Instagram has a whopping 10 TIMES HIGHER ENGAGEMENT than any other promotional platform today (including Amazon and Facebook!) According to Forrester, Instagram’s engagement is 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.
Many people have asked me if I can put my two cents in on their profile. Although Instagram has made some changes, you may be surprised to find out what is really causing your reach and engagement to fluctuate and change (it’s not the algorithm! Surprised?).
The first step is finding your niche. A Niche is a specific interest. What interest you and which people share the same interest as you? Who will follow you and love your business and support you?
Instagram is your online space to develop and define your brand’s aesthetics. Use that space to showcase your gallery and make sure it revolves around your work, try not to confuse the audience by posting unrelated content. Your interest may be architecture, travel, food, fashion, people, modeling, fishing, sports, nonprofits, or shopping. Perhaps it’s a particular style, minimalist or modern design.
Make Sure Your Content Is On Point. Just because you think your photo is rad doesn’t mean it’s cool enough to make someone want to stop stalking Britney Spears and her latest meltdown.
If you aren’t sure about an image, ask your audience! It increases engagement and gives you an idea what they want. We have to continuously test and analyze in order to know what will work best for our audience to get the most engagement and reach per post. That doesn’t mean change your style, it just means paying attention to their behavior.
Just like jeans don’t lie about weight gain, boring content = no engagement. Capeesh?
(For those that are new to this social media thing: Engagement is defined as likes, comments, shares, and dm’s)
Create captions with personality, but always be authentic. We live on a lonely planet. There was a recent article in the The Wall Street Journal, “For Teens, Romances Where the Couple Never Meets Are Now Normal,” and it’s mind blowing. But it’s the new reality. Our readers and listeners are looking for connection and want to be a part of some sort of community. A few words that give a sense of connection are: Join, join together, come along, help, discover, create, and gather. Here are ways to spice up your content to connect with your audience to make your profile more community friendly.
Don’t point out the obvious in an image, don’t explain the image either (so boring!). Instead, tell your audience why the image is important. Go deeper than what’s on the surface.
Write something fun, inspiring, or motivational. Tell a backstory, create a story, or use the image to explain a matter that needs to be addressed in the world. Grab your audience’s attention.
Giveaways are cool and helpful but let’s be real, you might look re-dick if you don’t have the right audience and a good following.
Videos and gifs are all the hype! Banner ads on Google = Use GIFS!!
Avoid punchlines. Bob Saget wore those out for all of us.
In order to find your style, you need to create yourself. (Time for some #selfdiscovery perhaps?)
Remember: In order for someone to stop scrolling and stalking, you have to grab their attention away from their mission. In order to make someone want to watch your video or drool over your photo, your image has to speak louder than what they are looking at.
Take a look at Matt Damon’s Insta. He has said time and time again that he sucks at captions. Stay away from lame captions like Matt, you aren’t Matt. (We love you and your emojis Matt!)
In order to grow a successful Instagram page or become successful at marketing our promotional platforms, we have to become Strategic Thinkers. The long term goal is to Build A Strong Community, our short terms (daily) goals are to Actively Engage, know enough about Hashtag Science & Research to post effective relative content, and post Quality content.
Let’s discuss the most common user issues on Instagram.
Algorithms change slightly and are not impacting you the way you think they are. Instagram’s main goal is to maximize the time users spend on its platform. The more you are on the better. Got it? Instagram ranks each user using 3 ranking signals.
1.) Relationship - Those accounts you interact with the most are recognized by the algorithm as a close relationship, therefore, you will always see your close relationship users more often than other users.
2.) Your Interest -The algorithm predicts your interest based on your previous search and video watch history. If you used to search for baby cows a lot, then baby cows will still show up even though you may not have a thing for baby cows any more. Perhaps you moved on to elderly chickens.
3.) Time Of Post - The new algorithm shows more recent post rather than older post first. Instagram has got a lot of backlash when post were shown in the chronological feed. Now it’s back to the way it use to be, in the reverse-chronological feed.
Instagram recently cleared up a few myths.
1.) There is no such thing as a shadowban. According to Insta, it is impossible for its algorithm to shadowban you. (Believe it?)
2.) You have complete control over how many people see your post, the algorithm does not limit your post reach to only 10% of your audience.
My twin sister knew nothing about instagram, gained 130k followers, only followed 200 people, within 8 months. First, I must say, I am impressed. Up until I jumped in to help her, she took offense when someone asked her insights. As if someone was asking to look down her blouse. Hilarious. Her first reaction was, “I’m embarrassed to tell you (the number), I don’t know what it means.” Little did she know, her monthly impressions were over 4 million. One million reach per week. And her page has grown tremendously since.
Using the same hashtags for 9 months, not knowing anything about insta, posting randomly, and not knowing a thing about social media, how is she doing it? She post 200+ motivational quotes a week. Yep.
So, if it’s not the algorithm, then why am I not getting the traffic and engagement to my page?
You may be using poor hashtags, relying on promotional pages or third parties to do the work for you, you might have poor content, no captions or poor writing skills. How engaged are you? Are you a social media introvert or extrovert?
Treat your audience like you would other relationships. Relationships are work. In business and with the influencer market rising to a trillion, be wise and smart about how you treat your audience. A follower will drop you in a heartbeat if you don’t give respect and courtesy back. We need them more than they need us!
Don’t Use 3rd Party Sites To Replace A Website.
Complete Ownership vs. Lack of Control
You own a website and you have complete control over it and your brand.
Facebook & Instagram: Third-party sites of which you have zero control over. In other words, your brand is in the hands of another company. You have zero control over changes and your post only get seen by 10% of your following, and the 5% of those may be bots.
Bottom line, invest in a website.
Don’t allow a third party to control your business.
Having a website is also good because it’s important to track your insights.
Although it’s a myth that you will be shadow banned if you use the same tags repeatedly, it’s a good idea to switch them because you get more exposure. I don’t think a lot of people know that if you switch to a business profile on Insta, your business profile keeps track of your hashtags and their effectiveness.
Marketing Tips We Shouldn’t Ignore!
1.) Video’s! Video’s Video’s (And more video’s)
2.) Text-To-Voice WILL be the NEXT BEST THING. Amazon Polly turns your text to speech in 20 different languages.
2.) Micro, Nano and now Macro-Influencers are gaining so much success and popularity in today’s market, (did I mention that the influencer market will soon become a trillion dollar industry?), that macro-nano influencers may be a thing? We Never know. Start influencing now if you haven’t already.
3.) Blogs increase traffic and social media campaigns come next. Email marketing isn’t looking too good and it appears there’s dust on webinars. The lowest content shared, watched, engaged and listed to, drum roll please…. PODCAST! Don’t do them, write blogs instead if you are looking to increase traffic and engagement.
4.) Code Calls are a NO-NO. Unless you want to pay someone 25 hours a week making them when you could be profiting using better marketing strategies. In a world of disconnected people connected to software, we CRAVE human connection. Marketing and psychology are like a friendship bracelet, they shouldn’t be alone in this world. Get to know your audience and customers, they are worth more than a code call.
5.) Just because you have an amazing image, doesn’t mean your content is on point. Analyze, test, analyze, test, analyze, test.
6.) 81% of those successful, goal-setting marketers achieve them.
7.) Never assume a consumer trust you before providing and proving value.Use Instagram Stories To Your Advantage!
If you’re going to edit your post within the first 24 hours, you mine as delete it and start over. You’ll get a higher reach.
Always include a location to optimize your Insta SEO.
Use Insta Stories to your advantage. Always use one popular hashtag to increase your chance to get featured in that particular hashtag story!
Try to tag a page or someone often as you can.
Your DM’s count towards engagement, reply back to people.
Use your insights to know what times to post! That’s why you have them! The wrong time can hurt your reach significantly.
Your stories should be more entertaining than your middle school winter dance.
So, post often, know that commenting is your secret tool, don’t let a third party site run your business!