How to Build a Converting Community on Instagram with Sue B Zimmerman – Ep 31
Continuing with our series on how to build a converting community and monetize by providing huge value, we invited Sue B Zimmerman to share her incredible insights on how to build a converting community on Instagram.
We asked Sue some questions about how she built her business using Instagram and she shared some of her secrets below.
You are also going to want to hear some of the extra things she shared in our our free Facebook community. You can listen to those extra “off the script” tips here.
Question: Why do you like Instagram as a marketing tool?
Answer: It was born organically out of a small business I had on Cape Cod. I didn’t just wake up and decide to be an Instagram expert- I used it in my store to grow an authentic community around the products that I was selling. Back then, I used all social media, but specifically focused on Instagram because my kids were on it at the time and I knew that they were setting the trend. I just loved it for so many reasons. I’m a visual person, artistic, creative and I love connecting with others and really growing an authentic community. There is no other platform that can set your community on fire if you do it right.
Question: How do you get people to follow you on Instagram and do you build a community there?
Answer: It’s not straightforward. I’ve been on this platform for over 5 years and I’ve done a lot of trial and error in terms of posting strategy. I finally figured out the groove that works for me. I have a personal account that depicts a successful small business owner in Boston. On my business account, I teach daily Instagram tips, strategies and tactics.
You have to understand your hashtags and have a posting strategy that aligns with your business, brand and core values. The gold is in the engagement, not the posting. Otherwise, you’re missing out on the community building opportunity. The one to one conversations is what leads to conversions. Building that trust makes people want to do the thing or call to action I’m requesting.
I want people to feel like I’m leading with nurturing. Nurturing is building that trust, caring, listening and telling that person what they need based on the way they’re engaging with you. This is not a tool you can automate or systemize, you need to keenly focus in on people.
Question: How do you get people to take action and convert to a customer from Instagram since you can only use links in your profile?
Answer: There are a few opportunities to convert. If you have 10,000 followers or more on a business account, you can swipe up. In Instagram direct messages, links are live. If you have a conversation with someone and they’re interested in something, you can drop a link there. You need to have a real conversation, not just send them a message to sell.
Question: Why are hashtags so important on Instagram and how do you use them?
Answer: Check out the Hashtag Handbook. The riches are in the niches. You don’t want to use general hashtags with a lot of views. You want to find the ones that match up to the number of likes you’re getting on your pictures. Hashtags related to locations or events you attend are good options. Follow a hashtag to see what content is being curated to test if it’s right for you and your business. General or popular hashtags attract spammy people, comments and bots. Typically, 7-12 hashtags are enough for an account, but it will vary based on your business, so experiment to see what works.
Question: How are you using the various features of Instagram: Lives, Stories and Highlights?
Answer: I am that entrepreneur that like to be the first one to try everything. I love highlights and I’ve branded mine in both my personal and business profiles. Highlights sit right below your bio and is the best real estate on Instagram. You need to strategically think about what you business highlights should be. I have my blog, tips, my show, a free download to my guide that gets you going on Instagram, my latest blog post and “Meet Sue B”. I want people to know who I am and I highlight based on that. Every blog day, I do an animated GIF and then I go live on Instagram at 9pm EST. I condition my audience to tune in live and get about 200-400 people. With stories, you don’t want to do heavy graphics and posts just to do them. You have to figure out what your voice is and show your true personality. If you’re going to do promotional in your stories with highly curated graphics, you should get on a video and show your audience your personality.
Question: Can you tell us about your new Facebook show?
Answer: I decided in year five of teaching Instagram that I don’t just teach, I actually do more coaching and teaching business strategies. We created something around that part of my personality, and what I love doing, which is helping people make money. It took us a year to plan The Social Sip. It is a high-energy, fast-paced 30 minutes with segments and a theme for every show. We want people to walk away and take action on what I’m teaching.
Tools, apps and links mentioned:
Sue B. Zimmerman is an insightful, energetic and in-demand social media educator, speaker, and business coach. Sue’s blog was ranked as one of the Top 10 social media blogs in 2017 by Social Media Examiner. She is also one of the most popular CreativeLive instructors and has been named by Huffington Post as one of the “Top 50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs”. Sue is driven to help business owners leverage the power of Instagram to meet (and exceed) their business goals. As a lifelong entrepreneur, she has over 30 years of business experience. And, with her extensive knowledge and implementation of social media, it is Sue B.’s mission to teach, mentor, and empower others.
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