In this document I will cover all things social media. This is a massive part of your business and an important part of your business, especially in this generation. There is so much to learn with social media and my aim by the end of this document is to have you all confident in using it well.
When I first set up my balloon business in September 2020 I didn’t have a clue how to work Instagram and ran my business through Facebook. Now my business is completely run through Instagram. I’ve managed to get my head around Instagram and have discovered it works much better for me and my business. Now this isn’t me saying Instagram will work better for you than Facebook will. But I do believe Instagram is how you get yourself out there more.
The basics of Instagram
Make sure your Instagram is a business account. This can easily be changed to if you haven’t got it set to one. Click settings, then account, scroll down and then click switch account type.
Next up you need the category of your account to be set to ‘entrepreneur’. If this isn’t set to this you wont be able to get any decent music on your reels. To do this click on your profile, then click edit profile, click on category and change it to entrepreneur.
Make sure your profile is clear and to the point. When people click on your profile they need to see instantly where you are based and what you do.
Have your logo as your profile picture.
Connect your facebook page with your Instagram account. So everytime you post on Instagram it automatically posts to facebook. To do this click settings, account and then sharing to other apps.
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags. If you use anymore than this your post wont be seen. Finding out what hashtags work best for you is a lengthy process. Which you need to give time to get right. Ill explain how to check your hashtags are right for you shortly. Please don’t forget that your hashtags will need to be written as one word with no spaces, otherwise it will only show up as the first word as a hashtag.
What hashtags should you use?
You will need to include your area in some of your hashtags eg #southamptonballoons #southamptonevents. This is important as customers will be trying to find local balloon artists by typing in hashtags like this. Afterall, the local people will be your customers so this is a must.
You will also want to include the types of balloons eg #balloonhoop #firstbirthdayballoons. These will be what customers and other balloon artists are typing in for inspiration and that’s how more people will come across your profile.
You will also want to include trends such as #elarimademedoit. This is a big trend that elari events started and lots of other balloon artists use it and follow it. So this is where other balloon artists will come across your profile. Which will pick you up more followers. I know they wont be your customers but the more followers, the more interaction on your posts, which means you’ll slip through the Instagram algorithm more.
I also like to put in random hashtags every now and again. Eg #cutekittens Now I know this is ridiculous, but if someone is searching cute kittens, on that page of #cutekittens your balloons will stand out a mile off. So they may be enticed to click on your post. Which means more engagement, which means youll slip in the algorithm more.
How to see if your hashtags work?
Type up 30 hashtags in your notes section of your phone. Then you wont need to rewrite out your hashtags for every post. Just copy and paste. Once you’ve posted your photo on Instagram with your chosen hashtags, leave it a few days. Then click on your photo from your grid. Click ‘view insights’ under your photo scroll down and it says REACH. Under here youll see ‘from hashtags’ if this number Is a good number and not low, then you know your hashtags are working quite well. If this number is very low then you will need to play around with your hashtags on your next post and change then up slightly. Then repeat the process until eventually you find hashtags that are working better. Im not saying the number needs to be in the thousands, but it needs to be a good number and not something in the double figures if your post is reaching thousands. This will only work on photos, you cant check on the reels. Reels is a whole new kettle of fish that I will go into shortly.
Your Instagram grid is your catalogue of your business. So if you want to do bigger displays make sure your Instagram grid is full of bigger displays. Don’t have any bigger display photo’s? fake it! Fake a setup in your house and say it was for a customer. No-one going on your Instagram will know its not real. This is exactly how I went from doing number towers to the bigger displays. I faked many displays. Yes its an outlay, but in the long run its worth every penny as youll get plenty of bigger jobs from them. People wont order what they don’t see. Please remember that!
Your posts/photos need to be clear and stand out. I edit every photo to make sure the lighting is perfect. I never over edit to the point it doesn’t show the true colours. To edit my photos I just use the Instagram settings. Upload photo, click next, then click ‘edit’, change the brightness and the contrast until you’re happy with the photo. That is all I do. I never feel the need to change any other setting.
I post my setups in a row of 3. This is only a personal preference as I feel it looks aesthetically pleasing. It also allows me to post multiple angles instead of doing it on one post. As most customers just scroll over your grid. Which means they’ll only see your first photo of a multiple photo post. Don’t forget your grid is your catalogue. So make sure it stands out. You want to grab someones attention instantly.
Tagging big companies such as @theeventcollective will hopefully get your work noticed by them and can even end in a reshare from them. The big Instagram accounts charge people to have a post shared by them. However if they notice your work and like what you’ve done they will reshare it for free.
This is a massive achievement in this industry and the buzz you receive off having your work shared by big accounts will never get old. By them sharing your work means youll get more followers and more interactions on your posts. The event collective is a huge account that many people go to for inspiration, take a look at it and youll see what I mean. I had one of my reels shared by another big company and it is currently on over 27million views!!! This all helps in the growth of your account.
The accounts I tag are:
Do the number of followers really matter? Yes and no is the answer. On one hand they really don’t matter and you shouldn’t focus on them. You could have 300 followers and have the most loyal customers in that following or you could have 30,000 followers and only a handful of those are in your area and are actually customers. Yes I have a big following, but my following is worldwide. Are people in Australia really going to buy balloons from me? No! absolutely not.
However lets flip reverse that….. if you click on someone’s profile and they have 30,000 followers, what do you instantly think? You instantly think “ bloody hell she has 30,000 followers, she must be insane at balloons!”
To get a big following doesnt happen over night, it takes a lot of graft and hard work. So in the meantime don’t get hung up on it and get disheartened by your following. Because it’s not the be all and end all. you can still run a successful business on 50 followers.
Lets talk about how to get your following up….
Instagram revolves around an “algorithm” and to get your head around it is hard, almost impossible in fact. As everytime you think you’ve cracked it Instagram will throw its toys out its pram and completely messes it all up. So let me talk to you about what ive found out in my short space of time of running my business.
Consistency is KEY! This doesn’t mean you have to post every day. It just means you have to consistently post in your own way. Choose your days that you want to post each week and post on those days at the same time each week. It takes weeks and weeks of doing this to help you slip the algorithm but trust me consistency works. I posted everyday at between 5.15pm and 6.30pm everyday for months and my account now reaches nearly 1.6 million accounts each month.
What time should you post? This is extremely important. You don’t want to post at a time when none of your following is active as your post won’t get seen, then wont get any interactions and then wont be shared more by insta.
The algorithm is based on interactions. The more interactions, be it shares, likes or saves, the more Instagram makes your post “visible”. So, you need to post at a time that everyone is active.
To find out what times is popular with your following you need to do the following:
Click total followers
Scroll down to most active time
Touch the graph
Scroll to the day you want to post
See what times is the most popular.
Those times on your chosen days are the times you need to post. If you miss posting on 1 of your chosen days then you are straight back to the beginning. I had 1 day off posting when I visited spring fair. Having that 1 day off made my insights go down from over 50,000 to 1,000!! So ive spent weeks/months building that back up again. This is what I mean when I say Instagram is a full time job. If im away on holiday I will write in my notes section of my phone what im going to say on each post. Then all I need to do at my chosen time is select a photo and copy and paste. Literally takes me 30 seconds to do. So im not sat on my phone for ages messing around. You can download and pay for apps that you can schedule your posts for Instagram. Ive never done this as ive not felt the need. But it works well for a lot of people.
If you only want to post once a week than that’s absolutely fine, that will be your consistently. Everyone is different.
Make sure you are active on your stories everyday though, whether it be a post share or you talking. This needs to be consistent too. Not just posts.
This leads me onto…. REELS!
Instagram is turning into a video platform and is competing with TikTok. Soon it will be purely videos. So Reels are the most important part of your Instagram. These need to be done for every setup if you can. Reels are what get your following up massively.
Time Lapses are the type of reels that really take off. This is purely down to the fact everyone is nosey and they want to see how you do things. Luckily for us time lapses are just slightly too fast to show details. So people have to replay and pause constantly to try and see what we are doing. By doing this they are making the views go up which then sneaks us into and through the algorithm. The more views the more Instagram pushes your reel onto others home pages. Which then becomes a vicious circle and if youre really lucky you can gain thousands of followers in a very very short space of time. I remember going from 3k to 7k in less than 1 week and I couldn’t believe it. All because of a time lapse of a setup that I really didn’t think much of. But I posted it anyways. The moral of that story is… even if you don’t like your work post it anyways as other people will like it and you may be surprised from the outcome.
To explain how to do reels in a written document is hard so I will do some clips and put them on Instagram showing you how to do it aswell. Which should make this document easier to follow.
Choosing the music
This is one of the most important parts of your reels, using songs that give everyone a real sense of nostalgia will make people replay your reel just to hear the song again. Which in turn will get more views and slip you into the algorithm. Can you see where this is all going now… the aim is to get more and more views and likes. You can also choose trending songs for the reel. People search for trending songs on Instagram and your reel will come up when they do. Again, will result in more views.
Your account will need to be set to entrepreneur to get access to all music, like previously explained. Now this also comes with some bad points. You may occasionally get a message pop up that says your reel has been partially muted or not available in certain countries due to copyright breech. If this pops up then I advise deleted the reel and starting again with another song choice. As you wont reach the real potential otherwise.
How to make a reel?
Now this is something that I cant explain in this document, so ill follow this up with videos and clips of how to create one. Ill post these on the Instagram grid.
To make a reel you can choose videos you have already taken on your camera of your phone. You don’t need to make a reel there and then at a setup. This can all be done at a later date. So when you’ve finished your setup make sure you take lots of photos AND videos. So you have plenty of content to choose from when you come to making a reel at a later date or time.
There are many reel trends and ill go through how to videos of each one for you.
Being Present and active on your stories
Speaking and showing your face on Instagram stories will build up trust and repour with your customers. So this is a must too. People will follow you for you and will order from you if they like you as a person too. So please don’t forget to do this.
People see stories a lot more than posts. so make sure when you post a new post or reel you share it to your story and put a ‘new post’ sticker infront of it, covering the post so no-one can see. This will make them click on your post as they will be nosey. Leading to more interactions and views.
Share other balloon artists work on your stories as inspo etc and tag them. No-one should be considered your competition in this industry. Showing support to other artists says so much more about you as a person. In return these artists then may share your work. Again helping with your views and interactions.
This leads me onto…. Creating a supportive community on social media.
I guarantee you that fellow balloon artists will share your work and like it more than your own family and friends as they know exactly what it means to you. They do it from experience. So if we all like, share and save each others work it will help us all get into the algorithm a little more. I don’t have time for people that don’t think this way. Im unsure why anyone should ever see each other as competition. I am a firm believer in “nobody is you and that is your power” customers come to you for YOU and YOUR work. Not only are we creating a better working environment by supporting each other we are also helping each other out. Win win in my eyes.
Im going to leave this here on that positive note. I hope this will help you out. Any Questions please message me.
Reels are super important and should be a priority. Use songs that cause nostalgia or songs that are trending. Make your grid stand out as this is your catalogue. Have on your grid what work you want to do. Make sure your hashtags are working. Share others work and interact with others on there. Be present on your stories and most importantly be CONSISTENT!
Remember this all takes time to get your head around so cut yourself some slack and stop worrying over Instagram.