One of the most powerful marketing tools marketers have today is social media. From Facebook posts to tweets on Twitter, sharing your products or services on social media platforms is a great way to increase brand awareness, engagement, sales and leads.
However, many people are left scratching their heads when it comes to marketing with Instagram.
Many of us use Instagram as a personal account to post photos of our family, friends, vacations and food—but how can it tie into business? And should it?
With the speed of which Instagram is growing, don’t underestimate its value to boost your brand and marketing efforts.
It has grown into an incredibly valuable marketing platform and even though the 18-29-year-olds are still prevalent users, the higher age groups are catching on and catching up fast.
Some 2018 Instagram stats from Sprout Social are telling:
- 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded
- 80 percent of users follow a business on Instagram
- 65 percent of top-performing Instagram posts feature products
If you feel the tug to explore Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy, check out these initial pointers to help you get started:
1. Use hashtags wisely
You don’t need to cram every hashtag you can think of in one post, but you do need at least a few.
A hashtag is the # sign followed by descriptive words about your image as in this example, I used #marketing and #ctaconf, which was the conference I was attending at the time.
When a user clicks/taps on a hashtag or types a hashtag into the search box, it brings up all images that use that hashtag. The user can even subscribe to continue to follow that hashtag.
The hope is the user will see your photo, head to your profile and best-case scenario, follow you and get engaged with more of your posts!
However, when hashtags are extremely popular, the competition to show up in the results is fierce. Similar to SEO keywords, the more popular a term is, the harder it is to stay at the top of the search results. Thus, my example of using #marketing really was futile if I wanted to get any traction from that post.
You want to make your hashtags relevant to your business and location, but also engaging enough that a user would type them into Instagram’s search box.
- Say you have a pizza joint in Vancouver. You post a pic of your Pepperoni pizza with the hashtags #VancouversBestPizza #NicolosRestaurant #DeliciousDeepDish
- Or you’re a Toronto wedding planner. You post an image of a bride and groom’s first dance with the hashtags #TorontoWeddingPlanner #LoveWins #WinterWedding
Holidays and special events are an excellent time to promote your business and gain Instagram followers. Whether it’s a sale on Black Friday, a Thanksgiving-related use for your product or a product shout-out on National Dog Day, they are all ideal opportunities to showcase your business brand in a non-salesy way.
2. Thank your audience for showing up
You don’t just post a bunch of photos and hashtags and wait for the likes to roll in.
To gain Instagram followers, engage with your audience and grow sales or leads, you need to put in the time.
See an example here from video expert Michele Moreno where she responds back to each of the comments left on her video post.
So if someone leaves a comment or question on one of your posts, take the time to reply and thank them/answer their question.
Take a look at their profile, and if you like what you see, follow them.
Businesses often follow commenters first, in the hopes that they might return the favor.
You can also look for people who might be interested in your product, then comment on their photos and/or follow them, but don’t spam them with an ask to follow you right away.
3. Interact with the right influencers
Influencers are Instagram users who can influence your target audience because of their popularity and/or social media following.
Danielle Bernstein is a good example of an influencer who worked with a brand. You may not recognize her name, but the 1.8 million followers of her Instagram account WeWoreWhat do.
Bernstein and FIJI Water worked together to create BodyWoreWhat, a marketing campaign offering 8-minute workout videos with her and her personal trainer.
That may be an extreme example, and unless you have deep pockets you probably won’t be able to attract an influencer with almost two million followers.
But don’t despair. From mommy bloggers to local foodies, you can always find someone who your target audience follows, likes or admires. Maybe they’d be willing to review your product or take a photo using it—use your imagination!
4. Don’t just shill your products
Instagram is not the place to simply share product shots all the time. Think of the experience people have using what you’re offering or the benefits it gives people.
Even better, show real-examples. Asking for user-generated content from your audience is one way to do this. That means that users share their photos using a hashtag you provide.
The online furniture store Wayfair.com does user-generated content very well. They have a user-generated campaign that lets customers share photos of their stylish Wayfair-filled homes using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.
Be sure to let people know that their images might be featured on your page and you can increase your Instagram content big time – for free!
No matter how you use Instagram for your business, be authentic and true to your brand. It’s what the platform is all about, and it’s going to help you grow your business, gain Instagram followers and attract sales or leads.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
Solidarity Day 2022: Ganzourgou Producers Offer 2.6 Tons of Food to Vulnerable People
Regarding the selection criteria of vulnerable people, Ambroise Ouédraogo said that his association collaborates with the provincial directorate of Social...
Ford Chooses Almussafes over Germany for the Production of Electric Models
Thus, the Valencian factory will be the fifth Spanish factory to produce all-electric models. Stellantis manufactures electric models at its...
Surveillance Systems in High Demand as Public Safety Concerns Grow
Public safety concern is a national issue, and government officials are committed to enhancing safety. Surveillance systems of every type...
Delta Med (White Bridge Investments II) Buys AdriaMed’s Infusion Pumps
Delta Med is also active in the production and distribution in Italy and abroad of medical devices and disposable accessories...
Evenfi Raises +300,000 in 24 Hours in its Equity Crowdfunding Round
EvenFi was founded in Bergamo, Italy in 2018 as Criptalia by Diego Dal Cero and Mattia Rossi, and, launched in...
Biotech1 week ago
Satellos Bioscience’s Stem Cell Signaling Research Could Turn the Tables on Muscular Dystrophies
Crypto2 weeks ago
Solana Price Forecast: SOL Forms a Dead Cat Bounce
Crowdfunding2 weeks ago
Exporo Raises Funds, but the Company Value Decreases Instead of Increasing
Cannabis1 week ago
Luis Figo Launches His Brand of CBD Products