Social Media 101 - Instagram tips for our vendors - Part 1
Alberta Wedding Social Community - This blog post is for you!!!
One of the most important things I have found in the past 4 years of being a full time photographer is that the 2 most imperative online tools (for me) have been my website and my Instagram account(s). *I will say however that Pinterest is quickly making a name for itself on that list!
But to start; I'm going to touch on just a few Instagram tips and how I have used them to create a more lucrative business for myself. I am by no means an expert (as I have mentioned in many blogs before, haha) but I can honestly share with you that about 75% of my business has come from Instagram. So I hope you find these tips helpful, as I love sharing them with you!
Tip 1: Use your Insights
With the ever changing ALGORITHM, it is definitely not as easy to say when you should and shouldn't post. But the best tip I can give each of you regarding that, is to look at your insights and use them on the daily!!! *If you do not have a business account you will not have this feature! So be sure to switch asap.
I find the activity and audience tabs to be the most helpful as seen here on the left. Your audience tab will help you see how many followers you have gained/lost and where you are getting the most from. ***These insights are from my photography account so you can see most of my activity is from Calgary.
Your activity tab (It's my personal fave) helps you to see what days your audience is engaging the most and therefor will be helpful when choosing your post times. I find this especially helpful when I don't have a lot to share. Such as right now when I'm not really working. (Thank you
Covid! *insert sad face here) I don't have much for new content so what little I do have, needs to be seen at the most high traffic times.
There is also the content tab which will show you each individual image/post and the number of views (impressions) it actually received. Just because only 50 people liked your image, doesn't mean hundreds haven't seen it. Not everyone gives out a double tap on an image as haphazardly as I do, haha. but don't feel discouraged by that. At least it is being seen and that's what matters!
2. Consistency is key
Now as I say that I am finding it hard to post because I have no new content at the current time - it doesn't mean I still shouldn't be posting. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And that goes for all of us. In order to keep your audience interested, people need to hear from you. They need to see your work (whether it's a year old or from yesterday) and you need to be front and center in their feed. The only way you have a chance at doing this is to post consistently.
Think about it this way - Who pops up in your feed all the time? Probably a handful of the same businesses/people. And why is that? Because they are most likely posting every day. Possibly more than once. It doesn't mean that if you only post once a week that a potential client won't necessarily see it. But it's a lot more likely if you post 5 times a week. "I keep seeing posts I really love from that wedding planner... I need to get in touch with her!"
3. Curating a beautiful feed!
This is the MOST important piece of advice I can give you.... When you go to an IG account, what is the first thing you see? The 3-ish sentence bio, a profile image and the first 6-9 images in the feed. And that's it, that's what a potential client sees when they visit your account. That's your one chance. Your first impression if you will. And if you look at your account right now, what does it say about you? Is it giving your potential clients the best possible first impression of you and your business?
If not; here's a few tips on how to curate a beautiful feed and capture your clients attention from the start!
A) Your profile image should always be a photo of yourself. This makes you a real, relatable person. Not just a logo. I get that we don't all have head shots or (especially right now) the ability to hire someone to do one for us. But as soon as it's possible for you to get one, I highly recommend it!
B) Your Bio should be about YOU! People who are visiting your feed most likely know you're a planner or a floral designer before they land on it. *There's also a spot for your business description under your name - see right.
There's no need to explain everything you do. People want vendors they can relate to. "Oh this cake artist has 2 little boys and loves red wine and yoga; we have so much in common!"
I recently changed mine from the generic - Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer, followed by a description of services. And I gotta say; I love that my bio is more personable now!
***Thank you to the amazing Ace Fanning for teaching me this!
C) Invest in an app to help with your content.
I personally use the PREVIEW app. I get one account free (Grey Lily) and pay $20/month for Alberta Wedding Social. It has been a game changer and well worth the small fee.
I have a bit of OCD and I LOVE to see how my feed will look before I post. The preview app does exactly that (and much more!). I find that especially with Alberta Wedding Social it is very hard to create a cohesive/curated look; as I am sharing images from so many different vendors.
This is the case for a lot of you who aren't photographers. You are receiving images from any and all vendors with different styles and it is SO difficult to keep your feed looking intentional. For AWS I decided that a great way to keep the feed looking cohesive amidst the variety of images and styles, was to insert a plain image in between. You can see it here! I chose to do all white with a caption, word or quote on it to keep it looking clean and streamlined. But you could always insert a few different backgrounds as long as they match your brand! *that's a whollleee other topic I will touch on down the road!
I hope that these little tips were helpful. There is SO much more I could write but I will leave that for another day...I mean, this blog is the first of many as I fancy myself somewhat of an Instagram Junkie and I love sharing knowledge with our community. I'll also be sharing about which content to share in your feed, topics and calls to action. As well as the importance of our websites over any other social platform, blog posts and much, much more so stay tuned!
Happy day, Melanie Xx