If you are trying to grow your business, then you know that Instagram is a platform you need to embrace. But here’s the thing: Instagram is always evolving and changing their algorithm. You must have some tools in your toolbox that are going to take you the distance even when the platform pivots. I started out this year with an Instagram account that I have had for almost 8 years. I would use the occasional filter. I would maybe throw in a hashtag or geo-tag, but mainly the account was a way for me to keep track of memories.
When Court and I launched the Unshaken Podcast, I knew I needed to level up my Instagram and start building an engaged audience to get our show out there. I went from around 850 followers to almost 3,000 in 6 months! I am breaking down my five Instagram hacks that helped me gain traction, met new people, spread my mission, and ultimately, make me some extra money. Here we go!
- Be consistent. Truthfully, this could be my first piece of advice for ANY type of marketing article. Being consistent is king. Think about it. If you had a friend that would only reply to you half of the time, show up to some events, but not others, and then just stop communicating all together, how would you feel? Well, that is pretty much the same with your Instagram followers. You can’t post once a week and hope new people flock to you. You can’t post one Monday and then again on Thursday and consider that “showing up.” There are so many apps to help you plan out your content and posts that you have ZERO excuse to not show up. Worried your picture isn’t good enough? Guess what, something is better than nothing in my opinion. Post the picture. Tell a story. Show up consistently. I could just end this article now…. But, I have more to share 😊
- Leave your two cents. Engage with your audience. If someone is talking about being at the beach that day and how it restored their energy and you feel the same way, comment and let them know! “Oh man! Me too! The beach is where I do my best thinking.” Why? Why am I telling you to do that? Because it creates a connection with you and the other human holding their phone. Be genuine. Comment when it is something you have value to add to the conversation. Remember that you are basically networking with strangers. If you wouldn’t say “Hi!” and then walk away from someone in real life, then I also wouldn’t do it online.
- Implement a good hashtag, geotag, and account strategy. I could write a post about this on it’s own as well, but will try to keep it concise. Hashtags: use them. You get up to 30 per post. That’s 30 opportunities for someone to find you. Do some research and figure out where your audience is and use those hashtags. I also suggest using varying levels of hashtags. For instance, #momlife has millions of followers so I want to make sure I am also getting more niche and use something like #toddlergirlmom. Geo-tags are great for people to find you as well. Make sure you are utilizing them in your post. I have had several brands re-post my pictures because of the geo-tag I had on the photo. And finally, accounts. Follow accounts like your idea customer. Follow accounts that inspire you and you can learn from when you see their feed. I try to find and follow at least 10 accounts each day as a good rule of thumb.
- Utilize all the tools- IG Stories and IGTV. They are there so we can use them, guys! Stories are becoming more and more the way of engagement for brands. I have had several ask me not only my engagement on my feed, but as well as my stories. If you don’t have anything or want to post anything to your feed for the day, still show up in your stories. Using the polls, questions, and other built in tools will also help engage your audience. IGTV is awesome for all of us that are under the 10,000-follower mark because it gives us the ability to use the “Swipe Up” link. Take advantage, friends!
- Make it your own and have fun! My feed will never be the most curated. The filters don’t match, my pictures aren’t always professionally done, and you know what—that’s who I am! I am not the blush and neutral girl. I’m loud, outgoing, and bright—so my feed reflects those traits. If you don’t feel like posting for the day, then don’t! Don’t be a hostage to your phone. Like I said earlier, there are great apps to help you plan a week’s worth of content ahead of time so that you can batch your content and move on with your life!
I hope you guys feel more adept to tackle Instagram! If you want me to look at your account and do a profile audit, shoot me a message!