Every minute you spend focused on someone else is a minute you are not focused on building something for YOURSELF.
The people I take my hat off are those building their business, their empire, their legacy. Those who are using social media to build a brand, not to run in an imaginary popularity contest.
And to be honest… they are those who I know I can serve.
That’s why I dedicated this week’s Instagram Live session for a #SocialMediaTalks session on Business.
Here’s what we covered:
Pre-Question: Does you Instagram Guide apply to using Social Media for Business?
My answer: YES! My Instagram guide and all my previous content on the Blog are 100% relevant for businesses. So start from there.
Question 1: You talked a lot about the Instagram Algorithm on the last session. Any news here?
My answer: No news here. Many accounts were impacted by a sudden drop in reach and engagement Yada-Yada. We all had a chance to chill and calm down from the hysteria, so let’s look at the opportunities:
- This is a cold reminder that the platform is volatile. Just like the big sister (more like big brother) Facebook, the “privileges” we have today in having our content distributed won’t necessarily be in place tomorrow. Right now, we are “borrowing” followers from Zuck. And those followers won’t be there always.
- Instead of spending precious time and energy in tricking the algorithm by forming Instagram “pods” we should be spending our time in improving our content and giving people a reason to be eager to hear from us. Or to visit our profile and binge read 40 posts at a time
- Now that we do get attention from people, where do we want to lead them to? What’s the next step? I know you’re not in the race to Miss Popularity, so what’s the call to action? Are you leading your followers to a website, to a newsletter? Do you have a list of services for those who visit your profile, resonate with you and would like to collaborate with you?
Question 2. How can you encourage your following to comment on your posts? My calls to action are not really working
My answer: That’s natural. A business will always have fewer comments than a Personal account. However, those people who comment are people you already built a relationship with and/or had a positive interaction with your brand. Maybe they had a sample of your services and enjoyed them, maybe you reached out and interacted first.
Give it time, experiment with different calls to action, but ultimately understand you have to build an emotional relationship between people and your brand.
An exception are the comments that enquire about your services and fees.
Question 3: Can I repurpose content and photos I already posted?
My answer: YES! Shamelessly use old content. Listen, I know there is a significant investment in creating visual content for your business. And as your audience grows, people should be continuously exposed to your messaging. Use that photo you also used some months back and consider archiving the old one.
Question 4: Should I use Instagram Stories?
My answer: YES! There’s a special demographic (and it’s quite large) that only looks at content in stories and doesn’t scroll through the newsfeed. If you are not up there, you are missing on an opportunity to make your voice heard.
Also, as you use Stories, you will see that your regular posts (newsfeed) will have a significantly better reach. Why? The Instagram platform is constructed to keep you “captive” in it and force you into using all the features. So the “hook” is: the more you utilize it, the higher your profile will be ranked.
Question 5: How many times should I post? Once a day?
My answer: The perfect frequency is the one you can sustain and be consistent with over a long period of time. It’s perfect if you post once a day, 3 times a day, or 2 times a week. Whatever works for you!
But because Out of Sight is out of Mind make sure you compliment with a robust advertising plan.
Question 6: Is it healthy to do “like” campaigns? I see pages with thousands of followers and people who like a page but when they post you can see few comments and without boosting not even too many likes. Do you recommend we have a monthly budget for advertising?
My answer: YES!! You should 100% have a monthly social media advertising budget!
Let me use my own example here: Exactly one year ago I was running my fashion e-commerce. The most profitable and most efficient period (from a communication perspective) was when I was heavily investing in Facebook + Instagram advertising.
Do I think you should put money behind every post just to get more likes? NO.
But I do think you should invest a lot in those posts that promote an offer, have a clear call to action and lead people to your website to make a purchase.
Question 7: Facebook or Instagram Advertising?
My answer: Both! You should use Facebook AND Instagram Advertising at the same time. You may find one platform to be more profitable than the other however and you may want to adapt your budget accordingly.
However: When you set up your Campaign, make sure you DON’T listen to facebook when they say your ad will perform best when it’s set to run across all platforms. It won’t! Don’t place the same campaign to perform on Facebook and Instagram. What you need to do is respect the language of each platform. The same photo or the same text will NOT perform the same way on every platform. It will work on one and flop on the other.
- I cringe when I see an Instagram ad with a hyperlink in the text
- I cringe when I see a huuuuge list of hashtags on Facebook ads
- Catalogue photos perform well on Facebook, not on Instagram
- Lifestyle photos perform well on Instagram.
So what you should do is: Set up 2 different campaigns that have the same underlying message, but adjust the image and messaging to suit each platform.
Now, be mindful that what I shared is only scratching the surface! For a more tailored approach to your brand, let’s partner.