I’ve learnt what I’ve needed about social media from the ground up. From marketing different businesses, both local and online, I’ve had to very quickly become adept at navigating Instagram, and what I would say is that in terms of online businesses I’ve found Instagram to be the easiest and most successful social media platform to market on. Maybe others have had a different experience, but I definitely depend on Instagram predominantly. Facebook I find better for local businesses.
When ever I hear about changes and new social media algorithms it fills me with dread.
AM I GOING TO HAVE TO RETHINK MY ENTIRE STRATEGY?
WILL I EVEN BE ABLE TO MARKET THROUGH INSTAGRAM ANY MORE?
You may have heard there’s going to be some huge changes coming to Facebook, but it’s difficult to find out what’s happening in the Instagram world. When researching this yourself, please bear in mind Instagram releases updates periodically, we’re not anticipating one huge big change where your feed will be null and void over night. However nobody knows what the changes will be other than those in the know at Instagram!
You will note Instagram quote the following in regards to changes made;
“we found that people are liking photos more, commenting more and generally engaging with the community in a more active way”
This is the focus for Instagram;
Work on this as a solid foundation then when changes occur it shouldn’t affect you too much.
SO WHAT KEY THINGS SHOULD YOU BE DOING TO BUILD YOUR INSTAGRAM?
- Build Followers. This is achievable in a few ways. Your content needs to be spot on. Good images, on brand with good comments. Make use of your hashtags. Many say to just use a few hashtags, but I still prefer to use all thirty, but ensure you mix them up otherwise Instagram feel it’s a bit spammy. Follow people who are the audience you want, follow in bulk. There are apps that will do this for you. Like their posts, comment, get involved.
- Build relationships. We selected businesses and we work with them, sharing and recommending their products, and they return the favour. Comment and like their pictures, they should return the favour. It will all help to increase the level of engagement on your account.
- Be active for the hour after you post, answer any comments, even if it’s the spam ones, thank them for commenting, because Instagram picks up on this as engagement and will put your post instantly before more people.
- Use stories. We found that our views increased when we used stories, we use it as a way to show behind the scenes, but use it as you need, just use it! Instagram want this to be pushed forward, and as stories are actually used three times more than snap chat apparently it’s not something to turn your nose up at.
- Post regularly, at least one a day, but I don’t like to post more than three times a day. You don’t want to annoy people! Bear in mind you don’t just have to post your own photos, you can post quotes, stock pictures, you can repost other’s posts, which again builds relationships. We found if we don’t post for a day or two the views will drop in the following days. This means Instagram isn’t putting our post into people’s feeds.
I am a busy mum with a few businesses, it’s difficult to wait around and create this engagement on Instagram so I have taken a few measures;
I use a scheduling app to schedule my posts. I personally use Tailwind although others are available. I use this for both Pinterest pins and Instagram posts. I like it because I can bulk upload, store sets of tags and manage it through my PC and phone via the app. It also analyses your account and works out the best times to post. You do get a free trial to see if it’s for you. I tend to do a week’s worth of posts in one hit.
I also use an app to add followers. I struggled to find one on I Phone but I have one on my android phone. I refuse to do the spammy generic comments as I hate those! But I would imagine they would help if you don’t mind doing them.
I turn of most instagram notifications as they get a bit annoying, but I do leave on the comment one so when I get a comment through I reply back instantly, like I say even if it’s just the spam/generic ones.
These are just some basic tips that you can implement straight away. These should stand you in good stead regardless of changes implemented. The key is genuine posting with engagement.
I wish you luck with your Instagram marketing strategy and I love to hear from you! What’s worked for you? Will you be implementing any of these changes? Are you worried about the impact on your account?