Social Media Marketing With Instagram
It’s no secret that Instagram is the golden child in the competitive, slightly dysfunctional family of social media platforms—and for good reason, being expertly designed to exploit our primal need for instant visual gratification.
Unlike other social networks, Instagram is completely photo/video-centric. Narcissistic cesspool aside, the application can also be seen as a digitized billboard; a boon for businesses and brands looking to market their products and services.
Here are a few baby steps to putting Instagram to good use if you’re thinking of starting a page for your business:
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Create A Snazzy Instagram Profile
Your bio is limited to a few lines on Instagram, so your true profile where users get to know who you are and what you do is the sum of your photos. When you create your strategy, make sure you share photos that feature your products, services, brand’s story, and customers. Keep it sharp and clear with high resolution pictures and snappy captions, and watch that follower count shoot up in no time!
Show, Not Tell Your Story
Instagram is all about visuals and imagery, so use it to grab those eyeballs. Have a great new product or service? Use high res photos to tell a story that interests and provides value to your audience.
Using Instagram’s Stories feature is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged. Be it product shots or just a simple 5 second boomerang video of Sunday shenanigans at the office, Stories are one of the most powerful features on Instagram to make sure people can’t get your brand out of their heads.
Hashtags are the lifeblood of the Instagram community, and are a great way to help other users find your content on Instagram, just like on Twitter. They’re an excellent way to follow conversations relevant to your business and discover customers who’d be interested in your brand. Hashtags can include letters and numbers, but no special characters.
Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post or comment, which is pretty excessive of course. It’s quality over quantity that matters here, so the fewer quality hashtags you use, the better. If you aim to keep your hashtags relevant, crisp and specific, you won't need 20 hashtags to gain exposure.
Instagram ads look like normal posts, except that they have the blue “sponsored” tag and may come from accounts that you’re currently not following.
Instagram offers different formats for advertising:
Photo Ads: This ad format is what launched the world of Instagram ads. Advertisers can create sponsored posts featuring great hi-res pictures of their products and services.
Video Ads: A crisp 30 seconds is all you need to showcase your products or services in motion.
Carousel Ads: Showcase multiple photos within a single ad along with a link directing potential customers to the brand’s website.
Story Ads: Captivate your audience with fullscreen, vertical and appealing Story Ads that let you link to your brand’s landing with one swipe.
If you own a restaurant, put your Instagram handle and custom hashtags on the menu so that when your customers take a picture of their meal, they tag you in it—making it much easier for other potential customers to find you.
You can use the 5/3/1 rule to engage potential followers; find a user in your niche, like five photos, comment on three photos, and in turn you may earn one new follower.
Platform Barriers, Begone!
Connecting your Instagram account to other social media channels makes it easier for followers to find your content and expand your reach further. Instagram makes sharing across multiple platforms such as Facebook and Twitter easy, and showing that you’re active on more networks helps to strengthen your online presence.
What’re you waiting for, those delectable home-made cookies aren’t going to sell themselves!