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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If your website and social media profiles are failing to bring in new business to you, then our social media and content marketing coaching group may be just what you need. We'll work together to get your social media and content marketing set up, running and bringing in clients. We will talk through the theory and then spend time together working on YOUR website and social media. Here are five great reasons why you should join our social media and content marketing coaching group in the autumn.
You can expect:
Click here for details and to join our Social Media and Content Marketing Coaching Group.
1. SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’.
‘Search engine optimisation’ is the group of practices designed to improve your website’s ranking within organic, non-paid search results. In short, SEO aims to improve your business’ visibility and drive increased web traffic to your site. A variety of techniques are in the SEO toolbox, from keyword optimisation to social media activity.
2. Choose your keywords with care.
A big part of SEO is keyword optimisation but the first step in that process is figuring out the right keywords to emphasise on your website. The ideal keywords are relevant to your business, tie in with your site’s content and be frequently searched for by your potential customers while not widely in use by other websites.
3. Do not make your site too keyword-heavy.
The use of the right keywords is important but using too many keywords can actually hurt your search engine ranking. Placing too many keywords on your website will cause your site to be regarded as spam by search engines and the spiders that search engines use to index sites are programmed to pass over websites that engage in ‘keyword stuffing’.
4. Images won’t help improve your search results unless you use ALT tags.
Search engines are only capable of analysing text to determine website rankings. Even if the images on your site have text in them, the search engine spiders are not be able to ‘read’ it. To get around this, make really good use of the alternative text tag, known as ‘ALT tag’, which allows you to include a searchable text description for your website’s images. This is a really effective way of improving your search engine results.
5. Pay-per-click advertising has no effect on SEO.
Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) can be an important part of online marketing and is often seen as complimentary to SEO but PPC has no direct effect on SEO results. Think about it this way: PPC is a type of paid advertisement, while SEO aims to influence organic search results.
6. Content is king. Especially if it is added to, fairly often.
Search engines are smarter now and the right keywords, which used to be enough to move your website to the top of the search results, aren’t enough by themselves. High-quality web content is needed for the search engines to think you are worth sending visitors to. It is also necessary for attracting links from other websites.
7. Internal linking within your site will help boost your search engine standing.
Building in internal links within your website as you build and grow your website can help boost traffic to all of your site’s pages, which in turn helps improve search engine rankings. You can make internal linking even more effective by ensuring that the text of your links include relevant keywords.
8. Links from other sites to your site are key.
Links from other people’s websites play a really important part in the algorithms used to determine search engine rankings. Spend time to building relationships with the owners of other sites who may be willing to link to your business’ site can be really effective.
9. Social media plays a critical part in an SEO campaign.
Having a strong social media presence and marketing your website’s content on these platforms will help your website come up higher in search engine rankings. Look at alternatives to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see if your industry/subject has more relevant social media channels.
10. While hiring an SEO expert can help you achieve the best results, there is a lot you can do every time you update your site.
Getting good results from an SEO campaign takes time and effort. If you follow the steps above, you’ll see your site climb up the results pages. However, you have a business to run and your time might be best spent doing that and not keyword research.
Search engine results are, for the most part, crucial to any business finding leads or customers online. Would you like to know more about it? Get in touch or join this autumn’s SEO workshops in Danderyd (north Stockholm).
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.