Pinterest and Instagram are probably the most overlooked social platforms by marketers today.
It's unfortunate, because between the extreme “shareability” of visual media… the rabid fan-bases that spend a lot of time on these channels… and the opportunity to connect on a very human level, you have a great opportunity to get a foothold in an untapped market and take your business to a whole new level.
However, as with any other social media channel, you can only benefit if you use it right. And that's why today I'm sharing my “best practices” for connecting on Pinterest and Instagram.
- You'll discover just how often successful Pinterest users post every day…
- The specific type of visual media you must use for the greatest chances of success…
- And how to find out what your Instagram followers actually want to see from you.
The Power of Pinterest and Instagram
With over 70 million users, Pinterest is gaining momentum as a mainstream social media channel.
Originally thought to be a niche platform for women sharing recipes, wedding ideas, and fashion, Pinterest has grown into a place where users share all kinds of media. And they do it with quite a high frequency.
Similarly, Instagram has a huge following that has grown in recent years. Where it used to be a place for younger people to get away from their parents joining Facebook, more and more users treat it as a main channel for connecting with others through pictures and video. And businesses are getting on board, too.
Generally speaking, Pinterest and Instagram users don't frequent these platforms as often as Facebook users do. However, loyal users still post multiple times a day.
As an Expertpreneur® leveraging these channels, it's up to you to keep active. And that means posting new content about three times a day. Even if you have to mix new content with past images and other relevant content.
You may be wondering, “How on earth can I possibly come up with three new posts every day? I'm too busy!”
Well, there are a few strategies you can implement to make this work. For one, a great way to come up with ideas is to re purpose your own content into small digestible bits.
For example, take blog posts and newsletters you've already created and break them down into sharable images. Paste an inspirational quote on a picture, or share a one-sentence “quick-tip” to share with your audience.
You can even share your podcasts and videos, as well. Pinterest will display a still image, which the user can click on to watch the clip or listen to the audio. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd and offer unique content.
Instagram allows you to post video directly, however it has to be condensed to 15 seconds. This is a great opportunity to develop a bunch of shorts based on existing content to share with your audience. The more impactful and helpful they are, the more likely they'll be shared.
The best strategy for keeping up with everything is hiring an assistant to help you out. You can very easily get a good person to help you with social media for just $10 an hour, and they can do all of the leg work for you.
All you have to do is develop a calendar beforehand of what you want to post, give them your ideas, and have them do the rest. Then they can act as your “liaison” when you get comments, re-pins, and messages from other users. Saving you from spending all of your free time on social media.
All of this said, images are still the bedrock of Pinterest and Instagram. And the key to standing out as a business owner is to get on board with the most sharable kind of image around: infographics.
Making the Most of Infographics
Infographics are an incredibly powerful way to shared ideas, advice, and concepts with your audience in a compelling and easy-to-digest format.
They've been a simple and effective way of passing along information since cavemen used pictures to illustrate where resources and dangers are in their area. However, infographics in modern history goes back to 1786 where William Playfair published the Commercial and Political Atlas.
His book was filled with bar charts, line graphs, and other graphics showing the economy in England. The infographics conveyed a huge amount of information in a very simple and digestible way. And to this day, they remain one of the best ways to educate.
Now, with social media, infographics are more popular than ever. In fact, certain businesses have made a name for themselves thanks to the quality and relevance of their infographics. Just look at Copyblogger, as an example.
Infographics can serve many different purposes: they can tell a story, show a step-by-step solution to a problem, or just share words of wisdom to pass along. All of which are inspirational, actionable, and easy for the reader to digest.
As an Expertpreneur®, you can easily apply these in your business. As an example, by putting together an infographic with your sales story, you could inspire others to overcome their own personal fears and frustrations, or achieve their biggest hopes and desires.
If you inspire one person, they'll want to share it with others. And eventually your simple infographic with your story could go viral. Helping you develop a huge audience with very little “work.”
However, just creating an impactful infographic isn't enough. You need to be able to draw the users who favorite, re-pin, and comment on your posts to your website. Otherwise, they're not doing much for you.
That's where being strategic with your infographics comes into play. Leveraging that same impact, but adding a dash of curiosity and intrigue that gets them to “find out more.”
For example, if you're developing a step-by-step process for completing a task, instead of giving all six steps, give five away through the infographic and make the other one available by clicking through to your website. That way, if your infographic is compelling enough, you'll get people to come into your world and find out more about you.
That's where you could share your final secret and then offer a free report based on the subject in exchange for their email address. Or perhaps link them to a related product. The sky is the limit.
Now that you understand one of the most powerful tools you can leverage on Pinterest and Instagram, you want to make sure you're doing everything “the right way.” Otherwise you could be shooting yourself in the foot and not getting the kind of results you hope for.
The Do's and Don't of Pinterest and Instagram
One of the biggest “no-no's” marketers make is in the kind of images they decide to share.
Just one quick Google search will take you to countless websites where people use “stock photos” to illustrate the point they're trying to make. Photos they probably paid a bunch of money for with models sitting in a conference room in canned poses. Not particularly exciting.
Unfortunately, stock photos add absolutely nothing to your posts. We've seen them a million times and they don't have any positive impact on your audience.
In fact, it's proven that graphics with faces in them are FAR less likely to get shared on Pinterest than graphics without. So don't waste your money.
Instead, you're better off working with a freelance designer to develop your infographics with original images and artwork. That way you have more control how they look, and can make sure they're congruent with your brand image.
On Instagram, the images you post should be as personal as possible. People are there to see pics and videos from other people's lives. And that goes whether you're a celebrity or a business owner.
People want to get to know you. Here is a place where including your face is a good thing – connect with your audience on a personal level. They'll grow to know, like, and trust you even more.
Look at Lebron James, for example, his Instagram account is dedicated to cool “action shots” of him playing, behind-the-scenes photos of him and his family, hanging out with friends, and so on. That's the kind of stuff people want to see from him.
As an Expertpreneur®, you want to share images of your awesome life. Show yourself attending and speaking at events, hanging out with colleagues and friends, even trips you go on with your family. And talk about what's going on in your descriptions.
Which brings me to another point: your descriptions on your photos are as important as the photos themselves. You want to use keywords and hashtags (to a degree) that make them easily searchable. And you ALWAYS want to link back to your website, when able.
Another no-no is simply posting a lot of stuff for yourself and ignoring what everyone else is posting. This is a very common mistake new business owners make when they're trying to build their image. They take without giving back.
Instead, you need to be just as active with your followers as you would want them to be with you. Comment on their posts, re-pin their photos, “recommend” their images. Anything to show that you care and that you're paying attention.
The more you do this, the more you'll get in return. And the more your followers will start to engage with you.
Since this is a large task, it would be best to have an assistant to help. Have them keep your account active and you won't have to spend hours each day refreshing your Pinterest or Instagram feeds.
Finally, Instagram includes Geotags in its algorithm, which connect you and your images to a location. This is a great opportunity for people near you to connect with you for JV relationships, co-authorship opportunities, and to speak at events. Don't ignore it!
Pin and Share Your Way to Success
If you want to shine in an area that's largely untouched by marketers, Pinterest and Instagram are the way to go.
Take these tips and start developing your presence on these platforms, and you'll start to see a huge surge in your business. Generating quality followers who feel a personal connection to you and are primed to spend money with you. Helping you boost your business like never before.