Mid-2015 I curiously started experimenting with Instagram as a bit of fun to understand how it all worked.
Pretty soon I realised that to get a large following you need to be very committed.
My account was just for fun so I began to put it through its paces, getting barred a number of times in the process for ‘bending’ Instagrams rules, all in an attempt to gain followers, and experiment.
However, during one of these forced week-long ‘breaks’ from Instagram, I considered...
What would happen if I employed strategy rather than just trying to get likes?
And… the results were very interesting.
Most business owners still don’t know that you can start getting real results (ie sales leads) from brand new accounts (ie zero followers).
How you ask?
Answer: By getting the ‘mix’ right.
We currently help various business with their Instagram accounts and here are the most common challenges we find - and fixes you can employ immediately to start getting leads, customers, and sales.
This post is a quick read but I’ve got a thorough, free, complete guide available here if this gets you inspired.
Read! Learn! Enjoy!
YOU THINK INSTAGRAM IS NOT SUITED FOR ‘YOUR CUSTOMERS’
This mistake is a real shame, born out of ignorance.
Chances are high that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of people who like/need/want what you sell, who are on Instagram right now (or at least check it a few times a week).
These people live in your neighbourhood.
Remedy: Take this seriously or watch your customers ‘magically’ find your opposition.
STOP TRYING TO SELL YOUR STUFF
This one makes people feel sick.
Consumers are smart, more than ever.
You know the feeling, and you hate it too right? It’s gross, not nice, and it’s a turn-off.
Stop being like that.
If you’re doing this it reveals a fundamental flaw in your understanding of how the platform works. But that’s ok - you’ll hopefully get it soon enough.
Remedy: Take some advice from master Gary Vaynerchuk “jab, jab, jab - right hook”. This means serve your audience by giving them what they came for - a good feeling. They will let your pitch slide graciously if you only spruke your sales talk every now and then. And when they are ready to buy - they will know where to find you.
PLEASE DON’T TELL ME THE LINK IN YOUR BIO GOES TO YOUR WEBSITE HOMEPAGE
Classic rookie mistake and one that is costing you long term. Surely by now you realise that just sending people to ‘your website’ ain’t gonna work. It doesn’t work for you - why would it work for them?
Remedy: Send them directly to the thing you are selling. Or, if you have a freebie - send them directly there. Or, if you have a blog, send them directly to your best post. Notice the keyword here is ‘directly’. Ideally, you remove all obstacles for the customer to be able to interact with you, easily.
Pro tip: The ideal objective of that link is to get the customer into your sales funnel.
YOU’RE SLACK WITH YOUR POSTING
Now I understand this one well, and I see a lot of people struggling here. And there are many reasons for this. But honestly, there is really only one main reason: you don’t yet understand its value.
Remedy: Consistency is key to many things in life, social posts no exception.
- Plan your posts (an evening with a bottle of red and a notepad should give you loads of content ideas, also include reposts, this encourages s4s or 'share for share')
- Bulk prepare your content (an hour a night with your phone for a week and a scheduler like Crowdfire should have you set for a month. Schedule your pics and your captions)
- Post when it says to post (rocket science, I know - but these auto schedulers literally tell you when it’s time to post, and you just have to do it).
YOU’RE SLACK WITH YOUR REPLY COMMENTING
At first, it’s understandable, but if you’re not reply commenting you’re missing out!
Every time someone sees their name mentioned in a comment they will come and check out why. So every time you reply to someone it’s a chance for them to see more of your stuff, to build connections in their mind - to connect.
Plus - it’s just a nice thing to do! Even a simple ‘thanks’ is fine and is nice to receive.
Remedy: To avoid screwing your life up with the anxiety of constantly checking your phone, a simple trick is to think about it like voice mail - do it once a day. Find that 2-10 mins each day that is dead time. Stuck in a line, commuting, bathroom break (yes we know you play with your phone when you poop) etc, make a habit of scanning your posts for any comment not responded to.
All I do is check to see that I’m the last commenter.
The only exception to this is if someone has shared your post with someone else by simply tagging them in. Just leave those ones alone - that’s magic right there - don’t disturb it!
YOUR CONTENT IS BORING
Keep your non-stop selfie posts for your personal page, because no one cares. While you’re doing that keep your cat pics, photo’s of your adorable dog, your cute kid and your vacation there too. Every now and then won’t ruin things - but to your audience (your potential customers) it’s a bloody bore.
Remedy: I’m a big fan of testing, testing and testing. Just try different things. Before you know it you start to figure out what’s not resonating with your audience, and you will naturally adjust. Share pics of your life in your business from the perspective of “what others might find interesting”. Let your creativity run wild.
YOUR BIO SUCKS
Every single person does this. When you come across a new post from someone that you don’t follow - your curiosity kicks in and you check their profile.
That’s the moment, your 3 seconds to introduce and convey your most important info.
Remedy: Not sure what to include? Easy fix! Sit down and view the bios of minimum 20 users. What do they all have in common? What sucks?
Now the real question - which bio’s made you click the link?
Also, you can change your bio at any time - so just experiment.
Here is the Your Mini Empire one at the time of writing this. Every week people go to it, and some people click it. Then, some take the offer and sign up.
After all, if you are giving away some great, valuable content why wouldn't you?
I do it all the time. It's a new currency.
YOU STILL DON’T GET #HASHTAGS
As the platform has grown so has the way hashtags are used.
Understand that hashtags are how Instagram makes posts searchable.
That’s basically it.
Sure, clever hashtags are fun to read, but that’s nothing compared to their real power and place. Sometimes I’ll post
Remedy: Go to your phone's note app and start a note - list your hashtags that suit your business and have them ready for when you post next.
That way once you’ve posted, you can just open your notes, select all, copy, and then paste into Instagram as that posts 1st comment.
You can post up to 30 hashtags so here’s another tip: only keep 20 or so that relate to your business as a whole and allow yourself 10 to tailor to the post you’ve just made.
ALRIGHT NOW GET STARTED
Instagram is an extraordinary tool for communicating with an audience of any type, and one that business owners can definitely embrace.
Low cost, easy to use - and once you get it working - a constant, steady stream of leads that is not difficult to run.
With Facebook putting its weight behind the platform 2016 is truly Instagrams year.
Get the full complete epic guide to using Instagram for business for FREE here and get your marketing moving.
PS: If you found this valuable - share so others can too!