Instagram is your shop floor.
Whether you’re selling a product, a service or an event, Instagram is a space where people come to browse and sift through what you’ve got to offer. It’s also likely to be the first impression a client has of your brand.
Before we address the content, you’ve first got to get the right audience through the door to engage with it. You might have curated a beautiful space, but if nobody knows it’s there, you’re wasting valuable time.
How To Get Noticed
Hashtags. Boring and obvious, but it’s still a great way to get your posts seen by the right people.
Keep the hashtags relevant to the content in the post as well as a few hashtags related to your wider content. Consider too a branded hashtag to use consistently for your posts. If in doubt, check out what other influencers in your market are using.
The real art of the hashtag is the blend. Each hashtag is a carefully selected ingredient for your powerful ‘First Comment’ concoction.*
Using a mix of popular and niche hashtags covers all bases. You can quickly check the volume of posts attached to a hashtag by typing it into the search bar in the Instagram app.
The heavyweight hashtags won’t necessarily get your post seen, given the number of people using them. But don’t lose heart, it’s still valuable to use some because people following those popular hashtags may see you in their feed.
The more specific the hashtag, the more likely it is that you’ll be found in a direct search. #socialmediatips has 1.3M posts attached to it. We would niche that down by adding #socialmediaagency (314K posts) and #socialmediaforbusiness (30.1K posts).
To find these ‘niche’ hashtags use the search bar in the app. It lists results that start with the same keyword (for the example above, ‘socialmedia’). Selecting a hashtag from this list will also suggest related options you could include.
Use the hashtag search to find your audience! Engage with people who feature in the ‘recent’ section as they are likely to be active online right now to see your comments
and connect with you. Leave a thoughtful comment on a few ‘top’ posts too – there’s a lot of eyes on these.
It’s helpful to include hashtags that relate to your wider content and industry, even if the post isn’t solely about that. It signposts to your audience what you’re about. If they happen to see your post about something funny and spot the hashtags #startuptips and #businesscoach – it offers a clue about the rest of your content, ushering a potential customer your way.
*We’ve read differing reports on whether hashtags are equally effective as a comment or in the body of the text. At the time of writing this, our personal experience is that it makes no difference. We prefer to keep it looking clean by tucking the hashtags in to the comments section.
How To Stay Noticed
Hashtags can’t bear the workload alone.
Your content has got to speak for itself and it needs to be saying all the right things.
Images aside today, let’s shine the spotlight on copy.
If you haven’t already developed a content plan or strategy for your business Social Media – start by identifying clear themes – aim for 6-12. These content pillars can then be further dissected into discussion topics.
Try to start the post with a question, or something that answers a question.
“How can I get more client referrals?”
“How you’re wasting time you don’t have. And how to stop right away.”
After that, go for something eye catching:
“Sorry to upset you all but”
This doesn’t have to lead to anything upsetting at all. Make a joke and move on to your related discussion, smug in the knowledge you caught their eye because if there’s one thing people still love on social media, it’s being upset or offended.
When developing content, keep your audience at the front of your mind.
Their needs, thought-life, lifestyle, language. And write as if addressing them directly.
Keep in mind what you’re offering in each post, too. Maybe one post is emotionally relatable to boost audience trust and connection and perhaps the next is some relevant industry news that sparks discussion. By all means, sell your services, too.
BUT, a constant sales pitch is a no-no for social media.
These are just ideas, but keep in mind how someone will benefit from reading your post.
So you’ve got killer copy that’s on brand and resonates with your ideal client whilst positioning you as a relatable authority. Pair it with a careful blend of hashtags and start welcoming a steady stream of traffic to your Instagram ‘shop floor’.
Ready to uplevel your Instagram strategy, connect with your audience, and build your brand? Get our Ultimate Guide to Instagram for Business.