Your Relationship With Instagram.

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Everyone is looking for social media, and especially Instagram tips. And we've got some for you! But first, we have a question for you: Have you ever been in a really demanding relationship, that required a lot of your attention, free time, and mental space? When you are with them, you are wondering if you are doing the right things. And when you aren't with them, you overthink whether you should be doing more for your relationship. Does this not remind you a little of your relationship with Instagram?

There is a famous relationship book called The 5 Love Languages. It talks about the 5 main ways we receive and give love. These love languages actually apply really well to Instagram as well! To be successful on the ‘Gram, you need to give it all the love in all the love languages.

Instagram, social media tips and tricks

Things to keep in mind

To be successful on Instagram, there are a couple of key things to keep in mind. Make a check list to make sure all of these things are in order:

  • What does your bio look like? Do you have your name, location, and important facts? Make sure the most important facts are displayed above the fold (above the “read more”).
  • Show up in your feed! Smiling face, and eye contact are key.
  • Think about who you want to talk to, and what you want to say. Other photographers, creatives, designers, potential clients? 
  • Don’t be as concerned with getting new followers, be more concerned with engaging the followers you have NOW.
  • Other people in the same industry are not your competition, they should be your allies, so collaborate and encourage each other!
  • People will usually only do 1 thing – like, comment, or click extra. So be wise about what you are asking them to do.
  • Ask questions to get convo started “What’s your favorite snack?” “What gear can you not live without?” “Where are my introverts?”
  • 4 words equals engagement. Keep this in mind when you comment on other posts, and when you reply to people who are commenting on your post.
  • Pay to play – stroke Instagram’s ego. Use all the cool tools they give you. 
  • Sharing about a negative experience – aka failure, is very different than BEING negative. People want to learn from you, not feel depressed that they follow you.
  • Later analyzed 12 million Instagram posts and found that the best time to post on Instagram is between 9am-11am EST.
  • Post CONSISTENTLY – whatever that means for YOU. Twice a week, every day, set boundaries that work for you, and stick to those. Your followers will appreciate that they know what to expect from you.
  • NO MATTER WHAT, RESPOND TO EVERY COMMENT. In DMS, on your post, in your stories.

Hashtags:

  • Make a NOTE in your phone to copy and paste, since you can post 30 hashtags. Change these up every once in awhile.
  • Make sure you are using hashtags so that people can find you – geographic tags, the niche market you are serving: Examples: #phoenixweddingphotographer #dogphotography #wanderingweddings
  • But also use hashtags to find your ideal clients. For example, if you are a maternity photographer, you are going to want to look up: #week40 #pregnancyannouncement #momof2 etc. You don’t want to prey on these people – but you can speak to them, and encourage them, especially if you were in that season before, show them that you can capture the season that they are in

Use major holidays, and random national days (like Donut Day, Bring your dog to work day) to help with ideas to create content, and to connect with others. When doing the big holidays – #halloween #veteransday – post something that makes you stand out from the crowd!

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories can be seen as great opportunities for you to create little commercials for your business. This is a fun way to help your followers to learn more about YOU, your business, your family, your struggles, your victories, your amazing sense of humor, your amazing taste in home decor. It only lasts for 24 hours, so your stories don't have to be as ‘perfectly curated' as your feed!

Make sure you use ALL the features! Instagram has created SO MANY TOOLS for you to create interesting and fun stories. Use these. Stroke Instagram's ego! Remember – she is your needy girlfriend! She has given you gifts (or speficially GIFs), so use them, and she will reward you with exposure!

And as always, engagement is KEY! If someone responds to your story, and they send you a DM – keep the conversation going. Thank them for their response. Ask them another question. This is how you make friends online – by engaging in conversation!

Some simple marketing principles to remember:

  • The customer is the hero, not you! How can you show up on Instagram as a knowledgeable guide to the people who follow you?

When we position our customer as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges. Positioning the customer as the hero in the story is more than just good manners; it’s also good business.”

Donald Miller, StoryBrand CEO
  • People want to support and help their friends. So it's our job to turn strangers into friends. Because we know we can trust our friends, and we want to support our friends – how can you become a friend to your Instagram followers?

“Turn strangers into friends, and friends into customers.”


Seth Godin, Permission Marketing
  • You have to give value, give value, give value. Then ask for something. When you all you do is ask people to buy stuff from you, and you provide no reason for them to do business with you, people will choose to ignore you – or even worse – BLOCK YOU! Give people a reason to follow you, and eventually do business with you!

“Jab, jab, jab, right hook.”

– Gary Vee

Are you answering the question: “Can you do THAT for someone like ME?” People are looking for help – they want amazing pictures taken of them, their families, their dogs. They see the pictures you are taking, but can you reassure them that you can do THAT for someone like THEM? You can read more about how to accomplish this in this blogpost.

Can you answer the questions – Are you good at what you do, and Can you do that, for someone like me?

Davey Jones, Brand that Book Podcast

We hope that you have found these tips helpful in increasing your engagement, and eventually your ability to sell your services and products on Instagram. Social media is such a powerful tool, but it's all the more helpful when you are able to understand how those tools work, and how to make those tools work for you. As in all good relationships – make sure you create some boundaries with Instagram, and make sure you control it, and that it doesn't control you.

Additional Resources:

Check out the Demographics per Social Media Platform

Later and Planoly , are both great scheduling options for Instagram and other social media platforms

Jasmine Star Show Great podcast for social media, and connecting with your ideal clients

The Anchored Business Podcast, This episode specifically talks about Instagram

Brands That Book Podcast, Great podcast for business, marketing, social media

National Random Days Calendar for ideas on what to post, and when

Canva.com to create your own branded graphics

how to have a great relationship with instagram

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