How to Integrate Instagram on Your Social Media Campaigns
Internet users are quite fond of pictures. Show them images of a sleeping cat on a funny pose, as well as a glass building glinting with the soft light of the sunrise. Your pictures are sure to garner many likes within the hour. Businesses can take advantage of this obsession with pictures using Instagram. This mobile application has filters you can use to enhance the look and quality of your photos. Experiment with a few of your personal pictures to gain mastery in using the app. Once you got the hang of it, you can begin taking shots of your products and share them on the Instagram network.
Using Instagram is a potential gold mine for many businesses looking to make marketing success with photos. Since July 2012, there have been 80 million users on Instagram alone. Tapping into the demographics will allow you to reach an Instagram population that is 53% female and 47% male, ages 18-34 years old. If your target audience is within this age range, then Instagram is a good online avenue to start your marketing campaign.
But if you use Instagram, how exactly do you reach your intended users? What do you do to get their attention and engage them with your content?
According to Jason Howie, social marketing can be executed on Instagram if you adhere to the following tips:
1. Partner Instagram campaign with other social networks.
Social media is a bigger world out there. Although Instagram has more than 80 million users, it has a relatively young audience. Consider reaching out to a variety of other age groups on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social networking sites. This will make your products available to a wider audience and help you engage with other users who want to check out your merchandise online.
Integrating Instagram with your existing social media campaigns will also liven up your marketing strategy. Using pictures are known to fetch more engagement from followers, due to the visual appeal that photos generate.
2. Engage your followers.
Communicating with your followers is the number one rule when it comes to social marketing. Explore your followers’ accounts and make sure to like and comment on posts you’re interested in. Do this, especially for followers who often check out your content. This will make them appreciate you more and urge them to follow back more enthusiastically. Answering customer inquiries is also advisable, as many customers prefer to reach out online because it is more convenient than calling the hotline. Make sure to check your account from time to time to see queries you need to immediately respond to.
Launching contests and promotions using Instagram is also useful in exposing your pictures to more users. Arrange online events and offer enticing rewards like discounts and freebies to make users more interested in following your account.
3. Make behind-the-scenes shots accessible.
Showing your followers how you create or manage the products you sell boost user interest. Engage your customers with fun posts about your staff as they get ready for a full day’s work in your store. Pictures like these make followers feel closer to your business as a whole, and enable customers to know you better. Starbucks, the most popular coffee shops worldwide, engages its fans and customers with photos of events and other behind-the-scene activities.
4. Encourage staff involvement.
Involving your employees on your Instagram campaign can make them feel motivated as they have a part in your marketing campaign. Be sure to discuss guidelines on what’s appropriate to post so there will be no misunderstandings. Allowing them to post their pictures about the business will make followers take notice and see how you run your venture. This will spur more engagement, as followers feel closer to a business which shows transparency on how it runs its day-to-day operations, events and other processes.
5. Create your own hashtags.
When tagging your own photos, utilize hashtags specific to your own brand. Using popular hashtags will not be suitable, as this will show general results, rather than your brand. For example, you’re in the coffee shop business. Don’t apply the hashtag ‘#coffee,’ as this will point followers to results like these:
See, there’s more than 1 million photos for the #coffee hashtag. Your followers will have difficulty scrolling through the results. Apply your shop’s name to your campaigns to get more precise results. You can utilize the name of your store to tag your photos. This will have the added benefit of promoting your brand.
As Facebook and Instagram is merged, your pictures get additional exposure. Once a follower clicks ‘Like,’ your picture will appear on their friends’ news feed. When they click on your photo, they’ll see all the likes and comments, which encourage them to look at your photo more closely. This can make them share your photo and cause a viral effect. Other than the mentioned effects, creating your own hashtags will also help you measure the generated ROI. This will help you determine if your audience responds well to your Instagram campaign.
6. Use Instagram’s geo-tagging feature.
Use Instagram’s geo-tagging attribute to make followers more aware of your location. This feature can also help a lot in contests that will make participants look for something using Foursquare and other interactive maps. To connect Foursquare when sharing your Instagram photos, turn on the ‘Add to your Photo Map’ feature and name the location, then click ‘foursquare’ on the share options.
7. Pay attention to your analytics.
Studying your analytics data can yield information on what pictures work best for your campaigns. This will also help you learn who your most engaged followers are, and allow you to concentrate on those who can be your staunchest brand advocates. The statistics will also help you learn which social networks work better for your Instagram strategy. The best times to post your photos can also be mined from the data to ensure that you display your pictures during heavy online traffic.
8. Experiment with your pictures.
Instagram provides many free filters to improve your pictures’ visual appeal. There are also more available options for the paid membership. If you have enough budget, try checking out the choices to help you learn which filters work in making your photos look their best. This will help you promote your business and engage more followers.