With over one billion active users, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. While organic reach on Facebook has bottomed out near one percent, Instagram is proving to be a more reliable and affordable way to connect with and grow your audience. If you’re thinking of using Instagram to promote your business, or are looking for ways to improve, here are four things to keep in mind.
Instagram engagement comes from stand out photos and visuals. This is the place to let your brand shine and share your best work. If you’re wondering how to find or generate great visuals daily consider:
- Taking a course on photography through an affordable workshop on
- Skillshare Hiring a photography student looking to grow their portfolio
- Using tools like Canva to source backgrounds and add text
- Sharing photos generated from your community (user generated content), with permission from the photographer
Create a Content Calendar
One of the keys to success of Instagram is showing up regularly. Creating a Google doc that plans out your content for each week will help to ensure that you don’t disappear for days (or weeks) at a time. Spend one evening each week mapping out your plan for the week ahead looking at what is coming up (sales, promotions, events) and what content you have to work with around that. Then use a tool like Hootsuite or Later to schedule your content out for the week.
If the photos are the hook, the captions are what reel your audience in. Every caption should connect with your audience in some way. Make them laugh, educate or inform them, ask for feedback or a recommendation, or find a way to surprise and delight your audience. Give them a reason to follow you and keep coming back to your account. Every post shouldn’t be trying to sell something to your audience. Aim for the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time give your audience something – entertainment, information etc. and 20% of the time promote your products or services.
Once people start showing up by liking or commenting on your content, be sure to share the love! Thank people for commenting, respond back to questions, and take the time to like and comment on related products or services in your industry. Community is a two-way street and it takes time to build trust with brands. Check in on your posts daily, ideally within the first hour of it going live to respond to your audience in a timely manner.
While your account my not go viral overnight, showing up consistently with creative content for your community will overtime translate into growing your following and ultimately create more ambassadors for your brand.