How to improve your Instagram feed
Instagram said in 2017 that on average, users under the age of 25 spend approximately 32 minutes a day on the app and those over 25 years are on it for roughly 24 minutes per day. Think about your own experience on social media, how many brands are flinging ads into your feed when you’re having a quick nose? The amount of advertising noise competing for likes, shares and clicks is deafening. But it’s not impossible to divert some of that attention on to your page.
Run through our quick marketing tips for Instagram below.
1. Get yourself an Instagram for Business Account
First and foremost, put the breaks on everything to make sure your brand’s Instagram account is switched to a business profile. If you’re unsure how to do that, follow the below steps. (If you don’t have Instagram, download the app from your app store provider, sign up, keep your profile public – not set to private – and then open it on your profile’s page by hitting the cartoon person silhouette.)
- Open settings on your profile page.
- Scroll down to ‘switch to business account’.
- Instagram will then ask you to select the Facebook page you want to be linked to this Insta-profile. To have a Business Account, you’ll also need a Facebook Page for your business. Instagram will let you create one at this point if you haven’t already got one.
- Once your account has switched, you can add in useful business details for your followers like opening hours, working address, website, email and phone number.
Upping your Instagram profile to a business account comes with a delicious sprinkling of free perks, the cherry on top of which is Instagram Insights. A powerful tool for finding out about who is engaging with your content. Insights cover details on Impressions, Reach, Profile Visits and Website Clicks. It can also give you the nitty-gritty on top performing posts, where your pictures are being seen the most, what time your audience is online and collects data from your Instagram stories too.
Instagram has put together an in-depth breakdown of what reports Insights cover in an easy-to-understand guide.
2. Snappy Bio
There’s a big possibility that many people will come across your profile by typing certain keywords into the Instagram search bar. With your ideal customer in mind, write down a handful of sentence variations describing what is it that you’re flogging with a keyword or two embedded in each phrase. Once you’ve got a selection of text all strung together, select the best bits and refine your caption.
A great Instagram bio shows that your brand has personality and a human element. If you’ve got funny bones, add a pinch of humour to your bio, but don’t cram a joke in if wordplay-wit doesn’t come naturally.
3. Profile Pic
Most likely, your dream customers are having a quick swipe through their social accounts on the bus, in a supermarket queue or before a gym class. A sure-fire way to be remembered on image-centric Instagram is by sporting a standout profile pic that’s going to be distinctive for users. This is a platform that’s all about aesthetics, and your profile snap is ground zero. Using your brand’s logo is a great place to start (double-checking that it’s been scaled to the correct size for Instagram and is of laser-clear quality. Come on now, no one likes fuzzy snaps), bearing in mind that the image will be pretty small and needs to sum up who you are as a brand at a glance.
4. Mix of Content Media
Instagram isn’t just about a grid of pretty pics, the sky’s the limit in terms of letting your creativity run wild on this platform. Scope out other businesses in your industry (plus any other Instagram accounts that are pushing content boundaries) to investigate what they are doing and what’s generating a high user engagement. The most successful profiles are the ones uploading a rich mix of photos, multi-photos, videos and gifs for their followers to get absorbed into.
5. Make it Personal
Social media has broken the barrier between civilian and celeb. You can now tweet your favourite star, tag them in pictures and comment on what they are personally posting – same goes for businesses, no matter how tiny or niche. Potential customers, fans and followers could be open to feeling invested in you as brand (but a lot of people won’t care about you to begin with, harsh but true) so weaving intimacy into what you’re sharing on Instagram is going to strengthen an emotional connection and build authentic rapport with those who might come across you online. Kick-off the personal-touch by encouraging customers to upload their experience with your product, which you can repost (with their picture credit please) on your own channel – like the ‘Share a Coke with’ campaign from Coca-Cola. Think about what you have access to and utilise. Can you give a peek to the behind the scenes side of your business? How is what you’re selling made and manufactured? If you’re an expert on something people are intrigued by, show that kind of knowledge off. All of these content angles framed in a creative light will tick the ‘making it personal’ box that’s Instagram gold.
6. Make it Interesting
Around 95 million photos and videos are estimated to be shared to Instagram each day. With that much content to cut through every 24 hours, simply posting uninspiring pictures of your products has zero chance of breaking through. With users spoilt for choice following professional photographers, social influencers and people who dedicate their lives to curating jaw-dropping aesthetics, being averagely ‘OK’ isn’t good enough. People log onto Instagram with an expectation that they are going to be looking at beautiful posts that interest them and make them feel something. Instead of dull navel-gazing, promote your product’s mission in action, highlighting why your business is doing what it’s doing. Your posts need to be strong enough to stop scrolling-traffic in its tracks. A bit of brand research on content-creating trailblazers will get your inventive juices revved up.
Put your own unique spin on an idea though, directly copying someone else’s posts is never cool.
Oh, and if you’ve got an iPhone and are selling something with sparkle, throwing in the occasional video that’s been through the KiraKira app will be an instant crowd pleaser.
At your Instagram strategy core, whatever it is you’re posting has to be relevant to who you are as a brand and applicable to your customers. The most straightforward way to do that is by defining a clear point of view with your business’s tone of voice and turning into quick and digestible content.
8. Consistency is Key
Like with anything, being consistent is the secret to long-term success. Posting regularly (start with 2-3 times a week) keeps your page up to date and your brand in the feed of followers. A stagnant or sporadically posting business account is a virtual death knell for your brand. Use a scheduling tool to plan posts in advance or set yourself reminders.
With everything you upload to Instagram, use a collection of fitting hashtags to accompany the post under the main caption. Hashtags will help your photo get discovered organically by people who are searching Instagram for that particular word or phrase. First, come up with a brand or evergreen campaign hashtag that can help boost awareness around your business (e.g. if you’re selling cacti you could use the hashtag #spikeysnaps or #cactuscamera – alliteration is your friend). Then pick out some industry hashtags that your ideal customer might use to search for your product or service (#plantpics, #cactus🌵, #cactuslove, #succulentsofinstagram). You could go one step further to be super specific by including your location in tags as well (#uksmallbusiness, #london, #southeastlondon).
10. Instagram Stories
A feature pinched from Snapchat, Instagram stories has now surpassed their social media rival with 250 million daily active users. The importance of stories is not to be sniffed at for just the increase in visibility alone outside your standard picture posting schedule. Using Stories will put what you publish at the top of a follower’s screen alongside the parade of other users who are uploading to their Stories. Due to Instagram’s algorithm, it automatically arranges Stories that followers are likely to engage with at the front of the queue. If you’re using Stories effectively (linking back to all of the above about consistently posting diverse, interesting and relevant content) your chances of being Nº1 in line and seen by feeds is going to skyrocket. It also lets users search by hashtag and location, meaning you can amplify your reach even more.
Keep an eye out for more ’10 Quick Marketing Tips for…’ posts over the next few weeks. In the meantime, get your thoughts aligned if you’re planning on turning your hobby into a business this year.