It’s easy to see Instagram as a vacuous platform largely populated by queen bees (no, not the insect kind) and bikini-clad celebrities sharing their holiday snaps. However, to succumb to this perception of Instagram would be to underestimate its worth as a marketing tool when used right.
So, how can you use it right? While carving out success on Instagram – as on any other social media site – is an art rather than a science, here are just some demonstrably effective methods to try.
Tell a good story – a good Instagram Story, that is
The Instagram Stories feature affords you many exciting possibilities; you can ask your followers questions, hold Q&A sessions and run quizzes. However, whether you are currently tapping into that functionality as much as you could is another question.
Perhaps you could start a poll in an Instagram Story to solicit feedback about a recently-launched product or treat a Q&A as an opportunity to tease your followers about what’s next.
Rope in influencers to help you
You know those “bikini-clad celebrities” mentioned earlier? Some of them are probably influencers – especially if you see a hashtag like “#ad” in their Instagram posts. That’s a sign that they are subliminally advertising a product after having struck a deal with the brand behind it.
You could follow in that brand’s footsteps, but you should also note that even “micro-influencers” – influencers with small but dedicated followings – could help you reach out to the right people.
Encourage followers to create content of their own
The influencer phenomenon hints at one of the largest perks of social media marketing: how easily you can arrange other people to essentially do your marketing for you. It’s not just influencers – of the celebrity kind or otherwise – who can get in on the act, either.
Why not start a competition inviting your brand’s followers to make their own video or graphic in response to your brief? Don’t forget to specify a hashtag they can all add to their content, too.
Live and streaming: engage with your audience practically face-to-face
Instagram makes it easy for you to live stream yourself on the platform – here’s how to do it. It’s an especially tantalising prospect right now, too, given that the pandemic has left in-person events rather less practical than before. Even Apple has recently switched to online-based launch events.
Ideas that can work especially well on live streams include hosting an interview, marking a milestone and letting viewers go “behind the scenes” and see your brand’s “clockwork”, so to say, in action.
Aim to develop your following into a… community
This is a goal to set for the long run, but it is important that, as you attract more Instagram followers, you engage with them, too, rather than leave it all a one-way thing. That means posting friendly responses to comments and questions these people post on your Instagram portal.
Through doing this, you can start sowing seeds of a social media marketing campaign that, over subsequent months and even years, keeps on giving.