Instagram is one of the social media networks you can no longer ignore. Yes it's picture based but there's no doubt in my mind after pouring through the network that it can be used to build a stronger connection with your audience with free reach that's easy to access.
Here are some ways that you can boost your marketing efforts with Instagram.
Think about starting 2-3 niche accounts that you can build together and tag new people in as you progress. The long game strategy is to be building niche accounts so your content has a structure. Think about the kind of brand you want to build and cover your interests with niche accounts to control your instagram message in a more meaningful way.
- Clickable link:
Share a post on Instagram that tells your followers to click the link in your bio which happens to bea link to your content posted on your website or a signup to get something from you.
- Create a photo series:
This is all about building up anticipation. Consistency is a key factor in making that happen so first introduce the series, then stay focused on delivering in a big way each time. Try to top yourself and make it fun. Also you should create a custom hashtag # for the series so people can look at the timeline for it and see everything involved. This is especially great if you have an ongoing series with extended content.
- Fan Photos:
Encourage fans to take photos are gigs and events to share on there instagram pages using your hashtag. Offer a prize as motivation and pick a winner quickly. The more contests you can create the more fun and engaging they will be. This can capture the power of an insta-army to help grow your account quickly. Don't forget to post a picture of your winner. Maybe they'll be wearing a tee-shirt you gave them.
- Complete your profile:
Make sure there's a quick summary that introduces your most current message or sums up your brand effectively, You don't have a ton of room so make an impact with the less is more plan.
- Hire influencers on Instagram: Collaborations are so easy.
Find people who have an audience that lines up with your target audience. Of coarse musicians and dancers pair great together. If your hiring then make sure you require them to change the clickable link in their bio for set amount of time that they will be posting about you. A post has the most potential for about 24 hours before needed fresh content unless your out there driving traffic to it so keep that in mind during planning. (many people will use your music free of charge if they link it, so try to match up the right song to the right dancer and you'll be able to set up free advertising and a great partnership over time.
- Find people:
Look for people that are using hashtags that are relevant to you and comment on their content. For example, if you’ve created a post that's playing your new song – search the hashtag closely associated with the genre or content in your song. Do this daily and comment with a compliment and call to action to come listen for some inspiration.
- Cross post:
Cross post your content to facebook automatically by setting it up in your account settings. Then once a week take a screen shot of your instagram page and share it on other social media networks to alert people of the content your publishing there.
- Add Instagram, to your website links and other social media links:
Also add all your top social media links to other profiles and have them readily available on your website. I also recommend adding easy links at the end of every blog post. The easier you make it for people to find your pages, the more likely they will be to connect with you on them. You want people moving from one part of your network to another to keep them engaged in the different kinds of content. In addition, try to move them first to become a subscriber and then from there to the social media pages. This way you have a direct way to stay in touch.
Don't forget to use the right amount of hashtags to promote your posts. Studies show that by adding hashtags to the 1st comment of your post it improves your engagement and reach. You are allowed up to 20 hashtags so i recommend doing some research each week to gather a list of tags that specifically align your brand with your audience. Think of tags that will insert your content into a valid stream of content being searched for. For instance if you have an inspirational song. Don't just place it under #Singersongwriter also look at the #Inspirational and #Motivational tags suggested in that category. Associated content and being in more micro-niche categories could help you gain traction for longer periods of time. Try not to compete in the most exhausted spaces. Try to aim your content at being the Top Post in a smaller niche so you'll get more play on that post.
- Balance your strategy:
Look at your strategy and pick one for the week. Either post more unique photo's and play on hashtags and exploration or... Post less and interact more on the hashtags your posting to.
NEW UPDATE: 4/4/2017
Secrets to Improving your Instagram Engagement:
1. Ask a question in your caption
Request information from your audience and interact with people in the comments. Even if your post is older, don't forget to scroll through all the comments and interact with each person. Instagram notices comments that are more than 3 words so do yourself a favor and encourage quality conversations on each of your posts. Quality conversation improves the visibility of the individual post according to recent changes to the algorithm so use at least 5 words in every reply and ask questions that encourage people to get involved.
2. Respond in the first hour
When you plan to post something on instagram stick around for the comments so you can interact with people in the comments within the first hour of publishing any post. It will help instagram to realize that your post is important due to all the activity.
3. Engage with current and new followers
If you don't engage with your current followers, your posts won't show up in their feed. I recommend swinging by your current followers accounts directly after every new post while your waiting for comments to start. Then when you have extra time, check out the new posts on popular hashtags that interest you so you can discover new people and bring in some fresh eyes and ears.
4. Comment Pods
A comment pod is a group of Instagram users who agree to like and comment on any of the user's new posts as soon as they see them. Comment pods are helpful because with them, they help encourage other users (outside the pod) to leave comments of their own if they see that other people are already interacting. Think of our group as a comment pod. We support each other in this way all the time. And for those of you who don't know my accounts yet, let's get connected. Here are a couple of my favorites:
You can also think about starting a pod by direct messaging other account owners that post content related to yours and asking if they would like to join your comment/engagement pod. Keep in mind that if you host your engagement pod on Instagram, it will only allow you to add 15 pod members. If you would like to host a bigger pod, your other options are to create a Facebook group and notify people of new posts in the group with links and a call to action.
Our groups that have pod posts where you can comment are at :