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Instagram for business

Tuesday Tutorial – Why Are You on Instagram? What’s Your Plan?

Dee Mcmeeking has recently joined the Academy team as the lead tutor for our new Diploma in Floral & Event Styling.  She is an Academy alumnus, floral expert and the successful owner of Dee Mcmeeking Wedding Styling and Wedding Flowers. In this blog post, Dee talks about the importance of Instagram in business today, and why it’s essential you have an Instagram strategy for your wedding business. 
There are so many social media platforms today and as a business owner we are constantly told you need to be on social, that’s where your clients are. But in my opinion, you are wasting your time if you don’t know why you are there. That’s why I’m asking you what’s your plan?
Now there are lots of reasons why you might use Instagram as a business and here are a few of them:

  • Explore pretty pictures and use it as your own research tool and inspiration
  • Engage with other industry suppliers and collaborate
  • Attract your ideal client
  • Promote work you have completed and hope it gets noticed by blogs/influencers /magazines
  • A free online portfolio
  • Drive traffic to your website, blog, or online shop
  • Collate ideas that you feel would be ideal for your ideal clients
  • Share behind the scenes photos and let your personal approach to weddings emerge
  • If you don’t know why you are there then how can you be using the platform successfully?

We can all get sucked into the numbers game – I must be doing well I have 600 followers etc. But if your followers are not putting money into your business or at minimum spreading your work across their own Instagram feeds, then you might as well have no followers at all!
Instagram for business
You need to have a plan for your Instagram account.  You need it to work for you as a business tool.
But here are a few key numbers for you that I have discovered that have pushed me to make my Instagram account work for me.

  • 150 million users on Instagram and over 90% of these are under 35 – they are our potential clients in the wedding industry!
  • Engagement on Instagram is now estimated at 15 times more than on Facebook, so this is a very “now” platform
  • You should be expecting 1.5% – 2% of your total followers to like each post. So if you have 400 followers then 1% = 4, 2% = 8. If you have more than this you’re doing ok. If you have 1000 followers then 1% = 10, 2% = 20. This should be your minimum acceptable level of engagement. Have a quick check on your engagement – how are you really doing?
  • There is a relationship between the number of people you are following and the number of followers you have attracted. Around 25% of all the people you follow will follow you back. Try it! I have and it’s true!

But all of these facts are irrelevant if you don’t know why you are on Instagram. So my challenge to you is to think about why you are there and get that clear in your own mind. The question below is your starting point, and your answer may be more than one group of people.
Are my photographs on Instagram aimed at current clients, future clients, other wedding industry businesses, or blogs and magazines?
It’s only when you know who you want to see your photographs that you can really put a plan together to get some business results and make your account work for you.
And if you think about it then your choice and style of photograph should be different depending on who you want to attract. If you want to get on the radar of a blog or magazine then a quick snap from your phone is not going to be enough is it? If you want to work with other businesses and build a relationship with them then cat photos and plates of homemade food (unless you live with a Michelin star chef) are not going to send the right vibe are they? Your current clients may be quite happy to see your holiday snaps but future clients may want to see evidence of your best work.
Instagram for business

So here’s what I’d like you to do:

  • Think about who you want your Instagram account to attract – be really specific. These people are your perfect audience
  • Check out your current photographs and ask are these a good match for your perfect audience. If not delete them.
  • Look at your likes and see are you getting the magic 1.5% – 2%. If you struggle with the maths then take off the last 2 numbers on your followers as a rough guide and double it to get 2%, so 745 followers = 7 x 2 = 14
  • Can you attract more followers by following more people? Try it and see!

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