Women In Business

How to best use Instagram search, stories, shop

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Over the past five years Instagram, the world’s fastest-growing social media platform, has firmly cemented itself as a social media powerhouse for businesses. With over 1 billion active monthly users, and over 100 million posts uploaded daily, it’s no surprise that small businesses and entrepreneurs are keen to understand the power of the platform in reaching potential customers and boosting sales.

With 25 million active Instagram business accounts, there is a demand for Instagram marketing, PR and customer service skills. Social media management is now a legitimate marketing role, with specific skills required to make the most of the platform and business opportunity. One of the biggest misconceptions about using social media for business is that anyone with a social media account can do social media for business, and that it can be fitted in around the cracks of another role. Today, social media it’s an integral part of your business’ day-to-day operations, that requires time, planning and skills to make it work.

Building social media for business skills is an ongoing process, and even people who work full time in the space will tell you that you never fully “master” it. It’s not for lack of trying, but rather that the interface and algorithms are ever-evolving – just this week Instagram launched a trail change by removing the number of ‘likes’ from public view on Australian accounts!

Building your digital skills toolkit for social media is an ongoing process, that combines timeless principles of marketing and communication, with technological innovation and changing functionality. This means that the best social media managers are those who are constantly learning, observing and experimenting with new ideas, tools and collaborations.

Understanding that social media platforms like Instagram, are driven by algorithms that work silently in the background is at the core of maximising your presence and success on Instagram. While little is ever divulged by the platforms about exactly how their algorithms work (combined with the fact that they’re constantly tweaked), four basic pillars hold true in determining how likely your posts are to be seen:

1. Engagement

– How does my existing following interact with my posts?
– How can I reach new audiences and grow my following organically?

2. Relevancy

– Is the content being shared relevant to my following and potential audience?
– How can I keep my content fresh and new?

3. Time/timeliness

– When’s the best time to post?
– How often should I post?

– How long is spent engaging with my posts?

4. Relationships

– Am I interacting with my audience?
– How can I improve my relationship with my following?

In order to back yourself in the best way possible online, it’s important that you consider each of these pillars in developing your Instagram strategy.

Once you identify a goal, you can create a plan on what you are setting out to achieve, addressing each of the four pillars. This will allow you to post with purpose – asking yourself “Why?”, and having a comprehensive understanding of what kind of content and you need to post to reach a particular goal.

From my experience, I have identified a fifth pillar, which is inarguably the most important starting point for all small business owners and digital marketers:

5. Mindset

Understanding how to take care of yourself when you’re online.

Social media never switches off, and it’s never been easier to be drawn into the comparison trap. Ensuring that you are consciously engaging with the platform with purpose, and using the space rather than it using you, is vital to maintaining longevity and flourishing on Instagram.

Because when you’re working well, Instagram can work well for you. It can be the ultimate, hardworking, brand ambassador, representing your brand in all it’s beautiful, nuanced glory around the clock. It can be your global virtual storefront, connecting with people who may have never discovered you, building your reach, your customer base and your bottom line.

Coming to workshops like the ones run at Life Instyle, are a terrific way to and surround yourself with like-minded people in similar industries, with similar struggles, concerns and questions. We share what’s worked and what hasn’t, so we can all benefit from Insta #love.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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