Instagram is proving to be the most up-and-coming marketing tool so far in 2017. The number of active Instagram users has now surpassed those actively using Twitter. Thanks to Facebook owning Instagram, it has now become extremely effective to use both digital platforms hand-in-hand.
That said, Instagram is a completely different platform to Facebook, it tells a story visually. Thinking more strategically about visual themes and building a community will help you market your brand effectively on Instagram, and here are 5 ways you can do just that (without spending any money):
- Understand Hashtagging
Posting your images with a small number of relevant hashtags will put your content in the feeds of the people that are interested in what you’re posting about.
Not only can audiences look through specific hashtag feeds to find new and interesting accounts to follow, but with the Instagram Explore tab (the little magnifying glass 🔍 tab in the app), content based on things similar to what the audience has liked or followed in the past gets put on their radar – so it’s worth looking in to hashtags that not only work for you, your products and your brand, but popular hashtags in your industry to make sure that people are going to be able to find your content!
- Use Instagram Stories to Take Followers Behind the Scenes
Whether it be for a sneak peek of a new product or service, or a quick look at the process of the work your doing, or just doing a shoutout to a staff member having a birthday, using Instagram Stories is a great way to show your followers what’s going on in your workplace in real-time.
- Keep Up with Your Fans
I don’t mean you have to follow every single person that follows your page, although you might be doing that and it’s working for you – and if that’s the case, great!
If one of your followers checks in at your business and posts a photo, tags or mentions your Instagram account in something, you will get a notification about that and a chance to acknowledge that follower!
To acknowledge that follower and what they posted is a great way to build a more personal connection between them and your brand, you can do that by either writing a comment thanking them under the image they posted, or you can repost the image (with their permission) to your account with a personal message along with their caption. By reposting you’re also showing an endorsement by someone else in the community on your account – which will help raise brand trust with the rest of your audience! Talk about two birds, one stone!
- Be a Part of the Community
There are large communities on Instagram, from interior design lovers, to motoring enthusiasts, to people on health & fitness journeys, to people who are really interested in drone photography!
Finding your brand’s niche and building a community around a theme is a great way to position your Instagram account.
- Spend Time Reaching People Organically
Forget using software to automate your posts, forget using bots to follow hashtags and comment on every single photo that comes on to that hashtag. Instagram doesn’t like that, and Instagram will penalise your account if you do either of those things.
Spending 10 minutes a day publishing images, liking or commenting on photos that are relevant to your industry/brand and following new and interesting accounts will serve your brand better in the long run by building a real relationship with your followers and in turn, building trust in your products and building brand loyalty.