You've made it to Part Two of our Instagram made easy series - congratulations! By…
Social media success means remaining relevant on all the different platforms, while working within the guidelines of each platform and understanding how each one differs.
Building your brand on Instagram will require you to use the best practices for the platform, raising valuable audience engagement and giving you the perfect marketing tool for your business.
What practices are best for Instagram?
Having a presence on Instagram is so much more than uploading your brand photos and videos without a plan. With such a worldwide platform on offer, there’s not much that needs to be said about the necessity for this social network as a part of your marketing strategy.
Planning your strategy and knowing the best practices is crucial to see real results with your followers.
Your brand can truly stand out on Instagram. As it is a visual-first network, your unique visual identity can be showcased!
Before you can start using best practices you first need to understand your brand and your target audience. Some questions you can ask are:
- What does our audience like most about our brand?
- Who are we trying to ultimately reach?
- How do competitors find success on Instagram?
- What marketing strategies have worked in the past?
1. Post engaging, high-quality images
Instagram is all about great visuals plus content. Have a look at some of the most popular feeds and you’ll quickly see why these brands drive engagement.
Just like a billboard campaign, it’s the images and videos that drive the engagement on this platform. A study has shown that 93% of buyers cite visual appearance as the main reason for buying and 85% said colour was their main reason for purchasing a specific product.
Something else to consider is how your products will look in the grid view of your page. Putting some effort into pre-planning your posts will add to the impact your brand has.
You want your content to stand out on your user’s feed so don’t skimp on visual aesthetics.
2. Stay on top of Instagram changes and updates
Being up with the latest changes on social media is essential to keeping your brand in the forefront of your audience’s mind. You don’t want people assuming you’re behind the latest trends by not keeping up with these changes. In the last few years Instagram has brought in stories and IGTV – both of these, brands, individual users and influencers have jumped on board with and use as an everyday part of communication.
In saying that, you also don’t want to be implementing new things simply because it’s new. Knowing your data on post times, engagement rates and how users are connecting to you is essential.
Know the trends and follow them, in your industry and on Instagram, it will keep you above the competition.
3. Know your audience
Instagram has the highest rates of engagement of any social media platform. This is where your social data plays another huge role in your marketing strategy. Learn how to implement monitoring strategies on Instagram and you’ll find a wealth of insight. Looking at it critically your audience’s actions on social are telling you exactly what they want to see on a daily basis.
Another way to keep engagement high and uncover insights is to post content that encourages participation.
Hold a contest:
A contest helps to boost engagement, gain more followers and keep people coming back. Make the contest unique and remember to ask your audience to repost images or use a brand hashtag.
Post audience content:
Regramming someone else’s post not only gives the user a sense of achievement and belonging it also encourages others to post your content as well. People love to be acknowledged.
Ask your audience questions about your products and services. This will only work if you engage with their responses so remember to be active!
4. Know the optimal times for posting
Instagram, like any other platform rewards quality over quantity. Get the most out of the always changing algorithm by posting at peak times. Look for the research, check out your engagement times and post then!
5. Tell visual stories
Instagram allows you to tell your brand’s story through visual content. Showing your brand in a new light or engaging with behind the scenes footage can bring your brand to the top of the pile when it comes to marketing. Being authentic is what Instagram users crave so use this to tell your brand story to best advantage!
6. Use hashtags to find new followers
In order to get more followers for your brand you need to be proactive. One of the most popular features on Instagram is the Explore Page, it helps people find users or posts that are relevant to their interests that they don’t yet follow. Hashtags that highlight the topic of your posts will earn you more interest. hashtags can be your best friend, they can help you get discovered, archive content and participate with relevant topics. Branded hashtags can do wonders for your marketing strategy, but remember to also engage with the community around your brand by using other relevant hashtags.
Make sure you mention anyone participating in your campaigns. Using @ mentions can double your engagement, it can encourage friends of friends to notice your brand and start following.
7. Make decisions based on data
Use analytics to find out exactly when your audience is engaging with your page. Knowing where you are in the crowd of content on Instagram can be a real benefit to your marketing strategy. Likes and followers alone isn’t enough to know where your brand is performing on social. Find the tools that will help you make the best decisions and use them to your best advantage.
Engaging with your audience isn’t rocket science, but using these tips and tricks to get you going will help you on your journey to a great Instagram page and the very best marketing for your brand.