Since its creation in 2010, Instagram has become a top choice for social media among many users. Instagram is a fun and easy platform for people to create and post their own cool photos as well as explore others. Things like food, beautiful landscapes, and fashion apparel are some of the most explored and “liked” topics on Instagram. Many celebrities take to “the gram” to keep their fans updated on their lavish lifestyles or post videos of new projects they’re working on. There are even “social media influencers” that use Instagram to advertise products and services through paid sponsorships with companies.
Is your business using Instagram? If you are, are you seeing results? Just like any other social media platform, marketing through Instagram isn’t as simple as clicking post and getting immediate feedback. The correct and most effective way to correctly promote your brand must be strategized using an understanding of that platform’s demographics and creating an effective post that reaches your target audience. As always, having a bit of an ad spend helps give your brand the extra push it needs to reach new users and start building a strong following.
If you’re considering a social media strategy on Instagram, first make sure that it’s the right platform to be advertising your business. Simply put: if your target market is using Instagram, then you should be using it, too.
Instagram boasts a total of 800 million active users, with 500 million of users being daily active users. Approximately 60% of users log into their Instagram accounts every single day. Instagram has also reported that 25 million businesses are currently using Instagram.
Broken down into gender, 68% of its global users are female. For Americans, 31% of American women and 24% of American men are on Instagram.
The premise of Instagram lies in visual images or videos. You cannot create a post without having some sort of imagery. If your business offers products, then creating a top-notch Instagram post shouldn’t be too tricky. Restaurants should capture delicious dishes they serve, remodeling companies can display before-and-after shots of recent projects, and salons may want to show off a particularly awesome hairstyle. Whatever photo you may be sharing online, make sure that it’s clear and looks professional. This is Instagram, after all, and users want to see impressive photos, not blurry, dark shots. Plus, don’t be afraid to use any of the awesome filters that Instagram provides. There might be one that gives your photo that pièce de résistance it’s missing.
For service-based businesses, finding a perfect photo might be a bit tricky. Try creating an awesome video of your work in action or capture of a photo of someone using your service. Stock photography is allowed on Instagram, although it might not yield as high as results as in-house photos.
Craft a caption that users enjoy reading. There are two options social media gurus typically use. One is the good old Michael Scott method of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Create a witty or straight-to-the-point sentence that is short, sweet, and engages users in some type of way. The other method involves writing a lengthier caption that explains the post more in-depth. Using this method, you want to tell users about the story behind the photo. If your restaurant is showcasing a particularly decadent pastry, describe how the chef created that dessert. Users will be intrigued by the photo and further fascinated by the story behind it, especially if it’s well-written and engaging.
If you’re looking to spread your brand organically (aka without spending money) on Instagram, then hashtags will become your new best friend. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those that do not use any. Hashtags help your brand get discovered by new audiences and therefore receive more likes, followers, and potentially even customers.
Instagram now even allows users to follow a hashtag. Similar to following an actual Instagram account, following a hashtag means that new posts with that hashtag will appear in a user’s feed. It’s an awesome feature that allows Instagram users to gain exposure to more people, places, and things, as well as help brands get discovered.
Instagram allows users to include up to 30 hashtags per post. Hashtags can range from being specific to a topic (#mustangmonday, #fashion, #foodstagram) or focus on locations for more specific targeting (#kutztownpa, #berkscountypa, #pennsylvania). When creating your post, be sure to research different types of popular hashtags to use to increase your brand’s exposure.
Instagram Hashtag Tip
A great source for finding awesome hashtags on Instagram is https://ritetag.com/. It allows you to search for hashtags and breaks down which hashtags are ideal to use for present and future visibility as well as which ones do have a high amount of followers.
It’s important to keep in mind that advertising on Instagram is like any other advertising medium in that to really yield high results, you may want to allocate an advertising spend. Audience targeting on Instagram is similar to Facebook and available for business owners to market to customers. To learn more about advertising on Instagram, chat with the social media marketing experts at Strunk Media Group! We’d be happy to help you boost your presence on Instagram.