Instagram has come a long way from mirror selfies and #tbt photos since its inception in 2010.
With over 1 billion users on the platform each month and 500 million using Instagram’s story features every day, marketing on Instagram is a powerful and cost-effective way to build your business’ presence online.
New features on Instagram has given businesses the chance to spread their services with shoppable posts, IGTV for long-form content, and Instagram Stories features including polls and Q&As to engage with followers. These creative innovations allow your business to virtually touch every corner of the internet and have an effective engagement with your audience.
Below, we explain 10 of the best practices for Instagram and how you can leverage them to market your business.
1. Share high-quality, engaging photos and videos
While this may seem obvious, Instagram is first and foremost a media sharing app. Therefore, photos and videos will always be at the forefront of your business’ handle. High quality images and interesting, thought-provoking captions will keep your followers coming back to your page and drive new leads to your services.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to have engaging photos. By catering to your audience through interesting photos that provide the tone you want your brand to portray, you’ll ultimately attract your desired audience and keep them coming back to your page.
2. Keep up with trends and updates
Instagram is continuously providing new updates, trends, and features to assist users in engaging with their audience. Pay attention to these updates and try not to fall behind on trends as they could be a game changer for your business. Additionally, be aware of any policy changes that could impact the way you create content or communicate with your audience.
3. Know your audience
Users value authenticity in a brand and what it can provide to their lives. Quite simply, the more you cater to your audience, the more quality leads are generated to your content. Knowing your audience comes from engaging and creating a connection with your followers. This can be done through asking questions in the Instagram Stories feature and being active in the comments section of your posts.
4. Implement user-generated content
Posting user-generated content is one of the best ways to engage with your audience and grow your brand’s authority. Featuring users’ content of your service or product shows your followers you’re paying attention to them and to the recognition they’re giving your business. Simply ask your followers to tag you in a post of them utilizing your business’ service then share with your audience for a fun way to get your followers involved in your branding.
5. Host contests and giveaways
Contests and giveaways are another great way to engage with your audience. When you host them and have your followers “tag a friend in the comments,” more leads are generated to your business by piquing interest from potential newcomers visiting your page. Contests and giveaways are fairly easy to implement and can spark great interest, especially when you’re launching a new product or service.
6. Optimize your posting times
Instagram’s algorithm seems to be constantly changing, incentivizing you to practice quality over quantity. Posting consistently during optimal times, when most users are online, will give your content a better chance of being seen by followers. Finding the most effective times your posts reach your audience will also require some experimentation. Try varying the amount of times you post in a day to see what works best for your business.
7. Use hashtags
Hashtags cause posts to circulate widely through either individuals following certain hashtags or by clicking on them in one post that leads to another. The best way to utilize hashtags is for them to be relevant to your audience and non-overbearing in quantity. Using hashtags that speak directly to your desired audience could also cause your page to land in the “Explore” tab of Instagram where users can find new content.
8. Make data-driven decisions
The best way to improve your presence on Instagram is by looking at your posts and stories to see how you can create a greater user experience. As you build up data points through analyzing the qualities of your successful vs. unsuccessful posts, you’ll be able to make changes in future posts to boost engagement.
9. Maintain your brand voice
With today’s audience valuing businesses with a message or mission, it’s important for your brand’s voice to be maintained throughout your social media posts. The best way to maintain this voice is through a branding guide. Creating guidelines for your marketing team when writing captions or creating content brings consistency to your business’ social media platforms, websites, and ads.
10. Include a call to action (CTA) in your posts
Providing a CTA in most of your Instagram posts is not only a fun way to interact with your audience, it also provides you with more content ideas and gives your audience a chance to voice their preferences in these content ideas. Having your audience tag a friend that reminds them of your post or asking your followers what they want to see more of on your page generates thoughtful responses for you to create content that drives more users to your page.
A little overwhelmed with these best practices for Instagram? Lightning Media Partners has social media marketing packages especially tailored for your business’ needs with unique content, high quality graphics, and much more. Contact us for additional information and inquiries!