Anyone can have thousands of Instagram followers these days. Whether you grow your audience organically or purchase it with the click of a button, the truth is a large following means nothing if your audience isn’t engaged with you. How often people like and comment on your posts, the number of (organic) followers you gain daily and how often your account is mentioned and/or reposted are the true determinants of a successful Instagram account. These types of interactions show your followers truly care about what you’re posting, and chances are if they care about what you’re posting they will most likely care about what you’re selling too. This is why social media – more specifically Instagram – is so beneficial for businesses. When used correctly, Instagram can convert your engaged followers into dedicated customers IRL (in real life)!
So what makes Instagram so great for business, as opposed to other platforms like Facebook or Snapchat? Well for starters, there are 300 million people that use Instagram daily…and we’re still counting. Talk about reaching an audience! Not to mention, Instagram ranked 3rd as the most-used social media platform out there, just behind Twitter and Facebook. Now you may be thinking, “Third place really isn’t all that great…“, but when you consider the fact that these higher ranking platforms have been around for at least a decade, while Instagram was only started 6 years ago, it puts things into perspective. The rapidly growing platform is designed to help users interact with their following and build a sense of community. This is probably why customers are more likely to follow business brands on Instagram than any other platform.
Now that you know why it’s critical to use this platform for your business, it’s time to learn how to master Instagram like a boss! Use the tips below to transform your account into a profitable networking tool.
Tip One: Don’t be self-centered.
When creating your marketing strategy for Instagram, always keep one thing in mind: “What will interest my audience?”. This may come as a surprise, since Instagram is the go-to app for #ShamelessSelfies, but using this approach will help increase engagement from your followers (beyond the occasional pitied “double-tap”). Show images that will resonate with your audience and write captions that connect your photos to your business offerings. Knowing your target audience and who you serve will make it clear what type of content your followers want to see.
Tip Two: Share your story.
Everyone loves a good story! Use your visuals to communicate the purpose behind your brand and business. When followers can relate to the stories you tell, they will automatically feel more connected to your brand and deem your business trustworthy. It’s this type of connection that helps transition everyday followers into committed, loyal customers.
Tip Three: Give your followers something good for the road.
You know those two little lines of text Instagram gives you to write about yourself? Use this bio section to give your followers something free that they can appreciate. Include a link to a coupon code, a downloadable freebie, even some sort of informational post will do! Just be sure that what you’re offering is on brand and truly reflects the interests of your audience (refer back to Tip One). In exchange for this free gift, request an email address from your followers so you can stay in touch with them long after they’ve left your Instagram page or website.
Tip 4: Treat your feed like a magazine.
The overall look of your profile is just as important as each individual image you post. Every picture should be visually strong enough to stand on its own, but should still harmonize with the rest of the photos in your profile. Arrange your images in a way that makes sense, while still considering important aesthetic principles such as negative space and balance.
Tip 5: Post more than “just pretty” photos.
Yes, pretty images get likes – but pretty images that reflect your brand story get engagement. You should post beautiful photos, just make sure they aren’t skin-deep. Your visuals are what you use to catch your followers’ attention. The messaging you include in your caption is how you keep it. Be clear on your intentions with every post, and use visuals that help set the tone for your brand.
Bonus tip: Use hashtags, emojis and your time wisely!
Include catchy (but relatable) hashtags in your captions and learn to “speak emoji”. Figure out what time of day your audience is most active on Instagram and post at those times for optimal engagement. Not only does it increase the likelihood of your photos being seen worldwide, it also shows your followers that you can be trendy and fun! #DoItForTheGram😜
Sounds easy enough, right? If you feel you need a little more direction, some help with your social strategy or a whole new game plan, give us a call: 704-271-9555! We would love to sit down with you and brainstorm some new ideas to give your Instagram or social media channels a little boost. Contact our Marketing Manager, Vanessa, for more information.