Right now, Instagram is the most profitable social media platform! For anyone that eventually wants to own their own business, grow awareness for a movement, or even make your name into a brand — then IG is a platform you MUST learn!
With Instagram reporting ⅓ of all stories viewed are by businesses, brands can not ignore this platform for much longer”, says VIP marketer Christien Bouc who helps brands and businesses grow their following on Instagram.
Thanks to a friend connecting me with Christien of Bouc Media, I am able to share an interview with a top-level expert on why Instagram is a sleeping giant and how to make money on the platform even with a small following.
Briefly, tell us about who you are, and what you do for clients:
“Thanks for having me! My name is Christien Bouc, and I am the founder of Bouc Media. We help brands and businesses crush it on Instagram. I have personally been doing social media marketing for 5 years now and built up my own social channels in order to grow my own business so I know this stuff works! Nowadays, we help clients do the same and grow them targeted, organic followers or build massive social proof fast with celebrity advertising campaigns.” Christien says.
Why Instagram Is Booming for Businesses?
“Prior to the pandemic, many businesses relied on offline marketing campaigns. However, with covid rapidly pushing business online, customers are flocking to the social media app with all their favorite friends, celebrities, and shops—i.e. Instagram. It is all about eyeballs, but IG has become the one-stop shop for everything where an entertained family member can go from commenting on a friends post to purchasing a high-end product the Instagram Algorithm served them on their on the explore page or shopping tab organically!” says Christien
What is the Instagram Algorithm?
“The elusive Instagram algorithm is a name we give to the AI or artificial intelligence of Instagram. The platform learns and is always being updated to accounts for bugs, errors, or rules to adhere to Instagram’s Terms Of Service.
I can spend hours talking about the trust/spam scores and the Instagram algorithm, but the key takeaways are that…
- Instagram optimizes your ENTIRE experience to keep you on the platform as long as possible to show you more ads (ads= $ for the algorithm).
- The home feed wants to promote content that your followers want to see and engage with.
- The explore page algorithm promotes content that gets a lot of clicks, then watch time, then engagement, then a profile visit, then a follow. After actions, whether they like a few posts or comment, are also increasingly important. The Explore page algorithm also favors videos over images with Reels being the dominant media type right now.
- The Hashtag algorithm promotes relevant content that gets a lot of engagement. Images generally rank better on hashtags than videos for me but it depends on the niche.
- Ninja Tip: Likes are for the explore page while comments drive the post up the home feed. Saves are correlated with high reach, and large amounts of other traffic (due to saves + shares) tend to pull the most followers.
The algorithm is mathematically crunching numbers to determine whether your content is “good content” and keeps people on the platform. If it is, then they will open it up to more people. If it is not, then they will cut it off. Simply put, the algorithm determines how your content will be served to your followers organically based on how long it keeps people on the platform.” Christien explains.
How Do You Make Money With A Small Following?
Instagram is literally free money…
“If the client has not done so already, they need to register an account and set up their profile, username and bio. For personal brands, I always recommend you show your face and specifically your eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul and I like to say that scammers hide their faces, not brands. For businesses, using your logo is recommended. If you have a long business name and the logo/name is too small to be legible, then I recommend shortening it to a 1-3 letters abbreviation to fit the size dimension.
From there, you will need content. I always recommend a minimum of 9-12 posts so that it fills up the feed. This content should be an image of you if it is a personal brand. If it is a business, you will want the content to look professional and accurately represent your brand story and mission statement. If you have any social proof, like reviews or testimonials, you will also want to pin them up in the highlights to build trust for new buyers.
Then, I recommend following every client or customer you have ever had. This may sound like a lot of work but these people are already warm to your brand and will likely buy in the future since they have purchased something off you in the past. You absolutely can build new connections through only the platform, but your past customers are the low hanging fruit and most likely to buy so I would begin with following them and engaging on a few posts if they are not private.
Once you’ve built an audience to market to, now it is just a matter of advertising your services or products via your instagram page. Organically advertising your product with Instagram Stories is where the magic happens.You can squeeze a promotional story between content to advertise a deal or special offer. Telling them to “DM” or “Direct Message” you for more info or to purchase has worked best for me.
Every month, I sell thousands of dollars in revenue through the DMs. It really goes down in the DMs, and stories are the best way to push traffic to DMs and close sales…” says Christien.
How Can You Build New (Cold) Connections Through Instagram ?
- Direct Messaging new people
- Interacting i.e. liking, commenting, following, and engaging with targeted users.
- Running Instagram Advertisements
- Instagram Giveaways
- Creating more engaging content that the algorithm promotes.
- Running ads on targeted influencer pages
- Contriving witty comments which bait likes and rank as top comment
- Utilizing the new features that Instagram releases like Reels or Instagram Guides
“There’s really a limitless amount of strategies to get more traffic and build connections via Instagram. You could even drive traffic from another platform like Tiktok, or by ranking in search on Google or Youtube. These were just a few that came to mind!” says Christien.
Why Do People Struggle To Grow Or Grow Slowly?
“Every account is different, but in my opinion, there are generally two reasons why people grow very slowly.
- They do not invest in themselves.
- They invest in the wrong strategies.
People who do things for free often struggle to expedite growth because they do not reinvest into their page. On the contrary, I see other people investing in the wrong strategies. Outdated youtube videos do not tell you what is currently working right now. In fact, they can sometimes cause more harm than good.” says Christien.
What Growth Services Do You Recommend For Clients To Build Their Followings?
“It depends on the client, to be frank. If a client wants fast social proof, then giveaways are my “go-to”, but we can also build clients a targeted base of followers in their niche. Most targeted services range from interacting with their targeted audience to full blown influencer marketing campaigns for that niche. However, the correct services will depend on the goals of the client, they type of account, niche, and budget.” says Christien.
Why Do Entrepreneurs and Brands Need To Use Instagram?
“Whether you like it or not, your customers are on the platform and you are leaving money on the table by not developing a consistent, content strategy to organically reach more people. Instagram is the new business card. It is what new people see before deciding to try your products or services. Anesthetic feed and social proof will position your business as an authority and convert more cold traffic & leads—but when you grow your following you build up an audience you can remarket to in the future for free.
With the pandemic, how could you not take advantage of social media to drive online sales?” asks Christien.
How Can People Reach Out To You For More Info?
Feel free to send me a message on any of the following links below: