Social media – who doesn’t know about it? In this digital tech savvy world, social media has gained a massive toehold. Various social media platforms are explored in-depth for digital marketing. No doubt, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are the most receptive social platforms for business; however, various platforms, including Instagram, are preferred for various marketing activities; they are:
Facebook dominates among all social media marketing platforms as a source of social traffic and sales.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. The name Instagram is derived from a combination of “Instant Photo” and “Telegram.” Instagram, an incredible social media platform for sharing pictures, was launched in the Spring Season of 2010. In a less than decade, this platform has grown into a powerful social media force, not to be overlooked.
Since 2012, Instagram is owned by Facebook. This acquisition of Instagram by Facebook shows where the digital marketing trends are heading. Since both social media platforms are owned by the same owner, you can easily connect these two to boost your digital marketing strategies.
In the recent past, Instagram has literally competed extremely well with the dominant top four platforms viz. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Instagram has more than 500 million users.
Instagram is a great platform for online marketing since it is more popular on mobile; moreover, mobile is gaining huge traction day by day by both users and search engines.
People are prioritizing visual content over plain, and hence, Instagram is considered as one of the most effective social media marketing platforms for the coming days. As a business owner, you should use Instagram to market your products and services. Apart from product images, you can also share videos. Its ‘LIVE recording and sharing’ feature is getting way popular bit by bit.
Explore Instagram as a social media marketing platform
Social media management starts with the base of your followers and followings. To boost your Instagram marketing, first of all, you need to boost your followers on a constant and stable basis. The more people are aware of your brand, the greater your chances are to potentially reach your target audience.
Let’s run through the tips and tactics how to explore Instagram as a social media marketing platform to make your brand more popular.
1. Hashtags – use unique, crisp, meaningful, and attractive
Hashtags are not only important for Twitter; they also play a prominent role on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google plus.
According to Dominique Jackson, the beauty of hashtags for Instagram is they make your content discoverable and increase your chances of engagement.
It’s a big way of how users can find you through their mobile Instagram searches. As compared to Twitter, here you’re not restricted by character count. You can include a few tags in your posts to get connected. While deciding on hashtag for branding, it is advisable to create brand specific hashtags. Try to keep it as unique and crisp as possible.
Make usage of both sort of hashtags; brand specific hashtags and community specific hashtags. Brand hashtags help you to popularize your brand and community hashtags help you to become more discoverable.
Try multiple variant of hashtags such as brand specific hashtags, general hashtags, and trending hashtags, to get noticed in searches.
Examples of brand specific hashtags are:
#SpeakBeautiful – Dove
An ideal general hashtag should be prepared with two words over a single word to make it meaningful e.g. rather than #QL, #AskQL is a better hashtag.
2. Emojis – use the right Emojis to keep your audience engaged
In any sort of online communication, Emojis is the best substitute for the absence of facial expression, tonal inflection, and body language.
Nearly 50 percent of all captions and comments on Instagram now have an emoji or two.
3. Interaction – consistently interact with your followers
Once you get follower/s, do not shy away to stay engaged. Constantly post impressive content which your followers find relevant to their interest and business. Avoid throwing random posts, i.e. once in a week or ten in a go, as far as possible. At least, twice a day posting is requisite. Once your followers start increasing, you can start posting three to four times a day. Consistency matters most!
According to Anthony Carbone, “If you stick to a niche and show authenticity and passion in your posts, you will find a strong following”
The more people you can dynamically involve and persuade to comment on your content (images/videos), the better for you. Since, it will inculcate the interest for others who want to contribute or comment on your content as well.
A good example on how to stay engaged with your customers is well set by Starbucks. It is considered as one of the top brands on Instagram. Starbucks often appreciates their followers / customers by giving a shout-out with cool images. This is how they had updated their Facebook cover image using Instagram post.
4. Networking – create a positive community
Once you will have an active profile, you will surely start getting followers of your niche. But the main question here is retention! You need to retain them as your dedicated followers.
This is, in fact, the most important, most tricky, and most significant matter for any social media account. You need to build a network of your domain and keep them engaged. Interact with them, share their posts, give opinion / comments on their posts, ask them relevant questions, reply to their questions, and keep having all such sort of communication. In addition, stay away from controversial posts. It can badly impact your brand value. Build a vast network of your industry and create a positive community through your posts and engagement.
Follow your followers and work hard to turn your following into followers.
5. Amount of information – do not bore your audience with information overload
No doubt consistency is inevitable, but if it lacks harmony and relevancy of content, it results in either spamming or information overload. Keep your frequency correct and consistent. Rather than preaching them, engage with them. It’s better to ask sometimes, they should feel being valued. Dig out meaningful interaction from them.
The ideal proportion of posts based on followers suggested by industry experts are:
6. Free tools – make the most use of Instagram marketing tools that are free
Instagram also provides free analytics tools for business profiles; prudently and sensibly make the most use of them to market your products and services.
For example, “insights”, an analytical tool, provides you access to engagement data. If your account is initially signed up as a personal account for your business, do get switched to a business profile. That’s how you can cash advantage of the free tools that businesses use to track the shape of their brand on Instagram. ‘Insights’ assists you understand your audience, provides you data on posts with most impressions, engagements, and shares. Ultimately, you will conclude which posts are effective and which ones are not working well with your audience.
With SocialBakers, you can get a FREE report on the most engaged Instagram posts. If your Instagram followers are below 25,000, you can use Simply Measured to check your highly popularized posts.
Alternatively, there are many other scheduling tools available. With the help of tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Autogrammer, and others post your content when your audiences are online and earn more engagement.
7. Promotion – utilize cross posting function
As a business, one normally stays active and present on all possible platforms. Now, practically speaking, not all your Twitter followers are your LinkedIn buddies and not all your Instagram followers know about your presence on Google Plus.
Here, to expand your relevant reach and knock your target audience from all possible angles, you need to do cross promotion of your own posts.
A research conducted by Harvard Business School reported that retailers using cross-media marketing are more profitable than those that use only one channel for promotion.
Invite your followers from other networks to visit your Instagram profile and build your network. Whatever posts get better engagement on Twitter or Facebook, repost them on Instagram too and vice-versa.
8. Content – repurpose content from other related sources
As stated in earlier paragraphs, effective and successful Instagram marketing
needs consistent posts related to your products and services. It is well obvious that every time coming up with creative and engaging posts is not as easy as it seems. That’s where re-purposing content or curating content offers a hand of help.
As per Amanda DiSilvestro, Content repurposing is your hidden online marketing gem.
It’s absolutely fine to use others content which is relevant to your products and services provided you either have tagged or mentioned the original poster. Tagging is the best way, you need to give the credit to the original creator; and that’s how it becomes a completely ethical marketing practice and does not fall under the black clouds of plagiarism.
Tagging provides you with another major benefit of engagement. You may receive like or repost from the person whom you have tagged and your post can easily reach to their audience. You need to ensure that the posts which you wither repurpose or curate are relevant to your followers.
9. Engage with influencers – you need them!!
According to KISSmetrics, 70% of Instagram users have already looked up various brands on the platform and actually want to consume their content
Here comes power of Instagram influencers in the picture. Instagram beats all other massive social networks like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to influencer marketing. This is because the other platforms share information whereas Instagram is about sharing experiences with the help of visual content.
Your content shared, acknowledged, or praised by any influencer can embark a real positive image on your followers.
To reach on peak in no time, we suggest you make a use of tool, Revfluence. The Revfluence platform enables you to create original content with influential content creators that can drive new customers and followers for your brand.
If you have online business, why can’t you have a strong social media presence too? Social media marketing via Instagram can assist you achieve your targeted business goals with much of the ease.
Instagram has very dedicated users, who often use it daily. It provides a great social media marketing platform to reach potential customers across the world. Use Instagram extensively and appropriately, and grow bigger!