Instagram is currently the hottest social media platforms around. In the last year alone it has doubled its number of worldwide users.
Its features are continuously updated and improved (Stories anyone) which keeps it interesting. On the flip side however, it means that the old way of doing things don’t work as well anymore.
Once upon a time, you could throw up a pretty image with a few cute hashtags, and boom go viral. The platform has more users and more content – which means it’s getting pretty crowded. Reach has reduced and the days of easy viral content are long gone.
It’s not all bad news however as Instagram is still a platform that launches very successful businesses. In 2019 these are the top five areas you should be focusing your efforts on to grow your account and get the right eyes on your posts.
Have a Strategy
The first (and most important) step to killing it on Instagram is to have a strategy. A strategy helps you know what you’re going to be posting, why you’re posting it and the key messages to get across.
A strategy helps you align what you post online with your business goals. So the time you spend online is working for you and your business and helping set you up on the right path.
Posting to Instagram without a strategy is a bit like bushwalking without a map. You’re still walking, but you don’t actually know how to get to your destination. Sure, you might get lucky and end up where you wanted - but not without a lot of wandering in the wrong directions before stumbling (by accident) onto the right path.
Stop obsessing over your feed
I’ve worked with a lot of business owners who get obsessed over having the perfect feed. To the point that they stop posting strategically and only focus on their feed. Some where along the way they decided that a perfectly curated feed was the strategy. That if they just got the perfect feed- they would make more sales.
Here’s the thing- your images only work to capture interest. It’s your caption that draws people in and turns followers into customers.
Yes, all your images should be good quality and on brand. I can’t stress that enough. But beyond that? No one but you really notices (or care) about your feed. So, if you find yourself spending lots of time stressing about curating some intricate diagonal, colour blocked, alternating, filtered feed - Just chill.
At the end of the day, social media is all about building relationships. And relationships are formed between people. You might be a business selling to businesses. But there is a person behind every social media account - A person who wants to connect.
Tell the stories behind the brands. Tell the story of your staff on the computers, the staff who answer the phones and the team designing your products. Show faces (and I mean real faces, not stock photos) of your staff. Talk about the values the business upholds. The culture you aim for.
Talk about the ups and the downs because people are complex. Business is complicated. And being raw, honest and human is how you build a connection. But if that’s all too scary for you – at least add some humour.
Engage. Engage. Engage
Engage, engage and engage some more. If you ignore all the other tips, please do not overlook this one (or better yet don’t ignore them). You need to be engaging with your followers and the people you want to connect with.
Respond to comments. Like images. Post comments on other accounts. Watch stories and reply to ones you connect with.
Yes, it is a lot of work. Social media is very much a two-way street. If you don’t invest in your community - they won’t invest in you.
Set aside a small amount of time each day to leave meaningful and genuine comments. You might even be surprised at the connections you make that turn into real life friendships too.
Stories are addictive and fun. Best of all they’re easy to create.
80% of all Instagram users are watching stories daily. If you’re not using them - you’re missing out!
The good thing about stories is that they are created on the go - which means you don’t need to stress about creating high-quality edited videos. In fact, some of the best stories I’ve seen show the stuff you usually edit out.