Instagram is a great free marketing tool that can help you attract the customers you need for your business. But only if you know how to use it the right way. Otherwise, Instagram can become quickly very time consuming and you will procrastinate scrolling through your feed rather than using it as a medium to promote your business and engage with your audience.
When it comes to using Instagram from a business point of view, time is money and allocating your time the right way can help you be more productive and focus on other areas of the business.
So here are a few tips you can use as part of my Instagram workflow.
Set up your roadmap
What are the steps you need to achieve to results you want for your business? Why did you create an Instagram for business account? What is your offer? What is your mission as a company and the message you wish to promote online? How can people know more about you and your business that will help them generate the interest in the services or products you offer?
It is very important as a business to be able to answer to these questions before even starting posting on Instagram. Every single post needs to have a purpose (educational, motivational, promotional, etc…). Every post needs to help your audience better understand who you are, what you do and why you do it.
This is the fun part in my opinion. There is no limits when it comes to creating content and Instagram is the best platform to create short form of content online using different format. You can create:
Videos: up to 1 minute video per post, or 1 minute video for stories or even lately up to 1h video using IGTV
Photos: landscape, portrait, square the choice is yours.
Others: Make sure to leverage all Instagram features like boomerang or hyperlapse
You will need to create content for every feature of Instagram you decide to use and understand what purpose each feature serves for your business.
i.e. If you are a coffee shop. Your purpose is to show that you serve delicious cafes, that your coffee shop looks cozy, that your baristas are talented and can create amazing Latte art for each cup and that the coffee grains you use are sustainable and organic. Then use one format for each purpose:
Serve delicious cafe: create a short video to show the process of making coffee
Show how cozy the coffee shop looks: create a few snaps of the cafe showing the environment with some lifestyle shots of people using the space
Display your barista’s talent: take a snap of every piece or Latter art made
Explain the origins of the coffee grains: Use video to explain the story of the coffee grain and share snippets using Instagram stories
Pro tip: Create content in one go. Create enough content you can use to post on your account for a month or even up to 3 months!
Create a posting schedule
This is a great way to get your followers familiar with the type of content you post so that they know what to expect and they know when your next post will be, like it would be their favourite TV show airing.
You can also dedicate a theme to each day of the week or follow the usual trends like #motivationmonday, #traveltuesday, etc…
Schedule your content to post
Once you have all the content created and know what type of content to post each day of the week, you can then use tools like Later, Buffer or Planoly to schedule your content so that it gets posted automatically on your feed or receive a notification at the time the post is scheduled to post it manually.
I personally use Later and I am loving it as it also allows you to have a preview of what your feed will look like after posting your photo. Automating my posting allows me to quickly schedule my content for a month so that I can focus on other aspects of my business.
I would usually set a few hours once a month to scheduling my future posts.
Engage daily with communities you follow
Automating the publishing of your posts on your account does not mean that you do not need to open your Instagram application no more. By engaging I mean, you still need to answer to your followers comments and messages, like and share content. A great way to do so is to follow hashtags rather than people.
Engagement is what every business should aim for. Your number of followers is not what is going to make you successful, but having an engaged audience will. So focus on the quality rather than the quantity.
That is my Instagram workflow that has helped me grow my account and be consistent since I started. It requires some planning and having a strategy in place. But once, you got everything figured out it is very easy to run a successful Instagram account. And it will save you a lot of time!
I made the mistake in the past not to schedule my posts and I used to waste at least an hour picking the right content to post, editing the photo, think about the captions to write and the hashtags to use before posting the photo. And then wait for the first comments to engage with my followers. Definitely not the right approach as a business owner!
Interested to learn more about how to run your business on Instagram, check out my Instagram course: How To Become An Instapreneur where I share with you my online strategies to run a profitable online business with Instagram! Click here or on the image below to learn more.
If you found this article helpful, make sure to like it, it actually makes a difference. And if you know anyone who is thinking about using Instagram to promote their business, feel free to share this post with them.