Instagram, a mobile photo editing and sharing app, is a great marketing tool that often gets overlooked. This technology helps people and brands create visual images allowing for a story or narrative to be told. How can you best use Instagram to make sure you are telling your brands story in the most effective manner possible?
Create an Account:
First and foremost, if you do not have an Instagram account, you will want to sign up for one. Using the same name as your Twitter™ handle can help you keep track of your social media accounts and integrate them seamlessly. You will then want to set up your profile. In doing so, make sure that it accurately reflects your brand. Include your logo, website, and a physical address; all the information customers might need to find and do business with you. You will also want to connect this account to your website and to your brand’s Facebook™ and Twitter accounts.
Build a Following:
As mentioned above, in order to get more followers, you will want to connect your Instagram to your Facebook account. By posting on both Instagram and Facebook, you let people who may not know you have an Instagram account find you on Facebook. Begin following others and engaging with their photos. Like and comment strategically on their photos. Make sure that you also follow those who follow you and find your established followers on other social media platforms.
The basic premise of Instagram are photos, so you will want to make sure your pictures tell a story. However, you don't want to just be promotional. Balance between business and fun. Post stories on how you see the world, capture things that are interesting and relevant to the brand and the ideal target customer as well as potential customers. You can also reward your followers with discount codes and promos. Doing this will make sure that viewing your feed content is a priority for them. Another idea for posts is to make them about your employees…with their permission, of course. Acknowledge their skill set, successes and milestones. This allows your customers to have a view of your company and shows your employees that they are valued and appreciated. Also, Instagram allows you to create 15 second videos. Embed these videos into your homepage or blog and extend the reach of your content.
Use Hashtags and Apps:
Use apps to help make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy. These apps can enhance your photo sharing ability and let you search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, and download photos in a single archive folder. Do contests on Instagram and link it to your Facebook using a hashtag. Make sure your are using relevant and popular hashtags. Find the hashtags that are trending and are relevant to your marketing strategy. If your brand uses specific hashtags on Twitter, use them on Instagram as well.
Track the engagement on your images to find out what your followers like best. Track what is working and figure out what gets the most engagement. If you want to know how your brand is doing on Instagram, there are image analytics tools such as BlitzMetrics™ and Curalate™ that can track an Instagram posts’ likes and comments so that you can see how that popularity translates into added followers. You are also able to see what image did best on Instagram and then use that image in a Facebook ad.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure that your Instagram is saying the right words about your business.