Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Most people head to LinkedIn and Google to find new leads. They think the only way to gather leads online is through paid ads, sending email blasts, managing a LinkedIn account...essentially, paying for leads. You might think Instagram is a waste of time for business use, but I disagree. Here's a method I've been personally testing on Instagram to gather leads ORGANICALLY:
Here's my Instagram lead test: Aside from owning and running IMPRINT, I also enjoy flipping houses. I bought a small rowhouse in Baltimore and have been slowing flipping it over the past year. I started with the bathroom and am now working on the kitchen. I wanted to learn how to do all the work myself, so I've googled my way through these demo to reno projects. I've loved doing the work and created an Instagram called 'renorowhome' to share my projects and collaborate with other flippers!
My two passions collided: social media marketing and flipping houses. Like any business using social media, it starts with a goal and a strategy. My goal for 'renorowhome' is to gain enough relevant followers to reach sponsorship. I created a social strategy that will allow me to reach my goal organically in one year. Read my social strategy to generate organic leads from Instagram and try it for yourself!
1. Start with your Instagram Profile
This is the first thing people are going to see when they visit your page, so spend time optimizing your profile.
Name and Username: These are your only searchable elements on your Instagram account, so make sure they reflect your organization or business. The username, "renorowhome' reflects that I am renovating a home and the name 'Anna DIY Home Restoration' optimizes the username while expanding upon 'reno' and enforcing that I am working on the house on my own, 'DIY' (do it yourself).
Bio: The bio is your 30-second elevator pitch. It needs to be concise and explain exactly what your business offers. If you have a tag line, this is a good place to use it! I was able to be creative and comical with my language. Be sure to stay on-brand with your bio language. If location is important to who your audience is, be sure to include it in the bio.
Link in Bio: Because Instagram doesn't allow clickable posts, your bio link is the ONLY URL where you can direct visitors elsewhere. Depending on your goal, you may want to send them to your website, a landing page, blog, etc.
Action Button: Instagram partners with third-party apps to allow visitors to book appointments, purchase tickets and many other actions right from Instagram. Make it easy for your visitors to become paying customers by utilizing an action button.
2. Plan out your Content
When thinking about what content you are going to produce, think about your goal, brand, and audience. How are you going to engage your audience? What is your brand voice? How will your content convert visitors to customers?
Rule of thirds: Following the rule of thirds when you create content for the month will keep your followers engaged!
Call to action: Your call to action is a little different due to the way Instagram is set up. Most platforms allow clickable posts, but Instagram keeps visitors on Instagram. When you want your viewers to visit a landing page, be sure to direct them back to your bio to 'click the link'.
Engage your audience: Based on the rule of thirds, you should focus 1/3 of content on interacting with your audience and learning more about them! A great way to do this is by asking questions. In this post, I #askinstagram for insulation advice. I know that a lot of my followers live in an old house like I do, and draftiness is a common problem. This was a very relevant question for my audience and I got some great engagement and advice! Be sure to like and respond to each comment in a personal way.
Instagram Stories: If you're not sure what to put on your Instagram stories, start with 'adding post to story'. It's a great way to get more traction and views on your posts. Instagram Stories are also great for quick captures and content that doesn't work as a full post, but you still find important to share.
3. Mine for Followers
If you don't have anyone seeing your content, then you are wasting your time creating quality posts! When I first started 'renorowhome', I only had a few followers. It can be difficult to even know who to follow. Start with your current customers, competition, partners, and employees. From here, go through a few of your relevant followers who are more established than you on Instagram. Their followers are likely relevant to you as well! Once you have a pattern of followers, Instagram will give you suggestions on who to follow. Be careful not to mine for followers in a 'spammy' manner.
To avoid 'spammy' following: look at each potential follower genuinely. Does their feed relate to your business goal? Comment on their posts, don't just like the posts. Try to form a relationship with the potential follower! While this takes more time, I have found that I gain engaged followers who interact with my posts and I rarely lose followers through this slow growth method.
4. Track Progress through Instagram Insights
Finally, be sure to track your progress! What seems to be working for you? This strategy that I have laid out for you is very time consuming but proves to create a genuine, engaging Instagram account. Don't have the time? You can trust IMPRINT to get the job done! Contact owner, Anna Julian to learn more about social media marketing: firstname.lastname@example.org.