Operating a business on the internet is more time-consuming in 2021 than it was in 2011. We were told that the internet was going to make everything easier for all of us – and in some ways it has – but it’s also made it hard to stay on top of all the accounts and platforms we’re expected to be on. Just having a basic website was enough to get you by during the early 2000s. By 2010 you’d be seen as behind the times if you didn’t also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Here in the 2020s, you need a website, Facebook account, Twitter account, LinkedIn account, and probably an Instagram account too – and if you’re not on Instagram, you’re missing out.
In the majority of cases where companies or business owners know that Instagram exists but don’t use it for business purposes, it’s because they don’t think it’s relevant to them. Instagram is, after all, a place for photographs and short videos. If the nature of your business doesn’t lend itself well to this format, you might wonder what the point of having an account there is. The answer is that humans respond to pictures more than they respond to anything else when it comes to advertising. We’re a species driven by visual stimuli, and visual stimuli are what Instagram is all about. It doesn’t matter that your business might not necessarily lend itself well to the visual format – the challenge for you is to find a way to make it work.
We hope we’ve persuaded you to open an Instagram account if you haven’t already done so already. Now, we’re going to give you five pro tips for getting the best out of it in terms of engagement. Through that engagement, you ought to be able to reach more customers.
Despite their name, Instagram’s “Reels” have nothing to do with online slots websites. It might feel like everything on the internet is geared towards online slots these days, given the number of adverts you see for them on a daily basis, but that isn’t the case here. In fact, the only parallel you could probably draw between Instagram Reels and online slots is that you’re taking as big a gamble as any online slots player when it comes to your marketing strategy if you’re not using them to your advantage. They’re a marketer’s dream.
Instagram’s “Reels” are the equivalent of TikTok videos (some would say they’re even a carbon copy). They’re fun, short-form videos that are instantly visible on the app when they’re posted and remain prominently positioned for 24 hours. You don’t have to record yourself talking, dancing, or anything else in order to generate content for Reels. Post some decorated text with a little animation if you like – people will still see it, and they don’t have to be looking directly at your profile in order to see it. That’s the joy of Reels.
Use The Question Sticker
Another way to jump to the top of the queue in terms of having your followers see your posts is by creating “Stories,” and if you’re creating “Stories,” you might as well use the “Question Sticker” to draw engagement through them. In terms of execution, this is a little bit like hosting an “Ask Me Anything” session where only you can see the questions you’re being asked, so you have full control over which ones to publicly respond to and which ones to ignore. Remember to re-share all of your responses to keep the conversation going. This is a great way to help people get to know your brand’s personality, and it allows people to ask quick questions about what you do in a format that’s convenient to them.
Go Looking For Shares
In 2018 Instagram temporarily removed the ‘likes’ counter, which made it impossible for people to see how many people were interacting with any particular post (other than by counting comments). ‘Likes’ are back now for most people on most platforms, but the nature of what makes a good Instagram post has changed between then and now. People don’t go chasing ‘likes’ anymore – they go chasing shares instead. The idea isn’t to create content that people will look at and nod their head – it’s to create content that people will want to share with their friends, thus giving you some free promotion in the process. You have to be a bit shameless about doing this. Go for bright colors, inspirational quotes, and attractive imagery. Tell a joke if you think you’re funny, and it’s appropriate to do so. Create the kind of content you’d share if you saw it.
Use Text To Your Advantage
If your reason for not jumping on Instagram before now is that your product is better explained by text than it is by imagery, don’t abandon that text when you move onto Instagram. You’re allowed to use 2,200 characters when you’re writing a caption for your posts, and almost nobody uses all of them. That’s a huge mistake. Instagram’s algorithms are complicated, and they’re kept secret, but it’s a known fact that the amount of time someone spends looking at your posts factors into how well your posts rank. They’ll stay there longer if they have something to read while they’re there. Go into as much detail as you want, but remember to leave room for hashtags. Hashtags still rule the roost on Instagram, and probably always will.
Create Content People Will Refer Back To
When you’ve spent a little time on Instagram, you’ll notice that a lot of its more successful users frequently publish variations on ‘how to’ guides or ‘five-step’ plans. This isn’t a coincidence. If people see content like this and like it, they’ll refer back to it. They’ll save the post and come back to it when they want to follow the advice. What content might you be able to create that works to a similar theme? Could you walk someone through how to use your product or service? Can you give any personal or business advice that would lend itself well to this format? Getting yourself bookmarked is a good way of generating repeat traffic – and when the same person comes back to you repeatedly, they’re more likely to buy from you. That is, after all, what internet marketing is all about.