Have you ever wondered why your social media marketing efforts are not producing the type of ROI you’d ideally like?
Well, the chances are it’s not that your efforts aren’t necessarily appreciated: it’s more likely that you’re approaching the medium from the wrong perspective. Take Instagram for example. Instagram is an application with a worldwide audience of over 150 million users; it’s attractive, it’s mobile and it works well because it allows users to share pictorial content.
Instagram is a social media application that can deliver information with a personal touch, and that’s what marks it out as different from other social media applications like Facebook and Twitter. What Instagram is not really intended for is selling, or hard-selling to be more accurate. As soon as businesses try and adopt the hard-sell approach, audience numbers will more than likely plummet.
So what can your business do to improve engagement with its Instagram audience?
How can you remain true to the spirit of the application whilst marketing effectively and building a bigger audience? Here are some handy tips that you might like to try.
Multiple social media accounts.
Businesses that have an Instagram presence usually also use other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to promote their brand and boost their marketing strategy. If you are one of these businesses, then make sure your social media accounts are connected. It’s important that followers on one channel have the ability to become followers on other channels. Connecting social media channels is effective and very simple to do. With Instagram, you can link your posts to your Facebook page or your Twitter account, and you can even embed Instagram posts straight to your site.
Pay particular attention to your business profile.
If you look at your business profile would you be inspired to follow the brand? Does it get your juices flowing and really stand out from the crowd? If not, you’ll need to try a different approach. Make sure you choose the sort of images that speak about your brand and adequately reflect what your business stands for. Choose an iconic image or a logo: if your USP is environmentally-friendly products, then make sure your images convey this message adequately. Don’t overdo the company biography – just provide a link to the website so that anyone who is interested can find the information they’re after.
Make a personal connection.
If you want to make your Instagram marketing more effective you’ll need to find out what your audience wants and what motivates them. How can find this vital information? Well, essentially by trial and error. The only way you’ll be able to find out what posts engage an audience most is by trying all the various permutations. Do promotional posts generate more engagement, or are personal postings most effective. Study your analytics for insight into your audience’s motivation, and the tailor your posts to deliver what your audience wants.
Try to vary your image content.
Instagram is primarily a picture-based application, however, it’s important to remember that any images you do post on the site will not have the same resolution as the original image. Obviously this problem can be addressed by employing the services of a professional photographer, but for most of us that is out of the question. So rather than try glossy professional images, use camera phone pictures of regular people using your products, or take some behind-the–scenes pictures of regular employees doing their everyday stuff. Show the audience that you and your employees are passionate about what you do.
Do you know how many hashtags you should ideally use in your Instagram posts? Well, according to Track Maven’s research, posts with 5 hashtags will generate the most interaction. Try reusing hashtags that have already been extensively used in your other social media channels. If you do this you’ll enforce the hashtag and your brand along with it. The ideal hashtags for Instagram accounts are the short and simple. Keep hashtags consistent with your brand’s image, and encourage your audience to follow suit. Once a hashtag gains traction, use it whenever it’s relevant to your post so that your brand will pop up whenever your hashtag keyword is being searched for.
Share the love.
The secret of being followed is to follow others, particularly when you’re just starting out with a relatively small audience. If you reach out and follow your audience then you’ll show that you care about them, and demonstrate that you’re capable of interacting and engaging with your audience. So like, repost and comment on your audience’s followers posts from time to time and share the love. Your enthusiasm will be repaid, and they’ll follow you in return.