Instagram is a photographer’s dream. It is a social media platform that revolves around photography and sharing your daily life. By growing your following on Instagram, you can increase the social proof for your blog. Also, you grow brand awareness for when you are ready to sell a product or affiliate promotions. Instagram doesn’t usually drive traffic to your blog, because you can’t put links in your captions. So how do we get going with Instagram?
How did Instagram get it’s start?
According to Wikipedia, Instagram started in San Francisco, by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The word Instagram is a joining of instant camera and telegram.
Kevin Systrom posted the first photo to Instagram on July 16, 2010. The photo shows a dog in Mexico and Systrom’s girlfriend’s foot. Facebook bought out Instagram in 2012.
Why do I like Instagram?
- It is photography centered. Instagram is all about visual marketing. Whether it is photos or video, you can’t get good interaction on Instagram without good visuals.
- It is more active than Facebook. I have found that Instagram is easier to get into than Facebook. You post great photos and you get likes and comments right away.
- I love to fill my feed with beautiful photos. My feed is full of beautiful travel, food and flat lay photos. I could look at it all the time!
How do I use Instagram for Business?
- I post behind the scenes photos of my homestead for my homesteading blog. For this niche, I post pictures of the animals on the homestead or what I am cooking up in the kitchen.
- I post videos on my stories for both blogs. Stories are a great way to show people what you and your blog are all about.
- For this blog, I post pictures and quotes from the blog. Since this is a photography blog, I post my photos and quotes from the blog posts.
What types of blogs do well on Instagram?
As long as you take decent photos and stay on topic, any blogger can do well on Instagram. You want your readers to be able to expect good quality content on a regular basis.
What things do you need to do to thrive on Instagram?
- Make a theme for your feed. Your theme could be a certain color, quotes, flat lay photos, etc. Whatever you pick, stick to it so your readers know what to expect.
- Post consistently, atleast once a day. You need to get new content out there daily to stay relevant and on top of people’s minds. You can use a scheduler to do this so you can batch your content at once and then have it drip out daily.
- Show your life in instagram stories. Your stories can be more impromptu than your regular feed. You can show behind the scenes of your blog or video from your latest vacation. It doesn’t matter as long as it will be interesting to your audience.
- Follow and comment on other people’s posts. Instagram is social, which means you don’t want to drop pictures and run. You should follow others and comment/like their stuff too. This will gain you more followers.
- Use appropriate hashtags to help people find your photos. It is recommended to use between 10-20 hashtags on your photos to get them noticed outside of the feed. Do your research and see which ones will be best for your brand.
What tools to use to make Instagram easier:
Tailwind for Instagram is a tool that allows you to schedule posts and look at the analytics to see what is doing the best. Click here for a free trial (affiliate link)—> Tailwind App
Other apps that are popular, but that I haven’t personally used are Buffer, CoSchedule, HootSuite and MeetEdgar.
The Drawbacks of Instagram:
- You can’t leave clickable links in your description. You can add one clickable link to your profile. That’s it.
- You can’t post on desktop. You can schedule your posts on desktop (atleast for Mac users), but you have to use your phone to deliver that post.
- The feed moves fairly fast, so people don’t see all of your posts unless they go to your profile.
- It doesn’t drive much traffic directly to the blog. Instagram is more about building your brand and audience than about direct traffic to your blog.
How do I use ads on Instagram?
When you make a Facebook ad, you can also run the ad on Instagram. When you run an ad on Instagram, it allows you to make it clickable to your post or freebie.
What about Instagram Stories?
- Stories help you share real time photos or videos with your audience.
- If you have atleast 10,000 followers, you can add links by having your audience swipe up to go to another site.
- Stories only last for 24 hours.
- You can go live in stories, but you can’t save the live for later use (like Facebook).
Online Courses for Instagram:
Food Blogger Pro- This is a membership site where there are several classes on Instagram and how you can increase your presence there. The membership site isn’t open right now, but you can get on the waiting list here (affiliate link) –> Food Blogger ProClick here to see 5 ways to gain momentum on Instagram to bring traffic and fans to your blog.Click To Tweet
- Evaluate your feed and brainstorm a common theme you want to stick with for that Instagram Profile.
- Choose 10 new hashtags to use on your photos to get more engagement and follows.
- Get in front of the camera and do an Instagram story on your account today.
Instagram can be a great tool to grow your brand and get your name out there for social proof for your blog. It will also help if you want to do work with brands for sponsored content. It can be intimidating at first, but if you stick with it it can really help your business. Start by posting great content consistently and people will respond. Don’t give up!
How do you use Instagram in your business? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
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