I have a confession: I’m completely obsessed with Instagram. Facebook is alright, and occasionally I check Twitter, but Instagram is where I spend a large majority of my time on social media. And apparently, I’m not alone—Instagram announced on December 15, 2016 that its community had grown to more than 600 million users, with more than 300 million using Instagram daily! According to many sources, Instagram has surpassed Twitter in popularity, coming in third only to YouTube and Facebook.
Whether your brand is just getting on Instagram or you have been having a go at it for a while now, here are 5 ways you can be reaching your target audience with this visual social media channel.
1. Leverage Instagram stories
One of the most recent changes Instagram made in order to keep up with Facebook Live and Snapchat is the addition of the stories feature. How can your brand use this feature? Give your audience a real-time peek into what goes on behind the scenes of your company. Or, take some video throughout the day to create a story that has many pieces. Instagram stories last for 24 hours and can be uploading with or without sound, with added text and emojis, and do not have to be recorded in one sitting.
2. Partner with an industry influencer
Users who specialize in a trade or talent and have a large number of followers are dubbed as “influencers.” Many brands will partner or sponsor these influencers—paying them to use their product or giving them discounted or free services, and in return, these influencers will promote their brand on their account. Partnering with an influencer can increase your brand visibility and help your audience see your product or service in action. Just make sure it’s an influencer that makes sense for your business.
3. Host an account take-over
Instagram takeovers are a great way for brands (and influencers) to collaborate and grow their audience by cross-promoting content. An account takeover is when your brand allows an influencer to actually take the reigns on your account, acknowledging to followers that they will be posting content and photos throughout the allotted time period. This experience can build your community, expand your content reach, or in some cases, market a new product or idea. The takeover can be done by an influencer, community ambassador, fan or employee.
4. Create an actionable hashtag
Maybe you’ve seen or heard of REIs “#optoutside” hashtag campaign, which followers use to share their outdoor adventures using REIs gear. Create a hashtag that is unique to your company name and product or service. Encourage users and followers to share their experiences with your product using the specific hashtag. The great thing about this strategy is that it can also be used on other social networks like Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. When your audience posts using the hashtag, you can even share their posts on your profile or story. This hashtag will also allow your audience to engage with your brand and others who are using your hashtag.
5. Go beyond the product or service
Many brands don’t believe that their product or service is exciting enough for Instagram. There are so many other ways to build your brand without only posting photos of your product or service. Take photographs in the office or of your work environment to give your followers a sneak-peek into the daily happenings within your company, providing snapshots of your company’s unique culture. This helps create a personalized brand voice and encourages your audience to engage.
Our team is regularly reading and researching to stay up to date on new Instagram features and resources, as well as updates on all social platforms. If your business would like to better utilize the various social platforms, consider a workshop or training session with the Allee team!