Instagram is more than just a place to share your favorite photos. Many brands and marketers have jumped on this engagement-centric social network to communicate with a larger segment of their audiences. You should use Instagram to grow your business, too.
However, Instagram has some differences from other popular social media marketing options like Facebook and Twitter. You need a picture for each post and while Pinterest allows you to turn pictures into clickable links, Instagram does not give you that luxury. In fact, if you put a link into a picture’s description, that link is not clickable.
Even with these two disadvantages, Instagram’s high-level engagement and effective marketing have allowed some business owners to grow their brands with it. Here are three ways that you can start driving more traffic with Instagram.
PICTURE PERFECT BRANDING
When you post something on Instagram, it competes for attention with every recent Instagram post. If you post random, unconnected pictures, your followers may come across your pictures without knowing they’re from you. Sure, people can look to see who posted the picture, but most people quickly do so. Some of your followers will engage by briefly looking at your picture, liking it and scrolling down.
You’ll get people to remember your brand if you include your brand’s logo within each picture. You can include a small logo at the bottom right of your pictures to reinforce your brand and build trust with your followers. As they see your brand more often, your followers will go directly to your profile.
USE THE RIGHT LINK IN YOUR BIO
The link you use in your bio is critical. In the end, only two links work. The first link is one that leads your followers to a landing page. You grow your email list as people click on the link and opt-in for a free offer.
This is a great option if you don’t post as consistently or don’t use a call-to-action in your Instagram descriptions. However, you can also include a link to your blog, YouTube channel, podcast or any other platform where you’re consistently publishing new content. That way, you can publish Instagram pictures that inform people of your new content.
After you briefly discuss the content in the description, you can say that the link to the content is in your bio. This way, you can get consistent traffic to your free content and if that content is optimized to drive people to your opt-in offers, you’ll grow your email list. This is a less-direct approach to growing your email list, but you’ll set up Instagram as a potent platform for spreading your latest content.
CONSISTENCY IS CRUCIAL
To capture the full power of any social network, and especially Instagram, you need to post consistently. You can start with one post per day and monitor your followers’ engagement with your content. However, you don’t want to flood your followers’ feeds.
If you link to your blog, podcast or YouTube channel (i.e., a platform where you consistently publish new content), you’ll have plenty of opportunities to post new pictures on Instagram, especially if you publish new content every day.
I recommend using Canva to create your pictures. Even if you have pictures from your smartphone, I still recommend putting them into Canva so you can include your logo at the bottom right of each picture. That builds brand awareness and trust as we previously discussed. If you create all of the pictures that go on your Instagram, you can create a rubric picture. In a rubric picture, you keep the basic layout the same but change a few things. When I promote Breakthrough Success episodes on Instagram, the pictures have a similar structure. The guest is on the left side of the picture, the episode number and title appear on the upper right, and the Breakthrough Success logo appears on the lower right of the picture. With this rubric in play, I just change the picture’s text and guest picture and I have my next Instagram post.
Instagram is a social network bustling with potential for those who aspire to master it. Take the small action steps now like posting something on Instagram — today — so you can build on the positive reinforcement loop.
Marc Guberti is a student at Fordham University and a social media and business blogger and author. He’s on Twitter @MarcGuberti and can be reached by phone at 914-722-6005 or email at Marc@MarcGuberti.com.