It’s not only a fun way to interact with friends on a nifty app, but it has become one of the most powerful marketing tools that exists in the social media world. Instagram founders anticipated the power of photos on the web long before we started skipping over Instagram captions to get the story through the pictures.
As inbound marketing experts, we strongly encourage all of our clients, and any other business owners out there, to get their brand on Instagram – stat. Guests and customers are going to be drawn to the personal and intimate story in photos they’ll find on your profile. And while the analytics are nearly nonexistent, we have no doubt that Instagram is an exceptional way to sell your product.
Instagram was undoubtedly built for success. The original app rolled out on iOS in October of 2010, and two months later had 1 million users. One year later it had 10 million. In the spring of 2012, Facebook made the power play of buying Instagram, changing their own social networking platform forever. Many millennials will now tell you that their Facebook pages are simply where their Instagram photos are automatically published, and not where they are interacting daily. This is the future, folks, and it is comprised mostly of 20 to 50-year-old people who account for 21 percent of the adult population.
Some Helpful Tips on Posting
Instagram is a creative space and your brand management demands that you play along when posting. While this may at first seem a daunting task, don’t be afraid to dig in and get some practice on a personal account. Here are some tips for your business profile:
- Stick to relevant photos that tell potential customers a story about your business.
- Keep things fun, witty, and relatable, and don’t be afraid to use the handy filters to liven up an otherwise dull shot.
- Hashtags are handy, but try to find a handful that are truly relevant to your business, and aren’t going to be overpopulated when searched (ie: #selfie or #nofilter). Witty hashtags can be fun once in a while, but don’t get carried away.
- If you’re going to post videos, make sure they are of the highest quality. The Hyperlapse app makes stellar videos. Think cooking or a storm rolling in.
Finding Your Following
The key to gaining a following is first to have great content and second to find your followers! Crowdfire (formerly justunfollow) is a powerful tool that will help you gain the following you want. Here are a few functions that will get your Instagram profile off the ground.
- The “copy followers” function is a great way to target people you’d like to follow you back. Find a business who is using Instagram in a similar way, and simply copy their followers in the hopes that you will get some of them to follow you back.
- The “nearby” feature will show you who has recently posted in your vicinity, and you can then follow and interact with them.
- Crowdfire will show you which of your followers have inactive accounts. Don’t be afraid to unfollow them. You are only allowed to follow 7,500 users, and you want them to be quality leads.
- Beware that you can only follow and unfollow 150 users at a time.
- “Whitelist” people you want to be sure to never unfollow, like loyal customers who are perhaps taking a break from Instagram.
Can I Really Improve Revenues With Instagram?
While you can’t track engagement in the same extensive way that Facebook allows, you still have a few functions on each post, such as “likes” and “comments” to give you an idea of your engagement. The bottom line, though, is that Instagram is currently the top social network for both content sharing and follower engagement, which means you’re most likely to reach the biggest number of people online using this fun, creative platform. With 300 million users, the opportunities to engage with qualified leads are endless.