I’m no social media pro. SEO and Google Ads, otherly known as ‘Search Marketing’ is my thing. But out of curiosity and professional interest, I do partake in the phenomenon of social media. After all, it all falls under the ‘digital marketing’ umbrella for business owners like you and me.
If you’re a small business owner like myself, then no doubt managing your own social media falls into your hands.
Therefore today I thought I would take my 7 years of using Instagram and share with you the Instagram tips I have learned along the way.
Instagram launched not even 10 years ago. This photo and now video sharing social media app launched in July 2010 and in February 2012 I signed up.
Morgan and I were in London at the time. We were deciding whether we would stay and get jobs in this historical city or if we’d head back to Australasia after living in Dubai for 4 years.
While I was on the job hunt, I decided I’d create social media profiles for my wine blog, Travelling Corkscrew. I have to admit, for the first few months I actually just thought Instagram was a photo editing app. My first picture was a pile of pancakes and a bottle of wine as we were indulging in a sparkling wine breakfast. I didn’t actually think anyone else would see the picture but that I was editing it nicely to then upload to my blog.
Prioritise interaction & engagement, not followers
It’s understandable to want to grow the number of people who follow you in order to grow your reach. But think about it this way, would you rather have 100 followers who couldn’t give two hoots about what you post or have 10 who interact with your posts and genuinely want something to do with your business?
I know which one I’d choose.
The thing is, building an audience who cares and maintaining that relationship takes work. Just like any relationship. If someone takes the time to comment and interact with your posts, make sure you acknowledge them by replying back.
Sadly, on Instagram there are a ton of spam comments, so my advice here is to just swipe left and delete their comment.
Have a reason to sign up and post
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of social media. I’m guilty of losing my way and wasting a lot of time scrolling through post after post, just ‘because’.
But don’t sign up to Instagram just because everyone is. Before creating an account for your business on Instagram, you should have a reason for doing it. This could be for brand awareness to share your business story, or it could be to connect and build an online community for your customers.
Just like any digital marketing strategy, if you’re putting time and/or effort into Instagram, then you need to know why you’re doing it and how it is helping your business. Because otherwise that time and/or money could be better spent on another strategy which will help you meet your business goals.
Be adventurous and experiment
To be honest, I wasn’t going to set up an Instagram account for Grand Cru Digital as I didn’t think it would suit my line of work. But in fact, it’s been a great tool to help me establish GCD and has even helped some of my new clients come across me.
Therefore the saying ‘you never know until you try’ is definitely good advice. Experiment with different types of images, videos and give Instagram Stories a go.
At the end of the day, think about where your target audience hangs out, if they fall into the category of ‘grammers’ then Instagram might be worth testing out.
Get tips and advice from trusted professionals
Just like in the SEO world, in the social media world, there are a ton of free resources to learn more about Instagram. Therefore if you are self-managing your Instagram account it’s worth following a few social media gurus to keep up with the latest tips and tricks.
Some of my favourites that I follow either via their websites or social media channels are:
Did you know you can add up to 30 hashtags per post? You can either add these into your post caption or as a comment below your caption. There’s no one right way of doing it, so dabble and see what works best for you and your business.
Hashtags will help people find you. Therefore you want the hashtags to relate to your post and your business. When you go to type a hashtag it will give you figures for how many other posts have used that hashtag. This gives you an idea of how popular a hashtag is.
Plus don’t forget to use hashtags in your Instagram Story too, this will again widen your reach.
If hashtags are a bit daunting, then go through and check out what other accounts are doing to get a bit more of an idea of what to do. When it comes down to it, think about if someone was looking for posts using that hashtag, would your post align with what the hashtag says? Think of it as hashtag searcher intent.
Add your location
Just like adding hashtags, if you add your location into your post it’ll help more people see your content in the local area.
Fill in your profile
For people who are genuinely interested in following you and your business, they will no doubt check out your profile page. Therefore make sure this is up to date and shows your business in its best light.
If you have a website, make sure you add this to your profile. Also don’t be scared to use hashtags, tags or emojis.
Add paragraph spaces to your captions
It took me a long time to work out how people were able to add nice white spaces between their paragraphs on Instagram. After I finally took the time to do the research, I found out it’s some magical hidden characters.
I’ve shared this tip with a few fellow business owners already, and they love it! If you have connected your Instagram and Twitter accounts and you automatically post your Instagram posts directly to Twitter, then there is a way you make sure your images pull through to Twitter too.
I personally don’t do it for my business account, as I prefer to create native tweets, however, I do use it for my blog and it’s super handy.
So there you have it! These are a few of the tips I have picked up over the last 7 years. What’s your biggest Instagram tip? Share it with us all over on Instagram.
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Grand Cru Digital offers SEO, Content and Google AdWords services across Australia. Casey Bryan, owner and operator is a freelance online marketing specialist who can help you achieve great growth for your business. More about us >>