My engagement on Instagram has skyrocketed, so what's the secret? Well, it's all in how I post. It's a lot more than just picking a photo, writing the caption, and throwing it up there. There is some seriously ninja secrets that go behind every post that I make, so I'm going to break it down in very nitty gritty detail in this video. You know me talking mostly about You Tube, but I do love Instagram. It's my second favorite platform, and when I did a video about it, and how I doubled my Instagram growth a little while ago, it really took off, so I figured if you found that valuable, I was going to make another video for you on going behind the scenes on how I actually post to Instagram because I have some seriously crazy tips.

Let's dive into step one, which is just picking a photo. When I pick a photo that I want to post to Instagram I know what performs well because I've done the same thing that I do with You Tube. I pay attention to what works with my audience, the kinds of captions that work really well, and the kinds of photos, so pretty standard on Instagram. It's so personality driven that photos with me in them tend to way outperform any other kind of content, so I always try to pick a photo with me in them. Now, I did just recently do a batch content creation day, and I had a bunch of photos taken. My guidance for those photos was I want it to feel like the audience, or my community is in my house with me. I want it to feel really natural, not so perfect, not like I'm modeling. I just want to feel like it's me talking to a friend, so that was the guidance that I gave with these photos that I just got done. Those are the photos that I'm mainly going to be picking from, so let's pick one of those photos.

Step two is writing my captions. I've played around with a lot of different styles of captions, short, long, blog posts. What I found is that blog posts captions, longer form captions that really tell the story and educate, shockingly, are the ones that do the best, so educate and inspired are the ones that do the best on my account. Again, you really have to pay attention to your own account and figure out what works best for you. I write my captions inside of my notes on my phone. I write these all the time when I get inspiration, or I'll just write little prompts of like, oh, that's a good idea. I should write a caption about that. I keep them in here and I put little dots in between each paragraph, so that I can create spaces. I know there is other ways to do it. That's just how I do it. I write out the whole thing. And then, I'm going to use that later to copy and paste into Instagram. But, we're not even going to get to posting quite yet.

Let's move into step number three. Hashtags, this is step number three. It's really, really important, and something you may have forgotten about. But, I just want to quickly explain before I show you exactly how I do my hashtag research, and my strategy for it. That hashtags are similar to the strategy we use on You Tube with keywords [inaudible 00:02:49]. You need to make sure that you're getting found by the right audience, and you're getting discovered by new people when you make a post on Instagram, so you're not just relying on just solely your audience, but you're actually reaching a broader audience. I'm going to explain that formula on Instagram right now. The formula is actually very similar to You Tube. It's based on the amount of results, which is your search pool, and the amount of engagement for the top ranked posts, and if you can compete with them. The tool that I use is called, Flick Tech. It's paid, but I will show you another tool in a second that's actually free. The strategy here is you want to rank for the smallest hashtags first, so it's not super competitive, and your hashtags have to be relevant to your posts. Meaning, that the picture and the hashtags are the same, so if it's a picture of a dog, you should have a hashtag that is relevant to dogs.

On Instagram, you are only allow 30 hashtags per post, so you want to try, and stay below that. For me, what I like to do is a combination of about 25. You don't want to repeat hashtags on every single post because if you do you'll get flagged as spam, so I just keep different groups of hashtags for different topics in my phone, and I rotate through them on my different posts. All right, so this is how you actually do it. The search pool for your Instagram posts for your hashtags, you want to have a group of five that's under 50,000, a group of five that is between 50,000 and 200,000. You want to have a group that is between 200,000 and 500,000, and a group that is between 500,000 and a million, so five hashtags in each of those groups. Then, you want to have one group that's hyper, hyper relevant to your image, and then a mega popular group. You're going to save those for later. That's your five groups, and then you have a mega popular group. We're going to use those in stories in one of my ninja tricks later on.

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The key comes in knowing how many results you're competing against and the engagement. Let's dive into this. I look at this hashtag tool here. You can see that you can type in anything. It's called, Flick.Tech. It's about $10.00 a month, $11.00 a month US. It's really, really good. Now, just like anything this is going to take you a minute to create these hashtag groups, but it is so worth it because you'll see a huge increase in your engagement. Say, I want to look up You Tube videos, and it'll even populate some of the things that come up. Let's say, You Tube videos. On the right hand side of the screen you'll see it says, 450,000 posts, so that's the pool, or the competition that you're competing against. The average amount of likes is 1100 per photo, which means that for me I'm getting on average more than 1100 likes per photo, so I know that if I do a post on this topic I can win in this category because..

. And I can be the top ranked post in this category because I'm getting more engagement than that. The average comments is a lot lower than what I generally get on Instagram as well. That's what you need to keep in mind. And then, it's really great because it brings up other relevant topics, and hashtags that you can use that will fit into your hashtag category. This would be great for under 50,000. This is, again, under 50,000. This is over, or between 50,000 to 200,000. You can start populating your groups of hashtags, and then you have 25 hashtags listed out of all different sizes, so you can see which ones you're able to actually win in. This tool is amazing. I use this pretty much for every single post. And then for the other tool, you can use DisplayPurposes.com. You can use this on your phone.

It's super easy. It's free to use. You do the same thing. You type in a keyword that you want to be found for, and put it in this bar here, and it'll bring up a whole bunch of relevant hashtags. Now, a lot of these are going to be really big hashtags that are way too competitive. You don't really want to go over a million, especially as a small Instagram account. You just want to delete the ones that aren't relevant, but use the ones that are on your post. A lot of these are going to be hashtags that you can use for that mega popular category, which I'm going to show you in a second for your stories. Obviously, the whole goal with hashtags is to get seen in that top nine. I'm going to just show you guys actually my photos ranking in those hashtags, so they're reaching even more people when they look at these specific hashtags, or when people follow these hashtags.

If I go to You Tube Marketing, you can see that I'm actually the first post. If I go to Growth Hacks, you can also see that I am the second post, so I am getting seen by a whole new group of people who are following these specific hashtags, or happen to look up these specific hashtags. That's the whole goal here. We want you to rank, similar to You Tube, for your hashtags. Step number four is to combine your caption and your hashtags and put them into Instagram, so you're actually starting to do the posting process. I'm just going to copy and paste this all together. It has my whole caption, and it has all my hashtags in there as well. We're going to copy that. And then, we're going to go into Instagram. I've already picked the photo I want to post. I'm going to paste it there.

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That's step four. Step number five, really simple, you want to make sure you always add in your locations. You want to click on add location, or pick one of the auto populated locations right there. And then, you want to add something in that's a little extra, and very similar to on You Tube where you do transcriptions. I always say it's so important to have these because the more information that you give the platform that you're using, the more they can figure out where to put your photos, and help you reach more people, so it's very similar to adding a transcription on You Tube. You also want to add something similar on Instagram called the alt text. You click on alt text under advanced settings, and you go to right alt text. This is for people who are visually impaired, so that they can know what your images is about. You're going to actually describe what the image is about. I'm going to say, [inaudible 00:08:55].

Let's just say that, that's the caption, or the alt text that I want to use. We're going to go done. No one is actually going to see that. It's just going to be used if someone is using Instagram who is visually impaired. They will have that come up and they'll hear that description. And then, the next thing is you're going to tag all the appropriate accounts that are relevant to the photos. For me, I'm going to take Aritzia because that's all of the clothing that I'm wearing. I have a bit of an issue with shopping there. I shop there so much. And then, I'm going to tag the scrunchie that I'm wearing, which is Shop Chelsea King. I'm going to tag I think myself. You always tag yourself in your photos. I'm going to tag myself. I think that's everything. Those are all the tags that I want to add. Please don't tag people who aren't relevant to your photos.

You get flagged as a spammer when I do that. I often get tagged by people that I don't even know, and in pictures that have nothing to do with me, so just don't do it. It's the bad practice on Instagram. It's not the right way to get engagement. And then, you're going to go ahead and you're going to share your photo. The next thing that you're going to do is you're going to actually share this photo to your story. This is super important because then it's notifying your entire audience that you have a new post that they can go engage with. I'm going to click the little arrow here, and I'm going to add post to story. This is where it gets real nitty gritty. The first thing you're going to do is add your location, so that it's geo located and easier for people to find you, and reach a new audience.

Then you're going to add a hashtag. This is where those major, those mega popular hashtags that I discussed earlier, this is where you're going to use them. I'm going to say, inspiration because that's a huge hashtag with a ton of competition. We're going to just add that here. We're going to do three more big popular hashtags, so mega popular hashtags. Let's do You Tuber, [inaudible 00:10:58], so all mega hashtags and all relevant to this post. Now, what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to cover this up with a new post. These are all behind the scenes little secrets. I'm going to cover that up as much as I can. I'll squish all these down, so I'll put all these in here, and then we'll cover this up like that, so we'll keep that there. And then, what you're also going to do is you're going to make sure that you..

. You have your location, your hashtags. You also want to make sure that you are clickable and tagable in this photo, so you can see that if someone comes across this say, they [inaudible] the hashtag and they come across my story and they want to know more about me, which is the ideal situation here, you're reaching more people, is they would click on my name, which is on the bottom left hand corner here, so making sure that you're tagged there. The next thing that I do is I always put an arrow to the post, so I will draw an arrow to the post. I'll write a little headline to intrigue people. I'll say, Secret to Success, for example, and I'm going to put that. Oh, I don't want to move that. It's a little bit [thin key 00:12:15], but I want to put that right there.

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And then, I'm going to put one more that says, Tap Here, so people know where to tap on the photo. The final thing that I do is I put an emoji over top, so that people need to click on the photo to see what it actually looks like because that's going to get people actually going to the photo. There you go. That is how I actually post to my stories. And then, I would share that out, and of course that's going to notify my audience this is part of distribution that I have a new post that they should go and engage with. Step 10, which is the final stage of how I post is you want to make sure you're blocking off 30 minutes to just engage in the comments. You want to make sure that in your captions, as I mentioned earlier, when I write them I always put a call to action for people to comment below, so people are going to leave comments, and the more engagement that your Instagram post gets in the first 30 minutes the higher you will rank, and the more reach that you'll get, so first 30 minutes to an hour really.

I always block off 30 minutes of time, and I make sure that I'm not doing anything else when I do post to Instagram, and I have 30 minutes on my calendar to just go in there and respond to comments and ask questions, and get as much engagement on the post as possible. The beautiful thing about using Instagram this way it's super intentional. Yes, it takes more time, but the great thing is and what I've been experimenting with is that I talk about You Tube bringing in leads, and customers, and new audience members all the time when you use it in the right way, and when you get your videos ranked. Well, when you do this on Instagram is does a very similar thing. It's not going to be years, and years, and years of those leads coming in, but it will be a longer affect than just posting up a photo, and having that instant hit of success. You will see some long term results because you're ranking for those hashtags, which is super exciting.

I have another video called, How I Doubled My Instagram Growth. You can check that one out. I also have another video on how I use Instagram to drive a lot more views to my You Tube videos, so make sure you check those out. They're both in the cards and in the description below. If you liked this video, if you found it valuable, you know what to do. Take a screen shot, and share it out on your Instagram Stories. Be sure to tag me and let me know what your biggest takeaway was, and if you're actually going to follow these 10 steps moving forward, and if you see results. I always want to hear about the results, so share those with me as well. We're doing a new thing here where we're going to highlight you because I wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for you. This is our Comment of the Week from this week. Your comments seriously mean the world. I read all of them.

I know I don't respond to all of them all the time, but I am seeing them, and they help me figure out what kind of content you guys want to see. Thank you so, so much. Thanks again. I will see you on Instagram, and I will see you in the next video. We are cooking up something really, really special for next week's video, so stay tuned. See you then..