Instagram Marketing for Yoga Professionals
Post Date: August 17, 2017
Instagram is one of the web’s largest social networks. Easy, mobile-friendly networking has made this image-driven platform one of the most popular places for people to share life experiences online. And with the introduction of Instagram Stories, the social network has shown it will remain competitive as broader social networking trends begin to shift toward live streaming video.
For yoga studios and instructors, Instagram represents an excellent opportunity to network with new and potential students. Using the tips below, learn to grow your Instagram following with the help of great content, ethical teamwork, and powerful analytics tools.
Engagement Tips & Etiquette
- Post regularly. Every post is an opportunity to build a new or existing relationship. Remember to post regularly (at least once per day), and use analytics tools to determine the best time of day to do so (see Grow with Analytics section below).
- Speak with respect and kindness. Whether writing a caption to a post or issuing a response to a comment, remember to always speak with respect and kindness.
- Always respond to comments. Communication is the key to developing new and existing relationships, so remember to always respond to user comments. Answer questions, offer your experiences, show gratitude for their support, and ask follow-up questions to keep the conversation going!
- …Unless you shouldn’t respond to comments. Of course, not all comments warrant a response. Crude, offensive, and hateful speech should never be tolerated. Consider deleting particularly negative comments, warn users who make inappropriate or predatory advances on other users, and ban/block anyone that continues to display inappropriate conduct.
- Know when and how to Repost. Not all of your content should be your own. Reposting content from other accounts diversifies your page, and it helps to build relationships with other content producers. Apps like Repost make this process easy by allowing you to quickly share photos and videos to your page, while also citing the original creator.
- Draw a clear line between Instagram Posts and Stories. Posts are typically evergreen content, which means they are helpful, timeless, and reinforce your brand’s major goals. Stories, on the other hand, are engaging, entertaining, and temporary—that is, they are related to specific events and do not need to be permanently featured within your profile. Separating Posts from Stories keeps your page focused on your primary Instagram marketing goals, without cluttering the page with images and videos that—although entertaining—might distract users from your brand’s primary vision. Learn more about using Instagram Stories.
- Use hashtags in a helpful way. Instagram uses a complex algorithm to determine what content gets featured in other users’ Discovery tabs. One of the biggest factors is activity—that is, what kinds of posts the user interacts with. Hashtags play only a small role in making content more discoverable. As algorithms improve they are likely to play an even smaller role. When you use hashtags, limit them to only tags that are directly related to the image, brand, or location. Try to work them naturally into the caption’s sentences, and resist the urge to lazily copy/paste a paragraph of auto-generated tags.
- Embrace emojis! As we cover in our Personal Branding article, few things are more powerful than creating an emotional response with your audience. Emojis can help you do that in a fun and social way. Think of the emojis that best illustrate your personality—and your mood while posting—and do not be afraid to use them in captions to convey emotion.
Better Together: Finding a Tribe to Help Your Channel Grow
When it comes to building your audience, think grassroots. This type of marketing has been around since the early 1900s, when political activists focused on creating powerful local movements to effect broader change on the national level. The same can be done in today’s digital landscape. Rather than pay for Followers (which are likely to be spammy accounts), create group message threads within Instagram with like-minded accounts. As part of the movement, have everyone agree to send their most recent posts to the group thread so others can view, Like, and share it. When organized effectively, these message threads can quickly amplify your Instagram reach within weeks. Best of all, organizing groups of like-minded people can only improve engagement, idea sharing, and overall quality for everyone involved.
Below are a few ideas to help you create quality groups to improve Instagram reach:
- Organize a group of instructors at your local studio. This is a great way to always share one another’s posts about new classes, important poses, and other core components of your studio’s vision.
- Develop a list of local professionals. Chiropractors, dieticians, strength and conditioning coaches, therapists, and Reiki healers are just a few examples of local professionals who are increasingly embracing Instagram to find new clients. These professionals often recommend yoga to their clients, so offer your expertise and content as a digital relationship-building tool.
- Vet and approach online brands. Follow first, then determine how well aligned you are with the brand image and products. If you share common values, reach out to the brands to see if they would be interested in joining your tribe. There’s no shame in promoting great products, so long as you truly believe your audience will find value in them.
Grow with Analytics
Analytics is a great way to maximize your Instagram efforts. Take a moment to review the metrics and apps below, then think of ways to incorporate them into your own Instagram marketing strategy.
4 Key Metrics to Understand
Before reviewing Instagram apps, it helps to first understand what metrics are available to help you meet your Instagram marketing goals. Key metrics include:
- Comments Received: This metric tells you how engaging your content is by measuring how often a post inspires someone to comment— either positively, or negatively. Comments are considered to be a much more powerful indication of follower emotion, as they are a medium through which specific thoughts, opinions, and experiences can be shared.
- Most Engaged Hashtags: Hashtags make it easier for non-followers to discover your content. By measuring your most engaging hashtags, you will understand what types of photos deliver the most Likes, Comments, and new followers.
- Engagement Per Follower: This metric illustrates a how engaged your followers are, relative to your entire audience size. The higher the engagement, the more likely your posts will be recommended to other similar accounts. This is critical when making it into the coveted Discover tab, which can ultimately lead to massive follower growth.
- Instagram Stories Views: Instagram also provides data on user engagement with Stories. Not only can you analyse how many people saw your full story, but you can also see how many users saw each individual slide.
Top Apps for Engagement and Growth
Iconosquare. Formerly known as Statigram, this app is popular among average users and big brands alike. Iconosquare includes access to a desktop app, making it easier to review and manage important analytics on your computer’s big screen. Best of all, Iconosquare allows users to quickly and easily share their Instagram feed on their website or Facebook Company Page via custom tabs and code.
SimplyMeasured. Many influencers agree that SimplyMeasured provides the best high-level summary of Instagram account activity. Unlike Iconosquare, SimplyMeasured is a web-based tool, meaning you will have to create an account and run the program through your web browser. In this free report, you will find 2 months worth of analytics data, including average engagement (measured per post), comment keyword analysis, top locations, and much more.
InstaFollow. This mobile Instagram analytics tool is available to both iOS and Android users. Influencers love InstaFollow because it tells you more about your followers, which ultimately helps you build a bigger following. With this app, you can track users who follow-back, unfollow, and manage relationships based on follower activity. Download for Android or iOS.
Union Metrics. Another web-based analytics tool, Union Metrics offers a rich data report in just under 2 minutes. This app provides exceptional insights, such as identifying the best time of day to make a post (according to your account’s engagement data). Union Metrics offers both free and paid subscription options, so you can try the service before committing.
Crowdfire. This free Instagram app has many of the same features as the apps listed above, like follower analysis and other relationship building tools. However, Crowdfire can also be used to send push notifications to remind you to post. This unique feature is ideal for anyone who wears more than one hat during the day, as it helps you stay organized and engaged with your following.
Of course, Instagram is just one of many social media marketing platforms available to yoga studios and instructors. To learn more about comprehensive social marketing, visit this article on Social Media Marketing for Yoga Professionals.