Episode 271: Show Notes
Hey everybody and welcome to another fantastic episode of The Strategy Hour Podcast! Today we are joined by one of our favorite people in the world, a real internet bestie and the Instagram King, Tyler J. McCall! Tyler is here to talk to us about his speciality - how to get Instagram working for you immediately. Of course, Instagram, like all social platforms is constantly evolving so Tyler will be talking about what the best strategies are right now, but also looking at some of the more timeless rules of the framework. Tyler has helped a huge amount of entrepreneurs (including us!) to grow their Instagram following and engagement through the lessons he teaches. For Tyler, it really is quite simple: if you follow a few easy rules, have fun, and bring your own personality to your account you really can’t go wrong!
During our conversation we cover some of the basics around content and captions and the move away from highly curated profiles. Tyler also stresses the importance of knowledge of your audience and how this informs your strategy. We get into the nitty gritty of telling your brand’s story and how to convey this in an effective and engaging way as well as looking at the values that underscore everything that you post. One of the biggest recent developments on Instagram is obviously the Stories feature and Tyler breaks down some lessons for approaching that area and also reiterates just how important they are to your reach, engagement, and potential profits. Lastly, we cover some tips and ideas for personal versus business profiles and how to go about starting out on the platform for newbies. Jump in, it’s going to be a fun ride!
What Everyone Should Be Focussed On Right Now!
A rule that has always been and probably will always be is that on Instagram content is king. This has meant slightly different things over the years and at the moment it means that if you are delivering great content to your followers you will be engaging them. There has been a move away from strict curation and pretty pictures as the only way to gain traction and success on Instagram. Now a caption or a Story can get you you just as much engagement as anything else. You have to know who you are talking to and who your audience is, that way targeting and communicating with them can be that much more straightforward. You really want your followers to feel spoken to, so you have to ask yourself what would create that effect. In this way your audience is really a primary directive of your strategy. This translates differently according to your audience in terms of content and style, but the strategy is pretty universally applicable.
Captions, Storytelling and Knowing What to Say
A great jumping off point is knowing the story you are trying to tell. You want to be able to communicate that story to your audience as clearly as possible. The story you are telling should be the commonality between you and them, it is what bridges the gap between everyone. This often works when you mirror ideas and feelings of theirs, creating something relatable and true. Tyler lays out the four buckets that he teaches all of his students and all of your posts should be able to fit into one of these! Educate, entertain, inspire, inform, and this is a great way to understand your strategy and what to post next, based on your and your audience’s needs. Another wonderful support system for your efficacy on Instagram is to create a voice standards guide. This means that you are essentially standardizing the voice you use in your posts. It also means when you are ready to outsource your social platforms, it is clear to anyone how to go about it. It can be the helping hand you need when you feel stuck about what to post or how to caption it and all of this is underpinned by your brand values and every branch of your online presence should be built outwards from these values, creating a bridge to your followers.
Frequency of Posts and Using Stories
A big question we all seem to ask ourselves is how often to post. Again this should be dictated by your audience but Tyler assures us that in general, it is not necessary to post as much as it was before. This is due to the algorithmic changes Instagram has made which has resulted in content lasting longer in terms of engagement. Remember, the algorithm is your friend! Get to know it and use it to your advantage! Tyler says that personally he posts once or twice a week at the moment and that results in great engagement and growth on his account, so keep that in mind. This leads into his next point which is about Instagram Stories. This is where you really need to show up now! So instead of posting huge amounts unnecessarily on the feed, rather keep your Stories popping with interesting content that people can watch and reply to often. Think about the goal of this content and how much conversation it can generate, this will help you decide what to post and how to frame it. A tip from Tyler for narrowing down your posting can be to post later in the day after compiling and creating content while you go about your business. This can make the process a bit more simple and manageable. And remember, have fun with your posts, it should not feel like an obligation!
Splitting Personal and Business Accounts
Tyler believes that for the most part the age of separate personal and business accounts has come to an end. Especially in the entrepreneurial and online business sphere. The personal touch and interest really suits this world for Instagram and helps an audience to connect more deeply with a business or a person. When you might be wondering about posting personal versus more business oriented content, the operative question remains, “How will this benefit my audience and what action will they take from it?” If the answers to those questions are not very clear then maybe it is not the right thing to post. That is just a guideline and with a little bit of thought and reflection you will soon see what is the best way forward. Remember your account is your own, you are in control of the limits and you can decide what to show the world. Tyler also stresses keeping negativity and complaining out of your content as this can never really have a positive impact on the lives of your followers. Great advice in our opinion!
Strategies For Starting Out on Instagram
If you are just thinking about getting onto Instagram and are feeling a bit of trepidation or procrastinating, Tyler says just schedule it! Set out a goal and stick to it, whether this is posting once a week for the next month or just creating a profile, get started. Then when you are posting, give yourself a small, set amount of time to get a post done and when that is up put the phone down and move on. A post should not really take more than a few minutes and deliberating over it forever is not going help anyone. Having a clear idea of the story you are trying to tell will aid you in this process, whether it is for Stories or for the feed, know your message and how it begins and ends. All these pointers can help you along the road, but it is of great importance to find what works for you, and when you find that you will go from strength to strength. So go on and get going!
What Everyone Should Be Focussed On Right Now! [0:04:06.2]
Captions, Storytelling and Knowing What to Say. [0:08:58.8]
Frequency of Posts and Using Stories. [0:13:45.2]
Splitting Personal and Business Accounts. [0:21:35.7]
Strategies For Starting Out on Instagram. [0:26:01.1]
The Power of Captions and Retaining Viewers. [0:29:03.2]
Who are you trying to reach?
Post less often in the feed.
It all goes down in the DM!