Instagram Tips from THE Instagram Expert at Social Media Marketing World

One of the best sessions I attended at Social Media Marketing World 2015 back in March was “How to Use Hashtags on Instagram to Grow a Loyal Community of Followers and Customers” with Sue B. Zimmerman. I was super excited to attend sessions about Instagram and Pinterest as they are two of the least used and most underrated social media platforms in Halifax, I think. Here is a brief recap of Sue’s main points that helped me to see how to better use Instagram.

Make Your Instagram Bio Stand Out

If someone actually clicks on the link in your bio, the one and only place you can hyperlink to your website, they are interested in what you have to offer…they are very likely a hot lead. So make sure you set up your profile to attract your ideal customers and entice them to click on that url.

  1. Your username/handle should be related to either you or your business, i.e. TwirpCommunications, ShariTucker, Beck and Boosh.
  2. Your avatar photo should stand out. It should be your photo, in a unique and interesting way, unless you are with a brand that makes more send to use a logo.
  3. Use keywords in your bio. You can use up to 150. Use emojii because the colour in the emojii attracts the eye and shows your personality.
  4. Have a call to action. Tell people what you want them to do to click that URL. Use the emojii of the fingers pointing down to point to the link below. Tell them what they’re going to get by clicking there.
  5. Use a trackable link in the bio, like or so you can see how many people are actually clicking on it.

Instagram Content Tips

  1. Stay focused on your niche. Don’t post personal pics on your business account.
  2. Provide value in every post. Be YOUseful.
  3. Create images that stand out. There are tons of apps you can use to make your pics better, or to overlay text or add stickers. No blurry photos.
  4. Stay top-of-mind. To do this you need to post at least daily.
  5. Don’t post too often. You can use FlipBoard or collage apps to get more photos in and post less often.
  6. Be consistent.
  7. Don’t share the same image over and over. Post unexpected, eye-catching things. No catalogue shots. Show your products in their natural settings.

Instagram Engagement Pyramid

Instagram Engagement
The Instagram Engagement Pyramid by Sue B. Zimmerman

You want engagement with your photos to go from the simple doubletap/like, all the way up to the top. A doubletap/like is the easiest, most common, but least committed type of engagement. Comments are more important and can be a great way to find other people who are interested in the same types of things you are interested in. If your content is valuable enough to get a reshare/repost, that is very flattering (if you do this, be sure to give credit via an app like Photo Repost or at the very least @ tag their account as the originator). Creating a hashtag hub, a hashtag that your fans will willingly use, takes time, but builds your community. If you accomplish all of this, you will have RAVING FANS. Raving fans turn into customers and referral networks.

Instagram Hashtags

  1. Research your hashtags before you use them.
  2. Use 6-8 in your description, the rest go in your first comment. You are allowed 30 hashtags.
  3. Keep lists in your notes app on your phone so you can copy and paste them in when you need them. Keep multiple lists if you have different strategies.
  4. Coming up with a customized hashtag strategy takes time, research, and a lot of promotion. Your aim is to get it adopted by your fans and the wider community. Think #CaringCounts.

These Instagram Tips Work!

When I returned from the conference I shared a lot of my new Instagram knowledge with my sister, Shari Tucker, who is a travelling photographer and travel agent. Just hearing what she does you know she is the perfect candidate for a rockin’ Instagram account, don’t you? I told her all of this stuff in one major brain dump of a message. One week later, she had a huge, exciting business lead. ONE WEEK. You can find leads on Instagram, too!

I’m working all of this into my client’s social media strategies, and slowing switching my accounts around so that I have a separate personal and business account. It really works and makes so much sense. Start slowly and build, the same as I recommend you do with any other network.

If you like these Instagram Tips, be sure to follow Sue B. Zimmerman, The Instagram Expert on Instagram (of course).

Wish you had attended? Why not join me at #SMMW19 in March?


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