It is incredibly easy to get lost in Instagram. You have the best intentions, posting and sharing your latest products and news but, before you know it, your timeline is buried with cute cats skateboarding and puppies in plant pots. Not that we have a problem with either. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but this is not your personal account, it’s the company’s!

Instagram can be a vital and effective tool for marketers and businesses; the visual platform is especially good for promoting products and building a community of followers, if done correctly. Effectively, Instagram can be a great platform for delivering high quality content to your followers and interacting, generating sales and leads. Unfortunately with Instagram’s and all popular social media apps’, they’re very addictive and time consuming.

While Instagram is an important tool, it is a small part of a larger marketing or PR campaign, so the last thing you want to do, is to get tied down focusing on Instagram. Ideally, you should only work on Instagram just 20 minutes a day and that’s how we’re going to help you.

Ricemedia has put together a plan to manage your Instagram like a pro in just 20 minutes a day!

Objectives – 2 minutes

Before you can start editing and uploading photos, you need to set clear cut objectives for what you want your Instagram to achieve for the day.

Do you want to;

  • Build a large following?
  • Generate a number of sales?
  • Attract inquiries from prospective clients?

Do not be afraid to make these objectives or goals specific, creating specific goals allows you to have a clear target, which helps you find out if your campaign is working or not. We touch on this later in the blog but for now, set clear, detailed targets. E.g Gain 20 new followers.

Without clear objectives on what you want to get out of Instagram or any of your social media accounts, businesses and marketing departments will find themselves wasting their time with photos of delicious cake and inspirational sunsets.

Update Yourself – 3 minutes

Take 5 minutes to browse and search around Instagram, looking at any trends. These trends can be in hashtags or types of content that’s becoming popular for other users. Ideally, focus on your relevant industry. If you’re a jeweller’s, looking how bakers share photos of wedding cakes is not constructive use of your time. Really, I shouldn’t have to tell you this. 

If you find any content trends or hashtags you think are relevant or useful, note them down for today or tomorrow.

Create Content – 5 minutes

“Content is king” is a horrifically over used phrase but there is truth in this and with platforms like your blog and social media, you need to feed them content daily.

Instagram does not require a large amount of content, a minimum of 2 photos per day is sufficient but ideally you’d want around 3 to 5 pictures a day.

Content for Instagram is simple, you’ll have plenty of photos of products and other images used for your marketing campaigns, so finding content for your Instagram account is rarely a problem. One thing businesses forget to do is to watermark images. This allows you to protect your images and content from theft, also this helps with branding.

Distribute Content – 3 minutes

Now it’s time to distribute the content. However, if you’re implementing this plan in the morning or late afternoon, this might not be the ideal time for you to publish your content.

This is easy to resolve. If you use any social media software like Hootsuite or Buffer, you can use these tools to schedule content to be published days in advance. This is something I highly recommend doing as it allows you to be more tactical with publishing and aim at prime hours for your target audience.

For example, Friday is considered a difficult day for publishing content; especially in the afternoon. In the afternoon, a majority of people are focused on finishing work and going home to start their weekend. So, if you publish your content on a Friday afternoon or evening, do you think your content is going to receive any traction?

Research into when you want to schedule your content is important.

Engage and Respond – 7 Minutes (flexible)

As you build an audience and, eventually, a community of followers, you need to allocate time for engaging and responding to them. Large corporations and businesses are finding consumers are abandoning traditional customer service methods and approach them publicly via social media. This has led to businesses bringing their customer services department over to social media to interact with them. To a degree, I find customer service teams and digital PR teams have merged together.

Some businesses don’t like responding but it is the point of social media, it is a platform for interaction and engagement. Through interacting with your followers, you begin being a relationship with them. That is what generate sales, attract inquires and turn one off buyers into regulars, not cute pictures of cats.

This part of the plan is flexible, so don’t feel compelled to only engage and respond in the mornings. Ideally, you spend half the time in the mornings, responding to prior messages and engagements from the previous evening and engage later in the afternoon. This is up to you as you start using Instagram more and build up your followers, you’ll find there could be a peak time for interactions. So plan accordingly.

That is Ricemedia’s 20 minute a Day Instagram strategy for you to promote your products without falling down that digital rabbit hole of cats playing pianos and puppies in costumes. If you want to know how else Ricemedia can improve your social media marketing, get in touch.

Photo by Daniel Stockman, available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence.