Feel like you’re not getting any traction using Instagram? Sorry to say this but, you’re probably “doing it wrong” then. Instagram was made for sharing and interacting with others. Take these 10 tips for using Instagram to heart and see if you can’t change up your posting on Instagram and get a little more interaction and followers this month. Do it for a month and see what happens – you will be amazed with the results a little effort makes.
As a social network Instagram started as a way for people to share pics with friends in an instant, like their own personal telegram system. Just like Pinterest is made for sharing ideas and pinning for later, Instagram was made to share pictures and comment on others pictures. So you need to use it for its intended purpose to be the most successful. You wouldn’t use Instagram the same way you use LinkedIn and vice versa we get enough boring posts on LinkedIn, we don’t want to see the same thing everywhere!
So let’s jump into our 10 tips on using Instagram so you can start mastering this marketing platform for your business growth.
Tip #1 – Be personable
When we present ourselves and our product as advertisements, people tend to shut us out or avoid us. Yes we want to advertise what we have to offer, but in a way that makes us likable and relatable.
If we post content that shows ourselves as humans, as real life people, others will see that and feel more of a connection and have a higher chance of following you, liking your posts, commenting, etc.
It is totally ok to post a picture of yourself cleaning your workspace, binge watching a TV show or playing around with your family – it makes you THAT much more relatable to them!
This doesn’t mean you stop posting your product, this just means that you integrate yourself with what you are selling.
Try to learn how to make your casual posts mesh with your business posts.
Tip #2 Use pictures and quotes not advertisements with words
I know what you are thinking, “But I want to sell! Shouldn’t I put an offer out with text graphics instead?”
Sorry no, people are tired of being advertised to and words too small to read aren’t helping you. I would even suggest pulling back your logo and using real pictures instead of stock photos. The more real you are, the more people feel like you aren’t trying to just sell to them. Think of how influencer marketing works and why it works. It isn’t because they put an add up that said, “Go by this product here!” Instead they took a great picture of them USING the product or doing something and you wanted that too.
At Digital Summit one of the speakers pointed out that pictures are becoming the eye stoppers not text. The other issue is most graphics are created on a desktop not a mobile phone and people use text too small to read on a phone where most people are using Instagram so it just makes sense that put what we want people to say in the description – not the photo we upload!
Which leads us to our next tip!
Tip #3 Ask for comments & interact quickly with people who comment
Instagram works in such a way where engagement is SO important.
Having a high number of comments is a great way to get engagement and drive traffic to your post or Instagram page and even the chances of people checking out your website. The more comments and interaction you have, the higher your chances are of being seen by potential followers!
If you don’t interact back, you will see a noticeable drop in your views. So be sure you have notifications on so you can quickly respond when someone does comment on your posts. You don’t have to stick around for hours, just pay attention to notifications.
There are lots of ways you can get comments, but most of them have to do with your call to action. You can ask lots of things along the lines of:
“What is your favorite_?”
“Do you prefer this or that?”
“What are your weekend plans?”
“Tag a friend who would want to see this”
“Tag someone who needs to be inspired by this today”
“Tag someone who absolutely loves _”
“Does anyone know where I can get _?”
“Tell me what kinds of posts you want to see more of!”
Calls to action like this (and any other ones that you can think of) are good ways to get the ball rolling on comments. They are fun things that people want to interact with and can bring others right to you!
Tip #4. Comment on others posts
This might take a little more dedication, but it is so worth it in followers and trust.
By commenting on other people’s posts or stories, people will feel more inclined to follow you. If you are commenting genuinely as a response to what they’re putting out there, chances are they will go to your page to learn more about you and follow you.
When you show you care by commenting, trust between you and your followers will increase. Then, when they see you posting in the future, there is a higher probability that they will comment or share it to their own story.
We suggest you stick around for 15 minutes after you post and interact with others to make this a habit that will grow your like, know and trust factor in your Instagram online community.
Tip #5. Find the best time to post
There are many different opinions about when you should post and what the best time of the day or best day of the week to post is.
Think about yourself, unless you get paid to be on social media all day you are probably checking in the morning a bit as you get ready or eat breakfast, you might check in at lunch and then after work or in the evening. Start by testing 7AM, 11:30AM (lunchtime) and 4PM for a few weeks and see what time gets you the most interaction on your account.
However, this is YOUR account and your followers may not check it at those times. Test out some posts and try to figure out what is getting the most attention, you should get a feel for what is and is not working pretty quickly.
Tip #6. Be interactive in your story
One of the best things that Instagram did was add stories as a feature, I say this because it is one of the easiest and best ways to get interaction from your followers.
On your story, use stickers to get interaction! You can add challenges, countdowns, quizzes, polls, music, and so much more! Other people will feel like they contributed to your story if they are able to comment or answer questions.
You can also use your story to promote an upcoming event, product, podcast, sale, etc. It’s a GREAT way to keep people informed and excited!
Tip #7. Collaborate with others
Chances are going on to Instagram, that there are people who are similar to you or your business.
Look for people or businesses that are similar to you and are also starting off small. Since you both need to grow, offer them to post something of theirs onto your story, and in return they post something of yours onto their story.
You could also collaborate with people who maybe are dissimilar too. You could come together and use one another’s product as a way of bringing in more followers and customers. You can find local people who make jewelry, blankets, shirts, makeup, etc. and offer your services to them in return for some kind of giveaway.
Find ideas through Instagram for what you would want to do and what you might want to give away, there are lots of people out there just like you who need a hand with their business.
Tip #8. Tag your location
If you are a local business and are looking to grow your audience in your area, tagging your location before your post is a good way to go.
By showing what city you’re in or areas you are around regularly, people in your area will see that you are someone local and nearby, showing them that you can help them in person or sell to them in person.
There may be many people right now who are looking for your kinds of service but have no idea that you are just a few minutes away. Tag your location, and they’ll be able to find you.
Tip #9. Hashtags
On Instagram, you have the option to put LOTS of hashtags on your post. Try to use this feature to the best of your ability. This is where you need to work smarter, not harder.
Explore and use relevant hashtags to help people find you. If you use something like #love #yay #nofilter, you are not using this feature to your advantage. Millions of people use these hashtags which means if you use it, finding you would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Try to find 4-6 hashtags that are on the smaller end that you could really utilize for your business, I would recommend anywhere from 7k to 40k. You could even make one that is very specific to you, for example, mine is #geekedoutmedia. It’s not the only one I use, but it is the one that is specifically for my business.
Use these 4-6 hashtags in every post then use whatever hashtag you’d like after that, it’s super easy!
Tip # 10. Post regularly
This one is very simple, make sure you are posting often enough so that people know you are up to date and active on your account.
By doing this, if someone wants to get in contact with you, they’ll know that you’re responsive or that you’ll be online very soon.
I have seen lots of accounts in my time that look like they’ve been abandoned because they haven’t posted in months or even years! Show your audience that you are active and you care.
Ready to get more engagement using Instagram for your business? Use Our Instagram Post Board
Posting regularly and coming up with fresh content can be a pain, we know. To help you out, here is a free content idea board!
Work on improving using any one of these tips and see how much your account will grow this month!