From the outside looking in, Instagram appears to be selfies and photos of food but this visual platform has turned into a powerhouse as brands as businesses switch from the Facebook platform due to the fall of organic reach. If you’re unsure how you can get value from Instagram, read on for some useful Instagram strategy tips to help your business reach more potential clients.
Here are the main reasons you should create an Instagram strategy:
- Build brand awareness. Letting people into your private world or seeing behind the scenes at your hot startup builds trust.
- Stop selling. Social media isn’t about selling it’s about building a network and yes, you will share your products but it’s not a hard sell with every post.
- Create a fan base by creating a consistent presence.
- Join mobile nation! Everyone and their grandma has a smartphone – join the millions of people on Instagram and connect with a new social community.
Create a campaign to engage your fans
One agency boosted it’s income by 60% by creating an Instagram campaign. “The effort, dubbed #InstaRunway, garnered 8,000 photos and 5 million Instagram likes, making it easy to see why MTV, USA Today and LAN Airlines also entrust Movement with their social media projects. “We have developed processes and software specific to social media,” said co-founder Jason Mitchell. “[And] we believe very strongly that our creative sets us apart.”
When you create a campaign, you’re inviting people to join your hashtag and share an experience on Instagram with others. The#InstaRunway hashtag currently has over 8,400 Instagram posts.
Grow your community
Using the hashtag that you’ve created follow the Instagrammers who post great content. Commenting and liking the posts of your community shows people that you care and are interested in being a valuable part of the Instagram community as a whole.
Create a hashtag strategy
Buildout groups of hashtags for different types of posts that you’ll post on Instagram. Being organized will help you use hashtags consistently and bring more people to your posts on Instagram.
Crazy but true, eleven is the sweet spot for getting the most interaction per post on Instagram. There’s two ways to post hashtags: one in the original post or in the comments. Experiment and see what works best for your business.
Maximize your time with Iconosquare
If you’re like me and don’t like to manage all your business from your smartphone or if you just want additional information, Iconosquare is a great way to maximize your time and activities on Instagram. Schedule time and focus on these tasks:
- Follow your new followers
- Like and comment on a few of their posts
- Unfollow people who’ve unfollowed you
- Respond to comments with emoji
Host a contest
Running a contest can grow your following on Instagram. You can create a contest in Iconosquare with the official rules and steps to follow to participate in the contest. A content is a fun way to build your following as people enter your contest and post on their own profile.
A few examples of Instagram contests:
Instagrammers love special offers!
41% follow or would follow a brand to benefit from special offers. Share special offers to your Instagram page to give people a reason to follow you.
Provide value with your posts
The top 3 reasons why users follow brands on Instagram:
- 62% because they love the brand,
- 54% to discover new things
- 48% because they find content interesting or funny
Brand your content
Make sure you add your logo and use your brand colors on each Instagram post. It can be a small and tasteful but you want people to recognize that this is your post.
Post at the best times
Using the Takeoff app, you can find the best times to post based on your followers and past activity. The Takeoff app is free and available for iOS and Android. It’s not currently set up to post automatically but you can enter your posts and Takeoff will remind you when to post. You’ll receive a notification at the scheduled time to post the photo on your Instagram.
They cannot auto-post since Instagram does not allow posting from third party apps – but they’ll add this feature when Instagram approves it.
Takeoff also suggests hashtags based on your caption text.
I hope these strategies give you some ideas for your business on Instagram. Create a solid plan for your Instagram account and be consistent with your posting using hashtags. Done correctly Instagram can provide great engagement and interaction with your brand. What are you waiting for? Get working on those Instagram posts!
Originally published on Maximize Social Business as part of my monthly social media column.