With more than 150 million active monthly users and counting, Instagram is impossible to ignore. This big player in the social media arena is a runaway hit that is now one of the fastest growing social networks among marketers. Visual marketing is on the rise and every day around 55 million photos are uploaded. Whether you are a fashion designer, hotel owner, solopreneur or retailer, Instagram can earn your brand more visibility and engagement.
A quarterly study in May 2013 published by social media analytics company Simply Measured looked at the impact of Instagram adoption by the Interbrand 100, the top 100 brands in the world. Among its findings were a massive increase in engagement of photos posted on Instagram compared with Twitter and Facebook engagement of Instagram photos:
Instagram photos posted % shared to Twitter % shared to Facebook
3,569 59 98
Engagement per photo Tweets per photo FB engagement per photo
5,603 22 337
% change on previous Q % change on previous Q % change on previous Q
16% -29% 23%
Although, Twitter engagement of Instagram photos had dropped Facebook engagement enjoyed something of a climb representing the fact that nearly all brand photos on Instagram are shared on Facebook.
If you want to leverage Instagram for increased engagement here are a few tips to get you widely known:
Post regularly – when you post often you keep your audience engaged and give them something to look forward to. The Simply Measured study found that more than half of the world’s top 100 brands post at least once per week, and 28 percent post at least five times per week. The same report revealed that engagement with top brands has risen by almost 350 percent in over a year to November 2013.
Use hashtags – just like Twitter adding hashtags to content makes it easier for people to find you. The Simply Measured study also revealed that hashtags are the norm with 83 percent of Instagram posts including at least one hashtag. But hashtags can be tricky to get right. Make sure yours describe your photos and are specific so they can be found by your target audience.
Be a social butterfly – remember, social media is not just about you pumping out content. One of the best ways to get people discussing your company is to talk about them. So ask questions, invite and respond to comments and post their images on your pages. People love sharing their pictures on social media and sharing great user photos is a superb way for brands to engage with their followers and to let them know they are valued.
Use filters – it should really go without saying that your images must look their very best. There is a strong, positive correlation between quality snaps and engagement. If you don’t want to splash out on graphic design packages to smarten up your shots, use Instagram’s built-in filters for photos and videos that can enhance your visual content, giving them a professional look.
Let your community go behind the scenes – people want to know that there are real humans behind the brand. Use Instagram to share behind-the-scenes images of your dedicated employees at work. You could even show the entire process from when a product is ordered to how it gets to a consumer’s home. If you’re going to a trade show or sponsoring an event take your followers with you and provide themed images and videos before, during and after the event.
Organize contests – we all want to be winners, and hosting a photo competition is a wonderful way to turn heads and get people engaging with you. For example, General Electric (GE) asked their Instagram followers to take photos inspired by the four ways that GE works in the world (moving, curing, powering and building). The contest winner was flown to the UK to take pictures of the GE aviation facility. Your prizes do not have to be as costly as this. You could offer discount vouchers for example.
Link up your other social media accounts with Instagram – share your Instagram updates with your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and other social media followers. Not only does this save you a lot of time, but it can drive traffic from your other channels to your Instagram pages.
Great Things Can Happen
If you’re not already on Instagram, give it a whirl and use it to gain a competitive advantage over your business rivals. Be an active participant and in addition to the tips mentioned in this post, have a think about other creative ways you can leverage Instagram’s power to capture the attention of your target audience.
From MavSocial | Social Media Marketing Software for Business