In this article, I will cover some of main elements for competently managing and growing an Instagram page, no matter what it currently looks like, its niche or if it's a personal or a reposting page.
Here they are:
1- Your Page's Profile
This is the very first aspect of your page that has to be flawless. Your page's profile must clearly portray what your page is about in a concisely informative manner.
If your page’s profile isn’t attractive, it will chase new visitors away, as it is the first thing they they will lock eyes with.
Her are the main elements to take in consideration in regards to this element:
Logo: Should be clear, aesthetically pleasing and congruent with your page's niche and theme. It should showcase yourself if you run a personal page, or about your brand, in case you're representing your business through an Instagram business page.
Username: Should be short and concise, preferably without too many numbers, dots or underscores. Not to mention it should also resonate with your page's theme. A page named "beautifulhotels" will tendentially have more credibility than a page named "Beautiful.hotels_99". Your username is changeable, which allows you to have a fair selection and opportunity for optimizing it.
Name: Instead of making your name the same as your username, which is what most people usually do, make it about a few keywords that describe what your page is all about. You should do this because names are also searchable, and that enhances the likelihood of your page being discovered, improving its SEO.
That said, your name should serve as a headline that’s interesting to page visitors of your niche, including 2 or 3 niche-related keywords. (For example, Travel | Photography | Nature).
Note: Emojis are searchable as well, so you can also include those if you want.
Bio: Should include at least 2 / 3 of the following: Your location; a catchphrase about you or your brand; a CTA towards an external website or app; what you or your business does; a link towards that website or app.
Story Highlights: Don't underestimate the effect that these have on your page. A page that has no story highlights just seems emptier nowadays and loses its "personality". Story highlights are a great way to preview or portray what your page is about, so it's like an abstract of your feed, or a set of - as the name suggests - highlights about it.
This is a great asset for business pages and for bloggers, as a way of showcasing their work or their day-to-day life.
2- Your Content Output
Content is king. This is a cliché, one that will never change. If your content is on point, the rest of the process, with all of its technicalities will be that much easier.
In case you run a reposting page, the way to properly curate content is through doing a market research - the goal is that you’re able to tell what kind of content is performing better amongst the top pages of your niche.
In order to do this, select 10 pages that you want to research and calculate the average number of likes of their last 20 posts.
Then on, every post that has at least 70% plus engagement than the average pieces of content of that same page, may be considered a post with viral potential.
If you run a reposting page, you can repost these pieces of content if they resonate with your niche and subniche (for example, if you run a page in the travel niche and you just want to focus in one country – then that’s your subniche, so a more specific thematic).
Make sure to exclusively post niche-related content, at all times, without exception.
If you run a personal page, recreate that type of content without disregarding your own personal touch, as your audience should follow your page for you - to create a deeper connection with you as a person, even if virtually - to feel like they know you just from keeping in touch with your page.
Which leads us to the third aspect:
3- Your Relationship With Your Audience
Your audience is the driving force of your page. Without one, it's just another Instagram page, and guess what: there are billions of those.
By establishing an active and significant relationship with your audience, you're very much more likely to see your engagement levels rise progressively, as well as maintain your following base as one that is loyal and participant, and that sticks with your page for an endless period.
By having your posts receive a higher engagement from "Home", you're more likely to see their hashtags' ranking improved, as hashtags' performance depends on your post's engagement levels within the first 20 to 30 minutes after posting.
This is fundamental on a branding standpoint as well, as they will be more inclined and willing to purchase whatever service or product that you may bring to the table, and they'll also serve as your allies when it comes to protecting your brand's image if your products / services are of high quality, and they will let other people know about these. They will do your marketing for you, to a certain extent.
So it really is the best out of both growth and sales' worlds.
4- Understanding Instagram's Algorithm
4.1 - Algorithmic Niche Categorization
There’s something called niche categorization, which succinctly consists in your page’s niche identity.
This identity is formed within Instagram’s algorithm. It filters your page’s action and behavior patterns since the moment you create your page.
That applies to the smallest things, such as liking a certain post, comment or message, to the type of content you post, stories you watch and engage with, hashtags and location tags you insert, pages you tag in your posts, etc.
The goal is to interact exclusively with pages that belong to your niche, and post content that is exclusively related to your niche, so that your explore page looks like a certain niche’s feed.
What this will do is put your page in a niche “box”, so that your content is more easily spread throughout other users’ explore pages who share the same interest in that type of content.
That’s how you can leverage high-quality followers from the explore page – they’re already interested in your type of content, because they too are in that niche box, which allows Instagram to recommend your content to them, by enabling it to reach their explore page and / or rank higher on bigger hashtags.
4.2 - Consistency
If you're not posting consistently, your page will hardly grow organically. Instagram's algorithm favors pages that post regularly, as it's Instagram's goal to keep their users in the platform for as long as possible. If your page is contributing to their goal, by you posting actively, and being diverse with your content output (meaning, posting in different formats and placements, such as stories, feed, IGTV, etc.), your page's health score will be right on top and so will be your organic reach, if all other elements are effectively put in place.
Such as with everything in life, No Consistency = No Growth.
5- Paid Strategies
Paid strategies are undoubtedly, more than ever, a pivotal element to Instagram growth.
I'm not a huge fan of Influencer campaigns, as I find Paid Ads to be much more effective, safer, more accessible and worthwhile, so here's what to know about these, as mentioned in prior posts:
- They are created and managed through Facebook Business Manager;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Geographic Location;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Age Range;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Gender;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Interests;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Behaviors;
- They allow you to segment your audience in terms of Language Display.
That being said they are, by far, the best asset for targeted follower-gain, as unlike any other option, they offer an incredibly accurate, specific and, at the same time, wide range of segmenting options, which are essential towards having your ideally selected audience locking eyes with your ad and responding positively to your CTA.
In order to effectively perform story ads, there are 5 essential elements:
- Knowing exactly what your target audience looks like
If you want to become a brand ambassador, it’s mandatory that you know exactly what audience-type you want to lock eyes with your ad and, consequently, with your page and what it has to offer.
Knowing what your ideal audience-type is, definitely consists in the very first step towards an efficient targeting, as you will have a deeper understanding of who should see your ad, so that no ad spend budget goes to waste.
- Knowing where your target audience’s attention is at
This is what also separates a well performing ad and a waste of money type of ad.
Social Media Marketing is a business in which communication plays a pivotal role. That said, it is fundamental to know how to position your ad and how to speak your brand through it (and through your page, obviously).
Following this thought process, it is mandatory to know where your ideal audience’s eyes are most likely and actively at.
From here, you adapt your ad to it by setting the placements to manual (as automatic placements are, by default, the option that Facebook business manager provides you with), and select the placement that is more coherent with your ad format and your audience.
- Knowing how to captivate your audience
Following point number 2, it’s essential to create an attractive ad that is likely to make the most out of your audience’s attention span, as the most natural behavior that is will have is to slide through your ad 2 seconds after they see that it is an ad.
People’s attention span is extremely short, and they usually are not on Instagram to be sold or to sign up for any specific cause. They are most likely there to see their friends and what they are up to, or just to have a laugh.
That is where good creatives come in handy. If you know how to set your ad in a way that counters this behavior, you’re maximizing the chance of maximizing link clicks and, consequently, page visits, which leaves your audience one click away from following your page.
- Elevate the bar for your ad’s graphics and lower the bar for text
According to research carried out by Missouri University, it takes only 2.6 seconds for a person’s eye to decide where it’s going to focus on a particular online page. So, if your ad campaign is going to be successful, you’re going to need some strong, high-quality visuals that grab your audience’s attention quickly.
When it comes to Instagram story ads, they are not an exception to the rule – keep your text to a minimum.
Let your picture or video do most of the talking, as it must be attractive and compelling enough to lock your audience’s eyes for more than those 2-3 seconds.
What has been working the best for me is to simply add a question and a CTA, while adding a 5-6 second video that’s not static, but dynamic and aesthetically pleasing.
- Make sure your strategy within your page is on point
This is an absolutely key point.
It’s as straightforward as this: If your content doesn’t provide any sort of value or interest, or if your page’s layout and overall aspect isn’t suitable for your audience, you won’t leverage drastic results and you will be making your ad spend budget go to waste.
Therefore, no matter how well set your ad campaigns are, if your strategy within your page isn’t on point, then address that first, and then run ads, otherwise it will just be counterproductive.
Ask yourself the following questions: If I were my audience, why would I follow my page? (Put yourself in their position). If your answer is truthfully convincing enough, then you’re good to go.
Hope this was insightful! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.