As a brand / company, you need to understand exactly this specific DNA in order to exploit it for your benefit. Instagram is a wonderful tool to intelligently build an active brand community. And to work on its notoriety in cool mode, thanks to unique visual content. This is not the most suitable tool to massively send traffic to your site or blog. But if your social media strategy incorporates an e-reputation dimension, and you’ve determined that your target audience is there, then you should not miss out on Instagram.
What is important for a company ( remember again! ) When it wants to get started on the Net is:
- set goals
- locate your targets – and in function choose the most appropriate network
- establish a content strategy
- publish & animate your presence
- set up tools to analyze its ROI via the appropriate metrics
From a business perspective, using Instagram effectively means in practice that you need to review and then apply the following checklist:
1. Set up your account well (and mesh with your other RS)
Choose a simple username , meaningful to your brand, and if possible avoid dashes and other underscores (underscore 8 ). Know that they penalize the user search, especially when you want to insert a tag in a comment. Take care when creating your account to properly inform your profile . Because on Instagram you can quickly find yourself with a community of followers(buy instagram likes and followers) from all over the world (this is my case ). When we see lots of pretty pictures it’s nice to know where they were taken. Indicate clearly in the bio where you are and what you do. Try to add a touch of cool always welcome on a “friendly” network. Yes it can be done even if you are a brand! Do not forget the link to your website or blog, as well as your logo or portrait in profile photo. You can connect 5 of your social networks to Instagram: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Flickr . This will allow you to simultaneously publish your content on all these networks at once. I insist, however, that it is a facility offered by the platform, and not an obligation … Why? I will come back to this later, when we discuss the subject of hashtags.
2. Publish a variety of contents
You have previously defined your editorial strategy and that’s good. Remember that Instagram is an image first and foremost, and that’s what works best in social media. So multiply the visuals showing different aspects of your business. Your business is not just about selling your products or services. Make a list of all the aspects and points of view that you can have on your brand. This will give you an idea of the kind of images you could post. You can also publish short videos (15 seconds)
For example, you could post pictures or videos on:
The latest products you have launched
Or a teaser sneak peek ( look for an appetizer ) on new products or services
Your store, your offices
Your employees and your fans
Customers chatting with you
Events you organize or attend
Your articles in the press or your blog posts
Take a look at Instagram account of Willliams-Sonoma . It is a Californian company specializing in the distribution of products and furniture related to the world of cooking ( the equivalent in France would be a little brand TOC – Obsessive Culinary Disorder ). On their account we find some visuals of new products, but mostly mainly fun photos. Cooking recipes, small dishes, smiling employees, behind the scenes of the company. A pleasant world, family, and friendly …
Why not get inspired?
Restaurants , do not just publish your special offers or your dish of the day to you. Offer your customers to share their favorite food photos. Marketers , publish more than purely customer content. Share photos of your teams in full exchange with customers. Advertisers / bloggers / writers , post a teaser of your next content, offering a link and a Call To Action (CTA). All these examples I just gave you are very different in terms of type of content, but they will make your readers react. In the last case ( teaser or sneak peek ) the reaction intervenes on two levels. First the side “we see the other side of the picture”, then the promise to see soon even more, thanks to the proposed CTA (“visit our site, or subscribe to our news”). Feel free to test different hours of publication in the day to know when it works best for you (you will need this information later). Also remember to include a relevant CTA. Ask your audience to like or comment on your image, or to follow the link you indicate.
3. Learn how to use the right hashtags
On Instagram, whatever you publish, it is very important to accompany your posting of relevant hashtags (#) in relation to your image. Hashtags make it easy to search for specific content across social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. If you do cross-publication (from one network to another) you will only be more visible. People often research trends, topics and places. So insert hashtags accordingly. For example:
Local Business: hashtag your city (#Paris, #Nice, # Dijon …)
Products, services: hashtag your profession (#makeup, #shoes, #medicine)
Experts, websites: hashtag your business universe (#marketing, #tourism, #fitness)
Want to monitor or follow certain hashtags especially in your business or products? Use a tracking tool such as Tagboard or Keyhole . It’s a great way to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing on Instagram, and to find new ideas. What’s more, you’ll be able to identify influencers to follow and connect to them. Using relevant hashtags will help you expand your audience, and get more engagement and subscribers. Be careful, however, not to include them directly in the commentary of the photo ( it penalizes the reading! ). And do not put too much if you publish simultaneously on Facebook ( it’s heavy! ) And on Twitter.
4. Liven up your community: ideas & tools
Encourage your fans to post their own photos via a CTA related to your activity. It’s a good way to develop a community, as Starbucks does . Their trick is to ask fans to post their photos with an identification tag (here @starbuck), and then to reply and “regram” their content (via the mobile application Repost ). Post an image with a question . Ben & Jerry’s did it when promoting their latest ice scent “Everything but …” The question that was ” Have we forgotten something? “Generated nearly 19,000 likes and 600 comments. You can also set up a photo contest on Instagram. It still works very well for developing a community of fans. You engage with them by encouraging them to publish their own content. You get feedback or customer feedback, and you grow your followers(buy instagram likes and followers) base.
The right tools:
To regrace an image: the Repost app
To create a video from your photos: the Flipagram app
There are also many nice little apps available for iPhone and Android that will allow you to further improve your visuals (adding text, creating mosaic, cutting photos, various effects …) Some are free, others pay. Have fun testing them! You will find in this excellent article of the blog Ju ‘de Raspberry a lot of explanations and resources.
5. Measure and analyze
Whatever the network, to be more efficient in your communication and refine your strategy, you must be able to manage your analytics. Which influencers to follow, who your fans are, and especially what impact your publications have … On Instagram it is not very easy, the platform does not offer direct access to your personal measurements. There are, however, some tools to make it clearer: Curalate is a very powerful tool (and very expensive!). It can measure the performance of your publications, engage with your fans, and promote your posts through advertising. You can even make comparisons with your competitors via key indicators. In freemium model, SumAll does the job too, in less pushed. French solution side – although with an interface in English – we quote Iconosquare ( formerly Statigram ). This will allow you to analyze your performance very well (and for free). I recommend it to you !
6. To summarize + 1 bonus
Instagram is a fantastic tool for sharing (your) visual content and engaging with your audience. The exchanges are easy, fast, and excellent virality. To get the most out of your Instagram account , you need in order:
- Pair it with your other networks
- Produce varied and interesting content
- Use relevant hashtags
- Building a community
- Monitor your analytics
As with your other social networks, you will get better results if you have defined a strategy and its implementation. Feel free to try new ideas again and again until you’ve found what works best for you, in terms of gaining followers(buy instagram likes and followers) and engagement with your fans. Yes, as elsewhere, well use Instagram, it can be learned and it works …