Have you heard the expression, Where there is smoke there is fire?
When you hear about social media, you hear about Instagram. Everybody is using it.
Instagram is essentially a platform that allows you to share photos and short videos that look like a professional photographer took them.
According to expert social media manager Amanda Brazel, it is very easy to get noticed as well as make new connections by using Instagram.
According to recent statistics, Instagram boasted 300 million monthly users. Why not use it to get traffic to your website?
According to KISSmetrics,
No other platform provides an experience as incredibly… engaging as Instagram. With just a bit of creativity and thought… you can make some … magic for your brand. Learn how you can catapult your [website] to new heights.
KISSmetrics goes on to explain that if you are trying to increase your organic traffic, using Instagram is preferable to using Facebook.
In my first of a two-part Instagram series, I have invited guest author Lori White to explain how to use Instagram to get traffic to your blog. Lori has received blog traffic from Instagram, and she is here to tell you how you can use the popularity of Instagram to get traffic to your blog too.
Lori, take it away.
8 Ways to Strike Instagram Gold
Lori White, Stuckinmiddle.net
Have you harnessed the power of Instagram for your blog yet?
According to Forbes, Instagram “is shaping up to be the world’s most powerful selling tool.” With its ability to communicate an instant message with the power of a single image, it possesses mass potential.
Instagram has marketing appeal—when, that is, you use it strategically and to its full advantage.
Here are a few things you can do to maximize this marketing beast.
1. Create an Instagram account exclusively for your blog.
This holds true for all social media platforms, but particularly IG (Instagram), in my opinion. You want to keep your photos of your kids being cute and your cat napping adorably separate from your foodie or travel blog, you know? Your blog IG is the place for photos that reflect your blog’s purpose, your theme, and your professional identity as a blogger. Embrace that.
2. Post strong photos.
Instagram is unique among other social media platforms in that it is purely photo-based. This can be a challenge if you’re not a photographer or even a little bit visually-inclined. IG users, you see, reward powerful photos that hit a nerve or make them feel something. I’ve seen many IG posts that look like text ads…do you even bother to read them?
Memes, on the other hand, that are accompanied by striking graphics or a funny image, instantly capture my attention.
3. Hashtag wisely.
One thing that baffled me initially with Instagram was that it does not offer direct web links; instead, it groups and links photos together via a hashtagging system. By locating and tapping into popular hashtags, you can more quickly gain followers.
Our blog, for example, is oriented to an audience of parents of preteens and teens in the middle school years, and those adolescents as well. It offers them a forum to read and discuss pertinent topics, sometimes together, sometimes separately.
We used a site called Websta.me to isolate the ten or so most popular hashtags for our subject matter, and we generally use some variation of those ten in order to reach the widest audience. We used these tags to find and connect with other users that were similar to us, as well—another useful application for this tool.
4. Connect with others!
Along this same line, don’t just throw stuff out there into the Instagram void and expect it to work all on its lonesome. This was part of my frustration with Twitter when it first amped up. Everyone was sending out these massive quantities of tweets, and “following” you…but they really weren’t interested in you. They just wanted you to follow them back so they’d have one more number. So they’d look and feel really important.
Instagram doesn’t really work that way. It is perhaps the most connected to a brand most of us will ever get. I have personally “spoken” to, and been replied to, several of my personal favorite American Ninja Warriors via Instagram…extended, back and forth conversations. So use IG to truly connect with your followers, and perhaps refer them to blog posts you feel they might be interested in from time to time. You will see your numbers grow.
5. Take advantage of the fact that people will steal your photos.
This was a new one for me, but a great idea. People are always using photos that are copyrighted online, so make sure you protect them with a watermark of your blog contact details. If you acquire your own photos, like we do at Stuck in the Middle, from a stock photography service, make sure you watermark the copyright info on the photo, as well.
This extra step may take an extra minute or two, but it’s almost guaranteed to lead a potential reader in your direction.
6. Craft a solid bio.
In a few succinct sentences, tell your followers who you are, what your blog is about, and why they should read it. Include a link in this area to your blog.
7. Connect your Instagram account to other social media networks, including Twitter,
Facebook, and Pinterest.
When you post to IG, you can have it set to post automatically to the other accounts, as well, saving yourself a step.
8. And finally, conceive of some sort of Instagram competition.
What is it, exactly, about competitions that are so enticing? It doesn’t have to be huge, but offering some sort of reward or prize can draw people in and have them respond to a call of action. Make sure that call of action is clear, by the way. Do you want them to click like and share? Like your Facebook page? Follow your blog? Leave a comment? Scratch their heads and rub their bellies?
I can’t wait to hear about your success with using Instagram to propel your blog to greater heights. You can give me a shout out in the comments, and of course seek me out @Stuck_In_Middle on Instagram.
Me again: Lori did a great job! She makes using Instagram to get traffic to your blog sound easy, quick, and even fun.
Before you go make your Instagram accounts, let’s show Lori some blog love and go visit her at StuckInMiddle.net.
Readers, please share Lori’s article, so other bloggers get to discover the power of Instagram for increasing blog traffic.
What are your experiences with Instagram? Have you tried using it? Has it resulted in blog traffic? Do you think you might give it a try after reading Lori’s article? I look forward to your views.