Instagram: Getting started

Isn’t Instagram a fun platform? What a great way to connect with like minded people and their brands. Before jumping in to build your Instagram presence, there are a few key things to be aware of.

Number 1 – Know your niche.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or have been dabbling for a while, it’s

important to know what your niche is. Who do you want to target, what do you want them to know. Have a focus and target to that niche – same as you do with your website.

Why is this important? Think about who you follow. You’ve likely been influenced or captivated by an image, your interest is piqued so you decide to follow them in order to see more of the same. Similarly, people will follow you because of what you post within your niche. It’s of interest to them and they want to see more and to learn from you.

 

Number 2 – Know your Competitor.

Ever hear people say “there’s an app for that”? So too is there “a niche” for that. And within every niche there’s both good and bad.  Do some homework and look at 5-10 Instagram accounts that are really great in your preferred niche. For each great account make notes on the following:

  • Their profile pic – what does it say to you
  • What’s their @username – does it identify with the brand
  • Read their bio – does it tell a story, is it informative and to the point?
  • What’s the theme of the feed – can you get a feel for it by the pictures posted
  • What about post engagement – check out what has been popular
  • What gets high engagement – why? Did it include a call to action, what was the caption
  • How often do they post – shows consistency and sets expectations

This will give you an idea for what good looks like and with time and work you can start to adopt some great habits.

 

Number 3 – Know Yourself.

Let’s go through the steps to create your profile now:

1.      Your profile picture – what should it be? Are you the face of your brand/business? If so then absolutely it should be a picture of you, perhaps within your niche environment. Over time your face will become synonymous with your brand. Check out your competition – what have they used. And fyi, the image needs to be 500 x 500 pixels for best results.

2.      Your @handle or @username –  this can often be a frustrating process since what you really want may already be taken. It’s still possible to get something great though, try putting ‘the’ or ‘iam’ in front of what you want to make it unique.

3.      Pick your name next – this is usually your business name or brand identity and shows at the top of your bio in bold. Since this name is searchable, try to include your niche in the name as this will be a great way to be found.

4.      The Perfect Bio – first things first, your bio should only ‘sell’ your Instagram account, not your business or product. It’s about you, not what you sell. Tell people what you are about, share something personal, tell a story.

So in 3 steps, each requiring a lot of thought and research, you can create a great Instagram account. Do the work up front, it’s worth it in the end.

Remember:

1.      Know your niche

2.      Know your competitor

3.      Know yourself

Next, we’ll talk about Engagement and how to grow that account.

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