Everyone seems to be on Instagram. Especially here in Sweden! Many people seem to be writing about how great it is for marketing your small business - but is it, really?
Are you spending a lot of time getting nowhere?
Most of what you read about Instagram marketing works for big brands, not for small ones. Investing in films for stories, for example, only works if you have thousands or even millions of followers. If you have less than 10,000 followers, it is probably not worth it.
Marketing on Instagram is not about posting, it is about engaging.
If you feel like you are wasting your time, please find out how not to in our online short course. It is designed purely for the smallest of businesses. to save you time, give you confidence and start sales coming in.
Is it worth missing out on? It costs just $49!
All our online courses are even possible to do from your phone. This one requires just a few hours and can save you so many more!
If the answer is - bring in more sales! - click here to take our course and get those sales coming in.
Did you have any problems with Facebook and Instagram yesterday?
On one of the busiest days of the year in the US, both Facebook and Instagram lost the ability to add anything new. People saw content from before the crash, messages in Messenger just sat there and Instagram feeds didn't update.
Of course there will be times when things go wrong but there is no poitn missing the irony that Instagram had to use Twitter to let people know what was happening :)
Now everything is working again but if you are running ads on either platform, go and check to see what happened yesterday. It might affect your results and stats.
If you need help with your advertising, get in touch with us.
Instagram (or rather, Facebook...) is rolling out a tool that allows you to schedule your Instagram posts.
It will be part of Facebook's Creator Studio - if you don't have access to that, it is free so click here to get it set up: https://www.facebook.com/creators/tools/creator-studio
Up until now, scheduling Instagram posts and IGTV videos was something only the big agency systems could do. Now you'll be able to create posts in the Creator Studio and then set when they should be posted. It is a clean, easy-to-use environment that makes drafting posts much easier.
This is what Instagram looks like within Creator Studio:
The feature isn't available to everyone yet but is on its way. It isn't yet possible to schedule Instagram Stories, which seems fair enough!
What is slightly odd is that Creator Studio is now only available on the desktop - Facebook has taken away the apps. However, this has a big plus-side that creating posts on the desktop wasn't available until now. Everything from images to text is easier but what is best is that copying in hashtags just got a whole lot easier to handle.
Once you have Creator Studio set up, you'll need to connect your Instagram account and this must be a business account. If you don't already have your account in business mode, click here for our instructions to covert it (it takes just a minute).
The whole process is written down by here in a post by Later so head there once you have access and let us know how you get on!
Are you using Instagram at the moment? Let us know how you are getting on with it below in the comments or click here for our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9LZJK7B
It is so simple to set up, it only takes one step! In the Instagram app, find Settings and scroll down to Switch to business account. That's it, you've converted your account from personal to business!
Do you use Facebook ads to promote your business? If so, watch out for changes happening mid-August 2019 to the size of mobile ads - they are getting smaller in two ways:
What does this mean for you?
You will need to think hard about the first three lines of your text - they need to inspire people to click 'See More'. Not an easy task!
On the positive side, images that you use for Instagram will work better with this Facebook ad format.
Our workshops are designed for small and start-up businesses and people turning hobbies into businesses. They take place at our office in Danderyd, (north Stockholm). Below are the sessions we are running this coming autumn:
The cost of these two-hour sessions is 690 kr inc MOMS per person in advance by SWISH to 0709247260. For more information or booking, please get in touch with us at www.myownmarketingcoach.com or email email@example.com.
Collect email addresses!
Contact via email is often the best, most effective way of marketing your business so hand over an ebook, free report, guide to something important – anything that your potential customers will think it is worth giving you their email address for. Then remember to email them, regularly.
Frequent, fresh content engages your potential customers, builds links that bring in more potential customers and Google loves it, so it will send you even more potential customers.
If you have advice to give, try creating an infographic using a template online or free creation service such as Canva or Venngage.
Everyone loves a good image/graph/chart!
Do you use Instagram for your business? Or maybe you’d like to? Check out these 10 tips to get started in the right way!
1. Stay on top of the latest Instagram trends in your industry
Hashtags are a key tool to use when posting but also use them to keep up with things happening in your industry. Look at what your competitors are doing. For example, if a competing yoga studio is offering 50% off evening classes this month, don’t post about your 20% off. Wait until the end of the month.
2. Use Instagram's direct message function to get in touch directly with followers
There is a huge gap between social media marketing and the personal connection often needed to close a sale. When you can see a specific reason why a follower should buy your product/service, send them a direct message simply explaining why. If you don’t see any clear reasons right now – maybe you haven’t yet launched or your followers aren’t ready yet – use direct messages to create a first step in their relationship with you and your brand. Be personal.
3. Click on the explore tab (popular page) and engage with potential followers
The ‘explore’ tab on Instagram is where popular photos and videos get featured, usually tailored to your previous behaviour and that of your followers. Use it regularly to find new accounts to follow or engage with – this, plus hashtag searching, is your fastest route to new followers.
4. Experiment with shoutouts
A ‘shoutout’ is when another Instagram user posts a post about your business. Ideally you'll each do a shoutout for each other but this needs both accounts to have similar follower numbers to be fair. The more people you reach out to, the better and this technique is commonly used. It is effective if done correctly.
5. Post attractive and provocative (in the business sense!) images and films
High-quality photos and images with plenty of colour tend to get the best reactions on Instagram. Combine looking good with real value for your followers, especially if you want more engagement. Ideally, post photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion – a feeling of trust, agreement, humor, motivation or even mild fear – such as the fear of missing out or the fear of a taks deadline if you are an accountant!
6. Don't overuse filter effects
You can choose a filter to use for all or certain types of posts but keep your posts very clear and easy to see/read. Filters themselves add nothing to your business success on Instagram!
7. Use hashtags properly
Don’t bother using Instagram for business if you aren't going to use hashtags properly. These are YOUR MAIN ROUTE TO NEW FOLLOWERS. Use all 30 each time if you can. Do not describe what is in the image directly but connect the image to your potential clients and their needs/wants/interests. So, adding your own brand name as a hashtag only works if people will search for it. Instead, if…say you help people with their health, use hashtags such as #getfit and #workouts. Don’t forget the most important hashtag of all – location, location, location – unless you are online only!
8. You need to post to cause interaction
If you want to get engagement from your followers, you should be posting content regularly. That doesn't mean posting 10 images a day. Posting between once a week and once a day is frequent enough to do a good job of keeping your current followers interested. You will lose followers if you don’t post for a while but, more importantly, you won’t make any sales either.
9. Interact and engage with your followers
A step so many businesses miss out on is replying and reacting when followers like and comment on your posts. Try never to ignore engagement. Instagram itself will be much less likely to promote your posts to new audiences if you don’t react to engagement on your profile. What is crucial is the engagement – it is here you are most like to start a buying process or build a relationship before a sale later on.
10. Don't be tempted to purchase followers or use an automated commenting tool
There is no point in having followers if they aren’t real people, they aren’t your target market and especially if Instagram recognises that you bought them. Think quality over quantity in every case. The same goes for automated tools. Firstly, Instagram might spot it and shut your account. Even if it doesn’t, the automated tools tend to follow the other people using the tools, without considering your target market. You’ll end up with random followers who will unfollow after a few days.
Try these useful tips and watch your Instagram account grow with followers and hopefully start generating sales too. If you need some help, we run both training courses and can run your account for you. Find our next workshops here and get in touch here for a chat about your business Instagram account.
We have just two places left on our 2-hours-a-week-for-6-weeks digital marketing course for small businesses, which starts on Thursday (13th) and I would love to fill at least one of them to make a really nice group size.
The aim is to get your website content, social media and email marketing all set up and running in just six weeks, with a weekly two-hour workshop and a bit of homework. You can join in by Skype or Facetime.
Would you like your digital marketing up, running and bringing in clients by the end of October? Please get in touch if you'd like one of the two places. More details here.