Oh Instagram, I think I'm safe to say that everyone has a love - hate relationship with it. It's an incredible tool to not just communicate with friends and family but to also promote your own business. Throw in a world of huge influencers with perfect lifestyles, an incredibly low average reach percentage and the word 'algorithms' that we constantly Google in an attempt to beat it... The reality is that we've all ended up wanting to ditch the app, throw the phone out the window or attempt to find the CEO's phone number so we can have a chat about why our last post only got 21 likes.
As a social media manager, I oversee and create content for a huge variety of different types of accounts on Instagram (over the past 2 years I've managed content going out to a combined following of over 150,000) and I want to share some tips, inspiration and challenges to help you save you from the stress of Instagram!
Hopefully this will be the first of many blogs that will be helpful to anyone that wants to improve their content on social media, whether you are a small business, blogger, influencer or someone who just enjoys the platform.
YOUR INSTAGRAM BIO
Let's start with looking at your profile on Instagram. If someone saw a post of yours or a comment you made and clicked on your Instagram username so they could find out a bit more about you, what would they see? Are you telling that potential customer/follower everything they need to know?
I'll go into this further over the coming blogs however there is one thing I constantly see missing from people's Instagram bios...
WHO ARE YOU?
Let's talk quickly about brand identity. I'm not a brand expert but I know how vital it is to ensure your brand is consistent whether that's on your website, on social media, your style of photography and even how you act/dress/present yourself in person.
At the core of any business is a person - a real person pulling all the strings. This person is making those all important decisions about what product or service is being sold along with all the little steps involved such as ethical choices in materials, designing the product, deciding how a service is delivered and a million and one other things!
As a customer/potential follower on Instagram, you're interested to know who that person is because they're at the heart of the business. You have so much more faith in a business if you know who is behind it. You instantly have a human/emotional connection to a business or brand if you know that 'Emily' is behind it all. You know that 'Emily' is working behind the scenes on the product/service or brand that you're buying into and that you can go to 'Emily' if you have any questions or issues with a purchase.
THE FIRST STEP
You've got to start somewhere and sometimes it's the smallest of changes that can add up to make a big difference and be the step between someone following or buying from you or not.
Let's start with the first thing you should do RIGHT NOW if you haven't already...
Put your name in your bio!
It's that simple.
(If your brand is your name or you've already got your name in your bio, HIGH FIVE. You are bossing it already, but I've got another challenge for you at the bottom of this blog!)
There are so many small businesses that I see hiding behind their brand name. So your followers don't picture a person behind your business.
If you're anything like me, if you see a company on Instagram without a personal identity, they feel corporate and something I can't identity with. It's almost a little intimidating because you aren't sure who you were speaking to if you got in touch with them.
If you are a one-man band, why not embrace it? Put your name out there for people to see so they know they can talk to 'Emily' if they want to!
And, if there are more than one of you in the team, it doesn't matter how big you are - stick your social media manager's name in your bio. Give your audience a name so they can picture the human at the other end of an Instagram conversation.
Not only will adding your name to your bio help your followers gain faith in the human behind your brand but looking at other people's bios for their name is something you can do too. Instagram is all about creating connections and identifying that someone is a real human, someone that is actually going through the same blood, sweat and tears of running a business, is actually a really lovely thing to do.
So my little challenge to end this first blog is the next comment you make on Instagram, see whether that person has their name in their bio and use it in your comment. "This new product is amazing Emily! I love the pink one. Is it available to buy now?"
I guarantee that Emily will smile as an 'Instagram Stranger' took the time to find out her name.
I'd love to hear if you enjoyed my first post sharing social media tips and if you apply it on Instagram, I'd love to see! Tag @georgiadelotz if you share anything.