Struggling with Instagram? Marisa Robinson reveals how she got started on the social platform and how you can transform your business and brand too!
First off thank you for taking the time today for this interview.
We were introduced after my good friend Toby Maguire gave me a rundown of the Instagram consultancy session, he had with you.
He was impressed and recommended I get in touch.
Our Instagram strategy call went way over the hour I booked with you, and I am super impressed with the amount of value and actionable recommendations for my channel @Supergreentonikofficial.
I would like to share how you first got started on Instagram, your fascination with the platform, and share some tips on how to get quick wins.
So, thanks Marisa let’s jump straight into this with my first question.
It would be great to get a little background information from where you were born and live today. What’s your back story?
Thanks for having me, Adam!
I was born in Sydney Australia and currently live in Wollongong on the NSW South Coast. After working in a variety of digital marketing jobs I decided to ditch the 9-5 and start my own business as a Digital Marketing Consultant.
I have been doing this for over 5 years and absolutely love it but it was only in the last 12 months I decided to niche down and teach small businesses how to strategically use Instagram to grow their brands.
With so many social platforms out there what made you first get really into Instagram?
I have been active on Instagram personally and professionally for close to 10 years. At first, I was drawn to it as it was a more visual platform, especially when compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but over time I learned that it was so much more than that.
In addition to being a Digital Marketer, I am a Cruelty-Free Beauty Blogger so I have a dedicated beauty Instagram account @marisarobinsonbeauty and over the years not only have I connected with amazing like-minded people, some of who I am lucky enough to call close friends, but it provided a platform to connect and work with brands.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the vanity metrics, such as the number of followers on your channel, but engagement is where the money is. What are the quick wins for boosting Instagram engagement?
Show up on Instagram Stories and utilize the stickers.
If you want to make it really easy to get your audience engaged using the poll, question, and quiz stickers. Not only are these fun and quick to implement, but they require minimal work from your followers to take part and you can also use them to conduct your own market research and learn more about your followers and what content they want from you.
The other great thing is that you can see who has engaged with these stickers which make it easier for you to initiate a DM and continue the conversation with them.
Engagement is definitely part of a long-term strategy and it will require showing up consistently, creating genuine connections, and relatable and shareable content that your target audience resonates with.
What is the number one newbie mistake you often seen when a business first sets up on Instagram?
Not optimizing their Profile Name (not to be confused with their username which starts with @).
In most cases, I see businesses use their business name or personal name.
This isn’t wrong but if your business name is one that people aren’t familiar with (especially if it is just your name) how are people going to find you?
When you use the search function on Instagram it displays search results including accounts.
So by using keywords and phrases in your Profile Name that align with your business and what your target audience would be searching for, it is a great opportunity to get your account seen and visible in search results.
Eg. A man named John Smith has a fencing business. His username is @johnsmithfencing but his Profile Name is John Smith. Change the profile name to John Smith Fencing to incorporate the keyword for his business, ‘Fencing’.
The first “strategy” adopted by many new to the platform is the typical follow lots of people and then unfollow them. What’s your take on this?
I definitely don’t recommend the following to unfollow tactic as part of your growth strategy.
As someone who has been on the other end of being followed and unfollowed by brands/businesses, it looks desperate and unprofessional. Plus, with apps that allow you to see who has unfollowed you, chances are I will unfollow back so you have essentially wasted your time.
Instead, focus on a growth strategy where you follow accounts that you are genuinely interested in.
If you want to capture the attention of these users engage with their content and start a conversation. Not only will you get to know more about them but they will recognize you and hopefully view your profile so they can learn more about you and your business and services too.
We talked about the approach I have taken so far with my brand, very much a “set and forget strategy” I think we called it. Do you mind sharing some of the recommendations you suggested for me here?
While I encourage scheduling Instagram content to save time and work more efficiently, you cannot afford to set and forget your content.
The key to social media is being social so it is just as important to schedule time to engage on the platform as it is to be posting content.
Whether that is engaging with your followers’ latest posts, starting conversations by replying to Stories, engaging with potential ideal clients, and also engaging with people who have commented on your posts – you need to factor engagement time into your strategy.
When first starting on Instagram it’s difficult to work out what ROI is possible, and so can be difficult to work out what resources to allocate for this channel. Could you give us an example of a success story you’re had with Instagram? This can be a client or your own brand.
A success story that has worked for me and a few of my clients is when they introduce video content (Reels, Live and IGTV) into their strategy. Videos are a great way to humanize your brand and if you create a captivating video it has a high chance of being displayed on the explore page increasing your content and account reach.
For example, just today I helped a client create their first Instagram Reel.
They have just over 500 followers and within 3 hours the Reel had received over 600 views and lots of comments. We were strategic about the purpose of the Reel ensuring it would resonate with their target audience but it has generated a great response in a short time.
So whether you’re new to Instagram or been using the platform for a while I would definitely recommend video as part of your content strategy.
How have you seen the platform changed in the last few years?
The platform has evolved so much over the past few years!
From the addition of new features such as Reels and Guides to how Instagram is now using AI learning to provide more accurate and relevant search results.
While it can feel overwhelming, Instagram is only making it easier for us to create and share captivating content while building authentic relationships with our customers and clients.
I also think businesses can now see the potential it has to turn followers into long-term fans and customers making Instagram an integral part of their digital marketing strategy.
You run an Instagram agency where you specifically help the business grow their brands on the platform. Can you give us a little run-down of what you offer and how these can be of value for a brand starting on Instagram?
Absolutely, I have a range of services to suit every budget and stage in a businesses Instagram cycle:
- Instagram Audits: a fresh set of eyes looking over your account and where I provide professional best practices, recommendations, and opportunities that you can implement to enhance your account and start seeing results. This is ideal for someone who has been using Instagram but requires clarity to ensure they are using the platform to its full potential.
- Instagram Strategy Sessions: customized strategies inline with your business goals so you are strategically using Instagram to grow your brand. These sessions are conducted over a 1:1 zoom call where I present a custom plan and share how you can efficiently use Instagram, maximize each touchpoint (Feed, Stories, Reels, and IGTV), and content ideas to grow your brand.
- Instagram Management: this is where I manage your Instagram account to save you time and so you can focus on running a successful business and doing what you love. This is ideal for the person who knows they need to be on Instagram but either doesn’t have the time to commit to it or would prefer to leave it to a professional to manage.
It is one thing to use Instagram personally but it is very different when it comes to using it to grow your business and as part of your digital marketing plan. You require a different plan, you aren’t posting for the sake of posting but rather posting strategically and creating content to attract your ideal customers and clients.
Anyone looking to kick starts their Instagram channel into a new gear, I thoroughly recommend jumping on a call with Marisa.
You can connect with her directly via her website: https://www.marisarobinsondigital.com/.
You can connect via Social Media here.