6 Best Tips to help you grow your business with Instagram
Instagram is a social media that allows you to share photos and videos. With over 400 million daily users in 2017, businesses use more and more of this fast growing platform to increase brand awareness, drive traffic, and make money. End of last year, I created an account and posted a few random pictures on a regular basis. My problem was that I couldn’t seem to go over 100 followers for a long time.
I’m busy, you’re busy, and everyone else is busy. So the bottom line is that I can only invest time on a social platform that it can yield value to my business. Because if it doesn’t, what’s the point?
Best Tips to Grow Your Business with Instagram
I wasn’t sure how it worked, and Instagram attracts mind blowing talented creative people. Look at the top posts! They are usually stunning visuals. I know who I am and don’t expect to top this and I could certainly do better.
So in the end, I needed to up my game big time.
But again, I’m not one of these creative Instagram phenomena, and you know what? That’s ok. I’m a writer, not a photographer. I’ve seen many successful people build a meaningful community without displaying a crazy creative side.
#1 – Open a business Instagram account
If you’re starting, I strongly suggest opening a business account. The same way you use a Facebook page, you also have a Business Instagram account. It’s free, so there really isn’t any downside to it
Why should you use a business page?
A business page will give you access to features a private account can’t.
– Be seen as a professional: Having a business account will increase your credibility as a business.
– Get notified real time when your post is performing better than the others. These notifications are quite handy to grasp better what resonates with your audience.
– Get insights (engagements, reach, website click,…): You will know which pictures or videos generated the most traction in more details. You’ll have a better understanding of how your audience interacts with your material. Also, you know how many people clicked on your link in your profile.
– Add information on your business (hours, location,…)
– Promote your page: If you have a new product coming out, Instagram gives you the ability to run ads and reach a larger audience.
#2 – Post consistently
So here is a caveat for me. I’m writing and reading a lot when my family isn’t around, so I don’t have much time for social media. I’m sure I’m not the only one having this issue.
There are a few things I can schedule over the weekend, but I try not to go beyond 30 minutes a day (all platforms except Instagram) on social media.
The problem is that it can be difficult to grow with not a lot of time at hands. I could make more, but I ultimately need to write and read to improve and finish my book. Plus, most of the scheduler with Instagram allows you to schedule, but will notify you on the day/time to post that picture. There is an extra step. It still can save time for people who posts several times a day, but I only post only a day. So it’s manageable for me.
I read in a few posts that the most recommended number of posts was at least twice a day and have one live video/story. The truth is: I don’t have time (or in other words, I won’t make time and won’t budge). But I understand the importance to consistency, so I committed to 1 picture a day. Find what works for you, but keep your expectations to the efforts you’re willing to put in. My growth isn’t spectacular, but it is consistent and targeted.
I’m starting to witness a steady traffic to my site, and this is truly what I’m looking for beyond connecting with other Bookstagrammers (AKA people on Instagram who only post pictures of books), book lovers, and writers.
If you’re new to Instagram, no need to panic, Instagram offers free training through Facebook to optimize your presence.Click to tweet
Here is the link.
#3 – Pictures or videos? Your call.
Consistency is key. You can post a picture or a short video, but the best is usually to vary a bit. The posts with the most engagement are often the accounts with a theme (color/topic) and consistency. Your business page shouldn’t be like your personal page where you post everything you like.
Your business page should reflect your product with a creative approach and always aim at growth. Who do you want to target? Think about it, and when you have your answer, keep it in mind. Then think how your picture can reflect it.
Instagrammers are very talented and creative individuals. If you decide to share some videos, here are a few facts. You can give it a try. Not everyone is comfortable with videos, so only go there if you feel comfortable with it. But, always be professional about it. It’s YOUR brand, your baby.
When Instagram introduced videos, 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours.Click to tweet
Instagram videos get two times the engagement of photos that any other social media platform.
#4 – Comment on other posts.
Comments are powerful to build a relationship and grow your brand. I don’t force myself in doing anything. I leave a comment when I want and feel compelled to do so.
Commenting allowed me to meet great people on Instagram too. In 2 months and posting only once a day, I’ve gained close to 1,400 new followers without going crazy over it. I’m sure anyone who has the time can go way beyond this. Once my book is complete, I’ll probably start taking a little more time on Social Media.
For now, I don’t want to disappear, so I post regularly, but I have my priorities straight and mainly focus on writing.
#5 – Hashtags
Hashtags are like keys to doors with an audience behind. You need enough keys to make a big enough impact, but most importantly, you need the right keys to make an impact at all.
I looked up other sites too, but the magic number to extend your reach seems to be at least 11 in your title, and up to 50 if you add more in a comment with a limit of 30 hashtags per post. (This limit may have changed, but couldn’t confirm if it was the last update.)
I haven’t done this yet. I usually have about 10 hashtags in the title, but I look at what the other bookstagrammers do, and it doesn’t seem crazy. Know what your established competition do, so it’ll give you a better sense of what’s acceptable.
I may try to do this though once I get more time.
#6 – Get an app to track your unfollowers
Get an app to make sure you unfollow the people who only added you to get a follow, but will get rid of you as soon as possible. I have an app called Followers + that helps me keep track of my activity.
No affiliates of any kind. I found this app on my own reading reviews and it’s my personal opinion.
You need to target your following by following profiles with similar interests. Go to the Top Posts and click on their followers. Look at the list of profiles and follow 50 max at a time. Don’t get spammy.
Don’t forget to unfollow the people who do not follow you back within 48 hours. You need to remove them, or it will tank your numbers. I do have a handful of people I follow and don’t expect them to follow me back, but keep it to the lowest number I can.
Remember that you don’t have to follow everyone, but it will certainly help you increase your audience faster.
Like any social media, Instagram is only what you want it to be. The time you dedicate to the platform will have a direct correlation with the amount of growth you’ll experience. The formula is pretty standard.
Be consistent. Be relevant. Be creative. Be genuine. Be social. Be a leader.
Whenever you have a bit more time, use it wisely. Also, NEVER buy followers. It’s tacky and a complete waste of money because it won’t bring you the following you need to develop your business. Embrace your creative side and connect with like-minded people.
Do you use Instagram? Share your experience. 🙂
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