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7 Ways to Stand Out on Instagram in 2020
If you feel like Instagram is something you have a love hate relationship with… you are not alone my friend! Just when you think you are getting the hang of things, or shall i say understanding the algorithm… bammm it changes again and you are left right back where you started.
Did you know that Instagram is by far the most actively used and utilized social media platform out there with over 1 billion active users?!
Yep, it’s true!
The good news is that means that your ideal customer or audience member is out there and implementing these tips will help you.
Another staggering stat? 60% of consumers find out about new brands, products, places, events, and even opportunities through Instagram! What this means is that this app is no longer just about posting those oh so cute pictures of puppies and kittens… it is soooo much more than that.
So, with that being said it’s time to get down to business and start learning about how to utilize this app to its full potential.
Below are a few tricks that have helped me up my Instagram game in recent months
I like to refer to your bio as your elevator pitch to your potential followers/customers/clients/friends etc. If you’re using Instagram as a platform to sell in anyway (and don’t shy away from this! Education & selling make the world go round and if you have a business of any kind, you should be using Instagram for this) you’ve got less than five seconds to grab someone’s attention.
You have 150 characters to present yourself in a way that makes your ideal follower click that little blue button. The ideal IG bio has 3 things. You must include who you are, what you do/how you can help them, and a CTA (call to action!). Don’t underutilize/undervalue this aspect… seriously! When I changed my CTA on my IG recently, I quadrupled my email subscriber list!
An example of a call to action could be “Sign up to get new healthy recipes delivered to your inbox weekly” or, “Snag my (totally free!) Keto cookbook!”
Remember to fully utilize that real estate on your IG bios by saying:
Okay so now that you’ve got a fantastic and eye-catching new insta bio, it’s time to look at your actual feed.
This is the most important part in all this… and it may sound pretty self explanatory, but in order to grow on Instagram and show up in your followers feeds, you need to be posting on a consistent schedule!! Whether that’s once or twice a day is completely up to you, but just make sure it’s consistent.
But what if you don’t think you have the time to post consistently? I feel you on that… trust me! So if that sounds like you, I talk about some of my favorite scheduling apps right here that will help you batch and schedule content (and have it autopost for you) so it won’t take much time from your busy schedule
More importantly than posting consistently, is posting quality content. Make sure that it is helpful and engaging to your audience. Whether it’s a story, a lesson, advice, tip or knowledge, sharing something helpful will connect with your audience so much more and prompt them to engage with you! Plus, it’s a perfect way for them to get to know you better. This also goes back to the piece about helping and serving your audience. What benefit are they getting from following you?
Speaking of posting consistently… utilizing your analytics is also key here! If you have an Instagram business account (and if you don’t, I highly recommend switching to one) the analytics that they provide are quite amazing and extremely useful.
You are able to look at where your followers are from, the percentage of male/female followers, and when they are online. This will allow you to dive deeper into knowing when to post so you can utilize the time your followers are the most active to engage (and actually seeing!) your content. So don’t skip over this step!!
As an example… with the way Instagram’s algorithm works it only shows your post to a certain percentage of your followers (RIP, real time timeline) based on how those followers respond to it, Instagram will either continue to show your post to other followers, or it pretty much disappears. This is why posting at a time when it’s organically possible to have the most eyeballs on it is so key! You should give yourself the biggest chance right out of the gate to get your beautifully crafted content in front of as many people as possible!!
Stories can feel so scary and make you ask “what do I post/talk about?! I personally felt this myself, and was initially nervous when i first started getting on there… but when I did, guess what happened?!
My relationships with my community grew! I understand how vulnerable/nerve-racking it can feel at first to talk to your phone, but at the end of the day, it allows your community to get to know you in a way that isn’t as scripted as your Instagram feed. I love utilizing the poll feature and asking questions in my stories as it prompts engagement and allows you to feel connected to your audience. Not to mention Instagram at the end of the day is a business and it wants you to utilize its features, right?! So if you are not using stories, believe me, it’s hurting your engagement in the long run!
**Pro Tip: If you are traveling somewhere, always make sure you geotag your location because there’s a good chance you’ll end up in that cities story. For example, when i was in Lisbon I always geotagged Lisbon and ended up in the Lisbon instagram story whenever i did this!
When I moved into using it to start building my online business, I realized the true power of the pound sign. It’s one of the OG ways to grow your Instagram, and it still holds true to this day. The key here is to utilize hashtags that have that sweet spot in terms of the amount of times it’s being used. If you are just starting out on Instagram, your post will get completely lost in something like #beautyblogger. But if you get more specific, and use something like #nontoxicbeautyblogger, you’ll have a better chance of getting seen. Not to mention, utilizing the correct hashtags will give you a better chance of showing up on the explore page.
Lastly, you can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, and I highly suggest playing around with using 20-30 per post.
Pro Tip: If you are traveling to a new city, always implement that city’s hashtag! You can always count on “igers-insertcity name here” to be a fabulous way to connect. For example, I use #igerslisbon, and have found friends in Lisbon that way! Speaking of connecting with people…
This is one of my biggest tips and you might be wondering what I mean by “serve your community.” At the end of the day you need to be showing up for you community. What kind of content is resonating with them? What purpose are you serving? How are you helping them?
Make sure the content that you’re sharing is relevant to why your audience is following you. So as bad as you might want to share that picture of your #ootd, if you’re a home interior blogger, it’s not likely going to register with your audience, and may cause someone to unfollow you. Always keep your community in mind, and the content will flow!
At the end of the day, Instagram is a very visual platform. Having a visually consistent feed is so key to garnering new followers, and showing up consistently for your current community. Remember what we talked about when it comes to posting quality content? That applies here too, boo.
Using a consistent editing style here is so crucial. One of my very favorite editing apps is Lightroom and I haven’t turned back since I started using it! I have the paid version for my laptop that I utilize on the daily, but they also have a free mobile version! It’s definitely been one of my go-to Instagram apps that have helped me grow my audience. It’s easy to learn and use and will help you grow too!