As a business owner, you know how important this little app can be to the success of your brand, but you're unsure where to start putting a system in place that will work for you!
How often should you post? What should you post? Do hashtags even matter? These are the questions that have stressed many business owners as they’ve tried to navigate the world of Instagram for business. Don't forgo a well-thought-out plan for a “whatever works” panic/frustration mindset. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, I will explore some best practices for using the app , and some ideas for your content so that you can start planning and scheduling with confidence.
#Hashtags - are they even necessary?
Smart Hashtags: Hashtags are well known, but not so well understood. Most users add a few hashtags on their posts with the hope that they’ll attract more followers to their page.
The true intent of hashtags is to bring posts of a certain topic to one place so that they are easy to search based on a user’s interest. In fact, they are a great source for all business types because they are a way you can find your ideal clients on Instagram without a huge amount of effort.
But using hashtags isn’t as simple as typing “#smallbusiness” at the end of your post. Instead, you’ll need to do some market research to discover which tags are the ones your ideal audience engages with, and whether or not you’ll be able to stand out in those crowded spaces. Don’t be afraid to drill down and be specific. If you create website designs and you specify in a particular platform, rather than use the #webdesigner try opting for #wordpressdesigner to increase your chance of being discovered by businesses who might be looking for just that.
Tips for Hashtags: Use branded hashtags YOU create for your own work and brand. For example, I use #w3designstudio on most of my posts as a way for users to engage with my brand in their own posts.
You don't need to reinvent the wheel, look at the hashtags your competitors use consistently. Decide which of those you also want to start using.
If you love working with local businesses, use as many localised hashtags as possible. Local leads are always warmer leads than any other. For example, #goldcoastgraphicdesign would be a smarter hashtag to use than #graphicdesign.
Try and add at least 15 hashtags per post, you have a 30 hashtag limit per post. Being discovered awaits you, make the most of it.
Don’t forget to use up to 10 hashtags in your stories, too! Stories are a great way to gain visibility as well!
TOP TIP: One of my top tips for increasing engagement and visibility of a post is to engage 15 minutes before you post and 15 minutes after. It's not enough to just post and run. By engaging before and after you post, you’re increasing the likelihood of your content being made visible to your audience.
The absolute goal here is to stay "front of mind" as much as you possibly can. Your engaged audience wants to feel like they can count on your presence in their feed. Algorithms for Instagram are constantly changing, and even though it's hard to keep up with ALL the changes, consistency is a pillar to posting successfully.
So, get to posting on Instagram! Something like 3-5 days per week is optimal for most business types. Posting more than that could actually lead to a drop in engagement or followers.
Choosing images, creating headlines and captions, choosing hashtags is a lot of work. Batching your work into one day is a great way to get all your social media posts complete for a week!
It's so important to encourage engagement, after all, that's what it's all about, engaging with your audience, is how you grow your business.
You can imagine if you went out to a social event and didn't talk with anyone, you wouldn't make many connections and Instagram is exactly like that.
You need to be engaging with your followers and also commenting on their posts! It's a two way street. Likewise, engage with your potential clients.
Be sincere in your comments and likes and don't be afraid to make it personal. People really do like genuine contact. Don't forget to answer people who engage with you too.
The simple process of getting a new website for your business.
Click this link if you’d like to download my all-inclusive checklist.
These steps outline what it takes to get your beautiful new website up and running.
This list will give you a perfect understanding of the process before hiring a designer.