It’s visual. Slightly addictive. And taking the marketing world by storm.
It’s Instagram – and if your business isn’t using it, you’re missing out on massive opportunities to build your brand, engage with customers (current and potential), and close more sales.
Related post: Bad Marketers Are Ignorant (of Social Media Trends)
Fast facts about Instagram:
- Of its astounding 1+ billion monthly users, 500 million people use the platform daily.
- Instagram is the 2nd most engaged social network, after Facebook.
- Instagram is most popular with young adults. 71% of monthly active users are under the age of 35; the single most popular age range is users between 25 and 34 years old.
- 72% of users have bought a product they saw on the app.
Do we have your attention now?
Instagram is growing rapidly and appeals to many demographics; its value as a social marketing tool lies in building and engaging the right follower base. If you’re new to the platform, what’s the best way to get started?
Here are 10 proven strategies to build your Instagram following:
1. Complete your company profile.
When someone visits your profile, they’ll decide in an instant whether or not to follow your business. Seed your new account with several posts; choose an appropriate profile photo; fill in your bio; and make sure your account represents your business and its brand well.
2. Get off zero.
No followers? Establish credibility by asking employees, friends, family members, vendors and trusted customers to follow your account and engage with your posts.
3. Post regularly.
To get real results, commit to posting several times per week. Instagram is all about pictures and videos; here are a few ideas for posts to gain followers:
- Quality images. Crisp, focused images are best. Experiment with filter options and apply the same few filters to photos to achieve a consistent look.
- Celebrations. Birthdays, work events, etc.
- Stories. Short videos of happy customers, people using your products/services.
- Behind-the-scenes posts. Pictures or video clips of your team doing great work.
- New ways to use/enjoy your offerings.
4. Experiment and test.
Spend a little time on Instagram, scrolling through your feed. What captures your interest – and why? Experiment with posting unusual, eye-catching images (that align with your brand) to see what types of posts garner new followers. Build on those successes.
5. Engage with people.
When someone likes or comments on one of your posts, like one of theirs or reply to their comment.
6. Use hashtags.
Hashtags make your content searchable – even to people who don’t follow you. Logically, the easier your posts are to find, the easier it will be to gain followers. Think like your ideal audience: What types of searches would they likely conduct on Instagram?
7. Cross post.
Share your Instagram posts on Facebook and other social accounts to draw more people to your Instagram account.
8. Sell less.
Spamming viewers with deals and offers will only alienate them. Spend more time showing and telling your company’s and customers’ stories; spend less time selling.
9. Use branded images.
When Instagram users are scrolling through their feed, they may not take the time to see the name of your company. Professional-looking images overlaid with your logo stand out – and are instantly identifiable as content from your company.
10. Engage with influencers.
Many people have already built a large following on Instagram. If they like your posts and/or follow your account, you stand to gain a share of their followers, too. Start by liking, commenting on and sharing influencers’ posts (use common sense, though – don’t stalk!). In time, they will notice your business, hopefully begin engaging with you, and their followers will be exposed to your brand in the process.
Social media is influencing your target audience – and your bottom line.
The explosive adoption of platforms like Instagram has transformed the ways customers engage with your company, learn about your products/services, and ultimately make purchase decisions. Investing in a strong social media presence is no longer a luxury; it’s a business necessity.
But what strategies make the most sense for your business?
Ask BARQAR’s social media experts! We’ll learn about your business, discuss your goals, and recommend a cost-effective plan to help you build your social following – and convert those followers to customers.