We’ve said this, and we will say it again. Instagram is one of the most effective marketing platforms that allow businesses to reach audiences and potential brand ambassadors. Whether you’re using it as a crucial arm for social media marketing or influencer marketing, it’s going to give you a better chance than most other social sites. While you will not reach all 500 million users, you certainly will be able to tap into this huge pool of potential market. Well, that’s if you’re doing it right.
You know you’re doing it right when you see steady growth in your following and engagement. Growth of your brand on social media is a logical consequence of good social media marketing strategy. This strategy entails a number of approaches and tactics meant for one goal — to raise brand awareness, which in turn preludes conversion.
Use free Instagram tools
The photo-sharing social site and app allows you to create a business profile, which is distinct from a personal profile. The business profile has additional tools you can access. Insights, for instance, is an analytical tool that gives you access to engagement data. If you initially signed up a personal account for your business, it’s time you switched to a business profile. That way, you can take advantage of the tools businesses use to track the health of their brand on Instagram.
More importantly, Insights helps you understand your audience, giving you data on posts with most impressions, engagements, and shares. Eventually, you will determine which posts are effective and which ones are not.
Pay attention to engagement
Generally, we tell budding Instagram marketers to start posting once or twice a day. In reality, this isn’t universal advice. It depends on the kind of audience you have. While some group of people don’t mind seeing posts about your brand several times a day, others don’t. There is no magic number.
Try convening a group of marketers and asking them how often they post on Instagram, and you might get different answers. The key is regularity, but whether you should post every day, every two days, or every six hours is something you have to find out. Thus, vary the frequency of your posts, and track your engagement. Identify the frequency of posting that stimulates the most engagement.
Interact with your audience
It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve said this before. We will keep saying this every chance we get because this is an important piece of advice every beginner should know. In fact, it doesn’t matter where your audience is — on Instagram, Facebook, Blogger, etc. Interacting with them is the first step in building solid relationships. They begin seeing you in a positive light once you respond to them, talk to them, and engage them. In many cases, it takes a warm and friendly response to convert a casual follower to a loyal advocate.
Don’t ever dismiss the value of social media interaction. It’s called social media for that reason. Interaction is also an imperative step in influencer marketing.
Use hashtags correctly
Hashtags allow users to find you. You find things on Google using keywords. Similarly you find relevant content on Instagram using hashtags. Technology has not yet allowed us to search for images by describing them. For these images to be searchable, they should have hashtags. Find out the hashtags consumers are using to find solutions or services in your niche.
You’ll see the other advantage of using hashtags once you gain significant following. Your followers will begin using your hashtags and passing them around, boosting awareness for your brand.
Post content from other social media accounts
No one said you should have discrete sets of content for different social media channels. Photos you shared on Facebook or Pinterest may also be shared on Instagram. That way, more people can see it. Make infographics, charts, or diagrams.
What about text? You can refashion it. Create a meme. Or create a text overlay on an image of your brand. If the post is too long, extract a quote and put it on a relevant image that can be posted on Instagram. Then put the link to the post in the caption.
Share someone else’s post
Sharing someone else’s post notifies them. It’s like poking them and indirectly saying, “hey, this is a great post worth sharing with my audience.” For ordinary Instagrammers, it’s an ego boost. They’ll be very grateful.
Sharing a post of a user with significant following, perhaps bigger than yours, is a clever means of igniting relationships. In fact, influencer marketing involves sharing relevant content from popular personalities in your niche.
Another reason why we share other people’s posts is it saves us time in updating our Instagram pages. Why create an infographic when you can use someone else’s? It satisfies the purpose of giving information to your audience. It also fosters relationships.
Not every post will be witty. But when you get the chance to show humor in your photos, do so. Funny memes and photos get shared around more than average posts because they provoke an emotion, which is amusement or laughter, and people tend to share anything that’s funny with their friends. Who doesn’t like sharing the fun around? Find humor in ordinary situations. Maybe share a funny experience or a photo of your colleague screwing himself up at work. We can list endless opportunities to share something people can laugh at.