Instagram has been around since 2010, yet most enterprises have just now begun to realize its full potential and its importance to a social media marketing strategy. Either you’ re operating on a B2B or B2C environment, a platform with 300 millions monthly active users and a 4.21% highest brand engagement than any other social network, Instagram has truly managed to be established as the new global community of users (consumers) & companies (brands).
So, were you thinking of posting your first Instagram photo but you were hesitant when facing all those different types of features or you already have an account but you are not sure about what type of content fits your brand?
Take a deep breathe and dive into a world of creativity!
1) Setting Up An Account
First and foremost, if you don’t already have an Instagram company account, now it is the time to sign up. Use your logo in the profile picture and write a captivating bio. Make sure you follow the profile image guidelines (minimum recommended size 110 x 110). When writing your 150 characters long bio, don’t just add your brand’s name and industry. Take a moment to brainstorm. Think about what makes your product or service unique. Use the right adjectives to embrace your bio, but don’t overdo it. Be sure to add your company’s website link. Use a bitly version of your website’s link to better track the traffic coming from Instagram on your website.
2) Create Shareable Content
Now that the easy part is over, it’s time to get some Instagram action! Firstly, dive into the world of your consumers. Define their persona. Determine what it is that they would like to experience from your brand via Instagram. If you are not so sure about your content strategy, it’s ok to take a look at your competition to get some ideas. Of course, don’t rip off their entire strategy. If you want to stand out, be original.
3) Hashtag Strategy
I find it absolutely necessary for a brand to early adapt its Hashtag strategy. Using hashtags is practically essential, in order to raise your brand’s awareness. Having a custom hashtag based on your brand is recommended. Try to use hashtags related to your images and industry. If you happen to run out of inspiration, use Hashtagify, a tool that helps you analyze and find related hashtags. Use up to 30 hashtags. I have found that around 15 hashtags are my ideal recipe. There are two ways to add hashtags to a post: on the original post or as a comment. Experimenting will help you decide which practice is the best for your business.
4) Grow Your Community
You are dying for some new followers, to engage with your images, right? In order to build a loyal audience, you first have to build your brand’s community on Instagram. This, can be achieved by taking a look at the list of people you follow. Get more people to follow you, by following more people. Follow Instagrammers that inspire you, companies, photographers, artists, hobbyists, or even celebrities related to your business. Find brands within your industry or related industries to follow. Follow back users whose content appeals to your brand, but I recommend not to follow everyone back. Firstly, because it looks a bit of a perfunctory move and secondly because spam accounts do exist on Instagram and can get you into trouble.
5) Post, Like, Comment, Follow, Repeat
Engage as much as possible! Like and comment on posts of your community. Answer their questions, add value, show them that you care. In addition, I suggest you take a look at your most engaging and relevant to your brand followers and check their following / followers to gain more insights about the content they most interact with.
6) Add a location to increase engagement
Did you know that images tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement? When uploading a post, enable the photo map option to add the location or in an already uploaded post, edit your image/video and add the location. This way, people who post images in this particular location, will be able to see all images taken there.
As a consequent from no.6, when finding a nice image taken at your location by a loyal follower, apart from liking it, you may want to re-share it to increase engagement. There is a variety of tools to help you do that, saving you time (Regram, Repost). Another option, would be to use a print-screen of that post and re-post it. Either way, make sure to always give credits to its original owners.
Another option available on Instagram, is tagging. When uploading a photo, you have the possibility of tagging another user that you follow. Tag your company, product or service, to increase their visibility. You can also tag employees or business partners. Be creative, however tag only relevant accounts.
9) Experiment with Video
Instagram is not only about images, but videos as well. You can take and montage a video up to 15” and upload it to your account. Experiment with different types of videos to find out what works best for your brand.
10) Connect with your other social accounts
Instagram allows you to share your images in other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your industry, you can use it to achieve an extended social reach. Another way to maximize your posts’ visibility is by using the IFTTT recipe. Save time, by setting a recipe, which will automatically do something, IF something else happens first.
11) Tools to help you manage your Instagram account
There is a vast variety of managing tools available for Instagram. I’m just going to mention a few, since analyzing them would take pages (and this post is already long!). Hootsuite, Iconosquare, Piqora, FindGram, Unfollowers are just a few to name, that provide help on how to manage your account, find followers / unfollowers, search for hashtags, run contents or easily like / comment on posts. The list is constantly growing, so make sure to have a detailed search in order to find exactly what matches your business’ needs.
12) Track your metrics with Iconosquare
Now that you’ve started with Instagram, you’ll need to be able to track your analytics, so you can understand what really works for your brand. Again there are plenty of free and paid tools available. The one I personally choose is Iconosquare. Iconosquare provides insightful detailed stats for free. All you have to do is signing up with your Instagram account and Iconosquare will do all the work for you.
However, no matter which tool you use, make sure to track data that include: The number of followers / unfollowers, the number of posts, the engagement per post, the ideal post time and the traffic to your website (via the bio link).
I hope these tips will help you establish and grow your Instagram presence successfully. Feel free to add a comment below, if you have any observation or you just like it!
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