Okay, so you’re probably aware by now that I have a special relationship….With Instagram.
Okay fine, it’s an obsession.
But I’m pretty sure it loves me back.
At least that’s how I assume my 30k followers feel, ha!
Oh, the feed...how I can meticulously curate my images.
Instagram stories...I looooove getting real.
And don’t even get me started on hashtags and IGTV….
Don’t judge me. I can’t help but nerd out to this stuff.
Last time we talked Insta, we covered content and branding (if you missed it, check it out here!)
We covered a lot.
We know that posting pics of our mac and cheese may not be the best way to inspire our tribe.
We know it’s all about quality over quantity.
We know how to create engagement and be active with re-posting and comments.
We know it’s all about posting content that is engaging and powerful.
So let’s dig deeper.
I want you to make the most out of your Insta so you can start squeezing more juice out of your social media strategy.
Let’s focus on growing your following, getting the followers you want, and turning those peeps into customers. First stop — #hashtags
You can post the most mind-blowing picture of you walking on the moon, but no one’s going to give a rip because Insta’s algorithm didn’t let them see it.
Hashtags are where it’s at for expanding your reach.
Creating a hashtag strategy is one of the best ways to organically grow your following.
People use them to find content based on a specific subject they love.
For instance, if you love essential oils as much as I do, maybe you follow #essentialoils.
And if you use that hashtag in the caption of your post about essential oils, you’ll join 5.5 million other posts — #popular.
But hashtags with the biggest following aren’t always the most effective.
You also want to choose hashtags that have a smaller following so your post has a better chance of being seen.
So maybe instead of #essentialoils, you use #essentialoils101 which has 57,000 posts.
The key is to pick hashtags in the low, medium and high engagement range.
You can also use hashtags in many different ways — hashtag your location, what you’re wearing, the event you’re at, and use them in your Insta stories too.
The most important thing to do is research.
Whenever you have a moment, sit down with an Americano and do your homework.
It will take some time but once you’ve discovered all the hashtags you want to use for your different kinds of posts, save them in groups.
That way after the initial work is done, it’s a quick copy and paste.
Okay, so now that we’re reaching more peeps, it’s time to get consistent.
You’re not going to grow your following if you fall off the face of the Instagram planet after a few posts.
You have to create a schedule and stick to it, whether that’s four times a week or every single day.
You have to stay top of mind and prevent people from clicking the unfollow button.
Wait, what did you say? You’re too busy creating and building your biz to even THINK about posting to social media?
Uh uh. You got this.
Because guess what, there are platforms out there like Planoly which allow you to draft, plan and schedule all your posts in one sitting.
That’s right. Pick one day of the week, curl up on your favorite reading chair with your laptop or phone and get to work.
Open up your folder of Insta-ready photos, and simply upload them to Planoly.
Write your captions, insert your hashtags, and schedule your posts for the week.
Before you know it, you’re off to wine night with the girls because you finished your social media for the week.
And guess what, now for the rest of the week, you can focus on the important work that you do, boss lady.
Finally, let’s talk stories.
I love using Instagram stories to really give my followers a look into a day of the life of Hayley.
It’s a great way to get real and show people a little piece of myself and my brand.
And guess what, stories are another way to beat the algorithm with over 300 million users interacting with stories daily.
From educational to inspirational to promotional, there’s lots of ways to use this feature.
First off, shoot vertically not horizontally since that’s how most people like to view them.
Set up your story and your environment. Give people a feel for where you are first before getting into it.
Think of an upside down triangle. Draw people in on a more general level, then narrow down to your point.
Have fun with it, use a mix of photos and videos. But do make sure you have a point.
Just like with your regular posts, there’s no sense in posting for the sake of posting.
But most importantly, like with everything else, have fun with it! This should be the most fun part of your work day!
I was super lucky to be joined by Sue B. Zimmerman on the Whole You Podcast this week.
Whether she’s taking the stage at an industry conference, like Social Media Marketing World, or working one-on-one with her clients, Sue B. is driven to help business owners leverage the power of Instagram to meet (and exceed) their business goals. Have a listen.
And maybe, before long, you’ll be as obsessed as I am because you’ll be seeing mad growth in your biz.
Looking forward to seeing your brand get insta-famous.
What is your favorite part of Instagram? The feed, stories, IGTV? Let me know in the comments!