Instagram has swept off the world of online marketing with impressive results in terms of building customers and relationships. Have you caught the wave yet?
Instagram has come a long way from just being a mobile photo-sharing app to getting established as a critical marketing machine. With over 400 million active users currently on this social networking service, businesses can choose to ignore the potential of this platform at their own peril. Be it any kind of business, it has shown its worth consistently and thereby not just restricted to restaurants, travel companies or retailers.
Do you know the value of being on this platform?
As per a study by the Forrester group, Instagram’s popularity is such that it has surpassed Facebook and Twitter in engaging with target users/followers. It is most useful gateway to next generation customers who are not just buying product/service but are also looking at the whole experience of dealing with your brand.
“Instagram is the single most important destination to build visual identity of your brand”
Don’t mistake it for a tool suited to the youth-centric fun brands. It’s ability to win over routine and tedious brands like G.E and Ford is equally strong. The spectrum of Instagram covers all diverse sections in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity.
Instagram users are essentially latent customers and shoppers. The medium rules out hard selling and does subtle yet powerful marketing of your offerings.
Marketing Matters: Top 5 Ways to digitize your business on Instagram
The concept of digital identity has gained momentum and online social interactions with customers have become irreplaceable. Instagram lets you do all of this if used smartly and correctly.
While getting the basics right isn’t difficult, a special emphasis on mastering the following best practices will take your marketing game to all new level.
1) Explore Trending Hashtags for your Business
Instagram is all about the reach. If you are not getting noticed, it is probably because you are missing the #Hashtags. Tagging top and relevant people, places, concepts, names etc. can be a great promotion tool to expand your audience span.
If your brand uses specific Hashtags on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, include them on instagram too. Run contests with #Hashtags that encourage storytelling and involves larger community. This turns a casual follower into devoted customer. It makes your business easily accessible.
Caution: Include no more than 5 Hashtags to prevent coming off as “Salesy”
2) Ensure Consistency of your Presence
By this it means “Consistency of Purpose”. Your brand strategy should be always kept into perspective before posting anything on your business page. There are different reasons to be on Instagram – Popularize business, create awareness or sell products/services. Identify your goal and streamline your posts accordingly to deliver consistent message.
Also, your brand personality on Instagram should be consistent with your business profile on other social networks. It makes you quick to identify and gain spin off followers from other sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Quick Tip: Announce your debut or presence on Instagram with fun posts/promotions/contests on other social platforms as well as by adding Instagram social button on your website
3) Focus on Quality and Creativity of Photos/Videos
Visual content is in demand more than ever before. However, this is not applicable to any random lackluster pictures. Your posts should have a personalized yet professional touch to standout from the crowd. Whether the pictures are of products, brand personality or customers, they should tell a story that is cohesive and appealing to your target audience.
Consider these while posting photos/videos on Instagram:
- Use third party photo apps to edit your photos and share only high quality images. Also, size your photos for professional quality
- Promote your products with creative, lifestyle photos that reflect your brand’s culture. At some moments, keep the pictures authentic, immediate and no-filter
- Once in a while share positive quotes and inspirational photos related to your brand
- Videos can generate a huge share of inbound links than written posts. Make most of this by applying unique filters, showcasing employees at work, celebrations, important achievements and brand moments
Quick Tip: Use videos to mark your profile debut or for introducing new events, products and services
4) Stick to a Balanced Posting Plan
A picture is worth a thousand words. Your business account need not be overbearing with posts uploaded every hour. Quantity has not much standing on Instagram and in fact too many of them can affect your credibility to be taken seriously.
Avoid saturating or annoying your followers by working out a balanced and flexible posting plan that allows you to post when you really have something interesting to share. It should spike the recall value of your brand.
Quick Tip: The “feed-speed” of Instagram being at relaxed pace; one post per day seems to be perfectly okay to grab attention. Identify the time of the day when your posts get maximum action in the form of likes/ comments/ followers
5) Network and Engage on Instagram
One way to grow your business the Instagram way is by engaging others on the network. This is achieved by:
- Following others, liking and commenting on their photos (especially the influencers in your industry, clients and engaging users)
- Following your followers back
- Follow your already established followers from other social media platforms
- Reward followers with special privileges, exclusive announcements, promo codes and discounts
- Find brands and hashtags relevant to your business and follow them
- Encourage your followers to be your brand ambassadors by sharing photos and reviews
Caution: Don’t overlook the obvious. Never leave conversations with followers one-sided. Thank followers for tags, be proactive in responding to comments and alert in managing notifications.
Instagram in their own words is a passionate community that helps people visualize business in different and inspiring light. Your business can take the center stage and benefit from it too basis how quickly you adapt and ace this exciting online community.
Ready to roll the ball of online marketing? Flynaut has been successfully helping clients to manage their digital presence with progressive strategies and tools. Know more from our experts by writing to us @flynaut