Earlier this year we learnt that the usage of Instagram with in the region shows no sign of slowing down. ARABIAN MARKETER The Instragam community in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region has seen another milestone as it crosses the 63 million user mark. It truly is a global success! So what do you need to do to ensure Instagram success?
Here are Sociate’s ten tips to Instagram success for your brand:
1. SET CLEAR OBJECTIVES
Make sure you set clear objectives. Ask yourself: What are your social media marketing objectives? Is it to generate Brand Awareness, Building a community, to increase engagement with customers or prospective customers?/
2. MEASURE SUCCESS
Track and measure success, this should be based on what you have set as your social media marketing objectives.
• Follower growth
• Average post Engagement – Post Likes & comments
• Link clicks on your Bio URL
• Custom Hashtag use
• Audience Demographics
3. GET THE RIGHT LOOK
How do you look? Being consistent with the style of posts will further enhance your brands success. Create a social media style guide.
4. WRITE A STRONG BIO
The bio of your Instagram page is incredibly important; it’s the only place on your page where you get to use words to convey who you are and what you’re brand is all about.
5. CONTENT IS KEY TO SUCCESS
Here comes the hard part. Instagram is a visual medium, so unlike Facebook or Twitter, it’s not enough to simply write a witty post and add a link (in fact, you can’t use links in your posts at all!). Because of its visual nature, Instagram requires that brands invest more resources in content creation than any other social channel. Food, fashion and travel brands have it easy, with ready-made content that shows the quality of their product however not everyone is this lucky. We don’t always have a photographer on hand to craft beautiful, consistent imagery to use in our posts.
6. LEVERAGE USER CONTENT
Those of us who don’t have the resources to constantly create professional images can tap into our Instagram communities for free, high-quality content.
Smaller brands can frequently scour posts they are tagged in to find shots of real people using/wearing their products. By reposting these images, you can showcase your products as well as engaging with your community. This can be a time and cost efficient way to generate content for your account.
7. USE YOUR WORDS
‘Image’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘photo’. Some of the most effective Instagram posts are composed of words. You can harness words to convey your brand values and your message in a clear, engaging way.
8. BUILDING YOUR FOLLOWING
No matter how beautiful, inspiring and meaningful your content is, you won’t gain a following without making your posts discoverable and relevant to the audience you’re trying to attract.
So, how do you get discovered in a vast sea of content? Let’s get back to basics:
Hashtags are the ultimate discoverability tool for marketers. They help potential customers come to you, as opposed to the traditional method of you bringing your ads to them. If you can get your hashtag game right, you’ll have a roaring community in no time.
NEVER MORE THAN SEVEN
Research in the industry suggests not to exceed 10 hashtags per post, this is to deter the perception that your post could be spam. After researching the habits of various brands on Instagram, the optimum number of hashtags for likes is seven hashtags before they negatively affect engagement.
CREATE CUSTOM HASHTAGS
Custom hashtags to help broaden your following and build engagement. Make sure any custom hashtag you create is unique, memorable, and speaks to your brand. Most brands create custom hashtags that are a play on their name like we have; #TEAMSOCIATE. Oh and don’t forget, like Twitter and Facebook, make sure your hashtag is easy to spell and use capitalization for readability.
9. ASK QUESTIONS OR START A COMPETITION
The best way to get people commenting and tagging your posts is to give them a reason to do so. Brands with high engagement tend to ask something in their posts
10. GET MORE SOPHISTICATED
Getting your Instagram account right is one thing, but Instagram Stories are a whole other story (see what we did there?). Video is a difficult medium to master because it requires even more resources than images do. Instagram Stories, however, have a lower bar when it comes to quality.
While regular videos on your brand page are expected to be somewhat professional-looking, consumers don’t expect the same when it comes to Stories. Why? Because Stories, like Snapchat, are a more instant, personal form of communication, appearing and then disappearing in 24 hours.
You can use Instagram Stories to show users the people behind your brand, do cross-promotions or takeovers and generally increase your relatability.