Instagram is an amazing social media tool for any business, however you need to be very strategic in regards to posting on Instagram and gaining traffic. Instagram is completely “visual”. It’s users scroll through and usually only stop at something that catches their eye. In fact, when a person clicks onto your Instagram account, they will usually only see your last 6 posts you uploaded before deciding if they will like any or start to follow you. Make sure those photos are GREAT!
Why should your business have an Instagram account? According to a study by Hootsuite:
- Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day
- 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.
- Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without
- Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users
If you are not already using Instagram for your business, now is the time to start! Your Instagram success can become a strong force in your business, therefore we have compiled a list of 7 tips to help increase your Instagram followers and engagement.
Your bio description: A great Instagram bio is crucial to getting recognized on Instagram and getting followers to your business’ website.Here are 3 things you need for a perfect bio.
- A great photo (Logo or a great headshot if your image is your company – i.e: photographer, model)
- A great bio description : Instagram allows you up to 150 characters in your bio – make those words count! Make sure your bio is clear. Who are you? What do you have to offer to new (and old) followers? Who do you serve? WHY should people follow you?
- A link to your Website: Include a call to action – Tell your readers what you want them to do or why they should click on your website! Don’t forget to provide the link!
Here are a few examples of great bios:
Engage your audience: Instagram’s new algorithm means that more engaging content is seen first. Instagram prefers engagement over your number of followers (this is a good thing!). This means that even though you have less followers than other people, if you are engaging with others, your posts will be seen first on multiple feeds.Under each caption of each photo, place a call to action. As questions like “what is your favorite _____” so that people can respond to your questions. Then, make sure you are responding to the comments they leave. Instagram also has a new option now to “heart” (aka “like) a persons comment. Also, make sure you are visiting other people’s profiles (people you follow as well as people you do not follow) and leave comments on a few photos.
Keep in mind that Instagram does have a “like” limit per hour (so that people do not abuse the system or use automated like-bots) so keep them under approx. 20 likes per hour. You should be doing this daily (even if for only 10 minutes a day)
- Photos: Use beautiful, clean and crisp photos with great captions. Your feed should have a certain look and feel and stay consistent. You will notice many feeds will have a certain color theme, for example. Make sure it has a consistent look/feel and relates to your brand. Create pictures (and captions) that are relatable to your followers. Your photos / stories must make an impact with your followers.
Post daily: Yes, post photos daily! With Instagram, you should be posting a minimum of 1 time a day but no more than 3 times a day. Try to have some photos ready beforehand to make this easier. Stick with the theme of your feed as much as possible.
Some good ideas for posts are: Photos of your products in use, quotes, Behind-the-scenes (office/staff/event pictures), Lighthearted memes, jokes, challenges (i.e: 30 day photo challenge), tips, and videos (on your feed you can add 1 minute videos or you can create an Instagram “story”).
Make sure your photos not only tell a story, but are informative, provide value and showcase you (solopreneur) or your company’s personality.
- Create Trust: If you want to reach an ideal audience you need to create a platform that they can trust. Why should this person trust you, follow you or use your products or services? Make it clear, provide value and trust to every follower.
- Use the Instagram business profile: The free business profile allows you to have a “contact” button and a few other “extras “ that individual profiles don’t have. One of the best benefits to a business profile is that it allows you to track your stats! This will also be a great tool to identify what times of the day are the best for you to post. When are your followers most likely to see your updates? Mondays at 6pm? Fridays at 11am? Daily at lunch time? This will be great at identifying when to post your best content. You want to make sure it is seen.
Use unique hashtags: While it may be tempting to use hashtags like #love, #food, #happy etc, these hashtags have been over-used (#happy has been used over 250 million times). This means that your photos may get lost in all of the millions of photos when someone searches a hashtag. It is okay to inject a few like this however try using other hashtags that are not used as often, however have more than 50 uses. It is also a good idea to use trending hashtags, IF your post is relatable. A good place to find help with hashtags are sites like https://www.hashtags.org/.
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags on a photo. The best way to do this is to use approx. 3-5 at the end of your caption and then once you posted, quickly copy and paste a few more (again, they can not add up to more than 30 in total) in the comments section of your photo. Instagram allows approximately 1 – 2 minutes for you to add or change hashtags.
We hope you find these tips useful and can begin to implement them on your profile. Let us know if you use them and how it has helped your Instagram account. As always, we would love to hear from you! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already!