Instagram has become a leading platform for communication, and the go-to place for consumers, bloggers and brands alike to express themselves and build their own little (or large) corner of the internet.
Instagram is well known for being the most polished app in the Social Media kingdom, and it is this highly-finished aesthetic that has allowed it into explode into a global marketplace. By providing users with reams of ‘authentic’ and aspirational imagery, brands have used Instagram to reach new audiences and establish their products, values and names worldwide. What’s more, Social Media has very low barriers to entry, all you need is a bit of time and creativity!
So, what can your business do the begin to emulate this growth?
Instagram is a platform that welcomes creativity more than any other, but it’s also becoming increasingly necessary to get your voice heard. With the recent change of Instagram’s algorithm (from chronical to engagement-driven), almost all accounts have seen a significant drop in the number of likes and comments that they receive. Being creative and standing out is essential if you want your followers to stop endlessly scrolling through their feeds and focus on your posts. Once a user engages with your content they will be shown your posts more frequently.
Find your niche
Many people fall prey to the idea that sharing a variety of posts which appeal to everyone will result in more followers. However, to stand out from the crowd it’s really all about finding that niche that best encapsulates your tone of voice and visual identity. This could be anything from the content you post, to the way you take your pictures or even just your captions! It’s all about conveying your brand at just a glance, because often that’s all you’ll have.
Hashtags = Power
Hashtags are the most immediate way to extend your reach, and build your online community. By putting up to 30 relevant hashtags underneath your post you can make yourself visible to the potentially millions of daily users who are searching for, or engaging with, brands like yours. Engaging with other users in these hashtags is the next step to generating conversation, and building a personality and tangibility to your brand online.
You can also use location tags to hone in on a particular community, or area, or just to give your post some context! Posts with location tags get 79 per cent more engagement.
Engage your audience
It’s incredibly important for brands, especially smaller ones, to remember that Social Media is not a one-way street. Social should be social, and the best place to start is with a conversation. Reply to those who talk to you and try to actively engage with your following. This can be as simple as liking and commenting on similar user’s content, asking questions and generally being a part of the community. This is also an important tool in positioning your brand as a present member and thought leader in an industry!
Use the whole toolbox
These days, there’s a plethora of tools on Instagram that you can use to tell your story – think videos, GIFs, and Boomerangs. Do what feels natural for your brand to keep your interactions authentic, your content creative and your story immersive.
Instagram Stories are a brilliant way to do this, capturing all the smaller details of your brand, inside and out. Using this tool regularly is a fantastic way to increase engagement with your account and keep people interested in you. Like your main posts, the more someone watches your stories, the more they will be shown them.
You can monitor how many times your story has been viewed and who’s viewed it – which is a great way measure what posts are working better than others!
If you carry out all the above tips then you should start to see your follower numbers pile up – however, you must be consistent. Regularity and consistency are key to growing an account!
Eloise Emley PHA Media