You’re ready for your brand to grow on Instagram, but you don’t have the funds to invest in a social media manager quite yet. And no matter where you search online, everybody is giving different advice on how to properly manage your business Instagram account. Here are five tips from a social media manager to create stunning, valuable Instagram content.
Use content pillars.
Content pillars, content categories, content buckets. They’re all the same. Content pillars are three to five topics you discuss on your social media that support your overall content strategy. For example, a PR expert could use the following content pillars on her account: PR tips, general entrepreneur tips, mindset tips, and tips for traveling as a freelancer.
Focusing on content pillars that are related to your service offerings help position you as an expert in your industry. You become the ‘go-to’ for tips on [PR, entrepreneurship, photography, Instagram, etc]. This also helps in the content creation process by having clear topics for your posts.
Have an ongoing topic note.
I get bursts to creativity in the most inconvenient of times – at dinner, on a walk, on a drive. It took one too many times of saying “I’ll just remember to create that post tomorrow” (and then subsequently forgetting the topic) before I started keeping a list of topic ideas on the Notes app on my phone! Whenever it’s time to create content, I open this note, refer to my content pillars, and create!
Start content batching.
If you struggle with creating day-of Instagram content, I highly suggest content batching your posts! Instead of rushing to create a post day-of, you set aside time at the beginning of the week/month to create all of your visual content and captions!
I host all of my pre-created content on Trello! I have all of my photos, graphics, captions, and hashtags here so I don’t have to think about any of this when I’m ready to post! Focusing on my content pillars helps me determine what content to create for that time period as well!
Use planning apps.
Once you’ve batched all of your content, you can consider using a planning tool such as UNUM, Planoly, Later, Hootsuite, or Creator Studio to schedule your content in advance.
While these apps do provide you with the freedom to post in advance, don’t leave your account running on autopilot. You should still be manually active on your account – engaging with your target audience, posting to stories, responding to comments. If you post more frequently by using planning apps but fail to engage with your community in these ways, it could do more harm than good.
Invest in brand photography & encourage UGC.
Visuals are incredibly important to represent a brand well. This is why I highly recommend hiring a professional photographer. Whether you need product photos for your business or brand headshot photos, hiring a photographer ensures your brand is captured professionally and accurately. If you post more graphics than photos, hire a graphic designer to create Instagram templates for your business.
If you’re a product-based business, you can also encourage your audience to post their own photos on Instagram and tag your company. With their permission, you could repost this image on your own social media channels for user-generated content (UGC). Toki Mats does a great job of using high-quality UGC on their Instagram account.
If managing your business Instagram account sounds like too much to handle on top of all of your other entrepreneur duties, hire a social media manager! While you may view this as a large expense in your business, it’s an investment. Social media managers increase your brand recognition, sell your product/service, build a community among your audience, and so much more. Plus, all the time you spent creating your social media content will now be free to serve clients, relax, or expand your business!