Do you want to achieve more for your brand on Instagram? Well, if you do these are the tips to achieve it.Vinny Dijkhuis
Do you want to achieve more for your brand on Instagram? Well, if you do these are the tips to achieve it.
Everything you do with your Instagram account needs to contribute to a clear theme. If you want to be really successful, it helps to offer followers something unique that's not available anywhere else. That means not only creating your own content but also refraining from posting it elsewhere, like on your website or Facebook page. Instagram is a great place to show off the parts of your business and your community that you love best. This is an excellent platform to reveal behind-the-scenes images that help customers (both current and potential ones) feel more connected to your business. If you're promoting a restaurant, for instance, you can use your Instagram account to introduce a new chef and provide sneak previews of upcoming specials. If the behind-the-scenes angle isn't working out for you (if your place of business just isn't photogenic, perhaps), you can always post photos of employees, special events, and community outings.
Although this might not seem like an effective promotional strategy at first glance, you'd be surprised at how much it can do for you when employed properly. Does the name Warby Parker ring any bells for you? This boutique eyeglass vendor has repeatedly been honored and singled out for its creative and unique use of Instagram. Their account shows off the products they're selling in a way that doesn't come across as a hard sell. They also share their corporate culture with followers and are open about their place in their community. It's a message that has proven extremely resonant with Warby Parker's customers.
Whether you think hashtags are brilliant or irritating, you can't ignore the vital role they play on Instagram. Hashtags are the organizational system that takes a vast collection of random user-submitted images and turns it into a shockingly powerful social media platform - and a potent promotional tool. Every photo bearing the same hashtag can be easily accessed by users. As with Twitter - the other major social service that relies on them - Instagram calls for a little common sense in the way you use hashtags. Don't ever apply a hashtag to a photo for which it's not truly relevant. While you don't have Twitter-sized limitations on the number of hashtags you can squeeze into one caption, exercise a little restraint to keep from irritating your followers suggest Instagram experts. Going overboard with hashtags in an attempt to attract more attention is more likely to attract trolls and spammy comments.
For greater exposure, familiarize yourself with Instagram-wide hashtags that can earn you more attention. Examples of popular general tags include #tbt (Throwback Thursday), #phooftheday, and #instafood. You may also be in a place where you can use geographic hashtags. Chicago, for instance, has tags like #Chicago, #Instagram312, and #Chitecture to help local users find content posted by brands and individuals in their neighborhood. Sometimes hashtags can even be purposefully launched by brands. The Chicago Tribune gained a lot of Instagram attention by popularizing #Trib2013 as a marker for quintessentially Chicagoan photos taken in that year.
Despite what some others will tell you, you don't have an obligation to post a new photo every single day. Instagram's 'feed speed' isn't as fast as it looks when you're first exploring the app. If you inundate your followers with a deluge of posts you run the risk of becoming part of the "noise" that they ignore out of habit. Start working with a regular posting schedule and keep track of how your posts perform. You can use feedback to fine-tune your timing and also find out which sorts of content are most appreciated by your followers.
Don't lose sight of the fact that people who follow you are doing you a big favor. Follow them back and 'heart' their pictures where appropriate. (Steer clear of what are clearly personal photos unless you actually have a real-world relationship with the account owner.) Don't be afraid to ask your followers to share your page and reuse your photos. Recruiting your followers into your promotional efforts is one of the best ways to use Instagram for marketing. If your following grows large enough, you can start featuring their photos by asking them to tag your handle or use a specific hashtag when they post pictures related to your brand. You may get real instagram followers fast through several paid services. Remember to always give credit where it's due.
Instagram also makes a great place to deliver rewards like special offers and exclusive contests. If you set your events up correctly, you can even start picking up lots of user-generated content to liven up your own feed. This is a particularly popular marketing tactic at the moment, and major international brands are getting into the game. Sony has had great success asking customers to post Sony-related photos for a chance to get posted to the company's main feed.
Finally, remember to keep your eyes peeled for third-party Instagram activity that relates to your brand. Search for your brand name and any other terms that might relate to your business; you might stumble across customers or fans you never knew about. I'm a regular food poster and I've discovered restaurants reposting my meal posts on more than one occasion. This has always given me a positive impression of the restaurants in question; I think it shows an appreciation of my interest in them.