Nowadays Instagram is more than just a mobile photo-sharing service; it has become one of the most popular social networks used by a great number of people.
As any popular social networking service, it can become a powerful SMM platform if used properly. Promotion of sites, brands, and businesses through Instagram is very different from promotion through other social networks. Many promotion methods and techniques that are effective on Facebook or Twitter may turn out less effective or even completely ineffective on Instagram. This article will tell you how to promote your business through Instagram effectively.
First and foremost, it is worth mentioning that promotion through Instagram is not suitable for any website or any company, no matter how promising it may seem. One should keep in mind that the main audience of this social networking service consists of young people leading an active lifestyle and representatives of various artistic occupations. Therefore you will not be able to represent your company on Instagram effectively if, for example, its target audience consists mainly of top managers of large manufacturing enterprises.
Promotion through Instagram will also be ineffective if you don't set its goals and tasks very clearly at the very beginning. In order to choose the most appropriate and efficient promotion strategy, you need to answer a couple of questions thoughtfully and honestly. Why does your business need an Instagram account? What results do you expect from promotion through Instagram? At the same time your strategy must be flexible enough, because in future you might need to adjust it according to the peculiarities of development of your Instagram account.
Generally speaking, the very first thing you need to do in order to successfully promote your site or brand through Instagram is carry out thorough analysis of your target audience and your competitors. Then you can make up an individual plan of promotion that takes into account all specific features of your business. However, there is a number of general recommendations to improve the effectiveness of promotion through Instagram that can be considered universal.
For example, you can subscribe to Instagram accounts of users from the target audience of your brand. When these users check their new subscribers, they will see your account among them. They might become interested in your brand and follow you back.
You can also actively like other users’ photos and comment on them (provided that these users belong to your target audience). Your likes and comments might make them interested in your account, and they will follow you. However, your comments must not look like spam. Try to initiate a dialogue instead of simply advertising yourself.
If you want to increase the audience coverage on Instagram and gain new followers, you should actively use hashtags alternating general hashtags with brand specific hashtags. However, you should keep in mind that an excessive number of hashtags might annoy users and make them unfollow you. The optimal number of hashtags can be determined empirically in each particular case.
To maintain interest in your brand on Instagram you should post new photos often enough. Your photos and videos must have high quality and be somehow related to your business. Use Instagram to share authentic and exclusive content. Instagram offers a number of filters to enhance your photos. Some filters produce a better impression on users than others, the latest research shows that the most appealing filters are Willow, Valencia, and Sierra. Moreover, it also shows that many users prefer photos with no filter applied. This means that you should use filters only when they really make your photo better; do not user filters just for the sake of using them “because everyone on Instagram does it”.
If you want to increase the efficiency of promotion through Instagram, you must not forget to provide contact information on your profile page. Include a short informative bio and a link to your website. You must also pay attention to photo captions: they must be brief but clear.
One more thing you should do is engage your followers. Respond to their comments on your posts. Monitor your brand hashtags. Share your follower's photos on your social sites (of course, after asking permission to use them first). Customers want to feel appreciated.