Follow these best practices for successful Instagram marketing
Are you trying to use Instagram for your social media marketing? Are you finding it difficult to grow the channel to promote your brand? You’re not alone. Finding success with Instagram marketing is an excited process but it can feel like an uphill battle. To help you conquer your Instagram marketing goals we’ve outlined the habits of the best Instagram marketers that your should be following too.
1. Follow the top trends
The best social media marketers are constantly aware of the top trends active on Instagram and when the fit is right for the brand they’re participating in those conversations to increase their exposure. Monitoring the post popular trends and hashtags on Instagram is a great way to grow your brand’s awareness and by staying on top of the trends specific to your community you can also increase your interactions with those fans.
When it comes to getting your brand involved in popular trends there may not be any better than Dunkin’ Donuts. Whether it’s a major sporting event or a national holiday, Dunkin’ Donuts is known for sharing content that brings their brand and lifestyle into the conversation. They do this best with events that are relevant to their fan base and incorporate their brand in fun and playful ways that isn’t overly sales-focused. Consider the events and trending topics that you can get your brand involved in to grow your exposure.
A photo posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on Nov 27, 2014 at 6:15am PST
2. Engage your community
Instagram isn’t a one way channel for promoting your brand. If you’re goal is for your community to engage and interact with you then you need to be doing the same with them. Interacting with the posts your fans are sharing helps strengthening your relationship with them and also increases your visibility to their network. Reciprocate your fans’ passion for your brand by engaging their posts and the results will pay dividends.
Popular beauty retailer Bath & Body Works exemplifies positive, fan interaction on Instagram with their engagement on posts their community shares with the brand’s hashtags. Simple comments on content being shared with your contests helps validate that fan’s participation by growing their excitement and leads to further participation from their followers. Grow participation with your Instagram marketing initiatives by engaging your community.
3. Know what your community likes
Get involved with your community by listening to the interests they’re visually sharing. Monitoring the content your community likes and the hashtags they’re using in association with your brand can give you a picture of their interests and what they like about your brand. Use this learning to guide your content strategy to determine what you should be sharing and also to guide your engagement with those fans.
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4. Use the right hashtags
Knowing the interests of your community and the tags they’re using should influence the hashtags you’re using on your own posts. Hashtags are an effective and necessary tactic to leverage for your Instagram marketing. Knowing how to create the best hashtag for your contests is critical to finding success with those programs. By learning which hashtags are the best to get discovered by your target demographic you can more easily get involved with those communities. But know how to choose the right hashtag and don’t be a victim of #hashtagabuse
Fashion retailer, Topshop, shares highlighted outfits and accessories with relevant hashtags to help expose their items to a larger community. To help increase the content available to share and engage their community, @Topshop also encourages their community to share their street style pose and fav Topshop look with the hashtag #Topshopstyle. Creating this tag gives the brand more content to share in their feed as well as builds a stronger relationship with their community by engaging them and highlighting their posts. Use hashtags on your posts as an opportunity to grow your content exposure and connect with your community.
Want to see yourself on Topshop? Share a street style pose in your fav Topshop look like Personal Shopper @Monikh using #topshopstyle. Item numbers: 30C01HKHA, 23K01GCRM, 19R10GGRY #personalshopper #style #selfie #streetstyle #khaki #coat #jacket #scarf #grey #cosy #warm #winter #knit #heels
A photo posted by Topshop (@topshop) on Jan 27, 2015 at 9:35am PST
5. Post quality content
Don’t forget the importance of posting relevant quality content. You’ll never build a quality following on Instagram if there’s no content being shared from your brand’s account. Look for opportunities to share visual content for your fans to interact with. Measuring what your community likes and how they’re engaging you is great but only if you’re using that learning to drive your Instagram strategy.
Starbucks has become one of the most followed brands on Instagram because they continue to post quality photos and videos which are relevant to their community and the lifestyle they’re promoting. Often these posts will actually feature their cups or products but the visuals always tell a bigger story than a purely self-promotional post would. @Starbucks will often incorporate multiple hand drawn posts that link together in their feed which their community responds positively to. When determining the best way for your brand to share quality visual content, don’t be afraid to share posts about your brand but you should always do so in a way that your community will appreciate.
Regram from @rachelryle: @Starbucks sent me a note & asked “#whatwouldyoudo if you won #StarbucksForLife”? Piece of cake, I would have a Caramel Macchiato & Cake Pop Party…with extra whipped cream! #ad #regram #stopmotion #animation #starbucks #coffee #caramel #latte #caramelmacchiato #cakepop #cakepops #whippedcream #celebration #confetti #balloons #party
A video posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on Jan 2, 2015 at 7:57am PST
6. Post authentic content
The content that you’re sharing needs to be authentic and representative of your brand’s lifestyle. Your followers will love seeing this true visual content from your account and will respond positively. Use Instagram as a network for showcasing your lifestyle and inspiring your community rather than another channel to place your ads because nothing will cause you to lose followers faster than bombarding your feed with un-engaging sales promotional posts.
GoPro cameras capture incredibly exhilarating and inspiring moments which provides great content for their Instagram account to share. @GoPro shares the experiences of their community showcasing their product’s capabilities and the lifestyle it supports in an authentic way. When planning the content for your accounts to share, consider what’s best about your product or service the moment’s you’re enabling your community to experience.
A video posted by gopro (@gopro) on Jan 14, 2015 at 3:52pm PST
7. Run engaging contests
One of the best ways to engage your community is by running Instagram photo contests. Contests on Instagram are designed to incentivize your community to share content promoting your brand with the use of prizes and giveaways. Designing the campaign theme around what you know your community is sharing is an effective way to build participation. This participation in the contest shows you the most passionate and involved fans and the content they’re sharing gives you an invaluable form of promotion on the visual network. There are tons of examples of contest best practices for your brand to follow on your next activation.
Plan your next contest with the Instagram Campaign Planning Guide
8. Let your fans do the sharing
For effective Instagram marketing, you can’t be afraid to have your community tell your story and promote your brand. You want to encourage this behavior and have your community share content about your brand and lifestyle. Facilitating this content creation with targeted visual influencers on Instagram can increase your community’s sharing exponentially. Influencers can create awareness for your brand to their followers encouraging them to participate in the sharing as well.
Promote your campaigns with vetted Instagram Influencers
9. Highlight your fans’ user-generated content
After you get your fans to share about your brand your job isn’t done yet. Showcase the content they’re sharing to increase it’s reach and encourage more to share. UGC is found to be more engaging than posts from brand accounts so you want to continue to build this practice with your fans and build an army of ambassadors promoting your brand. By displaying the content on other properties like your website you’re also showing a more authentic perspective of your brand. Learn the best practices to properly display visual content from Instagram & Twitter and take full advantage of the incredible content your community is sharing.
The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic structures in the New York City skyline with one of the best views of the city. But rather than just tell you that, the Empire State team has built the Share ESB site to show the skyscraper and the views in an authentic light from their community’s perspective. Highlighting this content from their fans gives them the ability to not only tell you how great their experience is but actually show you with endorsements from their community.
These tips are sure to help you find success with your Instagram marketing. What other tactics are working for you on Instagram? Follow us on Twitter and let us know!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community