As you may be aware, quite a few people use Instagram, around 600 million, in fact. In just one day, over one billion photos are liked, so it’s a pretty big app considering it all started with a guy wanting to upload photos with some filters.
What separates Instagram from its competitors (not that it really has any) is the quality of its photos. This isn’t a site designed for you to upload your 500 summer photos from Florida, it is slightly more niche, if not slightly pretentious (in a good way).
According to Forrester research, the interaction of Instagram users with brands is 400% higher than on Facebook and Twitter, meaning it delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter.
Like Shakira’s hips, numbers don’t lie.
Instagram has arguably become one of the best ways to build your brand and/or business. Companies are starting to realise that everyone uses Instagram and the app provides a perfect platform to promote content in a new and innovative way.
So, without further ado, here are our top 7 effective optimisation tips for Instagram!
Use Popular Hashtags
Arguably the most obvious, yet, the most important.
Using popular hashtags that relate to the service, or whatever it is you’re looking to promote, will attract interested users. Some of the most popular hashtags don’t even need to directly relate to your service, for example:
- #tbt (throwback Thursday)
- #happyhumpday (happy Wednesday)
- #instalife / #instadaily / #instalike – (all Instagram-focused)
The list goes on…
Making use of these hashtags can get you a fair few followers early on. So, it’s worth using these as much as you can, for as long as you can, until you can start using more niche hashtags once you have a strong and dedicated audience.
Headhunt People Who are Using your Brand
It’s easy to list one hundred popular hashtags and gain a decent amount of followers early on in your Instagram journey. However, once you feel you’ve gained a trusty following, it’s time to focus on who’s important amongst those followers.
By targeting certain keywords (hashtags) you’ll be able to directly socialise with people who are interested in what you’re promoting. Let’s say, for example, you’re promoting a digital marketing company; you’ll want to use hashtags and follow people who are working, or enjoy hearing about this sector. Using these hashtags will place you right in the centre of other users who are also looking to increase their following, or simply looking for similar services. What does this mean? More likes and more followers.
Search for People Who are Mentioning your Brand
Once you’ve posted a good amount of content/posts on your account and you’ve been using your company name as a hashtag (or other brand exposure techniques), you’re going to want to start searching for people who are mentioning your brand.
This is when you can have a little celebration, as once people start mentioning you, it means you really have picked up some pace, especially if they don’t work within the company, or are sitting right next to you.
People mentioning your brand can enhance your number of followers, more likes, exposure and if you’re lucky, someone might share it who has a large audience, meaning more people will get the chance to see your brand, opening up business opportunities.
Connect your Social Media Accounts
By connecting your Instagram account to your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or whatever it may be, you’ll be expanding your reach, not only to more people but different platforms.
This means making your Instagram account visible on Facebook, posting photos that highlight your lifestyle and why people should be following you. You need to have a personality, give people a reason to follow you and not the one million other users doing exactly the same thing.
A good idea would be to mix your content with fun pictures, quirky quotes to do with your brand, contemporary references, and promotional brand ideas.
Create a Relevant Hashtag
Similar to the aforementioned point, creating a hashtag that’s simple to type and easy to remember should be your aim. If your brand has an incredibly long name, something like Morgan-Spencer Lawyers New York Limited, you might want to use an acronym.
Instagram is all about accessibility. You don’t want to be making people go to extreme lengths to follow your profile, or promote your brand.
Focus on the Entire Post – Not Just the Image
Posting a funny image or quote is a good way of expanding your reach and engaging your followers. Though, as time goes by, people will begin to get bored of not seeing any personality shine through, or even worse, they’ll assume you’re a bot.
By making each post personal and keeping up-to-date with social trends, you keep viewers engaged and remind them that you’re not a robot. People don’t like robots.
The caption you use could be anything, it may be a story, an insight into the picture or what the photo is meant to represent, the options are endless. So, experiment and you’ll see your brand constantly develop and evolve into something people will really begin to admire.
Reward your Followers
People who are loyal deserve recognition. Think of it this way, loyal Instagram followers are like real friends, you celebrate your birthday with real friends by getting them a card or a gift. So, reward your Instagram followers with the social media-equivalent.
I’m not saying go out and buy all of your followers a cake, just let them know that you appreciate them with a dedicated post, or a giveaway.
Our Special Trick…
Measure your Followers!
Not, as in, literally measure them. That wouldn’t do much to expand your brand, they’d probably just file a restraining order.
No, what we mean by this is observing your followers. Find out when they’re online, what posts they like the most, what they engage with, what causes debate, what they share, and everything that falls under their engagement umbrella.
This is so important, as it tells you whether or not the content you’re posting is helping your brand grow and if it is engaging your followers.
There we have it! I hope you guys found this useful and your Instagram brand flourishes because of it. Let us know in the comments below if any of these techniques have worked for you.
Oh, and follow us on Bamboo Nine’s Instagram. Seriously, we’re awesome.