With 400 million active users a day and around 600 million using the app every month, Instagram has rapidly become one of the biggest social media platforms available, becoming a hub for businesses, influencers and consumers alike.
These days brands are seeing more and more engagement on Instagram, reaching more potential customers from around the world and helping establish both their brand reputation and brand identity. While dedicating your time to growing your brands Instagram presence might seem like a challenge, from planning and posting to engaging with your followers, with this guide we can help you achieve the best results for your business.
While Instagram users are primarily seen as teenagers and young adults looking to share the occasionally selfie and what they’re having for dinner, there’s actually a huge number of people of all ages using Instagram, each with their own interests and personalities. From fandoms to photographers, there are a number of unique communities making the most of Instagram and the creativity it offers and with even more people likely to join in coming years, including older audiences looking to get in on the action, there’s plenty of opportunities for your business to make the most of Instagram marketing.
Instead of posting your images in a random way on the day itself, why not plan how you want your feed to look in advance, with a strategy in mind? It might not seem like it, but a well thought out Instagram feed can be massively important in attracting new followers and sustaining existing followers. In fact it’s not uncommon for people to follow a profile based on how much they like the style of the profile.
There’s no need to post every single photo you take, by only posting your best images and sticking to particular themes, you can create a consistent gallery of your business, products and services, rather than a random collection of images. There are a number of Instagram planning apps available, including Planoly and Unum, which all offer you the opportunity to see exactly how your images will look together before you post anything live to your Instagram feed.
While Instagram doesn’t offer the option to publish your images on the desktop site, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be utilising desktop devices to create the perfect images for your feed. Not only is it much easier to edit your images and graphics from your desktop, but it allows you to use higher quality images, taken on cameras to be uploaded onto your Instagram feeds, giving your images a better quality and ultimately making your profile stand out.
With many social media scheduling platforms you are offered the option to upload your images and schedule from desktop devices, meaning it’s much easier than transferring your images from camera to desktops to mobile devices, ensuring your images keep their quality and look great on your Instagram feed.
Staying consistent is important, which is why if you’re looking to keep your image style and ultimately your branding unique to your business then you should aim to keep your filters and edits the same from image to image. Most of the appeal to Instagram is the filters and edits that can be used, giving your images a look that is unique to your branding, so it’s good to know what suits your brand and your imagery and stick to it most of the time.
Whether you’re using desktop editing devices or using mobile editing apps there’s plenty of opportunities for your business to save specific filters and edits as custom, even letting you copy and paste your edits from one image onto other images, perfect for reusing in your other images and not only keeping your Instagram posts all consistent but also letting your keep your social media branding the same throughout.
The great thing about Instagram is that like Twitter it embraces the use of hashtags within the platform, allowing users to hashtag relevant words and phrases alongside their images in order to take part in certain trends and ultimately help them get found. This also works for businesses on Instagram as it means they can create and use unique hashtags to help create a community around their brand, increasing engagement and building customer relationships.
By creating a hashtag that is unique and relevant to your brand that can be used by your followers, you can build a huge community around your brand, meaning that when people look up this hashtag they will be directed to both your content and your customer content, establishing your brand as an influential and leading business, who want to engage with others.
It’s all well and good creating and posting great quality content, but don’t forget the main point of social media, to be social! Be sure to put time into your schedule to engage with and respond to your followers. Scheduling time to reply to comments, like photos and respond to others means you can dedicate an allotted time to speaking with others and giving them high quality engagement, rather than trying to engage whilst busy with other parts of your role.
By taking 30 minutes or so every day or even two or three 30 minute slots a day if you want a fast response time, to take the time to engage with others you can show that your business does care about communicating with your customers, helping build your customer relationship, increasing follower loyalty and also creating more of a buzz around your business and it’s social media platforms.
Overall Instagram isn’t a difficult platform to use, the premise it simple: Post captivating images, however there’s still always ways you can improve both your Instagram marketing campaign as well as the experience for your followers. So dig out your cameras, make use of your hashtags and why not try marketing on Instagram today?