Instagram has been growing incredibly fast. On a daily basis, it’s estimated that the 150 million monthly visitors are pressing the like button more than 1.2 billion times! With that number of users and that amount of activity on this platform, it makes sense for your business to be using Instagram too.
As businesses realize that people are using Instagram to connect with their favorite brands, more are familiarizing themselves with this platform to increase their visibility.
Unfortunately, Instagram does not yet offer a professional business page option. However, there are plenty of ways you can amplify your photos and videos to make your account both community and business-friendly for the most reach and visibility.
Visual is Vital
Visual media has already become one of the leading content marketing trends.
A recent study by Forrester Research, showed Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users, and 120 times more likely to do this than Twitter users. But why are users appearing to move away from Facebook and Twitter?
Consumers love to create and share their stories, reactions, and experiences – especially visually. As the ideal platform for highlighting visual content, Instagram encourages engagement naturally.
But creating and maintaining a successful Instagram account for a business involves more than just snapping a few pictures.
Read on to find out how you can amplify your Instagram’s content to get the most engagement from your audience.
Embrace the Power of Hashtags
Similar to many social platforms, adding hashtags to your Instagram posts is a great way to gain new followers and to share your brand’s personality with even more people. However, when not used properly, this little symbol can be a bit tricky.
In order to get the most use out of hashtags, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. Let’s use the picture of ice cream below as an example:One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing keywords for your hashtags is to be specific.Click To Tweet
Choosing specific tags will help connect you with your target audience. You’ll also want to make it easy for other Instagram users to find your photo, so relevancy is key as well.
Using the example above, instead of using the tag #IceCream, a more specific and descriptive tag to use is #BenAndJerrys.
This photo would then be added to that highly targeted page, where other Ben & Jerry’s fans and followers will find it easily, without having to rummage through photos of other brands of ice cream.
Using specific hashtags (and maybe even trending hashtags) is one step you certainly don’t want to miss. If you want your content to be seen, you need to make it searchable before it becomes visible.
Can You Go Overboard With Hashtags?
If you’ve been spending time browsing the platform and scoping it out to see how your competitors are utilizing Instagram, you might have noticed that there doesn’t appear to be much of a saturation point.
While Instagram posts with eleven or more hashtags seem to get the most engagement, the number of hashtags you use isn’t of much importance.
More Than Posting Photos
One of the biggest misconceptions people have about Instagram is that it’s just a platform for pushing content.
However, the great thing about this platform is that it makes sharing a two-way street, which enables brands to leverage user-generated content in several creative ways, including photo contests and campaigns.
Using brand-specific hashtags and running contests and campaigns on Instagram gives incentive for users to share better content and allows brands to re-purpose that content. You can even take it one step further and optimize the contests by integrating them on your Facebook page.
Consumers love variety and if you give them enough incentive, they’ll likely continue to follow your content and even engage with it.
Soak Up Your 15 Seconds of Fame
As if the photo network wasn’t powerful enough, Instagram now offers filter-enabled, editable video functionality. Compared to Vine’s 6.5 seconds, Instagram’s 15-second window offers a lot more flexibility for creativity.
So whether you’re shooting a video for a demo product, creating a visual portfolio, or announcing special offers, Instagram’s video offers an entirely new approach to visual storytelling.
With the opportunity to showcase your content in a more interactive format like a video, your business can take advantage of your 15 seconds of fame to share short how-to clips, life hacks, and even answer customer questions. The more ways people are able to digest your content, the better!
Tracking & Measuring
In addition to sharing great visual content, it’s also important to make sure that your posts are reaching the widest audience possible. There are a variety of tools available that can provide view counts, engagement levels, and much more.
In addition, while not all of its features are available for free, HootSuite is another excellent tool to consider using for content management on multiple social networks.
By tracking how your content is performing, you’ll be able to give your business a better idea of what kind of content is being liked and shared the most, along with many other helpful statistics.
Using this data, you can schedule an editorial calendar to post content when you have the most eyes on your brand.
A Picture Worth a Thousand Words
Images and video are now more important than ever to incorporate into a content marketing strategy. Visual content gives businesses the opportunity to be creative with their brand.
By using the available tools and the data you collect from your analysis, you’ll have a much better understanding of the kind of content you should be sharing, when you should be sharing it and how you should be sharing it in order to get the most visibility for your business.
What tools have you used successfully to make your business’s Instagram stand out? Leave me a comment below!