No more photo sharing on Instagram!
Wait! That’s not quite what Adam Mosseri (Instagram boss) said this week. What he did say is that “Instagram is no longer just a square photo-sharing app.” Which has caused some people on the internet to throw their hands in the air and cry “Noooooooooooo!!!!”
But this isn’t news at all. It’s pretty obvious to anyone with a pulse and an Instagram account that this has been the case for some time now. Videos, Stories, IGTV, Reels and Guides have all been part of the Instagram ecosystem for a while. The only thing is . . . maybe you’ve been ignoring them and still only using those standard square photos.In which case you’ve been missing out!
No . . . not missing out on silly dance trends and pointing at word bubbles. Missing out on more engagement, more reach and the result of these … more clients! Because what HAS become clear is that Instagram will reward you by using ALL of the platform. So if you embrace all the ‘non-square photo’ elements you’ll grow your follower numbers, and generate more clients, faster.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
3 feed posts, 8 to 10 stories, 4 to 7 reels and 1 to 3 IGTV’s a week . . . oh and why not throw an Insta-Live in there for good measure. That’s the recommended usage level of Instagram according to a ‘leaked memo’ a few weeks ago if you want the maximum benefit. Does anyone else hear the word ‘leaked memo’ and hear PR stunt?
No, you don’t have to give up on sleep to get clients from Instagram. Of course, a ‘leaked memo’ on usage from Instagram is going to recommend using more of Instagram. D’uh! So what should you be doing with your Insta account?Well..
Step 1) Have a content plan . . . ad hoc Instagramming for your business will drive you insane. The only way to stay calm and get results is to have a plan that you can stick to and then stick to it. One quality post or reel is much better than 3-5 crappy ones
Step 2) Use as many different elements of Instagram as you can. Post to your feed – one photo and one video, well that’s easy. Post a couple of stories, that’s doable, do one reel a week, getting warmer now. 🥵Right there you are using 4 of the main 6 things you can do with Instagram. Get comfy with these and then maybe an Instagram live won’t seem like that big a deal.
Step 3) When you find what works, keep doing it until it doesn’t. Consistency might be a little dull, but you didn’t sign up for full-time social media work . . . so find your rhythm and stick to it. And remember . . . what ‘works’ means it generates clients. Follower numbers on their own are just vanity metrics.
HATE DANCING OR POINTING?
So you wanna use reels to increase your IG reach, but you can’t dance and feel silly pointing at text bubbles. The good news is, you don’t have to! Think of Reels less like Instagram’s answer to TikTok and more like 15 to 30-second adverts for what you do. Start off small by creating a simple talking head clip. You don’t need clever transitions, flashy intros or a Pinterest perfect background. Sometimes simple is best to get your point across. Create a simple clip of you sharing a tip (try to make it actionable), add a bit of text right at the start so the viewer knows what it’s about and you’re done.
Wanna show off? Add some music in the background. Once you’ve popped your Reels cherry and realised the world didn’t end, you can expand upon your quick tip and make a mini tutorial . . . remember, you’ve got 30 seconds max so you’ve GOT to keep it short and sweet.
Now you’re comfortable-ish, you can do a “Get to Know Me” reel. Keep it simple and stick with: Your Name/Where you’re from/What you do/What you offer/One Fun Fact about you/Why you do what you do.
Now you have three ideas for reels you could do today! Wait . . . you don’t like your face being on camera?Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you’re screwed and have to miss out on reels.
I HATE MY FACE ON CAMERA!
“I can’t use reels, I hate seeing my face on camera!” I’m just sat flicking through the Instagram guide to reels looking for where it says you have to have your face… Nope, can’t find it in there! You DON’T need to be IN your reel for it to get you that all-important extra reach. The great thing about the beauty industry is that so much of what you do is visual, it takes place in a very specific environment that often can instantly be connected to your treatments or services.
How about creating a reel of where you do your work, or a ‘How to’, a tip or a tutorial. For most of these, given you’ve only got a maximum of 30 seconds it’s probably going to work best if your face isn’t burning time in the reel. I used to suggest to my clients that the first Facebook Live they could do was a simple virtual tour of their salon or clinic starting just outside their entrance. This was to show non-clients exactly what to expect when they walk through the door. Something that can be daunting to new clients.
Here’s a crazy idea . . . you could do a 30-second virtual show round reel. Either talk over the top to explain what you are showing or use music and text on the screen. You know what . . . you could do that right now!
5 VIDEO/REEL IDEAS YOU CAN DO TODAY!
Popped your reels cherry . . . now what? You did that first reel, you got a kick out of the huge number of views it got and now you’re thinking “I want more of that” but not sure what to do next? Here are a few ideas…
Save yourself a bunch of time by ‘reels-ifying’ your existing most useful stuff?
Got an FAQ page . . . turn each one of those into a quick reel?
NOT got an FAQ page. Answer the 3 to 5 questions your clients ask you most often, one in each reel. Then turn these into an FAQ page.
Read your favourite client review of the week, month, year, ever.
Bust the biggest myth about what you do?
Make it personal by sharing how you look after your own self-care, lashes, skin, health, waxing . . . related to what you do in your business.
Take people behind the scenes and show how you get set up for the day or for a particular treatment.
So that’s some ideas to keep you going. Now tell me … anything else holding you back from getting more reels in your life?
If you’ve done even one reel before, then you’ll probably have got all excited by the difference in reach it gets compared to a standard post when you look at the views. But if you’re used to measuring the success of a post by the number of Likes and Comments, then you could be feeling a little deflated at the same time. Likely the number of comments and likes your reel got wasn’t what you were hoping for. But that’s not really the point of reels.
Reels do three things:
1) Create a deeper connection with your existing followers. This strengthens the connection with clients and moves potential clients further along the route to becoming actual clients.
2) Increases your reach and gives you exposure to more people so more people check out your account and follow you.
3) Keeps the Insta-Algorithm happy so Instagram shows more of your posts, stories and reels to more people thus further increasing your reach.
Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight, you’ve got to give it a bit of time. Challenge yourself to create one reel a week for a month. Measure the impact in terms of views and comments on the reel itself, and don’t forget to interact with people, but also in the number of followers and increase in interaction on your other posts too.
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