[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”readable”]Are you looking to expand your brand’s marketing reach online? Social media was probably your first thought, as it allows you to reach out to potential clients directly. However, don’t set your sights on Facebook, it’s time to turn to Instagram. While Facebook is the best known of the various social media, there are compelling reasons for e-commerce companies to turn to the lesser known Instagram. Consider it the dark horse of the social media family.
Since 2012, Instagram has seen a 115% increase in organic marketing while Facebook has seen a 63% decrease in this area. In addition, Instagram has 58 times more engagement per follower when compared to Facebook. The Facebook market is over-saturated, while the Instagram market is yet to be fully tapped. It has a great deal of untapped potential when it comes to marketing brands. Brands that market themselves on Instagram reach 100% of their followers per post. However, Facebook is more constrained due to filters, with each post reaching only 6% of a brand’s followers. Moreover, it is much easier to gain followers on Instagram than on its more popular cousins Facebook and Twitter.
Top 5 Tips
- Consistent Images Create Your Brand Identity and Trust
Posting consistent images helps solidify your brand identity in the viewer’s mind and this in turn establishes an element of trust. People are more likely to follow a trustworthy brand. The keys to establishing this consistency are choosing visuals in keeping with your identity and a signature color scheme. A branding guide that specifies these aspects can be a useful way to stay consistent. Canva is a great tool to set your branding guide for Instagram posts. It allows you to specify a list of fonts and colors to be used. Ideally decide which fonts to use for your title, subtitles and main body text. You can also set the image size.
Colorzilla is a browser extension that you can use to capture the color scheme from your website (in case it is already up and running). Alternatively, you can try Coolors if you do not have a color scheme in mind already. Simply using it on your photos will help you quickly find your color scheme.
Aside from visual consistency, posts must be visually engaging so that they capture the target audience’s attention and spur their engagement. In other words, they like, comment and re-post.
Instagram is both a social media platform and a search engine. Hashtags are what make your Instagram posts searchable. Unlike Google, a search engine which relies on keywords, Instagram ranks popularity based on hashtags and lets you search based on hashtags. Popularity on Instagram falls into two categories:
- Most Recent
- Top Posts (determined by likes and comments)
You must use hashtags even if you don’t follow any of the other tips. Without hashtags a post is completely irrelevant when it comes to online marketing. It is essentially lost in space with no directions pointing to it. Although you can use up to 30 hashtags per post, studies have shown that 11 is the ideal number when it comes to viewer engagement and interaction. So don’t skimp on your hashtags in an Instagram post. They expand your reach and help you spread your brand. Choosing relevant hashtags can help your post pop up in the Most Recent category. It can also keep your post in search results for more time.
You might consider using Iconosquare to find popular hashtags on Instagram. Signing up is free.
- Tracking and Analytic Tools
Take the effectiveness of your Instagram posts to the next level by using tracking and analytic tools such as Iconosquare. Here’s what you should be tracking:
- Most popular posts (in terms of likes, comments and re-posts)
- Follower count (increase or decrease)
- Hit posts
The data from such tracking tools can give insight into:
- The best time to post to IG
- Which Filters work best
- Which posts gain more engagement
- Communities that engage with your brand
- Monthly Analysis
Based on this information, you can tweak your marketing efforts. For instance, certain filters might perform better than others. Certain times might turn out to be the ideal times to post for higher engagement. The community that follows and engages with your brand might make you shift your marketing strategy to suit them better.
Just as with YouTube and Facebook, there are influencers on Instagram who wield a great deal of power. Reaching out to these influencers is an integral part of Instagram marketing. A re-post from an influencer with an @mention to your account can have a massive impact on your follower count.
Snapfluence, Instabrand and RisePro are tools to help you find influencers on Instagram. This will cost you, but take less time.
The alternative way to identify influencers will cost you time and effort. Here’s how:
- Search for the most relevant hashtags on IG.
- Click on the top posts in that hashtag search.
- Explore the accounts that are not other brand names.
- Look at their audience and follower count. Contact them via DM to explore working together.
Aside from working with influencers, reposting other content is a mutually beneficial form of cross-pollination in the social media sphere. It helps you grow your following and also establishes credibility.
- Contests & Giveaways
People love to get free stuff. Especially when it’s a contest and they win over everyone else. That’s the icing on the cake. Is it any wonder that a great way to boost your followers on IG is through contests and giveaways? When you run a contest in tandem with influencers and active followers this is a surefire method to gain followers and increase your brand’s exposure. The rules for such contests are simple. Contestants must:
- Like your post
- Follow your account
- Re-post your image along with an @mention
Gaining followers will ensure that your post shows up in the Most Popular section of the hashtags you use. Re-posting spreads your content to a wider audience of potential clients. Make sure that you announce the winner and arrange delivery promptly.