Instagram is a leading social media platform with 150 million current users. It is a fast growing platform, and for businesses, the latest marketing tool. It is a way for companies to humanize their brand through visual photos & videos, as well as promoted ads. For us, we use Instagram to show behind the scenes, blog posts, & recent work. We’ve seen such positive results after adding it to our marketing plan that we want to share with you some crazy helpful actionable tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way  that has brought us great success. Without further a do – let’s get right into it.

1.KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: This is VERY important. By knowing your target it allows you to share the right content at the right time. If you have a business, then you should already know your ideal audience. Think of these people every time you post. While yes your profile is about you, it is mainly about your audience. [check out how our cinematographer grew his account by 82% by doing this, here] Ask yourself these questions before your post: Will my audience like this? Does this fit my company branding? Is this a good time to post for my audience?

– This brings me to my next point –

2. POST AT YOUR BEST TIMES: What’s the point of planning our your Instagram if a majority of your audience doesn’t even see it. Do you know your perfect time to post? If not – you need to go check out Iconosquare. Iconosquare is a website that gives Instagram users their metrics for free. It’s an awesome tool to utilize & so simple to use. To get your best time information all you need is:

  • Register for a full account
  • Click on Analytics
  • Click on Optimization
  • Look at chart to see your best times to post – the bigger the shape- the better the time.

As you can see from the chart below, our best times to post are 11am on Tuesday, 8pm Wednesday, 6pm Thursday, and 8pm Sunday.

3. GROW YOUR ACCOUNT AUTHENTICALLY: This is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing. You can have a ton of followers but if you aren’t getting likes on your content or turning them into clients, whats the point. Quick Story: When we first made our account, we went on a follow spree,following any and everybody. Didn’t care where they were from, what their occupation was, what their hobbies were. To us, they were an Instagram account so we were following! But these weren’t the right followers. These people weren’t going to like our posts, visit our website, or buy our services. They only followed us back because we followed them. Maybe they found our account cool, i don’t know. These people would eventually unfollow & then it was back to square one. DO NOT COPY THIS PLAN. I REPEAT, DO NOT COPY THIS PLAN.

To grow your audience authentically, there are a few things you need to do. 1. you need to like photos in your niche daily & leave genuine comments. [TIP: If you like 3-5 pictures of 1 account all at once, they are more likely to notice you, rather than if you are a random liker, liking only 1 photo] 2. Socialize: It ain’t called social media for nothing. Comment, like, share, inbox – do it all baby! Sometimes when I like a photo a lot, I will take it outside of Instagram and share it on Twitter or Facebook [& give credit] This exposes them to more of my followers and in turn forms an online friendship. 3. Cross-share: Ask your existing followers and Twitter and Facebook to follow you on Instagram. If they are following you on other accounts, there is probably a reason why. Utilize your tools. Post a couple sample posts so they can see your awesome feed before they even get to Instagram. This will entice them to go check out more!

4. THERE ARE HASHTAG RULES: Especially if you are in business, there are definitely hashtag rules. The point of a hashtag is to get your post in front of more people, so don’t you want to get it in front of the right people?

  • rule #1 : Don’t over hashtag [recommend max 10]
  • rule #2: Choose the right hashtags for your business. Think of hashtags your audience will search + hashtags that describe your business. We love #socialmediatips #growyouraccount #marketing #creativebiz #entrepreneur
  • rule #3: Take advantage of trending hashtags [related to your content]. This is a great way to expose your brand and gain additional followers.
  • rule #4: Create custom hashtags for your company. This allows you to create brand recognition on social media.

5. USE A CUSTOMIZED LINK SHORTENER: By doing this, you have the ability to track the traffic back to your site. It also helps your Google Analytics metrics, because they can’t accurately track this traffic when users visit your website from your mobile Instagram account. We use bit.ly links to do this. It tells you your accurate clicks – dark traffic – and top location.

6. PLAN YOUR SUCCESS: As a small business owner – you need to plan for success. But you already know that planning is key! I know I personally have a calendar that lists out when I post & to what account. I normally schedule my Instagram posts a week in advance. I never post anything without purpose. When I post a picture it either is a link to our blog post, a behind the scenes, recent client work, or weekend fun. So by planning out my schedule a week in advance it holds me accountable for the week making sure I stay on task outside of TwinFin social media. See there is a method to my maddess! It is a very effective work plan. Special Occasion: For this month long social media series – I had the entire month planned out on all social medias, including Instagram. I knew what I was going to post and on what day. The only thing I didn’t plan was the exact times I was going to post because I analyze our best times daily. So, I definitely recommend you plan your Instagram posts. You don’t have to get crazy and tackle a month – but a couple days in advance will help. Remember: post for purpose not because you find pretty things.  Here’s something for you to think about – a little exercise if you will. Answer these questions : What do you want to gain from your account? Do you know how you can achieve it? Is your current account reflecting your goals? Yes or No? If no, do you know where to go to learn how to achieve it? TwinFin media works with clients one on one for social media strategy. If you are desperate and need help ASAP or if you just want to improve your social media plan – we are happy to help!