Instagram is an online social media service that allows its users to share photos and videos with their social networks. It integrates seamlessly with other social media websites, such as Facebook or Twitter. In fact, Instagram has surpassed those networks in terms of sharing. In a study of 2,500 brand posts, Instagram had 58x the engagement per follower than Facebook and 120x more per follower than Twitter.
Instagram should be included in many business’ online marketing toolkit, as it is a great way to increase your online exposure through the sharing of photos and videos. It also makes your business seem more personable and open, as you can share pictures of special employee events, new project kickoffs, or specific product images. Used correctly, Instagram can give your online following a special behind-the-scenes look into your company.
But how do you build up that online following? Read on for some fast and simple tips!
- Link it: Create links and/or banners to your Instagram account and put them everywhere—on your blog, on your Facebook page, or even in your email signature.
- Stay on message: Find and showcase other users’ content that is in line with the message your business wants to convey. They will like the attention and will want to share it with their friend lists, which will spread your content around.
- Be consistent: Maintain consistency with the content you post and repost. Shared content should reflect your business’s image and goals. It is also a good idea to use your logo as your Instagram profile picture and your full business name as your username. This ensures cohesiveness across all your social media presence.
- Comment: Commenting on others’ content won’t yield overnight results, but it is an excellent long-term strategy. Others will see the comments and may click-through to your site. Also, it shows that you are active and responsive, should a potential customer have questions or require support.
- Tag others: This works similarly with points 2 and 4: increasing exposure to your content by getting others to share it. Generally others will enjoy being mentioned. You could even hold mini-contests, for example: a call for submissions of users’ cat photos, and then repost the best ones, making sure to mention and tag the user.
6. Use hashtags: Just like with Twitter, hashtags help keep things a little more organized and more searchable by using consistent markers across posts. For example, try to encourage others to use your brand-specific or company name hashtag whenever they mention you in their posts.
You can also incorporate other popular hashtags into your content (where appropriate), so that someone searching that hashtag can stumble upon your content as well.
7. Listen to feedback: Make sure you are listening to the comments of your followers. If they are taking the time to comment on one of your posts, they are doing so because they care enough about your brand. Replying and/or incorporating their feedback shows that you care, and it will encourage more feedback in the future.
8. Share and follow: A great way to boost your followers is by following others first. Moreover, try to regularly share new content. However, with both sharing and following, it is easy to cross the line of too much, too fast. Following everyone who is active isn’t the best idea, nor is constantly sharing content. Share occasionally, and in moderation.
If you aren’t already utilizing Instagram as part of your online marketing strategy, hopefully this has helped you decide to make that leap. If you have any questions, or would like more information on how you can build your Instagram visibility, please contact us.