15 Sep

Instagram (IG) has become the favorite social network of many — and, because of its popularity, it has become a major platform for marketing opportunities and a great tool for driving traffic which eventually leads to sale. For instance, consider the fact that 80% of IG users have made a purchase based on something they discovered on the platform.

Additionally, people do not just use IG casually because 60% of the site's active users visit IG daily. So, whether you a recruiter looking to showcase your company's culture, a marketer in the ecommerce industry or a lawyer in private practice raising your sector profile read on and learn some new quick tricks and tips for growing and upgrading your IG account. 

There are generally 3 categories of accounts on the platform: Personal, Business & Creator

The personal account is just for or a basic user and comes with no bells and whistles. The business and creator accounts are similar in that they allow users add additional call to actions, run paid adverts, get detailed insight into their audience/demographics, get a label beneath their display name that shows their niche/specialty. 

The business accounts have ecommerce functions and are great to sell products and services. 

With a creator account, users can get the daily number of follows and unfollows so they can see what content performed best. They have access to a creator studio which displays all stats briefly. It also allows for inbox sorting into primary, general and requests.

A Perfect Bio: Your bio must be on point. Do not use a logo as thumbnail – always use a good photo of you. The 3 musts to a perfect bio are: 

  • Authority blurb – Show results, People like to follow people who have the results they seek. Build respect. Example: ‘helped X of people', 'featured on', '#1 national leader in sales’.
  • Value offered – This gives a reason why people should follow/hire you. Example: ‘I help ambitious entrepreneurs break free from the IG struggle, so they can build their influence, income and impact online’.
  • Call to Action – Give clear instructions on what the next step should be. For example: ‘See link in bio' or 'Send me a message, sign up below, download free copy’.

Content is king Your page must be entertaining and not boring. Always provide a visual experience. Note that photos and videos get more attention. In general, ensure you develop the following skills: Copywriting and creating a compelling copy - the art of storytelling. 

Get Creative - Always wear your director goggles – in other words, see yourself as the creative director when it comes to your IG account. Look for great backgrounds and footage, props, things people do not see often. Always edit sound, use gifs, use video editing apps like Tiktok. 

The art of storytelling -  Remember that the stories that sell are different from stories that get followers. Balance is key – follow the 80/20 rule and give a lot of value first before pitching. 

Best ways to generate leads that convert: 

  • Timing – Depending on the content being promoted, the best times to post on Instagram are 9am, 12pm, 5pm and 10 pm. This covers for users who are early birds, those who use the platform during lunch breaks, on their way from work and just before they go to bed.
  • Duration on posts – to keep visitors longer on your posts, use visually appealing emoticons and fonts. You might want to use invisible characters to create white spaces to make captions easier to read. Copywriting is key. Quality of photos also matter.
  • Hashtags – 30 vs 12?: 12 is sufficient. IG algorithm checks how much engagement users first get and how many people click based on the hashtags used. Hash tag apps like ‘phototag’, ‘hashme’ assist with more engagement. Users can also find relevant hashtags on Google using best hashtags
  • In-app duration – IG algorithm checks how much time is spent on the app to reward users. Since IG wants to build communities, it also penalizes users if they go MIA.
  • Engagement: users can get and give Saves, Shares, Comments, Likes – users are encouraged to follow back on IG and remember that the best ROI is messaging. 
  • Algorithm: follows users – saves, shares, comments, likes to lead to social media karma. Users are to be strategic and turn on post notifications.

Why rapport building is important: 

This is key in keeping engagement fluid. Remember, 80% of people will not like you or even need you or your message but that is okay. Users only need 20% of people to like them and then 2% of those to be raving fans. These 2% are called tribe and they will make you super successful. A quick and easy way to build rapport is by putting up polls from time to time. A simple poll like “in 2022, which will be your go to social media platform – IG or Clubhouse?” will get people talking and falling over each other, in a good way. Users can also ask their audience the kind of content they would like to see more of by using polls. Ensure not to grow on the wrong things like comparing how many followers you have. Simply connect, show what you are passionate about, bring your personality to life, address (or try to) the pain points of your demographic, do not be too sales-sy. Monitor your analytics and create similar contents as your popular ones. Items with potential for less traffic should be pushed to stories. 

Steps to grow and monetize on IG: 

  • Live: It is recommended to do at least 2-3 IG Live a week, using the four persons IG Live. Users can also rename their IG Live session to drive in more traffic. During live sessions, users should ‘pin’ their comments so key information is readily seen. During Q&A sessions, users can turn off comments to encourage more questions from the audience. 
  • Instagram Guides: To utilize this feature effectively, users should pick their best posts, write a topic about it, and ensure the link used is google friendly. To use IG guides, go to settings>insights, there users can see the impressions each post has made and can choose the post and edit! To get a smart URL for your guide use godaddy.com
  • Carrousel Posts: IG allows up to 10 posts max for each carrousel post, users can increase engagement by including ‘turn on post notifications’ in their carrousel. They could also make a video to educate their audience on how to do same to increase engagement.
  • Promotions: This is basically running adverts on the platform. To get started, click on promote>name audience>pick target location>select age range>decide budget>launch.
  • Instagram Reels: The 3-5 seconds matter. Ensure movements in the shots and use music in trend that fit the purpose of the reel. Encourage comments by adding a little prize to the best comment, whilst responding to comments. To get more reach, it’s suggested to film using the IG app as filming from third party apps and uploading tend to get low reach e.g.  Tiktok
  • Instagram Stories: Users should ensure they are consistent. It could be a shared post or just uploads from your device.

In conclusion, perhaps we're biased having only recently created our own LGC Africa instagram account, but we as a team feel instagram is one of the most fun (not to mention visually appealing) social apps around. And now, with these tricks, you and your team can enjoy and leverage it even more!

Lareine Gold Consulting (LGC Africa) is an Africa-focused advisory business which helps professional services firms particularly law firms increase their competency in relation to business development, marketing and strategy. 

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