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.
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).
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and how can I use it to reach clients and grow my business?
Why can’t people find your business website/blog on the internet? Why are there no visitors on your business website/blog?
Maybe Search Engine Optimisation is your answer.
If you have a business website or blog, you need to know what SEO is all about. SEO is one of the most fundamental and powerful methods to increase your business website/blog’s visibility on the internet and help you reach out to your clients online.
Is it free?
Yes, it is. In this post, we will focus on the effective-yet-free methods for small business to improve their SEO but there are plenty of services (including from Google) and software on the market to improve your company website’s SEO if you have the budget.
What is SEO?
Let’s break it down into two words: ’Search Engine’ and ’Optimisation’. ‘Search Engine‘ basically means Google, since more than 90% people use Google as their main search engine in Sweden, although there are others too. ‘Optimisation’ means to make your website most appealing and easy to use so the search engines like it and maximise the visibility of your business website or blog on the search results page list.
In simple terms, SEO is a method of getting your business website/blog link to appear on Google search results page as high on the list as possible when people type in any search words that are related to your business.
It’s like a digital yellow pages and all websites/blogs are fighting to be on the front page for their website/blog to be seen by their customers.
Why does Google need us to do SEO?
We can think of the process of how Google determines the ranking of a search result as an audition itself. In this audition, Google use more than 200 factors to decide the order of the ranking shown on the search result page.
So what is our business website/blog auditioning for? We are auditioning to prove to Google that our business website/blog is:
How do we meet those crazy 200+ unclear factors from Google to get high ranking for our business website/blog?
Luckily, lots of research and experiments have been done so there are many tips and rules discovered for how to improve the SEO for Google’s sake. By actively working to improve them, they can essentially guarantee an improvement in your website’s ranking in Google.
Is it a one-off job?
We do need to work on improving our website/blog’s SEO continuously and relentlessly. As Google is constantly reviewing, adjusting and updating its search results, there is no time limit, it means this ’audition’ with Google is an on-going process and its never too late to get the ball rolling!
What happens if we do a good job of optimising our website for search engines?
If our business website/blog’s SEO is well-taken-cared of, it means it will get more visibility on Google search. More exposure helps us to achieve the following:
Last but not least:
Now you know what all the fuss about SEO is for and how it can help to grow your business.
Are you ready to get the ball rolling but don’t know how?
We will unearth more secrets of SEO in future posts. If you want to get more free tips, pop your email address in the box on the right to get our blog posts by email.
Is SEO something you have yet to look into for your business? Get started with SEO with us on 21st March 2018, a two-hour training session costing only 450kr per person. We also have an autumn session on 3rd Oct 2018. Click here for more information.
Need individual help? Learn more here - see how we can help you to grow your business.
So… you get the idea, so many merits for all the effort of blogging for your business.
Did we mention that it is really cost effective? It is almost free!
This doesn’t mean it is easy. In fact, many people easily fail to grasp the core concept of blogging for business, as it is more complex than blogging for your own hobby/personal blog. Here are seven fundamental points for business blogging for you to focus on in 2018;
1. Have a plan – just writing out your latest thoughts or recent visit to Starbucks no longer works (not sure that ever did!). A business blog should be well-planned and become a good story that helps potential customers through their customer journey. Think it through before you post anything on your business website.
2. Time – when and how often is also crucial. Imagine yourself that your post is fighting for attention with other posts, news and ads across all sorts of channels that we come across everyday. Planning when and how often to post helps potential clients see, read and interact with your ongoing story.
3. Content – from headline to the last sentence, every word should be useful and in line with the message you want to carry through to your clients. It should either be creative, interesting or inspiring and a well-mixed balance of different formats.
4. Engaging your public or industry influencers – you can hugely increase the effectiveness of a blog post if you see it as the start to a ripple effect. By engaging one or several potential clients, current clients or influencers in a post, you speed up the spreading of the post immensely. It could be as simple as a reference and link to a website, an article or a post with another individual, social media profile or company.
5. Visual – ‘a picture says a thousand words’ cannot be truer than in the case of blogging. Although by visual we mean everything from the choice of colour scheme, the font, the size of the typing, the proportion of the images and everything that we should consider most important to grasp the eye of our readers, we also mean that you must, must, must use one good image that represents the content of the post. It is this image that reaches a whole extra target group.
6. Competition – do you know who your competitions are out there? What do they post on their blog? What topics are on trend right now? What are they missing that could be your ‘in’, in the discussion/conversation?
7. Research – in order to maximise the effect of the business blogging, research is needed. Why? Knowledge is the powerful tool in the vast internet sea; it can help you to stay ahead of the game, sense what direction the market is shifting to and give you inspiration. It can also help you to build authority in your business field – making a more loyal client base and steady sales. You can see who has read which blog posts and topics and understand more about your target market from that.
Are you ready to start but don’t know how?
We will dig deeper into the art of blogging in future posts, would you like to be kept posted (pun intended!)? Pop your email address in the box on the right to get our blog posts by email.
Is blogging for business something you would like to know more about? Kick start your business blogging with us on 14th March 2018, a two-hour training session costing only 450kr per person. We also have autumn sessions on 26th Sept and 24th Oct 2018. Click here for more information.
Working with clients is so inspiring! Yesterday we had clients participate in one of our SEO (search engine optimisation) workshops.
Often people think that SEO is a very mysterious and difficult concept and when you don't know a lot about it, it actually is. The good news is that with a couple of simple insights and tricks, this mystery unriddles itself instantly. Also, it's not as difficult as you might think, you just need to know the tricks and do the work!
This is what our clients experienced yesterday as well! For example, did you know that:
- Regular blogs on your website create more opportunities to pop up in search results
- Key words that you've used for finding your site should be in the text on each page AND in the code of your website
- Think of your customers and what words or phrases they're searching for, what problem do they need solved? Take your customer's perspective, not your own.
More workshops are planned for the spring. Click here for details.
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.