How I Use Instagram To Share My Blog Posts
Now that you've re-purposed your old archived blog articles, it's time to promote them.
Writing a blog post and hitting the publish button should NOT be the only thing you do when you finish an article. Once your article is published, you should promote the heck out of it starting with all of your social networking sites.
Anyone who follows me on my blog knows that I can also be found on some of the most popular social media sites. For the past 7 months, I've decided to check out Instagram. Not only do I use Instagram to post personal pictures of my life and meaningful quotes that motivate me, but also to share my blog post articles.
As a blogger who loves to write and share tips on business marketing, I thought Instagram would be a perfect fit to introduce my brand, gain interest, and additional traffic. This article will show you how I use Instagram to share my blog posts so that in the event you ever decide to do the same with your own articles, you'll have a good reference to come back to.
What is Instagram?Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables users to share their own pictures and videos on a variety of social networking platforms, which include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
Create a profileThe first step to using Instagram is to download it to your iOS or Android device. Once downloaded, I signed up for an Instagram account. I went into the edit profile section and filled out all of the necessary information such as name, email, phone number (optional), sex, and bio. In this section, you can also change your password, select badges to insert into your site and there is a log out option as well. This is the area where you want to include who you are and what you have to offer.
Bio/Develop your brandThe bio section of Instagram is where you want to tell users a little bit about yourself and your brand. In this section, I listed my title, my twitter handle, and my business and blog sites. I also added a couple of cute emoji(s). However, your Instagram bio cannot exceed 150 characters. Creativity is key so that you can attract readers and followers. Your Instagram username cannot exceed 30 characters. When coming up with your username, aim for uniqueness; keep it short, sweet and simple!
Since Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform, I've developed my brand by using images to represent my articles. For instance, the following image (below) is connected to a post I wrote 2 weeks ago. This public domain image had the blog title added onto it. Within the comment area (to the right), I wrote (hashtag) #NewBlogPost, the article title, and the URL of the article. Please keep in mind the only place on Instagram where you can post a clickable URL link is in your bio section; but I happen to include it in the comment area as well.
IMPORTANT TIP ~ Make sure any pictures you use online are public domain, unless you ask permission to use it from the creator!This image post "5 Basic Tips to An Effective Affiliate Marketing Campaign" received 28 likes. Now that might not seem like a lot, but it tells me that people are interested in affiliate marketing. Therefore, I will be posting a follow up article in the near future as well. So, even though I might have a new article image posted this week on Instagram, this particular article image (below) can continue to be LIKED by people who are viewing my Instagram page. Also, it's essential to incorporate personality into your Instagram posts. This will help your followers get to know who YOU are as an individual.
Here's another article I posted on Instagram "5 Tips to Define Home-Based Business Success" that received 55 likes. Again, this tells me people are interested in the home based business niche.
TrafficWe ALL want traffic. Since Instagram only allows me to post a link on my bio, it is important to make sure that my link goes to the page I want it to go. For instance, if your home page lists your most current article, then you can just add your site's link to your website URL in the bio area (only if you're sure you wont be posting anything else any time soon). However, since I update my blog at least twice a week, I list the URL on the comment area (even if it's not a clickable link) as well. I do this so that the visitor will always have a link to refer back to within that particular image article post. You can also add the link to your image and in the comments area let your readers know that is the link to the article's location. Using these techniques can create traffic to your blog.
Even though Facebook and Google+ are my number 1 and 2 sources of traffic back to my blog, I'd be delighted to include Instagram to this list as well. We shall see! ;-)
Creating imagesI use picmonkey to edit my photos plus pixabay and lifeofpix (both public domain image sites) to find pics for my blog posts. I then customize the image by adding article text. Instagram's image sizes are 640px by 640px and on July 2015 switched to 1080px by 1080px so you can now post full-size landscape and portrait photos on Instagram; which I'm personally going to start using on my own blog image articles.
The power of hashtags (#)Notice on my Instagram's comment section (photo image below), I have several hashtags placed. Hashtags are used to identify messages on a specific topic. Nowadays, hashtags are used on social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and even Facebook.
To understand hashtags and their purpose, learn how relevant they are to use. A hashtag (#) is a powerful tool that will help you engage your target audience and increase your brand awareness. It is basically a keyword and/or phrase that makes the content of your post accessible to all people with similar interests, even if they’re not your followers or fans. For instance, the hashtag #blogpost on the comments area of the images posted on Instagram (photo image above & below) will appear as clickable links. When someone clicks on any one of them, it will display a real-time live feed of every other post tagged with the same hashtag. In this example there are 380,530 posts using the hashtag #blogpost. Are you starting to see the impact and necessity of using Hashtags?
Assuming your social media profile on Instagram (or any other social media site for that matter) is public, using hashtags will make your posts visible to basically anyone who shares your interest. Your posts are no longer limited to just your followers; your content is now available to all other users with similar hashtags. The outreach can greatly broaden that of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers, fans, or customers by choosing the right hashtag (#). Check out https://tagboard.com/ to search, select and display popular hashtags to use.
Instagram in a nutshellCurrently Instagram has 300 million people using its photo app every month, with 70% of them coming from outside the US. Need I say more? That PROVES its popularity! I like to think of Instagram as a way to generate interest to an audience I'm trying to reach as part of my social media marketing goals. A great platform to engage and learn from other creative like minded individuals.
If you decide to experiment with Instagram on your own time, be sure to track your results and use them to improve your overall goal. This includes factors like knowing the times of day you post, frequency of posts, the hashtags you use, your article caption(s) and your calls-to-action. All of these elements play a BIG factor in whether to use Instagram at all.
My goal for joining Instagram is to generate additional interest for my blog by introducing and sharing new ideas that can be beneficial. Pretty much the same reason I network with other social media sites but this time, it's on a more visual, video mobile sharing platform level.
I hope this article provides you with an insight into Instagram. If you ever consider signing up for an Instagram account, the links and strategies above are a great starting point.
Are you currently on Instagram or have considered Instagram for your personal/business use? Please share in the comments below.
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.
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