Instagram ...The Big Picture

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social platforms and it has gained immense popularity over the years. It has become one of the most essential social networks amongst people, and continues to develop in popularity with over 400+ million dynamic users a month. It’s no wonder then that businesses of all shapes and sizes are seizing the opportunity to use Instagram as one of their main marketing channels for brand awareness. If used properly, Instagram can be a great marketing tool for all sorts of  businesses, whether you are selling a product or a service.

What is Instagram?

Using hashtags on Instagram is basic for your business. Hashtags enable users to discover content or brands which they would like to follow. Once a user has been directed to your profile by means of their search, you can then lead them to your website. Instagram allows a maximum of thirty hashtags to be included in a post or comment. However, ensure that you do not overuse them.

The Basics

Instagram is available for free on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Instagram can also be accessed on the web from a computer, but the users can only upload and share photos or videos from their devices.

With the recent introduction of facebook’s Creator Studio, posting on Instagram got a whole lot easier so be sure to check it out at https://business.facebook.com/creatorstudio/ 

Users can post pictures and videos using their smartphones, apply diverse manipulation tools, 16 filters, in order to change the appearance of an image, and share them directly on various platforms in addition to the user’s Instagram page.

Instagram also permits the users to add some captions, hashtags using the # symbol to describe the pictures and videos, and tag or mention other users by using the @ symbol before posting them.

In addition to photograph capturing and other functions, Instagram also provides a similar platform for social connectivity as other social networking sites. Users of Instagram can follow any number of other users. However, in Instagram, the users following another Instagram user are called followers.

Instagram’s social network is asymmetric, implying that if a user X follows Y, then Y needs not follow X. Also, users can choose their privacy settings according to their own preferences such that their posted photos and videos are available only to the user’s followers that need approval from the user to be his/her follower. By default, their images and videos are public which implies that they are visible to anyone using the Instagram app or Instagram website.

The users can consume photos and videos, mostly by viewing a core page showing a stream of the latest photos and videos from all their friends, listed in reverse chronological order. They can also like or comment on these posts. Such actions will appear in the referenced user’s Updates page so that the user can keep track of likes and comments about their posts. Therefore, Instagram can likewise be regarded as a social awareness tool similar to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Advantages of Using Instagram

Some of the advantages of using Instagram that adds to business opportunities are:

You can invite more users to window shop

With this social media app, you can provide window-shopping experience for your followers, giving them an essence of your products and services. Share relevant and valuable information in the caption, like location details, sales, and something else to get the interest of your followers. Ensure you explain all relevant product information, in case your followers wish to purchase the product you feature in the photo.

You can promote your brand

One can use Instagram to post marvelous photographs about your firm’s services and products. On the other hand, maintain a strategic distance from any sort of exhausting, content heavy images, or any other infographics. Take and post pictures of you and your workers at work or at any company event. Utilize the captions to share correlated and interesting information about the workers and what’s happening in the picture.
When you attend a special event, begin work on a new project, or do anything energizing and photo-worthy, ensure you capture the event. Knowing what is going on in your world keeps your organization on the mind of your customers. Integrating Instagram into your social media marketing campaign can be a great tool to promote your business while being imaginative at the same time.

Engage your customers

Utilize the @mention to promote the “follower of the day” on Instagram, and you will connect with a considerable measure of potential clients immediately. This will advance your customers, which will urge them to work with you significantly further.
The @mention is used to tag any client in comments inside Instagram, and you can employ it to generate the growth of your audience over time. This method can develop a relevant and engaged audience of high value to your brand or business. You can also use hashtags (#) as a method of growing your audience.

Build content

Always hashtag

Instagram hashtagInstagram is an online photo sharing social Web service that lets you share your life and experiences with friends and others through a series of pictures captured with a mobile device or any other camera. Instagram also supports video uploads and lets the users instantly share photos on several social sites.

Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October, 2010. Its success caught the eye of the most valuable social network in the world. In April, 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock, a total purchase value of nearly $1 billion.
Instagram’s social intrigue was not simply to influence the existing social networks for sharing, but to build its own, supplemental network. This was a vital choice. The value of a network is fundamentally in its connections.

Through Instagram you can not only connect and share with your friends, but you can also increase your professional network.
Instagram can be used as a marketing strategy to market your brand.

Connect to other forms of social media

Sharing your Instagram content with your other social media accounts will surely save your time and will help to increase your leads. Connect your Instagram profile to a variety of other social media platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

For example, if you have a Facebook business page you can arrange it so that all your Instagram posts and photos appear on your Facebook business page as well.

Use sponsored ads and posts

The use of Instagram’s sponsored posts and advertisements have finally spread worldwide and are proving very popular. Instagram advertising is still in the early stages of availability. Ads are available in 30 second video format, as images, and in carousel format too. These adverts are an ideal way to direct consumers to your website or to tell the story of your brand in a better way.

Post according to an editorial calendar

Instagram is a predominantly visual type of online networking, and a perfect stage for flaunting items through video or pictures. While building a strategy, you will have to figure out which strategy will work best for the service or products that you are promoting. Video is frequently the most ideal approach to publicize viable products. For example, tools, as you can exhibit the utilization of the item. For products such as garments, pictures are more appropriate.

Instagram was designed as an app to create content via a mobile device. As a result, it is only practical to use one of the various scheduling tools available, so that you can post systematically. By the help of using an editorial calendar, you are able to schedule regular posts in advance, to keep your followers engaged. It is also a useful method to use when you are promoting something, or attending an event. By doing so, you will never forget to send out content, and that content can be scheduled to be released when you are because of some reasons not available to do it manually.

Partner with Instagram influencers

Presently, Instagram has over 40,000 influencers using their platform, and they cover a variety of topics and businesses. They are viewed as the big names of Instagram, and by adjusting your image to the right influencers, you can extend your image awareness and number of followers. Your influencer simply needs to incorporate the handle of your brand in one of their Instagram posts.

Ideas to Flip-up Instagram

The best way to make your post viral is to make it worthy. Following are a few pointers:

# Mine positive things about your products and services. Highlight them in your posts.

# Add inspirational quotes to compel people to read your post.

# Add appealing images or videos. Visuals speak more than thousand words.

# Lay a call-to-action for a definite purpose.

# Compel users to generate content for you by engaging them in your post.

# Repost fan created content on your Instagram account.

Go Live With Your Business

Instagram liveA lot of businesses are understandably hesitant to use Instagram Live. The idea of going “live” on Instagram is pretty daunting for most. While Instagram Stories gives you the option of publishing pre-recorded video, there are no “retakes” on Instagram Live.

But the fact is that Instagram Live has huge value for businesses. When used correctly, the feature can be an incredible channel for driving new followers and engagement, as well as your larger business goals.

To make use of this strategy in your live broadcast, take your hottest product and deliberately release very few details about it. You can do this over the course of a few days or even a few weeks. Either way, the mystery will drive your followers into a frenzy!

After the teaser, ask viewers to sign up for more information on your website. This approach gives your live video an element of exclusivity, which can encourage people to act immediately, increasing the number of leads you get.

You can also share your Instagram Live broadcast on your Instagram Stories afterwards to increase your reach! Just tap the “Share” button that appears once your broadcast is over. Your live broadcast will then live on your Instagram Stories for 24 hours, unless you decide to add it to your highlights.

That’s why we’re seeing a recent trend of businesses using the channel to tease or launch new products.

Eyeing Your Competitors

Presently, Instagram has over 40,000 influencers using their platform, and they cover a variety of topics and businesses. They are viewed as the big names of Instagram, and by adjusting your image to the right influencers, you can extend your image awareness and number of followers. Your influencer simply needs to incorporate the handle of your brand in one of their Instagram posts.

How do competitors position themselves?

Discover how your rivals position themselves on online networking. You can simply visit each of your competitor’s profiles for inspiration. These bios give you an idea of how you can position yourself on Instagram in order to be attractive to your target audience.

How often do competitors post?

In case you’re thinking about how active you ought to be on Instagram, consult
competitive research. Obviously, this isn’t all you have to know with regards to social activity. You ought to likewise take a look at the engagement your competitor gets on Instagram. Analyze the number of posts and engagement to see where competitors post and receive the most (or least) audience response.

What do competitors post?

Get inspiration for the type of posts you ought to publish on Instagram by analyzing the competitors’ top content specific to that platform. This analysis can help you figure out whether you should post photos or videos, when you should post them, and the type of captions you should include with the posts for best engagement opportunities. Using these posts as inspiration, you can come up with interesting ideas for your business that will fit well on Instagram.

What do people say about competitors?

Comprehending what individuals say about your competitors can give you a vibe for the kind of engagement you will get through Instagram. For instance, do individuals ask sales questions and support questions to your competitors? Do people talk positively or negatively about the industry?
You may even have get to recognize some ways you can tailor your products and services to fill in the ranges your rivals’ products and services miss. Generally speaking, it ought to set you up for the kind of discussions you may keep running into for your business on social media and give ideas on how to handle them.

Paid Instagram Campaigns

It’s vital to note that Instagram is trying different things with paid advertising
opportunities. The program is generally new, and at this moment it’s held for huge brands

Conclusion

As Instagram continues to grow and evolve as a marketing platform, it’s more important than ever for businesses to build effective Instagram marketing strategies. And that means having a thorough understanding of the Instagram marketing landscape and measurable insights into what works and what doesn’t.

At the end of the day, businesses of all types have so much to gain from building a presence on Instagram, whether it’s growing an engaged community, reaching new customers, or even ecommerce selling. It just takes a little effort!

If you’re really thinking about taking your Instagram marketing seriously, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of Facebook Creator Studio.

Not only can you plan your feed and manage all your photos and videos with but you’ll also be able to track your analytics and automatically schedule your Instagram posts — all from a single place!

Optimizing your Instagram profile ensures that people are able to discover your content. You need to be engaged and active on social media because the backlinks and increase in traffic to your site that may be derived from Instagram activity can potentially improve your rankings.

Images are valuable and Instagram serves a vital purpose in the world of digital marketing. Social networking and social media are undergoing an evolution as user expectations and experiences are dynamic. Instagram is a visual platform that enables users to get the information they seek online when discovering and choosing brands.

Nyrie Roos

Author Nyrie Roos

Nyrie is a digital marketing consultant, website developer, social media marketer and SEO specialist based in the Tweed Valley and Brisbane. Nyrie enjoys working closely with digital marketing teams and action orientated business owners to implement their digital marketing strategy in a way that’s results-focused, simple and effective.

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