As social media becomes increasingly omnipresent in the world of marketing and business, many brands are working hard to figure out how they can use popular social media platforms to grow their brand and reach their core audience. Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps in existence. The ease with which users can share and interact with video and image content make it an ideal platform for brands who are looking to expand contact with their consumer base.
Why Instagram is Important For a Business
For most companies, whether they are business-to-business or business-to-consumer, finding the best way to connect with new customers and keep current customers loyal is a major pain point. Studies have shown that users on Instagram are 58 times more likely to share, comment on or like a brand's post than users on any other social media platform. Because users tend to share visual content, Instagram marketing is a significantly more useful investment than marketing on Twitter or Facebook platforms.
Instagram's Explore page, which is available to every user, is also an extremely useful tool, as it tends to filter posts that are similar in content to posts the user has already engaged with. Thus, it can deliver your message directly to potential consumers. Instagram also has the benefit of influencers. Influencers are high-follower volume accounts managed by an individual or entity that is popular and trusted by users. By harnessing the power of influencers, businesses can open their brand up to significantly increased exposure.
Instagram's interface allows you to use imagery to tell the story of your brand in any way that you want. Videos, live streams, stories and still pictures are all supported, and some combination of the above will allow you to connect with your desired demographic.
How Do I Grow My Instagram Followers?
Brands with large follower counts appear to be popular and in touch with their audiences. In order to increase exposure, it's necessary to grow your brand's followers. Although it's tempting to assume that your content will find its audience and that the cream will rise to the top, the fact is that all brands need help in finding their core audience and exposing themselves to the followers that will eventually become customers.
There are a number of ways to grow your brand's Instagram following. One popular way is through the use of tools like Viral Upgrade, ViralRace and SocialDrift, which are designed to increase followers. With machine-learning algorithms that engage potential users in your brand's demographic through likes and comments, these tools multiply the likelihood that your target customers will be drawn to your account, enlarging your follower numbers and your exposure.
Using Instagram influencers to market your brand or product is another popular way to increase your follower count. Often, brands pay someone with a high follower count to promote their product without considering the fact that she might not be the right influencer. Influencers are not effective simply because they have a high follower count; they must have the right audience. The most successful brand-influencer relationships take special care to make sure that their influencers are the perfect fit for their brand, even if they have a lower follower account than others.
Instagram Best Practices
Transparency is an often overlooked but critical aspect of any brand-influencer relationship. Pay close attention to your followers to ensure that they are all real accounts and not bots. If you are engaging with an influencer or compensating one to elevate your brand's presence on social media, be sure that they are equally transparent with you about the verifiability of their followers.
Utilize hashtags, but don't overuse them. By creating a viral hashtag you are more likely to give your brand exposure and increase the possibility of user engagement. Regular interaction with users who engage with your brand is likely to increase participation. The same goes for any sort of competition or contest that encourages viewers to comment, share or post content of their own using your brand's hashtag. Creating incentives for user participation can pay off exponentially for brands.
Be sure that your account is following the right accounts. Keep an eye on what competitors' influencers and users in your brand space are responding to by following them on Instagram. This will help you tap into what is moving the needle in your field and help your brand adust your content accordingly.
Ashley Friedman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Social Sciences. She has experience writing copy for the websites of creative professionals, and regularly contributes to several blogs covering popular culture, travel, food, and social action.