Last week we heard from Jolene Madewell, who used Instagram and other social media to build her online flute studio, so I thought talking to a full-time digital marketer would be a great follow-up.
Today I’m talking to Molly Marshall about how local businesses like music studios can set themselves apart on Instagram. She talks about using hashtags, geotags, video, and good ol’ fashioned networking to establish a presence in our local communities.
- Instagram is a great option for local businesses because it encourages discovering and following new users in a way that Facebook doesn’t.
- Instagram had been the “younger” platform compared to Facebook, but since Instagram now has over 1 billion users total, Molly doesn’t believe there is a significant demographic difference between the two platforms.
- Molly recommends posting consistently. One quality post per day is ideal, but if that doesn’t work for you, create your own posting schedule and stick to it!
- Student successes, tips and tricks, personal projects, upcoming events, quotes, community involvement, and testimonials are all great post ideas!
- Using a content calendar and an Instagram scheduler can help you plan ahead and reduce the daily stress behind posting regularly.
- Paid ads can be helpful, but Molly recommends learning to use the Facebook Ads Manager (which is how you manage ads on both Facebook and Instagram), rather than just clicking the “Boost Post” button. Simply “boosting” a post usually isn’t very effective because you don’t get to select the target audience.
- Instagram has a lot of ways to share content through posts, IGTV, stories, and live video. It’s a lot to learn all at one time, so Molly recommends starting with one feature and mastering it before moving on.
- Like Jolene said during last week’s episode, Molly reminds us to keep it professional, but always let your personality show through your content!
Components of an Effective Instagram Strategy
- Content – provide valuable information to your audience
- Hashtags and geotags – tag your town and use a mix of local hashtags
- Engagement – form relationships with other local businesses by following and commenting
- Need Instagram business account to view analytics
- Use a URL shortener to track link activity
- Molly cares most about website clicks, emails, phone calls, etc.
- Upward trending “vanity metrics” such as likes, comments, and followers make us feel great, but as a business owner don’t show actual growth and shouldn’t be our focus
Previous Episode: 017 – Jolene Flute on Building a Skype Flute Studio
URL Shortener: Bit.ly
Model Instagram Users:
Connect with Molly