For too long, Instagram has had a bad rap. It was seen as a frivolous app, ideal for posting pics of avocado toast, filtered selfies, and little else. Not any longer. Instagram is quickly becoming the hottest social media platform for digital marketing. Brands have found success with approaches ranging from direct (Levi’s) and captivating (Reuters) to creative (Playdoh) and irreverent (Taco Bell). Instagram can be as cute, funny, enlightening, or beautiful as you want it to be. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your brand’s Instagram account.
1. Keep Posts Relevant
As with all good content marketing, you can get as creative as you like as long as you make sure that each post relates to your brand. You can post promotions or sales, but don’t be afraid to mix it up a little. You could include your employees or your family (provided that you clear it with all parties first) in your posts. Show your creative process. Take viewers on a tour of your office or factory. As long as the content is germane to your brand, you’ll be fine.
2. Vary the Format
Instagram is for selfies, right? That was (mostly) true at its inception, but this platform has expanded to so much more. Don’t limit your brand to static photographs: no matter how breathtaking, any format can become stale after a while. Experiment with different formats to see which work well with your brand. Instagram Stories and live-streamed videos are two popular options.
3. Interactive Instagrams = Consumer Engagement
Consumer engagement results from engaging your consumers. Have followers vote on the name of a new product or even your new logo. Ask viewers to post images of themselves with your products and tag your brand. Poll your followers on various topics. Run promotions and contests via your Instagram account. The possibilities are almost endless.
4. Hashtag Wisely
You can add many more hashtags to an Instagram post than you could on a Facebook or Twitter update. Some companies even include a paragraph of several tags at the end of each post. As with Rule #1, keep the hashtags relevant. Side note: make certain that the hashtags you use mean what you think they mean. You don’t want to accidentally associate yourself with something negative.
5. Use the Caption as your Call-to-Action
You can’t include a link on each and every post, but you can include a link in your “bio.” Hence, the phrase “LINK IN BIO” that appears in so many promotional posts. If you use this CTA for anything other than your homepage, remember to specify the section in the caption.
6. Responsive Accounts Are Followed Accounts
Social media is all about connection, and Instagram is no different. Respond to comments in a timely manner. If a commenter asks a question, answer it. If a reader asks for specific content (e.g., for a supplement company to show their newest label design), run that content. If your brand is tagged in another post, reply to that post. Consumer engagement is a two-way street.
7. Embed Instagram on Your Homepage
Instagram posts, like Twitter and Facebook posts, can be embedded on your website. Speak to your web design team and ask them to include your latest Instagram posts on your site. See if you can devote a section of your homepage to your social media updates.
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