Instagram has a huge active user base; it recently hit over 800 million monthly users. Arguably it’s one of the most dynamic, exciting social channels out there at the moment and it’s one of the fastest growing too. And you need to be on it! Compared to the powerhouses of Facebook and Twitter – it can seem like a safe haven, away from most of the fake news and spam.
In fact 60% of micro-influencers think it’s the best social channel for engagement rates.
The slick user design and visual content is easy to ingest and it’s a straight-forward way for businesses to create a strong brand identity. You can promote visual content and become…more visible.
Here’s where you come in. Instagram is a great digital space to carve out a following and try out fun, new marketing ideas.
Let’s take a look at how you can capitalize on Instagram’s growth and popularity to form a tight-knit, impressive community of brand followers.
First up – take a long, hard look at your brand identity. What kind of personality or image do you want to communicate about your brand?
Insta is the perfect space to test out content and play around with your brand’s identity. But you must have a strong idea of who you are and what you’re representing so that you can create consistent content that aligns with the rest of your marketing strategy.
We’ve got plenty of resources that you can use to develop your brand’s identity.
Boosting brand loyalty is a two-way street, so this calls for two-way interaction. When you post content, if you followers are leaving comments then use them as nuggets of value that you can grab and build on.
But don’t just wait for your followers to reach out – you can take action and interact with followers first to engage and create a good impression…
Don’t stop interacting with your followers when you’ve got to a certain amount though. Keep your customers engaged and loyal by interacting with them. Basically, keep them sweet!
Instagram can also act as a customer service tool too – people might be DMing you with the Direct Messaging feature or leaving comments about products, so keep an eye on your channel.
Consistency is Key
You can be tactical with your Insta routine and use a consistent structure with your posts. The average Instagram account posts once a day, but larger brands post more than this and accounts that do post more frequently tend to have higher follower counts…so you know what to do.
Start off posting at least once a day to get used to the format and try out content. Build this up to posting 2 or 3 times, which should see your follower count steadily rise. Focus on making the content you do post quality, instead of obsessing over quantity.
Figure 1- Source: Hootsuite
Try and find patterns in the timing success of posts – when are your followers or your target audiences most likely to engage with posts and like and comment?
Instagram’s algorithm changed last year, getting rid of chronological order in favor of posts with higher engagement appearing higher up on someone’d feed. So, you need to find the best times to post, so that your posts receive high engagement rates quicker and you can be closer to the top of your followers’ feeds.
There are different approaches to take depending on your follower base, target audience and your logic too, so experiment – measure engagement rates with your own stats and repeat the processes that work. Use a spreadsheet to record how well each of your posts do over a certain period of time or a decent marketing dashboard can help you with this.
Visuals and Captions
It’s really down to you to come up with witty, smart or inspiring captions for you content. Concentrate on making memorable content though and leave an impression on your followers.
It all depends on the type of brand personality and image you want to create, so make sure that you content/captions align with your identity – otherwise it might not make sense for users that join from other channels and touchpoints.
Figure 2- Source TechCrunch
Hashtags are your bread and butter on Instagram and you’ll need to get hashtag happy if you want to start growing your follower base. Using 10+ hashtags usually favour better growth rates and results, with TrackMaven finding 11 as the optimal number.
Don’t push out too much spam into the world though, but a fair few hashtags will be effective and you don’t need to worry too much about how many – it can look more aesthetically pleasing with fewer though.
Choosing hashtags is a bit like keyword research. You need to pick out relevant, timely hashtags that will resonate with your followers and the audiences that you’re targeting.
Make sure that hashtag/content research is an important part of your Instagram strategy. You regularly need to refresh your ideas and research new content.
Instagram is such a fun platform and it’s a great space for trying out ideas, playing around with your brand’s personality and most importantly, showing it off!
It’s up to you how you use it and it’s time for you to put your creative hat on and get thinking of new ideas. This gives you the chance to access new audiences and push visual content. You can create a strong base on Instagram with highly engaged and active users.
Get involved because Instagram isn’t going anywhere soon!