Let’s sip on a Dark Cherry and Sage Mocktail while we talk about boosting our audience on Instagram.
Let’s Start with the Drink.
After writing an article for Project Lean Nation about some predicted health trends for 2018, one category that grabbed my attention was Mocktails.
The idea behind a mocktail is enjoying a beverage that is still balanced with flavor and deliciousness, but doesn’t consist of any booze; some people say what’s the point, and others say yes please.
So, I decided to play around with this growing trend by making my own pretty drink consisting of no alcohol.
Details for the Mocktail
I used: frozen black cherries, maple syrup from the Adirondacks (home SWEET home), muddled sage leaves, and Polar Black Cherry Seltzer. YUM.
I also want to mention that the lovely glass bottle used in this post is from a dear company called Creations for a Cause.
Being an ambassador for Creations for a Cause is rewarding in so many different ways, so I totally invite you to shop their products using my promo code- SarahA15- for 15% off your order.
Now For the Traffic-Boosting Tips.
To even be providing tips is uncomfortable, because, I am a newbie myself in the world of blogging and marketing a business, but, I definitely have found some treasuring advice for how to boost viewer traffic through Instagram.
Even if you’re not a blogger and you rely on Instagram to market your company/product/service, you might find this advice helpful.
Some tips are obvious (#hashtagyourlifeawayandyoureset), and others might be new to you.
1. Photo Tips
Instagram is a photo-based platform, and if there is one thing marketing requires, it’s eye-catching visuals.
Whether you’re a food blogger sharing recipes, a health coach providing workout routines and tips, or a fashion junkie wanting to show off amazing outfits and/or products, I recommend zooming in on your photo skills to really attract people; think of it as fishing, and the shinier your photos are, the more people are going to want to interact with your account.
Quality over Quantity
While it’s easy to post photo after photo, I’ve read that it’s common to be unfollowed because you post too many things at a time. I experienced this when I posted five different pictures for the same recipe; not so exciting for people, no matter how great they look. And, once my followers see the same pictures posted on my blog, the content just gets repetitive.
Instead of focusing on having lots of pictures, focus on the quality of the photos instead.
LIGHTING, LIGHTING, LIGHTING
One major tip I picked up for taking quality photos is using a consistent source of lighting.
As you see on my blog account, pretty much all of my pictures are taken in the same spot, and around the same times at that.
There it is. The same place I take food pictures every day, and no time after the sun goes down.
Taking my photos in a consistent spot helps me have consistent visuals, and from there, I have developed an eye-catching format for my Instagram platform; my followers have gone up the longer I stick with the same pattern.
Back to the idea of “quality over quantity” I can’t tell you how many things I’ve made in the evening that I would die to post on my account, but, without that lighting, I can’t capture the same kind of photo, so, I just eat it, and move along.
If you scroll down my @healthindulgenceblog account, you’ll see how much my account has changed over time.
Instagram Photo Filters
Depending on the look you are going for, filters could be your best friend, or your worst enemy; it’s all about preference.
I find the filters and edit features provided by Instagram to be very useful, and, I’ve found a consistent method to go to. Below is a picture of toast represented in three different styles.
Filtered Only (Clarendon)
Filtered with some Edits
I really love the Clarendon filter, but, I always dim it a little less than halfway (one of my favorite features now on Instagram) to try and contain some naturality. From there, the edits that I generally play around with, and find most useful, are: brightness, contrast, structure, shadow, and sharpen.
Maybe you prefer all natural all the way, and you don’t find use for the filters and edits; well, that theme looks just as great.
Tagging Your Photos
If you fit into a certain category, and there are pages out there that feature photos in your category, tag them in your best pictures; you might get lucky and land a feature.
Getting featured on a page that has a large audience is a sure jackpot for people trying to build their own audience.
2). #HASHTAG TIPS
#HASHTAG The Right Things in The Right Places
It’s up to you how particular you want to get with your posts, but, I’ve learned that adding hashtags in a comment rather than in the post itself is very helpful for gaining views.
Also, make sure you’re using hashtags that are popular, and relevant to your category; those are the ones that will get the right eyes on your page (especially now that there is a feature to follow hashtags). I’ve looked up hashtags for food blogs online, to learn what the other food bloggers out there are using to grow their successful accounts.
3). Connecting with your Audience
Connecting with fellow Instagram users is a sure way to not only gain followers, but valuable connections; one of the best ways to build these connections is by commenting on other peoples posts.
Think of the golden rule “treat people the way you want to be treated”; if you comment nice things on peoples posts, chances are, you’ll receive some love in return. Eventually, the more you comment on other posts, the more followers you can gain.
Not to use popular accounts for your own benefit, but, the more comments you post on a highly-followed page, the more views you can get from their audience.
Also, don’t be shy to introduce yourself and talk about what you do; sell yourself. I like to comment on recipe posts, and after I’ve praised them for the work they did, I like to mention a relatable recipe that can be found on my account.
Overall, the most important advice is to keep your comments meaningful, and really think about how you’re engaging with each and every person you connect with; don’t be a robot.
Thanking Your Followers
While viewers come and go, people follow and unfollow, replying to a recent follower with a simple “thank you for following my account, have a great day”, can help you keep followers longer, and build more relationships.
So, here’s to you and your growing business; I hope these tips are helpful.