Wondering how to get started and learn to rock the Instagram platform? Then this Instagram 101 post and video are for you! Instagram is a wonderful way to tell your story through photos. It’s a little glimpse into your world that can lead to better connections, new friends, and, most importantly, fantastic business connections.
I had a hangout with my good friend Instagram Gal Sue Zimmerman, and she shared a wealth of fantastic tips to turn your Instagram presence into something to be proud of! Let’s get a look into how Sue excels on Instagram. She did this presentation from her phone with screencasting so you can see exactly what it looks like live.
Let’s dig deep into Instagram for Business with Instagram expert Sue Zimmerman!
7 Keys Steps to Instagram Success
[clickToTweet tweet=” Attract your ideal clients by creating a solid hashtag strategy on Instagram.” quote= “Attract your ideal clients by creating a solid hashtag strategy on Instagram.”]
1. Create an Instagram profile
Have a clear, fantastic avatar that you use on Instagram as well as Twitter, Google+, Facebook. It helps people to recognize you across social media if you use the same photo.
- Try to use the name user name as Twitter so that people can easily tag you.
- Note: My user name on Instagram is now Peg Fitzpatrick, no longer PeggyFitzpatrick. Hooray!
- Use keywords in your bio for searchability.
- Change the URL in your bio to reflect what you’re doing.
- Use BITLY to track your Instagram traffic and customize it. Use it to strategically boost your traffic where it makes the most sense to you.
- Use emojis for some color and fun calls to action.
2. Construct a hashtag strategy
[clickToTweet tweet= “Attract your ideal clients by creating a solid hashtag strategy on Instagram!” quote= “Attract your ideal clients by creating a solid hashtag strategy on Instagram!”]!
- You can use up to 30 hashtags per post.
- Post a few in the original post. Add more in the comments.
- Use Evernote to save groups of hashtags by topic to use across your devices. Or use Notes on an iPhone. Cut and paste them in groups of six!
- Be consistent with your hashtags. Choose your own to help people find you. Sue uses #instagramexpert and #instagallive.
- It’s worth the time to build your hashtag strategy. It saves time and helps with consistency.
- Create separate accounts if you have more than one niche. Sue has six accounts to cover her different business focuses. She’s increasing her business because customers of her store and clients for her social media consulting find her with hashtags.
- Stop the random acts of hashtagging! Be focused and targeted in your niche.
- Refresh your Instagram posts by changing your hashtag groups in the comments.
- Create hashtags that build a hub for your content.
3. Build a posting strategy
Planoly is my absolute favorite for creating and planning my Instagram account. Planoly is an end to end Instagram management platform. It allows you to visually plan & schedule for Instagram. Drag and drop your photos to see how it’ll actually look on your Instagram profile feed before scheduling it to post. Play with the layout and think like a magazine editor. I’ve recommended this to you in the past, and now Planoly makes it easy to do!
???? TIP | Take the entire Saturday off to relax, re-group, decompress and spend it doing what you love and with who you love. When Sunday comes along… you have 24 hours to get your life together before your week starts BUT it doesn’t have to be stressful! You can enjoy your weekend while being productive and it’s actually easier than you think. Sleep in a little and start your day off with your favorite cup of coffee or tea, then get your laundry going. Then, all you need is about 2️⃣ hours of your entire Sunday to plan out your week, and you can enjoy the rest of your day! Read more on the steps to take to be productive on Sundays ???? LINK IN BIO ????????. . Sent via @planoly #planoly
4. Encourage engagement
[clickToTweet tweet= “Create real relationships with your ideal clients by creating value in your niche. This is where the magic happens!” quote= “Create real relationships with your ideal clients by creating value in your niche. This is where the magic happens!”]
- Delete spammy comments by swiping and remove them.
- Give shouts out to thought leaders and friends.
- Tag people in photos so they receive a notification.
- Create a path for people to follow with your hashtags.
- Make it easy for people to find you.
- You can’t have success on Instagram with a private account. Make it public to connect with new people.
- Check out industry-relevant hashtags to find new people.
- Double-tap a post to like it and show your appreciation.
5. Be found with geo-tagging on Instagram
What is a geo-tag?
“Geotagging is a technical term for storing the latitude and longitude of your current location with your photo. This data is collected by the GPS device in your phone or tablet and is accessible to Instagram if you grant permission.”
This helps people find you. When you have a physical location, using geo-tagging is essential. They can follow your geo-tag via Google maps right to your site. Perfect when you’re a small business!
Kim Garst and Sue created a video on how to use geo-tagging with Instagram.
6. Use call to actions
A call to action is the text you’ll add in your comments that tell people what you’d like them to do next. This takes a casual visitor to a lead and then a client by providing the next step to reach you or find out what you do.
A few calls to action you could use on Instagram:
- Click the link in my bio for more information.
- Check out the link in my bio for a sneak peek of my new course.
- Like what you see here? Connect with me to learn more.
- Contact me to learn how you can…
Every post should have a call to action, but you don’t need to be pushy, you can just put the offer out there. If you don’t ask, you won’t connect. Let people know how they can work with you and make it easy for them to find you.
7. Connect with direct messages
Sue adds value to followers by sharing Instagram tips via direct messages.
I’m sure you’ll be headed right over to Instagram to test out these new things on your posts. Make sure you say hello while you’re there! Find me here. Questions or comments? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
Jeff Sieh says
Loved this article Peg! Especially since I think a lot of people (myself included) struggle with how Instagram can help their business. Tried out the hashtag strategy and increased my follower count significantly. Looking forward to experimenting with emoticons next.
Thanks so much, Jeff! I just started using the emojis this weekend, it’s fun! Testing out new strategies is a great idea.
I appreciate your support!
Anya Romanova says
Thank you so much ladies for the goggling out!!!
Lots of great tips and very alive conversation.
So great to use the new strategy for hashtagging you as a way of thanks:)
Loved the article. Totally. So informative. I just can’t wait to make use of these tips.
Cindy Braid says
I am fairly new on Instagram and Sue has just helped me with my Bio. I am quite excited for utilizing Instagram to showcase my Jewelry. I think I have really maxed out with FB so this should be fun!! I also have just started to understand the hashtags and must say am getting so much more likes since using them recently. Your tip today that I just started to use is the CTA in the comments. Just did a couple now to see how that goes. 🙂
i am looking forward to start a blog on instagram tips and strategy..
These are great basic tips and I’m spending more time on Instagram thanks for sharing them
I’m just wondering if you can tell me how to save pictures to my laptop from Instagram.
Thank you and thanks for all your hints and information. 🙂
so helpful thanks so much!
your so smart!
Lilly Stutter says
Thanks a lot Peg, it’s always pleasure to read your articles!) I used to search for new client using the location tags, but since the custom geotags were set aside it became much more difficult. I own a craft beer shop, so Insatgram’s almost a perfect advertising platform for me, but built-in means are not sufficient and too time-consuming. Zengram.net is a good option in this case, it can run the geographic user search without sticking to specific geotags and interact with them automatically. It could only get better if there was a “gender” box in Instagram bio so we could use another filter. This is target promotion at its finest.
Loved this article, so many wonderful tips. I can’t wait to get started using each and everyone of them. Keep up the great work!