According to Forbes, more than a third of American Internet Users are on Instagram now. You need a presence there too. With more people getting hooked every day, you can’t afford to have your audience go looking for you and not find you there. The question is, how do you get started and make Instagram work for your brand? We have the answers:
10 Instagram Hacks for Brands
Optimize Your Instagram Profile
1. Choose a Killer Avatar
Your avatar is like the face of your Instagram account, and anyone who follows you or even looks you up will see a lot of it. You want it to be three things: an on-point representation of your brand, eye-catching, and memorable. Many brands use their logos, but photos of a featured product can work well too and help stimulate sales. No matter what you choose, keep in mind that your avatar has to look clear and enticing on all types of devices, including mobile phones and tablets. Check it via your smartphone, tablet and desktop to make sure it’s still clear and visually attractive. Ask friends with other devices to check too.
2. Don’t Be a Quitter--Complete Your Bio
Often, people get lazy when it comes to their bios. They quickly type something in, almost as a placeholder, and tell themselves they’ll go back and spruce it up later. This is a mistake. You need a good bio right away to give your target audience a reason to bother following you. Instagram gives you 150 characters in which to create bio magic, so make it count. The 10 Best Instagram Profile Bio Ideas to Inspire You shows off some well-crafted bios. Want to get fancy and really wow your audience? Take PostPlanner’s suggestion and incorporate symbols before you add your bio to your account.
3. Go Public
If you want to stay in stealth mode with your personal account, no problem. But your brand account should be set to public so your audience can easily find you and see what you’re posting. Yes, it sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to hear how many people forget and end up posting to absolutely no one.
Your profile is ready to rock, right? Now it’s time to figure out the what and when of posting on Instagram.
4. You Promised, Now Deliver
You wrote a short but dynamic bio that gave people a reason to follow you. Now it’s time to deliver the goods. Your audience wants content that entertains and informs them, making their lives better in some way. Focus on posting useful content that makes your audience want to pay attention to you. And don’t be tempted to post photos of your plate. Unless your business is food-related, nobody cares.
Sometimes you just need a little help coming up with post idea. No worries; we’ve all been there. Read Instagram Content Ideas for Brands to get your hands on creative ideas for posting to Instagram.
5. What’s Your Story?
While you need to post content that your audience will find appealing, there’s more to it than just that. Your content should also give your audience insight into your brand. Every photo counts, so don’t slack off here. Make sure each photo you post is not only attractive, funny, or fun but also spot-on for your brand’s unique flavor. As far as the blatant marketing is concerned, save it for someplace else. Using Instagram for obvious marketing is like begging your target audience to unfollow you.
6. Plan for Success
By now you probably know us here at Crackerjack Marketing, and you can probably guess what comes next. That’s right. You need an editorial calendar that has your schedule for posting to Instagram as well as details about the content you will post. It will not only keep you on track and stop you from pulling your hair out because you don’t know what’s up next, but also keep you accountable. Remember, however, that this doesn’t mean you can’t post spontaneously too. Go ahead and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Just use your calendar to make sure you’re never at a loss for putting out quality content.
7. Never Stop
When you’re building your presence on Instagram, you have to keep going. This really isn’t a once-a-week type of thing. Since the Instagram feed shows the latest content, you need to post every day. On the other hand, too much posting and you become annoying. Stay on your followers’ good side by posting no more than four times daily. And if you’re thinking of posting some so-so content to get up to four posts, don’t do it. Your followers want quality content. Give them crap and they’ll be quick to drop you.
Now that you have your amazing profile and your awesome content strategy, you’re done, right? Wrong. You still need to go for that all-important audience interaction.
Engage Like a Boss
8. It’s Social Media! Socialize!
There’s a whole give-and-take thing that goes on with Instagrammers. If you follow them, there’s a pretty good chance that most of them are going to follow you back. Like and comment on other people’s content too. Just be sure your comments are thoughtful and really say something of value. Otherwise, they’ll come off as spammy, and no one likes that.
9. Sharing Is Caring
The share is a big part of engaging and interacting via social platforms, but Instagram doesn’t have built-in share capabilities like some other platforms do. Good news, though: there are many, many mobile applications that allow you to share other Instagrammers’ content for absolutely free. Also, don’t forget to repost user-generated content that shows off your products. Just be sure to properly attribute the shared content. Want some fantastic ideas for using user-generated content to tell your brand story? Pop on over to read How User-Generated Content Can Tell Your Brand Story to get the skinny.
10. Call Them to Action
No, you don’t want to go for the big sale in your Instagram content, but that doesn’t mean you should skip out on the calls to action. Include a call to action in each of your posts. For example, it only takes a second to ask your followers to “like” your post if you’ve wowed them or they agree with something you’ve posted. And asking them to tag friends who might be interested can really increase your reach.
Want a pro tip? You can never have too many, right? Here’s one you don’t want to miss, from Chalene Johnson: Tag your own Instagram profile in the comments section and encourage people to follow the link in your profile to sign up for your newsletter or take advantage of a special offer.
Example: Click here ->@InstagramName and sign up to receive more great tips!
Instagram can be a powerful tool in telling your brand’s story, increasing your exposure, and getting your fans to engage. However, it’s only as powerful as the effort you put into it. Use the above tips and strategies to get the most out of Instagram for your brand.