Asking For a Friend | Chapter 49
Advice from Babe to Babe
In this day and age, there’s a lot we do for the ‘gram. Work is one of them. In a landscape of constantly changing algorithms, hashtags, and trends, the BWH advice gurus are here to help you master Instagram.
The algorithm sucks, and it’s only getting worse for engagement. What I’ve come to learn is that it’s more about you genuinely reaching out to, commenting, liking, and being interested in your followers’ accounts, being consistent with posting—if it’s every day, every other day, etc.—and just showing up with great content. And the number-on tip: use a scheduling platform. Batch your content and prep for three to four weeks, that way you can focus on your audience and not on last-minute posting.
—Chynna Ratner, BABE #48
Aside from the basics (proper use of hashtags, showing up consistently, providing value, etc.), start looking for micro-influencers to partner with. Since you just started your business, I'm going out on a limb and assuming you don't have a huge marketing budget yet. There are lots of micro-influencers who still accept product in exchange for posts. With micro-influencers, you'll also have a better chance of your product getting in front of people that actually care about what you're doing. When searching for influencers to partner with, make sure their audience aligns with yours and always have a contract that outlines the details of your partnership.
—Ashleigh Kluck, Contributor
You’re 100 percent right about Instagram being necessary to your business. As a photographer, Instagram is free advertising for you! Past and future clients can see your best work immediately and if they like what they see, can book an appointment with you on your website link in your profile. I’d suggest sharing your favorite photos as a start. In the caption, tell people what you like about the picture, so your followers can get a feel for who you are as a person and as a photographer. Sharing with the e-world is hard if you’ve never done it before, but because Instagram is more of a visual medium, you can share a picture that speaks a thousand words and write just a couple of words below it to really emphasize your point.
—Shannon Rose Greene, BABE #247
There are two roads you can take here: If your heart's truly not in it when it comes to Instagram, chances are it will show in the content you publish. Ask yourself why you don't like it. Does writing captions leave you hitting the delete button every five seconds? Does creating a cohesive feed send your anxiety through the roof? Telling a story through photos and captions is a muscle that has to be flexed consistently, so I would recommend sitting down one day each week to plan out the next week's posts. Think of them as "seasons" and choose five to seven topics you want to talk about. If doing this doesn't have you feeling better about the 'gram, or you have it in your budget to do so now, hire a social media manager who's worked with a photographer before.
—Ashleigh Kluck, CONTRIBUTOR
Instagram is so important for businesses, especially ones that deal with a visual medium. My advice is to decide how often you want to post (*cough*, at least three times per week) and batch out your posts into monthly schedules. Use a service like Later to preschedule all your posts so you just have to push them through the day-of. This way you're only spending a few hours, one day a month getting your content together and "doing social media." Of course, you'll need to keep up with comments and DMs, but at least you're not having to rack your brain for what to post on the fly. This method will also help you create a beautifully and thoughtfully curated grid. If that seems like it's still too much, hire someone!
—Kayla Beckmann Barnhart, BABE #85
Something most people forget is that social media is an extension of the brand. There should be basic brand guidelines to follow when it comes to content, the tone or voice of the captions/responses and what message or idea you’re trying to convey. It’s always easier to establish these things in the beginning, rather than looking back and changing things after you’ve started really creating a brand identity.
—Chynna Ratner, BABE #48
Start learning all you can about Instagram for business. There are free resources all over the internet, but the Later blog is my personal favorite. One of the main pointers I can give you when it comes to copywriting is to begin each post with an attention-grabbing headline and end with a call to action, always. Keep in mind that CTAs aren't always, "click the link in our bio." It can also be, "tag a friend who needs to read this." When it comes to hashtags, put a branded one in the bio and never use a hashtag in your post that has over a million uses. When hashtags have been used that much, there's a really good chance your post will never been seen. Stick to hashtags that have thousands, not millions, of uses.
—Ashleigh Kluck, CONTRIBUTOR
If I'm being honest, as a social media agency owner, it annoys me to hear companies think so little of the power of social that they task someone with no experience to handle it (no offense). But, might as well make lemons into some sort of lemonade! Start by creating a mini social strategy. Call a meeting with whomever should be involved and ask them what they envision for their social. What social channels are they on? What's the goal of having a social media presence? What are some words they'd use to describe the look, feel, voice and tone? What companies like their own do they think do a great job on social? From there you can create a mini social strategy of the overall look/feel/tone of the company on social and identity content buckets for what you're going to post about. Putting together a strategy will show your boss you're thoughtful and taking this task seriously. It'll also help set you up for success by everyone being on the same page before you dive in. —Kayla Beckmann Barnhart, BABE #85
Until Next Week,
—THE BWH ADVICE GURUS
Asking for a Friend is Babes Who Hustle's weekly advice column that asks and answers the work-related questions on all of our minds. Looking for advice and guidance? Hit us with all of your questions below and stay tuned for next Wednesday's edition!