With over 25-million active business profiles, Instagram has cemented its position as the preferred platform for digital marketing. This social network has grown exponentially in the recent past and currently has more than 300-million active daily users. But the audience on Instagram can be fickle, and they’re incredibly sensitive to changes in online trends. This then poses a unique challenge — in a sea of competitors eager to grab attention, how can you make your business swim instead of sink?
Here’s our list of the best practices on Instagram to make sure your business isn’t just another drop in the ocean:
Know your consumer inside-out through Instagram Polls
Present-day consumers aren’t satisfied with being silent spectators in the retail process. They prefer to participate in deciding what and how companies sell to them. Instagram’s freshest features — Instagram Polls and Emoji Sliders — allow your business to empower consumers to be a part of the process. Want to interact with your audience and know more about their demands? These tools are your quickest ticket to solid market insights.
Maximize the potential of Instagram Stories
Instagram’s ‘Story’ feature is a boon for businesses looking to leverage the platform and further their brand. For starters, get creative with your use of Instagram Stories. Host ‘Instagram Takeovers’ through celebrities and influencers to add a more human touch to your Instagram profile. Or just use the 24-hour time window to incentivize loyal followers with exclusive discounts and offers. You can even use the feature to share links through your story with the ‘Swipe Up’ option — thereby increasing the likelihood of a purchase. It’s also ideal to give sneak-peaks of upcoming product launches to pique the curiosity of your target group. Simply put, the possibilities are endless with this feature.
Provide demonstrations through Instagram Live
One of the biggest concerns consumers have when it comes to online purchases is whether or not the product will be as great as it looks on the screen. This is where Instagram can help reassure them by posting demo videos through its Live feature. As the name suggests, this feature allows you to post live videos and allows you to access a stream of viewer comments in real-time — helping you address their concerns immediately.
Strategize the use of hashtags
Even though hashtags have been a core component of social media marketing, the latest update of this humble feature takes it up a notch — Instagram now allows users to follow hashtags. Although you cannot view how many people follow a particular hashtag, it does show you some handy data such as the number of posts under each tag, as well as the demographic engaging with it.
Build a community — crowdsourced content
Continuously generating interesting content for your Instagram feed can be quite a task. Crowdsourcing is a simple solution to this problem that packs a punch. In a nutshell, you can source creative User Generated Content (UGC) from diverse online communities. This helps your business in two ways: it infuses your feed with incredible images, while also acting as a way of increasing brand awareness among Instagram users. But most of all, it builds brand affinity. Users would be thrilled at having their content tagged as the brand’s, thereby generating a community of loyal followers to surround your brand.
Prioritize experiences over products
In today’s world, where buying things is easier than ever, there has been a fundamental shift in consumer mindset — experiences now trump products and services. If you feel the need to give your business an experiential makeover, Instagram is the place to be! Its various features — be it photos, videos, or stories — allow you to successfully build a context around your brand. Use these to shift the focus from functional aspects of your product to the potential experiences your product could enable for an effective marketing strategy.
In the competitive world of digital marketing, it’s always wise to have a few cards up your sleeve. Though these best practices aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to your Instagram marketing problems, they definitely cannot be ignored in making a powerful Instagram marketing strategy to make those followers pour in.