You’ve prepped your Instagram account to perfection, you are ready to embrace your Instagram followers, you are ready to watch those notifications explode, you’re ready to engage. The traffic to your website is going to make it crash. You hit that “share” button, and you sit back and wait. 24 hours later, 3 likes, no new follows and no traffic to your site. You wonder what’s gone wrong? Where are the hoards you were so ready to engage with?
The cold reality is you may not have been #instaworthy, or you’ve not used the right hashtags or even hashtags at all.
This guide will help you to produce quality content to attract the right people to your business or blog on Instagram.
Cohesive Instagram feed
It’s really important your overall Instagram is cohesive. It must link to your brand and business. Think about it, if you are a hairdresser, and you want to attract people to your business you should be posting pictures of beautiful hair. It doesn’t have to be hair you’ve done, you can post inspiration, you can share other’s content, but you want to show what quality of hairstyles you believe in. If you posted about your pet dog, why on earth would anyone follow you to find out more or seek out information on hair? It amazes me how many people treat their business account as a personal one and post irrelevant images to their brand!
The feed should be colour coordinated, even if that is using all bright colours or just shades of blue for example.
When you post always ensure you are “on brand”.
Here are some examples of great cohesive Instagram feeds.
The image you post on Instagram matters
It’s not just about pulling the feed together overall. The individual picture matters. It needs to say open me, it needs to appeal to your audience. Scroll through your feed or through search results and you will see what I mean. What posts are you drawn to? Notice how some posts you stop and look at and want to read more, others you scroll on past. Search for images within your niche and see what appeals to you. Don’t directly copy these, but work it in a similar way.
Images need to be clear. No one will click on a poor quality image. I really recommend free stock websites such as Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels. Pixistock has beautiful images and you get several free ones each month. You could also use Canva to create beautiful images that are #instaworthy.
Captions that leave your audience wanting more
You have a beautifully curated feed, you’re ready to post a stunning eye-catching image, now it’s time to draw your audience in with your caption. Captions that are more “real” tend to get more engagement. People can identify with it, or you’re answering a question they have or clarifying something. You are offering VALUE! These can be short or long, mix it up. Don’t think your words have to directly correspond to your picture, for example, a nice picture of scenery posted with a caption that contains a motivational quote and details about why you are posting it can work very well.
I scroll through search results to engage with my followers (read more about engaging with your prospective followers here) and I like to comment on posts. Sometimes I literally can’t comment. The caption is so boring and offers so little I can’t think of anything to reply that won’t sound like one of the spambot replies!
Ask a question, try to get your followers involved. Just make sure they feel a pull to comment because engagement is Instagram currency.
Tags are a highly unused method to supercharge your posts. Tag a location every time. Whether it’s where you are, or your country or where the picture is taken, just always put a location in. Obviously, if you are a local business it should be the area you are based in to really boost local traffic. If you are an online business it’s still worth using the location tag as you can come up in searches so why miss the opportunity!
You should also try to tag people. You could tag accounts that might feature you, you could tag products you are using, you could tag people you are with or people who might be interested in your post. This pulls you into their feed, it’s a networking or promotional opportunity, and they may reciprocate.
Some people don’t like to share the Instagram post with their other social media channels as they feel like people should have different content on each of the channels. To an extent I agree with this, however, depending on your time constraints it’s difficult. I don’t necessarily have time to post on all my social media channels for The Female Entrepreneur Hub several times a day! So I do share on Facebook and Twitter. However, I tend to top up the other accounts with their own content in addition.
You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. This is across your caption and your comments (made by you). If you try to post more it won’t publish the comment. If you notice your image has gone on but the not the comment it’s likely this is why. You can put your comments in your post or in the comments. A lot of people use full stops to push them further down the comment so they are not as much of an eyesore. Another way to get around this is to post the picture then comment on it with your hashtags. It will pull you into the results just the same.
My advice is to use all thirty, particularly whilst you’re trying to maximise growth. You don’t want to go too high level with your hashtags. Instagram hashtags such as #motivation will mean your post falls in with literally millions of other posts and this isn’t going to help you. Much better to use more specific hashtags. So for The Female Entrepreneur Hub, I use hashtags such as #femaleentrepreneur or #workfromhome. It just narrows down your audience to people you really want to target. You want to aim to get in the top 9 pictures for that hashtag search.
I like to use hashtag generator such as Leetags (available on Android and iPhone)
Now you have posted your content you should start to see some likes and comments coming in. Hopefully, in time you will start to see some engaged comments. At first, you may just get spambot comments. You should still reply to these! I thank them for their comment. Use 4 words or more. Why? Because Instagram sees this as engagement and pushes your post further up the ranking for that hashtag.
By following these tips it should give you premium quality content for your Instagram feed and help attract the right followers for your business or niche. Get in touch or comment below if you have any questions or enjoyed this post!!