Despite the incredible continued growth of Instagram as a social media platform, it remains overlooked by many as an effective means of engaging others for the purpose of marketing expertise, services and products. For whatever reason, Instagram still lives in the shadow of Facebook and Twitter as a business-promoting platform, its photo and video sharing capabilities not seen as a being all that beneficial in terms of marketing.
Well, if you’re active on Instagram as an author, you know full well the huge benefits of being so. You have undoubtedly shared, with a huge audience, images of your book and videos of your interactions at live events, and probably both. In addition, you’ve promoted events you’re hosting or a participant in; you’ve offered giveaways as a great way of ensuring continued engagement, and you’ve ensured your Instagram presence links directly to all your other social media platforms to keep the conversation going.
However, if you’ve yet to hop aboard the Instagram train, the good news is today is as good a day as any to do just that. Better yet, it’s incredibly simple. To that end, let’s get started.
Download the Instagram Mobile Device App: Instagram does not have a desktop version that includes all the functions of the app. You can view content on Instagram’s website but you can’t upload it via your desktop. Instagram is available for free via both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Create an Instagram Account: Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s time to create your account. When you open the app, you’ll have two choices – log in with Facebook or sign up with phone or email. Don’t go the Facebook login route. Sign up with a business email to ensure your profile isn’t linked with your personal Facebook account. Next, enter your details. Your full name is the name that will be displayed on your profile, it isn’t your account username or handle. Enter your actual business name, or even your book’s title, so your profile is recognizable to visitors.
Select a User Name: You’ll be prompted to choose a user name. Your user name is unique to your profile and allows other accounts to engage with your brand. Pick a user name that is recognizable and easy to find. If your business name is taken, try to keep the first part of your business name in your user name. You can update your username later in your account settings should you want to change it at some point.
Choosing the Right Profile Photo: Your profile picture will be one of the first things people see when searching for, and visiting, your profile, so keep your image consistent with your branding and visual markers. Consider using your logo or another familiar image, such as your book cover. Notice that your profile image is circular. Instagram automatically crops your photo to fit inside the circle so leave room around the corners of your image.
Optimizing Your Instagram Bio: It’s time to optimize your Instagram bio. Instagram bios are restricted to a 150-character maximum so you need to be direct and concise. Tell your audience who you are and what you do using a hint of personality. Don’t worry about trying to use keywords and hashtags because they aren’t searchable on your bio. Your bio can also encourage users to take a specific action like using a certain hashtag or visiting your website.
Your bio is the only place where you can feature a clickable URL and drive traffic to an external site. It’s common for businesses to update their featured URL to align with their most recent post. If you decide to add a link, be sure use a link shortener like Bitly to keep your profile from looking cluttered and to better understand the amount of traffic the social network is driving to your campaigns or website.
Managing Your Settings: Be sure to update your account settings. Click on the small gear (dots if you’re using an Android) icon in the upper right-hand corner of your profile. There you’ll be able to do things like change your password, check out posts you’ve liked, enable notifications and much more. Here are a few things you should check out right away:
• Story Settings: You can manage who can see and reply to your Instagram posts in Story Settings. It’s best you allow all your followers to see and reply to your posts to increase brand engagement. • Switch to Business Profile: Instagram has new business tools feature. It allows users to identify themselves as a business, making it easy for his or her audience to contact them. Business profiles also provide more in-depth insights and make it easier for you to promote content. One note – your business must have a Facebook business page to switch to an Instagram business profile. • Keep Account Public: Instagram will automatically set your profile to public. Do not adjust this. You want users to be able to automatically see your posts and follow your business without any obstacles. • Comments: Receiving comments on your content is exciting and encouraging but certain comments may go against your values or offend your audience. Instagram can automatically hide comments that contain certain keywords or phrases. For example, you may way to hide comments that contain offensive expletives. To do this, you must enter the specific words and phrases into your Instagram settings and turn on the feature.
Now that you’re a member of the massive and still growing Instagram community, it’s time to put the platform to work promoting your book and your stature as an expert on its content, all while engaging your audience and leaving them wanting more. At the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about.
HAMID SAFAEI: Instagram Activity Takes Author and Executive Coach to Another Level as Interactions Bring New Opportunities
Until he published his book First-Class Leadership: How Highly Effective Teams Can Achieve Breakthrough Results, executive coach Hamid Safaei’s Instagram account was a non-starter.
That changed dramatically when Hamid began sharing his views, ideas and quotes, along with images and videos, on the social media platform.
“The more I use it, the more people visit my website www.first-class-leadership.com and subscribe to the services offered,” says Hamid.
“The coaching questions I ask are really engaging. For example, I asked ‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’ About half an hour after that post, a dozen people had subscribed to my website.”
While also on LinkedIn and Facebook, Hamid has noticed that whatever he posts on Instagram, it generates new subscribers. He says his other social media posts have not had that effect.
According to Hamid, there are a few reasons Instagram has brought him such terrific results – it’s popular, it’s convenient, and it’s easy to use and navigate.
“Start posting on Instagram. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll arrive.”
Of Persian descent, Hamid has lived in The Netherlands for more than 15 years. With a deep passion to create a better world with better leaders, he wrote First-Class Leadership based on his personal experiences working with political and corporate leaders.
Cheering for Hamid’s first-class marketing techniques! A wise way to achieve breakthrough results!
SANDRA LIN: How Instagram Magically Transformed Health and Wellness Coach to an Acclaimed Influencer
A Sydney-based author and health/wellness coach, Sandra Lin explores holistic healing alternatives in her book Cell Magic: How to Heal Yourself (The New Health Guide) as well as shares her experiences with eczema, skin infection, food intolerance and candida overgrowth.
With close to 11,000 followers on Instagram, Sandra has used to the globe-spanning social media platform to not only build her profile but also make invaluable connections.
“Instagram has allowed me to connect with people in the industry as well as other like-minded people to do cross collaborations,” says Sandra.
Sandra highly recommends all authors have an Instagram account to build a following and connect with potential customers as well as test their market.
“It’s a fantastic way for your audience to connect with you as they can comment on your posts or send you a direct message immediately. Having a presence on Instagram before my book release helps me feel confident that I already have an audience supporting me. That is less daunting than not knowing if my book will be well accepted.”
Learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at http://cell-magic.com. In addition, you can connect with Sandra on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/sandralin8888 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Cell-Magic-1896789907212335.
Being a recognized authority brings waves and waves of success! Congratulations, Sandra!
Your book is terrific; its content an invaluable resource for anyone looking for more information on your subject matter. You know that or you wouldn’t have written it.
But as noted in previous editions of The Power of Performance Newsletter, that’s not nearly enough. Until you take advantage of every opportunity to market your book and your knowledge of its subject matter to a mass audience, you’re selling yourself short.
Instagram’s influence can’t be ignored. With some 800 million registered users, more than half of who browse the platform daily, your Instagram footprint must be clear for all to see and engage with. Another day holding off on setting up an Instagram account is one day too many. The time to get started is now.
We’ve provided some basic approaches to starting and maintaining an effective Instagram presence. It speaks further to how you can get the most out of your Instagram account in relation to your overall marketing strategy.
Again, an investment of your time is your only cost. But not only can you afford to be on Instagram – you can’t afford to not be.
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