If you have an Instagram account associated with your business, it’s a huge opportunity to do some marketing. And if you haven’t got one, you might want to consider it for exactly that reason. Instagram offers a bunch of ways to draw people to your page through using tags and memorable images – and we all know that images can be more eloquent than words at times.
To help you make the most of the opportunity Instagram offers, here are ten tips on improving your marketing via the site – starting with the basics.
Back to basics
So you’ve got an Instagram page and you’ve been posting some content, but maybe people aren’t coming in as much as you like? Or you get plenty of eyeballs on your content, but people don’t seem to stick around. The answer is probably that while people might like individual posts, they’re not drawn to your main feed – they might not even have realized that it’s an official feed.
The answer to this is to pull everything together and present a unified, attractive feed page. Think about what kinds of themes you want to run through your images – do you want a nice minimal look on a plain background? Maybe the background could be a color or colors from your logo? Whatever you decide, stick to it: it’ll give your feed a unified look right from the start. You’ll want to consider that in the way you edit the photos you post, too. Do you give them all a border? Brighten them? Apply a certain filter? Whatever it is, you want something you can apply to all your photos so people will look at them and know it’s you!
Most images can speak for themselves, but on Instagram, they don’t have to. Make sure you add in captions, and use them to give extra information – but don’t waste the chance to inject a little personality, either!
Use calls to action
You might have to be a little subtle about this one and only use it when there’s really something going on, because Instagram is about connecting and sharing. But there’s totally a place for calls to action like getting people to share your image, because that’s part of how you can reach a larger audience.
Not just for Twitter! Hashtags are a great way for people to discover your feed, but you need to be careful. Posting too many hashtags or not targeting the right hashtags will dilute the effect rather than helping – people won’t be interested in following an account that’s all about hopping on the latest hashtag bandwagon. Choose tags appropriate to your business, but try to make sure you include some popular ones as well. If you had a business called Cindy’s Makeovers, you wouldn’t want to just use the hashtag #cindysmakeovers. You’d want to use #makeovers, and maybe even #makeup and the hashtags of some brands you use. You need to find the people who are interested in what you do, and overly specific hashtags won’t reach them.
Iconosquare offer powerful analytics on your Instagram usage, including things like what time of day you get the best engagement, which posts people like best, etc. It’s one of the best analytics offerings out there, and you’d be mad to pass up the opportunity to see exactly how people interact with your feed.
Once you have that info, you know what to do – keep posting the stuff that’s popular, phase out the stuff that isn’t, and plan your posts for peak usage times!
Keep an eye on the numbers
Even without dedicated analytics, you can do some basic analysis on your own. Keep an eye out for what content gets shared, especially when people start spontaneously tagging their friends – that’s the best kind of marketing you could ask for! Once you know what works, keep doing it.
Get in contact with influencers
Influencer marketing can be really powerful, and Instagram is an ideal place for it. Team up with accounts that share your interests, and swap posts or promote each other – that way you double your reach right away!
It might be easy to come up with a post every day or two when you get started, but as time goes on you’ll find that it’s easy to stop posting – and that’s when you start losing the audience you’ve gained. That’s obviously not effective marketing! So plan ahead: brainstorm what photos you’re going to post, when you might run a giveaway, when you want to look out for something to feature. And this way you can also plan when to tie things in with releases or new products, to drum up interest at just the right time.
Instagram isn’t just a billboard for your business. It’s a site where people interact, and the brands that use it best are ones that engage with the people who comment, leave comments on other people’s photos, and generally act like members of the community.
Use Instagram Stories
These can be a fun way to engage your followers. Do a day in the life of your office, or Instagram a conference, or whatever event you think might be interesting to the kind of people that follow you. Even a series of pictures of your cat could work if you can tie it into the business and the theme of your Instagram account somehow! (And everyone on the internet loves cats.)
So if Instagram is right for your business – and it might not be, either because it’s not a good fit for your business or because you’re already balancing three other social media sites – now you know what to do. And if you’ve already got a successful thing going, why not share your tips in the comments?