Instagram was set to be a juggernaut from the outset. On October 6, 2010, the iOS app was officially released through the App Store. Just two years later, the Android version of the app was released and downloaded over one million times in under a day.
Fast-forward to 2019 and Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users, with 50% of them accessing the app each day. What’s more, 72% of 13-17 year olds and 64% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram, meaning there is an incredible opportunity for brands looking to target younger generations (which are easily the most lucrative and influential).
Let’s get into the tactics you can use to harness Instagram for the online presence needed to reach new audiences and grow your business:
1. Select the business profile
Before anything else, ensure you’ve chosen the ‘business account’ functionality for your brand. There are a number of benefits that come with selecting it:
- A contact button on your brand profile allows users to get in touch, just as they would on your website.
- Insights — Instagram’s analytics tool — offers powerful, invaluable statistics on the impressions and reach of your posts. This information helps you tailor and target your content to the users that are actually engaging and responding to it.
- With a business profile, you can craft and publish ads without having to utilise Facebook’s advertising suite.
2. Maintain brand aesthetic consistency
Instagram is a visual platform, so appearance means (mostly) everything. Creating beautiful, thumb-stopping content will have users clicking, engaging and sharing your posts with their peers. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent look throughout your visuals as it’s this aesthetic thread that will link your content and make it more memorable to casual users. To do this effectively, select a filter that aligns with your brand personality and use it across your images, videos and stories.
3. Focus on community management and engagement
It’s called social media for a reason, and your posts, interactions and tone of voice should stem from who your target audience is. You can stimulate follower engagement by posting stunning visuals with concise, well-written copy and hashtags that are relevant to your target demographic. But it doesn’t stop there! To create consumer trust and generate further interest, you need to respond to user comments and complaints quickly and professionally. Making users feel they are a valuable part of your brand story makes it more likely they’ll share your content and become brand advocates.
4. Deploy sponsored ads
Before Instagram ads were implemented, only users who followed your account could see your content. Now, you’re able to target audiences on a whole new level with incredible accuracy. What’s more is that you have complete control on how much you want to spend by setting an ad budget. You can craft for the format specifically, or turn high-performing content into ads for even more traction. Another benefit is that you can run multiple sponsored ads simultaneously, and target them at different audience demographics for increased reach and engagement, as well as to see which works best and with who.
Another feather in the platform’s cap is that it offers a variety of executions, such as:
- Carousel/Dynamic Ads
- Stories Canvas
5. Use (uncrowded) hashtags and come up with your own
Hashtags allow brands to join conversations with people who don’t follow you. Be careful though, overpopulating your posts with every hashtag under the sun can seem slightly desperate and comes with the danger of diluting your message rather than focusing it. Much like avoiding high-competition keywords for SEO purposes, it’s a clever idea to focus on uncrowded hashtags for maximum line-of-sight.
Pro-tip: creating your own hashtag and promoting it like a catchphrase creates brand awareness and houses user-generated content in one easy-to-find place.
6. Post Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories is one of the simplest, most potent ways of generating leads on the platform (not to mention the most versatile, creatively speaking). While it’s only live for 24 hours, it appears at the top of the timeline and has a ton of editing features to ensure your Story is eye-catching and engaging. Stories are also a great way to connect with users on a more personal level. By posting behind-the-scenes or day-in-the-life content, you’re able to inject personality into your brand and give followers a better idea of who you are and what you stand for, without pushing product (although, you can do that too — the format is just that versatile).
7. Collaborate with brand-aligned influencers
There’s no doubting the power of the influencer, and for the last few years these social media personalities with their own strong followings have continued to gain in strength. If you want to reach new audiences on the platform, one of the quickest and most effective ways is to align with an influencer that’s already built a large fanbase on Instagram.
The first step is to pinpoint influencers that have audiences and interests that are similar or relevant to your product or service. Following this, consider how you can integrate them into your existing campaigns, or get to creating entirely new ones that centre around these powerful social media persuaders.
8. User-generated content can be a goldmine
Are budgetary restrictions hampering your ability to produce the amount of content you need to? Don’t fret — user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to curate brand-aligned posts and generate further reach and engagement. What makes UGC so effective is that it is more authentic and personal than brand posts, and can motivate more users to create and submit their own content. Eventually, you’ll be picking and choosing from a plethora of beautifully crafted content that’s been created by your followers!
9. Integrate your Instagram with your WordPress site
It’s common knowledge that social media can drive new leads to your website for greater customer conversion and business growth. By integrating your WordPress site with Instagram, you can track traffic and metrics with far more accuracy, as well as tweak and optimise your brand messaging going forward.
Kaira has years of experience crafting beautiful WordPress themes and powerful plugins that use best-in-class tools and solutions. Our themes fully integrate social media into your website, enabling and empowering you to craft a digital ecosystem that works to nurture leads into your sales funnel organically.