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That’s 7.7 billion people on planet Earth in 2019. There are lots of amazing people in this world and just a lot of people period.
So if you’re looking for investors, new customers, friends, or about anything else in life, it’s safe to say you can find them.
There’s not quite that many active users on social media though, but it is obviously the hottest thing on this planet. This is not only for businesses & entrepreneurs but for recreational use and with the majority of people.
Such a convenient way to connect with the rest of the world. On our own time. Instantly and able to search practically anybody in the world.
Did you know Instagram hit it’s first 1 billion users in June of ’18?
It officially became the fastest growing social media platform of all time and for good reason. The best time to jump into Instagram was when it first launched in 2010. The second best time is now.
Every marketing method will hit its peak, and after that peak, it becomes a much more diluted marketplace and harder to stand out.
Advertising cost is down.
Organic reach is higher.
Even if you’re already using Instagram for your business, these 5 strategies will allow you to maximize your reach and power inside of Instagram.
1) Daily Story Telling
The more you can stay in front of people in business, the better. Social media platforms know this in the way that they put the features they want people to the very top.
Right now, that’s Instagram Stories.
Here’s the thing. By the time you read this, Instagram could have made a change and the stories section above the feed could be somewhere else. It seems like a pretty good place for it to be so it’s hard to see them changing this anytime soon.
Stories are the perfect way to implement brand awareness & education marketing strategies to attract the kind of business you want. As soon as you add a new piece of content to your stories, you’re likely going to be pushed to the top of your follower’s screen.
Part of it is an algorithm thing but if your followers never watch your stories and have other accounts they decide to watch, yours won’t be at the front of the line. The good thing is you’re still in line.
Instagram Stories is where you really get to shine. This is where you show the world behind the scenes actions in your business & life. This doesn’t mean you give away your secrets. Here are a few tactics you could implement:
- You can deliver educational content & training materials related to your products or services (if applicable). Sharing bits and pieces of the bigger problem you help them solve as you go along and then give a call to action telling them if they would like to learn more to send you a message.
- Coaches Corner or Ballers Boardroom
- Get the key people in your organization together. Let your audience see your crew having a pow-wow. Sharing their knowledge on a problem in the industry and what people can do to solve it.
- Discussing a hot topic
- Product training
- Exciting updates & upcoming events
- Promote new posts in your feed
- This tactic is very powerful because if that user goes to your page after seeing that story, Instagram will view it as engaging content and start to think this user is interested in you. Now your posts will be more likely to show up in their feed.
Your daily goal is to create 5-10 pieces of content for your stories every single day.
This should be an easy task. You’re all knowledgeable in your craft to toss out short, engaging content for your audience regularly.
The story lasts for 24 hours like Snapchat and the length of each clip is 15 seconds.
You can add pictures, motivational quotes, audio clips, videos, shares from other pages and more.
Since you can only upload videos that are 15 seconds long, you can’t normally upload a longer video at once without chopping it up.
This will allow you to easily create content in stories without taking up as much of your time.
Whether or not you choose to use one of those apps (we have no affiliation) you can save your stories at the end of every day. So instead of having your videos released into nothingness after the 24 hours is up, save those videos and reuse them as content in your feed or on other social media channels. The more content you can have waiting to be used the better.
It’s totally okay to reuse content from 3 months ago. You will likely have new followers since then who wouldn’t have seen it and the people who are following you aren’t likely to remember it all. Even if they did remember seeing it, there was a reason you posted it in the first place. You likely thought it was valuable to your audience. It still is.
2) “Live From New York”
Instagram Live is another top of the page feature that they really want you to use.
When you’re going live, any follower of yours that is currently online will have a drop-down notification on their screen letting them know you just went live. Many are likely to check it out.
Even if that follower doesn’t click on it, your profile will be the very first account in the stories scrolling bar. It is enticing users to see the live feed while you’re doing it because most people aren’t going live. You will instantly stand out and people are curious when somebody goes live.
The other hidden benefit of this is that the more ways that a user interacts with your profile (comment, like, watch a story, DM, save a post, IGTV, etc) the better that is for you in the algorithm. The more Instagram features you use and the more of each feature your follower engages with your account, the better.
Your best bet is to go live on Instagram once per week. You could do more if you wanted but once a week is a good starting point.
Here are some things you can do when you go live:
- Share a story
- Interviewing a person of interest
- Consulting with a client
- Weekly educational piece
- A promotional event at your office
- Client testimonials
- New product demos
The choices of what you can do are entirely up to you, aside from following the terms and conditions of Instagram
Just like your Instagram Stories, your live video will stay in the stories section for 24 hours.
IGTV was released in Jan of ’18. It’s a cool feature we have mentioned before but related to your Live Feed’s is important to know. Again, it’s one more feature that Instagram offers and needs to be utilized for maximum success on the platform.
Save your Instagram Live Video and re-purpose it as an episode on your IGTV channel.
Right after you finish your live video, you have the option to save the video. Once you save it, just go into your IGTV channel and upload that video.
Boom. Now that video that was going to be gone after 24 hours is now apart of your channel for good and allowing people in the future to revisit your knowledge and brand.
3) Become The Mayor Of Your City
The like is the most common action taken on all social media platforms. It’s short. It’s quick. It lets the other person know you see them.
Besides shares and tags, leaving a thoughtful comment on somebody else’s post is one of the most memorable things to do.
On Instagram, especially when you’re just getting started, when somebody you don’t know leaves a comment on one of your posts, it really makes an impression.
Imagine if you made that kind of impression on 50 people’s posts every single day in less than an hour a day.
Now imagine that you did that every day of the week on somebody’s post that lived near you.
The Search feature allows you to look at every post that is tagged in a specific city. That means you’re going to see the real people that you’re trying to reach in your neighborhood or surrounding cities.
Now your job is to leave a meaningful comment on their post. Whether that is about the graphic they uploaded or the caption, just something that relates back to them and not fist bumps or smiley faces.
If they just crushed a workout, let them know you recognize their hard work.
Maybe they’re posting about a vacation they’re taking and how cool you think it is. Maybe you ask what they’re planning to do on their vacation.
It could be a picture of their food and you comment on how much you enjoy that particular dish.
Stand out from the crowd. When you implement this strategy for long enough, everybody in your area will know who you are and what you do. That is if your profile is on point, you’re sharing great content yourself and you’re continuing to stay in front of these people.
You can even search specific businesses or locations to see what kind of posts are being made by competition or just businesses that serve your target audience.
For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, you could search for local healthy restaurants or vitamin shops nearby. Check out their posts and engage not only with that business page but also with the people who are commenting on their content. These are likely going to be people in your target audience.
This is a great way to ethically put yourself in front of your ideal audience as well as “stealing” traffic from your competitors. Maybe there’s another gym in the area that is pretty popular and you decide to check out their content.
Not only is that going to give you ideas on what kind of content is working but you will also be able to engage with their audience without them stopping you unless they decide to block you that is. So play smart.
Aside from places, trending accounts, and searching for individuals directly, #hashtags are a powerful tool.
You could search your city via hashtags as well. Sometimes people don’t tag a location in their post but will leave a hashtag of their city. Searching through that hashtag will yield more results.
Besides the city, search phrases or words that are related to your industry. You should already have a list of the top 20-30 hashtags for your business. Scroll through the search bar and see what is going on.
4) Keep To Calendar
Consistency, frequency, and timing are the most important things for success in social media.
Consistently posting great content is the best way to grow your business through social media. I repeat…
…consistently posting great content is the best way to grow your business with social media.
It’s important to build up your organic reach first, aka the people you reach by posting content. Then when you transition into paid advertising, your returns will be greater. In the same way that organic SEO is powerful for your business on Google, this too has reached far beyond that which we can see.
It’s obvious when a business is treating their social media marketing as a reactive thing. A thought comes into their head and they post it.
The posts they make are random with no real agenda and are usually just sales or promotional posts. Posting random times of the day and not really relating back to an established strategy or brand are common mistakes. A lot of times these accounts are just posting things that their competition would post.
It is also obvious when a company has a plan in place and is executing on that plan, good or bad. That’s what we’re striving for. Build your strategy and execute on that strategy.
Frequency doesn’t mean 2-3x/day or even every single day, although we do recommend posting once per day. Going 2-3x/day can be an effective strategy if implemented correctly. Again, consistently posting quality stuff comes first.
Consistency, frequency, and timing are in a specific order and should be followed as such.
If you’re posting at the perfect time but not consistently, it doesn’t matter.
If you’re posting consistently but the quality of the content is great or it’s not following a strategy, you’ve lost.
But you could post at the most random times in the history of ever and still win. That’s why we saved timing for last.
Every platform has its peak hours. On a global scale, here are the best times to post on Instagram. You could post amazing content at 2 am every single Saturday and if you consistently did that, you could have success.
Want to reach an even wider audience?
Let’s take the organic SEO paired with paid ads example to a more micro level.
We all have the same resources at our disposal. That means we all have the ability to take advantage of the algorithm Instagram puts into place.
Take advantage of this piece of the algorithm by going on a mini-engagement spree before you post to boost the reach your post will get.
Roughly an hour before and after you publish a post is the best time to implement the previous tips, in particular tip #3. Any new followers you would pick up from this would allow you to move to the top of their attention, at least Instagram will attempt to make it so.
5) Analyze Your Analysis
A very powerful tool that tells a lot of information about your audience, your content and your future.
Tip #5 could easily be its own blog post and we will have one for you sometime in the future. For now, we will cover the basics. First and foremost, to access this data, your profile must be a business one and not personal.
As of August 2019, Instagram Insights breaks down into 3 main categories:
Analyze the insights that Instagram gives you.
Which one of your posts made the biggest impression on people.
Which videos had the most views.
How many new followers you’ve had and how many recent visitors to your profile and website you’ve had.
What days you were discovered and how many people discovered you.
Once you have established your strategy, posted quality content your audience cares about consistently while continuing to post on a frequent enough schedule, then you can really start to take advantage of your data.
The best way to figure out which ones are most important to your business is to implement the plan from above and then follow the insights to start to gauge what steps you need to take next.
To take tip #4 to the next level, be sure to check out the audience section. This section is sub-categorized by Top Locations, Age Range, Gender, and Followers, with the latter being the more important piece.
Don’t want to go off the graphic from above telling you the global engagement?
Why not take advantage of YOUR audience’s personal schedule?
Check the Followers’ subcategories to get the same data on your audience, like what days and times they’re online.
Every business is at a different stage in their journey and in their marketing. That’s why every business needs its marketing journey to include social media with a plan for Instagram.
The ideas and tactics above are a quality place for every business to implement. One might be more relevant than the other and that’s okay. Take which one you think will make the biggest impact and go to town.
If you’re looking for help with your social media marketing strategy so you aren’t flying by the seat of your pants, let’s schedule a time to talk. You can schedule your consultation here or contact us on our website!
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0448725/ (SNL picture)
https://help.instagram.com/1253487614735433 (IG Live save)
https://help.instagram.com/581066165581870 (Terms & conditions of IG)
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-best-time-post#targetText=On%20average%2C%20the%20best%20time,and%204%20PM%20as%20well. (Time to post on IG)
https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/ (Best times to post on all social)