Marketing on Instagram

Instagram is quickly catching up as a powerful social media platform as people enjoy browsing through millions of pictures every day. Featuring similar tools to Facebook and Twitter, Instagram users can Like, share, comment and use hashtags on content and activity takes place much quicker – rather than reading the content, users can scroll through a user’s profile and see everything they’ve uploaded in a year in under 10 minutes. It’s no surprise that more and more marketers are turning their attention to the visual social media platform.

Recently, I’ve been spending more and more time on Instagram, whether it’s looking at the latest fashion trends or keeping up to date with friends, acquaintances or even celebrities who I have never met, either way, I’ve been getting more hooked on it. That’s from the perspective of a user, but here’s a post on using Instagram as a marketing tool. Before we begin, let’s recap on a few recent statistics:

– Launched in October 2010

– 200 million monthly actives

– Over 65% of users are from outside of the US

– 1.6 billion Likes daily

Not bad for a website dedicated to just photos and videos, eh?

An obvious way of using Instagram for marketing is to throw in as many hashtags as possible in the hope that a potential customer will find you this way. I do hope that there’s more to it than that, so I’ve researched more about marketing on Instagram. Here are the top three tips I’ve picked out:

1) Make it more “emotionally friendly”

By this, it means trying to form a stronger emotional connection with Instagram users that is different to other social media platforms. As business2community recommends, brands must give consumers a reason to follow them on Instagram, even if they’re already following the brand’s Facebook and Twitter pages. As it is not necessary for words to be involved here, you can present yourself in any way that reflects your brand and its values accurately. Use this chance to express yourself, use your profile as a portfolio to project a particular brand image. Have you done any charitable events recently? Post them up! Show your customers you can have fun and that you’re willing to connect with them as friends and people you care about, not just as your customers. Go on, share your story with the people that should matter the most to you.

As smallbiztrends suggested, having a “Behind the Scenes” look can help to achieve a personalised feel – let your consumers be a part of your daily experiences.

2) Post at the right times

It’s true that the good thing about social media is that it’s available 24/7 and to basically everyone. However, depending on the size and target audience of your business, you may want to target at certain audiences only. Filter marketing communications by effective timing. For example, when marketing leisure activities, posting in the evenings may be appropriate. Breakfast products may be good in mornings before work and school. Time them relevantly.

3) User generated content: Working with your community!

The big thing about social media is getting your customers involved in the fun, leading to user generated content. What will this mean? If you successfully encourage your customers to get involved, participate and engage with your brand, you’re building the foundations of a stronger relationship. Changing trends and the shift in power of the consumer-brand relationship means it’s more about connecting with consumers on a meaningful and potentially personal level. It’s difficult to deny that consumers are becoming increasingly media savvy (and have a stronger influence on brands that they interact with) so keeping customers on your side is more essential now than ever before.

With Instagram, you’re allowed to be a bit more informal with things, so you can start off little trends that make you stand out. Maybe even start off with pictures of your staff uploading silly pictures of themselves. Or you may want to begin a trend where your consumers upload pictures of themselves using your product/service. For example, you’re a relatively new company selling beautiful scarves so starting a trend where consumers share pictures showing different ways they wear their scarves can give each other style ideas and build up a warm community. Give a suggested hashtag and the community can go with the flow. To integrate your social media, you can even launch a competition based on this and run the campaign across your other social media platforms. Just share your Instagram links on the other platforms to get the campaign noticed.

So there’s a growing number of social media fighting for your love and attention, but statistics that captured my attention was that according to Forrester, Instagram’s posts generate a per-follower engagement rate 58 times higher than Facebook posts and impressively 120 times higher than Twitter posts.

Hoping to generate a higher social engagement? Try giving Instagram a go.

Sources:

http://instagram.com/press/

http://www.business2community.com/instagram/5-simple-effective-instagram-marketing-tips-businesses-0889065#!bz8d3e

http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/04/instagram-marketing-tips-for-business.html

http://www.responsys.com/blogs/nsm/social-media-marketing/social-media-marketing-5-things-brands-instagram/

http://blogs.forrester.com/nate_elliott/14-04-29-instagram_is_the_king_of_social_engagement

Check out this useful link too: http://blog.business.instagram.com/post/76235731349/tools-and-tips-to-help-marketers-inspire-and

Featured Image: Akane Yamada

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