Written by Neeraja Viswanathan

April 21, 2022

Day 2 of ManyChat’s 2022’s Instagram Summit featured the panel “Women in Instagram Business,” moderated by ManyChat’s head of marketing, Anna Tutckaia. Taking part in the panel were female entrepreneurs Natalie Ellis, co-founder and CEO of BossBabe, and Sue B. Zimmerman, founder of Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise. The event was filled with content advice and marketing tips businesswomen seeking to successfully build their business with Instagram and other social media marketing. Here are the most useful takeaways from their discussion:

Use information gathered from online networking sites to increase community engagement

For female entrepreneurs there are few substitutes for social networking sites like Instagram and Facebook to define and promote your brand management. And because social media is so interactive, it can be tempting to assume that most of your customer communications will occur here. A social media presence is just the first step to reaching your target audience and building a community around your product and brand. By leveraging your social media contacts to use in other communication channels—particularly an email list-—you can create real engagement with future and potential customers.

Entrepreneurs can look to metrics to reverse engineer new content

You can improve your content and expand your message by first monitoring your metrics. By looking at the number of followers and the extent of engagement, you can not only see which topics and posts have the most impact, but which forms of communications (email, social media, automated chat) have the most success for a particular message. By reverse engineering your new content according to the metrics found in your insights, you can repeat the success of your most popular posts. While metrics don’t always tell the whole story, keeping track of what works can help you structure your communication with your customers. The return on investment of monitoring your metrics can take various forms, such as repeated customer engagement, the establishment of your brand, or improving a long-term marketing strategy.

Entrepreneurs should invest in video, not just design

It’s important to remember that it’s easier to acquire customers when they’re interacting rather than just reading. While graphics and design can be memorable, there’s no substitute for the human element when it comes social media marketing that converts followers into customers. Going live on Instagram is a great way for entrepreneurs to interact with potential customers, humanize your brand, and create a larger community. Entrepreneurs can greet newcomers and place a call to action in the comments, or promote experts who can offer new value to your audience. Using videos and going live on your social media creates a greater sense of engagement than would be possible with just simple graphics and images. Not only is it easier to convey detailed information in a video format, but when you include real people in videos as well as animation, it creates a more intimate connection between your company and your customers and puts a human face on your brand.

Clear calls to action are essential for successful Instagram marketing

It’s often tempting to trust your audience to know what the next steps are, but that is a mistake. In fact, calls to action (CTAs) are the one element that can transform an Instagram post, making it engaging rather than merely informative and directing  customers to an entrepreneur’s products and services. And because CTAs are so essential for Instagram success, it’s important to have multiple approaches. 

The most common calls to action involved questions that encourage participation by the audience. Not only does this type of CTA increase engagement and create community, it also provides a great deal of useful data about the individuals responding. Another successful method of including CTAs in your marketing content is to include a link to your site or product in your Instagram bio, preferably separated by a black line or some other kind of separator that you can copy and paste into your post. CTAs should also be included in your Instagram ads. This way, followers who read your post are automatically directed to your CTA. If your content is current, shareable, and immediately useful, then a CTA will both increase traffic to your post and create interactions that can lead customers to become increasingly involved with your company as it grows. And this is particularly important for any newcomers in your audience. If you give them a roadmap to follow, you will increase brand awareness and engagement in your community.

A goal of almost every Instagram business should be to save customers’ time

Much of the Instagram audience are looking for ways to save time and are likely to favor brands and businesses that help them do that. Whether by using marketing automation to weed through inquiries and provide greater customer service or providing links to calls to action in your bio and on your posts, any marketing method that provides your audience with information as quickly as possible will likely be popular. 

When it comes to growth, viral content is king

Ideally, you want your content to be organically found on Instagram’s explore page and on your Instagram feed so it will then show up in the stories of various users. That way, you will be able to reach an audience beyond your current Instagram followers. A branded hashtag is also useful to build your customer base, as Instagram users can follow them and be notified of any new content that might be relevant to the hashtag topic. Finally, as an entrepreneur, it’s also important to know the form of content that will resonate most with your target audience. For example, while Instagram Reels are currently favored by Instagram’s algorithm and are more likely to go viral than other formats, if they don’t work for your brand or content, there’s little point in using them.

The only strategies that work for entrepreneurs are the ones that feel natural

There are many Instagram marketing hacks and tricks, but the most important rule is that your strategies feel natural enough so you can use them consistently. If you can’t continue to implement a strategy at regular intervals, or if it takes too much work or effort, then that strategy, no matter how successful, is wrong for you. Consistency is key when it comes to Instagram success, so use only those tricks and tips that you look forward to implementing. Even if you think you’ve found what works, it is still a good idea to stay open to new digital marketing strategies and hacks for content creation that might have even better results.

The biggest challenge facing female entrepreneurs is confidence

There are many fantastic Instagram communities for female-led businesses, and more opportunities for women to find success through social media management. However, since most successful Instagram businesses have put in around 10,000 hours on social media marketing, many fledgling businesswomen become discouraged when they start. The most daunting challenge women face when wanting to start a business is a lack of confidence in their business and brand, And the most important aspect of becoming successful on social media is having the right mindset—one that identifies mental blocks and removes obstacles that prevent you from taking the right actions to support your marketing goals. 

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The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ManyChat or any other party. Individual results may vary.