Instagram is a free, online photo-sharing application and social network platform that was acquired by Facebook in 2012. Instagram allows users to edit and upload photos and short videos through a mobile app. Users can add a caption to each of their posts and use hashtags and location-based geotags to index these posts and make them searchable by other users within the app. Each post by a user appears on their followers’ Instagram feeds and can also be viewed by the public when tagged using hashtags or geotags. Users also have the option of making their profile private so that only their followers can view their posts.
Instagram can possibly be mysterious for business owners. If you are not a celebrity, the tendency of not been known on Instagram is high. As true as this can be, I’m very sure you’re not looking to get popular; rather you want to build a solid presence on the platform in order to engage and connect with your target market. This article will walk you through how to use Instagram to do just that. #FollowMe!
Aside from your image, your hashtags are the most paramount element of your post. Whilst captions help you tell the story behind your image, your hashtags allow you to get your image(and caption) seen by those outside your current domain of followers. It also helps when users search for relevant industry-related hashtags and your post shows up as one of those…
NB: Use popular hashtags that have the best chance of getting searched for(e.g., #wcw #tbt #tgif #love etc). Use hashtags that can attract new followers. For instance, #followme, #follow4follow, and #follow.
Ensure to use at least one hashtag on each post. Research has it that, engagement is highest on posts that have 11+ hashtags.
YOUR IMAGE SHOULD BE IN LINE WITH YOUR BRAND’S VIBE
Why most brands are successful is because they pay careful attention to how their images represent and contribute to their brand’s identity. They seem to have an umbrella theme to their images for which the theme is closely related to their all-inclusive company image.
Take Starbucks, for instance, whose company mission statement is as follows: “[T]o inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.” Their Instagram posts support this statement attractively, offering up inspirational and heart-warming images and videos. They use their images to further their mission and story. NB; Check out their Instagram page on the above link and learn from them.
HONE YOUR PROFILE
It takes not much time to properly hone or optimize your Instagram profile, and this can have an outstanding impact on how many people click through to your site talk more of how they see your brand.
NB: See that your images and description get along well with your brand’s vibe.
Make sure to add a link referring your visitors back to your website.
Always use your company logo somewhere in your profile to enable your users to know it’s the official profile for your company.
Should you have a local business, ensure to add your physical location.
The consistency of your images and other content with your other social media properties is key.
Add one brand specific hashtag to you’re your profile so users know it ‘belongs’ to you.
Use your bio to clearly communicate what your brand is about, and to also attract users to click through to your site.
Instagram gives room for all business to advertise on the platform. Have it in mind that you need a Facebook account to create an Instagram ad; ads can only be created in Facebook ad creation or Power Editor.
Instagram ads give your business the opportunity of its organic posts to reach as many people as possible for which may possibly attract new followers, leads that may convert into paying customers. This may be worth trying for your business!
GROW YOUR FOLLOWERS
The secret to increasing your followers is really simple: lasting engagement naturally leads to followers. This is to say, consistency in posting engaging, compelling and relevant images, makes you grow your followers organically.
NB: Did You Know? Quality beats quantity! Polish your account to leave only the best images. Trust me, no one wants to follow someone or a brand with thousands of pointless contents.
Ensure to add a relevant and compelling caption. Doing a call to action within your caption is a great way to increase engagement. e.g., Ask questions in all your posts so as to keep your visitors engaged.
Consistency is Key! So be consistent. Know who you’re posting for(your audience) and why you are posting (purpose).
Engage in your own photos and on other people’s. As people see that you’re regularly interacting, they’ll be more likely to follow you.
Promote your Instagram account everywhere: to your email subscribers, on your physical marketing materials and to your other social media fans and followers.
POST ENGAGING CONTENT
It is very important that you engage your audience with compelling content that leaves them with no option other than to hunger for your post. Make hanging up your strategy and monitoring which formats get the most engagement. take for instance some popular post ideas:
User-submitted photos/User-generated content(UGC)
Sneak peek of new products
Simple image quotes created using a tool like Canva
Short product demos or tutorials
Holiday-themed images and videos
It’s paramount to consider which strategies are most likely to get your photos liked and commented on even as you decide on what to post.
Here are a few numbers of strategies that can help you get to the highest levels of engagement:
Human faces (do not operate like a robot)
Track the real customers using your products
Light colours are always preferable to dark colours in terms of getting likes and as well comments
Did You Know? Photos tend to perform more than videos! It’s also not a yardstick for you not to post videos
High-quality image background space get you more engagement
FOLLOWER OTHER PEOPLE
Should you are not a well-known brand, there’s no way can get away with following other people back. Not only should you follow your followers back, rather be on the lookout for new users to follow. Few strategies you can use to find worthy followers are as follows:
Search for companies or people you know using Instagram’s search bar
Do a Google search for influential users in your industry (e.g., “social media” + Instagram).
Follow influencers in your industry. A tool like Keyhole will allow you to search users and posts by hashtag, and sort the results based on the number of likes they have received
Follow users who are following influencers in your industry.
Use a tool like gramfeed to easily search Instagram for people, places and photos.
Search for industry-related hashtags. This is perhaps the most effective strategy for finding targeted users to follow in your niche.
Conclusively, I suppose these strategies above have been able to motivate you to start making use of Instagram as a part of your marketing strategy, or to increase your present investment in the platform.
Kindly leave your best tips in the comments below!