Originally posted on forbes
Instagram is a powerful social media platform and can result in generating a lot of money for you and your business. Below are the five main strategies we implement to help ourselves and clients monetize on Instagram.
Your Bio Matters
Your Instagram bio is the first chance you get to impress upon a new follower a description of yourself and your business. Instagram bio creation is often overlooked and vastly underrated. The bio is the first thing that a potential customer sees when they visit your page.
In your bio, it should be clear to the viewer what you do and who you are. Visually, your bio should be concise and aesthetic. You do not want long sentences or it to be in paragraph form. You want to keep your bio to five lines, each line with its own purpose.
Line 1: Who you are/brand name/tagline.
Line 2: What you do.
Line 3: How you do it.
Line 4: Location/company name that you own/work with.
Line 5: Call to action to link below.
Mine, for example, is:
The Godfather of Instagram
I GROW businesses
Insta Growth, branding, & content
Let me help you GROW your business
Before every line, I’d recommend putting a relevant emoji next to the line to keep it visually appealing. For the last line, use a downward arrow to direct someone to your link below.
Theme And Strategy
Your Instagram feed is your business’s or brand’s foundation and portfolio. When looking to post, you cannot just post anything in hopes it will generate business. Do not post just to post! Post with a purpose.
You should stick to a clear strategy for your feed that will generate the results you’re looking to achieve through Instagram. Ask yourself questions. Why are you posting? To motivate? Generate leads? Add value? Build a community? From the photo or video to the caption, each element is crucial to providing the value to the target you are looking to attract. Know what your purpose is for posting in order to decide what to post and to create a direction for your page.
Consistency Is Key
The Instagram algorithm rewards consistency and will hurt you if you’re inconsistent. You cannot post here and there, hoping to generate business. Instagram rewards businesses and individuals when they post consistently on the platform. Create a posting schedule, and commit to it. It’s OK if you stick to only posting one time a week on your feed, but make sure to not miss a week, and don’t have random weeks where you post five times a week then drop back down to posting only once a week.
Instagram can hurt accounts that post inconsistently. Instagram can, in fact, lower your reach when you post inconsistently — however, when you are consistent, your content will show to more of your existing followers and to others who don’t follow you but are in your target demographic, based on the hashtags in your post. So, select an amount you can consistently post each week, whether it’s one or four times, and stick to it! I recommend posting two or three times a week to generate the best results.
Engagement And Collaboration
This is what will begin to set your business or brand apart from your competitors. Answering every comment and DM, reaching out to others within your community, and liking and commenting on others’ posts or stories can all be the difference between growing or being stagnant.
Search through hashtags of those who are also in your market that you could potentially collaborate with or those who are in your target audience. This is how you build a community and network. Just because Instagram is an online platform does not mean you can’t create offline relationships. Leverage the ability to communicate with prospects, leads, potential employees, ambassadors and collaborators.
A strategy we’ve implemented to grow our business and our clients’ businesses is searching hashtags that our target customer would be using, going through the hashtag feed and going to about 25 people’s accounts a day, where we “like” the seven most recent photos. Leave a valuable, engaging comment on their most recent post, and then follow them. Instagram also favors accounts that engage more. When you engage more, others engage back. Instagram’s algorithm recognizes this and will increase your reach because it wants users who are active while on the platform.
In our experience, your money will be made in the stories. Use stories to document your day, journey, meetings and experiences, and take advantage of the story add-ons Instagram offers. Leverage poll stories to capture leads. Offer “Yes” or “I’m interested” answers so, either way, you’re accumulating leads from your poll stories.
After the 24 hours the story is up, go to your archive and DM every person who replied to your poll. Use the sliding bar and “Ask me a question” sticker on your story to build community and engagement on your page.
All these things can increase your engagement and help you to evaluate what is and isn’t working. Also, because only limited accounts actively update their stories on a consistent basis, consider updating your own story almost hourly. Your stories will be the ones that consistently pop up on people’s feeds as the first to view.
So, if you’re consistent with posting on your stories, you will be only competing with the attention of 30-50 other accounts on your potential client’s feed. And those other accounts may not even be in your industry — it’s your market share for the taking!
Stories always require consistency; I recommend posting 5-20 stories every day with no days missed. Use them to not only show insight into your day, business operations, knowledge and experience, but to highlight employees or to shout out your customers.
Instagram, when used for more than social purposes and with a proper strategy in place, can result in growing your business. It takes a well-thought-out strategy and, most important, consistent execution.