Scroll through Instagram and you’ll quickly become inundated with idyllic vacation photos, expertly-produced video content and maybe a few good memes. But within the endless sea of flawless photos and videos, it can be hard for brands to make a name for themselves.
However, this is one challenge worth taking on. Instagram images receive tons of engagement (23% more than Facebook) and it’s not just empty engagement. Seventy-five per cent of users complete meaningful actions after seeing posts (hello, conversion rate optimization).
If you want to get in on the Instagram action, here are our top tips for growing your organization’s brand on one of our favourite platforms.
9 Instagram hacks for organizations:
- If you can’t hire a professional, try the next best thing. Of course, bringing on a professional photographer to capture pristine photos for your account would be ideal, but this isn’t always realistic. If you don’t have the budget, you can always develop your own photography skills. Take a class, read a few blogs – whatever you can do to up your photo game. And, if all else fails, there’s always stock photography.
- Connect with influencers. If you want to gain online exposure, influencer marketing could be your fastpass to achieving just that – influencer marketing’s ROI is 11x higher than traditional forms of advertising. Start by selecting a legitimate influencer whose followers fall within your target audience, then offer that influencer compensation (i.e. payment or free swag) in exchange for an Instagram shoutout. Just make sure to select an influencer with lots of relevant followers and high engagement levels!
- Invest in ads. In the overcrowded world of social media, running ads is basically a requirement at this point. Advertising is the simplest way to get your brand’s content in front of your target audience. Facebook bought out Instagram in 2012, which means Instagram advertisers have access to Facebook’s powerful audience targeting tools. If you want to be competitive on the photo-sharing app, you have to pay to play.
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- Be authentic. At the end of the day, Instagram users typically respond best to photos of real people. That speaks to the human desire for connection – photos of human faces receive 38% more likes than faceless photos. We’ve even noticed this trend on our own Instagram account – when we post pictures of our team members, the likes and comments come pouring in.
- Up your hashtag game. Hashtags are great for reaching new audience members and increasing engagement – according to Sprout Social, including just one hashtag per post can boost engagement by 12.6 per cent. Stick with relevant, popular and trending hashtags – and maybe even create a unique branded hashtag while you’re at it. Also, keep an eye out for niche hashtags by examining the hashtag use of successful accounts within your industry. Chances are, your target audience will be using those hashtags too.
- Write a bio to remember. It can be hard to make a strong impression within the confines of a tiny Instagram bio, but it’s a challenge we all must face. Get to the point, but don’t forget to add a little personality – what sets your account apart from the competition? Also, make sure to include a call-to-action; a link to your website is a great place to start.
The Bio . Here’s the deal: short, to the point phrases are easier on the eye than a long couple sentences. For instance, AdvisifyMedia’s bio could read something like: . “We bring brands attention with SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Consulting help. We’re experienced digital marketing pros, so DM us, lets get in touch!” . It makes sense, but takes a while to read. That’s why we recommend chopping it up into short, bite-sized phrases that can leave a lasting impression. This is what our chopped up bio looks like. (It’s basically more readable for anyone quickly browsing your page.) Bonus points for throwing in an eye-catching emoji at the beginning of each line . “Bringing Brands Attention SEO, PPC, Social Media, & Consulting Help Experienced Digital Marketing Pros Let’s get in touch, DM us!”
- Keep it on brand. Instagram is all about flawless curation. Every post should fit your brand’s overall aesthetic. Make sure every photo uses the same fonts, colour palette and filters in order to create a cohesive look. Also, don’t forget to add a watermark to original content – that is, unless you want others to repost it without giving you credit.
- Hold a contest. Many brands grow their audience through Instagram contests. Simply ask participants to give you a follow and tag a friend in the comments section of your post in order to enter – you’ll gain exposure to tons of new accounts (all for the price of a free service or product).
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- Have fun! Instagram is known for being one of the most light-hearted social media platforms available. Get creative with your Instagram Stories, share a funny post or two and engage with your audience’s content, too. Before you know it, you’ll have built an engaging and exciting online community full of people who support your brand.