Instagram Marketing SpecialistDeciding to become an Instagram Marketing Specialist wasn’t a spur of the moment decision for me.

Back in High School, I had a WordPress Fashion Blog that I poured all of my spare time into which sparked my interest in all things digital.

From there I realised that I needed to learn things like SEO and Social Media Marketing to get more readers to my blog, and about a year or so into that fateful blog, I discovered the ‘gram.

Unlike most people, I knew exactly what I wanted to do after I left High School, and that was Social Media Marketing. But, as most people experience, my path to my dream career didn’t go in a perfectly straight line.

I wasn’t able to get an entry-level role in a Marketing Agency due to the fact that I lacked a degree – I totally wanted to go, heck I even got into my dream University… but I didn’t have the wads of cash to pay for that degree up front. #InternationalStudentLife

When I think back to that year of desperately trying to get a marketing role and constantly being rejected, I remember how much I cried because I wanted to be a marketer so fricken’ bad.

Thankfully I am as stubborn as people get and I decided to do as much online learning as I could, and as much free work for various different brands so that I could really get my experience level up.

After a few months, I decided to launch my business Social Stylings.

Luckily for me after a speedy 8 months of side-hustling my new marketing business, I had quit my two jobs (yep, I juggled 3!) and was working 100% full-time for myself.

How cool is that?

And now, three years deep into being an Instagram Marketing Specialist, there is A LOT that I feel like i’ve learned.

Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

5 Things I’ve Learnt in 3 Years as an Instagram Marketing Specialist

Number One: Instagram Craves Quality Content

With Instagram set to reach 1 billion users in 2018 there is simply no room on this increasingly competitive platform for mediocre content. Seriously – take your grainy, low-resolution images with zero editing and chuck them out the window.

If your business or brand is serious about making Instagram a profitable social media marketing channel, you need to invest time into creating quality content that your audience truly loves.

And sure; you’re going to need to experiment with content types to find out which things get the best response from your audience. But heck, you need to start with something amazing or no-one is going to care enough to follow you to experience those tests.

PSST -> Get rid of the quote graphics, they are soo 2016.

Number Two: Instagram’s Algorithm Will Get Harder, Just Deal With It

If you’re still blaming the Instagram Algorithm for your lack of Instagram-driven sales, your slow follower growth or your bad haircut… you need to stop it right this minute.

No-one likes a whinger, especially Instagram.

As an Instagram Marketing Specialist I have had to keep up with the times and constantly keep on the lookout for new Instagram updates and announcements. I also have to keep my ears open for any whispers of Instagram Algorithm secrets.

More than that though – I test things. I try out new types of content, new times of posting, new hashtags, new growth strategies. The name of the game is trial and error if you are R-E-A-L-L-Y struggling on Instagram.

If you haven’t mixed up your strategy at all in the last year, I’m sorry but it’s 100% on you that Instagram doesn’t like you.

Number Three: Understanding Social Media Context is Everything

You wouldn’t wear a black tie dress to a garden party, would you?

So why on earth are people STILL sharing the same content on ALL of their social media channels?

The reason why people obsess over different social media channels is that they love the vibe and the unique content style that their favourite social media channels are known for fostering.

Heck, I absolutely hate Twitter but there are some people that can’t get enough *cough* The President *cough*.

If you don’t know what content people want to see on Instagram, here’s an insight for you:

– Images that are high-quality and make them feel something
– Videos that are high-quality and interesting
– Captions that are authentic, raw, and share a story
– Sales posts that don’t even feel like they’re selling you something
– Instagram Stories that add value or bring them on a journey behind-the-scenes

Y’know, just a few ideas to get you going.

Number Four: Not All Brands Can Make Instagram Work

Over the years as an Instagram Marketing Specialist, I have seen quite a few different business and brands that just can’t make Instagram work for them.

As hard as they cross their fingers and post consistently they just can’t get any tangible results from using Instagram.

They’ve usually fallen in the trap of one of these things:

– Their target audience don’t actually use Instagram
– Their content quality is low and they can’t see it
– Not understanding that Instagram is a storytelling platform
– They aren’t using hashtags OR they choose bad hashtags OR they use the same list ALWAYS
– They don’t spend time engaging with other users on Instagram

Number Five: Find What Instagram Features Move Your Brand Forward + Use Them

A lot of people come to me as an Instagram Marketing Specialist just to tell me that they feel overwhelmed by the number of new features Instagram has released over the years.

And I totally get it – there have been A LOT of new features thrown on us since 2016 alone.

BUT (and this is a big but) you need to know that just because there are a lot of features, it doesn’t mean that you HAVE to use them.

It’s like that toolbox you have lying around – you probably don’t use all of the tools at once when you’re working on building your latest IKEA purchase. Why? Because using all the tools isn’t going to help you to get the job done quicker. Actually, doing that will probably make the task take a million times longer than it should.

Now apply that logic to your Instagram account.

What is your end-goal with Instagram; sales, brand awareness, email list building… what is it?

Decide on that, and then figure out what Instagram Features are most likely to move you forward towards achieving that goal.

All in all I love Instagram – I truly do.

As much as I curse under my breath everytime someone complains to me about how the Shop Function hasn’t been rolled out to their account yet, despite it being available in their country… yeah, I still love Instagram.

What about you?

Do you love Instagram? What have you learnt in the past however many years of being in business? I’d love to know.