If you’re new to Instagram, you may not know the ins and outs of growing a following. You probably know that you need photos and you need to share them. That’s a great start, but there is more to it.
Let’s cover a few basic tips for anyone new to Instagram.
Instagram launched in 2010 as an image sharing platform, where word count wasn’t relevant. It’s all about the image here! This is absolutely still true today. The quality of your image is the most relevant aspect of your account. Don’t post grainy or distorted images. You want excellent lighting and on brand imagery. For specific suggestions about quality imagery, visit this Social Media Today’s article.
Well Researched Hashtags
This is the most critical act for accounts that are new to Instagram. To grow your users organically, you must use relevant hashtags. #NewtoInstagram is a great tag! It’s not specific to your industry but I found it to be remarkably beneficial when we ran our Instragram Series on the topic. #NewtoInstagram is an easy one.
To find hashtags that are relevant to your industry, you’ll need to open Instagram and start searching hashtags. It’s as simple as typing hashtag options into the search bar. Choose the ones that have high followers, are specific to your industry and use them with every single post.
Choose relevant hashtags; not just trendy one. Trendy hashtags get blocked if they are over spammed. Choose wisely.
Create your own hashtags!
You’ll want to create a hashtag that your avid followers can use to help you promote your business, to find your posts and keep the organic growth moving up! We often use #thelemonadstand and #tlas. This allows our followers to put said hashtags into the search bar and find everything we’ve posted.
How Many & Where
In 2019, the maximum number of hashtags allowed is 30. Do you need 30? You need as many hashtags as are relevant to your post but statistics show that a higher number of hashtags garner greater engagement. Which makes perfect sense, the more options people have to follow, the greater engagement will be.
There is also debate about where to place your hashtags. Should you place your hashtags in your post or as a comment. The definitive answer is, go with what you prefer. Some people prefer to break up the post (I do) while others to add the hashtags to the comments. It’s completely up to you.
Find creative ways to separate your hashtags from your copy. I use a border of ••• and lemons to separate my copy and make it readable.
Throw all your inhibitions to the wind and Go Live! This features allows you to share a video in real time with your followers. The benefit of going live is that Instagram sends out push notifications to your followers, helping to create a buzz.
Wondering what to talk about? Your expertise, of course. If you’re a interior designer, talk to us about latest design trends. Go live and walk us through your most recent project. You can even schedule your “live” in advance, market it and encourage your followers to join you and engage. They can ask questions and share their opinion.
As with all social media, engagement is key. The more followers that are showing up to engage while you are live the more social media equity you are accumulating.
Live is a great method for launching promotions or new products. Show your followers what you have to offer, live and in living color.
Respond to Comments
As we’ve already mentioned, engagement is key. Especially, when you are new to Instagram. We highly encourage you to activate notifications to your cell phone and respond when you are notified that someone has commented.
Once you have followers who are commenting, chat with them! Love the comment and respond to it.
Follow Your Hashtags
Use that magical search bar to follow your industry hashtags. Give the same level of engagement you are looking for. Comment on others in your industry, follow their accounts and keep in touch. The secret here is for other followers to be intrigued by your comments, so much so that they come and follow you. It’s a little self serving but balance that by making sincere comments and being genuine.
Followers who Unfollow
Don’t take it personally. One day you’ll gain 12 followers only to have lost 8 by the next morning. Unfortunately, there are accounts set up with the expectation that if they follow you, you’ll follow back. Keep in mind that in a lot of instances, these accounts are spammers.
Check your followers’ account! If they have 6 posts and 2,587 followers, be skeptical.
Focus on growing your organic reach, with authentic followers.
Link in Bio
Whenever you need to guide your followers away from your instagram, to a blog post or deal posted on your website, the most common strategy is to use the phrase “Link in Bio” in the actual post. At that point, you should have already updated your profile bio and placed the outbound link there. NEVER, use an outbound link in the body of the post. That lowers your Instagram equity.
Instagram Equity, is a term that I use to reference how you’re managing the algorithm. Are you appearing in followers feeds or being hidden? When your posts are appearing, followers can engage. When you’re working the algorithm correctly, you’re growing Instagram equity.
Diversify Your Communication
As we were in the midst of our #NewtoInstagram series, Instagram became inaccessible for a number of hours. Oh the irony of it all. It reaffirmed for us, a message that we share often, “collect your client’s/follower’s emails”.
E-mail marketing is still the best strategy to maintain consistent communication. If email addresses load directly into your e-marketing software, I recommend that you download them quarterly. Luck favors the prepared. Cherish your email list!
As always, it’s our pleasure to share these tips with you. We hope that your Instagram journey is plentiful and vibrant.
Till we chat again keep your Lemon Ad cool.