Today we’re going to look at how to grow your Instagram following. This leads to a lot of sales by maximizing your account and maximizing your engagement with your followers.
For all of us home-based and online business owners, we use Instagram as a marketing tool. In the end we use it to get customers.
Where to Begin
Maximizing Instagram starts with the way you set up your profile to the pictures and videos you post. It encompasses the content you put out there and the hashtags you use. Everything you do determines how much Instagram notices you and how many followers you get.
The number of followers you get from your efforts directly impacts how much Instagram puts you in front of others. Obviously, this determines how many of them turn into customers.
Instagram is one place that will help you build credibility. It’s a platform to master taking followers off of it to your website or online store to buy from you.
We did a three-part series earlier that went over the specifics of what I am writing today. The first was setting up your profile, then finding the right content for your niche. The last one was how to use hashtags to maximize your effectiveness.
Where to Get the Full Picture
I’m excited today to share the topic of Instagram with you and put everything together that I did in my three-part series. Although more condensed it puts everything into on place.
Why Get On Instagram?
The purpose for a home-based or online business to get on Instagram is to build a following. You want to find some people that are passionate about what you offer, and turn them into paying customers.
The greatest thing you need to watch out for when you use Instagram or any other social media account is that you stick true to your goals.
It is easy to start posting on social media in general and end up posting just to post. Don’t get into this habit of getting something out there because your schedule says you must.
Your goal is to post things to gain attention, and use that to turn that attention into customers.
This starts from the beginning with how you even set up your Instagram account.
If you don’t setup your Instagram account and use it the right way, you’ll not get followers. In turn, you’ll not get customers, and you’ll get frustrated.
This will cause you to give up over time if you don’t achieve your goals.
When we look at Instagram as a platform, we want to first understand how it works. You must know how to build a good reputation with it so Instagram puts you in front of people.
What Makes Instagram Tick?
I’m surprised when I look at so many home-based and online business people on Instagram. If you look at their profile and scroll through their posts, many have a few hundred followers.
They don’t have their profile setup the right way, don’t post correct content, and don’t use hashtags the right way.
So how do I know it’s not right?
It’s because I understand how Instagram works and what makes it tick.
Let’s take a brief moment to get into that.
I won’t bore you with a bunch of technical stuff, but you need to have a basic understanding.
Instagram uses an algorithm determine how each person interacts with other people.
This is based on two things called Unicorn and your Goodness score.
Instagram has a couple of things that makes it works, and determines how successful you are on it.
The first thing I want to tell you about is the Unicorn.
The Unicorn is the way that Instagram lets you interact with other people.
Think of Unicorn as a system that Instagram uses to compile data and search that data.
That data could be users, hashtags, locations, and the different types of posts that people put on Instagram.
It’s the way that Instagram links these different kinds of data together if they fit.
Basically, when you put your information on Instagram, it goes through and checks it. The algorithm compares it against all the other data on there for similarities.
Have you ever wondered why Instagram kinda knows what you like and sends it to you?
Let’s say you and your friends are really into hot rods.
Because of this Instagram tells itself that hot rods are something you like and is in your social network. It sends you photos, videos, and recommended people to follow based off of other things related to hot rods.
This is the purpose of the Unicorn…
Then there is the Goodness Score. This is the score to determine how relevant your post is when other users are searching for it.
The algorithm looks at photos, what is written, the location, hashtags, and who the author is to determine this score.
As you can see by what the algorithm looks at, when you start you won’t be high in the ranks.
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Does and Don’ts of Instagram
Next, I want to get into a few dos and don’ts of Instagram. These are things that you should be doing on Instagram and things you shouldn’t.
When you get on Instagram, don’t use bots at all to do anything. People use them to get more views, likes, comments, or followers on it.
To me this is laziness, and it is against the terms of service and if they find out they will ban you.
You should not ever focus on the numbers on Instagram. In the beginning you’ll probably be checking a few times a day to see where you are, but don’t.
You are there for the long-haul and want to build your brand.
If you are using Instagram the right way, your followers will come.
Instead you should be focusing on putting out the highest and best quality you can.
Once you get going, there’ll be times when your account is hitting it out of the park with followers, likes, and comments. There will also be times when you will be scratching your head wondering where everyone went.
Do not ever ignore your followers because if you do, they will go away. You should always respond to comments, like comments, and always respond to messages.
So here is some of the dos of Instagram…
You must create a theme for your page and consistently use this.
When you create new posts, you want to always have the same feel for them.
If you go over to my Instagram, you’ll see that all of my posts look the same.
When I post a picture, it has the same colors and my logo on it.
When I give a shoutout for my podcast or blog, they all look the same.
When I post infographics, they all have the basic same features and my logo on it.
Point being that you should give your followers the same feel with your posts each time. This gives them visual recognition that happens before they read anything to know it’s you.
Secondly, you should use Instagram for what you are using it for.
What do I mean by this?
Your goal on Instagram is to get people off Instagram to your place on the web.
Make sure you are always using your Instagram account to promote your website, blog, podcast, store, or anywhere else on the web where you have a presence.
Have your information in your profile. As you are posting, make sure to include your information so people know where to find you off Instagram.
Finally, make sure you are using the latest features of Instagram for two reasons.
First, if you are one of the first people, you are more likely to be seen with the new features.
Instagram notices that you are trying their new features and that helps you get promoted.
Setting Up Instagram to Work For You
Next, I want to talk about setting up your Instagram to work for you.
Three areas we are going to talk about is your profile, content, and hashtags that you use.
Setting up and using these things the right way will boost you in the Unicorn and with your Goodness score. Make sure you set up and use the next things I am going to talk about the right way.
The better you set up everything and use it, the easier you’ll get in front of people and be seen.
Setting up your profile
To see all I’m talking about, jump on to Instagram and check out my profile on Instagram. You can see all of it live and in action.
Instagram will score you on your profile, so it’s best to set it up right from the get go.
To begin, you should have a professional logo and have a username that is relevant to your business. Instagram has 150-character bio limit so get the most bang for your buck setting it up.
When you set up your online presence, usernames, website, and other things, try having the same name across all platforms.
The is not always possible, especially on social media sites. Make it as close as possible if you can’t get exact.
Your username and bio name are also not the same thing. In the bio name you should put a couple of words that describe what you do.
Use hashtags in your bio so that when people search hashtags you will come up.
Also, use emojis in your bio so that it breaks up the text and adds some flair to it.
Put your website address in the bio. Add your contact information in so that when people want to get in touch with you, they know how.
Next, I want to talk about the content you post on Instagram.
The first thing I am going to stress is that you don’t want to always post the exact same content. If you do this every day your audience will get bored with you.
You want to post content that adds value to your audience and something that they are interested in.
It should be relevant to your niche market. You are there to promote your home-based and online business.
Don’t post cat pictures if you are trying to build an online business selling shoes.
I think you get the point.
I have done some blogs and podcasts on where to find great content for your niche market.
For instance, you can go on Instagram itself and find an influencer in your niche. They will have hundreds of posts for you to get ideas from.
You can find content within their posts that are relevant to your target market. Take the basic idea, rewrite it with your spin, and post it on your page.
The pictures you use should also be congruent as I said earlier. If you don’t know how or don’t want to create your own photos, find someone to make them for you. The person I use is Gismarkaronen from Venezuela.
She is great and quick at making awesome pictures that you can use.
Once you grab someone’s attention with a great picture, they will look at what you typed for the content.
So, the content you put out there is as relevant as the picture you use.
How to Work Your Followers
Too many times I have seen accounts that only post asking people to buy from them.
They may get some followers and sometimes get some likes. They will struggle finding customers because all they are doing is taking.
One of my biggest pet peeves is how so many people use hashtags on Instagram.
You go through some people’s posts and find that with every single post, they use the exact same hashtags.
This is the wrong approach, and if you do this, the Unicorn that we discussed earlier will look at this as spammy. Instagram will not put you in front of as many people as you want.
You should have anywhere between 140 and 175 hashtags that you use. Use 30 on each post, and switch it up every time you make a post.
If you want more details on how to use hashtags, check out the blog and podcast that I did on it.
You will get all the details to do it the right way.
Once you get everything set up and have got some great pictures, content, and hashtags to use it doesn’t end there.
You are at the beginning…
Once You’re Off And Running
Let’s talk about some things that you should do once you’re off and running.
When you make posts for your followers, stay away from the buy from me mentality that so many people have.
I would recommend using the 70/20/10 rule primarily.
This is that 70 percent of the time you post your own content that does nothing but add value.
In these posts, the only thing you ask for is for people to like, comment, or share the post.
20 percent of the time, post other people’s content that adds value. This could be a post, a blog, a podcast, a website, a paper, or something else that is relevant to your niche.
Again, do not ask for anything but a like, comment, or a share.
Then, 10 percent of the time you come right out and ask someone to buy from you. Ask it right out because if you did the other 90 percent not asking, you deserve it.
This can be a product or service, a store, a website, or whatever other means you use to sell stuff.
How to Bore the Hell Out of Your Audience
Another thing that irks me is when I see accounts that are constantly posting the same thing. Maybe an account that bought a ton of infographics and that is all they post.
Do you want to bore the hell out of your audience?
You should be consistently posting, and the minimum in my opinion is once a day Monday through Friday.
On my account, I post every day of the week, and am working towards twice a day soon.
My schedule is the same every week to keep things congruent, but I mix it up during the week.
On Mondays and Fridays my posts are pictures related to my niche and I post something of value.
Tuesdays are when my new podcast comes out, so every Tuesday is a shoutout to my podcast.
Wednesdays are when my new blogs come out, so every Wednesday is a shoutout to my blog.
Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are currently when I post an infographic.
Thursdays will soon be a shoutout to my YouTube videos when I start making them.
I chose infographics for the weekends because most people are not working. Infographics is a quick visual that gives some good info is about all I think they would want.
What’s Your Point John?
Point being is I throw out a variety of things for my audience and this really engages all of them.
Some people prefer visual in pictures, and some people prefer audio in podcasts. Some people prefer to read a quick blog, and others love to be on YouTube watching videos.
I cover all these to give myself the best chance of having someone get off Instagram and engage me.
So, make sure you are providing a variety of things to your audience and switch it up.
Once you have people hooked, you must follow through.
What I mean by this is that you should always respond to people. It doesn’t matter if it is likes, commenting back, or private messaging those that engage you.
You also must respond quickly to those that send you messages. If you wait to long, they will lose interest and you’ll lose a possible sale.
I understand that many of us that have a home-based or online business are also working full-time.
You should be checking for messages first thing in the morning, on breaks and lunch time, and as soon as you get done with work. Many employees can’t be on their phone throughout the day.
My final thoughts on using Instagram is that you should always focus on why you are using this platform. You are there for your business, and make sure your actions on it are bringing you towards those goals.
In summary, it is easy to be successful on Instagram if you follow what I have suggested here today.
That’s not to say it will not be a lot of work. You’ll spend a lot of time building a great Instagram page and making sure your audience is taken care of.
If you want to build your business through Instagram, tweak the most to work for you.
Good luck with it!
|Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.|