Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has undergone subtle but effective changes in its interface, usability and adapting to its audiences’ needs. Most of us have had active accounts for at least half as many years as the app has been around, and more and more people are joining every day.
Having a personal Instagram account is worlds different than adopting one for your Brand. This change in perspective is where a lot of Brands falter and it causes them to make silly, but fixable mistakes.
They say it’s better to learn from your mistakes. But, to save you some time, we’ve whipped up a cheat sheet of a few common missteps, so you can avoid them altogether.
Because the capabilities of the app are so simple to use, it’s easy to imagine that you can post either on a whim or without much thought into what is being shared with your followers.
In the case of your brand; Instagram is a tool, not the product, and so it’s about implementing that tool in the best way to determine how successful its use is. If you want to work out what ways a tool will be most beneficial, you need to do your research and strategise.
Work out when you want to post; the days, the times, and the frequency, and understand geographically who will be more or less engaged with your content because of this.
Set clear and defining goals and think ahead. Know what story you are telling your audience, and work out how you are going to tell it. Instagrams capabilities lie beyond scrollable photos on a feed. Stories, Reels, Instagram Live. Put some thought into what you are going to post ahead of time, to ensure it is engaging for your audience.
Yes, it’s your brand, and yes it’s your page, and therefore you can post what you want when you want. However, be warned that when you don’t create content that your audience also finds enjoyable, then you could see a steady decline in your followers.
When it comes to producing new content, remember to ask yourself, not only what you want to show your audience, but what does your audience want to see from you.
Study them and understand what it is that they interact with more - stories, static posts, live Q&A, and be flexible enough to adjust your strategy. A high engagement one day doesn’t guarantee the same engagement levels the next, and so it is how you leverage your following that can mean the difference between flopping and thriving.
Whether it is spotlighting users who frequently engage with content, to being a little more personable, as you start to form a community. Let your audience know they matter and they will be a lot less likely to hit unfollow.
Whether you’ve just created an account, and you’re staring into the abyss that is zero followers, or those digits haven’t moved in a while, you could be tempted to give things a little boost.
It’s 2020. If you buy followers, both your audience and your competitors will be able to tell and in that one second you’ve lost their trust and their respect.
Purchased followers don’t help your brand. They do not drive up engagement, nor do they care about what you post. They can’t be accurately counted to form a statistical analysis of how well your page is doing, and Instagram has been rigorous in deleting fake and spam accounts. This could leave you both out of pocket and right back where you started.
As hard as it is, pay less attention to how many followers you have and spend more time on the quality and value your content holds for the audience who love you. The numbers will follow.
Whether it’s adding every popular hashtag to a post, or contacting trending influencers to endorse your brand, it’s understandable that you want to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible.
However, there is a fine line between getting your brand message out to the masses and making sure it reaches the right crowd.
Target YOUR audience. Be picky, and stay focused on your key messages. If you attempt to appeal to everyone in order to optimize the visibility of your posts, then you run the risk of your account looking too spammy, and setting the wrong tone of voice.
Use hashtags that are relevant to the content, work with people whose views, and as a result audience’s views, align with your brand. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your community and in the long run see the message of your brand being lost altogether.
Despite how Instagram has changed the game for marketing worldwide, it is still looked at sceptically by some who distrust its evolution and non traditional marketing techniques. Instagram allows the power to lie equally between its standard users and brands, and standing on that precipice can be exposing for a lot of brands.
It is 2020 and the app has over one billion active users. It’s hard to imagine that you won’t be able to carve out a community to help grow your brand within those numbers.
The great thing about Instagram is that it is still new and it is evolving, there are a plethora of untapped methods of gaining key engagements with an audience through social media platforms, and your brand could be the one to unlock that next level.
Instagram has gone from being all about selfies and snaps of your dinner to being a trusted platform for brands to deliver meaningful messages. The community found on Instagram are genuine in their interest in connecting with brands, championing their growth by organically engaging with their content.
The brands that get the most out of utilizing Instagram as a Social Media Marketing tool are the ones who are consistently posting quality content made for THEIR audience.