How to Use Instagram To Dramatically Improve Your Business, With LaShawn Wiltz and Candice Georgiadis
Leverage your Captions! Yes, Instagram is a visual platform, but once you hook them with the photo, to increase the chance that they will do more than just double tap and move on, you need to give them a reason to stop and comment. Make sure your caption continues the story that your photo is trying to tell! And give users a reason to comment by using a call to action. A call to action gives a user a reason to do something. For example, Head to the link in our bio for the latest sale information. Or telling users to “leave a comment with your best advice about…” This gives users a reason to comment and a feeling of community when you respond to that comment. And THAT keeps them coming back.
I had the pleasure of interviewing LaShawn Wiltz, the creator of Everyday Eyecandy.com where she blogs about motherhood, her life, her passion for capturing everyday moments through photography and trying to find her version of balance through it all. She was the 2017 Mom 2.0 Summit IRIS Award winner for Best Instagram and is passionate about helping everyone live their best Instagram life. Based in Atlanta, GA, you can find Lashawn on Instagram, capturing the beauty in life’s everyday moments, documenting her days as a wife and mom with half-finished coffee in one hand and her camera in the other.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always loved Instagram. Over the years, I slowly built a community over there and even though it was small, it was mighty. I started getting questions on how I did things, why I posted when I did. How I grew. I started helping friends and it bloomed from there.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I have spoken on the topic of Instagram at conferences ( BlogHer and Mom2.0). I have written about Instagram for online publications and I teach strategies about Instagram to other influencers. And my strategies work!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
It actually happened to my husband! He is rarely featured on my Instagram, but one day he and my son were both recognized at our local YMCA by someone who follows me. He was so surprised because before then, he just thought I was playing around online.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started selling courses, I just thought if you build it, surely they will come. NOT! My mistake was just saying I had a course and listening to the crickets for months until I figured out I had to be proactive.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
I have found that Instagram is! You never know who is watching. I post to Instagram several times a week about my love of coffee. I do a simple story almost every morning about my first cup of coffee. I have gotten many contracts and opportunities in the last few years simply because of that love of coffee. The lesson here is: do what you love, share what you love. Somewhere out there are people who will see that and want to hire you because of it.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
- Be Social and Engage. I put this first for a reason. Instagram is a SOCIAL network that thrives and runs on being engaged. Interacting with other Instagram accounts in your niche by liking, commenting and following is still one of the fastest ways to grow your accounts. Why? Because you are making connections. So if you sell shoes, you should be interacting with companies that sell shoes and fashionistas who wear shoes and post about them on their accounts.There are your people! They are the ones who will most likely to engage back and follow you because they are interested in your content.
- Engage Back. When a customer takes the time out of their day to like or actually comment on your content, ENGAGE BACK! Instagram’s mission is to keep you and your customers on the app as long as possible. This is why they gave us the ability to like comments, threaded comments on our posts and the ability to send DM’s. Engaging with your customers shows them that you care and it keeps them coming back. But remember that engagement shouldn’t have a spammy quality. Make meaningful comments!
- Leverage your Captions! Yes, Instagram is a visual platform, but once you hook them with the photo, to increase the chance that they will do more than just double tap and move on, you need to give them a reason to stop and comment. Make sure your caption continues the story that your photo is trying to tell! And give users a reason to comment by using a call to action. A call to action gives a user a reason to do something. For example, Head to the link in our bio for the latest sale information. Or telling users to “leave a comment with your best advice about…” This gives users a reason to comment and a feeling of community when you respond to that comment. And THAT keeps them coming back.
- Use Instagram Stories. Instagram is personal. It’s still a very “social” network. Users want to get to know the people behind the account. They want to see the behind the scenes of your business, you packing away products, planning for the next launch. When they feel like they know you, they trust you. And when they trust you, they buy your products.
- Make the most of the link in your bio. I can’t tell you how many times that I come across Instagram accounts with a simple link and no explanation of where it leads to. The best way to drive traffic to your business is to make sure it is clear where that link leads to by using a call to action. Explain exactly what the link in bio leads to. For example: Head here to get a limited time $25 off coupon.
- Use your analytics. If you have a business account( and you should!) use your analytics! There is so much information there about your audience! You can find out what cities they are in, what time they are online, which content they respond to the most to. In other words, you can tailor your content to your audience simply by using the analytics that Instagram collects for you.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I want people to share their everyday lives, not just our highlight reels. Because it’s those everyday moments that are important. These little everyday moments aren’t perfect and curated, but they are just as special because they are the real you. And that is what helps us to connect to one another.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
It’s so cliche to say Oprah. But I’m going to say Oprah. Because who wouldn’t? I’ve been so inspired by her and the way she has taken everything that she has learned and life, turned it around and shared it with us. As someone who switched careers and started a business later in life ( I’m 42) I always look to how she saw what wasn’t working with OWN, learned from it and bloomed! Who wouldn’t want to sit and learn from that?
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!