Happy Sunday(-ish) friends! I’ve had a lot of questions these past two weeks about the new Instagram auto-posting functionality. The conversation goes like this:
“Hey, I hear I can finally automatically push posts to Instagram!”
“Yep, that’s possible, but to do it well, it’s gonna cost about $100US per month.”
So I thought I’d talk Insta marketing this week, and if we start with the knowledge that automation is gonna cost you, doesn’t it makes sense that first we have a solid free-ish strategy in place? Let’s make that happen, and then we can talk paid solutions.
Why Insta & not something else?
Short answer: Insta has higher engagement rates than any other social network, including Fb. And, wine lends itself toward bomb photos and videos. It’s a match made in heaven.
What goals are reasonable?
I have this speech I give about social versus email, and here’s the gist: Social is for Sharing, Emails are for Asking. Most of your Insta posts need to be about establishing brand personality and building rapport with your audience by sharing stories and imagery of brand-life. The inherent problem, and something we ALL see on Insta, is that we gain loads of followers but only a fraction convert to customers.
Converting directly from Insta-follower to ecommerce customer is not a reasonable goal. Gaining subscribers to your email newsletter IS a reasonable goal, and one that allows us to confine 90% of our selly language to people who have given permission to receive it. And tech makes it easy.
The right way to generate leads on Insta
You get one link on Insta, in your bio. Please stop sending it to your home page. On your site, or using a landing page service, create a dedicated landing page for your Instagram audience. Message matching, low-distraction, single goal, mindful copy; the only action you want them to take on that page is give you their email address. Here are some examples.
Incentivize. On your landing page, tell the reader that they will receive [insert something, probably a discount] in exchange for their email address. Be sure to do all the stuff we talked about in past weeks to establish trust. THEN, don’t give them that discount code until AFTER they’ve given you their email address. Tip: use a custom “received” message that says, “Your discount is on its way, check your inbox”; and include the discount in the initial email. You want them to a) make sure your email didn’t land in spam; and b) get used to thinking your emails contain good things and should be opened.
Create a branded hashtag, preferably one that isn’t branded by anyone else! The easiest way to check this is to create a dummy post and start typing hashtags until you find something that’s on brand, or on target for your campaign, and not widely used.
What if I told you that a whopping 70% of Insta posts don’t get seen?! Here’s a list for improving your visibility:
- Add a location (+79% engagement)
- Use appropriate hashtags (including your own)
- Tag appropriate accounts (but don’t be a dick and tag people unnecessarily)
- Use more pictures of faces (+38% engagement)
- Set a consistent posting schedule*
- Share content from other users*
*Those last two.
The best way to create a consistent posting schedule is to stop allowing every post to be spur-of-the-moment, and stop dumping all your pics into your camera roll and having to scroll for 5 minutes to find the image you are seeking. Create a photo album or folder for your Insta pics, and add to it regularly. Amass a stockpile of photos.
Content from users is your best marketing tool on Instagram. These are the posts where you can say, “Join the fun! Head to link in bio.” Persuading people to post on your behalf is a nice little feedback loop: the first person posts for the first time; you see it, repost, give them a shoutout, DM with a thank you. In your post, state, “be sure to use #ourbrandedhashtag to be shared.” The original poster feels acknowledged and is more likely to share again; and the readers see opportunity for recognition and are more likely to use your branded hashtag.
We’ve hit 4 minutes and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. These are the bare-bones, and until you have these basics implemented, investing in the services that allow auto-scheduling is not worthwhile.
Be forewarned, next week, we are jumping into how paid services can help maximize the effectiveness of these basics, and save you some time by sharing our agency experiences using ALL of them. I’ll explain why paying for a standout social media service is one of the best ways a winery can spend marketing dollars, save time (and sanity!), and make tech work FOR you. (Before it even comes up, I will not EVER promote a product or service through an affiliate link. If I tell you to buy something, it’s because I genuinely believe in the value of the product.)
On that note, let’s sign off for the week (so that I can go see Black Panther).
[Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash (this pic has a good story behind it. you should check it out!)]