Instagram is big business. Stats show the app has over 300 million active users who have shared 30 billion photos to date. Instagram also has a much higher rate of users engaging with brands than Facebook and Twitter combined. Need some help? Follow these best practices to ensure your business is making the most of Instagram.
Define your brand
Keep your images on-brand, and always think about your target audience before you post. A sportswear brand should post images that reflect its values – health, fitness, strength, inspiration. Choose a few topics to post about, and don’t stray too often.
Make sure your images are visually connected. It could be bold colours or the same font used in all quotes, but followers should begin to recognise your posts.
Let’s be friends
So many brands forget about the social in social media. The best way to get followers and likes is to give them. Personally, I think the following vs followers ratio is bullshit. Don’t follow as many as you can willy nilly, but it’s good to follow the users and brands that inspire you. Always respond to comments. Spread the love.
Instagram have also just announced they will be ditching the chronological feed in favour of more relevant posts being pushed to the top. This means for you to get to the top of feeds, you really need to be active and engaged with other users.
Be a wanker
Yes, you might feel stupid standing on a chair photographing some well-lit Lush products flat laid on a marble surface, but hey, that’s our lives now.
Do the math
After a while, you’ll start to find patterns in your most popular posts, and things to avoid in the content that bombed. There are times when you’ve posted something that’s too off-brand, or at the wrong time and this is valuable data. Take note of the current trends of social media engagement, but your own data trumps all of them. Check out Iconosquare to keep track of analytics, and build your strategy from there.
Don’t be a dick
Don’t steal stuff. That means no screenshots or reposts without giving credit to the original author, or ripping photos off Google images. Stock photos are worth it, and much better now than the weird, awkward photos they’re known for. Check out Stocksy, who also let you buy a market freeze so no one else can use the image. If you want free stock photos, sign up to Death to the Stock Photo for high res photos delivered monthly to your inbox. If you want to know more about Instagram and the law, check out this post from IP law firm Griffith Hack.
Oh, why thank you!
If you’re lucky enough to have fans, piggy back off their content. If users are sharing photos of your product, share them with your followers. It’s a great way to promote brand loyalty. Just don’t forget to tag the photographer.
Bank up your content
You can use a scheduler if you want, but the at the very least make sure you have enough content ready to go for the week ahead. I use Canva to add a logo and text to my photos. Remember to get images ready for holidays like Easter or Christmas and other big dates in your industry.
Where can your brand jump on the bandwagon?
The easiest way to create brand awareness on Instagram is to find something with momentum, and jump on board. It might not always be obvious, like Kraft Mac & Cheese and Star Wars. Keep an eye on big trends, and think outside the box.
Social media success takes time and effort, so just keep at it! Do you have any tips for Instagram?