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Don’t Care About Instagram? You Should!

Don't care about instagram? Use it for tennis club marketing

Is your tennis club or tennis business on Instagram? If the answer is "No", you may want to re-evaluate this again!

If you operate a business where visuals play a huge role (such as in the case of tennis products and services), you might be missing out on a large audience if you are not on Instagram. According to Instagram's internal data from June 2018, more than 1 billion Instagram accounts worldwide are active every single month. You don’t have to be a photography expert to be good at Instagram.

How exactly do I use Instagram to promote my business?

To begin with, setup an Instagram Business Account. Then, optimize your Instagram profile by writing a compelling business bio, uploading a profile image that helps people recognize your brand and providing a link to your website (or to another page or piece of content you would like to promote).
Next, try to find some brands to follow on Instagram. Those could be brands you are inspired by, competitors, partners or influencers in your niche. This will help you get ideas on what to post on your own Instagram.

Setup Instagram goals for your business 

Are you trying to increase your followers or maybe get more brand awareness? When you setup goals, make sure they are SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. For example, a SMART goal would look similar to the following: "We would like to increase our tennis club's followers by 15% by the end of next month." This type of goal is specific, says exactly what the desired outcome is and it has a set deadline.

Plan your Instagram content

Posting whatever you can think of on Instagram is a bad idea. All the posts must have a purpose and promote your brand. In order to get started on creating content strategy and your brand's story, try to think about the core idea about your tennis product or service (e.g. "junior player development" specific or maybe "tennis for all"), what people love about it (e.g. your state-of-the-art facility, tennis pros), and what would they miss most if your brand no longer exists tomorrow.

The posts you create should be specific to your audience and could vary from inspirational (e.g. quotes, goals, achievements) to educational (tutorials, tips) or informational (events, news, stats, etc.).

Just keep in mind that Instagram platform is primarily visual (it is more "show" as opposed to "tell"). So, while having an expensive camera is not a requirement, you must be able to take good quality, professional pictures, even if you use a smartphone camera.

Additionally, be sure to add a location to your posts if you are trying to appeal to a specific geographical area - it is a simple way of allowing your potential audience to find you.

On using hashtags...

Hashtags (e.g. "#tennistips") are extremely important for Instagram. It is how you allow new people who have not heard of your brand before to find you. While Instagram allows the use of up to 30 hashtags for each post, it is best practice to use 5-10 hashtags at most.  As always, it is best to test drive the hashtag number and see what works best for your particular posts.

Schedule your posts and measure your Instagram efforts

Lastly, find a good software that allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time and provides analytics. Since you have to repeat this process regularly (some of the tasks daily, while others weekly or monthly) for a long period of time, scheduling tools (such as Hootsuite, Sendible and Buffer) could save you tons of time. Being consistent is key for any social media effort. Measuring results (using analytics) is the only way to know if your time and efforts are paying off.

If you are worried you do not have the time to do all this yourself, simply outsource the effort to a marketing agency (or a freelancer) that is familiar with your industry.

If you didn't care about Instagram, but you do now, get started right away!

Remember, it is never too late to start!