Do you use Instagram to market your business? If you still haven’t tried Instagram for marketing your company, now is definitely the right time! The company has more than 300 million users, sharing more than 70 million photos and videos every day.
If used correctly, Instagram is a fantastic tool to promote your brand in a creative way. The best way to get users to follow your account is to post creative, unique, and fun photos, and be authentic. Instagram is a place where people share real moments that others can engage with. If you are overly spammy or just pushing out marketing/ sales messages, you will soon see that your efforts fail.
The use of hashtags is one of the most important features of Instagram. This is how most people will find your account, through their Instagram hashtag searches. Take advantage of popular and trending hashtags in your posts, use brand specific #’s and also include general tags on your posts. For example, if your business is a coffee shop, and you post an image of your scrumptious muffin, include tags like #muffin or even #delicious. New trends on Instagram can happen extremely quickly – and they are often even quicker to go. If you notice a trend, and it fits with your brand, use it. Your post could be viewed by thousands of potential customers in just a few minutes.
Another important aspect of Instagram, is to make sure that you engage with your followers. Like your follower’s – particularly if they include your product, or follow your brand. Engage with your consumers by commenting on product related photos they post. Respond to all comments on your posts in a timely fashion, this is particularly true when then comment is a question, or even something negative about your brand. Always @mention your followers, your customers, and any other user with great photos of your products, this way you engage with them directly. If you want more engagement on your posts, then ask your followers for it. Questions open up conversations and give people a reason to comment and reply.
Be creative with your photos – Use filters to enhance your images, use cool angles, lighting and other photography tricks. If you are not a whizz at Photoshop, there are a lot of great mobile apps that are great to use with Instagram such as Photoshake, PicsArt and Aviary.
Show your brand story by posting photos and videos to show your company’s core values and brand, and feature fun photos and videos of your employees to show who your company is. Disney wished former Disney employee Richard Sherman happy birthday with a classic photo posted to their Instagram. Playing on emotions, and particularly nostalgia, is a big driver of engagement and very popular content on Instagram. Disney is very shrewd about adding a personal touch to their promotions in order to connect with their followers. One of the most popular trends on Instagram is the hashtag #TBT (Throwback Thursday) where users post photos from the past. Take note of this when planning your own posts, using nostalgia can help increase follower engagement on your account.
Instagram’s visual medium means pictures that focus on colour and/or print stand out extremely well. Something as simple as lining your product up and showing it off in all available colours and patterns, or putting together a total outfit is very popular on Instagram, and works exceptionally well.
Link it to Facebook
Make sure your Instagram account is linked to your Facebook page. Instagram is owned by Facebook and by connecting these two social media sites, and posting directly from Instagram to Facebook, you will see that Facebook pushes images from Instagram as they want to promote their other business! An easy way to do this is to make an Instagram tab on your Facebook page – this enables you to instantly share your Instagram photos to your Facebook fans.
Engaging on Instagram is very easy for users. Once in the app, the only calls to action are to like and comment. Everything is done without the need to switch windows, and the beauty of Instagram is that it is primarily a mobile app. As the focus is primarily on the image without having a lot of text or a pushy sales message, engagement rates are high. Try out what I have highlighted above, and see just how successful your visual mobile marketing can be.