feed, give your audience an insight of your day by popping into your IG story and talk about what you’re up to, share a story, make a poll, ask questions etc. Anything that is going to engage your audience is sufficient to building a long lasting bond with potential customers/clients. I try to have at least one story per day of me actually speaking (2-5 frames).
This allows your audience to see a human behind the brand, and lets them see your true personality. I like to spread out my stories throughout the day, so that my icon is always near the front. I also like to add the built in features of the stories on Instagram such as; polls, question stickers, quizzes etc. This lets your audience engage and interact with your brand.
Using hashtags is super important! If you want to be discovered by potential followers, customers/clients etc., hashtags will be your best friend.
If you’re unfamiliar with hashtags, or when you think hashtags you think of the old Instagram where girls would use “#girl #me #like” on their selfies, don’t worry, that’s not what I mean. One worded hashtags are very generic and will swallow your post in a sea of “#girl”.
Make sure you are using the right hashtags. I try to steer clear of hashtags that are too saturated, or not used enough (Hashtags that have over 200K, or under 2K). If you research your niche, and find out the best hashtags to use, you will find the right people being directed to your account. Hashtags can be tricky, but once you get a feel on how they work, you will be very happy with the results. Stay tuned for a course i’ll be coming out with on how to use hashtags to your advantage!
Interact and engage
Engage on your timeline/people in your niche specific hashtags and watch your engagement grow! One thing that is crucial, is to be intentional when you are engaging. Interact with people who’s content you are actually interested in, read their captions and answer questions etc. I’m sure you can agree that it’s super annoying when a random account comments “Lit” with nothing further…. ( I actually have a random account who comments this on almost all of my photo’s that I delete every single time), don’t be that person!
I like to spend at least 15-30 minutes every day engaging on my timeline and in niche appropriate hashtags. This is especially crucial right after you make a post. I always do the 15-30 minute thing right after I put up a photo, because when i’m engaging, there’s a high chance that people will click over to my profile and return the favour, which in turn will help my ranking in the algorithm! I find so many amazing accounts and have actually made some insta-friends by doing so! Overall, intentionally engaging will bring you quality followers and potential customers.
I can’t stress this enough. You are human, and people want to see humans. If you have amazing photo-taking skills and a super pretty pre-set filter that you use on all your photo’s, that’s fine! I like to stick to a certain theme on my Instagram too. But one thing I have learned is that by being myself (especially in my stories) is what gets your followers to actually get to know you, and people are more likely to care about what you are posting/promoting if they actually feel like they know you. Example: I follow a girl from my city on Instagram, and she always has videos on her story chatting about her day, things that she’s doing, things she’s excited about etc., and upon meeting her in person, I actually felt like I already knew her, even though it was the first time i’ve actually met her in person. Funny how social media works, huh?
Let’s break it down
Plan out your content
Use stories to your advantage
Interact and engage