15 Hacks to Make Your Instagram Marketing Irresistible
This is a guest post – Alesia Hsiao has helped numerous businesses create social content strategies. When she is not doing this, you can find her blogging at FindVietnam.com.
How much engagement do you get from your Facebook audience?
I’m guessing it’s less than you would like. (And definitely less than you used to get)
They’ve totally changed the game with preference towards paid advertising and minimising the reach of organic posts.
So you could beat your head against the wall trying to milk every last bit out of Facebook, or you could open your eyes to other opportunities.
Compared to Facebook, Instagram is the king of engagement. And engagement is ultimately what you want from your social media activity – because it typically correlates with post reach and exposure for your content.
On Instagram, Forrester concludes that you have an average follower engagement rate of 4.21% – compared to 0.07% for Facebook and 0.03% for Twitter. This is why this social network offers so much opportunity.
But Instagram marketing is a fairly new game for most of us, and it’s certainly not easy to pick up straight away.
So let’s take a look at 15 hacks to help you capitalise on Instagram and get the engagement you desperately need.
1. Be consistent
Consistency is about posting fresh content on a continuous loop.
Here’s the lowdown on being consistent:
- According to Locowise, the average brand will post approximately 2.3 times a day on Instagram. Bigger profiles will post 7.24 times a day.
- Only post if you have something valuable to share – don’t just post for the sake of it.
- You don’t need to post like clockwork. Your fans will all look at your feed at different times of the day.
2. Start the conversation
Start the conversation yourself instead of waiting for followers and fans to come to you. Use videos, pictures, and captions to spark a discussion. You could even turn it into a game by asking someone to guess what is in the photo or video.
3. Don’t go too far with hashtags
Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post. Attempting to use all of these is only going to create clutter. It’s not the best idea to include as many as you possibly can, instead try to stick to the most relevant ones.
On a side note, attempt to hit your chosen hashtags repeatedly and become recognised within your chosen hashtag conversations.
4. Optimize your profile
Your profile is what someone sees when they take a look at your content for the first time. Make sure it’s completely optimized.
- Fill in as much information as you can.
- Use a logo or easily attributable avatar for your profile picture.
- Choose your one link carefully.
- Include a regular hashtag in your profile.
5. Respond to comments appropriately
You should respond to any comments you receive on your images and videos. The only way to create a conversation is through encouraging it yourself. So aim to respond to a comment with a question.
You may like to take the conversation a step further by responding to any @ mentions.
6. Appreciate your customers
Thank your customers by re-sharing some of the images your customers share. Add captions to explain why they are special and why they should be celebrated.
For example, Huckberry hit 100,000 followers by running a giveaway and then thanking customers through a photo.
7. Share offers exclusive to Instagram
Share exclusive offers and deals on Instagram. Make them available nowhere else, so people always have a reason to come along to your Instagram feed.
You can even use Instagram Direct to send special offers to specific users.
8. Track branded hashtags
Branded hashtags are used for specific campaigns and companies. They let you track exactly how much engagement you are getting.
Pick a branded hashtag and get into the habit of checking it on a regular basis. Record the results and review them every so often.
9. Interact with popular hashtags
Popular industry hashtags are going to give you a fresh stream of potential followers. Find out what the most popular hashtags in your sector are and get involved with the conversation. Add some photos of your own and you can begin to access a new group of followers, along with other brands.
10. Request content
You don’t have to create all your own content. Request content from your most loyal fans and share and give credit to content you find through your branded and industry hashtags.
11. Start a contest
The promotion guidelines of Instagram are strict and they will immediately terminate your account should you come close to breaching them. When running a contest, keep it simple. For example, letting people enter into a draw for leaving a comment or tagging a friend is a good way to get people interested.
Generally, the prize should be something that isn’t overly valuable but people would like to get their hands on. If you offer something expensive, you will get many participants who are not interested in your brand and just want the prize, thus making the contest pointless.
12. Track location tags
If you look at a post on Instagram, you can click on the location to see all photos posted from the same location. If you have interesting photos from lots of venues, you can put together a photo map.
At a big conference or event where many businesses attend it is a great way of identifying brands and people who may have an interest in what you have to offer.
Your audience on Instagram will differ from your audience on Facebook or Twitter, but it doesn’t mean you can’t bring them over. Cross-promote your content by sharing your Instagram pictures to your other social networks.
Cross-promotion can make it easy to attract people who haven’t yet found you on Instagram. Many of your customers may not know you have an Instagram account.
14. Perform split testing
You won’t get things right every time. Success with Instagram marketing is about trial and error. Comprehensive split testing is highly useful for trying new things and seeing if they work.
To do this, you need to:
- Set a time frame and pick something to change.
- Make one single change.
- Compare the results before the change and after the change.
15. Track results
Analytics is essential for discovering how you are doing and whether something is working. You should be tracking things like what posts have the best engagement, how many followers you’ve gained over a specific time period, and which hashtags are working best for you.
Growing your fan base on Instagram in an authentic way takes time and effort. Using these 15 tips, you should find it much easier to get better results, track your progress, and build your following.
What other tips do you have for success on Instagram?
Alesia Hsiao has helped numerous businesses create social content strategies. When she is not doing this, you can find her blogging at FindVietnam.com.
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- 15 Hacks to Make Your Instagram Marketing Irresistible – Oct 20, 2015
- 10 Tips for Marketing Successfully on Facebook with a Small Budget – Sep 17, 2015
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