This guest post is by IFBC19 sponsor Heather Sawyer, Director of GCI Digital Marketing
At GCI, we’re passionate about providing the fastest technology available to some of the most remote corners of North America. We’re also passionate about tips and tricks that make technology great! As bloggers, you know by now there is an easy (and free) way to increase traffic to your blog. The key is getting your content on the platforms people are already spending time on. With over one billion active users, it’s no secret people are spending time on Instagram, so if it isn’t already part of your game plan to increase your website traffic, it should be. People likely want to discover your blog, they just don’t know it, yet! A strong Instagram game will show them just what they’ve been missing. By engaging with your audience online, you’ll build a community and create lasting relationships, which will lead to new opportunities.
Here are a few tips to take your Instagram page to the next level, courtesy of #AlaskaBornandRaised GCI.
- Create consistent content.
Whether you’re creating a new page for your brand or just trying to refresh your feed, pay attention to the look and feel of your content. Make a point to decide on a consistent aesthetic. This could mean using the same filter on every image or only posting photographs taken from specific angles.
Having a predetermined aesthetic will make your page especially nice to look at. Your followers will begin to recognize content you post by the images alone without even looking at your handle. It will also help to streamline your creative process which will allow you to turn around content at a faster rate – very important in the fast-paced world of social media.
- Get tagging, it’s important.
Take time to learn and understand what different forms of tags (hashtags, location tags and in-photo tags) are used for and how other people and brands in your network are using them.
Identify a handful of hashtags that apply to your content and post the most relevant 3-5 tags with every piece of content to reach people who aren’t already following you. In addition to following users, people can follow specific hashtags. This means posts shared with tags that people follow will pop up in their feed, even if they’re not already following you, the OP (that’s original poster for anyone who doesn’t speak Instagram yet).
To extend the reach of each post and make it easy for people to discover your content, it’s also beneficial to tag your location and any other brands that have items featured in your content. If your goal is to work with these brands, showing them a little love will have the added bonus of showing them you are a genuine user of their products, and not just another sponsor-hungry influencer.
- You’ve got to be social!
It seems obvious, but this is one of the most overlooked points by people and brands trying to grow their social media presence. Tap into the food blogger community and engage with posts from other accounts.
When you come across something you like, do more than just “like” it, leave a comment! Thoughtful comments and insightful questions can go a long way, and really help build a community.
- Go beyond the feed.
Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the main feed! Instagram stories, Instagram live and IGTV are great ways to find accounts to engage with and great ways for people to find you. Instagram stories and Instagram live also provide a tremendous opportunity to get real-time feedback from your audience on how your content is being received.
- Mind your analytics.
Be mindful of your insights. Instagram provides a great set of tools within the application for understanding your audience’s habits. Not sure what time of the day to post a picture? Check out insights to see when past posts performed best. Want to know where your followers are based? Insights has the answer. Be sure to conduct A/B tests, such as varying the time of day you post or the hashtags you post with, to make sure you’re getting the most engagement.
- Have fun.
Maintaining an Instagram page can feel like work, but it’s important to have fun! Your followers will be able to tell if you aren’t being genuine. If you’re not getting any pleasure from making connections and building a community with like-minded individuals, well then, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.
Remember, there’s no fool-proof way to master social media, but putting these tips to practice will help you get started and figure out what works for your brand.