I’ll admit, I’m a complete newbie to Instagram but in the last 4 weeks that I’ve been using it, it has been a fantastic way to start growing a community. I’ve found some lovely people who inspire me.
I’ve started to build relationships with my readers and its been instrumental to helping me grow my email list. Plus it fits right in with my branding and the type of business I’m running.
If you’re a little sceptical about using Instagram you should know that there are currently 400 million active users, with 75 million active on a daily basis. Who wouldn’t want that kind of access to a group of people who could be your target audience.
If you to are a complete newbie to Instagram, here are my top 5 ways to use Instagram to find and nurture your community.
This is someone’s first interaction with you and your business. They’ll decide whether they want to be part of your community and this little box is limited to 150 characters, so you have to be as concise and informative as you can.
You want to tell the person who you are, what your business is and how you can help them. In my account you can see that I help you grow your online business:
I’ve found that if I post between 2-3 times every day I’m connecting with new readers every day. And that makes sense because not everyone is on Instagram every day, the stats above say only 18% are active on any one day.
To make sure that you are finding new readers every day, set up a schedule and post consistently. I set aside 2hrs every week and use Hootsuite to schedule my posts for the week. Hootsuite won’t publish the post for you, but their reminder to post is super easy to use and takes me 2mins.
POST AT THE RIGHT TIME
You want to make sure that what you’re posting is actually going to be seen by your ideal reader. There have been numerous studies about the best time to post to Instagram and I highly recommend if you’re starting out to use these stats for your scheduler.
But as you grow, you’ll soon find out that there will be a best time when your community will be active and engaged and that’s when you should change when you post.
Pro Tip: My favourite tool is Iconosquare – it isn’t expensive and has a wealth of info to help you understand how your content is performing with your audience. Below is a snapshot of when is the best time for me to post to Instagram and as you can see it’s consistently around 11am every day.
The jury is still out on hashtags. Some people don’t like them, while others swear by them. Personally for me I’ve found them to be really helpful in getting my ideal reader to find me, yes I’ve had some spammy spammers but I’ve just ignored them.
Using hashtags is exactly like using keywords for seo purposes in your blog posts. You want to let someone know what your content is about. But you don’t want to make it to specific that no one will think to search for that.
Pro tip: create a document with hashtag ideas, so that when you get stuck on which hashtag to use you have something to help.
I use roughly 10-15 hashtags on every post and I use Iconosquare helpful hashtag section to see where my most engaged hashtags are coming from.
ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
Instagrams latest algorithm change is going to reward those businesses that are creating an engaged audience, so you want to make sure that every time you post something it gets your fans to engage with you.
If you’ve just provided something that will help another business, ask people to comment, or share their experience. Or ask your community to give a shout out to other great business, like I do on my #FollowFriday
And always respond to people who have left a comment on something you’ve posted. There is no better way to begin a new conversation with someone.
On a daily basis you can find and connect with your own gorgeous community using Instagram. If you’re a blogger, product based business, or work with other businesses Instagram should be key to your digital marketing strategy.
Keep posting and watch as your audience begins to grow.
Tell me in the comments below, how has Instagram helped you find your community? And don’t forget to let us know what your account is, so we can connect.