At The 2019 NAMM Show, leading social media consultant Jenn Herman led a fast-paced session on Instagram for business. She covered how to use Instagram to increase sales, get new customers and connect with fans. She also discussed new Instagram updates for music businesses. NAMM U and Jenn Herman have very kindly allowed us to share the useful and inspiring session highlights…
(Watch the 30 minute video for the full session on NAMM’s website here )
Here are the key takeaways:
Use the power of Instagram. Herman noted that Instagram has some of the highest engagement rates of all the social media platforms, averaging 3 percent. (Facebook is less than 1 percent, and Twitter is less than a quarter of a percent.)She declared the No. 1 reason she loves Instagram is that the traffic is unbeatable. It also has the lowest bounce rates of all other social media platforms. There’s one clickable link on Instagram, but your followers take three or four steps to get where you direct them for more information. That means they want to be there. Plus, the conversion rate is higher than other platforms.
Take advantage of the Instagram algorithm. There’s a misconception that Instagram’s algorithm is the same as Facebook’s. The Instagram algorithm is based on individual interactions, not on popularity like Facebook. If someone likes your posts, Instagram recognizes that, and your posts will show up high that person’s feed. Conversely, if people scroll past and ignore your posts, they’ll drop lower in their feeds and may not show up at all. It’s all about personal interaction.
Instagram doesn’t hide any content, but Facebook does—and chooses what to show you. On Instagram, you can see every post from any account you follow if you scroll back far enough.
Use Instagram’s algorithm to your advantage by posting less and better content, Herman advised. Stop posting several times a day. If you put up content that people ignore, your good content won’t get seen. It’s better if you post less often and only post the best content.
Create Instagram content strategies. Using bright colors that pop helps make content stand out in feeds. They’ll want to look, shop and buy.
Connect emotionally and stay true to your brand. Use your captions! Let everyone know you have a brand, voice and style. Your target audience also needs to know what they can expect from you. Talk about good things because no one wants to hear about bad news. Herman suggested following the Transportation Security Administration’s Instagram account, which she finds funny and entertaining. According to Herman, if the TSA can slay Instagram, then you and your business can.
Create more of what your audience wants. Go to your Insights and Posts to filter for any time period and see what your top posts were based on engagement, reach and filter options, and what your audience likes. Remember, it’s not about what you like, but what your audience likes. For example, Herman stated she doesn’t like selfies, but whenever she posts a pic of herself with targeted copy, her number of likes goes up. Herman went on to say it’s because her audience knows it’s her, they feel they can trust her, and they know she offers relevant, valuable information. If Herman has something important to say, she includes her picture with text—it’s what her audience likes. Look at your analytics, find out what your audience likes and what’s generating more engagement, and do more of that.
Create Instagram Stories strategies. Instagram Stories is 24-hour content. You upload it, and 24 hours later, it disappears. (You have the option of adding it to your archives). With Instagram Stories you can be yourself. People don’t care if you stumble over your words—they connect with that, and it can create conversation.
You can upload a photo or a video of up to 15 seconds and take a photo or video within the app. Also, tagging your location in Instagram Stories gives you a better chance of showing up in a search. Be as specific as possible in tagging your location, so you show up in more location searches and can be found by new viewers.
Also, you can ask questions using Polls in Instagram Stories. What does your audience want to see more of? Ask them!
Create interactive Instagram Stories. Create quick, interactive videos using Instagram functions, such as Paparazzi, Boomerang, Slider and different tactics. They’re a silly but fun way to augment your Instagram Stories and generate conversations with your audience.
Herman maintained that Instagram Live video is probably the single best thing you can do for your business. Herman goes Live every other Wednesday. Go Live! It’s easy and gets everyone excited.
Use lead-generating tactics. You can use Instagram to drive leads for your business. The Instagram Stories Swipe-UpLink is for verified accounts or business profiles with more than 10,000 Instagram followers. If you have access to this feature, you can add any URL on any Story post (and not just the single link in your Bio that you usually have to reference). The Swipe-Up link can be used to link out to blog posts, video information, tutorials, a YouTube channel, sign-ins, registrations, ticket purchases and so forth. It can result in lead conversions and sales. You can have a link in Instagram Story to swipe up to an IGTV video and channel as a non-verified account or business with less than 10,000 Instagram followers.
Use Resharing to Instagram Stories. Instagram introduced this feature about a year ago. It’s automatically defaulted to On. When you go to your profile, there’s a toggle button that lets people share Stories, so they can take any of your posts and share them to their Stories but not to their regular content. It’s not like a full regram. Leave this turned On. This is how you get new exposure without doing any work. It’s great for partnerships, so you can share to each other’s audiences and build up your audiences.
It’s also a great collaboration tool. When someone shares your story, it becomes a hyperlink back to your original post. When someone mentions you in their Story, you’ll have the option to repost it instantly, adding the photo or video to your own Story. Use educational content that’s shareable and helpful, plus entertaining content that people want more of.
Use IGTV. IGTV is an app for watching long-form vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators. (You can’t upload a horizontal video.) Start creating content now—short videos of 15 seconds minimum, up to an hour. You can do 15-second to 10-minute uploads on your phone and anything longer than 10 minutes on your computer.
When you create your IGTV videos and channels, use the description to include CTAs. You can put any link in the video description, and you can share the link from your Stories. Remember to include hashtags in your IGTV video descriptions, as they’ll show up in searches. You can also include a CTA in the video to click the link in the description.
Include Calls-to-Action. Include the CTA in the caption, “Go click on the link in the bio.” Tell people what they’re going to get by clicking on the link in the bio. Also use up to three CTA buttons on your profile, such as call, text, email and directions or reserve, get tickets, book, start order and shop. You can use third-party apps, such as EventBrite.
Link Vs. Email. The link in your Bio is better for opt-in pages, landing pages and other places to take action. The email button is for people to email you directly. This doesn’t put them on your list, but it does create immediate contact.
Appeal to fun.
1. Build a community first.
2. Create educational, interesting, entertaining and relevant content to your audience, and they will keep coming back.
3. Mix up your calls-to-action.
4. Have fun!