Why Should Brand Marketers Pay Attention To Instagram?
You’ve heard it a million times. “Social media is constantly changing” and “social media marketing is vital to targeting millennials.” Okay. So you have a Twitter, you have a Facebook, and you have a Google+ to cover all your bases. But somehow you’re missing something. How much engagement are you getting on social media? Is it as much as you want to be getting?
Maybe it’s time to consider Instagram, which is quickly becoming one of the top social media platforms for engagement. In this blog post, Hollywood Branded takes a look at why Instagram is so effective and provide 10 steps for brand managers to create more successful Instagram posts to promote your brand and improve your marketing strategy.
What Makes Instagram Different?
Instagram is obviously a visually based platform. It consists exclusively of pictures, with the only text being profile information, photo captions, and comments. It is our attention-span-deficient society’s version of a seven year old choosing between a picture book and a novel.
But more than that, it is visual storytelling. And this post just wouldn’t be complete without saying it….
It’s so cliché, don’t hate us…
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” And a video 1.8 million...
Okay, we’re sorry. But it’s the undeniable truth. Countless studies over hundreds of years have shown that we as human beings simply remember pictures and videos more vividly and with more accuracy than words. Of course it is not that other social media platforms don’t use images, because they do. And the posts that do use images tend to have much higher engagement… but with so many posts, words, sidebars and general clutter, (younger) users have begun to drift toward a platform much simpler and visually appealing: Instagram.
And that 1.8 million? It's from a study - check it out.
How To Optimize Your Instagram Post
While Instagram may seem relatively new, it’s been around since 2010. It exploded after Facebook purchased it in 2012 (sooo surprising right?). There are plenty of analytics out there about what makes the ideal Instagram posts, and although some of the stats are a bit strange, they could help you optimize your content when promoting your brand on Instagram.
According to data acquired by Curulate, there are small, subliminal factors that make a big difference in the success and engagement of Instagram quotes. For example, a post with just one dominant hue receives, on average, more likes that those with multiple. Brighter images perform 24% better than darker images and pictures with a higher amount of background space receive 29% more engagement than those without.
And guess what color Instagram users like the most? Apparently, blue. Blue posts receive 24% more engagement than the color red. Oh, and don’t forget to have texture in your image… that generally produces 79% more likes.
Besides these subliminal things, there are very practical things you can do to create successful social media marketing on Instagram.
10 Basics To Making Your Instagram Successful
- Show your brand’s style and personality in each picture. People want to connect, and how can you expect them to like your photo if they don’t like you? And then how do you expect them to buy your product if they don’t like you?
- Keep the caption short, but don’t be afraid to #hashtag. The whole point of the app is the pictures - don’t clutter up someone’s feed with a ton of words and information. However, do take advantage of the space to hashtag. Instagram’s limit is 30 but sticking to 2 or 3 is much classier and less spam-like.
- Tag people! This one is self-explanatory. But just so you know, you can tag another user directly in the picture as well as in the caption.
- Post often but not Twitter-often. Post often enough that you are telling a story people want to follow from post to post. However, overloading your followers with pictures can cause them to scroll right by without a second thought. Make each post thought out and interesting, and don’t post multiple pictures of the same thing. One to two times daily is a good place to start, but only if you have the content! Don’t post something meaningless just to put it out there.
- Post around 2 am and 5 pm. Being the last to post at night means being the first to be seen in the morning, especially because many people check their social media first thing when they open their eyes in the morning! Posting at 5 pm is effective because it is at the end of the workday, and everyone is either winding down at work or has just left.
- Host contests or giveaways. There’s no better way to get follower engagement and funnel traffic to your product than by telling someone they may get something for FREE. All they have to do is post something and tag you. Hello new traffic.
- Ask questions. Comments are a great way to engage with followers. The best way to get someone to comment? Well, ask a question of course!
- Add your location. There is this great little feature on Instagram called “geotag” where you can tell your followers where you’re located. So if you’re at the Napa Valley Film Festival, or Paris, France, or at the burger joint down the street that has amazing mimosas, tag it! Sponosoring an event and on location? Tag that too! It will increase your chances of being looked at. Hint: you can type whatever you want in the geotag. Get creative!
- Use frames and collages. Use frames and collages, which have now been built directly into the Instagram app. Make your post look like you put time into it, and people will respond with delight.
- Follow other users. “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” is pretty common in the Instagram world, and you don’t have to ask either. Many people, when they see your brand followed them (and that you have awesome content, of course!) will follow you back!
The Most Important Thing To Remember
There is only one thing more important than the ten steps listed above. And that is... start posting! If your brand doesn't have an Instagram account, then you are guaranteed to not find success. Instagram is kind - you don't have to post every single day to build a following. And you don't have to post boring content - Instagram is a great place to show your company culture and that your brand is real - and backed by people who have fun!
More Good Stuff For Your Brand
- How to tell if an influencer has fake Instagram fans
- 5 easy ways for brands to stand out on Instagram
- 5 tips on gaining an organic Instagram following
- How Instagram new features can better engage your consumers
Using Social Influencers On Instagram Can Help Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
Are you ready to take your Instagram account to the next level and learn how your brand can work with social media influencers to fast track to higher engagement and increased fan base? Download our infographic that provides case studies, rates and strategies for success when creating a social media influencer program.
Check out our How-To-Guide For Connecting With Social Media Influencers and download the infographic now!