If you think Instagram is only for people who want to share photos of their vacation to Mexico or their pet’s latest antics, you need to take a second look. Companies are having tremendous success connecting with their target personas through this powerfully-visual medium. Yes, the Instagram demographic does skew toward the 18–34 year old crowd, but: (1) if that’s your target, bingo! and (2) technology tends to find favor with younger age groups first, but middle-aged and older folks inevitably follow.
Of course, before you begin using a new social media platform, you should be sure you understand how to take advantage of it. Here are seven tips for brand building on Instagram.
- Harness the power of hashtags. Hashtagging is more of a fine art than you might think. There are general hashtags, that allow you to get the attention of a broader audience, and then there are brand-specific hashtags designed to be more focused on your target audience. And any hashtag can find itself trending on Instagram. If you notice one that is, and it’s relevant to your brand, quickly apply it to one of your updates!
- Monitor your hashtags. Your audience will use your brand-specific hashtags as a way to connect with you. Pay close attention so you don’t miss the opportunity to start a dialog.
- Show your followers some love. Like their photos or, after getting their permission to do so, share photos your followers have posted on your Facebook page or Twitter feed. You can also embed your followers’ photos on your website—again, with their permission. @mention them, too, and be sure to reply to their comments.
- Make your pics stand out. Use unique angles, apply filters, and—in general—turn simple photos into works of art. There’s a lot of content available on Instagram. You don’t want your posts to be passed over on the way to something more visually interesting.
- Post exclusive content. Make sure that at least some of your Instagram content isn’t published on any other platform. This makes your followers feel like they are getting the inside scoop.
- Find your frequency and perfect post time. Pay attention to feedback to determine if you need to post less frequently or more frequently. It could be that instead of three times a day, three times a week is a better fit for your brand. And use analytic tools to determine what the best time of day is for you to post.
- Ask for interaction. Pose questions, ask for comments, encourage your followers to send photos of themselves with your product. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your audience.
In a world awash in words, Instagram is a refreshing change of pace. Connect with your audience through a medium where you can say more by saying less! Need some guidance on how to integrate Instagram into your overall content marketing strategy?