Imagine the scene – you’re on holiday. The hotel you’re staying in is 5 stars and it looks unbelievable; you’ve got a hot tub in your room, a free mini-bar and the most amazing view of the beach from your balcony.
Do you take pictures and post it on social media, or do you just keep it to yourself?
Of course, you’d want to share all of this with everyone you know. You want to show off and show people what you’re about. So, why aren’t you doing this with your business?
Your audience wants to see what you’re passionate about; they want to see your business’s personality and they want an ‘inside scoop’.
They love to see a company humanize themselves and show that they are so much more than robots behind a computer screen. This is where Instagram can help you!
Instagram is a Social Networking App made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Everyone who creates an account has a profile, where their content is shown, and a newsfeed that shows the content of people you follow on the platform.
It really is as simple as that!
Instagram has started to put a high value on location. This is nothing to worry about; it can help to improve your business’s reach and even engagement.
The main way to involve a location is by adding one to your post, similar to Facebook and Twitter. This will be shown to people looking at posts in their local area. However, if this isn’t working as well as you’d hope, Instagram’s story feature allows users to see all the stories that are happening near them.
You can use both features to maximise your business’s local reach on the platform.
You can post on Instagram at any time, but to have the impact you intend you need to meet your followers at the right place at the right time.
Studies show that on average Instagram is more popular on weekdays compared to weekends, and apparently, the best times to post are 2 am or 5 pm if you want to maximise your engagement.
Despite this, it’s important that you know your own audience and their habits – if your audience work until 6 pm, they probably won’t be looking at 5 pm. The best way to do this is to test different timings throughout the days and find the optimal times for your specific audience.
A PICTURE IS WORTH 1000 WORDS
You’ve surely heard the saying ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’. On all social media, this couldn’t be truer! Other than making it look attractive, it’s preferred because 65% of people retain information when visual content is included, compared to 10% without visual content.
BUILDING YOUR COMMUNITY ONLINE
Before you can sell your products or advertise your business online, you need an audience.
It’s not as difficult as it sounds – 80% of Instagram users follow at least one Business account! To build a community, you need to share things that people want to see on their newsfeed and want to engage with. However, it’s worth considering the occasional promotional post to show what you do and how you can benefit your audience.
It’s possible your number of followers will be up and down – and that’s okay! It’s important that you don’t get disheartened by this. It’s easy for people to follow you based on one post, and then unfollow you because you’re not what they expected. Keep in mind that these people are not your target audience, so it’s not important.
BRAND PERSONALITY AND TRUST BUILDING
The main goal for businesses on all social media platforms is to show people who you are, what you do and how you can help them. If they don’t buy into you, they won’t buy from you.
The experience they have with your brand on social media will nurture them and build their trust in your business. To make this as effective as possible, you need to find out what kind of business you are – Serious or fun? Corporative or Quirky? Keep this voice consistent to attract the right kind of people and show them what to expect.
PEOPLE ARE SELF-OBSESSED
People love people, so give them what they want! They won’t react to pictures of software or fruit, but they will react to emotion and other people. Photos on Instagram that show a face generates 38% more likes than without. Why not show your staff and what they’re doing? It’ll make your audience feel exclusive and help them to build a closer relationship with you.
KEEP YOUR NAME IN CONVERSATION
Instagram has so many features that help you get discovered by a new audience, like hashtags, locations, stories and so much more. Over 200 Million Instagram users visit Business profiles every single day, so you should be using these features to benefit your business.
Instagram has a feature that allows people to follow certain hashtags. If you use the hashtag someone is following, it appears in their newsfeed automatically.
Choosing the right hashtag will also let you keep up to date with competitors, industry trends and related news.
Stories on Instagram are the perfect way to show people a more human side to your business if you don’t want to post too frequently.
You can post as many as you want and give people previews of what’s going on in real time. They’re shown for 24 hours, so they’re great for keeping people engaged and put across your voice from a different angle.
Polls are also a great feature of stories to increase engagement and make your page fun and pleasant to follow.
TAKE OVER EVENTS
A take over event is where someone runs the account for a certain amount of time – maybe a celebrity or a specific staff member? – and documents what they do during. You can use this to build up awareness for the brand and the audience’s engagement.
Special offers that are exclusive to Instagram followers are a great way to build up your followers and rewarding your current followers for loyalty. This will give your audience a reason to follow and engage with your business.
Another way you can provide exclusivity is to show ‘Behind the scenes’ photos and videos. This allows you to give your audience a perspective on your business’s personality and values and build rapport with them.
One of the most important things to do on Instagram is to remain consistent, both with your voice and the images you’re putting across. You want to put the same underlying message about you across in each and every post you make. This doesn’t mean you should post the same kind of content every time, but before you post anything, make sure it fits your message and your brand.
In terms of what visual content to post, consider what’s currently trending and what’s worked well for you so far.
Here are a few tips and tricks for visual content that we’ve learnt throughout our journey in social media:
- Images with a high amount of background generate 29% more likes.
- High lightness generates 24% more likes than darker photos.
- Images that show texture generate 79% more likes than smooth looking images.
- Images that are dominated by the colour blue generate 24% more likes than images dominated by the colour red.
Remember that Instagram has been new and unfamiliar to everyone at some point, but practice makes perfect. When done properly, Social Media can be one of the biggest influences on your business. Are you using it to the best of your ability?
To help document our progress in the world of social media, we have made the transition to the Instagram social platform! We’d love it if you’d follow our story by following @WebPresenceUK where we’ll be sharing more tips and showing what we’re really all about!