Have you been in an Instagram rut lately?
We've all been there. The demands of running a business can leave little room to find the time and inspiration to make your Instagram page as great as you want it to be.
It's a constantly changing platform, and it can be so hard to keep up with the trends! If social media isn't your forte, then I am empathizing with you. Luckily, I had the pleasure of chatting with Instagram expert Elise Darma. She's been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Elite Daily, and Everyday Girl and is a total powerhouse for all things related to social media.
I took the opportunity to ask Elise all the questions that e-commerce brands have about using Instagram. We cover everything from creating a bio, hashtags, insta stories, and Instagram TV to strategies for growing your following and everything in between.
She helped me better understand how to create and post content that is more likely to be seen and grow a following and uncover what the Instagram algorithm is looking for to get business owners more exposure.
We had such an informative conversation, and I can't wait for you guys to take away some super helpful tips to use on your Instagram pages.
Keep reading for some serious nuggets of wisdom or check out the episode below and take a listen!
How to Repurpose Content for Instagram
It can be tempting to let your Instagram page fall by the wayside when you're feeling stuck in a creative drought. Maybe you're so focused on producing content for other platforms and mediums that you feel burnt out just thinking about posting to Instagram.
Elise Darma has some great advice about this. All you have to do is repurpose your content. You won't have all the same followers across all platforms, so it's okay to overlap. And the great thing about reusing content is that it's going to look a little bit different according to the platform you're using.
So, if you made an awesome Youtube video, don't be afraid to turn that into a carousel image or IGTV video. You're bound to reach someone new who is interested in your product!
Where and How to Start Posting as a Newbie Entrepreneur
Besides being the total void you lost your teenager to, Instagram is a sales and marketing platform. That's great news for all of you new entrepreneurs and business owners because it's essentially a FREE way to advertise your business. The first thing that you have to ensure is that you have a strong business model to work from. That will be what you're highlighting to the world. Your job is to figure out how you're going to convince people that they want to choose your brand over others, and you first do that by creating a bio that speaks to your target audience.
Once you've got that down, then there are a few key features that you should spend some time focusing on. The first is Instagram stories because people are looking to follow a human, not a brand. Stories allow customers to get a behind-the-scenes look at your operations. Plus, way more people are looking at stories than scrolling down feeds. The next focus is DM's and IGTV. Access to your DM's acts as a lifeline and bridges the gap between you and your customer. And the great thing about IGTV is that it's longer-form content that doesn't expire. It can act as a home base for education and information on your products and services.
Focus On Showing Your Instagram Reality
Gone are the days when Instagram was just a series of perfect and highly edited images. Sure those still get posted and do well, but people also want so much more than that. They want to see the real and raw version of you and your business.
Giving that unedited view into things helps strengthen your bond with your customers and helps them see you as a real person too! It's a great way to build amazing relationships. Definitely don't miss out on that opportunity.
Don't Worry About Instagram Comments and Likes
Your fifteen-year-old may be super focused on getting as many likes as possible on a post, but that doesn't mean you should be too. The truth is, saves and shares are way more influential to the success of your business. That's what the Instagram algorithm is paying attention to. You should also be focusing on consistency rather than perfection. It will take you much further than perfect and polished posts that are sporadic.
Educate, Inform, or Inspire
Your content should fall under one of those three categories. Make sure to have a brand voice and create content that really speaks to that brand voice. Try using quote cards, memes, or inspirational quotes. Create content that evokes emotion. Add value to people's lives.
As an e-commerce brand, you want to figure out what combination of education, information, and inspiration you are going to post. What kind of valuable posts are you going to share? It could be one of those. It could be three of them. It's totally up to you!
Why Smaller Niche Hashtags are Better
Hashtags are Instagram's categorization system. It's really one of the only SEO capabilities that comes with the platform. If you have a business account, you'll see insights from each of your posts and how much engagement you received, depending on its hashtag. To reach your target audience, you'll want to use smaller, more specific hashtags to narrow down the search. That's how to attract people looking for your product.
Clean Up Your Instagram Bio and Have a Strong Call to Action
Make a great first impression! Once someone has found you through a search or the explore page, you have to be sure the bio speaks to them right away so that they know you're for them. Start by explaining who you help and how you do it. It's a call to your target customer and will sort of repel the ones who aren't.
The key here is not being afraid to repel those who aren't your target audience because at the end of the day, it's more important to have one thousand followers who DO want your product than a hundred thousand people who don't.
Then describe what makes you unique or different from the rest. Why should people buy from you rather than competitors? Maybe it's your years of experience or how many customers you've served. Whatever the reason, make it clear in your bio.
And then, the final line of your bio needs to be a specific call to action. Put a link to your shop or link to a 10% off coupon. Drive people to click on your link by explaining why they need to head over to your shop. Maybe you're running a special promotion or sale. Let them know!
- Top three places that you should be posting on Instagram: Stories, DM's, IGTV
- Those over-edited and perfect pictures are a thing of the past.
- More people are watching stories than scrolling the feed.
- Instead of the likes and the comments that everybody's going after because they think that's what they need to get discovered, it's actually the shares and the saves.
- Educate, Inform, and Inspire
- Let's say you really don't want to show your face on social media, and you don't want to be the talking head. That's fine. But be the voice explaining why, what, and how you're doing things and just turn the camera around. Let your hands and your fingers and your products be the face of your Instagram stories.
- When using hashtags, scroll down and find the hashtags that don't have millions and millions of hashtaggers using them. If you're just getting started, 100k to 150k is a sweet spot right in there.
- Clean up your bio and make sure it has a strong call to action.
- The best way to grow is consistency. It's not about perfection.
- And finally, republish your content.