Instagram should be an important component of any blogger to online business’s social media strategy. Many, however, are either not using Instagram or doing it improperly. Here are a couple of quick and easy Instagram hacks to turn your account from a lazy cat sleeping in the sun into a charged-up puma chasing down gazelles.
Don’t Just Post
Do you just post images to Instagram and hope that likes and comments will come rolling in? This is the wrong approach. Social media is not about posting content to various sites. It is about engaging with others. If you just upload images and wait, your account is going to produce very little engagement unless you are already well-known. Since you’re probably not that famous, you need to go the extra mile to pull in followers.
Fortunately, fixing this issue is pretty simple.
Take 5-10 minutes a day to go through your feed and leave comments on pictures that align with your content and brand. By taking 5 minutes out of your day every day, you will make someone else feel special and they will be way more inclined to return the favor and continue to return the favor for your future posts.
This method sounds simple, but it really works. By spreading a bit of positivity each day, you will absolutely see an increased amount of engagement in return.
To do well on Instagram, you need to post a minimum of one photo a day. To do even better, you should post more. Where do you come up with all this content? One answer is to spend time crafting content online, or with your camera.
(This however takes time, which is why we created EasyInspire.)
Captions are an extremely important aspect of creating an engaged community. You can post awesome content, but if you don’t maximize your caption, you may be missing out on tons of engagement.
Here are some examples of some “caption-hacks” that really work:
- Ask a question: ask your followers a question related to the post. This will increase engagement and may even start a debate between your followers (which is a great thing!).
- “Tag a friend who ____”: ask your followers to tag a friend based on the image. For instance if the image is a picture of pizza, your caption should be, “Tag a friend who you want to share this slice with!”. This method will bring new traffic to your page as your followers will essentially do marketing for you by tagging their friends.
- Ask for a ‘like’: A simple way to get more likes is to ask. A caption that ends in “double tap if you agree” or “Double tap if you want to eat this pizza!” will receive more likes just by that simple line of text.
Customer Service/Reputation Management For Small Businesses
Companies are realizing they need to manage their reputations online. Large companies actually have entire teams devoted to responding to negative comments on Twitter and Facebook. The one downside is that the entire conversation between the business and customer appears online for everyone to read. That’s fine if things work out well, but it’s not ideal if the customer remains unreasonable – as we know they can often are.
Instagram is an entirely different beast when it comes to reputation management and customer service. That’s because the comments exchanged are private. While you and the customer work out a problem, you don’t have to worry about others joining in and taking potshots at your business. If you’ve ever been stuck in a Twitter conversation with an out-of-control customer, you can see this is a valuable feature.
Do most people go onto Instagram to talk about companies or complain? No, but that doesn’t matter. You can post a page on your site and other social media platforms inviting people to share feedback. This helps convert what could be an unhappy customer into a satisfied one, and turn a potentially uncomfortably public conversation into a private discussion. It also boosts your image as a company concerned with customer satisfaction.
Instagram is not going away any time soon. Many businesses have resisted getting involved with it, either because they don’t see the platform’s relevance or because it seems too frivolous. Don’t make this mistake; learn to take advantage of the possibilities Instagram offers small businesses.