We hate to sound like a broken record, but we’re on a quest to help you embrace social media rather than ignore it. Denial may seem like a great idea until you see businesses just like yours getting the attention you deserve on Instagram.
While we’ve shared some cut/paste options that will literally do the work of creating content for you, even for an entire year, we have a few other tricks up our sleeve that we’re confident you can implement yourself. Think of these as “Quick Wins”.
Let’s start with what potential customers see when they first visit your page.
The Instagram Bio is King (Queen)
Let’s dive into that Bio. With a limit of 150 characters allowed, you’re going to want to make your Instagram Bio as concise as possible while clearly advertising what you can do for folks who stop by. Your bio should answer three important questions:
Who are you?
What problem can you solve?
Why are you qualified to solve this problem?
Here’s a Bio example from a fitness/nutritional account:
Offering yo-yo dieters sustainable fitness & nutrition tips + FREEDOM FROM FAD DIETS.
ACE Certified Fitness/Nutrition Pro
And it’s perfectly acceptable to change your Instagram Bio as you see fit. It’s also good to change it up from time to time to keep your page fresh and new!
Quick Win: Do an Instagram Bio overhaul, or ask us to write one for you
Business or Creator Account
For the sake of time, we’re not even going to touch on having a Personal Account on Instagram, because if you are running a business, a personal account isn’t applicable. But is a Business or Creator Account right for you? Here at BDG, we have chosen a Creator Account, which gives us access to analytics (as does a Business account) and, wait for it: popular music.
Reels are all the rage. (More on that later.) And the Creator Account allows access to Instagram’s vast music library filled with popular, trending music, rather than canned, royalty-free music. It’s not that royalty-free music is terrible (we totally respect you, musicians), but Instagram is a numbers game. And familiarity fosters engagement. So when building a reel, it’s optimal to go for music that is popular (you go, Harry Styles), relevant (to your content), high-performing (how often is the piece used on Instagram), and recognizable (remember that ear worm, “It’s corn!”?).
Quick Win: Switch from Business to Creator Account. Now.
Grid vs. Reels vs. Stories
How do you know what to post where on Instagram? This is a great question. Here’s a simple cheat sheet for you!
Single or Carousel Images on the Grid
Single images are great for simple tips and ideas. While Carousels are awesome for going more in-depth on topics you are an expert on. Yes, hashtags are still a thing (contrary to what you may read on the internet), though you don’t need to add 28-30 on your grid posts. Your captions should now include keywords, which also do the trick. (If you’re following along, that’s twice where we’ve mentioned the importance of keywords. Ok. Carry on.) Think of these posts as the first stop for most of your followers. So, be sure to engage and nurture your followers there.
Don’t want to make Reels? Hire someone to do it for you, because Reels are absolutely fantastic (and necessary – we don’t make the rules) for reaching new audiences. They can also give a huge leg up for new accounts get started and can serve as such a fun tool for educating your followers! Think of Reels as Edu-Tainment.
Hands down, stories are the easiest to share on Instagram. They don’t build reach, but they do build connections. Followers love “behind the scenes” content and with the addition of adding links or the ability to direct message someone who has left a comment on a story, the opportunity to create a simple sales funnel is right there for the taking. Don’t overthink stories, but do make them. They disappear in 24 hours, so just have fun with these! Fun fact, Stories can be added to Highlights which are “silos” to house like-minded content, for example, “Awards”. Check out our Awards Highlights right underneath the Bio, and brainstorm a few Highlights you can build for your business.
Quick Win: Practice making one of each type of post (and we didn’t even touch on Live Video. You’re welcome.)
Call it the graphic designer in us but we shake and stammer when we see photos on Instagram that are the wrong size. While the beauty of Instagram is to share visuals that draw people to click and read the content, we realize not everyone will approach this with a designer’s eye. But, even so . . . allow us to share a quick tutorial on how to make your Instagram look amazing.
While Instagram’s traditional square photo (4:4) is still a thing, they’ve recently had an upgrade. Some pages are literally showing larger pictures in the grid, in a 4:5 ratio. However, with these, the main focus of the content should still fit within a “square”.
Ok, Ok, if you’re questioning our original statement of wanting you to experience “quick wins” by updating your Instagram, look no further than the very photo editor on your phone. Using the editor in your phone’s photo library, you can resize ANY photo to square, 4:5, or even 9:16 (we just threw a fast one at ya – that’s story and reel size). So, really, there’s no reason for a photo NOT to fit. Right?
Graphics are the main culprit here – being sized too large for Instagram. Canva can resize those puppies with a click. Or, again, if you’re thinking “I ain’t got time for that!”, hire out. We’re here for ya!
Quick Win: Practice makes progress. Edit a photo for 4:4 or 4:5. Or, if feeling spunky, go for 9:16.
And there you have it. Just a few quick wins to make you feel more of a boss of Instagram. If you’re still shaking your head, and not convinced you’ve got it in you, we do. Reach out to us at BDG for content creation, for as much as you may not care for it, we really enjoy helping business shine on social — visual images and text content! We love it all!
And don’t forget to share the goods with your small business friends!