Remember when it was weird to have your mum on Facebook? Then it became the norm. Now the same thing is happening with Instagram. Businesses are reaping the benefits of sharing photos and videos to tell their story, as the app announces recent statistics indicating over 500 million users, of which over 60% log in daily. Its paramount in 2017 for brands to have a presence, as they're increasingly judged on their relevance by their social media output. Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. But how do you grow a relevant following?
Remember where your are - Instagram is a photo & video sharing platform. Posting text-heavy images or fuzzy, low quality shots wont be effective. A high quality, interesting shot with a small company logo and a short, informative description will be more engaging. With any call to action, remember instagram does not yet allow hyper links, but you can still encourage engagement. Direct to a link in bio (edit to reflect subject of photo, e.g. blog post direct link), instruct to comment with questions/opinions or instruct users to tag someone who may be interested. E.g "tag someone you would take on a trip here."
2. Keep it consistent
Growing a following based on a specific topic will motivate users interested in that topic to re-visit your page and engage with your posts. Encouraging users to turn on notifications to your page will also mean they're notified every time you post. The key is to post images of a consistent topic, with an ongoing brand voice. To organise, plan out a content calendar for each month, where you plan your posts but leave gaps for reactive events. In terms of volume, use your page posts for quality and the story feature for volume.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags allow users to search for images in relation to a subject they're searching for. You're allowed up to 30 hashtags per post, however there is a hack. Type your description and save, then post a comment below and paste your hashtags here. This keeps your post looking clean but still allows you to maximise the benefit of hashtags. You can easily search online the most popular hashtags and Instagram has a built in counter which will also show you as you begin typing the word. Keep it relevant and with multiple adaptations of each word or phrase. E.g. #Fashion #IGFashion #WomensFashion #Fashions etc.
4. Engage with relevant users
If your business is location specific, you can type the location in the search bar and generate a list of photos posted in this place. You can then engage with these people via comments or likes. Searching a relevant hashtag will also produce a list of photos, as will viewing followers or a relevant brand, product or person. Taking the time to comment on people's photos and initiate conversations will pay dividend in directing people to your page.
5. Build a community
Teaming up with products or services that aren't competitors allows you to leverage your audience to access that of another companies. You can run joint campaigns, shoutout another brand in exchange for your own shout-out, or feature their products/services as an influencer, whether on a normal post or on instagram's story/live feature. As you grow together, you can develop creative content to showcase key features of each business and develop relationships with new businesses to build a community that assists each other.
At Disruptive Social Club, we work with a number of businesses, big and small, to help them manage their social media accounts. Contact Loui@Disruptivesocialclub.com for more info.