Instagram is one of the major apps social media users have an account with, with the most recent stats of more than 800 million monthly active users and that was back in September 2018! Of those active users, over 60% of them log into the app every single day and share over 95 million photos. That alone shows how effective the app can be to support the growth of a business or service. Learning how to set up an Instagram account for those who don’t have a physical store or a website is super easy and convenient. From a business standpoint, Instagram has made it simple and less time-consuming than other sites to help entrepreneurs with little to no start-up accessible funds start and grow their business from the ground up. You can use micro-stories to find out what entertains your audience and quickly grow a following based on those who share similar interests and goals. Here are a few steps I put together to help create a profile and start promoting your business on Instagram without breaking your bank.
1. Create a Profile that Lets People Know you Mean Business – Literally!
Your profile is the first impression people see when they click on your page. Here are a few tips to enhance your Instagram profile:
- Have a display photo that is your logo, if you have one. This will set the tone your brand and be the first thing people see. Aim for a quality profile photo that accurately reflects your branding.
- If you’re an influencer or a blogger, choose a picture of yourself that communicates who you are and what you do as accurately as possible.
- Have a username that ideally is your brand name. Try not to make it too complicated and limit the use of symbols like underscores. If you have a website, make sure you link it in your profile.
When it comes to completing the Business Information section, link it to a Facebook page if you have one already created. That way whatever you post on Instagram will automatically post on your Facebook Page for your brand. Choose a category that is the closest to what your brand is about. Lastly, make sure you choose the most ideal contact option so that others may be able to reach you.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a creative eye but don’t want to pay ridiculous prices for help with a logo, try Fiverr. It has great pro services like logo making, promo videos, and graphic designing individuals who are looking for a quick gig. You can also negotiate and ask for more than one of each service or product to ensure you are satisfied with what you want to be completed for you.
Pro Tip #2: Include a keyword with your name. To make sure those who are in your niche notice your page and can find you, add a strong keyword in your name to help with searchability scores. For example, use the keyword as your ‘middle’ name even if the keyword isn’t apart of your official Instagram handle. If you need help finding a strong keyword, enter your niche into Ubersuggest Tool and see how you can use your keyword to the best of its ability.
2.Write an Eye-Catching and Appealing BioFirst impressions are everything and it literally takes a half a second for someone to form an opinion on who you are and what your brand is all about. Your bio plays the key role in the actions someone decides to take once they come across your page. It can make or break the decision for you to be followed, scroll through your content, or even click the link to your website. This is why it is incredibly important to make a great first impression with the content of your Instagram profile and what you write in your bio.
A great Instagram bio should:
- Explain a bit about you or your brand and what you do
- Appeal to your target audience – know your niche!
- Use your brand tone and voice to help you build a connection
3. Engagement Count Matters more than your Followers Count
You may have over 10,000 followers but only average about 2 comments per photo or video. The following count may seem high but when Google and Instagram see the ratio between your followers and your engagement, it actually does not look so good. This could mean a number of things: people probably like your page and what it stands for but your photos aren’t appealing or have a call to action. In some cases, it could mean the people liking the photo or following the account have been bought from a third party app. Now if you have a lower followers count but a high engagement ratio on your photos, this actually looks better when your page is analyzed by Google and Instagram algorithms. Also, companies that do sponsored ads and affiliate programs will take you more seriously when your ratio is more appealing and you will gain their attention better this way. If you aren’t sure if your numbers add up to algorithmic standards, try to average at least about 10% engagement when comparing your likes to your follower count.
4. Pay Attention to Your Colour Palette on your Account
A majority of the most successful Instagram accounts tend to use a colour palette for their photos. You can either pick colours that relate to your brand or use very soft colours with light backgrounds on your images. If you use a lot of quotes or do a lot of content posts, use the same font styles and alignment for each post.
Another thing that is extremely important is your captions! Captions are a great chance to enhance your content and to connect with your followers or customers. Think of it as a sharing section or a mini-blog. Use this space to ask questions and encourage replies and increase engagement. Try to also make it connect to what your photo is about so it is not messy and stays consistent.
Pro tip: Instagram captions have a limit to 2,200 characters and a maximum of 30 hashtags, so pre-write your captions and edit them in your Notes app on your smartphone before pasting it to your photo.
5. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
No matter how great you believe your product or service is, or how important your brand is, it won’t appear that way if you aren’t consistent with your activity on Instagram. This includes publishing and engaging in connecting with other users and how frequently you do so. By staying consistent and publishing regularly, it can help your audience learn when to expect new content from you. Try to set up a posting schedule for your page to maximize engagement without hitting any long stretches without any activity. People have a short attention span and will lose interest quickly, and can even unfollow you for lack of posts.
Pro tip: Use a free posting app like Hootsuite to help set up scheduled posts in advance. That way your page will stay active and interactive while you continue living your everyday life.
6. Respond to Comments and Direct Messages
Responding to comments is a great way to build a strong community on your Instagram page. If someone took the time and energy to share their thoughts or ask you a question, it’s very important to respond back to them and show them you appreciate them and are listening. By responding to comments and direct messages, your audience can be a great way to encourage positive feedback, word of mouth and function as brand advocates without you paying for marketing or ads. The more users feel connected to you, the more they are likely to recommend your product or services to their followers, friends, and family.
Bonus tip: Try creating a brand-specific hashtag
An Instagram marketing strategy to post consistent, quality content that aims to build your brand while also connecting on an individual basis with our community members are the key basics to Instagram success. One-on-one interactions and connections are vital, and by creating a brand-specific hashtag it can allow your community to tell a story about what they’re passionate about both personally and professionally. Also, when people search your hashtag, it can help others catch a glimpse of what your business is all about and see who else endorses your content!
Have any other tips and helpful suggestions that can help others grow their Instagram business? Let us know below!