Instagram is getting bigger, better and more powerful every day. With 1 billion active users worldwide Instagram has become the place to build audiences, increase exposure and showcase your products and services.
If you aren't using Instagram in your marketing efforts then why not? Maybe you're not sure if it's right for your business, or you've tried it before and struggled to grow a following and increase enagement…
There are 1 billion potential customers out there and this week we caught up with Teresa Heath-Wareing to find out exactly how to reach them!
- So, the follow – unfollow strategy isn’t actually the worst way to do it, but it’s important to do it properly if you want to gain valuable followers.
- If you’re literally going in and following a load of people, then unfollowing them 1 day later then that will definitely help you grow your followers, but they aren’t going to be the right followers to give you any benefit whatsoever!
- For me, it’s about quality over quantity. I would rather have 1,000 followers who interact with my account and care about what I do than have 10,000 followers who have literally never liked 1 post.
- There are a couple of ways you can grow an Instagram following of people who are going to engage:
- Following-unfollowing works but you have to be strategic with it. You need to fully understand who your audience is and then go and find those people through hashtags or competitor accounts. Then maybe 1-2 times per week go and follow some of those people, maybe 20-30 people each time.
- For me, one of the best ways to get those followers is through hard work and genuine interactions. That means going in and finding your audience and then go and like and comment on their feed, that doesn’t mean spammy comments it means reading the caption and leaving something valuable.
On Instagram hashtags are super important, I think they have the most impact on Instagram than any other social media platform.
- You’re allowed to use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, and it doesn’t matter where you put them you’re still allowed a limit of 30. So, if you use 4 hashtags in your caption that means you only have 26 left to use in your first comment.
- Some people think that it looks a bit spammy using all 30 hashtags on a single post, but I think that it’s actually necessary to be discovered and reach the right audiences, so I think it’s worth it.
- In terms of finding your hashtags, think about the hashtags that your customers will be using not the hashtags you want to use. Think about what your audience are searching for and what you are offering, try to get specific and niche your hashtags down if possible to help your audience find your post.
- For example, if you’re a social media manager there’s no point in using #socialmediamanager because the only other people using that hashtag will be other social media managers, not potential customers.
- Another important thing to think about is finding hashtags that aren’t too big on Instagram. If you use a hashtag that millions of other people are using, your post will get lost in a sea of other posts. The best hashtags to use are the ones that are getting 3,000 – 100,000 uses (Instagram shows you the number when you start typing your hashtag). This means that you have a much higher chance of standing out.
Where do they go?
- In terms of placement, you can put your hashtags in your main caption of in your first comment. It can sometimes look a bit spammy putting all the hashtags in the caption so it’s best to split them and put some in the first comment.
- If you are adding hashtags to your first comment you need to hit publish and then immediately go and add your comment. If you wait too long you will have missed your big chance for discoverability.
- A good tip for this is to save a whole bunch of hashtag groups in the notes app on your phone so that you can copy them from there before you post and then paste them straight into your comments – no time wasted!
- One of the big things is to make it consistent with your other social media profiles. So, if you can try to get the same username so that it’s nice and easy for people to find you.
- Your profile picture is really important. If you’re a person then your profile picture needs to be a photo of you, a fairly close up shot of you so that it’s easily recognisable. If you’re a business, then you should be using your business logo.
- Next is your bio, this is where you can put a little bit about yourself and what you do. Again, it’s important to think about your audience, think about what they want and why they should follow you. You can use emojis in your bio to make it stand out and add a link so that you can send people to your website/landing page/offer.
- Unfortunately, there isn’t a single formula for this, it’s frustrating but it’s really about trying it and seeing what works best for your followers.
- The schedule that works best for me is posting once per day, every single day. That might not sound like a lot, but I put a lot of work into my posts so any more than that wouldn’t be realistic. My posts generally go out at 8-9AM or 5-6PM and those are the times that get the most interactions for me.
- In terms of what to post, yet again it’s all about your audience and what they want to see. Think about why they are following you, it is because they like your style or because you give away lots of great tips? Figure that out and then keep posting similar content.
- When I plan my content, I have 9 themes that I follow. For me, those 9 themes include things like the books I’m reading, inspirational quotes, tips, coffee, personal life updates etc. Once you know what your 9 categories are you can start planning content to fit into them and start thinking about opportunities to get relevant content.
- The only place you can add a link is in your profile bio unless you have over 10k followers and then you can link in stories.
- It’s best to think hard about what you want your link to be and then every couple of posts the content can lean towards your current objective and then you can tell people to click the link in your bio. You have to be quite direct with this otherwise people just won’t click.
- Instagram stories are great for this! It can be really effective if you use your stories to send people to the link in your bio.
A book that you would recommend…
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
What is your top success habit?
I like to make sure that I learn something new every day!
How do you define success?
Getting positive feedback from people and knowing that I've made a difference.
Here the big one…who do you like more, Rob or Kennedy?
Rob – sorry Kennedy!
Finally, where can folks go to find out more about you?
You can visit teresaheathwareing.com or just search my name on any social media platform and I’ll be right there!