Instagram Is Now Essential For The Growth Of Your Business
The business and influencer marketing landscape has moved into the realm of social media, thus creating a new way to strategize brand image and digital marketing. Instagram’s role has transformed from a simple platform to share pictures and connect with friends, to an essential business and analytical tool. No matter what type of account you may be thinking of launching, there is a way to monetize it and create a consistently growing following. Instagram has evolved over the years as the importance of influencers and business accounts have grown. It is now simple to create a business account with Instagram analytics and get a feel for who your followers are. This is a great tool for marketers and influencers when it comes to targeting consumers in both broad and niche markets. This can seem like an intimidating task, but there are a few steps that you can take to make sure that you establish a strong presence on Instagram and expand your brand or business.
Step One: Content and Aesthetic
It is important to note that Instagram is all about creating visual content, therefore the core focus of any Instagram account should be to captivate their audience through striking imagery. This is not a place for heavy wordage or poorly photoshopped, overly busy images.
Your content should have an aesthetic and a consistent creative direction. There are countless accounts that offer some really inspiring ways to create aesthetically pleasing content. Some accounts choose to work with a particular color scheme, helping them to achieve a consistent look and a feed that is simply nice to go through for their followers. If your “brand” is more reliant on the use of color, then commit to it and make bold color statements. You could also use consistent filters, so even if your posts are all over the color spectrum, you maintain control and consistency when it comes to your content. It is important to always be creating content.
Make sure that as a brand or influencer, you are always taking interesting and good quality photos and videos for your followers to see. Be creative with your content strategy and think about what messages you want to convey to your followers through your feed. Instagram is now a branding platform, and the feelings that you create for those who visit your page are going to be a factor in how they perceive your business.
Step Two: Focus On Getting A Following
The most traditional way to measure the success of an Instagram account, is by simply looking at the size of its following. It is an amazing moment when a business reaches over 1 million followers, because it gives off the impression that they are largely successful and have a dedicated consumer base. It is also no secret that as an influencer, the more followers you have, the more likely you will be to be contacted by sponsors, and the more you will be able to earn per sponsored post.
There are many ways that you can increase your following to make sure you reach your goals. The foundation is having good content. Once you make sure you have the content and creative direction you are going for, then the next point of focus should move towards community engagement. Research accounts that are similar to your own and check out their following. Like pictures and comment when you feel it is appropriate to do so. When you go out and engage with the Instagram community, you are likely to increase the traffic to your own account. Another great way to increase your following is to formulate promotions and giveaways. Giveaways are usually a huge success, and a great way to get your followers more involved with your brand or business. You can announce giveaways for events or products and ask people to follow you and tag someone in order for a chance to win. This will lead people to your page. Finally, you can purchase promoted posts on Instagram. Instagram uses their analytical tools to make sure your in feed posts show up on the feeds of people who may be interested in your products or service. This method works and is a great way to either let people know about your brand, or remind them about certain sales or new product announcements.
Step 3: Work With Brands And Influencers That Fit Your Business
Instagram is a social network, so it only makes sense to actually socialize. There is a network of brands and influencers that all have a similar target following to that of your own business account. If you really want to optimize your following, reach out to these influencers and brands that can help you expand your reach. Influencers often have “cult like” followings, so if you are able to get some strategic product placement with the right influencers, then you are going to reach those highly loyal followers. Ideally, it is great to target influencers with both a niche following as well as a broader following. One is going to make sure that your product gets exposure to a very focused group, the other one will make sure that you get a large general reach (both of which are highly important in the grand scheme of things). Don’t be afraid to tell top influencers about exciting campaigns or events that you want them to promote. Get their media kits and rates and see how you can work together to expand your brand. Network, network, network…
Step 4: Engage With Your Followers
It is important to engage with the Instagram community as a whole, but a truly successful Instagram account makes sure to engage with its own followers. If you engage with your followers as part of your social media strategy, you will develop a reputation of being personable and trustworthy. Consumers want to feel connected to brands, and brands who reach out to their consumers on social media are more likely to be viewed as more approachable.
There are several different ways that you can build a connection with your followers. Responding to direct messages is a great way to make your followers feel heard. Many times, you can also receive a lot of important feedback through direct message that can help you improve your business ore even connect you with people who want to collaborate with you. Another great way to engage with your followers is to like their pictures, particularly if they are posting pictures that they have tagged you in. This makes them feel seen and get even more excited about your brand. Finally, don’t be afraid to comment. Respond to your followers when they comment on your pictures, like their comments, and comment on pictures that they tag you in.
Step 5: Keep Posting, But Don't Push It
It is important to maintain a steady presence on Instagram. As a social media coordinator or influencer, you should make sure to stay on top of scheduling your posts. You want to remind your followers that you are still around, that your business is doing well, and of course, keeping your followers updated about any new developments. One post a day is the ideal number. If you start posting too many posts on the same day, your followers will begin to feel like they are getting spammed and will likely unfollow you. If you feel that you want to share extra content within the same day, then it is a good idea to take advantage of the Instagram stories feature. It feels less invasive to your followers than multiple in feed posts in one day.
A great way to optimize the engagement on your post, is to post your content during the Instagram “golden hours”. These are key points throughout the day that people are most likely to check their feeds. The ideal time to post a picture is between 5-7 pm. It is usually the time that people leave work and catch up on their social feed, so it is a great opportunity to make sure your post gets more exposure.
Step 6: Stay On Brand
Once you have developed a following and are producing content consistently, you want to make sure that your content reflects the values of your business. It is important to recognize that your followers form certain expectations and associations to your account.
Take Glossier for instance. Followers of Glossier know that the content will pertain to a certain aesthetic. The imagery is usually a soft, reflects a soft pink color palette with a few soft breaks of green, yellow, or orang, and seems to have consistent filters and lighting. Instagram played a huge role in the overall branding of Glossier, and it is a great example of how consistency of brand content and a strong social media strategy can really help a brand reach new levels of success.
Another great example of great branding on Instagram is Reformation. This sustainable fashion brand is doing more than being innovative in the manufacturing process of it’s latest clothing lines, it is also working hard to create a brand story through their imagery on Instagram. All of their photoshoots have the same feel, their use of color makes it fun to go through their feed and discover their product, and their customer engagement is strong, sometimes even reposting customers that are in their clothing. Staying on brand on Instagram can only help to create a stronger social media strategy, and take your business to the next level.
Step 7: Follow Up And Take Advantage Of Instagram's Analytics Tool
A big part of marketing is being able to make sure that you are getting the right ROI, and this is why Instagram’s analytical business tools are great. You can see where your viewers are coming from, their age, gender, and other important feedback. This sort of feedback can really help you to have a better understanding of your audience. These tools are free, and simple to use. All you have to do is switch your account into a “business account” and wait a few days for some data to be collected. Once you take these steps, you will be able to see some great insights on your account. Being able to measure the response to your overall page, as well as your individual posts, can help you create a stronger strategy moving forward.
A Well Curated And Run Instagram Account Can Only Help Your Business
When used effectively, Instagram can be a great way to expand you audience, build a fanbase for your business, and create a brand image that resonates with followers. It is essential for businesses today to have a strong Instagram strategy. Content might be the foundation, but engagement, follow through, and scheduling also play key factors in the overall success of a business account.
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