Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and is being used by businesses, solopreneurs and brands all over the world who are looking to reach a new, younger and wider audiences.
Whether your brand is more graphic, or content focused, Instagram can be a strong visual component which can help your business grow.
Instagram started out as a photo sharing app available on mobiles. It allows users to add digital filters to photos to give them the ‘Instagram’ look and incorporates social features such as profiles, followers and comments.
Instagram also allows you to share videos and is a growing advertising platform.
As of September 2017, the social network has reached 800 million monthly active users. Over half of these users are between the ages on 18-29 years old.
This is important if your target audience is in this demographic, as Instagram will be the most important platform to reach them.
How to start:
- Your Profile
To start, look at other businesses and your competitors to see how they are positioning themselves. Follow influencers in your industry, users with engaging content and your clients.
Choose an impactful profile picture. This is what will help you stand out & tell consumers what your business is all about. Your company logo is a great way to get your ideal customers to get to know your business & identify you in a glance.
Your account name & username should be your company name. This will make it easy for your followers to search for you.
Instagram features a biography section at the top of your page. This is the first thing your users will read, so make sure you’re telling them what you’re all about. Use clear language, explain your product/service and include contact information.
- Your Community
Instead of worrying about how many followers you have, think about how you’re going to get results. Engage with fans who can become advocates for your business.
To start, use your email list to reach past customers and to let them know that you’re now on Instagram.
Announce your presence on Instagram on your other social media platforms & include a link so your followers can easily find you and check out your page.
To ensure your content Is engaging, mix it up a bit. As well as photos, add a call-to-action (CTAs) on pictures.
You can also write a caption on the photos to instruct people, ask questions & promote yourself.
Over time, you will get to know what kind of content your followers respond to most & create content which will cater to their preferences.
Be sure to use hashtags – it will increase your brand presence. You can also create a brand hashtag which your followers can use when talking about you & where users can go to find posts about you. Your hashtags can be adapted to each campaign.
- Your Content
Cater your content to your goals, whether your current campaign is to get more followers or attract more visitors to your website. Set yourself a measureable goal, this will allow you to assess whether your campaign is successful, help you understand what content works for what campaign and plan for the future.
Think about how often you will post, how many times a day and at what times. This will vary depending on where your target audience are in the world, you may need to post at night if your audience have a different time zones.
Get to know the influencers who can help strengthen your content & build a trusting rapport with your followers. This will help you decide which influencers will be best suited to be part of your campaign.
- Get Creative
Tell your brands story using pictures, focus on your main narrative & use content which you can build upon.
Reach out to influencers, they can help you to increase you following. Start off by engaging with them: Like & comment on their photos, tag them in your photos to get them to notice you.
You can then either pay for ‘shoutouts’ – this is an expensive but effective way to get the attention of your target market. If you’d prefer to go with the free option, you will need to spend time getting to know your followers & creating relationships with influencers, but this can help you get organic & authentic endorsements.
Get creative with your promotional posts, have fun with it. You can even use photos of your followers using your products.
We know it can be scary getting started. Don’t worry, you’ll be an expert in no time by planning your strategies & using the right techniques. So, what are you waiting for? Get started and whilst you’re at it give us a follow @gromarketing.