What I Learned From Instagram in a Week.
Last week, Carson and I both announced that we were making our foray into Instagram. You can check our latest activity and follow us here:
Follow Kyle: @wealthyaffiliatekyle
Follow Carson: @wealthyaffiliatecarson
This was a significant move for us because when we make a decision to do anything, we put a lot of thought into it. We weigh the pros and cons and in terms of Instagram the PROS of using it far outweigh the cons.
Some of these positives were:
(1) Turning Waste into Productivity
(2) The TRUST Factor
(3) Remaining Ahead of the Curve.
But in my first week of using Instagram, I found myself learning more than I could imagine about myself and the actual Instagram platform. I also found something very revealing about my own personal social media activity (that I will discuss).
I just wanted to spend a few minutes outlining my "first week" findings of Instagram, to help you with your own Instagram experiences and ultimately decide whether it is important to your business, integral to your business, or something that you just want to use as a typical user.
(1) Get a Business Account.
It is very easy to set this up, even within your personal account. There are several reasons that you would want a business account, but the primary ones are:
- Get More Data, More Features
- Can Use Your Instagram Account With Software
- Allows you to Post Ads
- It's Easy to Set-Up, Doesn't Cost a Penny
You will need a Facebook business page to get this set-up, and you can move to a business account at any time. So don't feel pressure to race out and do this now. There may be little application for you to get one now but there likely will be down the road. You can get instructions directly on Instagram showing you how to set this up. View instructions here. https://business.instagram.com/getting-started
(2) Like Your Website, Consistency is KEY
How do you bend the algorithms in search engines these days? By posting content with regularity and consistency, and of course offering quality content. The same thing is the case with Instagram. If you are posting to your feed and your story with frequency and regularity, people will come to expect this and anticipate this... including Instagram. You want more exposure, keep it consistent.
(3) #Hashtags Are Your Magnet
You want to use hashtags. They are important to getting reach and attracting people in similar audiences. Use them within every post (10-20 of the most relevant to the image).
(4) Automation is Available, If You Use it Right
There are several platforms that allow you to automate your posts. Some of the most popular for Instagram, from what I have seen thus far are:
All of these will suffice, with some having their advantages and disadvantages. I have primarily been using Tailwind, but I have heard that some influencers (someone that has a large active following) on Instagram favor some other platforms because they are more feature rich. You don't have to automate, but it can make your scheduling much easier.
As with ANY automation, you want to be authentic and you want to keep on top of your activity, with others engaging in your content, and you want to present your content in a way that feels REAL. Automation tools get abused and don't work if you try to remove yourself completely from the activity. That simply is not a good idea!
(5) Get Real, Be Real.
People like "real" people, real lives and real stories. Funny how that works. If you come across as overtly promotional, you are not going to have an authentic following. If you are genuine with your experience, your following is much more engaged into your Instagram posts, stories, and your overall brand.
(6) Interact With Others.
One thing that I quickly have seen (and learned) is that if you want your Instagram following to grow naturally, you should invest a bit of time engaging in relevant conversations and with other Instagram infulencers. If you do, you are going to get additional exposure. Not only that, you want to interact in a timely manner to those that connect with you.
Perhaps it is only a few per day, or maybe many more through time, but this is creating an authentic, trusted following and network.
(7) Don't Waste Your Time
Last but not least, don't waste your time. Time is something that you cannot create more of, outside of becoming more efficient or hiring other people. If you find yourself "hanging out" on instagram, or watching hours of videos at a time, you are wasting precious time that could be dedicated to something else.
It is easy to get lost in the social media vortex, so when you go into your Instagram account, go in there with "intent". Also, you can monitor your usage directly within Instagram so make sure that you are on top of your overall usage and not spending more time than you should be.
Ultimately, my first week of Instagram was very much a learning experience. I spent probably a bit more time on there as usual as I was learning the application in much more detail, and I hit a few stumbling blocks. That of course is part of learning anything new.
I also have spent some time assessing and analyzing some key influencers on IG, those that are not "famous" and that will naturally get people wanting to follow them. That has been interesting as well, and although my knowledge isn't all that advanced yet, I am sure in a year's time I am going to really be able to offering you some really DEEP insights into this platform and how you can efficiently use it to drive various aspects of your business and reach.
I got more enjoyment, while using it less, and using it for a focused business element.
Are you using Instagram? If so, I would love to hear about your feedback, and personal insights/experiences below.