Episode 351: Instagram Strategy For Your Pet Business With Jenn Herman

Instagram strategy
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Have you ever wondered how some businesses seem to effortlessly captivate a global audience, building thriving communities and soaring to new heights of success? Well, here's a hint: they might be tapping into the extraordinary potential of Instagram! With over 2 billion monthly active users and counting, this social media powerhouse has become a playground for both seasoned entrepreneurs and ambitious newcomers alike. Welcome to another episode of "Bella in Your Business: Pet Industry Business Podcast" Today, I'm excited to sit down with Jenn Herman, a social media consultant and Instagram expert. Jenn stresses focusing on specific outcomes rather than vanity metrics for real business results. We dive into Instagram strategies, creating entertaining and informative content for pet-related industries. Jenn shares mind-blowing insights on upcoming updates and algorithm shifts. Don't miss her newsletter and Facebook group for more discussions! I also invite you to join mastermind training if you haven’t yet for all your burning hashtag-related questions. Now, let's dive in and make our businesses shine on Instagram!

Topics and Key Points

Topics Discussed and Key Points

  • Importance of social media strategy for businesses
  • Using Instagram for business and targeting the right audience
  • Instagram's constant changes and updates
  • Tips for creating engaging content on Instagram


Timestamps  [00:18] Introduction to Jenn Herman as the "queen of Instagram" [01:59] The importance of having a social media strategy [04:35] Utilizing Instagram for business [06:56] Constant changes and updates on Instagram [08:44]Some major changes to Instagram in 2023 [10:10] Algorithmic shifts on Instagram [10:45] Jenn’s trends newsletter to keep up with Instagram updates [11:36] Hashtag questions and mastermind training

Notable Quotes

 [00:02:00] “Social media strategy is one of those things where I always use the example of like, you're just throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Sooner or later, something's going to stick, but you're going to waste a lot of spaghetti.” [00:06:08] "Know your audience is there and you can make it worth it. Instagram is a fun platform, not LinkedIn. People want to be entertained while learning. Keep it short, keep it sweet, keep it fun." [00:07:22] “Your Instagram strategy is pretty evergreen. The thing to keep in mind with Instagram is that it's a 1 to 1 relationship. So if you follow me on Instagram, how you interact with my content determines where my content appears in your feed.” 

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Welcome, everybody to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella Vasta and today we're gonna be talking about Instagram with the queen of Instagram Miss Jen Herman. Jen is a social media consultant speaker and globally recognized Instagram Expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and her blog Jen's Trends won the top title of Top 10 Social media blogs in 2014 1516 threw out her blog consulting and speaking Jen provides tips resources and training for small to medium-sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies. Her business background includes administration sales, human resources, and marketing. And she enjoys bringing these skills together to help you grow your business. Jen has been featured in Fox Inc, Yahoo, finance, Huffington Post, The Verge, CBS Radio, LA, and numerous other podcasts and publications. She's also got this the Instagram, the author of Instagram for Business for Dummies, the Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Instagram, and stop guessing your step-by-step guide to creating a social media strategy. So you guys, we have the queen of Instagram today, and I'm so excited for you to meet her. Jen. Welcome to the show. Thank you . Yeah. And also notable is that on Tuesday, August 15, at 2 pm. Eastern, you are going to be the mastermind showing our members exactly how to get their Instagram hashtag strategy under control. Because as we know, a lot of people are just like, they don't know what they're doing, admittedly. Right? And it doesn't make it easier that Instagram keeps changing the ways that they show things every month. So um, tell us like, why is social media strategy just, you know, in general, global globally thinking, why is it important for a business to even have one? Well, I mean, it's one of those things where I always use the example of like, if you're just throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks sooner or later, something's gonna stick. But you're gonna waste a lot of spaghetti, right? So your strategy is that all this spaghetti sticks to the wall, and you're not just, you know, trying to guess your way through. So strategy helps you pick the right content for the right results. Sometimes you want content that's just going to get more likes and comments. Sometimes you want content that's going to drive link clicks, opt-ins, video views, or different things and different content drives different outcomes. So having the strategy knowing what drives what outcomes, so you can do more of what works means you get better results. And you're going to get that eventual conversion, whether that's the sale, whether it's opt-in, whether it's the brand awareness, whatever your outcome is, yes, I love all of that. So that means that it's not just about like, the likes and the hearts, and the Exactly. It's so much more. And that's what you know, a lot of small businesses are so focused on that vanity metric, right? We want that we want the likes, we want the follower counts. We're like, why don't I have 10,000 followers? And I'm like, Well, how many people could you serve? Like, if you're a pet sitter? Could you have 10,000? Clients? No, you'd have to massively expand your business. So why would you need 10,000 followers, 1000 followers is much more realistic. Because of those, if 10% of them became converted clients, you'd have 100 clients, that's manageable. That's realistic. It's not about getting 400 likes on a photo or having that go viral. Those are great. We all love it when it happens. But does that impact the bottom line of your business? Does that bring in revenue? Yes, I love that so much. And I think it's, I want everyone listening right now to ask themselves like, what is my strategy? What am I looking to do on Instagram? Is it just the likes? Or are you looking to do something else? One of the many things that Jen just talked about? So kind of segwaying that into? Yeah, so there's Instagram, and then how do we use it for business? What's, what's the importance of utilizing Instagram in business? Because I want you to talk to those people that are like, they just they're really scared to do it. Because they're not sure what to say. And they're not sure who's gonna be there. I heard some girl the other day, she goes, Well, I'm going to post and like, just no one's going to like it. And then I'm going to be like that kid in the cafeteria. Who knows? Eat with? So can you speak to that a little bit, as you know, using Instagram for our business as it pertains to that? Yeah, I mean, first and foremost, there's over 2 billion monthly active users on Instagram. So your audience is there, right? This isn't one of those things where you're like, oh, only the kids are there. One of the biggest demographics is the 35 to 50-year-old. That's the second-largest demographic on the Instagram platform. And for most of us, that's our target audience. So they are there. They are consuming content. They are looking for things To interact with so if you're scared because they're not there, it's going to be wasted time know your audience is there and you can make it worth it. Now for those who might be, like you said more scared to create content or what they should be creating. Remember that Instagram, for the most part, is a fun platform, right? It's not LinkedIn, they didn't go over there to read an article, they didn't go over there too, you know, watch some webinar or video. That's a 20-minute tutorial on something. They're there in a quick scroll, quick consumption mode. So great things are performed well. Puppies and dogs and kitties, like people love animals, bunnies, everything. So if you're in the pet industry, this is a huge win for you because people love animals. So even just a cute photo of a dog is likely to garner engagement, even without doing anything behind it. But then it becomes Yeah, okay, what can you do with that? What's the purpose of posting that dog? Well, you can talk about whether you've got grooming services, whether you're a dog walker, or are you a pet sitter. Or are you a behavioral consultant? Like, what do you do in that pet industry, and you start talking about that? But remember, people want to be entertained while learning. So make it fun, make it light, don't write a dissertation of information, just say something along the lines of, you know, there's a service that we offer. Or if your dog is dying to get out of the house and going stir-crazy this summer, let me help you. Keep it short. Keep it sweet, keep it fun. People want to be entertained, and animals are a great way to do it. I love that. Those are all great suggestions. I hope you guys have taken notes. But now Jen, it just seems like it keeps changing and evolving every month. Like, what is that about? Like? Are there things that are staying constant? Are there things that are drastically changing? Because I think that's something else that some of the business owners just feel like, Oh, I can't keep up with it all. And I mean, not to scare you. But on average, we have nine or 10 Instagram updates a month. So there are constant changes, right? This is something that can seem overwhelming. But of those changes, only two or three of them are significant. A lot of those things every month are they're testing something or they've made a small tweak to this. So they've, you know, they've improved this or expanded options for something. So they're not usually hugely impactful to your strategy. For the most part, your Instagram strategy is pretty evergreen. The thing to keep in mind with Instagram is that it's a one-to-one relationship. So if you follow me on Instagram, how you interact with my content determines where my content appears in your feed. It's not a popularity contest, like Facebook, where the more people interact with something, the more people Facebook shows it to. It's not like that on Instagram. So you just want to remember that you want to be fostering those relationships. So when someone comments, reply to their comment, even if it's just a happy face emoji, we want to generate that dialogue and relationship. You also want to push people towards direct messages. When they reply to your story. If they do a quick reply to your story that sends them to your DMS if you want to give somebody a link to something, instead of saying click the link in bio, say, shoot me a DM and I'll give you the link. Because the moment you open up a direct message, Instagram believes you have a personal relationship. And if we have a personal relationship, you're going to see more of my content. So as a business and a brand, we want to do what we can to foster those relationships. That's always going to help you on the platform. That is amazing. I love all of it. So what are the major changes we've seen so far in 2023? And what do you what are your predictions for the second half of the year? What do you think? So we got broadcast channels. This year was a big change, which I don't love for most businesses, to be honest, broadcast channels are a one-to-many. So I posted my blog and everyone who subscribed to it sees it but they can't reply. There's no dialogue, there's no relationship. That was a big change. Threads came out this year. But that's a whole other topic because that's kind of like Twitter, you know, impersonation, so we won't even talk about that. But that was another big update that came out. We've had some other things related to like content sharing, like reels have made a slight change, you know, with new features, whether it's editing features, those sorts of things. In general, for the rest of this year, I think we're gonna see more things coming for direct messages because Instagram continues to push hard on direct messages. So I think we'll see more features and functionality coming into the inbox functions. Okay, we're gonna see more reel updates, they constantly keep making it easier and easier to create reels. If you remember two years ago when you tried to film a reel. It was like the clunky, awkward super difficult thing. Now there's so much app editing in reels that you almost don't need to use something like cap cut or a third-party rule to edit your videos. So they're trying to make it easier for people to do that within the app. And then I think that we'll also see a little bit more in terms of algorithmic shifts, which isn't something we necessarily need or want, but they're still recalibrating. And we're finally at a pretty good place, the last six months have kind of stabilized. But I predict we'll see a couple more shifts in the algorithm, just to recalibrate to the consumers not as businesses, but that the consumers are getting the best possible experience on the platform. Wow, that is incredible. You guys heard it here. First from the Instagram queen. Jen, there are so many updates, how do we keep in touch? Or how do we keep on top of all of it? Well, shameless plug, I have a newsletter I was thinking about before girlfriend. If you go to bit.ly, so bat forward slash or bid dot L y forward slash Jen's trends newsletter, that's je et NS trends newsletter, you can sign up for my newsletter, it goes up the first Wednesday of every month, and it covers all the Instagram updates. So everything that happened in the last month, plus all the other big social media news. And I break it all down in ways that are relevant to you, and a ton of other information in that newsletter. So again, only once a month, because I don't have time to write that many newsletters either. I won't call your inbox, but that'll keep you up to date on everything. Or feel free to join my free Facebook group, which is if you go to Facebook and search Jen's trends in social media, you can find that Facebook group and we share a lot of Instagram updates and things in there as well. That's fantastic. Now I'm going to save all the hashtag questions for you for the mastermind training. And, just be prepared because I know a lot of the members also are probably going to be like, Well, what is this one look like? Is this okay? And you're gonna probably like you know, help him increase it. So you guys aren't in the mastermind, yet. You definitely and you're interested in Instagram and social media. That's all we're talking about August. And I hope to see you in there. Just go to jump consulting dotnet forward slash mastermind, you guys this all does not have to be difficult, who you hang out with and who you feed your ears with makes all the difference in the world. So just you know, take a good mental note of what you're doing and who you're around. Because if you're struggling in certain areas, there are ways that you can be helped and support it. This has been another episode of Bella in your business. Thank you to Jen Herman for joining me today. And remember when life gets you down, always keep jumping by now

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