Direct messages (DMs) make things personal
People you follow can DM you at any time to ask questions, provide feedback, or share some love. People who don’t follow you can request to message you – you can either accept or deny the request, ensuring your inbox stays spam free.
Hashtags are a content discovery engine
Using hashtags (putting “#” before a word or phrase, without spaces) is how content discovery works on platforms like Instagram and Twitter (and, perhaps less successfully, Facebook and LinkedIn).
While Twitter originated the hashtag as a discovery tool online, Instagram arguably perfected the practice. Using the right hashtags is like going to a specialty store just for your potential clients – everyone you want to talk to is right there.
Who the hell are you and why should I listen to you about Instagram?
In the spirit of being real, I’ll tell you that I had just over 2,600 followers as I wrote this article and 2,700 as I edited it less than a week later (over 3,300 as I updated it!). But I’m not an influencer (yet?).
Here’s why I think I’m still qualified to write this article:
- My average engagement rate on Instagram 15-25X higher than the industry benchmark average engagement rate and 8X higher than the “very high engagement” average
- Using the strategy I’m sharing with you here, my top post garnered over 7,000 likes and 50,000 views with only 1,900 followers at the time
- 16 of my past 30 posts got over 1k likes each
- I was featured by an account with over 900k followers without needing to ask (or pay) because my posts reached their feed
- I frequently end up in the “front page” of hashtags with hundreds of thousands of followers (sometimes hashtags with millions) because of the engagement I get
How to get 12 new customers for free
With just over 2,700 followers (now over 3,300), my posts reach tens of thousands of people. Can you imagine if just one of your posts reached 50,000 people like my most popular post did? What would that do for your business?
Instagram has an average 0.52% clickthrough rate from views to people clicking on your link. As an example, my posts in January 2019 generated 90,000 views, which would translate into about 450 link clicks. With an average global ecommerce conversion rate of 2.86%, that means a cool 12 new customers. Not bad for a part-time, couple-posts-a-week sales channel.
Given that I spend about an hour on Instagram a week to get this engagement, that’s a pretty good return on investment (ROI) at almost any price point.