Instagram's popularity has rapidly grown, attracting users of all ages seeking a platform that provides an outlet for visual expression and creativity. Brands on Instagram have noticed this trend! Acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is a mobile-driven social media platform that has quickly become a best friend of marketers. Since Instagram is primarily utilized on mobile devices, it has quickly become the preferred social network for anyone with a smartphone.
Below are our 5 best practices for brands marketing on Instagram. Follow this guide to utilize the app and achieve your goals of growing your Instagram following.
1. Define your audiences.
The first thing you need to do is to segment your audiences into personas. As a business, you most likely have multiple audiences, ranging from types of prospects to talent you are looking to recruit. Which of these audiences is most likely using Instagram? If only one of your audiences can be found on Instagram, focus your content towards their needs or interestes. If you have multiple audiences on Instagram then you may have content addressing each audience. Sometimes you have to jump in to figure out which audiences are using the app.
2. Identify your audience's interests.
Now that you know who you are talking to, it is time to figure out what to say. This can be done by referencing personas for each audience to make sure you're creating content around their interests and needs. Share contant about your company culture, your brand's personality, tips for using your products, or highlight a product's features.
3. Quality over quantity
A universal truth about Instagram’s user base is that they appreciate quality content that is visually stimulating. Quality, creative content will always outperform low resolution stock content. Because of this, you are better served to take the time to generate quality photos or graphics rather than posting frequently. Keep in mind that every piece of content you publish contributes to your building your brand.
4. Stay engaged
An Instagram following is not a situation where if you build it, they will come. While posting quality content is a key ingredient, you must take time to interact with your audience(s). This can be as simple as liking posts. There are two best practices for finding the best users and content to engage with. The first is to search relevant hashtags. You may use industry specific hashtags, location relevant hashtags, or hashtags that are specific to an interest. This is more trial and error than anything, but once you find the right hashtags, you'll be on your way. The second way is to target followers and followings of your competitors. They have built up a following that you know must have some interest in your industry, so there is a mutual interest they may share with your brand or company.
5. Sweet equity.
Building a quality audience does require some elbow grease. While you could easily build a following with 3rd party software, those followers will not be truly interested in your content, meaning you will not get as much value from your audience over time. Continuously fine tune your efforts until you find your groove, then you will start to see your efforts pay off.
Social media plays a major role in every brand's inbound strategy. Make sure to set goals for your social media efforts and review the analytics regularly. The analytics will guide you and you will reach your goals in no time.
As you continue posting and analyzing, you will learn more about your industries social media habits and the habits of your audience. Keep it relevant and stick to these tips to get off to a great start. Happy posting!