Using Instagram For Social Media Marketing
Are you on Facebook? How about Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+ and the gazillion other social media platforms that are all over the place? As a business owner, sometimes it can be confusing deciding the platforms which are vital to give you the engagement that you are seeking with your audience. Social media marketing is a key tool to get the word out about your business, to create brand awareness and promote your products. But do you need to be on each of these? You need to put in a lot of time and effort on these platforms if you are looking to get an ROI on your investment.
For example, Facebook has upwards of one and a half billion users per month. It’s built upon the culture of friendship and being informal. With those kind of numbers, no matter what kind of business you’re in, it’s foolish to not have your business on Facebook.
The algorithm that Facebook uses to show you content makes sure that it is catered towards you and relevant. If you want your business to show up on the feed of prospective customers, you need to have a firm grasp on your “ideal customer” profile and create engaging posts/videos for them. A neat stat to remember is that posts with pictures get 39% higher engagement on FB over text-only posts. That brings me to the point; Instagram should be the most popular choice for marketers.
For those who aren’t familiar, Instagram is an image and video sharing platform that’s extremely popular because you can use the unlimited number of filters to make anything look stunning. Instagram currently has 700 million users monthly, with 75% of which falling outside of the United States. This platform is used mostly by the younger generation and isn’t largely communication-based. According to globalwebindex.net, Instagram is used by people to follow brands and to do brand research. That makes it a very effective marketing tool.
If you’re just getting started on Instagram or planning to use this as a marketing tool, here’s how to do it best:
First, The Obvious: Sign up for an account, choose a username and select an image that’s consistent with your brand for the profile. Next up make sure your bio is direct, has a bit of personality and clear. Use a few CTA related hashtags to help followers take action.
Publish your latest blog/announcement link on your Insta profile to lead traffic to your website.
Switch to your business profile, connect to Facebook and decide if you want to accept comments or not.
The Fun Stuff: What kind of personality does your brand have? Identify and post images that will resonate with your audience. After all, it is an image sharing platform. Don’t blatantly market your brand with every image; it will turn users off. The key is to only actively market your product in 20% of your posts.
Playing With Images: Other innovative ways to help people relate to your brand is by posting educational images/videos, motivational, user-generated or just behind the scenes images. You don’t always need expensive equipment; the phone camera will do just fine. You’ll need to educate yourself on the various aesthetic aspects of photography if you’re not already familiar.
Use filters on Instagram or other imaging apps to give your images the desired effect.
Videos: There are many creative ways in which you can use video for Instagram marketing. A few of them being your “story”, animated gifs or simply videos about your brand. The maximum runtime for these videos are 60 seconds and they play with audio..
Instagram has also started “Instagram Live” which brands can use for special occasions or announcements. It’s also an effective way of engaging customers for a Q and A session.
Captions and Hashtags: Captions are like writing headlines for advertisements for Instagram. Knowing your customer’s awareness levels and motivations will help you write an attention-grabbing caption.
Hashtags are somewhat similar to keywords in case of search. For example, if you’re planning on using #socialmediamarketing, you should use related hashtags like #brandstrategy or #brandreputation to broaden the reach of your post. You could use the “Explore” tab to start your research on what hashtags to use to get maximum mileage.
Keeping these strategies in mind will help you create content that engages your audience and get the most out of from your social media marketing initiatives on Instagram. Contact Results Driven Marketing today at 215-393-8700 to jumpstart your social media campaign.