This is a continuation of a series of articles that will examine each of the popular social media platforms and address how to best use them to promote your food, fitness or wellness business. If you missed last week’s post on the ins and outs of Facebook marketing for the wellness industry, you can find it here. Below you will find useful tips on how to effectively utilize Instagram to grow your brand. As many of you know, Instagram recently updated its algorithm to display posts that are relationship-based and timely (as opposed to chronologically), which has caused many an Instagram user distress. In my opinion, this is actually a good thing as users are now seeing more of what they want to see. From a brand perspective, it means that you simply need to work a little smarter.
Below are timeless tips on how to best use this fast-growing, ever-changing platform to build your wellness brand:
1. Post quality photos. Photo quality matters. Period. Your Instagram photos don’t have to be professionally done (and really they shouldn’t be), but it is worthwhile to learn to create beautiful photos on your own. Also make sure that your photos are relevant to your brand. If you are a fitness professional, show off how much of a badass you are by striking a tough pose or showing off your bod; if your product/service is food, make sure that every photo you post is well lit and looks scrumptious. A former co-worker of mine used to say, “it should make you want to take a bite out of the screen.” Wellness professionals can focus on philosophies (the Instagram community loves quotes!); behind the scenes, team and events photos; and new tools, techniques and products.
2. Develop a content strategy. How will you best visualize your brand message and drive sales through the use of pictures? Make sure that your content is on brand, consistent and has an unwavering aesthetic. I usually work with my clients to create structure around their Instagram strategy by determining three categories of relevant content, a consistent aesthetic and posting schedule.
3. Use hashtags. Hashtags have become even more important with the new algorithm. Use wellness-focused hashtags to extend the reach of each post, to gain new followers and to find other users with whom to engage. You can search popular hashtags as you post or find them on a site such as top-hashtags.
4. Direct your posts to your content and drive conversion. This one is a little tricky since Instagram doesn’t allow links within posts. However, you can post a link in your profile and guide your followers there. Make sure there is something valuable on the other side of that link, such as an awesome discount, a free guide, or a killer workout video. You can also use this page to capture email addresses from your followers to help turn them into future clients.
5. Engage. In my experience, engagement is the most important component of any social media strategy. Make sure you are liking and commenting on other user’s photos, answering comments on your own photos and asking your followers to engage with you through contests, questions and clever calls-to-action.
6. Analyze. There is one caveat to creating a content strategy and sticking to it. If no one is engaging with your content (liking, commenting, clicking on link, etc.), then you need to re-evaluate. Determine what content makes your tribe tick by evaluating engagement and amplify the use of this content.
7. Collaborate with friends and like-minded individuals to post about why your content/service adds value to their lives. Make sure they tag you in it! You can also pay (or barter a service with) Instagram influencers to share your services with their networks.
If you’re so excited that you think every professional that you know should have access to this information, then make sure to send this to a friend.