For your business to succeed online, you need to have a strategy. Having a marketing strategy that includes proven social media best practices for business is a great way to gain exposure for your products and services–without eating up too much of your budget. Nowadays, the average person spends 3 or more hours per day on a range of social media sites.
Facebook and Instagram work best for companies that either sell a service or an experience. Pinterest and Twitter are great for sharing quick tips and strategies with your target market. The one thing you must remember, is that the best strategy is to have a combination of platforms to maximize exposure and ensure greatest potential for growth.
With so many networks to consider, what’s the best way to maximize your company’s social media marketing campaigns? How do you choose which social media network is right for your business?
- Start by defining how you want social media to help your business.
- Establishing objectives will help set marks that can be tracked and measured. This allows you to focus on winning strategies, and quickly pivot as things change.
- Your strategy should encompass more than just collecting likes, shares, retweets and pins! Focus on making sure that each of your social media posts support a strategic goal.
A few common strategic social media goals and objectives include:
- Build Brand Awareness: Get the public to know your name, with a positive perception of your business.
- Gain New Customers: Drive traffic to your company social media page or website.
- Strengthen Customer Service: Engage with potential customers by answering questions or help existing customers with your products or services.
- Increase Engagement: Interact with your fans/followers by giving them reasons to mention your brand and refer others to do business with you.
Today we are going to focus on 10 Tips for Instagram and how to maximize your exposure. If you have never used social media or just want more information, check out these tips and strategies on how to use Instagram for business.
Getting started on Instagram is straightforward.
Simply sign up for an account (e.g., use the same name as your Twitter handle), add a profile photo (e.g., brand logo) and a link to your website, connect your account to Facebook and let your followers know they can follow you there. It’s what to do next that presents a difficulty for many brands.
#1: Acquaint Yourself with How to Use Instagram for Business
Businesses have been flocking to Instagram in droves. In response, Instagram started the Instagram for Business blog, which offers tips, brand spotlights, API examples and news from Instagram HQ.
Instagram’s blog will help keep you in the know.
Check it out and add it to your reader to keep up to date on some of the coolest ways to use the Instagram platform for business.
#2: Balance Fun Images with Pictures from Your Business
Rachel Sprung writes, “Take advantage of the increased real estate you have with the Instagram web page to tell a story with the images. Have a healthy balance of fun images and business pictures.”
Anthropologie has struck a good balance with their images. Their followers like fun images as well as business ones. A puppy picture received 7,640 likes and a picture of their personal shoppers posing at a company luncheon event received 3,457.
One of the ten most engaging posts mentioning #Anthropologie.
Track the engagement on your images to find out what your followers like best!
#3: Cultivate a Following
There are many ways to grow your following on Instagram. One of the main strategies is know your target market. This ensures you can post pictures and videos that resonate with your target audience and they will be more likely to follow your business. Her are
3 helpful tips for getting more followers on Instagram:
- Connect your Facebook account
- Use relevant, popular hashtags
- Engage by following others and liking their photos
Cross-post selected images to your Facebook page with a hashtag that aligns with your campaign or brand image to help people who don’t know you’re on Instagram to find you there.
#4: Debut Videos
Instagram’s Video on Instagram has no competition. With 15-second, filter-enabled, editable video functionality, your business has lots of options to choose from.
#5: Embed Instagram Video in Your Blog or Website
Last month, Instagram released a new embed feature for its desktop web browser version. Mike Gingerich provides helpful instructions, in addition to examples for when and how to use Instagram videos.
Since you never know who will see your shares on a social networking platform, embed your Instagram video in your blog or website to extend the reach of your content.
#6: Follow Your Followers Back
The people you follow on social networking platforms make all the difference in the world. Curiously, many brands on Instagram (some with very large followings) don’t follow back.
To create strategic relationships on Instagram, find the brands and people you enjoy and can learn from in your followers and follow them back. We’ll talk more about this in #23.
#7: Generate a Flexible Posting Plan
Carley Keenan offers the following advice on the frequency of sharing on Instagram:
“You don’t need to post on Instagram every day. The ‘feed speed’ on Instagram is still mostly laid back. If you start posting a lot, you might saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often. Decide what you have ready to post and create a schedule to help you remember what to post when and to track what is working once you get going.”
#8: Harness the Power of Apps
Kay Tan put together a list of 20 apps that will enhance your photo-sharing experiences. There are apps that let users print images, search tags and keywords, subscribe to Instagram profiles via email, download all Instagram photos in a single archive folder, plus many more.
Use these apps to make Instagram a significant part of your social media marketing strategy.
#9: Inspire Potential Customers
Anna Colibri suggests you post photos that are relevant to your brand and potential customers.
Whole Foods Market posts representative photos to promote healthy, wholesome food products, store events, sustainability and their active community of customers and employees.
Whole Foods Market’s photos are relevant to their brand.
Attract your target market with images that share a compelling and inspiring story.
#10: Kickstart Instagram Efforts with a Change in Perspective
Russ Meyer recommends that for brands to be successful on Instagram, they need to get past their inherent interest in selling and instead:
- Share a distinctive view of the world
- Cultivate a unique visual sense
- Capture things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer
- Train your eye to focus on what makes a great, provocative, engaging image
Entrust your Instagram presence to someone in the organization who understands how to align images with the interests of your target customer.
Succeeding on Instagram can be a challenge to those that do not know what they are doing. Using these 10 tips and strategies are a great way to get started. If you still feel overwhelmed, hire a social media marketer who can help grow your brand online.
For more information on Social Media Marketing or tips on building your brand awareness online check out Spark Media at www.inspirethespark.ca.