Businesses have recently been turning to platforms like Instagram to up leads on their brand, however it can be tricky to navigate without considering two things: what Instagram was originally intended for and the minds of the users you want to target. These are 10 tips and tactics you can use to improve your Instagram image and up your following.
1| Use Images That Give an Emotional Aspect to Your Brand
This sounds absurd, but after thinking about it, it makes sense. People are using Instagram to connect socially and stay up to-date with their worlds. They don’t wish to follow lifeless posts on business deals, offers or products, they want to connect. By using images that convey an emotion to the viewer, it leaves a lasting impression and associates your brand with that emotion. This should be used to convey the underlying motivations of your brand. Even if the image is not related, an image of a beautiful girl displaying a radiant smile still manages to sell insurance better than a pictogram displaying statistics with an insurance offer.
2| Use Quotes that Inspire or Impart Value to the Viewer
This is another example of something that imparts emotion to leave an impression on the viewer. Quotes also can be used to inspire or impart lots of value to the viewer, especially if the quote is unique and/or has a tip or trick to make something easier. This is certainly something that is guaranteed to attract more followers, because it serves a function that benefits them freely without having to spend. It also shows the brand has a more human nature, the emphasis being on supporting the users.
3| Relating to the Right Audience is Key
Your audience needs to feel that you can relate to them. This needs to reflect in the content you post and be conveyed in the entire overall voice your brand echoes out to the viewer. Think about what your target audience is like. Sometimes spreading a bit of humour is required to relate to your audience, especially if you’re selling to a young crowd. In other cases, a sense of empathy and sadness could be needed, as in the case of getting people to support an animal shelter or charity that looks after maltreated animals. The more ways you can show you are human and relate, the more followers will want to be ‘be social’ or interact with your brand. Knowing what your target audience responds to will help you to create the right content to attract them too.
4| Interact and Engage With Your Audience
This is the most important thing to note about any social media platform and links back to all points stated thus far. People are there to connect and engage. Post content that will get them to engage or post an image that invokes a feeling with an engaging caption. Common strategies to boost Instagram engagement often lie in leaving questions or putting in a social call to action, such as tagging and including others. If people are successfully engaging in your content, all their contacts will note this engagement and you are more likely to get seen in the spotlight! Follow your fans back too and show that you want to connect.
5|Support a Cause Related to Your Brand
Find other businesses or charities that are relevant to your company and support them with adverts that promote your brand and theirs in a good way. This will engage the followings of both brands and helps you to build a network of people who support you and what you do. If you brand yourself as an author, you will want to collaborate with other authors of the same genre. If you sell cat food, you will want to support other brands that look after or promote cats. These things makes your brand more “human” and thus more relatable.
6| Pay other brands for Sponsored Posts
Sometimes it pays off to approach an Instagram celebrity with a following in the millions to promote your brand. You can increase your followers immensely, especially if the brand who you approach is 100% trusted by a large following.
7| Use an easily identifiable hashtag for your brand
This helps users to engage, spread the word and allows you to keep tabs on how popular your brand really is. Hashtags are what users use to discover trends and creating your own one allows them to find you on more than just one social platform. Twitter, Facebook and many others use hashtags too. If you type in your own hashtag and do an Instagram search, you will be able to see all the activity extra on your brand by what other users are doing with your hashtag.
8| Don’t Over Post or Spam Promotions
One way to lose followers is to over spam your followers with the brands business side, in the form of promotions and product specs. You should every now and then keep them informed of promotions going on, but nobody wants to follow a stream of products only. Likewise, nobody enjoys being spammed. Keep to posting a few times per week so as not to overload people, but still keep current with them. Make sure you set your posts on regular days so your fans know when to be on the look-out!
9| Use a link abbreviator like bit.ly in your profile link
Instagram only has one place to display clickable links and that’s inside your profile page. One thing that people recommend is to abbreviate the link with a site like bit.ly, because you can track the amount of clicks from mobile users which google analytics has an apparent problem with tracking.
Also whilst on the topic here, make the most use of your profile description to get people to click this little link. If they like your website and what you do in greater detail, they are more likely to keep current with you.
10| Mix up photos and videos
Possibly one of the most underused tools that Instagram has to offer is its ability to host video content. The current stats on user video engagement is about 3 times more than with interesting photos. If you really want to get those followers rolling in, post really good quality videos. Even sites with humorous adverts get 1000s of likes with a stupendouas following – people love to watch them and they bring much to life about your brand and spirit.