Instagram. Is it part of your social media marketing? It should be.
400 million people use it EVERY DAY! That’s DOUBLE the usage of Snapchat.
1 in 5 of all internet users are active on Instagram, and in Ireland 30% of all adults over 15 years old own an account.
And some fun facts include; Instagram videos get 2 times the engagement of photos that any other social media platform, the most popular hashtags on Instagram are #Love, #Instagood, #Me, #Cute, & #Follow, and Pizza is the most Instagrammed food globally.
It’s also worth noting the incredible jump in people earning a living from being influential marketers on Instagram, with some charging up to $100,000 US for one sponsored post.
So how are you going to create an Instagram audience, and market yourself and your brand to that audience.
1. Build a bank of User Generated Content.
Have you ever bought something on the recommendation of a relative or friend? Of course you have. We all have! In fact, according to a study by Neilsen, “Eighty-three percent of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family.” Additionally, 83% of respondents said “they take action on these opinions at least some of the time.”
AND 58% of people between 18 and 34 years old said they were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase after seeing a friend’s post on social media. User Generated social posts can be incredibly powerful (read our full post on it here) so creating a branded hashtag should be on your to do list.
See the 3 large brands below – note how they include a #hashtag in their bio. They encourage users to share images and videos using these #hashtags – therefore building a community of users – and followers – and customers.
Encouraging customers to share photos on Instagram of themselves using your product introduces your brand to their friends and followers, which we know is a powerful recommendation tool. It’s a testimonial, it’s social ‘proof’ that your product/brand is popular & attractive.
On a smaller, local scale, check out how brands and businesses in Cork are getting huge galleries of user generated content from their #hashtags
2. Increase your brand awareness with the right communities
So your brand isn’t as huge as Sony, or Go Pro. You can still align yourself and embed yourself within communities on Instagram, communities that can be enormous.
Instagram’s secret weapon – it includes a search bar which enables you to find people based on their interests. Depending on your target audience, you can put out content to a huge market of potential followers and customers. Social Media Today put it simply: If you sell clothes or accessories, you might browse through the #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) hashtag. If you sell running shoes you might browse through the #runner hashtag to find your target audience that way.
This technique can be used to connect with influencers within particular areas who have the potential to reach thousands – hundreds of thousands – millions. You’ll also reach the everyday Instagram user. He or she may not have a lot of likes, comments or followers, however, this type of person is still highly important to you because he or she represents your customer. Win them over with attractive and compelling content, share your ‘best bits’, make them click your website to learn more, be social!
3. Competitions will increase your reach, your audience, and your sales
Every so often, it’s important to offer some free product to garner positive social sentiment, increased interaction with your posts and to help build your Instagram following. There are a number of ways and techniques for competitions on Instagram (Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat too! – why not call into us for some ideas?), and you can either host the mechanic of your contest on the native platform, or perhaps drive people to your website to enter, You can generate leads and sales this way too!
Use the right / specific hashtags in your competitions to involve and attract people who love what you sell but may not already be aware of you. Try it today!
Oh, and ALWAYS remember – your images on Instagram need to JUMP OUT of the screen. Use filters, use proper cameras, hire a photographer! Smartphones are fine, HD cameras are GREAT. Invest in one, you wont regret it (Think not just Instagram, but videos and images for Facebook too!)
Call into us whenever you like, we’re here in the heart of Cork City, at 4 Carey’s Lane. We have tea, and chocolate. Sorry, we mean #chocolate