7 Steps To Getting Started Right With Instagram
You’ve taken the plunge and have created a social media presence for your brand. You’ve added your business name’s handle and included your contact info. You sit there and smile at yourself for a job well done. The only problem is, you have NO IDEA what to do next. Before you even begin to worry about growing your following, you first want to optimize your profile. Remember, your Instagram is your storefront. Visitors decide whether they are interested in your page in 3 seconds. You have to be able to capture their attention quickly. A visitor should be able to understand the service you provide just by merely glancing at your page. Let’s start at the top and work our way down, shall we?
The Profile Photo
The profile photo is the very first thing a customer sees even before they come to your page. While it can be tempting to put the family dog as your main picture, it is irrelevant to your business. A profile photo unrelated to the product or service you offer can be very confusing to a customer. You want the image to represent your brand. Remember, the picture is the first representation of your business. Try including a logo or a popular product you offer as the image. Make sure the photo is clear and well lit.
Your Instagram Handle
Your Instagram handle is the link visitors will click to get to your IG page. Keep it simple by making the handle your business name—for example, @Target or @Nike. If your handle name is unavailable, include underscores or numbers. For instance, @Disney_World or @MagicJohnson32.
Make this your business' name. Again, you want visitors to have a clear understanding of your brand. If you are an individual who acts as a brand (i.e., athlete, real estate agent, etc.), you can write your job title. Including a job title will help your account be searchable.
This section is super important. The bio helps the visitor get an even better idea of what your brand has to offer. More specifically, the bio should express what problem you solve for your customer. Take some time to craft what you’re going to write. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is the person you want to help?
- What is the problem you want to solve?
- What is the promise you want to make?
Another great tool to use in your bio is emojis, as long as they are on brand, with your brand.
Lastly, Instagram allows you to post one website link. Utilize this tool so customers can easily explore your site. Keep the website link clear.
Can you spot the difference? The first link looks professional and less spammy.
The Highlight Reels
Even if you haven't started posting on your IG stories, you can still create highlight covers. Think about topics that are related to your brand's specialty. Also, you can save stories to these highlights. Canva is a great tool to create highlight covers easily. If you aren’t creative, you can always reach out to a graphic designer to make icons for you. Whichever round you decide to take to create the covers, keep them consistent with your brand's colors.
Ok, now for the fun stuff-- creating captions and sharing photos. Creating content can be one of the best parts of bringing your brand to social media, but it can also be highly challenging for some.
PhotosSince Instagram was created for people to share visuals, the photo that you share needs to be scroll-stopping. Do you have to hire a photographer to take all of your photos? No. If you have a good-quality camera on your phone, you can have DIY photoshoots. Here are some ideas:
- Photos of your products
- Images of people using your products
- Graphics with text related to your brand
A great place to start with content is capturing how life will look for your customer after using your product.
Check out How to Have a Successful Photo Shoot Even in COVID for more DIY photoshoot ideas.
BONUS: Apps for editing/posting photos
Great, your image has captured the viewer's attention! Time to truly grasp their trust with your caption. Captions allow you to share additional context about your post. A good caption may get a "like." A great caption will bring the viewer to take action. The caption needs to provide value. Does it entertain or inform the viewer? What action would you like them to take? You can ask them to take these actions...
- Commenting below
- Tagging a friend
- Following for more
- Sharing the post
- Visiting your website
These are just a few examples of things you can ask your audience. Remember, social media is designed to build relationships. It will help your business if you gain your audience's trust by giving value BEFORE you ask for anything.
If you're ever in a bind for topics, here are a few questions to get you started:
- What are the most common questions I get asked about my brand/industry?
- What are some reviews I’ve received, and how can I address them in a post?
- What are the pain points my target customer has, and how does my product solve it?
What are trending topics in my area of expertise?
Beginning your business social media journey may feel overwhelming, but take a deep breath and know that developing a social media strategy takes time. Like any business plan, you need to know your objective and how you'll measure your goals.
SummaryInstagram gives you tons of opportunities to make your brand message clear. IG likes it so much that when you utilize their tools, they will reward you by pushing your content into more viewer feeds. Have a plan and continuously evaluate
what is and isn't yielding results.
For more tips and advice on marketing and branding, check out the rest of Power Move Marketing's blogs!
Author: Danielle Sampson