Social media marketing is on the rise and becoming more powerful of a marketing tool than ever before. Many companies are on Instagram, but not all of them are doing it right. There are best practices for the platform, and there are practices you should stay away from at all costs.
Instagram marketing is one social media tool that brings great reward, that is, if you do it right. Like any platform, there are dos and don’ts and guidelines you should follow. In this article I cover all you need to know to implement a successful Instagram marketing strategy.
The Power of Instagram
Instagram is a visual medium that connects brands to their number one fans, current customers and potential customers. Significant growth and the ability to run ads are just a few reasons why brands and marketers are seeing success with their Instagram marketing and campaigns.
According to a Pew Research study, when it comes to engagement with users, “Approximately 59 percent of Instagram users get on each day. Which makes getting consistent content out on the channel imperative.” This means that users are not only signing up for an account, but they’re using it on a daily basis.
It’s not just about likes and followers anymore, so your focus needs to be on creating engagement with your audience. Sprout Social notes that, “Instagram posts get more engagement than other channels. Brands using the channel saw 58 times more engagement per follower than other channels, including Facebook.” Now that we know the power of Instagram, the next question is how can we do it better?
What To Do
If there’s only one action item you take away from this article it should be to only post high quality images. Instagram is a visual platform and your images are what’s going to speak to your followers. There’s no excuse for posting images that are pixelated and blurry.
Next, tell a story with your photos and your page. All of your posts and images on your page should paint a larger picture about your brand. For example, if your product has to do with food you could focus on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Give your brand a persona and bring your product to life by engaging with your fans.
The platform isn’t a one-way street. Instagram is a give and take relationship. Be active and like and comment on other accounts. Respond to comments posted by your followers, and give them opportunities to showcase their content on your page with ugc marketing campaigns. Promotions, events, sweepstakes and contests are all strategies that will make this a reality.
On Instagram hashtags are your friend. They’re what fuel likes, conversations, comments and who sees your posts. Develop specific hashtags related to your brand, your event, your products or your promotion. This way you’re not only able to measure the ROI of your campaign, but you’re generating engagement at the same time. Now that I’ve touched on what you should be doing on Instagram, let’s go over what actions to avoid.
What Not To Do
Instagram is all about imagery so don’t get sloppy about your image sizes, dimensions and quality. Posting excessively or neglecting to post at all isn’t going to cut it on Instagram. Space out your updates just enough that your fans get excited to see your latest posts, instead of annoyed by them. You may even find a tool, like an Instagram scheduler, to be very helpful with this aspect.
You should also sidestep overdoing it with product posts. Your fans get it, you’re a brand and you’re selling merchandise, however, they’re more interested in getting to know who you are as a brand and what you have to offer them.
Visit your users’ pages and give them some love in return. Offer your fans ‘behind the scenes’ views or notify them of early product releases through the platform. These thoughtful actions won’t go unnoticed. No hashtags, too many hashtags and passing off someone else’s photo as your own is never good practice. Use common sense and remember that the customer is the key to your success, so focus on getting them excited about your brand and products. They may eventually become a part of your individual influencer network.
Social media marketing isn’t just for fun anymore. It’s a marketing tool that delivers valuable results, if it’s done right. Instead of focusing on speed and the amount of posts you’re issuing, redirect your attention to learning best practices and avoiding those that’ll only set you back. Once you have established yourself on the platform, you may want to move on to Instagram advertising as well.