By: Emily Klaus | Marketing Associate
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. According to a Pew Research study, 65% of American adults used social media in 2015, as compared to a mere 7% in 2005. With these kinds of stats, it makes sense that advertising, which was previously limited to the likes of television, radio, and print, has moved its main presence online and onto social media.
Promoting a service or product on Instagram is a relatively new practice. At just over five years old (Facebook is 12 and Twitter is almost 10), Instagram is the toddler of the social media advertising world. As some of the top brands on Instagram would tell you, there’s a complex strategy and weeks of thought behind each and every one of their posts. It might seem daunting to get started, so we’ve put together some of the easiest approaches to ensure your marketing gets the reach and engagement you desire on Instagram.
1. Use high-quality photos and videos.
Nothing is more annoying than seeing an advertisement with imperfections, especially when it comes to the quality of the image. If you are capturing your content on a smartphone, capture it outside of Instagram. Your smartphone camera likely is better quality and has more features (i.e. zoom, slow-motion, etc.). MadeFreshly.com also suggests making your resolution twice the recommended size to ensure a clean, non-pixelated image.
2. Time your posts right
Sometimes getting the engagement you want is all about the timing of your post. According to a study by Mavrck, many users are scrolling through their Instagram feeds between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. However, this is a time when a low volume of marketers are posting. This would be an ideal time to post because you would engage more users with less competition.
If your research finds that your audience is most active early in the morning or late at night, you do not have to worry about rolling out of bed or burning the midnight oil to press “Share”. Tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social allow you to schedule your Instagram (and other social platform) posts ahead of time; by the time you wake up, your post will have already seen some engagement.
3. Use well-thought-out hashtags
Hashtags are one of the top ways for users to communicate with a brand. Hashtagging your Instagram post is a great way to boost user engagement, especially when using the same campaign hashtag across all social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Even if your hashtag is a bit more generic and not campaign-related, users will still be able to interact with your brand when they search that hashtag. For example, in one of Jet Capital’s recent Instagram posts, the hashtags #dallas and #fortworth are used. These are not specific to Jet Capital, but it gives the user information about where the company is located and where they currently do business.
4. Respond to comments
When a follower takes the time to comment on your post, the least you can do is take the time to thank them! This establishes a more personal relationship and makes the consumer feel singled out (in a good way) amongst a sea of followers. This type of communication will drive them back to your brand over and over again. It will also boost word-of-mouth brand awareness; I know I tend to rave to my friends about brands that I can count on to interact with me on social media in a timely and professional manner.
5. Track your metrics
Make sure the time and effort you put into creating your brand presence on Instagram is working. Iconosquare is the best tool for tracking your Instagram metrics. You will be able to see which of your posts get the most likes and comments, what time is best for you to post, and if you are gaining (or losing) followers. Once you have a couple of months’ worth of data, you will be able to modify your efforts to gain more user engagement for your brand.
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