So, you want to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy? That’s great to hear; I’m guessing that you have already thought about Facebook and Twitter…you know, the obvious social platforms. But how much thought have you given to Instagram?
With over 700 million active monthly users, Instagram is a super-social beast. And if you are looking to reach the 18-30 market, there is really no better way these days. 60% of the platforms users fall within this age bracket, and now, with features allowing you to target specific demographics using age, gender, location and keywords, you can reach a hefty audience at any time of the day.
But it isn’t just as simple as posting a lovely-looking image. No. You have to put thought into your strategy. As much thought as you would put into a printed brochure or a tv ad. A well-rounded strategy incorporates visual creative, community management and the ability to research effective hashtags to reach your target audience. Your strategy aim to do some, if not all, of the following :
- Increase your brand awareness and exposure
- Demonstrate your company culture
- Showcase your team! Who works with you? Who are your newest recruits?
- Increase customer engagement
- Showcase new products and services
- Share company or industry news, giving you market influence
- Build a more engaged community
- Connect with influencers who may in time recommend your products and services
- And lastly, drive sales!
OK, but how can I achieve the above?
So, you have an account. That’s the first step. Now follow these four easy pointers to kick off your profile:
Why use Instagram
If you don’t have a why, you need to really think about this…
Your Instagram account should be a reflection of your brand‘s essence. Why are you building this business? If you don’t know why, then your potential clients won’t understand why either. You need to be crystal clear with regards to your business goals, because otherwise, your clients won’t feel the need to invest their time in you. Think about what would visually represent your brand, so that people understand your ‘why’.
Be clear that your Instagram is voiced by YOU.
You are the person behind the Instagram, so be sure your account is voiced by you. You need to be authentic…people can sniff out the proverbial bull pretty much straight away. Be true to yourself and speak at a level that your target audience will resonate with. If you ever meet your clients, they will know straight away if your Instagram account is genuine or not. Don’t try to be someone else. Remember, your greatest gift is your own authenticity.
Hashtags on Instagram
Once you have your why and your tone nailed, you need to start thinking about this…#
Hashtags are a science. Seriously. But don’t abuse them…if you think you only need 15 to state what your post is about…use 15 (although you can use up to 30). Research similar accounts and see what hashtags they are using…are they generating likes or comments? Make sure you understand the language your industry is currently using; if you are an aspiring fitness guru, check which hashtags are working for similar accounts and what stories are currently trending in the news.
Also, see whether it makes a difference to your posts if you place your hashtags in the main body of your post or in your posts comment section.
Post frequently on Instagram
Ok, this seems obvious?!
Running a business is hard work…and busy. But you have to be consistent in your posting on Instagram if you ever want your business presence to grow. Try and post daily, at times when your audience will be active (think commuting times, or evenings). And don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers in your industry; like and comment on their posts, message them even!
TIP – If you are really busy, try using a scheduling app such as Planoly or Hootsuite
So, to conclude…Instagram is a 24/7 behemoth. It’s where the kids are at. It’s user friendly. And best of all, it’s instant. You get real time updates on your posts, alongside a comprehensive analytics checker as part of your profile. And best of all…it’s free.