When you think about social media for business which outlets come to mind? There are just so many nowadays, but each outlet allows you to access different target audiences, all while having a customizable approach. Pintrest, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram - they each have their own way of getting information to the masses through various platforms.
Instagram is a network that's fairly new compared to some of its social media competitors, but has quickly proven itself to be a vital platform in a business's overall social media campaign performance.
However, how to actually integrate and utilize the platform to connect with prospective customers is the big question many businesses owners are asking. To help answer this question, we've compiled some quick tips to integrating Instagram into your social media strategy and effectively building your Instagram community.
First, understand the most effective way to gain success within the Instagram platform is through fun, original content. Instagram allows you, directly from your phone, to snap a picture or record a video and upload to your account.
But it's not quite that simple. Ensuring your content is engaging is critical. Understand that most users are using Instagram for entertainment purposes - finding beautiful, fun, humorous, or cool images and interacting with them by liking or commenting. So, think outside the box when sharing images. One of the best places to start is by sharing photos that capture your company's unique culture and it's employees. A balanced mix of business and fun is a great place to start when establishing your business's Instagram presence.
Remember, Instagram isn't about making a sale; it's about telling a story.
Second, build your audience by using hashtags within your image captions. Like Twitter, hashtags are very integrated and heavily utilized by users within the Instagram platform. Using hashtags is a great way to categorize your posts, which in turn, will further build your community.
Another way to build your Instagram audience is to connect with your existing fans by linking and sharing your content to your other social media accounts. It’s genius, really. The simplicity of the app is one of the most appealing facets. Maybe that’s why today is has over 100 million users at any given time.
Once you begin to establish a presence, you'll want to be engaged in what your audience is posting. You can do this by following like-minded users and businesses and liking and commenting on the images they post. Your community will thank you if you stay engaged with them, and other users and businesses will be more likely to reciprocate the engagement.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is keeping your followers happy; it will keep them coming back. You can do this in a number a ways: rewarding your followers with contests, visually stimulating images, and inspiration are just a few ways to do it. This is where the creativity can start flowing. You can really put yourself in the customers’ shoes - what you would want to see from a business's Instagram campaign?
All the best,
Carly Cunningham is a Social Media Coordinator at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.