As someone who works as a hospitality marketing consultant, I would say I know a trick or two regarding Instagram marketing. For travel and hospitality businesses, which form most of my core clients, growing an Instagram following, improving engagement rates and having a valuable Instagram property that showcases their product in the best possible light, takes a top spot in the list of tasks.
So whenever I take on a new client, the first step is to do a cursory audit of their existing Instagram account including the look of the existing feed. Then comes correcting, modifying or changing certain aspects of the account to actually enter the playing field - such as the basics really, converting a personal account to a business one, setting up an attractive profile pic that arrests attention, so on and so forth.
And then comes the real deal. Not strategies per see, but rather little tricks that boost your Instagram game and get you riding the algorithm to start off with. The actual, real strategies.... well, I won't list them out here. Those are what you pay me for! (imagine a big broad smile here)
So here are the 8 nifty tricks that will help you level up your Instagram game.
1. Write a killer bio
Now anyone can tell you that just as you must dress to impress, you must have an attention-arresting bio that is concise, clear and accurate, and one that immediately tells a viewer exactly what the account is about is what he can expect from it. Here's the trick, find an equivalent account that is doing well, a business similar to yours, but one with a massive following. Use that account's bio for your inspiration if you do not wish to rack your brains and keep second guessing yourself.
2. Post at least 2 to 3 times a day
Consistency is the key to staying on top of your IG game. To make the most out of Instagram's current alorithm, aim to post at least 3 times a day. The more you post, the more eyeballs you reach, the more engagement traction you get, the more viewers Instagram exposes your posts out to. Do you see how that circle works? Here's the trick, every Saturday, sit for a couple hours on Canva. Get your entire week's posts done and dusted. Work out your captions and hashtags too and there, posts for the entire week can then either be auto-scheduled via a scheduler or posted manually as needed.
3. Get Your hashtags right
Research your hashtags well. Don't use the most popular hashtags only as it only takes a few seconds for your post to get lost in them. Don't use hashtags that are way to niched out either, they have absolutely negligible following. In other words, mix the two appropriately. Make hashtag pools of popular hashtags and hashtags with slightly lower traction and just one pool for one post and mix the pools up as your go. If you are in the travel niche, drop me an email on sayali(at)yotripp(.)com and I'll send you a free mega-list of travel hashtags with tips on how to use them most effectively.
4. Post when you audience is most active
Some Google research or a look at the insights on your business Instagram account should tell you when your target audience, your perfect people are most active on IG. Make it a point that you get at least one post in at such peak times. Better still if you post strategically and go for a good well-planned mix of reels, IGTv videos, static posts, lives and guides for the maximum traction. Make sure you use your stories to your best advantage by promoting your lives well in advance as well as a few minutes in advance to get the most attendance too.
5. Reply to comments and build to and fro communication channels
Provide suitable replies to everyone who takes the time to comment on your posts. And don't make your comments generic or just emoticons either. Value your audience just as they have valued your post and build meaningful interactions. This is the only way to make people who just find your profile or post thanks to a hashtag and convert them into raving fans as you go along. Return the favour too. Make sure you spend some time commenting on posts that you liked as your scrolled your feed.
6. Cross-promote your IG handle on other social media
Make sure your add your IG handle links on all your other social media profiles. Not just that, join groups where your target audience most hangs out and promote your IG handles there. Ask them to like and follow your account because you offer them so much value. Make your offer irresistable using photos of your feed and throw in a discount or a freebie for most traction.
7. Include a clear CTA in your bio as well as your posts
Clarity is everything. Tell your audience exactly what you'd like them to do. It could be download your freebie in your bio; it could be let us know in the comments for a post. the ideas are endless, but be sure to tell your audience the very next step you wish for them to take at all times, on all posts.
8. Maintain a healthy post mix
Don't just concentrate on static posts. Stay on top of your game not just by mixing it up with your reels, videos and stories, but also by staying on top of every little change that Instagram brings forward (because when they bring something new in, they go all out trying to promote it). When they first introduced reels, my feeds were flooded with reels. Every hashtag I researched showed up more reels on the top, and reels trumped static posts where the static posts were shows after a few reels. Now they have come up with guides. Don't miss out. Use them, leverage them and let Instagram show your posts to the maximum number of people without you having to pay them for it. See the trick there.
Run ads periodically. You may keep the budget small, you may experiment with your audience, you may have fun; but please do utilize ads. It is the best way to stay on top of Instagram's algorithm for as a paying customer, you can ride Instagram's reach wave long after the ads have stopped (and then you can run a small one again). Do you see the advantage here?
Good luck. Drop me an email if you want my free ebook 'Mega-List of Travel Hashtags and the Tricks on How Exactly to Use Them'. Here's the email again - sayali(at)yotripp(.)com (just trying to prevent the spam bots). See you next Monday with another article :)