After interviewing Nathan Chan founder of Foundr Magazine, we got a little bit excited about Instagram.
His following on there is exploding, like literally. The @foundrmagazine account grew by over 60,000 followers in the last month alone! But it’s not just bots and fake accounts, this is a platform Nathan is using to send tens of thousands of leads into his funnel and turning them into a multiple 6-figure business.
He’s written a lot about how he does it, so we delved into everything he has put out and put together the 10 most powerful hacks for you.
It’s time to think about Instagram differently. Let’s go.
1. Start using powerful mobile tools to generate quote images
There are a number of apps in the market that perform different functions. So to be able to create the content you need, the chances are that you will need a few apps. Though you might favour a few over others. Here are a few that help with designing content.
Nathan Chan believes that any company could consider posting quotes over images.
Because they are engaging and a recognizable element for followers of your brand. Nathan says they have built their following on @FoundrMagazine through inspirational quotes, questions and content. This is a technique that Dan Norris has used effectively to grow his Instagram following on @thedannorris from 400 to 4000 followers in the past few months.
Typorama: This is an iOS app that makes it easy to find and design content. You can get access to royalty free images from Pixabay to use. The app also allows you to overlay text on images you select.
WordSwag: This is an alternative to Typorama. WordSwag does give you some preloaded quotes to choose from but also allows you to add text to images and place a watermark over your image for branding.
Photofy: Have an Android device? Then this app allows you to do very much the same as Typorama. You can use common “stickers” or free form text to overlay text over images.
Instaquote: This app allows you to create quotes and repost content from others and even create a collage out of your photos.
2. Start networking on the platform
When using Instagram for business communicating with other Instagram accounts is necessary for growth and engagement. Reach out to those who have liked your post in the past as the chances are that they will again and there maybe opportunities in working together.
If you have been on Instagram in the entrepreneurship circles then you would have seen Nathan’s new Instagram PDF’s just about everywhere. How?
He has been actively networking for the past year and has relationships with the big players.
So how can you start networking?
Use Kik. Kik is a messenger app that is more popular than the Instagram messenger and is a great place also to broker share for share (S4S) and paid shoutouts.
3. Use the unicorn strategy
Wouldn’t it be great to create content that you know your desired audience will like and engage with?
This is where Ink361 comes in. You can use it to find out what content works well on accounts that share audiences similar to yours. Once you have that information you can create winning content along similar lines.
4. Design to capture attention
A good instagram post is not just using a photo, applying a filter, adding some text if need be and then posting to Instagram. It needs to be well crafted with purpose and intent. Being a visual social network obviously design of the post is really important. Nathan says that images that do well on Instagram, generally speaking do well because they trigger an emotion in the audience.
Whether it is a quote or a product consider the ways in which it can displayed. With a product for example you could frame the product in a certain way or add other items to accompany the product.
BlackMilk clothing a fashion label in Australia, posts creative shots showcasing their latest releases, often garnering in excess of 5000 likes per post.
Foundrmagazine posts quotes with a number of different backgrounds and at times mixes textures and colors to create eye-catching posts.
5. Ensure you post at optimal times
There are 2 things to keep in mind as you post to Instagram: your audience’s time zone and what time they most often check their Instagram feeds.
But how do you discover the best time for your audience?
The best way to find out would be to use a tool like Iconosquare. Iconosquare not only provides you with insights into the best days and times to post but also provides insights into the post’s life span. When you post a lot you’ll get the hang of when the most active time is.
Knowing the best time and day to share a post can dramatically affect the engagement you receive. To ensure you maximize engagement schedule your posts in advance for times when your audience is most engaged. Tools like Latergramme and Viraltag can help. You can upload photos from your desktop and schedule them for posting to Instagram.
6. Be consistent with your post content and schedule
It is not uncommon for brands to post content on their accounts multiple times a day and in some cases up to once per hour. Most people, however, post a few times a week. Keeping a regular posting schedule is important is something your followers will appreciate.
Consistency also applies to the kind of content you post. If you are looking to grow your following, you need to ensure that your audience can quickly gauge what your page is all about quickly. Your audience will appreciate consistency in content themes and will begin to trust your account for meeting their expectations.
So determine what aspects of your brand you would like to highlight in your instagram content. Then build or source content around those themes.
Take for example the posts you find on @Foundrmagazine. The account posts content that encourages novice entrepreneurs and resources to help them grow their business.
Dunkin Donuts on the other hand has a colorful feed that puts their products front and center. Just about all of their posts show off regular and seasonal offerings which are tied to major holidays and events.
7. Change your profile link regularly
There is only one place that you can add a link to your profile, and that is to your profile description. So use the caption area to point people to the link in your profile.
Mashable, for example, changes their link when they post a new photo to Instagram. Mashable uses the caption area to give readers a reason to click.
8. Keep your links short and fresh
One of the drawbacks with Instagram is that analytics are weak and tracking clicks from your bio link is hard. This is where a link shortener like Bit.ly can help. Keeping links short and memorable like the one on the Foundr account – http://foundrmag/free also helps.
It can be hard to track clicks and links over a period with Bit.ly, so create fresh links per period. That way you can keep an eye on the results of your activity and the number of click-throughs.
9. Pick your hashtags carefully
If you use hashtags that are too common, they can get lost in the flood of content. So use relevant hashtags and use them sparingly.
It is also worth searching for related hashtags that are already being used on Instagram to search for niche hashtags or official hashtag streams that you may not know about. The Search and Explore feature shows trending hashtags of the day. A good practice to avoid your post looking too spammy is to add your hashtags into your first comment reply and not on the main post.
Madewell a fashion brand wanted to connect with people interested in traveling or in short holidays. So instead of featuring their products alone, they showed a picture that relates to traveling with a travel accessory their followers might aspire to wear. They also used a hashtag that travellers are likely to use.
10. Do shoutout for shoutouts (S4S)
Nathan advocates using shoutouts for shoutouts (S4S). With S4S you get people behind other accounts to post your image, tag you and mention you in the caption. This can be done by paying people or doing a trade.
For example in the post below @thedannorris gives a shoutout to @secrets2success to promote them.
You can get started by looking for accounts that share a similar audience to yours. You can also look for accounts with a similar or bigger following than yours in order to do a mutually beneficial trade.
How do you find these accounts?
Just type in keywords in the Instagram user search area or do web searches around your industry or niche.
Once you have found these pages contact the owners privately (via direct message or email) or publicly (by commenting on their posts) to ask for an S4S.
You can also follow specific hashtags and see who is posting on that hashtags to find accounts that might be open to an S4S trade.
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