Stop improvising on Instagram: use these 10 tips

This should come as no surprise: Instagram is important for your social media marketing strategy.

With more individuals and businesses joining every day, there’s no longer an excuse to be without an Instagram profile.

Unless, that is, you’re operating in an industry that has little visuals.

…but even then, if you get creative, you can find a way to leverage the power of Instagram to connect with prospects and build relationships with current customers.

Instagram is helping businesses build their influence online, share product news and brand updates and drive traffic to websites. 

Here are 10 tips to use to improve your Instagram efforts and start driving engagement:

  1. Use the link in your bio: Instagram only gives you one place to insert a link, so use it wisely by sending people to a free offer or opt-in. By sending people to a specific page, rather than just your homepage, you create a more relevant user experience for them on your website and have the chance to build your list or make a sale. Use a tool like bit.ly to shorten the link so that it’s nice and easy to users to copy and paste.
  2. Engage often: Don’t just post photos on Instagram, engage with the community! Use the search and explore feature to find, and contribute to, trending topics and discussions relevant to your industry. Thank people for commenting on your photos and repay the favor by liking or commenting on their content. Geotags, hashtags and mentions are a great way to expand the reach of your post while opening up the opportunity to start a conversation online.
  3. Create a content calendar: Plan out your imagery ahead of time through a content calendar. This will help you ensure that you’re not posting too much of one topic – be it informational, inspirational or promotional. A content calendar will guide you on how often to post and what days of the week you should post.  For example, you don’t want to post 3 marketing graphics in a row. A strategy will help you stay on track to using Instagram to move the needle on your business goals.
  4. Consistency is key: While you want to establish a consistent look and feel for your feed, you don’t want to every single post to look the same. Create a color recipe that applies the same style to each photo you’ll post, and rotate the types of content you post throughout the week by following your content calendar.
  5. Follow the flow: Decide how you’re going to structure your Instagram posts and follow the same flow for each post. For example, I use emojis at the end of most of my sentences in the content of my Instagram photo, and I leave hashtags in a comment of my post. This structure can be seen through all of my photos. Decide now whether (and how) you’re going to use emojis and hashtags, and follow that same flow moving forward. This helps you save time and establish consistency so that your audience knows what to expect when they visit your feed.
  6. Include calls to action: Don’t be shy about asking your audience to take action. However, since you’re limited to only one URL, be sure to spell it out clearly. For example, if you want to promote a deal, tell people to click the link in your bio at the end of the post. Telling people exactly what you want them to do (leave a comment, click a link or tag a friend) is the best way to get them to take action.
  7. Use UGC: Create a unique hashtag for your brand and make promotional materials to share it with your audience online. Then, use Instagram to capture all user-generated content that incorporates your brand’s hashtag. Repurpose these user-submitted photos onto your own feed to show your fans that you appreciate and value their engagement.
  8. Data-driven ideas: Take advantage of Iconosquare to get insights into your audience. Learn about your most popular photo, how engagement is growing as well as what days and times are most popular to post. Use this data to shape your strategy and content calendar moving forward.
  9. Collaborate: Instagram is growing in terms of it’s contesting popularity. Thousands of individuals and brands are using Instagram, and seeing amazing results, to hold contests and giveaway loops. Think about incorporating a #FF theme to follow your partners or brand advocates, or collaborate with another local brand to host a contest or giveaway through Instagram.
  10. Advertise: Through Facebook’s Business Manager, you can advertise on Instagram. I’m seeing some incredible results for my clients in terms of using Instagram to drive traffic to their websites. Similarly, through Instagram Ads, I’m getting useful insight into what content individuals like and comment on most.

Are you using Instagram as a major component of your social media marketing strategy?

What kinds of results have you seen?

Comment below!

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