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  • dave5059

Instagram - more tips and observations.

This post is mainly aimed at those people who use Instagram to promote a business or a product. Whether it is a painting, a piece of furniture, or in my case a book, it's all relevant

You are not using Instagram to sell the product itself, you are using it to publicise the product and then lead them to where they can buy it.

Your bio is the information displayed above your grid. It's easy to change in settings. A few things to note - the name of the account, and the name above your description are both searchable - you should consider if you can make them different - so people could find me searching for 'stuckdave', or for Dave Johnson.

You can only display 150 characters on your bio, so use them wisely - can visitors understand what you do?

You only get one clickable link on your bio - some just put on a website, but there may be a better option. Your link could point to a page that gives several options - where do you want visitors to go.

To make a page like this you can use sites such as Linktree (there are alternatives but Linktree seems to be very popular.)

Or, if like me, you create your own web pages, you make a page which has a number of buttons (rectangles that link to other web pages) see above. You make it so this page is not visible on your websites navigation bar (on wix there is a symbol of a crossed out 'eye' to hide this page.) So on mine, I have included my website & Facebook page, but more importantly a link to the Amazon page where you can buy the book.

If you are using Instagram to promote a business or a product you should switch to a business account - you can do this without losing all your previous posts and it doesn't cost anything. It's straightforward to do - you head to 'settings' on your profile. One of the big advantages to this is you then have a 'view insights' tab under your posts - so you can see how that post has performed. Not only that, you can go to your profile page, and there is another 'insights' button where you can see how all of your posts have performed, arranged in a grid, showing which posts had the most likes/follows/comments/etc.

From Insights you can see the reach of a post, ie how many people could have seen the post, and also impressions - how many looked at it. Impressions are usually higher, because some people will look at the same post more than once. You can see how many are followers, and how many found you through hash tags. All this, and more, might help you determine a strategy. - what works, what doesn't work. To remind you of the main topic in my previous blog post, 'likes' are not enough - you need to know your posts are getting out to people (your reach) and the more people that make comments, and the more you respond, the wider the impact of your posts will be.

I have learned that how you design your grid is important, especially for anyone who isn't following you, and comes across you, perhaps from a hash tag. On the one hand there needs to be a consistency, say in the way you photograph your subject matter, but there also needs to be variation, so the images don't all blur into one. So an abstract painter for example would try not to have two similar paintings next to each other but would intersperse them with shots say, of brushes in a pot, or themselves working in the studio.

Sometimes it is worth posting a photo that doesn't sell a product, and won't necessarily get the number of 'likes' as other posts, but if it makes the grid interesting as a whole, then it can keep a visitor on your pages. It's good to have some shots showing you doing what you do. People are interested in people.

I hope these observations are useful. I'm writing very much from the point of being a beginner, wanting to share experiences, not as any kind of expert!

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