August 27, 2015
Social media use is growing at a rapid pace. With 300 million monthly active users, Instagram in particular is a social platform that many brands are turning to. Everyone is on it, and it’s where companies need to be to reach their audience. In fact, 85 percent of the world’s top 100 brands have an Instagram account.
But how do you build a solid foundation of Instagram content? Brands using Instagram to drive sales need to do much more than post product images with sales copy. The key is to establish an interactive relationship with your audience, with engaging storytelling and eye-catching images.
Below are 5 Instagram tips that will ensure your Instagram is being used to benefit your company.
1. Make Your Brand Look Amazing
Keep in mind that Instagram’s user base is primarily younger than other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Successful brands on Instagram have a perfectly curated gallery that encapsulates the desired brand image. Content should be fun, casual, friendly, exciting, and interesting. A carefully constructed gallery should evoke aspirational emotions from your fans. Content should have variation but consistency! This helps to build up a strong and trustworthy reputation.
2. Offer Insider Information
Aside from creating a solid brand image, Instagram content should be a little exclusive. Fans love to see the inner workings of the brand, such as behind the scenes footage or exclusive ‘sneak-peeks’ at new products. By showing employees who love their job, it gives your brand a ‘face’ and a deeper emotional connection.
3. User Statistics Are Your Friend
This data is extremely useful. It can help you accurately evaluate how well your strategy is working. Useful data includes: when your fans are online; the type of content that your fans respond best to; and the age and location of your fans. All this data can help you find the ideal content strategy to suit your brand. The data can be used to determine how effective your existing strategies are and whether you need to change details such as time of day to post and how you are targeting your audience.
4. Engage & Reward Your Fans
Holding contests through Instagram is a strategy that has been used widely. Contests can be motivators for your fans to engage with your brand or share your brand with their peers e.g. comment on your photo, repost your brand’s photo on their own profile, ‘tagging’ a friend in your photo or using a unique branded hashtag. Contests usually involve a prize to participating user(s), however, fans can be rewarded in non-monetary ways too. Through the notion of two-way communication, simply engaging with fans by asking them to respond to your questions in the comments section and/or replying to their comments can be very rewarding for both parties.
5. Encourage UGC and WOM
User-generated content (UGC) plays a big part in successful Instagram strategies. By encouraging your fans to submit their own ideas for your brand, you can tap into the collective creativity of Instagram’s 300 million users. By acknowledging the content submitted by your fans, you can deepen your relationship with them. Not only that, but you can help keep your content varied and exciting. Word-of-mouth (WOM) is a benefit that is often generated by a UGC strategy. Fans who submit their content to your brand are often encouraged to post this content on their own Instagram profiles, thus creating free publicity for your brand.
These are just a few potential tactics of many for getting in the game on Instagram if you’re currently not. If you’re not, it’s time to start. Social media is not going away and the barriers to entry will only become greater as we get further along. Furthermore, here is a look at how the the most successful brands are using Instagram which can offer insights and tips for you.
Have you tried any of these methods? Which methods have or haven’t worked for you? What other methods not listed here have been successful?
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