By Stephanie Joanne (@StefJoanne)
Getting your name out there doesn’t have to be difficult, you just have to have the right moves. Here are six great ways to use Instagram to build a bigger and better brand than ever before.
Perfect Your Profile: Your profile dictates people’s first impression of you, so make it count! You only have a few seconds to impress viewers, so be sure to let them know exactly what you do or what you’re about. Check out my profile to get an idea of what a clear first impression looks like. Remember, people either want to be entertained or informed. Let them know what they can expect to learn from you – it’s all about the value!
Implement My “Rule Of Thirds:” How many accounts have you unfollowed because people are failing to entertain or inform you? If they do nothing but promote 24/7, I personally hit the unfollow button, fast. To avoid people unfollowing you, try my “rule of thirds” and post each of these in equal parts.
1) Freebie Posts: Informational content that lets people know how amazing an expert you are and what you’re an expert in. Maybe you are offering workout training, sharing information on supplements, hooking people up with cooking tips, or just giving out some good-old motivation.
2) Shameless Promotion and Call-to-Action Posts: This is where you can post something about how wonderful you are and give your followers instructions on something you would like them to do, usually in relation to something you are trying to sell. Give them success stories and proof of how great you are and let them know what action you would like them to take.
3) Personal Posts: The more you share about your love for your cat, boyfriend or girlfriend, or the memes that crack you up, the more your followers will get a sense of your personality. People follow those they like, so shine on! For more detailed information on how to navigate your way using balanced posts, click here.
The Not-So-Shady, Shady System: The whole follow and unfollow idea is nothing new. Normally people choose to follow brands and personalities that they would like a reciprocal “follow” from. This usually works using third-party software systems, which will go in and follow a whole bunch of people en masse. But if those accounts do not follow you back, the system will automatically unfollow them. If this is something you want to look into, simply Google “follow and unfollow systems.”
The other option, which is something I do quite frequently, is to follow people manually. Let’s use my personal training gig as an example. If I’m looking to find ladies who want to lose weight and join my online weight-loss challenge, I would search for hashtags which I feel suitable challenge participants may be adding to their posts. Perhaps #weightloss or #fitnessjourney would apply, although it is important to search through the posts to ensure that you are actually reaching your ideal demographic.
The next step, for me, is to post something about the weight-loss challenge so that when someone lands on my profile, this is my most recent post and the first picture that they see.
Now it’s time to engage. Reach out to some of the people who have been using those hashtags – but please, do not start spamming them! Not only is it annoying, but it’s also very obvious. Leave a simple comment for them on a relevant topic and, believe me, they will make their way over to your profile.
Talk To Influencers: The beauty of social media is that you can leverage other people’s brands and following. The easiest way to do this is my “Show Love To Get Love” strategy. Pick brands who are active and attainable, and generously comment on and like posts that resonate with you. Influencers can see who their frequently engaged fans are, and when they are real, they will often respond in kind.
Hashtag With Purpose: Hashtags are awesome when used properly, but many of us get it wrong. #UsingHashtagsLikeThis is #ReallyAnnoying and #useless. Instead, use hashtags to increase your visibility and brand awareness.
Step 1: Identify a list a hashtags that your ideal follower is likely using. If you are a fitness competitor and you would like other competitors to follow you, use hashtags like #fitfam or #fitpro, etc.
Step 2: Keep a list of these hashtags in the notes on your phone, in a few separate groups with five to 10 hashtags in each note.
Step 3: When you’re posting, copy and paste one group of hashtags and add them after your caption.
Step 4: Every once in a while, go into your notes and copy a group of hashtags and post them in as a comment on one of your previous posts. This will bring this post back to the top when someone’s looking through that particular hashtag, and can trigger bonus engagement on your profile.
Achieving Your End Game: The beauty of social media is that everyone can see you and get to know you, but this is also the downside. If you’re looking to build your brand alongside a day job, the corporation you work for may care about the types of posts you’re putting out there (as may future sponsors and employers), so be cautious of your tone and your content.
It might sound basic, but I can tell you that I’ve seen many brands come close to landing some great opportunities, only to lose them as a result of careless social media posting. This doesn’t mean you can’t be fun and show a little skin, just be sure to define what that means to the companies and people you want to work with, and avoid stepping outside of those parameters.
Stephanie Joanne is a serial entrepreneur who spends most of her time helping people brand themselves and build profitable businesses. If you want to increase your reach, grow your following, and be the authority in your niche, then Stephanie Joanne is your girl!