In 2019, the utilization of social media is more prevalent than ever. It is not simply enough to have your business website up and running, you now need to have a comprehensive social media marketing strategy to position your brand as a thought leader and source of credibility in your space.
And we’re not strictly talking about Twitter or even Facebook – one of the more popular social apps today is Instagram.
What’s the big deal with Instagram?
Yes, Instagram is an application that allows users to post pictures of food, makeup, and pets, but the platform is so much more valuable than that – it’s a great marketing tool to showcase your business.
Instagram is no longer just about posting pictures, but videos, and the use of “stories” ever since Snapchat became popular. This is an even better method to send out promotions, showcase events, and even show appreciation to not only your workers, but your customers as well.
How exactly can you use Instagram to your advantage? Just starting out may seem intimidating, but there are plenty of simple ways to leverage this social media platform to drive revenue, customer loyalty, and brand awareness for your company.
A perfect example of brand awareness is healthcare videos or fundraising videos, as seen in this example by Think Branded Media. Don’t let the preconceived notion that it is simply a fluffy app solely for posting pictures of Mr. Whiskers because it truly is a powerful marketing tool.
11 Ways to Get Started with Marketing on Instagram
Before jumping into marketing your business on Instagram, follow these 11 tips, and hit the ground running!
Get a business account.
Personal Instagrams are great if you’re an influencer, but if you are a business with clientele, the best thing to do would be to get a business profile. If you are a small company just starting, you can either turn your personal profile into a business page or create a separate business account altogether.
Work on your profile.
What is your profile picture? What is your description? While these aren’t the days of MySpace, where you can customize your background, you can determine what type of message your brand will communicate to those who visit your page.
There is a section on your Instagram profile where you can insert a link to your business’s website, so be sure to complete your profile so that your Instagram can effectively drive business leads back to your company’s webpage.
Find your target audience.
What are their interests? What types of content do they engage with the most? If you already have clientele, then you should conduct a little research to see what type of content your consumers will respond well to. Once you’ve done some homework, you can determine what to start posting.
Consistency is key. Never forget this. There is no way that you are going to get any sort of traction by posting a picture once a week or even once a month.
You need to be sure that you are putting out content every single day, at specific times of the day, as well as utilizing the proper hashtags to gain more visibility.
Consider sponsored content.
Sponsored posts. With anything in business, you will need to invest a couple dollars if you want to generate results. Although Instagram is generally free, you can allocate funds towards sponsored posts and even influencer marketing. Once you start gaining a following, then you can ease back on the sponsored posts, and formulate a strategy around organic growth.
Remember to follow individuals back and engage with their posts and content. Those on social media are very careful about who they follow, so if they see that they are following a bunch of pages without being followed back, even if you are a business; they may feel like your company does not warrant their loyalty.
Leverage other channels.
Leverage the channels you are already utilizing, such as Facebook, Twitter, or monthly newsletters, to advertise that your business is now on Instagram.
Not only will this help raise awareness and grow your following, but it’ll also help your brand appear under Instagram’s “Accounts to Follow” section, which will instantly boost your visibility in the marketplace and among like-minded users.
Quality visual content.
All the strategy and consistent posting in the world will not help you increase your following if you fail to take clear, concise photos.
Taking selfies can be fine, but make sure that your pictures of you and your team aren’t blurry and that there’s proper lighting. If you can, you should have someone specifically assigned to social media promotions and make sure that they are good at taking professional photographs.
Attract & engage.
When posting pictures, putting in hashtags aren’t enough. You have to be sure to write proper captions. And not just “here’s a picture of x, y, & z.” Writing witty, compelling captions will help followers enjoy your posts even more and look forward to what you continue to post.
On top of posting, your job isn’t done just there. With posts such as pictures and videos, followers will comment. It’s important to engage with your audience. Not only to say thank you, but if there are questions or concerns, you have the perfect opportunity to answer. This will let people know that you are not simply a robot behind the computer screen, but real people and that kind of human connection is something that everyone craves.
Track your progress.
Staying on top of your metrics will help you determine whether your efforts are fruitful or if you need to adjust your strategy.
Are you using Instagram yet?
Facebook and Twitter are popular sites, but Instagram is the go-to app people use to scroll through their news feed while they are waiting for their doctor, hanging with their friends, taking a break at work, or simply passing some time during the evening hours.
People go to Instagram to see pictures of food, makeup, pets, and travel, but as their massive userbase continues to grow, there’ll soon be no limit to what audiences you can attract on Instagram.
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