Instagram tips to give your profile a BOOST
Is your Small Biz on Instagram yet? Do you want to make 2019 the year that Instagram helps you grow your business? Maybe you are new to Instagram and you are finding it all a little overwhelming? If so, then keep reading for some top tips on how to refresh your profile and boost your engagement.
Instagram is a great social media platform, especially if you sell a product, as there is no better way to showcase all your lovely stuff and create a really strong brand presence. With more than 500 million daily active users, Instagram is fast becoming the social media platform that your business needs to be on. And I can guess what you’re thinking: “Really? Not another social media platform to manage. I don’t have the time for that…”
But with Facebook organic reach at an all-time low, maybe it’s a good time to shift your focus and rethink your marketing strategy. And don’t forget, you do have the option to import photos from Instagram into your Facebook business page (minus the hashtags of course), so the content you create for Instagram can also be used for other social networks too.
First Impressions and all that…
Your bio is the first place to start. Make sure you have a great header photo. Sorry, but there’s no excuse for a dodgy cropped-out photo of you on holiday 15 years ago.
The next step is the message. You can now use hashtags, emojis and tag other accounts in your bio. This is useful if you have other businesses, or you are partnering with another business. If you have your own brand hashtag this is the place to add it. You can still only add one link, so consider this carefully to make it count. Some people (including me 😊) use Linktree. If you don’t want to use linktree, update the link so that it takes people straight to where you want them to go, such as your latest blog post or offer.
If you haven’t heard of Instagram stories, then where have you been? Well, on other platforms, probably, but Instagram Stories are hot right now and are a great way to have a bit more fun with your content, especially with all the extra features available within the stories. Or, as I have done below you can use Canva or Easil to create your stories.
They only stay around for 24 hours, so it’s a great opportunity for you to show a bit more personality and spontaneity. You can tag other businesses, create a poll, add gifs, ask questions, go live and there’s even a countdown sticker which is great if you’re launching a new product etc. And the very latest addition is adding music and lyrics to your story, so the more creative of you can really shine
You can then, of course, save your best stories as “Highlights”, using eye-catching cover designs, and then basically they become an extension of your bio. Quick Tip #1: to access your archived stores click on the arrow button at the top. Make the most of this feature by creating Highlights for your blog, who are we, products, services etc.
Quick tip #2: when adding hashtags to stories, make them really small, then add a sticker over the top to hide them.
Record a message instead of typing one
Did you know that you can now record a message as well as typing them? Someone sent me a recorded message recently and I loved it.
This is a great feature that’s a bit different from the usual messages you get sent on Instagram. Simply go into your messages as you normally would to type, and then hit the mic button. Quick Tip #3 - You can unsend the message simply by clicking and holding on to it, then click the unsend button which should appear.
This little feature is hidden and buried in your profile setting. If you use a booking system like Treatwell, Booksy, Eventbrite etc, then you can add a call-to-action button on your profile which will take people straight to the booking page. All you need to do is head over to the “edit profile” section, then “Contact options”, and finally hit “add an action button” . You can now simply select from the list of buttons available and add (to) your details.
I’m not going to say much about these, other than first of all, I’m assuming you’ve done your research and know what hashtags you should be using. If not why not read my blog post which provides lots more info on Hashtags. You can of course also find related hastags when you use the search feature. They appear just above both the top and most recent posts; this is useful, as it might suggest hashtags that you hadn’t thought of.
Quick Tip #4: Don’t forget to rotate your hashtags.
Don’t post the same ones for every picture otherwise Instagram will think you are spamming and is less likely to show your post. I have four different sets of hashtags that I use and I rotate how I use them, so I don’t post the same hashtag endlessly and reduce my visibility to potential customers. I might also replace a couple, depending on what the post is about.
Quick Tip #5: Be prepared to change your approach to stay fresh
Format your post correctly
How many times do you see inconsistently or poorly formatted posts? I know it’s not a big deal, but it’s so easy to sort it out. I don’t use a scheduler like Buffer, so I post directly from my android phone. You may have noticed that you can’t add spaces and line breaks etc when you post, so I use an app. Yes, it takes a tiny bit longer, but it looks so much better.
Quicktip #6: I use this one, but others will be available so see which one works for you. Simply add your text to the app and edit. I then email it to my phone, along with the picture, and upload to Insta as I would usually.
Use long captions in posts
People are really starting to engage with long-form captions in posts. Putting some thought into what you are writing generates comments and questions and really engages with your audience. It also provides that all important authenticity that people are now looking for in Instagram. You don’t have to do this for every post but why not have a go.
My post below generated quite a lot comments and conversations.
Quicktip #7: Check the analytics, and see which posts perform better…
User-generated content is really popular on Instagram and there’s no better testimonial than people using your product and posting a picture if it themselves. @GoProUK ask people to use the hashtag #GoProUK when posting pictures taken with their Go Pro's. Go Pro will then post the most interesting ones on their own feed. This not only provides Go Pro with a rich source of content, but also provides brand credibility, builds consumer trust and allows them to connect with their audience and build a community.
Instagram is constantly evolving so it’s important to keep up to date with what’s going on. People like Sue B Zimmerman provide great tips, training and videos on Instagram and they are worth subscribing to so that you can get the latest updates and training if you wish.
But the most important thing here, as with all social media, is interaction. I sometimes feel a bit like a broken record, but you simply can’t post and then expect loads of interaction if you don’t reciprocate. Taking the time to go through your feed, commenting and liking is just as important as posting yourself.
It is social media after all.