I’m digging into 13 things I frequently get asked about Instagram, so you can stop thinking and just get on and post!
Want to know what type of content to post, when to post and how to get more engagement?
Should you use hashtags or a content scheduler? Read on as I’m busting some myths and giving you my expert advice.
Do I need to be on Instagram for my business?
Three questions to ask yourself before you start on Instagram. There are a few things to consider before getting stuck into Instagram. It’s important that a) it’s right for you and b) that your ideal client or customer is hanging out on Instagram.
● Is your target audience on Instagram? If you’re a lawyer, then I’d say probably no. However, if you’re a lawyer for creatives, and that’s where your audience is hanging out, then yes! People aren’t using Instagram to seek legal advice, but they might want some contract tips. It’s worth researching to see whether other brands in your niche are doing well (and that content is hitting the mark!)
● Do you have plenty of images? Instagram is image-based, so you’ll need a plentiful supply of good-quality videos and photos. And if you want to take advantage of Reels and Lives, then jumping on video is definitely something you should be comfortable with.
● Do you like spending time on Instagram? When you commit to a social media platform, you’ll spend a lot of time there. Therefore, you must enjoy it, or you’ll dread creating content for it and then never post anything.
Should I use a photo of me or my logo as my Instagram profile picture?
Lots of thoughts on this and debate, but as a general rule of thumb – if it’s just you in your business or you’re the face of your brand, then use a photo of you.
If you have a brand and it’s you plus others, then use your logo.
Experiment with both. But, whichever you use, ensure you’re consistent across all your social media platforms.
What should I put in my Instagram bio?
Think of your Instagram bio as a business card. It should explain who you are, what you do and how you help people.
Make sure you put your name in your bio. You’d be amazed how many profiles I see without people’s actual names in them, and when you want to message them, you’re left floundering with a really impersonal Hi!
Your @name and bio are searchable. Make sure you utilse this as this will maximise your chances of being found.
Use your bio to let people know how you can help them. You only have 150 characters. Bullet points and emojis work well. You can use a branded hashtag too. But don’t use a generic hashtag that will take people to your competitors!
What should I post on Instagram?
This is where your content strategy and content pillars come into action.
Every business and audience is different. But here are a few guidelines:
- Think of your Instagram page as the magazine of you and your business
- Look at your top nine photos. Can people tell what you can do for them, or does it look random or unclear?
- Choose four different content pillars that appeal to your target audience and get known for what you post about. Remember it doesn’t have to be just about business
- Be clear on creating content for your target audience and how you can solve their problems
- Post a mixture of content that is personal, promotional, solves your ideal client or customers problems
- Remember, you want them to come back for more, so it has to really connect with them
- Never be too salesy and promotional. A mixture of posts works well
- Always check your insights and see what’s working (and what’s not)
- Make sure you have just one call to action on every post.
Top Tip: Remember to create content for your ideal customer or client not your competitor!
How often should I post on Instagram?
Opinions are divided; some people see excellent results with one daily post. On the other hand, some see results just by posting two-three times a week.
It comes down to:
- how good your content is
- how much time do you have
- how engaged is your audience
If you’re posting five times a week or daily but getting no engagement on your posts, then it’s time to revisit your strategy. It’s generally not the algorithm or the time you’re posting but something that needs to be changed in your content or engagement.
If you want to grow, you need to be posting relevant, helpful content that creates emotion in your followers and content that people want to share. (This is a WHOLE other article!)
But be careful to never post for the sake of it just because you feel you should be.
I’d suggest posting two to three times a week to start with and see how you get on from there. Always test your content and if it’s not working, try something new.
You can always supplement your posting by sharing an Instagram story.
Top tip: Sometimes, having a break from posting gives your Instagram account a little boost because Instagram also tells people that you’ve posted if you haven’t posted for a while!
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
Getting eyes on your content doesn’t generally come down to the time you post these days. However, it’s good to consider when your audience is online so that you can try and time it to reach them.
Never just post and go. Meaningful engagement is key! Social media is about being social!
If you have a business or creator account (an easy switch to make in your settings), you will have access to Insights, giving you valuable information about when your followers are online.
You can use this as a starting point, or you can just test it and see!
How do you get links in Instagram posts to work?
Instagram doesn’t support links in captions unless you’re running paid ads.
The most straightforward workaround is to use the link in your Instagram bio. You can change this link as often as you like, especially if you’re promoting new products or downloads.
Have a page on your website with a list of links that you link to from your bio. Or use one of the custom-built platforms for this, like Linktree. or https://later.com/.
You can also get additional links to your website if you share a link in your stories. (See below!)
Can I share a link on Instagram?
Yes, you can use the link sticker in your Instagram Stories. Otherwise, your Call to Action (CTA) should be in your Instagram bio. In addition, you can use your highlights from stories to share links for a series like podcast episodes.
You can also get swipe up to a link if you use paid ads.
If you have an Instagram shop, you can add shopping stickers to your Instagram Stories and use the link to your shop.
How do I get more engagement on my Instagram posts?
The simple answer to this is by being engaged yourself. Reply to comments on your own posts and in your DMs.
But you also need to put yourself out there and…
- Comment on your followers’ posts (but be genuine not just for teh sake of it!)
- Comment on your ideal clients’ posts (they might not be following you yet)
- Comment on posts featuring relevant hashtags
- Comment on influencer’s posts
- Follow hashtags that your perfect follower and client might be following
- Use all the Instagram features Instagram Reels, Stories and Lives
Top tip: Only include one Call to Action in your posts. Invite people to comment by asking questions or asking for opinions. Make it easy for them to reply and respond. Make it clear what action you want them to take.
How do I get more Instagram followers?
Simple answer by creating engaging content for the right audience that people can’t get enough of that people want to share.
And the following is helpful too:
- You need to know your audience and what they like
- They need to have a reaction to your content.
- Your content needs to hit them right in the heart.
- Engagement is key (see above)
- Create fantastic content (see above)
How many Instagram hashtags should I use?
There’s much debate about this; experimentation is key. Instagram gives you 30 hashtags – 30 opportunities for someone to search for a hashtag you’ve used! So use them. There are lots of helpful hashtag apps that help you find relevant hashtags for your industry try and app like Flick.Tech If you’d like to know more about hashtags, then go to this article here.
Should I use Instagram Stories and Reels?
The answer is yes. Instagram has given you some great tools for content creation. Instagram Stories are great for chatting with your current audience and finding out what people need to know or sharing a sneak peek behind the scenes of your product or service!
Yes, Instagram loves you to create Reels and has been prioritising them above other content. How long this will continue will have to be seen!
Reels have a much larger reach than regular posts, and the content has a much longer shelf life.
A Reel can gain traction weeks or months after it has been posted.
Get in touch if you’d like to know how to use Reels for your business.
Should I use a scheduler for my Instagram posts?
Using a social media scheduler has many benefits, one of the big ones being that you can plan how your Instagram grid will look.
Plus, it allows you to save time batch-creating content – giving you some time off or making it easier to delegate to a social media manager. But it has some limitations. For example, you can’t schedule a reel with trending music.
You can now schedule posts natively through the Meta Business Suite, however, it’s a lot more basic than some of the paid-for tools like Metricool, AgoraPulse, Planoly, Planable and later. These all have helpful paid for features that will let you store hashtags, measure your analytics, store your images etc. Most good schedulers will give you a free trial to see which you like best.
I’ve pretty much used them all so if you’d like to know more give me a shout!
If you’d like help with your social media, please do get in touch. I’d love to hear from you. My Instagram management packages start from £500