Pictures rule the world of Instagram.
The 90 million active monthly users on Instagram manage to upload 40 million pictures daily, so it is very easy to get lost in the clutter. For your company, this means that you will need to follow some specific do’s and don’ts of Instagram if you are looking generate more brand engagement.
Despite the fact that Instagram has fewer users than the other social media networks, many signs indicate that Instagram users are more engaged than Facebook and Twitter followers.
Instagram’s 90 million users manage to generate 8,500 likes and 1,000 comments per second. For comparison, Facebook’s 1.06 billion active visitors generate 37,037 likes and comments combined per second. This means that Instagram users are very engaged with the site, and this offers your business the opportunity to create a similar engagement with your brand.
Do’s and Don’ts of Instagram for Business
Get your customers involved in content creation
There is really no better way to create engagement with your brand than to let your customers get involved in promoting your brand. Encourage your followers to generate content for your company. Consider trying to host image contests as incentive to create some buzz around your brand. You really can’t lose with getting the customers involved. They will feel more connected to your brand, and perhaps their ideas will help you to generate your next big idea.
Tell a story with images
Having trouble trying to think of what type of content to post on Instagram? Consider telling a story. Post an image or two per day that builds off of the previous days’ images. You do not need to tell chapters at a time. Keep your users coming back daily to generate the most excitement for your business. Group your stories into separate folders so that they will be easily accessible at a later time.
Feature and interact with your customers
Show your followers how your customers are interacting with your brand. This will automatically give you some fresh content, and show off your brand’s personality. Post images of your customers interacting with your product or services, and give them an idea of what it is like to do business with your company.
Use your Twitter handles as your username
By using your Twitter handle as your username, you can promote two of your social media outlets at once. Your Twitter handle will make you easier to search for on Instagram, but Instagram can also lead back to your Twitter. If your picture is uploaded to Twitter and you are tagged, the tag will automatically link to your Twitter feed. If you are creating engaging enough content on both platforms, this tip may be unnecessary, but it never hurts to give your users a little extra direction.
Use Instagram solely for advertisements
You understand that you should never over promote on any social media outlet, but use extra caution on Instagram. It may be tempting to post nothing but advertisements since they can be visually appealing, but try to avoid this. People on Instagram have plenty of images to look at, and advertisements are not what the users are searching for. Be creative and post striking or humorous pictures that users will want to engage with.
Post too many times per day
Instagram is not like Twitter where you want to post a large amount of content daily. Users that follow a lot of people and companies do not want their feeds to be bogged down completely by one account. One or two is fine, but a good rule of thumb is a couple per day will not drive them away. Use this to your advantage. If you gather a fair amount of content, spread it out over multiple days and you will not have to worry about trying to generate new content for that week. Don’t get lazy and become inactive, but don’t feel pressured to post multiple times daily.
Spam the hash tag feature
Yes, Instagram also allows the use of hash tags. They are just as useful in categorizing your images and making them easier to find, but do not overuse them. While Twitter is able to limit the amount of hash tags used due to character limits in tweets, Instagram allows users much more freedom. Instagram allows very simple hash tags, such as colors, to be used, but that does not mean that you need to. Use hash tags that are specific to your brand and consistent with your other accounts.
Take generic or obviously posed photographs
You want your brand to have some personality on Instagram. Don’t post generic pictures that look to be carefully staged (i.e. an image of a pristine storefront). Show off a little bit of a wild side. Take pictures that show some spontaneity and fun. You don’t want to come off like a stick in the mud on Instagram. Accurately portray your company, but don’t feel required to follow a specific formula.
Looking to get more out of social media?
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