With over 500 million users, there's no need to ask why you should use Instagram, AND if this is where you target market hangs out, then you absolutely should be there.
1. INSTAGRAM IS NOT REALLY FOR BUSINESS
Shockingly enough, I have heard this from several of my clients. Some people believe that Instagram is just for selfies or high school students, but the truth is Instagram is a great tool for marketing. There are a lot of new features on Instagram that can help you grow your business, including Instagram ads.
Find a great image that you know your target audience will love and presto! You have added someone to your list that will possibly be a customer.
2. INSTAGRAM ONLY WORKS WITH PRODUCT BASED BUSINESSES
Not at all. Instagram is a great place for service based businesses. I offer coaching and consultation services on my account and after the first month, I had booked myself full for the following month.
The great thing about Instagram is that you can get creative with your post. If you have a service based business, think about posting things such as testimonials, freebies, blog posts, show analytics, show yourself with a client or at an event. If you need a bit of inspiration feel free to grab my Instagram Content Calendar.
3. INSTAGRAM TAKES A LOT OF TIME
This is a huge myth I hear from clients. The myth is that Instagram takes a lot of time to create content and post it. People think it takes years to get followers or that you have to sit on Instagram all day to gain followers.
That is totally untrue. There are scheduling apps that will keep yourself on track. Think of it as a set it and forget it type of thing.
These applications can’t post it for you but they can remind you when and what to post. Simply load up your content for the week and it will alert you when it’s time to post. Voilá!
4. YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS TO GAIN FOLLOWERS
Wrong again. You don’t need to pay a professional hundreds of dollars to take your shots for you. You don’t even need to invest in that expensive camera that you see on those flatlays. All you need is a phone and an app. You can take your own shots and edit them to look professional. Here are a few that I have used.
In this picture I used PicTapGo. It was really easy to use and to make it look very professional. I did this with my iPhone in under 10 minutes. That’s hundreds of bucks saved. Score!
5. IT WILL TAKE YEARS TO GROW MY FOLLOWING
I used to think that it would take years to grow my following, and those accounts with thousands of followers clearly have been on Instagram way longer than I had. In most cases, it is true that those accounts have been on longer but it doesn’t mean your following can’t grow.
When I first started, I thought it was simple to log onto Instagram and just start posting. I did not think about using keywords that my audience might search for. Review your bio and identify words you can change to attract your ideal audience.
Once I made the necessary edits to my bio and some other first steps that I obviously overlooked, my following began to grow daily, and I tripled my following all from a few tricks.
6. YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW PEOPLE TO GET FOLLOWERS
You don’t have to follow other people to get followers. That is truly a myth. I do agree that you should be active and follow accounts that appeal to you, but simply following people so that they follow you back is not a guaranteed way to get people to follow you back.
Your content, engagement, and visuals are important to getting followers. Before you post ask yourself, am I saying something that my followers want to hear? How is this beneficial to my followers? What do they need? Knowing your audience is key to being successful on Instagram.
7. I DON’T NEED A STRATEGY FOR INSTAGRAM
With marketing there is always a strategy needed. Just like traveling to a destination, you need a plan to know where you want to go and how you're going to get there. Think about how you will engage your audience and keep your business appealing. Caitlin Bacher (on the left) and Violet Tinder (on the right) both do a great job with their Instagram strategies.
Find something that will make you stick out like a sore thumb. Play around with a few ideas. Try a few A/B test to see which works best and how you can optimize the time you have with your followers.
8. ONCE YOU POST, YOU’RE DONE
Don’t be a post-and-run type of person. If you’re an introvert or anti-social, this totally shines the light on that characteristic. The entire point of social media is to be social.
Once you post, stick around for awhile. Leave meaningful comments on accounts that intrigue you and on accounts that follow you to show them support. Engagement is key to transiting followers into customers. Instagram has an average of 11% engagement rate so be sure to monitor your engagement and reach, or exceed this mark.
9. YOU CAN'T MEASURE YOUR RESULTS ON INSTAGRAM
Totally untrue. There are several ways for you to track your progress, which is very important with any business. There are different programs that track your success and notify you of your best or most liked post, your engagement rate, the best times to post, and even the amount of followers you have gained, lost, and your growth. Here are few option to get you started:
Recently, Instagram rolled out a lot of new features including the new business feature. By linking your Facebook account to your Instagram account, you can analyze data such as how many people have seen your post, the number of times your link has been click, and where most of your followers reside.
10. I DON’T TAKE SELFIES. INSTAGRAM IS NOT FOR ME
You don’t have to take selfies on Instagram. In fact, there are multiple business accounts that rarely show their face. It’s not just product based companies but companies that offer services as well. You can be a coach and use this platform to teach lessons on coaching or you can be a graphic designer and only display your work. You can also use stock photos in place of yourself to give your followers that personal connection.
You can get creative with this and come up with your own ideas about how you would like your visuals and what message you want to send to your audience.
11. YOU CAN’T GET LEADS FROM INSTAGRAM
Instagram is a great platform for getting leads for your business, but some businesses go about this the wrong way. It’s very important that you utilize all that Instagram has to offer.
One way that brings in a ton of leads is by using your website link. You can edit this in your profile and change it as many times as you need. I recommend switching the link a few times out of the month to keep your material fresh and engaging to your audience.
Another way is using your hashtags. This is an important step that people tend to overlook. Know the difference between a great hashtag and a not so good hashtags. Once I did my research, my hashtags put my account in front of my target audience and my numbers started to grow tremendously.
Using hashtags has gotten me to the top posts even with millions of people using the post. That alone increases my visibility to my ideal audience. Can I get a woot woot?!
12. MY POSTS WILL RELATE NOT TO EVERYONE
As a business, you’re post should not relate to everyone. Your post should relate to your business and the products or services that you are selling.
Therefore your post wouldn’t and shouldn’t relate to everyone with the exception of a quote. Remember, as a business you want to attract those that are interested in you and what you’re selling. This is the simplest yet most effective way to turn your followers into customers.
13. I ONLY NEED TO POST ONCE A WEEK
This is a big myth for those on Instagram. Posting once a week will not grow your audience. In fact, you may lose followers for not being active enough. I have seen a big leap in my account when I started posting multiple times a day. This not only puts you in the forefront of your audience mind but it make your account appear relevant. No one want to follow you if you don’t keep your account up-to-date.
Also, you gain more followers when you post throughout the day. Your post will attract different sets of people. There are morning and evening people that you may attract that work the typical 9-5 or you may attract college students that aren’t up until noon and are more active at night.
Think about your target market and post based on their schedule.
14. USING AN AUTOMATED SYSTEM FOR COMMENTS WILL GROW MY FOLLOWING
WRONG! This is the quickest way to get your account unfollowed. Bots will comment what you tell it to comment. The catch here is that you can’t change the comment based off of each post. You have to select the comments you would like to post based on the hashtags you tell it to like.
Because people use random hashtags on their posts, a bot can leave a smiley face on a sad picture or say something really random like "great shot" on a quote. It totally doesn’t go with the post and shows that it's not really you. Not only does this make you appear creepy but just plain desperate.
15. IF I POST A LOT OF PICTURES, I WILL GET A LOT OF ENGAGEMENT
If you are any kind of familiar with Instagram, you know about this myth. These are the accounts that post 5-10 photos back to back. Often known as dumping, posting a lot of pictures at once is not a good way to get engagement or followers.
Flooding someone's timeline is actually a great way to get someone to unfollow you. This method can make you and your business come across as desperate. Remember, as a business you want to have a plan for your content and use your analytics to guide you. Quality over quantity.