Does your Instagram account seem to be more complicated than it should be these days?
Well if you are like most people, keeping up with the new algorithms is a rather daunting task amidst all the other platforms and behind-the-scenes tasks of a small business owner. Stick with me while we talk about four key activities to help bring a little more simplicity and ease to the task of social media marketing!
1. Post Daily – Consistency is Key
I think this goes without saying but posting daily is the only way to start gaining a dedicated following on any social media. If your followers do not see anything from you for days, weeks, or months at a time they tend to lose interest in you and your company, mostly because they tend to forget you are there.
Now I know posting daily can be a hassle in and of itself, but the key to making sure you do not miss a day is to pre-plan your content about 30 days in advance, or more if you can. This can mean sitting down for one day per month and batching out content. If you are not super creative and struggle with what to post on a day-to-day basis then head on over to schedule a discovery call with me and take some of the stress away from figuring out what on earth you are going to post every day!
2. Use Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are a major lifeline to catching those followers who do not take the time to read posts. These can be posted any time of the day or night and stick around for 24 hours and then get archived. If you want them to be viewed longer than 24 hours at a time you can go in and add them to your highlights so they don’t get lost. Highlights allow viewers to continue to see your stories for as long as you leave them up.
When posting a story some key things to remember are: Use hashtags but not 30. Stick with one to three for best results and place them on a hashtag sticker. Use your location tag especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store or are traveling and want to highlight that location (this is great for horse shows and expos). Using these features within stories will allow you to connect with those in physical proximity to you, as well as those with similar interests.
Now, this is where the real power comes from. Having a powerful set of hashtags added to the first comment of your post will supercharge your content on Instagram. If hashtags confuse you, just simply think of how you find things on Google. You simply type in a search word, right? A hashtag is simply a search word on Instagram.
So then the question is, what will your audience be searching for and how do you come up with the lists of hashtags.
Ideally, you are going to want 15-30 hashtags per post. They do not need to be the exact same each time. I like to have 2-4 lists of relevant hashtags to copy and paste depending on what my content is about. When picking your hashtags, check out another blog where we go in-depth on a formula specifically for how to pick which hashtags to use. Everything from using wildly popular hashtags to your own brand-specific tags.
4. Engage. Engage. Engage.
(this means taking the time to talk to your audience!)
This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, unfortunately, many businesses do a lot of content creation but not a whole lot of genuine activity within their accounts. They either lose followers or struggle to gain new ones because the conversation is one-sided. They expect to post and just have tons of comments when they are not whole-heartedly trying to initiate relationships online.
Engagement does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as responding to a comment left on your post, response to a story you shared, responding to a private message, or liking your follower’s posts.
Have conversations with your followers. Get to know them! The more you talk to your audience the more you will understand their needs, struggles, and goals. Instead of spending time doing market research and engagement why not just combine the two by simply engaging? You will learn a lot about your audience which can help you tailor your products or services to fit their needs.
Remember at the end of the day your followers want to see, not only your product or service but you as a person! They want to relate and feel like they have a connection with you. Stay consistent and most of all stay positive. Social media is a challenging world and it is always changing!