How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement for Small Businesses
Is your business on Instagram? It’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with more than 300 million active users. By late 2014, Instagram was already bigger than Twitter, Snapchat or Tumblr.
Instagram users are highly engaged and active, posting more than 70 million photos and videos a day. Some of those Instagram users are your business competitors, so if your target audience is on Instagram and you’re not, you’re missing an opportunity to reach out to those people and grow your market share.
Instagram also rolled out new ad features not long ago, including call-to-action buttons like “Shop Now” and “Learn More”, making it easier than ever for businesses to drive instagram engagement and increase click-through rates on the company Instagram account.
To make the most of Instagram’s potential as a marketing channel, try these engagement-boosting tips:
Target the right audience and deliver what they want.
Before posting a photo to Instagram, take a moment to think through your goals and tactics:
• Who is your target audience?
• Is this photo focused on their interests and needs?
• What value does it add to their lives?
• Why will they be interested?
• How can you make this photo even more relevant?
• How can you make your call to action fun for your audience?
Offer them something interesting or entertaining to do, for example, “Check out our site to see the rest of the pictures we took with our new GoPro camera.”
In the image below is a great example of this. The post is from The Honest Company and they specialize in safe, eco-friendly baby products – with their main audience being predominately mums.
It’s a great example of posting helpful advice on Instagram, but also very specially to the interest of their target audience.
For Best Instagram Engagement Make your Posts Timely and Regular
Instagram is a purely visual medium, so make sure the images you post align with your target audience’s expectations. Interest in different themes varies with seasonal events like holidays, so try to predict what types of photos your audience will want to see at different times of year.
In this image below, we see Oreo sharing Halloween themed posts with their followers. It’s a creative way to also show your products without appearing too branded.
No matter what the season, keep posting to Instagram on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged. If your Instagram account is inactive for a few weeks, your audience will start to forget who you are, so don’t leave it long enough for their memories of your brand to fade.
57% of the world’s top 100 social brands post at least once a week, and 28% post at least 5 times a week (source). Choose your posting frequency to suit your business and your audience.
Interact with your audience (and your potential audience)
Engagement is not a one-way street, so don’t merely broadcast your photos on Instagram and then leave. Start making conversation with your audience.
If you don’t respond to Instagram users’ questions or comments on your photos, your audience will view your brand as unfriendly and unprofessional.
US based online retailer, ModCloth does a great job when it comes to interaction and engagement. They would encourage their customers to send photos of them wearing an item they’d bought from the store where they would be featured on the website as well as their social media.
This is not only great way to show their products but it’s also helps their branding appear humble, likable and down to earth.
For a proactive approach to this aspect of Instagram marketing, you can search through relevant hashtags to find new potential followers, then like or comment on their photos to get the conversation started.
Promote your Instagram account on other networks
Do your Facebook or LinkedIn followers know you’re on Instagram? Don’t leave them to discover your Instagram account for themselves – instead, make sure everyone knows where to find you.
You can do this very simply by posting updates to your Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and other feeds inviting your followers there to join you on Instagram too.
Instagram engagement has huge potential as a marketing channel for businesses of all sizes. It’s easy to use and can even be fun for your marketing team.
So if you haven’t opened an Instagram account yet, or your last upload was weeks ago, it’s time to start making more of this opportunity to engage your potential customers.
Author Bio: Paul Liascos is Managing Director of ReachLocal. If you’re interested in finding out more ReachLocal services, visit the website today.