Instagram is a great platform for showcasing your brand, company culture, personality and connecting with your target audience. Use these tips and hacks to make the most of your presence for your business.
Set up a business profile
You may be tempted to just keep a personal Instagram profile, but switching to a business account unlocks a lot of additional features including:
- Call to action buttons to make it easy for people to contact you or do business with you. You can even connect scheduling apps, event ticket sales or Yelp reservations.
- Earn a verification badge from Instagram certifying your authenticity.
- Access real-time data and insights on every post so you can understand how well your organic content is working.
- Launch and track ad campaigns.
Don’t underestimate you bio
It’s only 150 characters, how much does it really matter, right? Wrong! It is everything. Your bio is how people learn what you do and who you serve. If you want to attract the right people to your profile that will actually turn into paying customers, it should include these elements:
- Your title. How do you want people to describe you or what you do? Keep it simple. Pretend like you are explaining what you do to a 5 year old. If your bio is confusing, you aren’t going to sound important or fancy, you are just going to make it harder to get people to do business with you.
- Who do you serve: Make it abundantly clear who you serve so that the RIGHT people follow you. Vanity metrics don’t matter, you want quality followers over quantity.
- What benefit do you offer? Your mission on social media to add value for the people you serve. What do you offer? What problems do you solve for your ideal customer? How is following your going to make their lives better?
- How can they contact you? This is so simple, but so many people ignore this. The easier you make it for people to do business with you, the more likely they are to choose to work with you or buy your product. Don’t assume they know to go to your website or call you or look through your feed. Tell them!
- If you have an opt-in, plug it in your bio. It is so important to serve your audience before you sell to them. What can you offer them in exchange for their contact info? Create that and then promote it in your IG bio. Getting your ideal customer’s email is the holy grail. You can learn more about how important email marketing is here.
MAKE THE MOST OF Stories
Instagram Stories feature photos or short video loops that followers can view at the top of their app for 24 hours. Stories are a great way to show up consistently and to reinforce your brand, personality and offering.
IG stories are also a great way to encourage more interaction and engagement thanks to things like polls, questions, sliders, etc.
This is where you can have more fun, add value, promote your products and services without worrying about how it will fit into your well-curated feed. Stories is also a great place to share content that isn’t evergreen. Have an event or specific launch date you want to promote? Focus on promoting that in your stories.
Use Hashtags Strategically
It’s important to be selective in the hashtags that you use and make sure that they not only resonate with your ideal client but that your ideal client would be using that tag to find content like yours. Who is it you’re trying to reach and what terms, phrases, or locations would they be searching for?
One easy way to start thinking of this is using location specific hashtags to connect with others near you. You can do this by using local hashtags to reach people in your community or industry-specific hashtags.
Do your research, look at what hashtags your competitors are using. Make sure to pay attention to the number of people who have used the hashtags and prioritize them by popularity to reach the RIGHT people, not just the most. You have a better chance of standing out if you use a specific hashtag with less posts that’s more pertinent to your actual dream audience than placing your content on a hashtag that is being inundated with new content every minute where your post will get easily lost.
Hashtags can be a great way to attract your ideal clients, connect you to others in your industry, and an intentional way to brand your business. Use them thoughtfully, sparingly and do your research for the best results.
ENGAGE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
I say it all the time…if you want engagement you have to be engaging. To grow your following, you have to engage. But you have to engage with the right people. So how do you find the right people? Start with your industry and other people in your industry that you look up to. Choose one of their recent posts and leave a comment. Then do the same for people who comment on that person’s post. Keep doing that and Instagram will be more likely to flag you as a similar page and recommend their followers follow you. Did I lose you with all the following and commenting and engaging? Send me an email and I’ll guide you through it.
Use LinkTr.ee for Your Link In Bio
Stop constantly changing your link in bio every time you want to send people to your website. Linktr.ee allows you to add as many links as you want so that you never have to worry about sending people to the wrong page. Keep your list of links short and sweet, though. Somewhere between 5-8 max.
Post at the right time
Later analyzed 12 million Instagram posts to come up with the best times to post on Instagram. Here they are:
- Monday: 6am, 10am, and 10pm EST
- Tuesday: 2am, 4am, and 9am EST
- Wednesday: 7am, 8am and 11pm EST
- Thursday: 9am, 12pm, and 7pm EST
- Friday: 5am, 1pm, and 3pm EST
- Saturday: 11am, 7pm, and 8pm EST
- Sunday: 7am, 8am, and 4pm EST
While these are the global best times, the best time for your audience or industry may be a little different. But this is a good starting point for sure.