PIB40 – Instagram: Top 10 Tips For Getting Started

This episode is part 1 of the Instagram For Business series. In this 4-part series we will be covering everything you need to know about Instagram, how to use it for business, and how to grow a community!  In this show, learn all about getting started on Instagram and how you can build a strong foundation for your business.

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Instagram, after recently booming as a social media platform over the past couple of years, has continued to grow!  This is a platform you should definitely considering investing your time in when it comes to building your business (and even better) growing your relationships and networking with your community.

This simple app is my social media platform of choice when it comes to doing just that, growing my community and building my business. Over the past year and a half I have researched and implemented all of the different ways you can build a following and monetize your community on Instagram.  I have learned so much not only from reading about “how the experts” did it, but also by watching other leading accounts on Instagram and doing what they do — sometimes, surprisingly, that is one of the best ways to fast track the road to success!  I am very grateful and thrilled with the results I have gotten and decided to share them with you so that you can do the same!

In today’s podcast episode (that you can listen to above if you don’t feel like reading this blog post) I talk to you about how I got started with Instagram and how dumb-founded I was with what was working as I grew my own personal following from 342 followers (as of January 1st, 2016) to 3,072 within 6 weeks.

Growing this following took a lot of work to begin with but once I got some systems in place and habits that had formed during these 6 weeks of experimentation the results were clear.  And I want to be the first to tell you… it was completely worth it!

Once I built up a community, the number of followers, and the engagement that seemed to come natural at this point I started to monetize my account and really integrate my business into Instagram.  I have to say, straight up, that Instagram is NOT for everyone.  I am not a fan for the “guru’s” and “experts” who tell you that you MUST be on Instagram and there is no other way of building your business / community.  As I said before — not for everyone, but really that’s just like every other social media platform!  Pick your poison.  Figure out which platform works the best for you, the place where you audience and potential customers are already at, and go there!  If that happens to be on Instagram, then you are in the right place!  Otherwise, no worries. (:

Over the next month I plan on putting out one new episode on my podcast, Passion In Business, that is all about Instagram.  This week I started the series off simple with key concepts of why you should / could be using Instagram in your business strategy and the top 10 tips for getting started on this platform.

Top 10 Tips For Getting Started On Instagram

#1. Learn the platform

You really can’t reap the benefits of this social media platform without actually getting to know it first.  By familiarizing yourself with how the app works, the atmosphere of the community, and the signature of the platform you can see some real results long term and know what you are doing moving forward.

#2. Optimize your profile

When you first create your Instagram account, you will notice that when you click on the “Edit Profile” button (or alternatively the setting icon in the top right hand corner) that there is a couple of fields for you to input your information on.  This is prime real estate for you to be taking advantage of as new visitors coming to your account page will look to this area first to get a feel for who you are and what you / your business is all about.

#3. Create a content strategy

It is highly recommended that when you use Instagram as a basic marketing strategy to build your business, that you sit down in the very beginning and plan out your very own content strategy.  This can include what types of posts you will be publishing as well as when they will be posted.  There are tools and management apps available that you can use to schedule out the content (but you should know that none are 100% automated).

#4. Balance your account with professional AND fun posts

Do not forget that even if you are running a business formatted account, your follows want to see the person behind the mask (so to speak).  Showing your fun side and little bit of the “behind the scenes” of your business and team members can quickly gain your followers trust and build up the relationship with potential customers.

#5. Grow your account for credibility

Having large numbers on any social media platform is a good indicator that you (1) know what you are talking about and (2) can be trusted.  Make an effort to grow your following and don’t forget to continue to give value to that community so that you can retain your previous followers as well.

#6. Post often(!) with a flexible posting schedule

On my own personal page, I make it a point to post a MINIMUM of six times PER DAY.  Often I will post up to 12 – 16 times in one day and although this might seem a little intimidating for you if you are new to the platform, understand that this is a habit that has been formed over time and you can also look into hiring an assistant or a team member that can help you make this possible.  The accounts that post the most (valuable content of course, nothing lazy and half-assed) are the ones that grow the fastest.

#7. Use videos and visually appealing content

Recently Instagram released many different types of updates to the platform, one of which including the ability to post videos that are up to 60 seconds, instead of the original 15 seconds that we were all previously accustomed to.  This is a major opportunity to share videos and make a stronger connection with your followers.

#8. Utilize apps

As mentioned before, there are many different types of management apps that can help you with a wide range of tasks that you normally would find yourself doing on a day to day basis on Instagram.  These include: tracking analytics and the growth of your account, scheduling out posts, and even managing your followers in such a way that allows you to see the accounts that you follow but do not follow you back.  Utilize these apps as they will definitely help you grow and market your business on Instagram!

#9. Use analytics to track growth

Analytics are needed on basically everything platform: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, Websites, etc.  Instagram is no exception!  You won’t know what is working if you don’t know your numbers and tracking the analytics of your account is the best way to accomplish this.

#10. Research and use related hashtags

Take the time to research the hashtags that your followers and target audience members are using and be sure to use these on your own posts to get in front of potential audience members who might be interested in your account.  Don’t be afraid to use less popular hashtags since these are the ones that are less populated and ideally won’t get your posts lost in the hashtag feeds.

BONUS: Give special bonus content

It’s really great if you’re publishing content on every other platform (including your blog) and while reusing that content throughout all of your social media accounts could be a great strategy and use of your time.. It is also doing a bit of a disservice to your Instagram followers. Feel free to share what you’ve posted on your blog this week to your Instagram feed but don’t be afraid to add in a nugget or two of value bombs to your Instagram community that you haven’t shared anywhere else so that they are grateful for the fact that they follow you on this specific platform.

While it might seem a little daunting when you first get started with Instagram, don’t be intimidated!  Use these tips to get the ball rolling and if you stick to them you will to start to see a lot of benefits when using it in your marketing strategy plan.

If you are just starting out on Instagram, have been on it for a while now but don’t seem to get it, or feel like you aren’t getting anywhere — I have put together a great and easy-to-use guide just for you!  Click the link below to get your FREE guide to getting started on Instagram and growing your community!

3 Steps To Growing Your Instagram Community (For Beginners) 

Thanks for listening to todays episode of the Passion In Business Podcast, stay tuned for next week’s episode where I cover growth hacks and how to turn a following into a community!

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