If you’re not already using Pinterest for your business, now is the time! Pinterest can be used for B2B and B2C sales and is one of the fastest growing social platforms out there. It’s also being used more and more as a search engine, so now’s the time to jump on board!
Using Pinterest to find your recipes and DIY projects is great, but using it to increase traffic is even better. The key to increasing your traffic though, first lies in getting people to find your pins and click on them. That’s where keywords come in.
Here are 7 places to use keywords on Pinterest to increase your visibility.
Profile: your username, bio and business name are all places to use keywords that will help people find you.
Boards: update your title & description to include keywords and 2-3 key hashtags
Pin Descriptions: update your descriptions to include up to 500 keywords and at least 2-3 keywords and hashtags
Pin Titles: Include keywords in your titles
Image name: just like website SEO, use keywords to name your images
Hashtags: limit this to just a few relevant hashtags in your descriptions
Image text: if you’re adding images with text, make sure to use keywords in the image.
Use keywords to increase your visibility on Pinterest.
Over 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day.
Is Reels really the next big thing? Given the success of Instagram & their efforts, plus the likeness of Reels to the highly successful Tik Tok, all signs are pointing to YES.
But is using Reels really the right thing for your business? How do you use them? And WHAT do you even post on there anyways? Let’s dive in…
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH REELS?
Reels are Instagram’s latest venture, launched in over 50 countries. They are a short video platform within the Instagram app that lets you highlight 15 second videos, or compilation of videos set to music.
Reels are drawing a comparison to Tik Tok with good reason. These short videos allow for users & businesses to share informal content in a fun and engaging way, aligned to music.
Because Reels are located within the Instagram app, they are easy to locate and navigate to, but much is still unknown – including how they are impacted by the algorithm.
WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD BE ON REELS
History has shown us that being an early adopter on social platoforms can be beneficial. As Instagram is rolling this new feature out, there is less competition and potentially more reward. While we don’t know that early adoption can lead to success, being up there using the latest trends is a way to get your brand noticed while using a new and fun way to engage with your audience.
Reels are highlighted on individual profiles, but also on the coveted Explore page. The Explore page is again drawing comparison to Tik Tok’s FYP (For you page.) Because there is less competition, and the algorithm is likely still working itself out, NOW is your chance to hit that explore page.
Reels also offers you another chance to connect with your audience in a new way. Because Tik Tok has a relatively younger audience, Reels may tap into that audience combined with Instagram’s current audience making for a huge potential audience of your existing Instagram customers + a potentially younger demographic too.
HOW TO USE REELS
Here’s a step by step breakdown. Keep in mind that you can either use pre-recorded short videos, or you can record videos within the app to create your Reels. But 15 seconds is your total amount of time.
To navigate from your ‘Home page”, click the camera icon in the top left. Then, on the bottom of your screen, swipe over from Story to Reels. Now you’re ready to create!
The left hand side is your navigation. You can add music, speed up or slow down the video speed + add effects like in your IG Stories. You can also set a self-timer to ensure you record the length of time you see fit.
To add an existing video, click on the square in the bottom left. Or, you can record a new one using the camera icon in the bottom middle.
Once you have your video you can crop the video and then click the check mark.
Add videos up until 15 seconds total, then click on the right bottom arrow. Now is your chance to edit the video by adding stickers, using the drawing tool or by adding text.
Add your text, and then you can edit the time it appears & disappears on your Reel. Using the white sides of the bottom timer, squeeze in or move in order to only have your text available when you WANT it to be. When previewing your video, text that is transparent means it will not appear in the final video.
Once your edits are complete, click the arrow and come to the Share page. Here you can edit your cover, share to your IG feed, Reels and/or Instagram Stories. Write your caption & add those hashtags!
Once you’re ready –> share to your story, or hit Share to share on your new Reels. Bonus: you can also share to your feed for additional visibility!
5 IDEAS TO POST ON REELS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Keep in mind, Reels are a mashup of videos, so if you have pictures you want to use, add some animated GIFs to them to turn them into short videos in Canva or another program you like. Create a storyline to plan out your Reel, then get started! Here are a few ideas for you:
Share a tip on how to create something
Share a behind the scenes look at your day
Show yourself, your team, your business in a fun and engaging way.
Show off your products in a fun way. Show how you use them in your house, wear them, eat them, serve them, etc.
Use User Generated Content to create a highlight Reel of how your customers love/use your product.
Give them the customer experience. Show off your space & service and show them what the experience would be like as if they are there with you.
Lastly, keep Reels fun. They are meant to be another way to engage and form relationships, so always keep that in mind. Get creative, don’t overthink it and HAVE FUN!
You are a busy business owner with way too much on your plate. I get it, trust me. Maybe you keep hearing things out there on Instgram like “want to gain 50k real followers??” and then in fine print “for only $300” and it’s tempting, oh so tempting.
Because having a high follower count is the gold standard in having a successful Instagram, right? WRONG. Having an engaged following is the gold standard and what you should be striving for. Why? Because engaged audiences are interested in what you’re offering, they want to get to know your business, and they help with the algorithm. They are also more likely to share about you with their own followers!
My approach when I work with clients, and in my own social media, is to build a community that is engaged, active and listening because they want to hear what YOU have to say.
But sometimes, you just want to sell your products and call it a day, am I right? Either way, crafting a successful Instagram that creates VALUE for your business can be boiled down to a few key things. And, don’t get me wrong, growth is important. Having a hashtag strategy is important. But unless you get the basics right, the layers on top of that just won’t work effectively.
Here are my 5 tips to improve your Instagram for your business right now.
Content is King. You may have heard this before, but what does it actually mean? Content is the reason people follow you. Are you providing value to your community through your feed?
Value will look different based on the type of business you are, but it’s important to post about what your audience WANTS and NEEDS to hear. How do you know this? You can look at your Instagram insights to see what type of content performs the best. You can also ask your audience! Try creating a poll in your IG Stories to see what they want to hear from you, or even create a post, and then deliver that to them.
Some examples of value-add might be providing tips on how to use your products, recipes, how-tos, behind the scenes to let them get to know you and your business, etc. A clothing store owner I met with recently shared how she will post stories of her trying on the clothes in her store, and show them on different body types to give customers a chance to see what the clothes actually look like. She also gives detailed product overviews so customers know what they are getting, especially for online purchases.
The key point is, give your audience a reason to follow you. This will look different for everyone, but it’s important to listen and share.
CONNECT & BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
I say this a lot on my Instagram, but on social media the key is…drumroll please…to be SOCIAL. I know, it seems crazy 😉 But here’s the point…Instagram gives you all the tools you need to be successful at creating genuine relationships with your community, use them!
Connection looks like responding to comments in your posts, having genuine conversations in DM, responding to IG Stories’ polls and creating your own. I like to think of this as networking, just in a slightly different way than we might be used to. Choose the way you respond to your community as how you would respond in real-life. Would you flash a smiley emoji to someone who paid your business a compliment if you met them in a coffee shop? Probably not, so don’t do it in your comments either!
But it’s not enough to do it on your own feed. Cultivate relationships with accounts you follow. Provide valuable insight, compliments or suggestions in other’s feeds too. This will help build connections, and will also help your own engagement on your feed.
[I spy my friends Christin & Amber, and co-hosts of our podcast Inspire the Vibe Podcast up there. If you don’t know these ladies, check them out @inspirethevibe. They are part of my network and a great example of building a connected community!]
BE YOURSELF & SHOW YOURSELF
People buy from people they trust. Heard this before? If you have, it’ for good reason. Showing ourselves is such a pivotal part of the way we show up on social media for our business.
Selling is an important part of marketing, but the way you do it is critical to the success of your strategy. You have to give your community a reason to want to buy from you. Show them your proof, your successes and value – but also, show them YOU or your team. People want to buy from someone they trust, and if you don’t show yourself – they don’t know who to trust.
Customers also want to get a view of what your business looks like behind the scenes. Show them an informal look via your stories of a day in the life, your to do list, your morning rituals, team meetings, etc. This is another chance for your community to get to know your business, build trust but also build brand loyalty
BUILD A CONSISTENT BRAND ACROSS ONLINE PLATFORMS
Branding is critical to any marketing strategy, but it isn’t just a simiple logo. Branding is part of what captures peoples’ attention and makes them pause. While a logo is definitely important, you also want to align the following to build brand recognition and help your customers instantly recognize you online:
Keep in mind that Instagram is highly visual, so you’ll want to style your content with a mix of images and graphics that are aligned with your branding. But your brand isn’t just visual. Part of your brand is YOU. So build your brand loyalty by tapping into your community through connection and sharing images of the faces behind the brand (see above points.)
USE TOOLS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Take a minute to Google “social media tools” and you will find approximately 3.25 million tools out there at your disposal (ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). I feel like at this point I’ve tried almost that many, so I’ll save you a little time. Here are my all time favorite and most-used tools for Instagram to simplify my life AND make a great feed.
Creator Studio or Planoly for scheduling. Creator Studio is a Facebook app, so no risk of problems with 3rd party applications. Both let you schedule & pull insights, but while I prefer Planoly overall for the many tools – I typically use Creator Studio because it’s not a 3rd party.
VSCO or LightRoom for editing images. Super easy to save your favorite filters or edits for a consistent look across your feed.
VideoLab – I LOVE this video editing tool. It has a ton of options, is reasonably priced and gives me great videos that I can use in a variety of places. Plus it’s all on my phone!
Repost app. I use this when I want to repost (with permission!) any User Generated Content (UGC) for my clients. It simplifies the process.
Canva. It’s my most-used app to create graphics for just about anything, and it’s super easy to use. I create Instagram/Facebook images, highlight covers, stories, Pinterest Pins, headers for emails and blogs and SO MUCH MORE! You won’t regret spending some time learning this one.
And there you have it. Just a quick download of some of my biggest recommendations when it comes to Instagram, plus some tools I use to simplify my life AND create a beautiful feed.
Want more tips & tricks? Follow me on Instagram @ktsocialmedia
Let’s say I’m looking for a family photographer in Orange County, and YOU are a family photographer in OC. How will I find you on Instagram?
👎If you add a generic hashtag like #family or #photographer (which has over 172 million posts), more than likely your ideal client is NOT going to find you & you’ll get lost in the mix.
👍Now let’s say you use your location & profession and post #orangecountyphotographer or #orangecountyfamilyphotographer. Those numbers are much more reasonable and your ideal customer is way more likely to find you.
😰Are you use hashtags the right way? Do you feel confused about the purpose, how to use them, when to use them, etc?
🤩IF you use hashtags right, they can increase your reach and ultimately help you grow. I heard them referred to once as the yellow pages of IG, and it’s so true! I’ve found so many restaurants, blogs, businesses on here and it’s now the 1st place I go to find a new business.
View the slideshow to below to see some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to using hashtags, and how you can use them the right way.
5 reasons why your hashtags aren’t working for you.
Your hashtags are too generic. Research hashtags to make them specific and searchable like the example above.
Small fish in a big pond? Or maybe you’re not. Either way, it’s hard to stand out in a crowded pool of millions of posts.
Engagement will always be critical, and engaging within the hashtags is no less important.
Your hashtags aren’t what your ideal client would be searching for. Research what your audience would be searching, and use those on relevant posts.
Don’t fall into the spam trap! If you post the exact same ones every time, Instagram will punish you. Change them up & make them relevant.
Do you use hashtags the right way? Or do you need more help utilizing them to your advantage? Message me or check out my Instagram @ktsocialmedia for more tips & tricks.
Do you remember wayyyy back in elementary school when we were first taught how to write an interesting short essay? ✍️
It was: hook, 3-5 key arguments or points, and a conclusion. Then we had to include our references. Ring a bell or have you blocked that from your memory? 😆
Well, writing a caption isn’t allll that different. Let me break down my process for you👇
🔹HOOK your followers with an interesting statistic, quote, question, etc. This should invite them to WANT to read more. Just make sure it’s relevant to the topic.
🔹Provide your insight, story, tips, information as clearly and concisely as possible.
🔹ALWAYS include a call to action. What do you WANT your followers to do when they finish reading? Comment below, tag a friend, click the link in your bio, etc. Spell this one out clearly.
🔹Tag your relevant businesses or friends & include those hashtags (up to 30)! This is a key way to grow your account with the RIGHT types of followers. Think of hashtags as the yellow pages of Instagram, and incude them in your posts so people can find your business.
🔹Geo-tag where relevant! This is another great tool to use to help people find you. What’s a geo-tag? Your location! Adding in your city to your post can help people find you, and increases engagement too.
Oh and SPACE THOSE CAPTIONS OUT. Jumbling a ton of words together makes it harder to read (i.e. remember that kid with the really bad handwriting??) and your audience may give up on reading it.
How to plan out your content
When I first started in social media a few years back, I would spend hours every day trying to create content, write captions, etc. I would get writers block often, because I couldn’t think of anything to say. It was honestly exhausting, and super inefficient.
So, I came up with my little system that helps save time & keeps my creative juices flowing – thanks to Google Sheets! By keeping my strategy organized, I’m able to have a great system in place with clients too. 🙌
I store my list of content categories, my hashtags, my dates & times to post in a google sheet & update it regularly based on insights, and refreshed hashtag research. This gives me a chance to look at my entire week (or even month) and figure out what to post and when.