How to master Instagram for your brand
If your brand is serious about inspiring its customers to take a holiday, transform their home or try the latest fashion trend, then Instagram is the place to be. With user numbers far surpassing Twitter, your target audience is already there desperately searching for ideas. So how can you master Instagram for your brand?
Here are our essential tips for harnessing the power of Instagram for marketing your brand, products and services:
Create a business account
I’ve blogged before about whether this is a good idea but if you’re serious about Instagram then this is a must. It will give you many more features for engaging with your audience, not least sponsored posts, a contact button, and access to analytics for your account.
Create opportunities to engage
First, let people know you’re there by linking to your account from your website and adding your profile name to your marketing materials. Try to make this handle the same as your Twitter profile and Facebook page short link for simplicity. This will encourage customers to follow you and tag you in their posts. Secondly, consider running a competition in store or at an event asking people to post an image with a hashtag you create.
Use sharp images that are on point
Think of your Instagram as an extension of your brand identity. Your images need to be good quality as people can zoom in. Fuzzy shots will impress no one. Use the editing tools in Instagram to straighten and adjust the brightness of your image. Also, think about theming your feed. Have a consistent style of shots. If you choose to use a filter, make sure it’s the same one each time.
Write compelling captions
A common misconception is that Instagram is just about pictures. However, what you have to say about your image can generate more engagement from your followers. Make your captions interesting as well as descriptive. Ask questions to give people a reason to comment. The more engagement your posts receive within the first 30 minutes of posting the more they will appear in your followers’ timelines.
Use hashtags wisely
Do your research before posting and use up to 30 hashtags for maximum exposure to other Instagram users. It’s important to engage with the hashtags you use by liking and commenting on other posts using them. Find out more about using hashtags effectively.
Get your timing right
Engagement is higher first thing in the morning and after 6pm. This can be a bit difficult for businesses working 9am-5pm, they’ll need to rely on scheduling and timely engagement will be tricky. Alternatively, you can do the bulk of the work beforehand; writing your caption and deciding on your hashtags, then schedule a reminder to post using social sharing tools like Buffer and keep an eye out for activity.
Use Instagram Stories
Being active on Instagram Stories as well as the main Instagram post feed will make your business more visible to customers. Find out the best ways to use Instagram Stories.