With all the algorithm changes, and so many varying opinions. I thought I would put together a quick tutorial on my top 7 mistakes I see and turn them into successes for you! I want you all to be able to attract your ideal clients to your brand and business by having a solid strategy on the Instagram platform!
STEP 1: Creating your Instagram Profile.
Sounds a lot easier than it is! It’s not just throwing up a profile and waiting for the dolla, dollar bills to roll in! You have to have a clear, fantastic profile and content plan to boot! So here are 11 things you want to be sure to do right off the bat (and if you already have a profile make sure are done to maximize your insta traffic!)
1.) Have a killer profile picture. If you are branding yourself, spend the time/ money and get some good head-shots (they will come in handy later, as well). If you are branding a company make sure your logo fits in the profile pic circle well, also be sure it is clear and there are no words. Words get hard to read on mobile, which is what 93% of all Instagram users are on. (ok, that is not a real, tested, backed-up statistic, but you know it is true. ;)
These logos are super awesome, but you can't read them! If you want to stay on brand get another logo made without any words, or one big word so that it is easy for your audience to tell exactly who you are and what you are about!
2.) Do a once over on your About Section. If you don’t know what to write I recommend doing some research and finding some solid hashtags for your industry to use. I use a Hagtag Generator they are great and you can see how many people use that specific hashtag! Make a list of ones you like, then incorporate them in a sentence or two, remember you can only have 150 characters including your spaces so keep it clear and concise.
As you can see both of these About Sections are informative and well thought out, but the lack something crucial... HASHTAGS! There are some great words and phrases to add hashtags too, so that they can be found a bit easier on Instagram.
3.) Make your @ tag matches the rest of your social media platforms. I hate seeing this:
Having different @tags does you no good as a brand because it makes it harder for people to find and tag you in stuff! Why would you make it harder for your clients to find you and get a hold of you?
4.) Use a bitly link for your website section on your profile. You can customize what link you shorten, and even what the link says. That way you can really push your branding throughout everything (not just your insta profile link) and you can always track how much traffic you are getting from Instagram!
This is a perfect candidate for link shortening!
5.) Make sure your follower to following ration stays logical. We have all been there, we get clicking and end up the Instagram rabbit-hole. Unfortunately, that is another hole you should not fall down... you should have 3 followers to your every 1 of your follows (at a minimum). That does not mean go out and buy followers, it won't work and Instagram will punish you. It means interact with others in your industry but don’t get follow happy… you don’t want an account like this.
Both of these accounts have poor followers to following ratios. The biggest problem with this is they don't look very credible as a business. If you find yourself following ever account with a cute picture of a puppy, make yourself a second personal account, that way you can follow as many people as you would like and don't have to worry about it looking out of balance!
STEP 2: Now that you have your profile shit together it’s time to post!
1.) Be sure to use 30 hashtags per post. I can’t tell you how many people I talk to that complain they don’t get the likes and engagement they want, but when I look at their account their posts look like this:
This is a great picture, but she is missing out on a great opportunity to reach the fashion community, becasue her hashtag game is not there.
2.) Actually, spend some time writing your image caption. Instagram is favoring captions that are 200-400 words long right now. AKA they want a story, something people can relate to and something they can act on and use!
This is a great showcase of telling a story. It is creative and engaging! So even though her account isn't huge she got comments and likes!
3.) Don’t forget your call to action! Whether that is a freebie, asking for the viewer to tag someone that can be helped by the post, ask them to like your photo, or a click through to your profile. Whatever it is don’t forget to include it, what is the point of putting out content if aren’t trying to engage people?!
The top is a great, super beautiful engaging photos, but she is missing the call to action! This would have been a perfect opportunity for her to ask people to comment what color their favorite shirt is, or if they have a great alley like her for taking photos.
The bottom photo is filled with 'Engage with This'! And she has a whole bunch of comments to draw attention to her profile.
4.) Schedule out your content. This has been a big issue since Instagram just opened up their KPI and every software and their brother wanted to hop on the bandwagon. I recommend Tailwind, they are the partner of Instagram and Pinterest, and since they released their scheduling system the engagement on my account and the accounts of my clients have skyrocketed! If you use this link you will get a free trial plus a free month, but really at $15 a month, it is a steal!
5.) Geo-tag your posts. One of the easiest way to collaborate with local influencers is find them by literally finding out where they are! Not all posts need to be geo-tagged but if you went on vacay took some bomb photos and are now using them on your account be sure to give that beautiful place kudos everyone loves to see their hometown being talked about positively!
6.) Work On Giving to Receive. ENGAGE! Wow, this one seems so simple, but can be so hard for people. Yes, it takes time every day to get this done, but creating fans out of your followers will make you the forefront in their mind when they need your service. Double tap to like photos, leave meaningful comments, direct message new followers introducing yourself (caveat, this is not to sell them you are trying to create a relationship not make money).
STEP 3 The Instagram No-No’s I hear other social media marketers talking about (and it hurts my heart).
3.) Join an Instagram Pod. This is an algorithm no-no. If people don’t want to engage with your content then I suggest taking a step back and looking at what you are putting out. Having ‘fake’ engagement on your posts can really hurt your ranking on Insta and give you a bad rap with people that want to take you seriously but find out you only have 1k followers because you also followed them first.
I hope these tips help you get through the algorithm changes with grace, build a strong following and all-in-all give you a leg up on Instagram! I want to thank everyone that let me point out the flaws on their Instagram (if you look now their flaws are fixed and you should go follow them). Instagram just like any other social media takes time, and sometimes that is the hardest thing to find. I know not everyone can afford a virtual assistant or social media marketer, but sometimes the investment is well worth the result.
I am sure you are headed over to your Instagram right now, so before you go I want to give you a challenge. I want you to take a before screenshot of your current insta, make the changes, signup for tailwind’s free 1-week trial and get your first month free, be deliberate and consistent about following my above advice and then take a screenshot of your Instagram after 30 days. I want to see the difference it made, tag me on Facebook or Instagram with your result!
If you have questions feel free to schedule a free 30-minute chat, but I reserve the right to critique and giggle at your account. ;)
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