Instagram Posting Quick Guide For Business – Episode #2
How do you write Instagram captions for your business that will help build brand awareness, grow your following and—ultimately—turn Instagram connections into paying customers? In this episode Brent Purves reveals 8 best practices for crafting Instagram captions. Download the accompanying PDF guide and checklist (below), implement these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to success—providing value to your target audience, building your brand along with relationships and turning a growing list of followers into a growing list of customers.
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Hilights from this episode
- [01:22] Don’t underestimate the importance of the caption.
- [02:30] The most important part of your instagram caption is the first line…
- [04:50] How to drive traffic to your website from Instagram
- [07:33) Be strategic, create an Instagram strategy
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Hi, welcome to The Social Marketer Podcast. I’m Brent and today we’re going to be talking about Instagram posting best practices for business. I’m going to provide you with eight tips you can use to improve your Instagram posts, and also provide you with the checklist you can use to help you improve your posts. Before we begin, pause this episode and go to socialmarketer.com/episode2, there you’ll be able to download the guide, listen to this podcast in audio, or watch it on video. And also make sure you listen through till the end of this podcast and you’ll receive a free gift. Now, let’s get started. A common question I often receive is ‘how do I write Instagram posts for my business so I can build brand awareness, build my followers, and ideally drive traffic to my website and increase sales’. Today I will address that question by reviewing eight top best practices for Instagram posts.
Now, there’s no question that Instagram is all about images. Well, nowadays it’s also about videos and reels and stories. But don’t underestimate the importance of the caption. Great Instagram posts help you do many things: provide context and share information, help you develop thought leadership, build relationship and trust and share your personality, and they help you provide the all important call to action. Tip number one: make your characters count. While Instagram allows you to post up to twenty-two hundred characters in your posts, it’s not always recommended that you write that many words per post or you’ll be spending a lot of time. However, some do find success in writing what I would call microblogs in their posts, so that’s an option if you want to pursue it, but in general my recommendation is this: focus on writing great short copy that’s focused on your goals on accomplishing your specific Instagram goals, whether that’s building followers, getting people to enter your contest, driving traffic to your website, whatever it happens to be. Focus your content on that, and it’s better to write a short post then a long one that babbles on. And remember the most important part of your Instagram caption is the first line. It’s those first about twelve words or about eighty characters on a smartphone that people can see when they’re scrolling through Instagram on their phone. They will see your photo or your video and then they can see the first little bit of your caption before they have to click more to see the whole captions. So make sure you pay attention to and write those first twelve words very well. So the steps are this: create a great photo or image to initially grab a person’s attention, and then write that first sentence extremely well. Pay particular attention to it to make sure that it’s enticing to make your visitor, your viewer, your potential follower want to click more so they can then follow through and read the entire caption and ideally follow through on the call to action in that post.
And tip number two: come up with great caption ideas. I recommend following the eighty-twenty rule where eighty percent of your posts are value-based posts. That is they provide great value. It’s not you selling things to them but instead it’s great information that would make a person want to follow you on Instagram. And then the other twenty percent of your posts can be self promotional about your business, about your products, about your sales that are happening, perhaps customers testimonials- you know, toot your own horn twenty percent the time, however eighty percent of the time ideally you would be providing great value to your followers. And encouraging engagement is a great way to offer value to your followers, so as a part of providing great content, don’t forget to encourage engagements. So encourage people to double tap, to like your posts, to comment on your posts, to DM you on Instagram, to email you, give them a call to action to visit your website, to click your link in bio, all those things Instagram loves. And the more engagement you can muster in your posts, the more Instagrams’ algorithm is going to like your posts and increase the chances of your posts being seen by prospective followers. And tip number three: make it easy for people to visit your website. As you may have discovered when you’re surfing Instagram on your phone, links aren’t clickable. While you can certainly include links in your caption on Instagram, when someone’s on their phone they can see it but it’s not clickable. So make sure if you have a destination in your post, a link for example, to include the words ‘click link in bio’ or ‘see bio’ or ‘link in bio’ and promoted posts in Instagram is the second way you can get people to visit your links via an Instagram post. So essentially that’s turning your post into a mini ad, and as soon as you do that then Instagram because you’re paying them enables you to pay per click to drive people to the link you want your visitors to follow. And another way to get people to be able to click on your links is if you have at least ten thousand followers on Instagram, then Instagram enables you to add a swipe up functionality to your Instagram stories posts, which can then drive people to your desired link. And tip number four: understand hashtags. Hashtags are very important in Instagram, hashtags make your posts discoverable. People will often search based on hashtags, so you want to choose your hashtags wisely and don’t necessarily only use very obscure hashtags that no one would ever search for. When you’re creating your post on your phone, Instagram will auto-suggest hashtags, so you write your caption and then put a couple spaces and then write the hashtag symbol, and then you start writing the first few characters of what you think you want your hashtag to be, and then Instagram will start to suggest the most popular hashtags related to your hashtag idea. So, for example, let’s say you’re a fitness life coach and you want to have a hashtag related to running. If you chose the hashtag #lifecoachwhoruns, I just did a quick check and only one person on the planet has ever used that hashtag. So the chances of someone else searching for that and finding you as a hypothetical fitness life coach are very slim. However, if you use the hashtag #fitnesslifecoach, I see that a thousand people on the planet have used that hashtag in the past which suggests it’s a little more popular and it may be that someone who’s searching for that specific kind of life coach may actually search for it in Instagram and then find your post if you’ve used that hashtag.
And tip number five: Be strategic in your Instagram posting. Make a plan, make a small Instagram strategy, even if you just sketch it on a napkin, or in your notebook, or a notepad file. Make a note of who your target audience is, what your Instagram goals are, what types of posts you want to post each month, what’s the balance going to be, remember the eighty-twenty rule, what kinds of captions you’re going to write, and importantly how you’re going to measure success of your posts. Your Instagram strategy should also include hashtags. While Instagram will allow you to include up to thirty hashtags per post, my recommendation is to use no more than eleven, and on average two or three hashtags is certainly acceptable and top-performing posts often only have a few hashtags- two or three even. And your Instagram strategy should include your posting frequency. How often are you going to post to Instagram? Is it going to be one time a day or one time a week? Set that desired posting frequency based in reality, you know how much time you actually have to put into Instagram posting, keep your posting frequency goals realistic. If you only have time to post once a week, then do that, set aside a certain time of the day that you’re going to get your posts, make them, post them, make it great. And tip number six: be fun, but be professional. So if LinkedIn is more of your corporate, buttoned-up suit-wearing friend, whereas Instagram is more like your fun friend at a party where you can be a bit more relaxed while still being professional, you could be more conversational and have a bit more fun with it. But remember you’re trying to get your audience to know, like, and trust you. So while it’s okay to have fun on Instagram, make sure that you speak to your target audience in a language that they can relate to and make sure you address their pain points, their needs, and their concerns in your posts. And tip number seven: make it look good. Take the time to pay attention to the layout of your text. Certainly the first sentence is very important. Don’t go crazy with emojis and emoticons, but find that good balance so it’s easy to skim read, because as you know, you’ll have maybe a microsecond to get a person’s attention with the image and the first sentence of your post, then after that you want to make it a good experience so it’s very skin readable and easy to consume. And a bonus tip number eight: make sure you look at your Instagram stats inside your Instagram account. You can go into Instagram insights and see which posts are getting traction, which are getting likes and shares, and whichever are the most popular do more of that. Now I’d like to review the Instagram posting checklist, and you can grab this checklist at socialmarketer.com/episode2.
So things to look at when you’re writing each Post in Instagram. Number one: ask yourself ‘is this post written with my goals and strategy in mind?’ Number two: does it focus more on providing value or on providing promotional information? Number three: does my post speak to my target audience and their unique pain points or their needs? Number four: have I used a theme, tone, and language that will appeal to my target audience? Number five: is my post engaging and motivating, and might it persuade my viewer or reader to take action? Number six. It’s not longer than it should be . Number seven: are the first twelve words awesome? And is your photo or video awesome and eye-catching? And number eight: does it encourage engagement? DM, link click, like, comment ect. Number nine: does it have a clear call to action?
And number ten: if the call to action requires a link have I made it easy for my readers to click on that link? Number eleven: have I added the appropriate hashtags? Number twelve: is it formatted for easy reading? And number thirteen: have I made plans to measure the results of my posts to see which ones are working the best? If you’re short on time or ideas for Instagram posts be sure to check out socialmarketer.com. It provides done-for-you social posts and captions and photos and photo ideas that you can quickly use and grab and post into your small businesses social accounts. You can go to socialmarketer.com/episode2 and there you’ll find a link that will give you a thirty-day free trial of Social Marketer. Was this information helpful? If so, please leave a comment or leave a review for this episode, that will be very helpful. Thanks so much for joining me today. Please remember to subscribe and I’ll see you in the next episode, same time, same place. Until then, bye for now.
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