Let’s talk about instagram, part 2
In part 1 I covered the basics of Instagram and getting started with it. In this post, part 2, I’m going to talk about the business tools, how to make the most of them, and some of the extra features.
How to make your profile a business profile
There are so many benefits of turning your profile into a business profile! It makes it easier for people to get in contact with you, you can promote your posts, and you can get insights and analytics to help show you how your posts are performing, and give you information about your audience. There are a couple of requirements to have a business profile. 1) You have to have 100 followers, and 2) you have to have a Facebook page. This is because Instagram is owned by Facebook, and it uses the information from your Facebook page to fill out your business details for your Instagram page. It then also connects your payment details so that if you choose to promote one of your posts, it already has everything it needs.
So, how do you do it? Go to your profile, and there will be the 3 line menu button in the top right corner. Click that and it opens a small menu, and right at the bottom is a ‘Settings’ button. Open that and it takes you to a really long menu. Scroll down until you get to the ‘Business Settings' section and you should have the option right there.
Insights and Analytics and how to use them
The insights page is split into 3 sections. Activity, Content and Audience. The ‘Activity’ tab shows you a week on week report based on profile visits, website clicks, reach and impressions. It also shows a graph to say which days of the previous week had the most actions taken on your posts.
If you go into the content tab and select ‘see all’ You can see all of your posts ranked by engagement they have received, how many likes, comments, profile clicks, emails, website clicks etc etc your posts have generated. You can also select the time frame that it takes into consideration.
The audience tab shows you a range of graphs including the locations your audience is from, the age range of your audience, the gender of your audience, and at what times or days your followers are most active.
That’s a very brief explanation of the insights page, but there are so many useful things to take from that information, and can really help you to see if you are getting the most from your posts.
Promoting your posts
This is basically a social media ‘advert’. You can pay as little as £3 to ‘boost’ your post, and you can customise your target audience. You can even save this target audience to use again in future promoted posts. This is such a great tool because you might want to change your target audience depending on your ad, wether you are promoting maternity art, a glitter bar for a wedding or face painting for a children’s party. You can then also tweak these settings depending on if the ad is getting you the results you wanted or not. You also then receive insights as to how much of your engagement has been generated by the promotion vs the organic reach (people who would have seen and interacted with your post without the paid promotion). Just be careful when you are choosing a post to promote though. I have had a promotion cancelled in the past because there was too much text on the image itself, and photo’s with lots of text or ‘clutter’ don’t perform as well on social media as ‘clean’ images. This is something instagram automatically did rather than me choosing to end the promotion, so just keep that in mind!
I talked in part 1 about using hashtags, and making the most out of them, as well as supporting other face painters by engaging with their posts. Business hashtags are another great way of expanding your reach and supporting other local businesses who in turn might support you. Working with local businesses can be really beneficial to both parties, and social media can often be the first point of contact for this, you could discover loads of local businesses you didn’t even know existed! I know of a couple of hashtags around where I live. We have ‘#Sheffieldissuper’ (which started off as a twitter page, retweeting a lot of the content they were tagged in) and ‘#Southyorksbiz’ which literally reposts everything it has been hashtagged in, which has it’s pro’s and cons. It might take a little bit of time to find relevant local business tags, but once you have found them, they can be really beneficial!
Keeping your profile relevant to what you do
For me, this is a biggie. I have 4 separate instagram accounts. 4. I keep each area of my business separate, and then I have a personal account too because, as much as I love my dogs, and as much as I think they are the most gorgeous, idiotic, lovable creatures ever, my clients might not. Having a separate personal account also allows me to follow other accounts unrelated to work without my business newsfeeds getting clogged up with cakes, other people’s dogs, and pictures of forest floors and mountains. I’m not saying that if you are a face painter and a glitter tattoo artist that you necessarily need a separate account for each service, they are complimentary services that you would probably perform together at the same gig. For me though, if I have someone looking me up for face painting at a children’s birthday party, they’re probably not interested in the bridal hair and makeup I did the other day, and equally if I’m being considered for a fashion shoot or a film, they might be put off by the face painting. You also need to consider your marketing strategy, especially who your target market is, and if it is the same for each area of your business. That being said, there are a few people that actually do follow all 4 of my accounts (although these are mostly my family and close friends), as well as those who only want to see images from one of my accounts and that’s fine! It’s totally up to them.
Instagram stories is a relatively new feature, entirely stolen from snapchat, and is now also a feature on Facebook. It’s a another way to engage with your followers and increase your exposure. For me, it’s where I post more sort of behind the scenes stuff that I don’t want on my main profile. Live videos can be great for engaging with your audience, as is captioning and hash tagging your stories, which can also then include your story in the main story for that hashtag. To add to your story, go to your newsfeed (or your profile), and on your logo there will be a little + button which you need to click. From there you can decide wether you want to add a video, a boomerang or just a quick photo to your story.
User Generated content
Personally, I am rubbish at remembering to take photo’s while I’m on the job. It can be really hard, especially if it’s a busy event, to find the time, and to find the time when you have done a really good paint rather than when you’ve been stuck with a wriggler for the last 10 minutes! A really good way of generating photo’s of your work other than taking them yourself, is to encourage people who have been painted by you, or whose children have been painted by you to tag you in any pictures they post of it on Facebook or Instagram. These can then be re-shared to your profile, and you can tag the person who originally posted it, and thank them for it! As well as building your exposure, this is a good way of making sure you are totally, 100%, completely GDPR compliant.
Sometimes there might also be professional photographers at the events you are painting at. Photographers are your best friends! I have been sent some really lovely photos of my work from events where there has also been a photographer, and it’s also a great networking opportunity.
Taking into account your own social media habits
The last thing I want to talk about today is your own social media habits. What makes you want to interact with someone else’s post, what makes you want to unfollow someone? Think about this and then apply it to yourself. Imagine you are a potential client, and be really honest with yourself. Are you posting engaging content? Are you posting at a time that your target audience is going to be using instagram? Morning breaks, lunch breaks, and just after dinner (and by dinner I mean evening meal, NOT lunch!) are the times I have found most effective for me to post during the week.
And the other last thing is this. Just remember that in general, we only post what we want other people to see. People constantly say to me ‘Ooh Mazz, you look like you’re doing really well, you always look busy’. That’s because that’s what I want people to think. There are times where I am really busy, but equally there are times where I am sat at home wondering what I’m going to do with myself. We know social media is bad for our mental health for this reason, so remember to take everything you see online with a pinch of salt.
I hope you have found my instagram blog posts useful and that you have managed to take something away from them. I would love to know if you have tried anything I have talked about and hear if you have found it has changed anything for you! Please also let me know if you have anything in particular you want me to talk about in future posts!