Use Instagram To Throttle Brand Engagement
With Instagram's visual focus, search-ability, and high engagement rates, anyone with experience on this platform knows that it's relatively easy to get likes, comments, and followers.
The key lies in getting the right type of followers who will maximize your account for increased engagement and conversion rates. This article dives into seven successful strategies to drive more traffic to your site and convince more people about your brand.
1. Follow, Like, Comment
Follow, like, comment. Follow, like, comment. Follow, like, comment. The process is known as rinse and repeat. The more interest that you show in other peoples' accounts, the more likely they are to do the same for your account. In this Shopify article on how to get more followers, Richard Lazazzera described how he followed his brand's competitors followers by 100 at a time, then commented on and liked at least one of their photos.
The response was as follows:
14 % of time time that he followed, they followed back.
22% of the time that he followed and liked, they followed back.
34% of the time that he followed, liked, and commented, they followed back.
2. Post To Another Account
The above-mentioned rinse and repeat process can be effective, but it is also time consuming. In this article on advance Instagram marketing tactics, Lazazzera addressed how to accelerate the follower rate by posting to another account.
To find an account that will post your content, search for posts that use the hashtags that are most prevalent to what your niche is. In looking at the top posters for those hashtags, you will likely find a profile that will repost other photos. They will usually give you a way to contact them, and may charge a fee. Lazazzera describes witnessing an account grow by 3,500 follower with this method.
3. Run An Instagram Contest
This article by Wishpond on Instagram marketing recommends crowdsourcing photos around your niche market in an Instagram contest. As opposed to getting another account to post photos of your product, you post other people's photos of your niche market.
National Geographic is an excellent example of this. One of the most popular Instagram accounts in existence, with 67.1 million followers, Nat Geo encourages people to share photos with them using the hashtag #natgeoinspires. This gives people a chance to have their photos displayed in the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. By doing this type of contest, people are more likely to follow you, engage in your content, and are more likely to advocate your brand if they do well in the contest.
4. Ask For Feedback In Your Copy
Instagram posts are limited to 2,200 characters, but they will show two lines of copy below each photo before the reader needs to click more to read more of your post. In these two lines, be sure to engage your viewers of some way to invite feedback.
You can ask them a question, have them fill in the blank to complete the copy you write on the post, or ask your followers to write the entire photo caption. The beauty of a photo can be that the communicative power lies in the eyes of the beholder. There may be a myriad of captions for a photo, and it can be a fun way for followers to engage, and in turn increase the validity of your content.
5. Make The Profile Website A Landing Page
Instagram only allows clickable links to a post for most accounts. In Buffer's Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing, Ash Reid suggests that when you post a photo, direct followers to a landing page related to the content with a short URL, and say see link in my profile. This placement of the URL in the image caption will let your followers know that you have expanded content.
If you regularly post to Instagram, and have a specialized link for each of your posts, the above suggestion may not be practical. You may want to try using Linktr.ee, which will give you one simple page to link all important links. I like to link my websites and all of my social accounts (for both my marketing and photography) in one place. You may want to leverage this technology for your own Instagram marketing needs.
6. Post To Facebook Too
Instagram makes it possible to post to a Facebook profile or page at the same time that you post to Instagram. This has been demonstrated to increase your followers for Instagram and your engagement on Facebook. In this Buzzsumo study reference by Reid, 1 million posts from 3 million brand pages were analyzed. Posts to Facebook from Instagram received more engagement than native Facebook posts.
7. Optimize Use Of Hashtags
Instagram is unique from other social media accounts with the number of hashtags that it allows. Thirty is the max amount of hashtags allowed per post, and it is best to optimize their relevance since they are how many people find your content. In this Buffer article, Courtney Seider shares how she makes sure her hashtags are optimized. First add a few of the most relevant hashtags for your post. Then search Instagram for those hashtags, and see what other similar hashtags people used. Add these hashtags as a second comment to your photo.
* A note on Instagram's algorithm update as of May 2018, consecutive posts that use the exact same hashtags will get less traction. If you tend to use the same hashtags, keep a spreadsheet of what you use when so that you can rotate regularly used hashtags. This will keep your Instagram account optimized.
Instagram is a platform that can be a marketer's best friend. This article has given 7 ways to gain followers, increase engagement, and direct people to more information about your brand. Remember these 7 strategies:
Follow, like, comment
Post to another account
Run an Instagram contest
Ask for feedback in your copy
Make the profile website a landing page
Post to Facebook too
Optimize use of hashtags
What if you want to learn more? (Yes, there is more.) Marina Barayeva has published a comprehensive guide to Instagram for Business: The Detailed Guide to Instagram Marketing. This extensive guide is made up of six chapters of how to use Instagram for beginning and advanced strategies. Whatever your Instagram marketing query, remember the seven guidelines here, and refer to Marina's guide for more.