Would you love to build a massive audience on Instagram?
Would you like to create quality leads for your service, side-hustle, coaching, consulting, and be an overall influential person in your industry?
As a company that’s growing your business in the world of Inbound Marketing, you’ve already established an online social presence to attract leads, promote your content, and delight customers across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It’s time to move to the next frontier: Instagram. With 1 Billion active monthly users and over 95 million posts per day, Instagram for Business has become an essential element of social media marketing.
It’s critical to navigate growing Instagram for your business the right way, which is why we put together this guide on how to set up, grow, and optimize your Instagram strategy to increase your audience, followers, leads, customers, and continue down the path of becoming an (even more) lovable brand. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into Instagram’s newly released tools on the Instagram for Business Platform.
3 Key Rules That Will Always Grow Your Audience
You’ve got to have a bigger audience and if you have a mission, and if you care about people, and you want to grow your audience and impact online, then this is for you.
Stop spamming and get personal.
- Serve (Add value.)
How can I add as much value to people who are following me? Don’t be selling anything. Serve people first. Serve. Serve. Serve. Just add value in your way.
Connect. Be transparent. Authentic. Sometimes vulnerable. So people can connect with you.
…through the impact that you make helping other people with your product or services.
How to sell through value:
1. Open up about your past, struggles and challenges – tell your story
2. Share your dreams
3. Share your ideas
(this is when you’ll start building your audience)
4. Offer it to followers
If you really care about your message and the value you add to the world. Help others all the time. Value. Value. Value.
10 steps to 10k Instagram Followers
- Optimize your profile. Lead with authority and credibility. Consistent look and feel.
- Use more hashtags > all-hashtag.com
- Follow hashtags
- Study your own analytics
- Engage in YOUR content (authentically and custom as possible)
- Add value
- engage in different ways:
- 60-sec video replies, photo)
- reshare viral content
- sell through the proof
- Use Instagram Live
- Use Instagram Stories
- Capture social proof
- Promote your stories
- Use IGTV (Instagram TV)
How to Define Value
Often times with social networks, it can be hard to define value from a platform that is somewhat “intangible.” Unlike an ebook or webinar that could generate hundreds or thousands of new leads and customers that you can proudly show your CMO, Instagram is beneficial to the heart of a company: it humanizes and gives life to your brand.
Where Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are for networking and sharing and promoting content, Instagram is the platform where a company can show its human side. By showing off the wonderful people who build your product, the place where you all come together and work, events and friends in the industry you’re growing with, the dogs that roam around your office, and the things that your company celebrates, you’re offering an invaluable window to your brand’s culture that is warm, inviting, friendly, and most of all: human.
No matter what the social network, there will always be people out there posting negative or inappropriate comments.
Respond to positive comments on your Instagram content if a user takes the time to ask a question and participate in any conversation you’ve started. As a best practice, check comments at least once a week thoroughly, especially for contests/timely posts. Engage with people who follow you, or other people in your category that you follow, ie. you Give love to get love. Spend time daily or at least weekly “liking” and commenting on other posts besides your own. Not sure how to respond when different types of comments start rolling in on one of your posts? Follow these guidelines outlined by HubSpot’s social media and content strategist, Brittany Leaning:
How to Respond to Comments on Instagram
Positive + False = Respond
Positive + True = Listen or Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Rant/Joke = Listen
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Erroneous Information = Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/- Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Unhappy = Respond
Negative + Not a Troll + Not a Rant/Joke + Not Erroneous Information + Not Unhappy = Listen
If you’re playing small, you’re not serving other people. If you don’t care enough to build your own personal influence, you don’t really care.
Without that audience, you’re playing small.
How to Use Instagram’s New Business Tools
While other social platforms like Twitter and Facebook have had Business platforms for years, Instagram only just launched Business-specific profiles and opened their within-app Business tools. Previously, Business profiles were just like regular Instagram profiles, and Instagram ads were all hosted through the Facebook for Business platform.
But that way of doing Instagram for Business is no longer. Now, you can you can create a business profile (linked to your Facebook Business page), see actual analytics on your followers and posts, and create paid ads all within the app.
The Instagram for a Business tool now allows users to turn their regular Instagram account into a business profile. This makes it easier for users to identify your account as a Business account and get in touch with you directly from the app. It also gives you access to the Insights and Promotes tools, which make your life as a marketer much easier. Need help setting up your Business profile or converting your regular account to a Business Profile? Check out this tutorial.
Previously, businesses could only access information and analytics about their followers and performance through third-party apps. Now, the new Insights tool lets you see who your followers are and what kinds of content performs best for your audience.
Insights also tell you how many total numbers of impressions, reach, and engage each of your posts are getting. This information is invaluable to marketers because it helps you tailor your Instagram posting strategy over time.
Your primary focus on Instagram should be creating Instagram content that performs well with your audience, but what about expanding your audience past your current reach?
Previously, you could only advertise on Instagram through the Facebook for Business platform. But with the Instagram for Business tools, you can now promote posts right within the app. Want a full guide on Instagram advertising? Check out this guide.
Instagram is a growing channel that will allow you to grow and humanize your brand, recruit future employees, showcase your product, company culture, delight customers, and generate new business. All with images you can create and share!
Give it a shot: make a profile, start testing and learn from what works and what doesn’t.
Want some inspiration from My clients??
Check out Ashley Allen Fit
In 2017, Ashly had just 2,000 followers when we met and over the past three years, she’s approaching 15k!! Go Ash!
As you know, I’m a digital marketing consultant. Welp, I’m SO sick of seeing so many people pay marketing agencies only to receive reports every month and no results.
If any of you who have a business want help understanding how to show up naturally in google search and in social media, I’m starting a monthly 90-min workshop for small business owners to understand where they are online and understand how to get to their destination.
I’ll audit your current marketing and show you what you need to do to grow your business and move the needle.
I want to help people/business owners understand what they need before they pay for it and help them get free sales from organic google searches. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to learn, especially if you are in retail.
But this is for all of you, so I need some feedback..
Does this sound like anything you’d be interested in attending? If so, what is your situation with online marketing? What have been your experiences in outsourcing digital marketing, or trying to do it inhouse?
Looking for feedback and interest 🙂
Thank’s for stopping in to read about my month. If you’re here, I love you.
I made a lot of great and large choices in September. I also made a few poor ones. Avert your eyes upward. (do you see it?) I want to give some background information about the .gif jumping over me. She is the byproduct of my downloading the app iOS App Zmoji that I was shown in my FB feed. From the looks of the ad graphic, I got the impression that it would take a picture of our pace and produce a bitmoji-type thing that looked like the said picture. Well neither of those things actually were true.
If you want to read about it, I suggest it’s a waste of time, but you can go to the blue link above. That takes you to the web page for Zmoji. Downloading this app was the worst decision I made. It looks nothing like me. My daughter also thought the choices were uninspiring. And the worst part is it’s $29.00. That’s weird…the lack of personification functions the developers gave it. The avatar app that can make you feel sad, it just can’t make you look it.
It’s a Bird, a Plane, no, it’s a Career Curveball!
September was not what I expected, it was a lot more.
I had goals to make. Of course, these included a certain amount of money to cover my expenses, bills, and a training program that I didn’t really expect.
Their loss leader was a three-day business retreat / intensive. And a curveball. Still, I couldn’t pass up the offer. The training program is called Entrepreneur Simplified and their retreat was phenomenal. That’ll have to be its own blog posts in itself. The experience I had at this retreat was really awesome.
Our with the Old, and In with the New
Most of my goals in the business involved honing in on my product & who it really is that I want to work with and what projects I love the most. I did that at this retreat. And then, and I’m going to digress here, I had a call with my master coach post my signing the contract. She took one look at my website (Cuttlefish Marketing) and told me I needed to re-brand and that’s what I did. So now I’m finding my core client again,
I’m fine tuning my message and really what it is that I want to focus on because in marketing I have had so many clients from all across the board, like international furnishing and Design Association, which is a nonprofit international organization of designers and furniture builders and it’s an international market. And then I’ve got small mom and pop shops that want to expand their products for new eCommerce markets (so fun!!).
Those projects are fun and I was really great at them. I also work with substance abuse treatment centers & organizations, dog trainers, franchises, painting companies. So that’s nonprofit, behavioral health, trades, professional services, B2B, B2C, as well as retail clients. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to zero in on just one when it’s what I do for my clients daily, but I have a phone call tomorrow with my coach in the morning and I’m looking forward to her help.
My Daily Goals – (Habit Breaking) – The Part Where I “Take Care of Me”
I wanted to journal everyday this month, and I almost did. I am in the process of changing to become different in my thinking and beliefes. MEaning there’ s a daily routine goal where I do the same sequential things until old habits are broken and new and better ones (the ones that I want ) can start taking shape,
Overall, I’m waking up and praying first….cultivating a close relationship with Jehovah God (goal), then reading the Bible & meditating on the scriptures, next is journaling, followed by exercising. I haven’t worked out every single day, but I have been running laps around the volleyball courts at the park across from my house, and doing push-ups, squat, some sit-ups and lunges. Another daily goal was to persevere in prayer – to keep praying, no matter how I feel and just really make an effort every day, to build an intimate and close relationship with God( top goal).
Monthly Goals – To Tie It All Up
The two monthly goals I also accomplished were blogging at the end of every month, and to do some more continuing education with Google Academy.
I actually did complete two more courses, so that makes three Google Analytics certifications: Google Analytics for Beginners, Google Analytics Advanced, and Google Analytics for Power Users. Yay!
I’m involved in a side project that’s coming together with Norm and it’s called social foundation where we’re going to offer built-for-you training to network marketers in the health and wellness categories.
My rebrand is another product and it’s a huge project. I’m going to kick it off with a loss leader workshop. The company is Grow Organic SEO and though it is exciting, I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to make the shift with Cuttlefish. The website has the aged domain authority and I really hate to throw away all that work I’ve put into the site and lose that authority. So I have a lot of reaching out & prospecting in my future. I need to get the branding down so I can get on that because I desperately need KPIs to measure.
Discoveries in Tech
Then I have the resources that I love or found this month and want to try and share with you: Google Academy, of course, it’s free training. I would really recommend checking out the Google Academy if becoming proficient and Google Analytics is something that you have the time for and it makes sense for you. Also, the Web app prospecting tool that I want to try is called Datanize. Then swiped.io is an old one and it’s not always useful for inspiration but you can draw ideas from the historical A/B test campaigns from the past. Also, it’s a good place to checkout long-form copy for ads.
So, that was my summary of September. Not the most interesting blog post in the world, but it’s just my overview. I’ll do a summary at the end of every month (or first week in the following) every month and I’ll start blogging more regularly in detail about events as I get used to it. At least I’m being accountable. And if you’re reading this, you’re awesome. And if you’re not, you are too. Either way, goodnight, and goodbye.
- Find my core customer (my Elk)
- My core product (Elk food)
- Journal every day/ish
- workout every day
- blog at the end of the month (at least)
- Continue Google Academy Training – investing in myself
- I found my Elk & Elk food
- Persevere in prayer.
- Completed Google Analytics Advanced Academy
- Also Google Analytics for Power Users
Rebranding Cuttlefish Marketing to (dba) Grow Organic SEO, branding, website, prospecting for loss-leader workshop to train businesses owners on SEO and everything they need to know to grow their business on searches on the internet.
Webinar – Social Media and Content Marketing Training for Cosmetic-based MLS’s
Of course, I have to RANK MY NEW SEO WEBSITE!
- Google Academy
- Datanyze is the leading technographics provider, helping B2B companies apply unique technology insights to identify and close their best accounts. For: B2B. Creating target prospect lists if you’re a Java-based solution. Browser extension.
- Just Reach Out Attract journalists. Pitch with relevance. For: PR. Attract Journalists. Free Trial.
- Swiped.io Profitable Marketing Inspiration & Analysis. The place for copywriters & marketing minds to dissect & discuss great marketing examples. For: Long form copy.