Instagram, for those of you who are new to it, is a free photo and video-sharing app that has taken over the world of social media by storm. In just over five years, the app has grown its exposure to over 400 million active monthly users worldwide – a faster growth trajectory than Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. With its endless possibilities, here is our introductory guide to marketing your business using this awesome app:
1. Establish a strategy
First things first – your business should create an Instagram strategy that marries your company’s objectives and how you are going to achieve them. Ask yourself the following questions: What will Instagram allow my company to do that other platforms don’t? Who is our target audience and which members of this audience are active on Instagram? How will Instagram integrate with the other networks in my business’ social media strategy? To increase brand awareness and enhance customer engagement, you can mould your Instagram account to deliver your answers.
2. Develop a following
It goes without saying that you’ll need some followers. Connect your business’ Facebook account to your Instagram to let your followers know you have arrived at Instaworld in style. Use relevant, industry-related, popular hashtags that align with your brand image and campaigns, tag appropriate fellow users and last but not least, engage other users by following accounts and liking their photos. Simple, but effective.
3. Content is everything
Offering an endless stream of images from across the globe, Instagram is a feed encouraging engagement through visual stimulation. Review your business’ goals and determine which aspects of your brand to showcase in your Instagram content; products, services, team members and culture all offer rich potential for subject matter over time. Once you have a list of specific content themes, brainstorm possible subjects for your images and videos. Your photos should be slick, creative and have a purpose, with specific captions to accompany them. Posts without a point will quickly lose users’ interest and you will soon see your following drop.
4. Balance fun and business images
Business campaigns and work-related images are important to share, but don’t forget that the unique appeal of Instagram is that it gives your following a peep into your business in a behind-the-scenes way they’ve never had before. Staff birthdays, new office developments, work socials… all of these moments can be captured and shared, offering a completely different, personable element to your company.
5. Create photo campaigns and contests
Businesses can host photo campaigns and contests on Instagram using hashtags to organise and review submissions. Creating a clever, memorable hashtag to promote a part of your company and sharing posts from others using the same hashtag will engage followers, encouraging them to get involved in a highly interactive way. In addition, those that take part in hashtag campaigns can be rewarded with promos, discount codes and giveaways, demonstrating how much your business values their customers.
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