Let's Get Social: Getting your Business Started on the Gram (Part 2: The Feed)
"They can't do what you do like you do. Period." - Jasmine Star
Ok, guys, here it is - Part 2 of my 5 part series on getting your small business started on Instagram. In this post we'll discuss the star of your IG show: The Feed.
According to a Hootsuite report from earlier this year, Instagram users will spend a total of 28 minutes per day on the platform with 60% of people discovering new products when they're scrolling feeds. With numbers like these, it's a no brainer when it come to creating a space for your small business on the Gram. Remember, people come to Instagram to get inspired, discover things they care about and to purchase products they need. In fact, 81% of people use Instagram to help research products and services.
Yes, EIGHTY-ONE PERCENT!
All fired up now? I thought so. Let's Go! (said in my DaBaby voice)
Note: Missed Part 1: The Profile? Now would be a good time to go read that first then head back here.
At this point, you have your Instagram Business profile setup and you're ready to get started in sharing all the goodness your brand has to offer - getting those leads and building that loyalty. But before you jump into sharing pictures of an empty product closet with #winning or selfies of your boss while #livingmybestlife, let's first talk about some necessary upfront work to better prep your Feed strategy.
Before you get going you'll want to:
Take a step back to evaluate who you are and what you want to put out there into the world. I assume by now you've determined that IG is the right pace for you. Take a look at the competition. Identify your strategy, target audience, and goals. Setting yourself up correctly at the start will allow you to post to your feed with intention and not just "throwing spaghetti at the wall" (is that still an expression?)
Appearance is everything when it comes to your IG feed. You want to ensure that your brand identity is clear through your posts and your overall grid (the 3 across and 4 down of 12 boxes you see in your feed.) So take some time to really evaluate how you want your brand to show up.
Finally, determine how much time you have to dedicate to building your IG account. Instagram, like all social media platforms, requires constant attention and nurturing. You'll need to show up for it for some amount of time every day.
Here are the 5 things you need to keep in mind in order to cultivate a winning feed on the gram. And you got it, it all comes down to the C's.
Calendar. Developing a monthly content calendar is the first step in determining your content plan for your Instagram feed. When plotting out your plan, be sure to keep your strategies and goals in mind. All your content should sync up with these goals and include items 2-5 below. You'll want to consider "themes" or categories for your content. These could include things like: behind the scenes, product/service announcements, events, news, holidays, meet the team. Plot these themes across your calendar.
Cadence. Decide on how often you want to post. "How often should I post?" you ask. When it comes to determining the right cadence for your brand choose what you can do consistently. I typically suggest somewhere between 3-5 posts a week for a small business and no more than 1 post a day. If you can post once a day, 7 days a week, then great! But don't compromise quality content for the need to "just post". Choose a cadence that will give you consistent, quality posts. Consistent frequency and quality over quantity will give you the strongest engagement.
Curate. This is the part that takes the bulk of your time - and matters the most. If you are coming to the IG game with an inventory of professional photos and ready made graphics, you are already one step ahead. Most people are not. So before you even begin, start taking an inventory of your assets. Remember those "themes" I mention in C #1? Well now is when you match the asset to the theme. Consider reposting from other relevant resources in order to supplement your feed (be sure to properly give credit.) A big win is curating user generate content (UGC.) UGC not only gives you a limitless source of content it is also the cream of the crop when it comes to curating authentic content.
Create. Don't have any quality assets? Create them. Take your own photos or hire a professional photographer or create graphics quote blocks by using a tool like Canva. How about some stock photography from Unsplash? And once you've curated and created content use tools like Planoly and Later to help you visually plan out your feed.
Celebrate. Remember, this is supposed to be a celebration of your brand. Tell the world how great your product or service is by sharing quality content with intention.
Next up, Part 3: IG Stories. Please plan to have some fun!
P.S. Need help with your content strategy? Contact me @manejahpr today!