How To Optimize Your Social

So Your Customers Can Find You!

If you’ve been the teacher this year (#ThanksCOVID), it’s time to flip roles and become the student.

Class is in session on how to optimize your social media presence in 2021. And yes, there is homework, so grab your smartphone and let’s begin finding more ways for customers to find you.

The majority of the tips below are focused on Instagram, as it’s where I’ve found the best growth for our industry.

Also, I’m making some assumptions on your accounts, which are: 1.) You already have your Instagram and Facebook profiles as “Business” accounts and 2.) You’ve connected the accounts to one another.

Class no. 1 — Maximize Exposure To Potential Customers

It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual or a brand, the following tips will increase the chances of consumers finding what you have to offer.

Start with a Great Profile Photo
Begin with a close-up photo. For individuals, show your eyes; no one needs to see your pets or entire family. Consider adding a nice background as color pops and will catch customer attention. For brands, evaluate if the logo is really helping you here? Is it recognizable like the “W” of Winchester? Can you simplify the logo, or change the background color without upsetting the branding team?

• Focus on your Instagram name: This is searchable! Your name is not your username, but the name underneath your profile photo. Use keywords here to help people find you. For example, I recommended a gun range in San Antonio change their bio name to “San Antonio’s Largest Gun Range.” Every word is searchable and usable. Note: There is a character limit, use them wisely.

• Recreate your Instagram Bio: The theory is the average user decides in seven seconds if they’re going to follow a profile. How do you best ensure a follow?

Here’s a winning template to use for your bio:

1st line: I (or my company/brand) help _________ with _________. (Insert: [target market] with [problem].)

2nd line: I (We) _________ . (Insert: expertise or credibility.)

3rd line: Call to action. (See my website or, download this e-book, schedule an appointment, etc.)

1. Identify who you want to help. This requires getting very specific.
2. Clarify your topic/message.
3. Switch Instagram and Facebook profiles to business accounts (if not done already).
4. Work on your profile photo.
5. Maximize the name field.

Class no. 2 — Growth Strategy Challenge

Most people have a difficult time understanding their social feeds need to be about their customers and not about the brand. When posting, think of those customers who are your biggest fans.

The Look of Your Feeds
• First and foremost: Be authentic. No one wants to see a highly curated feed anymore. The “too perfect” pictures don’t feel real.

• Filters are out. The gritty/high contrast/dark pictures you typically see with our industry was cool at the beginning, but now EVERYONE is doing it. So how do you stand out? Relax on the filters. Give your graphics department a break. Also, Instagram expert Jenn Herman says bright photos perform better and the color blue receives the most engagement. Experiment with those in your own feeds.

•You still want to put your best foot forward, but don’t be phony. Be eye-catching. Be relatable: Perfection is boring.

Stagnant Page Cures
• If you have a stagnant page, see if you’re posting the same things over and over. You have more to say … so say it. Be unpredictable!

• Since this is a business account on Instagram and Facebook, check out your stats and Insights. Look to see which types of posts do best. If memes don’t do well, you’re wasting your time. Be honest: are you posting this for you or them? I’ll be frank, if you aren’t looking at your stats and Insights, then you aren’t running your business; you’re just playing around.

Your posts should have three key ingredients: to educate, motivate and captivate.

• Mix up the types of posts: single picture; single video (one minute or less); carousel (multiple photos or videos); IGTV (long-form vertical, more than one minute).

• Keep in mind both Instagram and Facebook reward those accounts where people linger and engage with the content. This means multiple pictures can do better than a single photo, and longer videos can do better than short ones.

1. Play around with background colors/photos with your content — use brighter colors and see how it affects engagement.
2. Review your stats on Facebook, and Insights on Instagram. Identify which posts are receiving the most engagement and try to discern why.
3. Experiment with trying a variety of posts, from multiple photos to long-form video.

Class no. 3 — But When & What to Post On Your Social Feeds?

Ask yourself, is this sharable? Your feed is rewarded for shares. What gets shares? Typically, they’re posts that make other people look good. You share things representative of your beliefs, right? Sure, you also share funny, heartfelt and provocative things. But lead with “what will resonate and move people to share this.”

Posts should have three key ingredients: to educate, motivate and captivate. Carrying over the meme example, they do captivate, and they could be so amusing followers are motivated to share, but they probably aren’t educational to your brand. Whereas, you could post a one-to-two-minute video demonstrating new products and why you’re excited to carry them.

How Often Should I Post?
This is the question most asked when it comes to managing social media accounts. It truly depends on your goals. Consider this guideline:

• GROWTH = 6+ posts per week

• MAINTENANCE = 3–5 posts per week

I’ve found the best times to post are during mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, dinner). COVID has shifted this greatly, so again, experiment with your own feeds.

1. For 30 days, commit to posting more frequently and then review how it affected your feeds. More growth? More engagement? What did you learn?
2. If you are “meme heavy,” try cutting it in half and find things to educate, motivate and captivate.

Final Thoughts
The first line of your post is the most important. This is your “hook.” I recently came across a beautiful photo of an upland bird hunter in the fall woods. The photo made me stop and look, but the caption was, “Having an amazing time at (PLACE)!” How utterly boring. Could that hunter have shared a brief story of the hunt? Or a lesson learned? Or anything other than six non-descript words and three emojis?

The hunter also could have used a call to action (CTA). Your CTA will get people engaging more with your feed and therefore, your business. Examples include:
• Share this post to your stories, or with friends.
• Like and comment with your favorite XYZ below.
• Tag a friend below who has done this.
• Save this post for later (especially if it was an educational post).
If you don’t ask — they won’t do it!

if you aren’t looking at your stats and Insights, then you aren’t running your business; you’re just playing around.

This is just a snippet of all the tactics social media managers use to increase followers and engagement with their feeds. Even if you just implement a quarter of the advice here, it will help optimize your social and get you in front of more customers.

Click To Read More Shooting Industry January 2021 Issue Now!