Instagram is no longer just a photo sharing app for filtered selfies, as it is now considered one of the top business social networking sites. There are more than 300 million active users on Instagram today, posting and sharing millions of photos, and many of these users are among your business’ target market. Indeed, its potential for your business marketing is worth exploring.
According to a Forrester research, user interactions with brands on the photo and video sharing platform is 400% more than social media networks like Facebook and twitter. In fact, it delivers 50 times more when it comes to engagement per follower than on Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than on Twitter.
Recently, Instagram also announced that posts will no longer be in chronological order, as it will be applying a new algorithm similar to that of Facebook. This will allow you to see content that Instagram thinks is relevant or is of interest to you. Taking these into consideration, here are some tips on how you can continue to drive engagement on your Instagram page.
1. Post strikingly good visuals.
Even on Instagram, staying relevant to your market also boils down to publishing good content – photos or videos of your product that are carefully planned and produced. Nowadays, flat lay photography has become a trend among Instagram users. It involves taking a photo from above the layout, which consists of your photo’s main subject and other prop items pieced together to stylishly tell a story about your image.
Taking those ‘instagrammable’ photos has also become more sophisticated, given the amount of time and effort dedicated just to achieve the right mix of composition, layout, lighting, editing and filtering. For inspiration, check out @abookishloveaffair and @taramilktea.
If you have been on Instagram for some time now, review your old posts. Which of your posts generated many Likes, comments and reposts? Then, maybe these kinds of posts are what your followers would love to see. Be more creative.
2. Raise a call to action.
Even if your photo speaks a thousand words, putting additional and helpful information in the caption helps a lot. Ask a question, ask their opinion about your product and services, or raise a call to action. Many bookstagrammers, for instance, end their captions with “double tap if you agree”, “repost this on your Instagram page” or “tag five of your friends”. It’s also a way of engaging with your followers.
3. Keep a list of trending #Hashtags.
Determine the best performing hashtags related to your posts and the ones that are popular among your target audience. There are websites that monitor trending hashtags like top-hashtags.com. However, don’t annoy your followers by putting trending yet irrelevant hashtags. Set a limit to the number of hashtags you will be using in a post.
4. Dedicate time to respond to comments and private messages.
Remember that to facilitate engagement well, you need to create a good online atmosphere for your followers. Read what they have to say, answer to their queries right away, and show that you value the urgency of responding to their comments.
5. Boost posts once in a while.
Allow Instagram to help you reach more targeted followers. It will not only expand the coverage of your promotion; it will also help you gain more following.
6. Remember your Influencers.
Partner with the online influencers in your market. These are the online celebrities who also have a high following, who are relevant and consistent when it comes to their online presence and engagement. Tap these influencers, especially those whom you think can best promote your product.
7. Measure your engagement.
Assign a schedule for measuring your engagement on Instagram to determine: the most engaging posts; the time your followers stay online; and whatnot. Measuring your engagement will allow you to assess whether your marketing strategy is working or not. It will also help you determine what posts to publish in the future.
Take note of the number of likes you get for each post, the number of comments, the type of comments, and the number of followers you get in a day following a post. You can use online tools like SimplyMeasured and Iconosquare to help you with this one.
✓ What username are you going to use?
✓ How many followers do you target to gain after a year?
✓ How often do you post on Instagram?
✓ What topics to include in your marketing calendar?
✓ How are you going to measure your marketing success on Instagram?
Keep in mind that patience is also a virtue in online marketing, especially on social media apps like Instagram. Most of the time, engagement doesn’t always translate to the revenue we expect. Influencing the public’s opinion doesn’t happen overnight. Remember that even with a very popular platform like Instagram, great results take time.