When you dedicate the time and energy to be on a social media channel (any channel) for your business, you don’t want to waste time with tactics and activities that don’t contribute to your goals and success!
So today I wanted to round up 7 of what I like to think of as my Instagram “power moves” that have helped me grow my following and improve my engagement. Even if you’re just starting out, these tips will help you make the most of sharing your business on Instagram.
A bonus power move would be to download my 2-Week Instagram Challenge here — it will help you grow your Instagram audience, get in the habit of creating consistent and intentional content, and get you tracking your results!
1. Spend time finding your people.
In the beginning, one of the most important activities you can do on Instagram is to attract and engage a group of your ideal customers. But how do you do that?
My favorite trick is to find 10–20 accounts that reach my ideal audience (not necessarily direct competitors), engage in the comments, and then follow the person I engaged with. This is like personally introducing yourself to 10–20 ideal customers a day that might be interested in your account.
2. Use strong captions.
I once heard an interview with Danielle LaPorte in which she said something like, “When I have something to say, I go to Instagram.” I love this approach to using Instagram like a conversational tool with your audience.
I think most of us think about creating strong headlines for blog posts and email subject lines that will compel people to open the email — but you have to apply the same creativity to your Instagram posts as well. The name of the game is engagement, and that happens when people are interested in what you have to say.
3. Use original photography.
In general, it’s best to use photos you take yourself (or pay a photographer to take for you) instead of stock photography. Authenticity is important on Instagram! So plan ahead, take the best photos you can, and edit them.
4. Think of your posts on Instagram as a collection…
The most powerful and successful Instagram accounts show cohesion when you look at their grid on their profile page. All the images tend to go together in some way.
You don’t have to look at ALL of your posts as a collection. The grid shows nine photos at a time, so that’s a good place to start. But remember…
5. Include diversity in your images.
A grid of nine text images that all look the same wouldn’t be very engaging on your profile — so there is such a thing as being TOO matchy-matchy.
You don’t want every post in your collection to be about the same thing, promoting the same thing, or including the same images. Mix things up and keep it fresh. Try to include a mix of different types of posts your audience will bond with you over.
6. Use stories to engage.
Instagram stories are mini collections of images or videos that only last 10–15 seconds each and disappear after 24 hours — but they have lots of benefits. First, they’re highlighted at the top of your followers’ feeds. You can use hashtags and location tags to target specific groups of users. You can add polls to engage with users. And if you have a business verified account, you can even use the “swipe up” feature to send people to an outbound link.
If you’re using Instagram for business, it’s a smart idea to take advantage of all these extra tools inside stories!
7. Create your own hashtags
Hashtag strategy is a whole topic unto itself, but as a business, it’s a great idea to create your own hashtag so that you can follow what others are saying about you.
Do a little research to find a phrase no one else is using, and then use it consistently to teach your followers to do the same. Remember to regularly check the tag and comment on or even repost great content your followers are creating.
By adding these power moves to your repertoire, I know you’ll start to see more followers and more engagement, but obviously this isn’t everything you need to know about Instagram. In fact, we created an entirely new Instagram Destination Guide inside Business Class to share all my tips and secrets.
Click here to download the 2-Week Instagram Challenge and start it today. I created it specifically as a companion to the guide and it’s the first step you should take toward turning Instagram from a distraction into a strong business marketing tool!