With numerous social media platforms at your fingertips, have you ever wondered which one is going to best showcase you and your business?
Type this question into your Google search bar and you’ll find endless pages of conflicting information to perpetuate the debate. And rightfully so. Because the truth is there’s a compelling case that can be made for each social channel. Every platform is designed with a unique set of features that attracts a certain audience. All of which, when taken into consideration, can be drastically leveraged to your advantage.
By educating yourself on these features, you can masterfully play the social media field without feeling like you’re stretching yourself too thin or exhausting your efforts. To do this, you first have to become crystal clear on your specific business goals. Then, align each goal with the most successful route of action based on the given features.
Let’s talk Instagram.
This beloved app was first launched on October 6, 2010 (happy birthday, Instagram!) and has been a go-to hotspot for brands and businesses ever since. One feature that is instrumental and unique to Instagram is its aesthetic-forward style.
Oh the grid. We always hear about the grid! Don’t let all this aesthetic talk become a content creation barrier for you. We’re not going for perfection here, we’re going for the core expression of your company culture.
We know that people do business with those they know and trust. Which is why storytelling is a critical component in your marketing strategy, right? It’s through emails, website copy, and articles that you’re able to convey to the consumer what your company values, promises, and passions are without having to explicitly state it. Guess what? Your Instagram grid is no different. In fact, it’s a visual story in itself.
Welcome to your #moodboard, let’s take a scroll.
You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Instagram is your place to put that saying into motion. Which can be really fun, especially for creatives!
When a prospective client or customer comes to your page, they should get the same feeling you get when you walk through someone’s front door. How do you want them to feel? What is the experience you want them to have? What distinguishes you from your competitors? You’re the “interior designer” of your Instagram home afterall, so curate accordingly. Scrollers should have a solid understanding through your selected colors, fonts, pictures, and overall aesthetic of who you are as a business.
While it’s important to have a cohesive throughline connecting the elements of your posts, the goal should always be to tell a story over a scroll (permission to be a little messy– granted!). As the consumer grazes your grid, they should be able to tell exactly how your business has evolved. This transparency promotes unspoken integrity, relatability, and most notably growth!
The best ways to promote yourself on Instagram…
While all social media platforms are rapidly shifting, here are three of the key ways you can promote yourself on Instagram starting today.
- Set your top 3. Instagram allows up to three posts from your grid to be pinned directly to the top. This goes for both your home grid and your reels grid (so technically a total of 6 posts). This is the perfect way to shine a spotlight, front and center, on the information you want your consumer to know immediately. Your “welcome mat” so to speak. Popular posts are typically centered on introductions, testimonials, or big announcements/achievements. The great news is these pinned posts can change as frequently as you wish without losing the post all together. When you’re ready to switch them up, simply unpin and the post will drop back into its original place.
- Collaboration posts are the cupids of networking. If you’ve just made an appearance on a podcast, wrote an article for a magazine, or joined a virtual summit, you can display this opportunity to a new audience. How? Instagram has a feature where you can “collaborate” on a post, which is different from tagging since it populates on your home grid versus a separate grid. For example, say you were a guest on a podcast. The host could make a post about it, select you as a collaborator, and then when they hit publish that post would populate to both of your main grids. This doubles the reach, enhances the engagement, plus puts you in front of a new audience that has already established a trusted relationship with your host, increasing the likelihood that they will follow you. What’s fabulous about this feature is you’re also in complete control of allowing the post on your profile or not, as it will come through as a request that needs your approval before publishing.
- The carousel craze. Right now, carousels are dominating the space. Instagram allows up to eight slides per grid post. This is the perfect way to illustrate your expertise by using these slides to share tips, strategies, or different services you provide. It’s also a great way to break down lengthy content, like blogs, into bite-size, digestible assets (we see you, skimmers!). Remember, Instagram is about aesthetics, so unfortunately skimmers aren’t paying much attention to the caption as much as they are the graphic. Therefore utilize this real estate by making it as value-packed as you can (hot tip: the skimmer is more likely to read the caption if you hook them with a scroll-stopping graphic, then hook them again in the first line of your caption).
While social landscapes are constantly evolving (just like that grid of yours) it’s vital to lead with your core company values and goals intact. This will forever be your North Star when navigating uncharted social media changes. By staying in the know of various key features social media has to offer, you’ll save yourself valuable time, energy, and money as you seek out the best platform to promote yourself and boost your business goals.
Today, take advantage of the glittering aesthetic of Instagram. Let your squares set the mood of what people can expect from you and your business. And never underestimate the power of a post!
Want to learn more about this topic? Make sure to follow Christi Pratte on Linkedin.
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