Instagram is such a great social media platform for building a brand. It’s simple, it’s concise, and it’s engaging. With 80 million photo updates daily, it’s here to stay, so why not utilize this business building tool to its full potential? Instagram is a great tool for building your customer base as well as strengthening your relationships with current customers and maybe even reengaging customers from the past that you have lost touch with. There are a few easy ways to ensure that your Instagram feed is building, connecting and doing what you want it to do—grow your business.
No “Call me Maybe’s”
One simple way to connect is to reply to your customers’ comments. When your customers engage with your content, it is important to engage back. Communication is a two-way street, so drop a “thanks” or “happy to do business with you” or “so glad you liked our content.”
Get on that bandwagon
If you have partnerships with other brands, follow them and make sure that you comment on their content. Also, “Piggyback” on the brands that compliment your products or services. They will likely reciprocate, and a symbiotic relationship will form. Hopefully, their customers will take notice and begin to follow you, and “tada” you will grow your customers exponentially.
If Gary V does it, why shouldn’t you?
Gary Vaynerchuk has spent the last ten years analyzing the psychology, the theory, the strategies behind effective social medial. And this may be a little of a “duh” moment to some of us but it could also be a profound “YES.” For your social medial accounts to be effective, you have to be SOCIAL!
He elaborates on his $1.80 strategy which could yield a pretty great return on your investment, basically spending time and energy being social! “…I came up with what I like to call the $1.80 Instagram strategy which translates to leaving your personal .02 cents on the top 9 trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day.”
Gary V's $1.80 strategy for Instagram translates to leaving your personal .02 cents on the top 9 trending Instagram posts for 10 different hashtags that are relevant to your brand or business every single day. To do this, he recommends you search relevant hashtags for your product, service, or topic of engagement. For example, if you are a financial advisor, you might look of #investing #retirement #personalfinances. As you search for those hashtags, you will come across more to look up in the future. Once you find one that looks promising, click on it, click on the instagrammer’s bio, read and see if this person is like-minded. Look at their content, and “comment, like, engage, respond, share,” a.k.a. leaving your $.02. Continue to do this daily. Before you know it, you will have more followers, more ideas for related content, and possibly partnerships with some cool people.
Beauty is in the eye of the Instagram Follower
Instagram is a visual platform, so your visuals have to be good. They should tell an engaging visual story. You don’t have to be a world renowned photographer or videographer, but you do have to think with your eyes. Take photos at interesting angles. Use reflections in mirrors, glass, stainless steel, shiny cars. Try to get photos of silhouettes at darker times of days. They are mysterious and dramatic. If your subject is basic, then take it when the subject has a cool background like a tractor during a beautiful sunset.
Captions = Capture
To write a good caption think--call to action. Why? So you can engage your followers and inspire them to respond and engage. The captions need to give you and your brand personality. Ask yourself what the photo should say to your audience, to your future audience? Does it make them curious? Does it inspire them? Does it tell a story that piques their interest? Does it give them some context? Size of captions isn’t as important as content. Some captions are short and to the point and others, like my favorite Instagrammer whose captions are upwards of 2000 characters. The rule is be interesting, exciting, magnanimous because Instagram’s algorithm is based on engagement!
A Chance for Some Free Stuff? Sign Me Up
Contests are a great way to get audience engagement and increase your following. You can do something as simple a drawing for a free product to something more elaborate for tagging a friend. Start small and see what kind of response you get, and then think about going full out with a company like Wishpond who will run the whole giveaway for you.
Use hashtags in order to build your following and increase your sales. Hashtags make your content accessible to those people who don’t know you yet and aren’t following you. You have yoga classes in Indianapolis, #YogaIndiana. Don’t invent the wheel! Study your competitors and see what hashtags they are using. Also, like all content, make sure the hashtags are relevant to your service, product, or result, but do try to use hashtags that are trending and connect them to you and your business.
Instagram is a must have in your marketing toolbox. Doing Instagram right will make sure that you’re not wasting your time with a broken tool that won’t build a shack, but a tool that can build your brand into a colossal success.