Instagram is my jam. No, wait! What I really mean to say is that community is my kryptonite. I love everything about building an engaged tribe on social media, which ultimately makes my social platforms important tools in my business. Ultimately, I use Instagram to inspire other #bossbabes to tell better stories online as well as promote the gifts, products, and services I offer the world.
Now tell me about you! What’s your purpose? Are you using Instagram to build awareness for your business or to become an influencer or even to drive traffic to your blog? Have you used it to reach existing and potential customers so that your products and services are seen by the people who matter i.e your ideal customers.
There are so many reasons we have become obsessed with IG’s square grids but I think it all comes down to us wanting to represent who we are and how we want to be perceived.
And that’s why it is so important to understand your purpose on Instagram because it is easy to confuse perfection with reality. I know first hand what it feels like to desire a perfect feed, to try to create one, to obsess over it but I also know that perfection also comes at the price of progress. There are a few fundamentals that matter when it comes to Instagram.
ARE THE NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS YOU HAVE ON INSTAGRAM IMPORTANT?
While it is easier to said than done, having a clear strategy is a key to becoming successful on the Gram. I’m not talking about follower count, I am talking about creating a strategy based on who your ideal customers are and then creating content that builds a deep connection with them. It is irrelevant if you have 100 or 10,000 followers. Let me explain what I mean.
Let’s assume for a second that I post one of my products for sale on Instagram. I have 15,000 followers but all I got when I posted news of my sale was the sound of crickets. No one bought my offer. In that case, do you see how the amount of followers I have is really irrelevant? My followers are there to feed my vanity.
Now, let’s switch things around. Let’s assume I have an account with 1,000 followers and I made the same offer and 70 per cent of my tribe decided the offer was worth their money and purchased my product. BOOM! My audience of just 1,000 deeply believes in my mission and brand. Do you see why vanity metrics are unimportant and why building an engaged audience of ideal customers is everything?
Vanity Metrics Should Not Be Important On Instagram.
Unfortunately, many of us get this wrong. We become consumed about growing the number of followers we have and not cultivating our ideal customers. If we don’t see our follower count going up, discouragement sets in and we lose interest on showing up every day and starting where we are, with what we have. In my consulting practice, I tell clients to continue to work on their visuals being “good enough” but to work their butts more at consistency. If you are on Instagram, you need to share consistent content that is in line with your vision, your mission, and most importantly your WHY.
What you do and who you are (as a personal brand/ company) are certainly important but why you do it and how you do it better than anyone else are aspects that will help you set yourself apart from the crowd. People like to be able to have a consistent experience with a brand during the exploring and buying process, even on social media. If a company succeeds in offering that to its customers, loyalty and satisfaction are guaranteed.
Where Does Perfection Matter On Instagram? When You Offer Something Your Tribe Needs.
Is a perfectly good-looking Instagram account the key to attracting customers and increasing reach? Where does that theory even come from?
Frankly, I think it’s a narrative we tell ourselves. We believe people stop and look and our feeds when they see a picture, but nine out of ten they “scroll on by”. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t put effort into making your feed cohesive, but the fact is (again I ask you to think about your own habits on the Gram) that people will engage more with your page and maybe become an ardent fan, if you have something of value to offer. Of course, some fans will follow your account as a form of escapism but if you offer them something they need, something of value, their loyalty skyrockets.
This is why with Instagram and with most social media marketing being consistent and adding value is more important than being perfect.
Your Followers Need To Know You, Like You And Trust You on Instagram Before They Buy From You.
Content creation is Queen. Yes, it requires, time, thinking, and tactics but there is so much reward in being a consistent storyteller. Doing so establishes your authority and shows off your personality and allows your brand to shine. Once you’ve decided your tone, and how you want to communicate with your customers, you have to stick and establish a rigorous discipline for content creation and distribution. Perfection is not as important here, consistency is. Being consistent will set you apart, get your tribe to know you in a deep, intimate way, and build trust over time.
I don’t post the same time every day, but I post every day whether on my Feed on in Stories. I am always engaging on Instagram, which brings me to this point on metrics. Yes, you should go ahead and check the numbers to see what time your audience is the most active since consistency is also about organizing your time and establishing a routine for your posts. You should try to catch people at the right time and make them spend some time on your content while scrolling down their feed.
However, there is also another kind of consistency. The kind that requires you to create content where your branding, your company’s soul, and your vision are reflected. That way, customers will find it easier to learn about your small business and start recognizing your posts and associate it with your brand. The idea is obviously to maintain a positive impression. All of this work not only improves your customer’s perception of your business but also establishes your brand as trustworthy.
Is Your Instagram Bio Important?
I think too many people underestimate the importance of an IG bio and there is still a lot of confusion on how to create a really good profile. Your IG bio is your introduction to who you are and what you do. A good bio can turn a scroller into a follower, and later a customer. Bios should include the niche you are in, you can mix your personality with authority, and the language should be in line with the tone you decide to use for your account. Your bio is your entrance to your world.
Here is a video on how you can get it right.
With your bio out of the way, you can focus on what matters the most on Instagram i.e. storytelling which means finding what kind of story you want to tell, finding the right language to communicate with your audience and sticking to one style, to become recognizable and in one sense, unique.
My 8-step Guide To Understanding Your Brand Voice will help a lot here. Once you understand your brand voice you should plan your feed so that you’re always showing up but never with a feeling of overwhelm. There are many apps to help you schedule content, my favourite are Facebook’s Creator’s Studio and Planoly.
Of course, if you are a pen and paper girl like me, then the Social Media Planner is a wonderful physical book that offers big picture thinking for the Gram and all your social media feeds as well as daily scheduling. The book comes in a series of PDFs as well.
The Right Content For Your Ideal Customer.
Of course, to create the right kind of content and plan effectively whether on an app or in a book like the Social Media Planner, you must know who you want to deliver your message to. You have to know who your customers are, what they expect from you, and how to reach them. It is not only the creation of your content but also how you decide to deliver it that will make the difference. The way you communicate might change for different customer segments so be sure you know about your customers’ expectations, needs, and interests.
However, it does not end with understanding who makes up your tribe, having a good marketing strategy means being able to keep your existing customers but also to attract new ones. By knowing your customers, you’ll be able to create appropriate content and effectively communicate with them. By using the same tone and style, you’ll start pushing forward your company’s personality which will humanize your business and make your customers feel “closer” to what you do. Also, by sharing engaging content, you’ll potentially attract a wider range of new customers who will be interested in your company.
Be Consistent On Instagram.
When starting from zero, it might take a while before getting results. But you must be patient because if you put the right amount of effort into creating content constantly, the hard work will pay off, that’s for sure. You might have to post every day for a while with little or no engagement, but little by little, if you keep doing so, you’ll see the results.
I truly believe that the key to a successful Instagram profile is to be consistent. Do your research about your customers and communicate your brand’s personality through interesting, yet recognizable Instagram posts. After you set up a sound marketing strategy, follow it. Do not fall into the trap of thinking it is not worth it. No matter how hard things might be, especially at the beginning, make sure you don’t back down.
After all, success never comes for free, it always takes some hard-work
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