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 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.
With over 200 million users daily, it's no question that Instagram stories have become a vital marketing tool for modern businesses nowadays. If done right, Instagram stories could significantly increase reach by leaps and bounds at little to no cost at all. Jimmy Rodela, Digital Marketing Manager of EBCallCenter.com, gives us his tips.
Many businesses have now taken advantage of the platform, and it is best if your company could ride the hype as well. But it is crucial to execute Instagram marketing correctly. So before jumping in, here are a few things to help you boost your business through Instagram stories.
Keep your messages short but extremely sweet
Make sure you have the right script that will capture your audience's attention in an instant. Give followers just enough information to keep them interested but wanting more.
Your visuals and label have to entice the user the moment he clicks on your link. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again with another story style till you get the right formula.
Let the tags help bring you the right target audience.
Recently Instagram has added a feature wherein stories appear in the search results of a hashtag.
People searching hashtags will more often than not click on your stories as they are already showing interest in the subject matter at hand. Stories will appear to users even if they are not following your account.
Get your swipe up option ready
Remember, you can’t fit all the necessary information in an Instagram story. The only facts you need to share are the juicy ones. The audience that expresses an interest will want more.
Have your clickable links ready in your swipe up option to avoid losing your audience with short attention span. Don’t waste the engagement by not being able to give them all the information that they want.
Depending on your industry, and if you have been in it for a while, you can already identify who your influencers are. They are the people who are capable of increasing your sales of the once they give their endorsement of it.
They are the first group you should tag for them to look into your stories and have them share with their many followers.
Divulge juicy and entertaining facts at the end of every Instagram story. It will give your followers satisfaction for staying until the end of the story which would make the keep coming back for more.
You can unveil teasers or promo codes and prizes that will reward those who took the chance to click on your stories.
Sneak around competitors
Your competitors will be following you to check up on what you are working on. Using Instagram stories will give you the option to exclude them from seeing the stories.
This way you can market and share all you want without the fear of your competitors copying your ideas.
Do you enjoy Instagram stories? Has it helped you in any way to further your business? Share some of your stories with us.
Jimmy is a freelance writer and the Digital Marketing Manager of EBCallCenter.com. He owns GuildofBloggers.com. He has contributed to Yahoo, SearchEnginePeople, SEMRush, and Business.com.
Would you like more customers for your small business?
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 of Stockholm and help you grow your business. Below are the sessions we are running this coming autumn:
The cost of these two-hour sessions is 490 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.
Instagram masterclass - using your existing Instagram account to bring in sales – Spring/Autumn 2018
The session will suit you if you are:
Wednesday 18th April - 12:30-2:30pm (5 spaces)
Wednesday 10th Oct 12:30-14:30 (6 spaces)
Wednesday 14th Nov 12:30-14:30 (5 spaces)
490kr inc MOMS per person in advance by SWISH to 0709247260
To book, please fill in the form here or email firstname.lastname@example.org, stating which session you would like to join and, if you know it already, your goal (including your website and social media profiles if possible).
For those of you who use Instagram for your businesses, do you feel your effort is delivering potential new clients to you or is nothing much happening?
It is absolutely possible to use Instagram to build sales but you must spend your energy on the right things. You might think that is posting great photos every day but, for most businesses, that isn't what you should be doing.
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.