With Instagram on track to reach one billion monthly users over the next year, businesses avoiding the platform are likely missing a useful traffic and branding source. Plenty of companies are using Instagram to reach targeted audiences, helping to showcase products and find new leads. However, merely posting images without a plan is not a valid strategy. It is rare for a business post to go viral, but a consistent approach can gradually increase followers, likes, and overall engagement. The following methods can benefit an entire social media campaign but work particularly well on Instagram.
Define Your Style
Popular Instagram accounts have defined themes that let followers know what to expect. If a business posts a broad range of images, from beautiful product images to candid staff photos, it can be confusing. Before you start posting, think about the style that would best define your business on the platform. Various enterprises have got results from using broad themes like humor, memes, locations, aspirational imagery, motivation, and more.
Hashtags are used to label your images, enabling interested searchers to stumble upon your page. Search for the general themes your business covers, focusing on the relevance and popularity of the hashtags. Ideally, the hashtags you include would be searched for regularly and have users who might be interested in your brand. However, avoid spamming with a long list of hashtags as this can give a negative impression to your followers.
Post User-Generated Content
Your users can produce some of the best content. For example, a clothing or makeup brand might have numerous examples of users posting with their products. User-generated content has a snowball effect when other followers see they could appear on your page. This style of posting also follows the spirit of social media, helping people to feel more engaged with your page.
Like and Comment
It is difficult to increase engagement levels without taking an active role. Major brands and celebrities might be able to gain success from merely posting images, but the majority of users will need to engage with followers. Instagram lets you like individual comments on your posts, but it is also worth commenting back on any interesting responses and questions. When people see you are actively involved in the account, like and mentions numbers should increase.
Contests are a proven way of engaging people across social media, with Instagram offering the same benefits. If followers are interested in your products and services, providing a prize giveaway will lead to higher interest. Offering an unrelated product, though, will lead to more followers who have no real interest in your business, so focus on relevance.
The introduction of video offered a new dimension to Instagram. You can post short videos to your feed or use the Stories feature to add videos removed after 24 hours. If your business is personality-driven, you can design videos around direct interactions with users and business updates. However, companies without personalities can still benefit by showcasing products, giving special offers, and broadcasting live events and launches.
Instagram is one of the major web platforms, so should be central to any social strategy. Posting images won’t be enough to gain any serious engagement, though, with a high level of mature competition. While it is advisable not simply to copy other accounts, you can learn a lot from monitoring successful posters. Ultimately, you gain the best results by finding a style that suits your business and the audience you are attempting to reach.