If you thought Twitter was a place for short attention spans and even shorter messages, it's important to note that the internet has even more impulse-driven audiences. As Twitter doubles its message length limitation, the Instagram community is bubbling with constant image-sharing activity.
As an online business, anywhere that people gather, talk, and share viral ideas seems like a good place to market. You'd like the Instagram market to go viral on your products.
A good way to encourage that to happen is to build your presence in the platform and to get good at making intriguing, amusing, and beautiful images to share.
Not sure where to start with your Instagram marketing plan? No problem! We've got great tips about how to advertise on Instagram in 2018 will have you feeling like a professional in no time.
As the first step to your Instagram marketing technique, build yourself a business account. Actively interact with the platform through your team's mobile devices.
Instagram users do log in and flip through content on their phones while at work, school, or on-the-go. You should, therefore, make and optimize your images through a mobile device.
You should check out the community and keep an eye on appearances. While your images are most easily made through desktop image editing software, keep in mind mobile responsiveness.
People who choose to follow your Instagram feed will do so because you become a reliable source of images they enjoy.
To ensure that you are reliable and that your images are always up to a certain standard in content and configuration, it helps to choose a few themes to start with.
If you are a bakery, for instance, your themes could be kitchen scenes, dessert close-ups, and happy customers.
Don't overwhelm your audience. While you want them keeping an eye out for your next great image, there's no need to flood your feed with pictures when you could strategically schedule the same batch to release over several days.
Unless there is a special event going on, two posts a day is a great schedule to start with and will leave you plenty of room to fill your feed manually with hot content when it is relevant.
There is a great deal of debate about the best sizes and ratios for Instagram. In general, it is best to stick with square images which are very easy to arrange in UI and are unlikely to be clipped by thumbnails.
While your images may vary in size (or not) if you shoot them square, it will be much easier to trim them into a final square image. Being square makes them easier to adapt to all mobile devices and ensures that they will most likely not be distorted.
One of the best ways to create a positive activity with your Instagram posts is to share content from other feeds and have your content shared. This keeps your content lively and varied beyond even the creativity of your social media management team and shows that your brand isn't entirely self-focused.
A great technique to get this started and keep it going after you've built an audience is to partner up with other businesses and organizations to share each other's images and content.
You can also build a stronger relationship with your audience by partnering with a few of your star members. Share the content they have posted when it's fun, entertaining, and in line with your message.
Hashtags are the modern way of tracking topical conversations across incredibly large online communities. Through hashtags, people can discuss recent events, popular topics, and share their ideas on the latest trends.
When people are interested in a discussion, they will often track a few active hashtags and you can gain visibility by joining these discussions with cleverly designed images.
Find hashtags that are relevant to your business or are connected to causes you care about. Show your support for public movements, add your jokes to a wave of trending jokes, or simply share your opinion on a hot news story.
When inbound marketing, many companies struggle with the transition from getting the public's attention and turning that into clicks and sales. Part of this key interaction is providing your social media community with a place to go.
Include links in your Instagram posts connected to landing sites and don't forget the occasional call to action (CTA). These are often best delivered as overlay captions on amusing, adorable, and eye-catching images rather than as text under your latest image post.
Integrate your CTA into a fun message that continues to delight your readers and they'll be more inclined to follow.
We mentioned that interaction and cross-sharing is a great way to create activity and that's not just true when you coordinate. Find user content you like on the platform and share it.
At first, it will be easier to find fresh content outside your established online community and sharing the fun content of strangers is a great way to get their attention. If someone in your online community creates a great image, share it and post your congratulations on a nice composition.
This can get your community involved, bring in new people, and mix up your feed. A policy of sharing content can be especially useful to thank users who decide to promote your brand independently just because they like you and your products.
Instagram is all about images but Twitter is just as hungry for them. Especially with a schedule like twice a day, it makes perfect sense to cross-post your Instagram images on Twitter.
That said, the usual cross-post coordination isn't advisable with Instagram and Twitter in specific. Be sure that your scheduling software knows to upload images directly to both platforms so that they show up properly rather than just as a link.
Technically, this is a good policy across every platform for both video and images. The algorithms of most social media platforms will tend to promote posts with natively uploaded media over linked media.
Speaking of schedules, there's no need to manage any of your social media accounts by hand unless you're participating in active discussions. Social media schedulers allow you to line up content to be fired at the right time each day so you can focus on other things during the week without worrying about missing a regular post.
Build a schedule that works for your brand and social media community and simply make sure its loaded up with content several days ahead of time. This allows you to focus on finding more content rather than checking your watch for the time to post.
You can even add a touch of realism to your scheduled posts by scheduling them at semi-random intervals within ten minutes of the target hour. An example schedule might be posting at 8:05 AM, 10:32 AM, 2:54 PM, and 5:08 PM.
Everyone knows that Instagram is for images but what not a lot of businesses have realized is that it can convey video content as well. Delight your audience with the occasional social video and get them more deeply involved with your greater online community.
This is a way place to cross-post video content made for other platforms. It's been found that the best strategy here is to weave both images and videos into your content, often on the same subjects to double your impact and use of your content.
Jumping on an active hashtag is useful enough but if you succeed at becoming the center of one, then you get to direct a lively social media conversation. Of course, your hashtag doesn't have to go viral to become a success.
Use hashtag monitoring to create an interactive discussion and award prizes or answer questions for users that post using your tag.
The social media scheduler makes planning your campaigns incredibly easy but finding daily images can quickly eat up your work hours unless you concentrate your efforts.
Put aside a few hours each week to create, source, and design a large batch of stylish images in your themes and schedule them so that the rest of the (week can be focused on other projects or actively managing the online communities).
The cover photo is about building the environment your page creates. This is the large graphic banner at the top of your page and will be the first thing visitors and community members will see when they log into your page.
Instagram has also recently made it possible to use high-quality looping videos as your cover photo instead to enhance interest. You should seriously consider putting together an engaging video for your cover image.
Social media marketing is a complicated effort. While you may be connecting with your target audience on social media, the trick is turning that Instagram interest into traffic on your page and conversions, whatever conversion means to your goals.
The way to do this is by adding Call-to-Action buttons to your page. These will appear in the lower right-hand corner of your cover image and can help your interested Instagram community members quickly find you on your website, reach out to contact you or download your app if you have one.
You can add more than one button or focus your clicks on a single purpose.
The next step is to spend some time writing enticing page descriptions. There is a short description and a long description.
The short description should be a one-line summary of your purpose while the long description is your chance to really explain yourself to new visitors.
Once an Instagram user has found their way to your page and been delighted by your cover photo, this is your best chance to catch their interest and transform the curious into regular members of your Instagram community.
Some people have an easy time with their description while others write an essay on the goals of their organization. The best way to do this right is to know what your audience wants to read.
Finally, as you work on series after series of images, it can be tempting to completely flip around your composition style and while sometimes this can be a great idea, you also want to remember that you are building a brand.
Try using the same filters, effects, and rules of composition for each themed series and make all of your images somehow distinct to you. This will help them stand out in the mind and create a subtle branding even with a large variety of images.
One thing that it's important to realize is that the activity on Instagram only starts with images. As a source of content, you should be posting images constantly bu these will ideally be responded to by a few to dozens of commenters.
When people send you messages or comment on your content, always answer, be courteous, and get your community involved.
For more tips and advice on social media marketing and how to advertise on Instagram, platform contact us today!