Here is a quick round-up of the 6 Instagram Tips for Success in 2020 we talked about in 2019 (in case you missed it or you forgot).
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1. Your Instagram user name
If you already have a large and engaged following on Instagram, you may want to skip this one BUT …
If you’ve recently started a new account (or you don’t use it very regularly) or it’s a name people find hard to remember, or is very similar to another’s, or it’s still the name you thought was edgy 10 years ago … listen up.
- Do customers know what your user name is on each platform?
- Can they easily remember it?
- Is it recognisable as your brand?
2020 is a whole new decade – it may just be time to re-think the names of your social accounts to create one consistent brand name everywhere online.
For example, my company is Straight Talk Social Media but who really remembers that? This is why I stick to Lisa Nichols UK online. Why add the UK? Because there is a famous author and speaking coach in the US also called Lisa Nichols. This helps us differentiate ourselves for our followers.
QUESTION: Do you share a brand name with anyone else? Have you checked what comes up when you Google it?
2. Your Personal Name on Instagram
If your account name is your company or brand name, this is where you would add your personal name. For example, if my account was Straight Talk Social Media, this is where I would add Lisa Nichols. If your brand is the same as your own name, there is no need to state it twice. So on Instagram, my account is @LisaNichols_UK but my name is Social Media Coach. You can use that second field to describe what you do.
3. Your Instagram Bio
What you say on your personal accounts is your own choice – a proud mother of teens who loves the countryside and sunsets – it’s all good. BUT, for business, your bio should clearly explain what you do, for whom, how that helps and where to buy from you. You are welcome to take a look at mine if that helps.
4. Your URL on Instagram
As at the time of recording (Jan 2020) there is only one space for a live link on Instagram and that is in your Bio. (Also in the description of IGTV videos) The field is called “website” so we dutifully add our home page address. This is like handing someone a 200-page copy of Vogue and expecting them to flick through to find your ad. They won’t!
Far better to be strategic about this and direct them to the specific page you would like them to see. Sign up for your list, download a freebie, arrange a booking, buy your product. If you have several things of equal importance you would like people to do, you can use a tool like Linktree. This lets you create a “clipboard” of links from just one URL.
You go to www.linktr.ee.com and sign up for a free account.
5. Instagram Feature Accounts
If you do more than one thing, create a separate social account for it. For example, the followers who come to me for social media tips are not interested in my obsession with cute planners or passion for democratic education.
A separate account allows you to target your ideal customers. By providing the kind of content they enjoy and are looking for without becoming confused you can focus on the right hashtags and ad targeting demographics.
6. The 4 different areas of Instagram
Unless you are an Instagram power user, this can often be confusing to my clients.
IG Feed: This is similar on all platforms and represents a newsfeed from the accounts you follow.
IG Stories: These are the “bubbles” along the top of your feed and get way more interaction. As they are “ephemeral” content that disappears after 24 hrs (unlike feed posts that stay on your account), viewers like to watch them before they expire.
IG Live: Similar to Facebook Live and found alongside your Stories, IG Lives can last up to 1hr and also disappear after 24 hrs. (NB. You can always save your Stories and Lives to your camera roll to re-purpose at another time or on another platform)
IGTV: This is like a mini YouTube on Instagram. It lets users upload up to 10 minutes of video (longer for accounts with over 10K followers) The opening 1 min “trailer” of these can be shared on your Feed and in Stories.
NOTE: If you can no longer access IGTV from within your account, you can download the standalone IGTV app from your app store. Confusingly, some Instagram accounts have different features to one another. For example, I have the MUSIC option on one of my accounts but not another. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you are a Personal or Business account. (Please don’t message me. We are ALL confused about why this should be!)
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