Instagram Is a Dating App for Your Business

As a business owner, deciding what to post on social media can seem like a job within itself. Then when you log onto Instagram and see all the features and consistent app updates, your overwhelm kicks into overdrive, making you swiftly exit the app as you tell yourself you’ll get to Instagram marketing another day.

Well, it looks like “another day” finally arrived, because I’m about to show you how to start thinking about Instagram as the dating app for your business. 

In this article, you’ll gain a new perspective on how to use Instagram for your business, just in time to celebrate your success over happy hour.

Breaking Down the Dating App Analogy

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Match, oh my! If you’re single, you can attest that there is a lot going on inside these dating apps. With so many people trying to win your attention, it becomes extremely easy to disengage, get overwhelmed, or be distracted by the next shiny object (or the next slightly more mentally stable person). So what do we do? We ask our dating prospects for their number so we can take our conversation outside of the dating app. 

Why? Because it’s only when you take the conversation outside of the app that we know we’ve truly got their attention. And that, my friends, is the dating equivalent to a conversion! 

Now, let’s transfer this knowledge over to Instagram with the concept of Instagram being your dating profile in mind. When a prospect stumbles across your profile, it’s the first thing they see. They’re either instantly attracted to your overall account quality or they’re “swiping left” before they even give your content a chance.

In this split-second decision, they’re making a judgment call on whether or not they want to get to know you on a deeper level. Exactly like when someone is on a dating app, mindlessly swiping, thus allowing us .2 seconds to grab their attention before it’s on to the next one. Knowing we have a small window to capture our prospects’ (dating or business) attention, we optimize by putting our best foot forward. 

In terms of Instagram, we want our ideal customers to love our content enough to subscribe to our email list so they get pushed deeper into our marketing funnel where we can better nurture them. Similar to dating apps where you want your dating prospect to swipe right and start a conversation.

The App Is Not the End Goal

While the apps initiate conversation and connection, it’s merely the starting point for establishing true relationship growth. With proper communication, trust, and authenticity your ideal customer will be eagerly awaiting for you to put a ring on it — sell to them!

Now, let’s transition to the HOW.

4-Step Framework to Convert Instagram Followers into Clients

My proprietary system for converting Instagram followers into clients, The WAND Method™ is a four-step framework that you can implement today, to start using Instagram as a client converting machine. 

The four stages of the method are:

W: Wow them at first glance.

A: Amplify their experience.

N: Never miss an opportunity to engage.

D: Direct them to the next step.

Instagram for business

1. How To WOW Your Audience at First Glance

To “wow” your audience, first identify your ideal customer. Without properly identifying exactly who your business is serving, the content you create will be misguided. Every piece of content you publish should directly speak to your ideal customer or ICA so they experience that “WOW, it’s like this was made for me!” feeling.

If you haven’t yet gotten past the basic demographic and psychographic mappings of your ideal customer, I highly recommend you head over to Pané Marketing and grab a free video lesson and worksheet to map out the specifics!

Once your ideal customer is established, it’s time to optimize your assets. These include your profile photo, your bio, your link in bio, your story highlights, your pinned posts and your feed’s overall appearance. 

When working on Instagram, there’s a lot of territory to cover, so let’s break it down into bite-size bits.

Profile Photo

  • Use a clear headshot with a non-distracting, simple background OR a brand logo if you’re not the face of your business.
  • Ensure the photo is centered within the circle.

Your Bio and Link in Bio

  • Utilize the Display Name, Username, Actual Bio, and Link in Bio to your full advantage by optimizing for SEO and integrating your ICA research.
  • With all aspects accounted for you can easily identify who you are, and how you serve your ICA, as well as provide an opportunity to capture leads, which in turn drives your ICA deeper into your marketing funnel.

Story Highlights and Pinned Posts

  • These will act as your quick hits. They provide more information to anyone first stumbling on your account AND it’s where your current audience knows to come back to stay updated on key things, like:
    • Your hours
    • Your products or services
    • Where to find you (if you’re a local based business)
    • Testimonials
    • Featured training pieces 

Overall Feed Appearance

  • Use high-quality photos from stock photography sites or invest in brand photos. It’s important to never just download an image off of Google. 
  • Incorporate these foundational design rules when creating graphics for your account.
    • Create a clear visual hierarchy
    • Include whitespace
    • Have contrasting elements
    • Align assets whenever possible
    • Stick to an approved color scheme 
    • Remember the final destination (screen size) when designing 

Sweet! You finished step one which is the biggest hurdle. Let’s move on to step two which is amplifying your ideal customer’s experience while interacting with your account.

2. How To Amplify Your Customer's Experience

Amplifying your ideal customer’s experience relies on following through on the wow factor we just talked about. 

We want to ensure that we’re posting high-quality content at regular intervals. 

In terms of posting frequency, I would recommend at minimum posting three times a week on your feed. But do whatever you feel is manageable and then stick to it!

As a consumer of content, if I stumble on an Instagram account that does seem to align with my values, but I see they haven’t posted in over two to three months, I’m not going to invest my time into following them. 

This is simply because the digital world moves fast and way too many accounts are forgotten about, so I tend to steer clear of inactive users. 

As we enter the third step of The WAND Method™ we’ve already attracted and converted a scroller into a follower. 

Now, it’s time to engage with these new followers and show them how grateful we are for their presence.

3. Never Miss an Opportunity To Engage

Don’t worry, you’re not personally DMing every new follower of your account.  That is 100% not a vibe. What we are going to do is provide a call to action (CTA) at the end of every applicable caption. Your CTA can be as big of an ask as directing them to the link in your bio or as small of an ask as to double tap the post if they can relate to the message shared.

In addition to adding CTA’s to your posts, you’re going to want to utilize the engagement stickers when posting to your Instagram story.  The poll stickers are my personal favorite because whether your question is business-related or just a fun ‘this or that’ type of question, responding to your poll answers is a great way to seamlessly slide into your followers’ DMs.  

It’s a seamless way to start a conversation. I’m all about taking the path of least resistance!

4. Direct Them to the Next Step

The most important step of The WAND Method™ is the final step…directing your follower to the next step of the customer journey. You always want to push that ideal client deeper into your funnel. An Instagram follower who’s highly engaged with your content is great, but an Instagram follower who’s also a paying client is the ultimate goal.

If you don’t have a CTA on your posts, you’re missing a crucial part of the user experience. It’s human nature to want to be guided. People love to have a clear, next step displayed in front of them. 

If you post about a product and don’t have clear directions on where a user can go to learn more, they’re not going to do the heavy lifting and search on their own.  Point them in the right direction and avoid hard stops along the way.  Do your best to keep everything streamlined and only one click away.

For example, now that we all have the link feature on Instagram stories, instead of posting a story slide that says “Pop over to the link in my bio to learn more” simply add a link sticker that says “Click here to learn more.” The simplest path will always be the most efficient path.

And there you have it!  A new perspective on how to use Instagram for your business and the tactics to put your best foot forward. 

If you enjoyed this article, I’d love to hear from you over on Instagram. You can find me at @MarissaPane – I’m looking forward to seeing your face in my DMs!


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