How to start your adventure on Instagram?
If you don’t live under the rock, you’ve definitely heard about Instagram. Even better, you probably already have your personal account on this platform. However, if you want to be successful in business, you should consider starting a profile for your company or activity, and reach more people, who are interested in your niche. In this entry, you will find out what to do in order to draw attention, promote yourself, and even transform Instagram into an additional source of income.
Let’s start from the scratch!
To begin, you have to remember that Instagram is mainly a mobile app, so most of the functionalities are concentrated on mobile devices. You will need a smartphone or a tablet and download the application. Of course, you can access it from your computer, however, there are limited options.
The first thing you have to think about is your username. It should be relatively short, simple, and easy to remember. If it’s possible, try not to use digits like “_” or numbers. When you pick a name for your profile, it’s time to fill out the rest of information. There is a field, where you can type your first and second name. It’s worth to write a keyword, connected to your activity next to it. For example John Smith Photography, if you are a photographer. A profile bio (description) gives you many options as well. Try to use keywords that describe your business, to optimize your profile so it would show up higher in the results of search engine (SEO). You can also link your YouTube channel, blog, or a website there. Moreover, business account allows you to add information such as your physical and email address, and phone number.
What type of content is the best for your audience?
Instagram is a platform that puts emphasis on photos, but if you’re a marketing enthusiast, you probably know that the caption is equally important. But first thing’s first: establish what your profile is about and what you want to achieve on this platform. If you run your own company, or a blog, you can use Instagram for promotion, but you can also use your account for generating income. How? Thanks to affiliation or sponsored posts. We wrote about affiliation (here).
If you’ve already chosen the topic, look for accounts and photos connected with it. Find out, what you can do to stand out, be inspired, and what type of content is the most popular within your niche. Remember to post quality photos that draw attention of the people scrolling through the explore page. The caption should be targeted towards the group you want to reach. Make the most of this space and inspire your audience.
Hashtags on Instagram
They are an awesome tool to reach new people. You just type the keyword after the hash and the users can click on it to see other posts that use the same keyword. Here are some helpful tips and tricks:
1. Create your own list of hashtags associated with your account and use them for your photos. Don’t use the same set for every post, but rather mix things up, creating different combinations. If you won’t do that, the algorithm can treat it as a spam attempt and cut your reach.
2. I recommend using hashtags that are smaller than 1 million, as otherwise your content won’t be visible in the recent posts tab of the explore page for long. Instead, choose smaller and medium sized tags (from a few thousand to a couple hundred thousand photos). Mix and match them with those big ones to maximize your chances of success.
3. Test the hashtags you’ve picked. Some of the categories may cut your reach, so it’s always worth checking if your keyword is on that list. You can do it after publishing the post, by checking if your post shows up in the recently added tab on the explore page. If it’s not, that’s probably because the algorithm flagged one of your hashtags as “not recommended for the community”. Why? It is the new policy, introduced a few months ago. The algorithm cuts the reach of posts that don’t violate community guidelines, however, they are not widely recommended by Instagram. Examples of such content would be memes containing dark humor, partial nudity, or even some sport disciplines.
Build the community
Follow people who are interested in your niche. Leave likes and comments under the content similar to yours, as it will draw the attention of the enthusiasts of this area. People are curious, and they will definitely check, who gave them a follow. If you’re lucky, they will like your account and follow you back. Then, engage in conversations, ask questions. This will increase your reach.
Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.