With over 500 million monthly active users, Instagram continues to grow in popularity. Brands have all scrambled to jump in and try to build an audience, but many have no strategy and do not take into consideration the fact that this platform is not like the others. Like Twitter, many are tempted to buy followers and likes instead of growing the audience organically which always leads to problems when you actually try and convert to sales. On any social media channel, it takes time, strategy, and consistency to build your audience, but there are some unique tips that can make using Instagram more effective.
Keep in mind that with any social channel, it is getting more important to create content that is interesting enough that it starts conversations and gets shared, versus you pushing it in front of people through advertising. (Read “The Content Marketing Genius of Angie Castalano” for a great example of this in action!)
10 Tips for Instagram Marketing
1. GET REAL– As often as possible, use real photos that you have taken. While this isn't always possible, find images that share your brand's story and look authentic.
2. NO STOCK IMAGES-No one likes stock images that look like…STOCK IMAGES! Corny staged corporate porn is definitely a NO-NO on Instagram.
3. ADD HASHTAGS– People use hashtags to find great content and people to follow. Click on any hashtag to see the top people or most recent people using that tag.
4. USE 10-20 HASHTAGS– Adding multiple hashtags will help your profile become more findable. You can place the hashtags in the caption or in a comment directly following. That's a personal preference.
5. EXPLORE & DISCOVER– once a day click on the magnifying glass to find new people to connect with. The more people you follow the more people will follow you back.
6. COMMENT & LIKE– Make a point to show the love to those you follow. Comment and like photos on other people's profiles and BE SOCIAL! Adding an emoji to your comment helps your comment stand out in the crowd.
7. WRITE MORE- This isn't Twitter. You can write 2,200 character posts, but keep in mind it only shows the first 3 lines of text before showing the MORE link to read more. Be sure you are weaving your keywords into your posts like anywhere else.
8. CONSISTENCY & FREQUENCY– Posting regularly will pay off. Like any social site, being on there regularly will help more people find and connect with you.
9. LET US PEEK- Show us the behind the scenes for your business. Let us meet your team or see your product being made. Don't always show perfection…let us peek behind the curtain of OZ!
10, STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND– I love brands like DRY BAR with their touch of yellow in most every image or those that just a look that you can identify immediately. When possible, use your brand colors and fonts, even if it's just a touch here and there. Using tools like Canva will help you maintain your brand look and feel since you can load your brand's fonts and exact HEX or RGB colors and use them in your image designs.