Instagram is one of the world’s most successful social media platforms, becoming a universally recognised as Facebook and Twitter. These days, it’s more than just a platform to share photos and videos; it’s a hub in internet culture that has a great range of marketing implementations for any business looking to create a visual, creative and engaging online presence.
With over 800 million users, over 25 million active business accounts and over two million advertisers, Instagram is a crowded marketplace at the moment. While building an online presence here can be extremely beneficial, it will also require some hard work and consistency.
As with building any sincere online reputation, the task will need to you research and understand your target audience so that every element of your outward presence is tailored for them. Let’s take a look at some of the top ways to grow your brand with Instagram.
Choose, then stick to an aesthetic
Instagram is very much all about the looks and less about the substance. The user experience of browsing their Instagram feed is usually a series of high quality images with different lighting filters applied to them.
It’s important to take note of the colour scheme of Instagram and its general aesthetics. Instagram tends to focus on lighter, sepia tones that feature a lot of natural lighting.
When considering the overall aesthetics look at what other brands are successful on Instagram, what kind of audience they connect with and what their visual themes are. Even if your brand isn’t terribly art focused, it should generally adopt some kind of artistic profile otherwise it’s wasting its potential on Instagram.
The most important thing is to maintain this aesthetic and only change it in gradual implementations. Think about how your profile looks and what abrupt changes in style or colour could mean.
Reply to comments, engage with fans
Instagram is as socially active as it is visually, with lots of people praising other people’s photos, sharing opinions or even arguing over some controversy. In fact, Instagram users are somewhat more likely to use language add-ons like emoji’s in place of real words.
It’s important to recognise what the Instagram audience behaves like and use this knowledge to inform how you interact with them. Emoji’s, like memes, are a double edged sword in this regard, people love using them but a business can quickly appear insincere or pandering when it tries to force them through its marketing.
Research into how your audience will engage with your Instagram posts is going to take more than a few cursory looks at a comment section. This type of understanding comes from being engrossed in the media itself and that’s why the best marketers on social media will already be habitual users of the platform.
Instagram is seen as more of a closed off and intimate social media experience; at least when compared with Facebook, and thus product engagement here can be particularly potent in the minds of consumers. If you manage to get someone organically viewing, rating and commenting on your brand’s post, you’re on the right track.
Curate your content
Instagram is a powerful social media platform all on its own and shouldn’t be dismissed as a dumping ground for your run-of-the-mill social media posts. Instagram is seen as a more refined experience than Facebook and thus the content is expected to be more artistic and less grounded in value propositions.
For example, the kinds of photos and videos you put on Instagram should follow the same visual style as well as express some thoughts and feelings about the product, rather than its intrinsic value. This makes Instagram the ideal place for those selling artistic products or services as the platform really lends itself to that kind of marketing.
Other businesses may benefit more from building a friendly company profile by sharing behind the scenes content or even inside jokes. Whatever way you choose to take you Instagram account, make sure you focus on consistency in both style and substance.
Don’t be afraid to schedule content
Good social media marketing doesn’t require an intern to be sitting there posting everything in real time, it can actually be done incredibly easily by using third party software. While many people think of Instagram as a place for sporadic, candid posts you can use this expectation to strategically plan when content gets shared so that it is seen as less intrusive by the audience you are targeting.