- Instagram is by far the most personal and casual social media platform for businesses to connect with their audience on a more emotional level.
- But in order to get the best out of your Instagram marketing, you need to know certain tips and tricks to make the strategy work as best as possible for your business.
- Here are your ultimate 12 tips to help you jazz up your Instagram marketing and keep those followers coming, engaging and converting like never before.
Social media is the best marketing tool that small business have ever had access to in HISTORY, and Instagram is definitely in my top 3 favourites. In this guide I’m going to give you 12 practical tips you can implement right now to start getting more followers, building an audience and growing your business!
1. Know your audience
I’ll start off with the most important piece of advice that I give anyone when it comes to marketing.
Know. Your. Audience. Whether you’re using Instagram, Facebook, TV, print.... it doesn’t matter. This applies to EVERYTHING.
The first step towards getting attention and growing your business is by understanding your audience. Who are they? Where are they? What are they like? What do they want? Once you know exactly who you’re targeting, you’ll be able to attract them.
2. Post good content (and make it beautiful)
Another piece of advice that applies to any social media platform is to post good content. People don’t want to follow something that’s boring or irrelevant, so once you understand your audience (in step #1) you can start creating engaging content for them.
Instagram is a beautiful, artistic and visually-pleasing platform. You need to treat it that way!
If you need ideas I’ve got you covered in step #3...
3. Reverse engineer the best in the world
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Who is the BEST in the world at what your business does? What accounts have the biggest following when it comes to your niche? Hunt them down, and take notes on what they’re doing.
I do this to every client. I look at the best in the world, study each account, write down the key things they have in common and then put our own spin on it to create a world-class but unique Instagram profile.
For some ideas, check out @starbucks, @benandjerrys, @redbull and @natgeo.
4. Be consistent
The only thing worse than having no account is having a dead account.
It looks like you actively don’t care about your business, so make sure you’re posting consistently. To keep it simple, just do one post a day! This will get you in the habit of posting, and will force you to come up with creative ideas. If you want to schedule posts in advance, check out Buffer (it’s free).
5. Choose a theme
Hand-in-hand with posting consistently is looking consistent. What style do you want your Instagram page to have? @flatlays is a great example of having a theme that they stay in line with. @squarespace also has a beautifully modern, less-is-more style that you can take inspiration from.
Whatever you pick, I recommend using it throughout your entire page and definitely using the same colours and fonts to keep your branding consistent. Nothing is worse than a clumsy page with an ugly mixture of different quotes they got from an app!
6. Post at the Best Time of the Day.
To give yourself the best chance of engagement, post at the best time of the day. When is the best? Well, that depends on your audience (step number one) Think about your customer. When are they on their phones the most?
For some practicality, the most common times are 8:00 am (people on the way to work), 12:00 noon (lunchtime) and 5:30 pm (after work).
7. Use Creative Captions
Every photo needs a caption, the regular debate is about the length. Can you have a huge caption? The answer is YES absolutely, but must be in proportion. A recipe can be long, but useful. A powerful, emotionally moving image can have a 3-word caption. It's about the context.
It's worth noting that once your caption hits a certain number of characters, it becomes shortened and the user has to press the option to 'see more' so it doesn't really hurt to have a long one. If they don't want to read it, they can simply view the picture and move on. The only time you wouldn't post a long caption is when it's not offering value.
8. Use relevant hashtags.
I’ll add a bit extra for this section because it’s super-handy...
Hashtags are very important for getting discovered on Instagram. You can put up to 30 hashtags in a post and it’s important to put the popular ones that are relevant to your page. Don’t post your own hashtags or incredibly unique / specific ones, as nobody will search for that. I’m talking about those huge hashtags that make up a ridiculous sentence like like #mitchhillsmidweekadvice.
Sometimes those silly hashtags can be used for humour, but never use it for discovery.
To find the best ones, simply go to the search bar in Instagram, press on ‘tags’ and start putting in words. You will see numbers pop up next the keywords. This shows you how many people have used that particular hashtag. Your goal is to find the top 30 that are most relevant to your page, and it’s also a good idea to do location-specific tags. For example #brisbaneanyday is a tag here in Brisbane, like #melbourneiloveyou is in Melbourne.
FINALLY - post your hashtags in the COMMENTS! Posting a truckload of hashtags in the caption just makes you look desperate and messy. Share your photo with a regular caption, and then comment on your own photo with the tags.
9. Follow the followers of similar pages
This is another golden tip. If you’re looking for new customers, where better to find them than your competitors? Research the accounts of your competitors (or similar pages) and follow their followers. (Note: NOT the people that they are following. People that are following them).
If they are interested in your competitor, they’re likely interested in you. Follow as many as you can (you can only do 60 an hour) and bring them over to your page. Remember first impressions count, that’s why you need to be AWESOME (step #2. See how it all ties in together?)
10. Update your bio link regularly.
Instagram can be a great platform to drive traffic, however you can’t post clickable links in the captions. The only place for you to put a link is in your bio. (And yes, you can write the link in the caption but even with a short URL they aren’t going to type that manually).
When putting up a post, say ‘click the link in our bio for _____’ that way it’s only 2 taps away. Use Bitly to create nice short links that you can place in your bio. Bitly also allows you to track clicks so you can see how many people clicked that particular link. It’s also free!
11. Use Instagram Stories
I love Instagram stories. Along with Facebook Live, this is where I am most active.
Social media these days is about being personal, not having an unrealistic ‘glossy’ type marketing like you’d expect to see from an Audi advertisement. Instagram Stories are a great place for you to be casual, share snippets and go ‘behind the scenes’ in your business.
Whenever you have an idea that you think your audience might love, throw it up. It’s like a digital notepad. Whenever you think “Hey - this would be good for Instagram”, chuck it up then and there otherwise you’ll forget. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect - it’s casual after all!
Just remember tip #1 and #2…. Know what your audience wants and make it awesome.
12. Use Instagram Ads
Instagram advertisement is a great way to get into the feeds of your target customer. These are great because you can click a link and have the viewer go directly from their phone to whatever you’re sending them to. Recently Instagram has upped their game when it comes to ads with more flexibility and design options, and is definitely worth checking out.
BONUS TIP! Use tools like Wordswag and Canva
If you want to add some flare to your posts and use text or quotes, definitely check out Wordswag and Canva. Wordswag is perfect for on-the-go editing from your phone, and Canva is just the best fricken thing in the world that allows you to design artwork quickly and easily. Only reason I mentioned Wordswag is that Canva can be a bit trickier from a phone.
Whatever you use - make sure it’s consistent with your brand (tip #4) and use that font / theme each time otherwise you’ll look messy.
If you implement these 12 tips your Instagram will be on fire! Just remember to be interesting, engaging, relevant and beautiful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at Mastered Marketing!