Why You Need 3 Different Instagram Strategies

Why You Need 3 Different Instagram Strategies

Jenn Herman, Social Media Consultant & Trainer at Jenn’s Trends, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss strategies for the micro-platforms within Instagram.

In This Episode:

Please Support Our Sponsors:

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors for helping us make this happen. Please support them; we couldn't do it without their help! This week:

Full Episode Details

No Longer a Single Platform

YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—the list goes on and on of the many social media platforms your business can use to engage your customers in different ways. It makes sense to have a specific strategy for each type of content and platform, but with the recent updates to Instagram, overall “Instagram strategies” are not enough.

According to Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends, your business should be treating Instagram as if it were three totally different platforms. A simplified way to think about this is imagining traditional posts as the place for your more curated, high-level content. Stories are the spot for more spontaneous, off-the-cuff content, though that’s not to say you shouldn’t be putting thought into them. Finally, the new IGTV has emerged as more of a YouTube competitor, allowing videos up to ten minutes long.

It might sound like a lot of work at first. But given Instagram’s status as one of the best social platforms for reaching your customers, some extra work on your Instagram strategies can only serve to enhance that engagement.

In This Episode

  • Why Instagram is the best place to gain “purposeful traffic.”
  • Why IGTV requires a totally different strategy than Instagram Stories.
  • How to effectively use hashtags.
  • Why businesses should be posting less on Instagram.
  • How to use Carousels.
  • How to craft Stories.

Quotes From This Episode

Instagram has evolved into these micro-platforms that all need their own separate strategies. Click To Tweet

“Popularity is a very small fraction of the algorithm on Instagram. It’s based on individual interaction.” — @jenns_trends

“Post less content and better content. If it’s not worth posting, don’t post it. Just make sure that you’re putting out the quality content that people actually want to see and interact with.” — @jenns_trends


See you next week!

Want more great content like this?

A weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from Jay Baer at Convince & Convert. In each week’s email, Jay will recap what happened in digital, what trends are important for marketers to watch, plus some fun surprises that you’ll just have to sign up to see!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Or are you looking to subscribe to one of our podcasts

Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey, everybody, it's Jay Baer from Convince and Convert, and this week's episode of the Social Pros Podcast features Jenn Herman, who's the founder of Jenn's Trends. She's one of the foremost bloggers in the world on Instagram. A terrific conversation about all the nuances of Instagram, all the new features, how the algorithm works, and Jenn's got a ton of super-specific, incredibly usable, highly detailed advice for you, Social Pros listeners. Do not miss this episode. You're going to love it. Here she comes. It's Jenn Herman on this week's Social Pros Podcast.
Hey friends, before we get to today's episode, I was just thinking about the two things that are absolutely required for the success of this show. One, you, the Social Pros listener. And thanks to each and every one of you for listening to the show for now more than eight years. And two, our fantastic sponsors, which this week include Salesforce Marketing Cloud. You know, social is more important than ever for B2B marketers, yet sometimes it can be confusing on how to apply B2C principles to B2B, how to measure success, which channels to use, etc. There's a new book from our friends at Salesforce that can help you figure all that out. It's really great, tons of information, lots of stuff on how to do social listening better in B2B, how to measure results better in B2B, which channels to use in B2B. It's really comprehensive, and it doesn't cost you anything. You can download it right now for nothing. Go to bit.ly/socialb2bguide. That's bit.ly/socialb2bguide, and get the Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers from Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Also this week, our pals at Techsmith ... man, those guys make it so easy to create professional videos, professional images. They've got tools like Snagit, Camtasia, which I use literally every single day to create videos, screencasts, screenshots for presentations. If you need to share your campaign results with people who aren't familiar with all the stuff we talk about here on Social Pros, you can use Snagit to screenshot those things into awesome presentations for other people in your organization. If you need to make videos, and obviously social video, hugely important now, but you don't have a whole video production team, Camtasia is geared to people who have never made a video before, and I gotta tell you, it is super duper easy. Communicating with visuals like screenshots and video is seriously easy with Techsmith. Visit techsmith.com/socialpros to learn more. Techsmith.com/socialpros.
Jenn Herman, founder of Jenn's Trends, Instagram guru-ette, joins us this week on Social Pros. Jenn, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here, my friend.
Jenn Herman:Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited.
Jay Baer:I gotta tell you, you nailed this whole Instagram focus. You think, geez, it seems kind of weird for somebody to focus on only one social platform, but boy, time is on your side. Seems like Instagram is on everybody's lips these days in a way that it wasn't a year or two ago. You've got to be thinking, "Wow, that worked out nicely."
Jenn Herman:Yeah, definitely, and I fell into it by accident. It wasn't something I tried to do. It was just a platform that I loved, and no one else was blogging about it, so I was like, "Hey, I'm going to blog about it and bring you guys along on the journey," and in the process have written a few hundred blog posts, I think, at this point in total.
Jay Baer:It feels like Instagram and its use case inside social media has changed quite a bit recently, right? It used to have a fairly narrow set of uses, and now with Stories and now IGTV and all these other new features and applications and direct commerce, it feels like Instagram's feature set is getting kind of closer to Facebook's feature set, where there's more and more stuff you can do on that platform. Are you seeing that in your own work and in the advice that you give to business people, that you can use Instagram more comprehensively than you could before?
Jenn Herman:Absolutely. I mean, I've always loved Instagram for business. I've always said that the best traffic comes from Instagram, because in order to get somebody to click on that one link in the bio, you have to make them take a few steps. So when they've clicked on that link, your bounce rate is essentially zero. You get great traffic from Instagram. Maybe not as much, but you do get some of the best traffic.
Jay Baer:It's purposeful traffic. No one's clicking on accident.
Jenn Herman:Right, it's not like they fat thumbed and clicked on the wrong link, or their screen froze or something, they legitimately want to be there. So I've always loved it for business, but yeah, with now they have the shoppable posts, and now they've got ... When the Stories came out, that changed everything. Then you have the swipe-up links, if you have over 10,000 followers, so that started to add capability for, obviously, eCommerce or sales and traffic generation, and now with IGTV.
But it is like you have to have a separate strategy. IGTV is separate than Stories, which is separate than the regular Instagram. Even at least with Facebook there's all these different things, but it's still kind of one cohesive platform. Instagram's kind of evolved into these little micro-platforms within Instagram that all need their own separate strategies. It really does take people to sit down and think about it, not only cohesively but almost a little bit exclusively as well, in terms of the different aspects.
Jay Baer:Do you think for business that that's the biggest mistake most companies make, is that they don't have three separate Instagram strategies? They don't have a disparate strategy for TV versus Stories versus posts? Or is there something else that they're doing wrong?
Jenn Herman:Absolutely, and I've seen so many people that go and take all their Instagram stories, and they just loop them into one video, then that's what they're uploaded into IGTV. The reason IGTV is 15 seconds up to 10 minutes for mobile upload is because they don't want you to upload your stories to IGTV. So when people just go and stitch their stories together and then consider that an IGTV video, it's not the worst thing in the world if you have a great story set, but that's not what it meant for. People are trying to just find a way to create content, so they're taking something from someplace else and they're just repurposing it into that separate app.
It really does, I think, if people want to be successful, and even with IGTV, you have to realize, it's all one long string of your videos. There isn't segmentation, at least yet, in terms of topics or lists, and so if you have this great video that somebody loves, and it's this educational video, but then your next video is some random behind the scenes goofy video, you're going to lose them on that, because that's not what they fell in love with. You really have to be really strategic with that IGTV, whereas Stories you can be kind of random and casual and flamboyant and crazy. They're different kind of context, and I think yeah, like you said, a lot of businesses just don't think that way when they look at these different aspects of Instagram.
Jay Baer:I know it's relatively new as we're recording this, but how do you think of IGTV versus something like Periscope or Facebook Live or YouTube Live?
Jenn Herman:I mean, they're all kind of different. I really feel like IGTV is trying to essentially take over a YouTube-type thing. If you're using IGTV properly, and if you're putting hashtags in your description of your IGTV videos, they're going to show up in Instagram search, so if people are searching for something on Instagram, they'll find your content, just like if they're searching Google, they'd find your YouTube videos. So I really think it's an attempt to kind of take over that kind of YouTube world. IGTV isn't live, so you're not competing with the Periscopes or even the Instagram Live through Stories. It's really meant to be that long-term content that's going to stay there forever.
But you really have to be strategic with it in that way. Know that these are things people are either searching for, or they're going to go watch your channel, and they want to search through all of your videos and be there and watch lots of your content. So you have to think of it as a channel more so than something where you're just randomly kind of creating these sort-form pieces of content that will disappear like a lot of live video-type thing.
Jay Baer:I loved the way you put that, super super well thought through. How often would you recommend that people dive into IGTV? Is it sort of let's do a daily show, a daily podcast, or a weekly show like a weekly podcast? What do you think?
Jenn Herman:It really depends. No matter what type of content, I always tell people, if you can create the content daily, then do it daily. If you can only create it weekly, then create it weekly. The more the can create-
Jay Baer:Do it as often as you can, as long as it doesn't suck.
Jenn Herman:Exactly, and that's the thing. If you can do it daily, great, but that's a lot of content. Now of course, IGTV is new, and when it first popped up, everyone was watching everything and doing everything and creating content, and of course now we've hit that kind of crash where people are like, "Okay, I'm over it," and you're losing that viewer retention and you're losing that interaction. If you can create that content regularly, even if it's weekly or two or three times a week, and be showing up and letting people know that hey, a new video is here, and cross-promote from Instagram Stories and say, "Hey, a new IGTV video is up," and things like that, then that will help you, because everyone, they're kind of confused. They don't really know how to do it and embrace it. So if you can create that quality content, now is the time to do it and be consistent.
Jay Baer:You mentioned hashtags a moment ago, and I want you to talk about that a little bit, because it seems like it's such the key to unlock additional exposure on Instagram, and so many people are sort of festooning their posts with hashtags. What's your advice and counsel there on how many hashtags to use, and also where to find the most appropriate hashtags for a particular post?
Jenn Herman:I have a very specific secret recipe that I tell everybody.
Jay Baer:So you get recipe time, Social Pros listeners. How about this? It is a secret recipe.
Jenn Herman:Yes, exactly. Pay attention. You want to use 15 to 20 hashtags per post. You can use more. You can use up to 30, but I recommend kind of up to 15 to 20, and you want to use three to five popular. That means anything from about 500,000 to a million post results on a hashtag. Anything over a million, you start getting the spambots and the annoying things, and it's not really going to do anything for traffic anyways. Then you're going to use three to five moderately popular. That's somewhere in like the hundreds of thousands of range. And then you're going to use three to five niche-specific, which are anywhere in the 10s and 20s thousand-type posts. The niche-specific are the ones that are super-targeted to your industry, the very specific thing that it is you do and the product you serve or the service you offer.
What happens is, those popular ones get you an initial burst of activity immediately when you post. The moderately popular keep you active for hours into days, so Instagram looks at your content and goes, "Wow." You've got reactions from your existing audience. Hashtags are where new audiences are finding you, so they're getting positive results over a period of time, and they go, "Wow, you must be really creating good content." So what happens in those niche-specific ones is now you rank as a top post. Now you show up right at the top of the search feed. So if someone literally is going in and looking for Instagram marketing strategy, they're going to find my content, or something like that, because my posts have been performing well in these other searches, that now that's how they find me.
And that's how you drive traffic. That's how you get customers. That's how you get real people to find your content and get conversions out of it. So that's kind of the best way to use it. That ties into everything. You can use that same type of strategy, just not that many hashtags, on Instagram Stories. You can put two to three hashtags in a story and same thing, use those very niche-specific ones or brand-related ones. IGTV you can do the same. You can do up to 30 hashtags on your IGTV description, so do that same recipe, and again, your posts start to show up. And that's where people really find you, and that's where, if you're targeting a very specific niche, whether it's geographically located, whether it's a very specific topic, those people are going to find you, and you have way better results. Even if you're only getting maybe 10 or 15 people finding you, it's still 10 to 15 high-quality leads.
Jay Baer:And what is your best place to find the five or six super-popular, the five or six medium, the five or six niche? Do you use an app for that on your phone, or do you have a top secret list, because you're using the same ones every time?
Jenn Herman:Yeah, I've got my list, the ones that I use. You can save it in your note. You kind of get familiar with what works. I go old school. I literally just go into Instagram and just start typing in the search for a hashtag. They will give you other recommended hashtags, so if you start typing in "photography", it's going to say, "Here's a bunch of related ones." You start typing in "social media", it will give you related ones. And you can kind of tap through and go down the rabbit hole to find what works for you. Look and see what your competitors are doing. If you're new to the space or new to using hashtags, look and see what others in your industry are doing, because they may be finding really great ones to use or thinking a little more creatively.
You can use other tools like Tagboard, Tag T-A-G and then board B-O-A-R-D. It's more like Twitter-based, but if you start typing in search things, they'll show you how much content is created around hashtags, so it's a great way to sometimes find new things that way. It's not as reliable from an Instagram source, so that's why I just go old school for what I do in terms of finding what works.
Jay Baer:How do you feel about some of the new apps out there that purport to evaluate different photo options and tell you which ones, using artificial intelligence, they think will generate the most engagement? One's called Lisa, I think, but a few other ones out there you'd have on your phone, and you'd say okay, here's five photos. I might post one of these to Instagram. Which photo, special robot, do you think is going to work best? Do you feel like that's the future, to not really game the system but to use artificial intelligence to give yourself a better chance of breaking out?
Jenn Herman:I think there's a place for that. I think if the AI is really good in the background, then it does work. The challenge with a lot of AI is whether or not it really recognizes the actual image. For example-
Jay Baer:Yeah, good point.
Jenn Herman:... if you have a photo of a dog, and that dog has something covering its ears, the AI may not recognize it as a dog. It's looking for certain criteria, and so what could be an amazingly perfect photo of a dog wearing a really funny hat for a holiday, the AI's going to come back and say, "We don't see this as a dog. It's not going to be a high-performing post," when really that could have been your highest-performing option. So I think there's a place for those things in some sort of kind of like that A/B testing, let's look and see what works, but really over time with any social media, but especially Instagram, you know your audience, and you know if you do certain things, you know what's going to perform better.
Even for me, I go into my analytics on Instagram once every six months, and I go in, I go to the content tab in my analytics, and I go and look at all my top-performing posts for the last year. And then I look at every single one of those posts and say, what is consistent in those top-performing posts? Is it a color? Is it a product? Is it that it has my face? Is it that there is text or there isn't text? Is it something about what the content was related to? And if I can look at that and say in the last year, all of these posts massively out-performed everything else, and that every single one of those, my product was not in the photo, then I have to figure out how to get my product in there in a creative way that it's going to have it actually reward my ... not only my audience, but me.
Jay Baer:In the text, you mean?
Jenn Herman:Exactly. There's a lot of ways you can figure out that information for your best-performing posts beyond relying on AI, but I do think it's a really fun way to get some additional analysis and insight in terms of what might work.
Jay Baer:Now that more and more businesses are spending more and more of their attention in social on Insta, do you feel like, as a general rule ... obviously, you'd want to test this, your results may vary ... but do you feel like businesses should be increasing their posting cadence or decreasing their posting cadence?
Jenn Herman:Decrease. 100%, I say decrease. Again, there are exceptions to that rule, but the way the algorithm on Instagram works is that if people like your content, and I'm talking as an individual user, your business page content will show up higher in that individual user's feed. It's based on individual interaction, not popularity. Popularity's a very small fraction of the algorithm on Instagram, compared to something like Facebook, where popularity's a large factor. So if you're creating three posts a day, and it's so saturated that your audience is just learning to scroll past and not interact, then the less they interact, the lower your content shows up. And you start thinking, I need to create more content, because no one's seeing it, and you actually make it worse.
If you create less content, then when you show up once every two or three days, people are like, "Oh, wow, I haven't heard from Jay in a while. What's he talking about?" Then they're going to jump on that content, and they're more likely to click on the dot-dot-dot more to read it. They're more likely to like it, leave a comment, tap through, whatever it is, so you actually get higher conversions, and you'll show up higher in the feed, because they're more likely to interact each time. So I always say less content and better content. If it's not worth posting, don't post it, just make sure that you're putting out the quality content that people actually want to see and interact with.
Jay Baer:Most businesses have one Instagram account. Some businesses have multiple Twitter accounts. Some businesses have hundreds of Twitter accounts, depending on divisions and what have you. Do you feel like we're going to get into an era where businesses have multiple Instagram accounts, perhaps one that is more for marketing and one that is for current customers? Or one that is used for customer support, like we have for Twitter help accounts, that kind of thing? Do you think we'll start to see that kind of fracture in how people use Instagram?
Jenn Herman:I definitely think so. I think a lot of businesses are already kind of moving in that direction. If they have two different types of products or two different services, they have multiple accounts. Like you said, something that's customer service related or something that is meant more for kind of the brand awareness versus the brand retention, things like that, there will be that evolution. In general, I think people like the idea of having one Instagram account, because it's so much easier to manage one. Twitter's kind of easy to rotate back and forth and throw out a couple tweets. Instagram, you're creating visual content, and it's very demanding of your time to do content creation, so it's easier to have one account and just keep it in one place. But I do think in time, especially with Instagram Stories, direct messages, things like that, we can see a shift in that direction, to having multiple accounts for different reasons.
Jay Baer:I was going to ask you what you think about Carousels on Instagram and posting multiple photos or videos at one shot so that people can kind of flip through them like a scrapbook. I think there's been some data to suggest that it works less well, but again, I've done that. Your results may vary. What is your advice and counsel for people who are wondering about whether to use Carousels more liberally?
Jenn Herman:In terms of that data, and I've seen that data in testing, the reason why I think ... I don't think they actually perform necessarily less effectively, I think what happens is they're already interacting with the Carousel, because they're swiping through. There's an action already being performed that's actually double tap to like it, it doesn't register to go, "Oh, I need to like this," because you've already interacted with the content. The visible engagement isn't recorded, so it looks like you're getting a lower level of engagement. I think if you could get really good analytics to see how many people swiped through, we'd see a much higher level of engagement with those posts.
Personally, I love them in the right context. I don't think everything should be a Carousel. I don't think we should go overboard with them, but you can do up to 10 photos and/or videos in a Carousel. The first photo has to be the best photo. That has to be the "after" if you're doing a before and after sequence. It has to be the finished product if you're doing a step-by-step tutorial-type sequence. Always want that first photo, the cover photo, to be magnificent, and then say something in the caption. You can put an overlay on the first photo that says, "Swipe for more," so people know to stop and swipe and carry through. But it is great if you're at events or if you're doing things in your organization where you have a lot of content, and you don't want to kind of swamp your audience with 10 or 20 posts in a short period of time. You can throw them in a Carousel and tell an entire story without overwhelming your audience. So they can be very valuable when used in the right time place.
Jay Baer:What do you use to post to Instagram? Are you just using the app on your phone? Are you using Agorapulse? Are you using something else? What is your Instagram technology?
Jenn Herman:For me personally, because I need to be in the app every single day, because that's when you notice the little nuanced changes, like all of a sudden no, the lines are larger or thinner, or all these little tweaks that they do all the time. I wouldn't notice that if I used the dashboard tools, so I do everything 100% organically in the app. Personally, I love Agorapulse. That's my go-to for where I schedule out my tweets or if I was going to do any scheduling, I would use a tool like Agorapulse for sure, which are great, because it does allow you to schedule things that you have audiences at different time zones, that can make life a lot easier on you as well. Plus you get all the additional management, so you can manage your comments, you can manage your content, all your analytics. You get everything all in one place, which if you're coordinating that with your other social platforms, then using a dashboard is obviously an advantage to that.
Jay Baer:One of the things that Sue B. Zimmerman told us on the show ... she was on Social Pros a couple of months ago ... she said that when you're doing your stories, much better off to sort of take all your pictures and your videos and kind of have all your stuff saved to your camera roll, and then create your story at the end of the day, because then you sort of don't box yourself in a corner and say oh, this ended up not going anywhere, or this one actually kind of sucks, and now I can't take it back. Do you agree with that, that notion of hey, this sort of document your day or document the quote-unquote "story", but then craft the story at one shot at the end, when you can sort of do it director-style?
Jenn Herman:It depends on the situation. When I go to a conference, I do my stories throughout the day when I'm at a conference, because I like to have content going up every two to three hours. I want to have it constant, because I want people to stay involved and want to come back and see more and know what's going on. So I will usually kind of do that more on the fly. I do believe in a good story, that you need a storyboard, and so think out your day in advance. If you're going to be at a venue or a conference, or you're doing like a charity event, or you're doing some sort of launch event or anything related to your business where you know you're doing something that's going to cover a period of time, storyboard that out. You want something that shows the entrance of the venue and the signage, and you want something that shows the people and the activity and the vibrancy of the event. And then you want some closeup shots. Then maybe it's an award event, and you want to get photos of the awardees at the end or something like that.
So think about what that event is, and think about the images you want to get, because if you don't plan that in advance, all of a sudden you're out in the lobby, chatting over here with so and so and realize you missed the opportunity to grab those photos or videos. So if you know you want a certain photo, and you have to be somewhere at 6 o'clock to get that photo, then you plan accordingly. So I do like the idea of planning in advance and then crafting it, going in, editing your photos, doing the upload process, adding doodles or GIFs or anything like that as needed after the fact, so you have time to craft them properly.
Because when you are doing it on the fly, you do tend to be like, okay, quick upload, quick swipe for a filter, and okay, hit it off. And then you go, "Oh, I should have added that tag," or "I should have added that hashtag," or "Oh, I should have waited and done this other photo." So if you can wait a little bit and make sure it's well crafted, that will usually serve you better, but there are situations where you do want to kind of just roll with it on the fly.
Jay Baer:Jenn Herman is the founder of Jenn's Trends and our guest this week on Social Pros, talking all things Instagram. Now Jenn, you have sort of an amazing job. You are the foremost blogger on Instagram, which is sort of an unusual career path, obviously. How did this happen? You didn't just show up and say, "Hey, we're doing this." Tell me how you became the foremost blogger on Instagram.
Jenn Herman:Yeah, it was totally by accident. You know, we were talking about at the top of this show, I had started my blog. It was very 101, foundational-type social media strategy, and I wasn't even on Instagram when I started my blog. But all my friends were on Instagram. They were like, "You have to jump on this. You need to be a part of this." And I was like, "Uh, who has time for this?" But I was like, "If I'm going to write my blog and be this support person, I need to understand Instagram." So I joined Instagram, and I fell in love with it, so I started just doing the photography and doing all the uploads. I loved the community involvement, and I was like, "You guys, this tool's pretty awesome. This should be something you're using in business." Okay, let's go learn how to do it.
And no one was blogging about it. There was not a lot of content. Everything was very superfluous, you know, like more posts and follow more people. I was like, okay. So I took my audience on the journey. You can go back and read those posts that are five years old, and they're kind of funny. It's like okay, well, I tried this and it didn't work. I tried this, it did work. And in the process, it started being that thing where I just got known as the Instagram blogger girl, and I started getting invited to Social Media Day San Diego and local events, and then it was Social Media Marketing World, and it was always I was invited on Instagram.
I've got well over a hundred blog posts on my own website just on Instagram. I've written I don't even know how many guest blog posts for things like Social Media Examiner and podcast interviews and all these things. I love to blog, and it was a convenient kind of venue for me to share that information. Now I'm very fortunate to work with people around the world. We have our little DM messenger groups where we test out new features. When someone gets something rolled out, they're sending me screenshots, and I get to know all the people who work at all the major tools. They give me all the behind the scenes API information, so I know what's happening and how that will impact. It's become a very collaborative environment that I'm very, very blessed to be a part of.
Jay Baer:Now, before you got into the social media space, you actually have a master's degree in forensic science, so you were going to be like a medical examiner, an anthropologist? What is the alleged career path of that? And now you're an Instagram expert. That's bizarre. You are probably the only person in your master's degree forensic science class that is now an Instagram consultant. What do they make of you?
Jenn Herman:It's pretty funny. And the way I tell that story today, they usually laugh at me, and I go, "Ah, what can I say? Life happens." I got my master's. I have a bachelor's in biology. I went into my master's in forensic science. I wanted to be the crime scene tech. I wanted to be that person who was out there CSI, like picking up the dead bodies and analyzing crime scenes. That's ... I wanted to do. I love puzzles, and I love solving problems, so it worked for me. Unfortunately, you fall into positions, and I was waiting for jobs in CSI-related environments, and I was doing an outside sales job at the time. Then the economy crashed, and I went to a different kind of industry. I ended up going back to bartending and waitressing, and it was just kind of life happened.
And I've kind of just stayed in the sales and marketing side of things, and I love it. I love to teach, and I love to interact with people in that way, so it was kind of a natural fit. The funny thing was, a couple of years ago, I actually got invited to testify as an expert witness in a court case, and I was like, "See? I told you this master's degree would pay off some day."
Jay Baer:I couldn't have done it.
Jenn Herman:So I'm like, somehow they'll tie together someday, and I'll look back and be like, hey, it was all worth it. But either way, the master's degree got me to the US, it got me to San Diego, and it got me on the track that is my life today, so you kind of have to roll with the punches and just accept that life happens.
Jay Baer:What is your all-time most successful Instagram post?
Jenn Herman:That's an easy one. That would have been in January of this year, when a lovely lady who has no social media experience in the world decided to tell the world that Instagram had go change their algorithm, and she gave them a whole bunch of bad advice, saying, "You can't do this, and you have to do this." And it was all these wrong statements. I lost three days of my life trying to combat this one bad article that went legit viral around the world.
I put out this post. It's my photo, and it has the words, "Stop the madness" on the photo. And I had this big long dissertation on completely debunking everything she said. It's got I don't even know how many thousands of views and comments and everything, and it was definitely my minor virality, an attempt to crush hers. I had people sharing it to their stories, I had people messaging me and emailing me. It was crazy, but yeah, that was definitely my highest-performing post.
Jay Baer:That's great. It's the power of good content.
Jenn Herman:Yes, exactly.
Jay Baer:Power of being helpful. All right, I'm going to ask you a somewhat controversial question. I have written more than one blog post now about the fact-
Jenn Herman:Just one or two.
Jay Baer:No, on a specific topic, that I totally hate when people quote themselves on Instagram. Like if somebody else wants to quote you, I'm cool with that, but if you're uploading photos of your own quotes, I just have a personal problem with that. And people say, "Well, Jay, there's so many things that you've said that are quotable." I'm like, "I know, but I don't need to be the one to spread that. I feel like that's a little bit douchey, frankly."
Jenn Herman:I'm going to go with you on this one. I'm going to virtual high five.
Jay Baer:Vindicated by Jenn Herman.
Jenn Herman:Actually, it's funny. I just had somebody reach out to me, literally yesterday, and say, "Hey, I need some quotes from you for a post," and I'm like, "I don't know, I don't quote myself. I don't know what to say. I say random stuff all the time. I can't come up with my own quotes." And I agree, people quote me, whether it's on Twitter, or they put things on Instagram or on Facebook, whether I'm at an event or they read a blog post, whatever, great. Thank you. I will put up maybe a testimonial that somebody said about me, but I'm with you, I don't do the quoting myself. I just don't think that highly of myself, I guess.
Jay Baer:Thank you for agreeing with me, ladies and gentlemen. Jenn, I'm going to ask you the two questions that we ask everybody here on Social Pros, now eight and a half years into this podcast, 350 episodes or something like that. I always forget the exact number. First question, Jenn, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro? I presume your tip would be to get a master's in forensic science, but beyond that, what would be your tip?
Jenn Herman:Yes, beyond a master's degree in a completely unrelated field, my thing is having that personality, really embracing who you are as an individual, in any capacity. I'm #highheels every day. I'm known for my four-inch heels every time I go anywhere.
Jay Baer:And you're tall to begin with, so-
Jenn Herman:I am. I'm 5'10".
Jay Baer:... yeah, you plus four is taller than me.
Jenn Herman:I definitely get up there. I push about 6'1" when I'm wearing my heels, and I embrace that, and that's who I am. That's my brand. It's how I am. I always tell people, what you see on camera, what you see on stage, what you hear in a podcast, what you read in my blog, that is me 24/7. I'm not faking my personality, I'm not that good of an actress. But I get the chance to meet amazing people, and I have wonderful amazing clients, because I've embraced this is my personality. If I'm not your cup of tea, then there's somebody that's better to work with you.
And I think so many people that go into the social media space try to please everybody. They want the clients, they want the opportunities, and they just try to be the right person for everybody, in which case you're not serving anybody. Embrace your personality. Embrace your skillset. Embrace how you approach social media, because we all have different approaches, and the right clients will find you. The right audience will build around you, and that's where you'll find the real success.
Jay Baer:That's great advice. I really, really love it, and I completely agree. It's hard sometimes to keep that advice in mind, because sometimes you don't want to offend people, but you're exactly right. If you're trying to be all things to everybody, you're nothing to nobody. Well said.
Jenn Herman:Exactly.
Jay Baer:Last question for Jenn Herman, who's the founder of Jenn's Trends. Find her on Instagram, on her blog, on other places. Where do you want them to find you, Jenn? Obviously on Instagram, but tell the kids where to find you.
Jenn Herman:On Instagram, I'm jenns_trends. It's always the Jenn with two N's, because I was born in '80, with about a bazillion other Jennifers, so it's always Jenn with two N's. Twitter is same, jenns_trends. Blog is jennstrends.com, and all the links to everything, including YouTube and everything are all there on the website.
Jay Baer:And we'll also put them on socialpros.com, where you can find all the transcripts and audio from all eight and a half years of this program. Jenn, if you could do a live Zoom video call with any living person, who would it be?
Jenn Herman:It would be Bethany Frankel, who is the founder of Skinnygirl Enterprise and from the Real Housewives of New York City, because she is just enough level of crazy to make you love her. She's an incredible entrepreneur, businesswoman, super smart. I just think she's amazing. She's got the single mom thing, like there is a total correlation in that kind of lifestyle that we live. And like I said, she's just crazy enough to make you love her. I think she would be so fun to sit down with and just totally understand what she goes through, and her business side of things would be so fascinating.
Jay Baer:That's a great answer. She's got a ton of successful businesses, just one right after another, has a real knack for it. So yeah, that would be a great one. Good answer, Jenn. I love it.
Jenn Herman:Thanks.
Jay Baer:I love it. Any other advice that you want to convey to people who are trying to get better at Instagram from a business perspective?
Jenn Herman:Go out there and have fun. You know, people come to me all the time, and they're so programmed to come out with that corporate persona. Instagram is fun. We can talk strategy all day long, but really, when you let that guard down, when you just embrace it, when you try new things and show off that personality, whether it's in Stories or on your IGTV or your regular Instagram, people want to have fun. It's a very fun interactive platform, so just embrace that, try things, have fun, show off your personality, and you'll do great.
Jay Baer:Great advice. You heard it here on Social Pros from Jenn Herman, who's the founder of Jenn's Trends. Jenn, thanks so much for being on the show. Always great to talk to you. I will see you out there on the road, I'm sure, sometime soon.
Jenn Herman:Sounds good.
Jay Baer:Everybody, this has been, hopefully, your favorite podcast, Social Pros, where real people doing real work in social media talk about the issues that matter. Next week, Adam Brown, my estimable co-host from Salesforce Marketing Cloud will be back on the show, as well as always, I'm Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. Don't forget, every single show is at socialpros.com. All the transcripts, all the links, all the recordings, all the stuff. Until next week, keep doing a great job out there. Thanks for listening to Social Pros.
Show Full Transcript