Social Media can be a very useful tool to promote yourself and any workshops/classes/courses that you are running. You may not like social media for personal use, but the truth is that it can be vital to marketing yourself and finding new students.
Instagram is extremely popular in the yoga world and there are so many users on there that will be interested in yoga. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to effectively market yourself as a yoga teacher. Especially since Instagram is heavily based on visuals, you will need to have some beautiful photos (I recommend some really good ones that are royalty-free below!) If you want to get the rundown on the key aspects to Instagram and how to use the platform as a marketing tool, keep reading.
This is Part 1 of 2. In this part, we will discuss the very basics of Instagram (Your Page, Hashtags and Posts). In the next part we will go through Tags, Mentions, the Algorithm, Explore tab and Stories! You can find part 2 here!
First things first, I recommend you change your Instagram account from a personal to a business profile (or setting up a separate account if you’d prefer). This will make it easier for potential students to visit you, e-mail you or call you. The business profile will also allow you to view your analytics and promote posts.
How do I make my profile a business profile?
I would suggest turning your profile into a business profile. It’s very easy to do and worth making the change. All you have to do is go to your profile options and you will see an option for ‘switch to business profile’ and this will automatically update your profile to become a business profile. Simple.
What is the difference?
The main difference is that you will gain access to analytics and buttons will appear on your profile. This will allow you to gain insights of your impressions, reach and website clicks (the link in your bio), and buttons will appear on your profile; call, directions, email (you can choose which ones are displayed on your page). You also get the option to promote your posts!
What are Hashtags and how to use them?
Hashtags are very important on Instagram because it is how you are discovered by others (in the explore tab). It may be tempting to put as many hashtags as you can on the caption of your photos but this may be dangerous for your Instagram account. This is due to many users now being ‘shadowbanned’ for using hashtags excessively or sometimes hashtags that have been banned (even though they seem completely innocent)! To ensure you are using #’s correctly you should only use hashtags that are relevant to you. Whether it be related to the picture in the post, the industry you work in or relevant to the type of people you want to attract. Not only should the hashtags be relevant but it’s important that you have done some research on them, otherwise your photos may not do as well as they could.
Things to be cautious of
It’s very easy to be shadowbanned especially if you are using lots of hashtags in your posts. It’s recommended to use around 9 hashtags, it may be useful to switch them up often too. Every day there are different hashtags that are banned on Instagram, sometimes they are very innocent such as #books or #worklife but if Instagram finds lots of spam content within these hashtags they will ban it, there’s no telling about how long these hashtags will be banned for. To check if hashtags are banned you simply need to search in the search bar for the hashtag you’d like to use and if it says no hashtags exist or that the images have been hidden as they don’t meet community guidelines, this means they have been temporarily banned. It’s unlikely that the # has been banned permanently, it may just be for the day so you can always check later on if you really wanted to incorporate it into your Instagram images.
Researching your hashtags
Hashtags should be relevant to yourself. Whether it be relevant to the post, relevant to your industry or relevant to the people you want to attract. Researching is always a good idea before going forward with your hashtags.
- Go through the explore tab on Instagram and type in a simple hashtag, find a few accounts that relate to you (perhaps it’s similar interests, similar industry or an example of your target market) and follow them. You should also go through their profile and look at the hashtags they use, make note of the ones that interest you. You can also take a note of the type of images they post and what kind of things they advertise (if it is a yoga teacher or studio you are looking at)
- Once you have a list of hashtags that you’d like to use you can then give them a search in the explore tab. This will allow you to be on the safe side, to ensure that the rest of the images using this hashtag are appropriate and relevant – remember your pictures will appear next to these images!
- Another suggestion is to use hashtags that are not too popular, as your post will quickly disappear and get lost amongst all the other images – for example – using #yoga. Find hashtags that are unique but also have a fair amount of people using them.
How often should I be posting?
Instagram is a very populated platform and to ensure you are seen by your followers and new people, it is best to post at least once a day. You should also keep in mind that you don’t want to spam your followers! So if you do want to post multiple times a day, try and spread it out evenly (example – 8am, 3pm, 9pm). Since most Instagram users will be using a device, they may not always click through on to your profile to get to the link in your bio (as mentioned above), but it definitely does help you increase brand awareness and gain followers.
What sort of images should be posted?
If you are editing images to be posted on to Instagram then the size of the image should be 1080px by 1080px. It’s also important that the images you use are of a high-quality, this will make you look more professional. The recommended size is subject to change so it’s always useful to double check the most recent size recommendations!
If the images that you post are too small then Instagram will automatically stretch it out to fit, this will then cause your picture to be pixelated.
I don’t have professionals images!