Are You New To Instagram And Are You Not Seeing The Results You Expected?
Well, let me be the one to say it; it might not be Instagram, it might you (and the expectations you’ve set!).
Ouch! No one likes to hear that, right? But, it’s true. Instagram, when used correctly, is fast growing visual and social platform that can boost your brand and brand recognition to a whole new level. It’s already done phenomenal things for brand storytelling and customer engagement for so many brands, and it can do the same for you and your brand, too.
In fact, 67 percent of the world’s biggest brands, including Red Bull, Starbucks, and Michael Kors, are now using Instagram.
The one thing you don’t want to do when it comes to Instagram is give up too quickly. That’s like saying ‘See Ya Later‘ to the 300 million active users that Instagram welcomes each month. And no brand can afford to do that, or can yours?
How Exactly Do You Get Your Instagram Channel Off The Ground?
Well, first things first.
I encourage you to learn all you can about Instagram! Read articles on how it works and how it can be used for marketing. Many of these articles can be found be searching Google. If you want an even easier way to access a list of awesome articles about Instagram, follow this Pinterest Board I created called ‘Instagram Tips’! Easy-peacy access to over 65 articles about Instagram. Take a bit of time and get started.
I’m going to assume you have a basic understanding of social media, because it’s vital in most industries today (and you are reading this!). One of the most important things to remember is that all social media channels are different.
Instagram differentiates from others through its ‘no selling’ attitude, or so it seems when you first lay eyes on the platform. It’s also a visual platform. I have found several ‘newbies’ who were baffled about how to communicate on Instagram. (#hashtags!) But, as 67 percent of the world’s biggest brands will tell you, just because you might not ‘sell’ anything, that doesn’t mean you won’t gain customers and ‘sell’ stuff. (Does that make sense?) Instagram ads have arrived and clever marketers hold contests, promote daily specials and have found ways to sell successfully on Instagram. If you are confused how this visual platform allows you to sell, read this great post by my friend Jenn Herman of Jenn’s Trends.
There’s an intimacy to Instagram that other social media channels don’t have. And, because of this, Instagram is a perfect place for brands to share their human side, and basically make friends with their customers. Customers who are friends, are customers who trust you, and that’s something money can’t buy.
What Are You Supposed To Do, Say, And Post On Instagram?
First and foremost, Instagram is a storytelling platform. Each photograph uploaded tells a snippet of a story, whether it’s about what the user is doing today, what they aspire towards, or even what they’re eating for lunch! Telling stories through images is a great way to stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds, it can also bring them to resonate emotionally with your brand.
Some great tips to remember when using Instagram for your brand:
- Follow Users
Many brands do not follow other users on Instagram, and this causes them to miss out. By following your customers, and maybe even liking and commenting on a few of their photos you will instantly give them an ego boost. You’ll practically become their new favorite brand! All because you took two minutes out of your day to notice them.
[It’s also good practice to follow some of your competitors. This way, you can keep tabs on their content, and learn from any mistakes they make.]
- Evoke Emotion
Human beings respond to images, so it’s not difficult to evoke an emotional response from the photos you upload. But, perhaps you should put a little extra effort into the photographs you select by actively thinking about what emotions you want your images, and more importantly, your brand, to evoke. Use beautiful images with text overlays to drive the emotional messages home! Don’t forget to (subtly) brand your images.
- Find The Balance
It’s important to find the balance between being fun, and showing off your brand. Everyone’s followers will be different in what they’re looking for on their Instagram feed so to find the balance you will need to do some tests.
If you need additional (or visual) help getting your brand’s Instagram channel off the ground, check out this infographic by Issa Asad. This infographic provides a guide to get started on Instagram and includes these seven steps:
- Set Up And Optimize Your Profile
- Spread The Word
- Start Sharing Photos
- Add The Right Hashtags
- Start Networking
- Add Videos
- Run Contests And Giveways To Reward Your Followers
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