Is Instagram The Right Platform For Your Blog Or Small Business?
Whether you are a seasoned Instagram user or new to the idea, read these words of wisdom from Rosie Aikenhead. She has mastered the technique needed to maintain a great account and shares some very valuable information you can use to build your Instagram business account.
This is a question I get asked a great deal and I’m going to do my very best to answer. Firstly, a little bit about me. I started the account @slimmingworldrecipes back in 2013 with the grand total of 0 followers (wahay, go me). Fast forward to 2018, and it has just over 213k followers, a sister Facebook page and also a new-ish blog called Rosie and the Recipes where I list all of my creations. So I’m probably well positioned to be an advocate of Instagram, seeing as it was where I started out! I believe it’s worked well for me for a number of reasons, but that it is not the right platform for everyone. So before you start out on Instagram, or if you are already on there but not having much success, I recommend addressing the following questions.
1. Are you passionate about what you’re already talking about on your blog?
If yes, that’s a good start. My Instagram account was never meant to be a ‘roaring success’. I started the account because I love cooking and I was motivated to lose weight by sharing my recipe ideas. The followers spiralled from there and there only. To come across as authentic on Instagram, you have to be genuine, passionate and honest.
2. Is Instagram definitely the right platform?
I’ve had other businesses and bloggers say to me before, ‘I don’t know why I’m getting no likes on Instagram,’ only to find out that they’re a plumbing blog taking pictures of pipes all day long. Remember that Instagram’s three biggest categories of interest are travel, food/ drink and fashion/retail - in that order. If your business isn’t translatable to those three groups, you might have difficulty. That’s not to say it can’t be done, of course. If your blog is outside of these categories though, it’s likely that a chatty Twitter account or a professional Facebook page will work better for you.
3. Who is your audience and do you know where to find them?
The other common problem I hear from bloggers and small businesses is that they don’t know who they should be creating their posts for. You might have tons of traffic to your blog page or website, but no knowledge at all about who is actually reading it. If this is the case, I recommend you poll your family and friends on Facebook and ask them what age group and gender your blog appeals to. This is quite important when it comes to your tone of voice on Instagram plus which hashtags you use. Once you have these, start following accounts that are similar to what you’re trying to do. So, if you’re a food blogger focused on vegetarian food, try looking at accounts like Life of a Vegetarian and other similar accounts. See what hashtags they’re using, and copy them. You can also try following the people that have commented positively on their photos.
4. Do you have access to plenty of relevant images?
Instagram is different to other social platforms because it leads by great images.
If you’re an explorer out and about every day or weekend with your blog, you shouldn’t have an issue finding great images to go with your posts. Instagram has unhelpfully changed its new algorithm, meaning it matters more than ever what your photos look like. Remember what I mentioned above about the categories that perform the best and bear this in mind. If you don’t have lots of appropriate images, will you be writing motivational messages in your images instead? Typorama is really helpful for this if so.
So if you’ve comfortably answered the above questions and still decided Instagram is the right platform for you, it’s time to get started or adjust what you’re currently doing to get more followers and higher engagement. Sneak peak on that second piece starts with ‘ask questions and comment back.’ I’ll be doing another blog post on this very soon, so stay tuned!