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Okay, let me take you back a few days. I thought it would be great I stole the idea to do a “12 Days of Christmas” themed giveaway on Instagram for my business. Remember my thoughts on doing original things.

Actually, I’m still in the process of giving away this stuff. How, you may ask?

Instagram.

For those wondering, I deactivated my Facebook for close to 2 years ago now and have never used Instagram or Twitter in any meaningful way until only a few days ago. I am in no way an expert on this stuff.

That said, I was given a couple of awesome pointers at the outset and now have a few great insights of my own to share that I think can help get people start to quickly build a community on Instagram.

Before you start using Instagram – a few pointers I got

So this first one is actually from me – this is another project or activity you are committing to. Hopefully it will increase your reach and visibility, and improve your community.

But social media is not something that should be approached any less seriously than any other part of your business. Make sure you have the attention to respond to people throughout the day if you decide to use Instagram, or other social platforms.

1. There are 2 types of people…those who read…

A large portion of your activity will be people engaging in your content by just “liking” it as they scroll through an endless sea of content. Your content will need to:

  • Be visually appealing
  • Have a clear call to action, if any
  • Engage / Inform quickly in your post

You can’t rely on any more than half of people to ever read your posts, and that may be incredibly generous.

Tactically, you can use the “add to story” option to create visually appealing pictures and edit existing images to add text, links, etc. Then, take a screenshot and edit to upload the image as a regular post instead of a story that will fall away in time.

I’m going to have to explore the benefits of stories more later… I’m only just posting regularly for now, since I think they disappear? Like I said I’m new!

2. Use emojis. Seriously – you feel stupid at first, and they totally work

For whatever reason, people place a TON of meaning behind emojis. It can be personal meaning unique to that individual or a shared group meaning across the world. That’s powerful – those meanings cause emotional reactions from people, and tapping into that (even accidentally) will help drive interaction and response – or engagement.

Use emojis to set the tone of your message, or just use them as a “non sequitur”. Can’t think of a good emjoi to use in 10-15 seconds, or can’t find one reasonably quickly? Just grab something random and crazy. Be tasteful, but you can learn which emojis cause different reactions over time.

3. Hashtags really matter on Instagram

A ton, in fact. Over 95% of my inbound visitors were based solely off of hashtags. For a new account, this alone should make you take notice.

If you’re looking to bootstrap a following quickly, you need to spam the bottom of your posts with hashtags. The more the better. 15….20….more – whatever you can think of. If you’re struggling with suggested hashtags, find similarly-niched accounts with better numbers and use those!!

So there you have it – the 3 secrets of Instagram from someone with 20 followers and a 4 day old account!

  • Visually appealing posts
  • Solid Emoji game
  • #HashtagEverything

I look forward to learning more and opening up my account to some analysis in future posts!