Are you still under the impression that Instagram is just for selfies and food photos? While those do exist, savvy people are killing it on Instagram by connecting on this fun and fast social network. It’s time for you to create an achievable strategy for your Instagram account. Without a strategy, you’re just posting selfies and food pics, right?
Here are the main reasons you should create an Instagram strategy:
- Build brand awareness. Letting people into your private world or seeing behind the scenes at your hot startup builds trust.
- Stop selling. Social media isn’t about selling it’s about building a network and yes, you will share your products but it’s not a hard sell every day.
- Create a fan base by creating a consistent presence.
- Join mobile nation! Everyone and their grandma has a smartphone – join the millions of people on Instagram and connect with a new social community.
Here are ten steps to get you on a path to Instagram success:
1. Jack up your profile. You don’t have many characters to say who you are so choose wisely. Give people a taste of who you are and why people should follow you. The only clickable link is in your bio so make sure you link this to your most important online asset and update it to feature special events.
2. Start with a goal. What do you hope to gain by using Instagram? Do you want to create a visual portfolio of your work? Give customers a behind the scenes peek at what you do? Or maybe show a more personal side? Without a clear goal, you won’t be able to plan your posts.
3. Be consistent. Once you make the commitment to get started, you need to post regularly. If you can post one or two times a day, your fans will love it.
A great example of consistency is the daily diary of sketchbook artist Sally Mao. Sally posts her beautiful sketches to the delight of her followers.
A recent study showed that Instagram accounts increased account growth by posting frequently. However, if you stop your posting schedule this could have a negative impact.
4. Be relevant. Stay on target with your focus and provide value to your followers. Don’t post any old thing and expect it to do well. Quality trumps quantity on Instagram.
5. Provide help or information. Sharing helpful tips or encouragement is always a bonus.
Posting a quick video with tips gained Michelle Phan 55.5k likes! Using Michelle’s post as an example she did the following:
- Created a compelling video
- Added a text overlay with the title
- Used a brief text description
- Had a simple, yet effective call to action: “watch my new video on how to make a friend.”
- Listed the URL so people could cut and paste it into their browser.
Stop the random acts of hashtagging! Focus and stay targeted in your niche to achieve your goals. (click to tweet)
This is an Instagram post I created on vacation and I used Evernote to grab my hashtags that I loaded before my trip.
7. Prepare for success. Save your hashtags to Evernote so that you can access them on any device. Create groups of hashtags for different topics such as creativity, travel, and inspiration. It’s also helpful when you’re at an event.
8. Don’t (only) hype your products. This isn’t the place for a hard sell. Sharing fantastic content from your fans or other Instagram users by reposting their photos works well. When you want to share someone else’s photo, use a reposting app such as Photo Repost. It’s not ok to download other’s content and share as your own.
9. Connect with other Instagrammers. Comment, like, and repost other people’s posts. Check out people who use the same hashtags and let the networking begin.
10. Batch your graphics. You can easily create a batch of graphics to share throughout the week or month. Set yourself up for the week by creating all your posts at one time and trickling them out over time. This will help you stay on brand and on target!
I hope this simple strategy for success for your personal brand will convince you to start posting on Instagram. Can’t wait to see your snaps! Hit me up in the comments below if you have questions.
Photo credit: Big Stock Photos