Oh Instagram. You either love it or hate it. Some seem to thrive on this social media giant. They effortlessly curate a beautiful selection of content, build genuine relationships and cleverly engage with their ever-growing following.
For others, the word “daunting” comes to mind. Instagram can seem like a mysterious monster, requiring hours of effort, trial and error, and a slow growth of lukewarm followers. Some may even find it distasteful to “self-promote” themselves or their business on this platform.
For those in the second group: we invite you to look at Instagram as a powerful tool to build your website following, brand, and business. The positives of Instagram are endless: there is hardly any financial barrier to entry, you’ll have access to countless potential active followers, and it allows you to share and engage with a dedicated following.
In conjunction with your website, you can build your brand like you’ve never imagined. Here are our tips to getting started on the right foot:
Complete Your Bio
This little blurb at the top of your profile is often overlooked – but don’t underestimate its power! Be sure to complete your profile with a catchy sentence (or two) describing what you offer. Have fun with it!
Be sure to include a link to your website, and consider including your location to give context and capture the attention of local followers.
Your bio can quickly indicate to potential followers what you’re all about, and can entice them to follow you. Be sure to take advantage of it.
Brand Your Profile
Before you start thinking about your posting strategy, consider that your posts will be viewed in two ways:
- as individual posts in a feed
- on your profile along with your other posts
As your posts will be pieced together on your profile, it’s best to think of each post as an addition to an overall collage. The idea is to fit together a cohesive collage of posts that conveys your brand. You can use apps to edit your photos to create a consistent “look” and tone:
Be sure to consider the branding not only across your instagram page, but on your website and your business. The idea is to create a fluid brand that is easily recognizable as your own.
Be Smart With Hashtags
Whether you like it or not, #hashtags are here to stay. It’s a great way for potential new followers and customers to find your posts. That doesn’t mean you should simply paste a bunch of popular hashtags on your caption and call it a day. Be thoughtful with your hashtags. It’s best to include a mix of relevant hashtags that are:
- niche/ lesser known hashtags that are specific to your industry
- location specific
We would recommend around 7 hashtags per post. To avoid cluttering your post caption, you can comment on your own post with your hashtags. Make sure your hashtags are on the first comment on your post – you can copy your hashtags from a note app, and paste them in the comment right after you make your post.
Fill a Need
On the surface, it may seem like your Instagram profile should be all about you. This is why some have resistance to “self-promotion” and are afraid to use Instagram for their business. However, the best Instagram profiles are really about its followers.
With each post, be sure to offer something of value to potential visitors – be it useful tips or inspiration. Engage with comments and pay attention to your followers.
When followers trust you on Insta, they can trust your business, and are more likely to become a customer or loyal fan.
Use Instagram’s Algorithm to Your Advantage
While Instagram’s new algorithm can seem mysterious, Instagram has actually revealed much of their criteria for how posts are displayed on instagram feeds.
A lesser-known trick:
To raise your chance of getting more eyeballs on your Instagram, make your content more worthy of lingering on. The longer a user lingers on your post or story, the more engagement it indicates to Instagram. Captivate viewers with a caption, video, or image that requires more time spent than a simple look.
Other things to consider:
- engagement and relationship
Whether you like it or not, Instagram is a very powerful tool that has the potential to do wonders for your business. With a basic understanding of Instagram strategies, you can steadily grow a loyal following to boost your business and website.