I got click-baited yesterday. A page I purposely unfollowed a long time ago – Mamamia – popped up in my Facebook feed with an article where “A style influencer” would share “six easy ways to conquer Instagram”. I clicked through – not because I needed to know such secrets but rather because I wanted to see what vague, vanilla tips this woman was going to give.
What I found was essentially an advertisement, thinly veiled as an article (I use that term loosely) to help people “conquer Instagram”.
The post comments reflected my thoughts exactly.
Like all of us, I am so tired of click-bait. All these readers wanted was genuine ways to help them improve their (presumably) business presence on Instagram.
So what I decided to do was write a piece that actually talked about 6 REAL ways to help boost your Instagram. I don’t claim it will give you thousands of followers overnight, bring in tonnes of sales or indeed “conquer Instagram” (what does that mean anyway?) – but it will give you some food for thought and I hope not leavw you feeling like you’ve wasted your time.
Six REAL ways to boost your Instagram
- Consistency is key
Posting inconsistently kills any momentum on Instagram and un-does all our hard work. You could post daily for a fortnight but then if you posts randomly every few days in the weeks following, your engagement rate and followers will drop off.
You don’t need to post every day but for growth I recommend posting every second day and at the right time.
This ties in to point one but I want to remind you that social media success does not happen overnight. If you post consistently for a week but don’t get great results – persist. You might have to tweak something (possibly one of the other points listed below) but KEEP GOING. Instagram rewards you for trying!
- Quality over quantity
Not sure if that image is Instagram worthy? Then it’s probably not. Instagram is a VISUAL platform. Users see hundreds of photos as they scroll through their feed so to make them stop and double tap on yours (or even comment or follow) it needs to grab their attention. Clear, well-lit, on-brand images that are visually appealing should be posted – and nothing else!
- Create engaging captions with a purpose
A few fluffy words and some hashtags do not make for an effective caption. Your caption needs to engage your audience, be relevant to your image, and possibly have a call to action. I recommend to my clients that all captions should have one of the following purposes (and they should be rotated through):
- Converse & Connect
- Motivate & Inspire
(For more info on this, check out my copywriting for Social media e-book – see link below).
- Hashtag effectively
Hashtags are to Instagram what SEO is to Google. Your post will not be found by anyone new if you are not using hashtags. You don’t need to use all 30 – but please try to use more than 20. Post them in the first comment, and make sure they are a good mix of niche, community and product/service relevant hashtags.
Also, it’s best not to use the same hashtags in every post. You should have at least 2-3 different lists that you rotate through. Save them in notes on your phone or in an app like Plann.
- Engage, engage, engage
If content is King on Instagram then engagement is Queen. Responding to those who take the time to comment on your posts is Instagram best practice and helps to boost your engagement – the more action on a post the more important the algorithm deems it to be, therefore showing it to more people. But in addition to reactively engaging you also need to proactively engage; follow other accounts, like their posts, comment on posts – basically be an active part of your Instagram community.
So there you have it. In a nutshell, my six real ways to boost your business’s Instagram. Not an advertisement insight (just a few links below to the helpful resources) and written by an actual social media marketer – not pretty influencer with super white teeth.
I have lots of resources available to help you with all of the above (if you need it):
- Hashtags Handled – a service where I put together three tailored hashtag lists specific for your business
- Caption writing – if you tear your hair out when it comes to writing captions then this is for you
- Content writing cheatsheet and e-book – all the content types explained and caption inspiration
All these can be found in my shop.
UPDATE: Mamamia have now re-posted this article with completely different heading, and all the negative comments from the last post are gone! Too funny. I’m glad I screen shotted the post yesterday! Here is the new post: