So I would like to start off by saying I've done this on 3 very different accounts, my A Country Girl Co., a health + wellness account as well as an artist's page.
I test SO many different techniques and strategies all the time and I'm always finding ways to "beat" the Instagram Algorithm we as small biz owners have come to know and "love". LOL.
Maybe you're asking, WHY Instagram? Let me tell you 🙂
Instagram is so powerful, but one of the main factors is that it's purely visual - anyone from Kim Kardashian to stay-at-home moms can communicate their values, their creativity, their offerings, and their culture through the most powerful medium…. IMAGERY - One of the fastest tools to build intimacy, desire, and trust.
Best of all, with tools like hashtags and geotagging, it's easier than ever to develop connections from all over the world without spending a ton of time and money in Facebook Groups or on Ads.
You can reach millions of people in your target audience, your message can go viral, you can gain thousands of followers who become loyal customers in SO many different niches!
STEP 1: NICHE + POSITIONING
- What niche am I in?
- What kind of audience do I want to attract?
- What are 3 words that instantly describe what my Instagram account?
When you learn enough about your niche, it's easy to create consistent growth because you'll have a much better understanding of what your market WANTS. Within your niche, you should be doing research on competitor accounts, the hashtags they use, the time of day they post, what content works well for them, the way they caption their content, and more. Once you've chosen your direction, stick with it!
STEP 2: BE VALUABLE
What I mean by this is create a great content strategy! As soon as people land on your Insta page their mind is immediately saying "what can you do for me?". It's about making people FEEL something, and delivering what your market WANTS to see. Your content should evoke some kind of emotion that makes them want to follow + engage with your account.
3 Questions to ask yourself before you create that next post:
- Is this helpful?
- Am I giving someone a reason to tag a friend, comment, or like this content?
- What emotion am I wanting the viewer to feel?
*TIP: Find 10-20 influencers in your niche and see what is/isn't working for them on their past posts.
STEP 3: BE SOCIAL
Social media is ALL about connection, so if you can start building some relationships and make "Insta-friends", this is going to help you a lot. You've heard that saying your network= your net worth right? When you have a network on people and engage with each other's content after posting, it lets Instagram know that your content is "trending", and that more people should see it.
Most importantly, engage with your followers, comment, like, message them, GET TO KNOW THEM!
STEP 4: Take advantage of Instagram's features!
- Use Instagram stories - use the poll option, include hashtags in your stories, add in funny GIF's, ask questions, let people ask you questions!
- Video is huge for building a connection quickly. So get on IGTV if you haven't already, or post a video right on your page! It doesn't have to be long or complicated, be yourself, provide a quick tip and keep it up!
- Use the Swipe Up feature! Link to a landing page, your website, a blog post, an affiliate page, etc. *Unfortunately this is only for accounts with 10k followers but you can get there!
- Business Account - this is optional, it can be handy to see insights on your audience and posts but it may also not be necessary until you reach 10k+. I use a Business account on one account and just personal on another, but I don't seem to find any differences between the two when it comes to using these strategies.
- GO LIVE! This is scary at first but super fun once you've done it a few times and get to start interacting with your followers
STEP 5: BE CONSISTENT
Consistency = trust. The more reliable you can be for your followers, the more attention, momentum, and traction you will gain over time. The biggest mistake most people make is giving up after a few months (or even a few weeks!) of trying to build a following.
Because Instagram's algorithm is no longer chronological and you miss posts of your BFF's brand new baby and don't see it til 5 days later means that posting regularly a few times per day will increase your chances of getting in the top of your followers news feed.
Stay consistent, and stay motivated. Set reminders in your phone and make sure you have enough content to post for the next few days. My friend Julia and I have our alarms set to check in with each other every Wednesday at 10 and set a task for us each to complete and hold each other accountable.
STEP 6: TIPS + TRICKS
- Clean up your Instagram profile so it is sellable! (Post coming on this next Wednesday, Sept.19th so stay tuned!)
- Use Hashtags - here's a whole bunch for you for FREE!
- Use Call-to-Actions in your captions - ask questions, send them to your website, DM you, comment, etc.
- Follow + connect with new people every day (or week - whatever you can manage)
- DO NOT fall prey to the people messaging you with magic automation software that gives you thousands of likes and a whole bunch of followers - Instagram will majorly punish you for this
- Use quality photos, stick with a theme, a filter, etc to create a cohesive look. (Post coming on this next Friday, Sept.21st so come back to learn the best apps for doing this!)
OKAY! I think that's all I've got for you today, what are you struggling with when it comes to Instagram? Leave your question in the comments below or send me an email and I'll get back to you ASAP!