It's no secret that Instagram is quickly becoming the most visible social media platform, at least among the developed world. It provides a more interactive, visually pleasing experience than Facebook or Twitter, and continues to evolve in response to SnapChat. According to the New York Times article, "Why Instagram is Becoming Facebook's Next Facebook", roughly 700 million people use Instagram monthly with 400 million of those logging on daily. Instagram is an essential marketing tool that will remain relevant for years to come and if your business, band, or other creative outlet isn't strategically involved, you are falling behind.
Nearly every professional Instagram profile follows three key strategic areas: Consistency, Hashtags, and Influencers. These secrets will help bring your personal or business Instagram account to the next level. Not only will your Instagram look clean and aesthetically pleasing, but you will slowly see an increase in followers and post engagement.
Consistency may seem obvious, but many Insta users don't readily implement this practice. It is the first and foremost key to success and, without it, your account is close to useless. Consistency keeps your followers intrigued and increases your influence. To optimize your account, you have to be consistent in relation to two factors: Content and Post Schedule.
Firstly, your content has to be aesthetically pleasing and relatively consistent in style. Your photos should all be similar in pixelation, color scheme, filter, and general topic. Straying away from this set criteria might be necessary from time to time, but for the most part, you should try to stick to the steady artistic goals of your account. If you are interested in using high quality, royalty-free photographs, pixabay and Unsplash are great resources. If you decide to use a photo sharing site, it's always nice to give the photographers credit if you are able to.
Secondly, you must create and stick to a posting schedule. I would recommend that a business page post anywhere from 6-7 times a week. As a business, you should post either once a day every day, or once a day 6 days a week. Many people choose to skip Sundays, for instance. If you don't have enough content to post every day, at least try to post 2-3 times a week. It is best if you remain consistent with the days you choose as well. If you decide to post Tuesday and Thursday one week, try to post Tuesday and Thursday every week. A great app called Later can help you manage and schedule your Instagram posts.
Most people are familiar with hashtags but don't know how to effectively use them. Hashtags are a great tool to attract Instagram users to your pictures and account page. I recommend using anywhere from 10-15 hashtags per post; however, DO NOT put them in your description. Instead, after posting your picture, comment your desired hashtags below. By commenting your hashtags, they will be hidden from sight when people view your post in their feed. Depending on how long your description is, you may also want to insert a series of vertical periods or dots before the hashtags in your comment. If your description is less than two or three lines, I would recommend using the "dot method" so that your comment is unquestionably hidden from your followers' feeds. If you choose to use dots, you will have to draft your hashtag in a separate app like Notes beforehand because Instagram won't allow you to draft them directly on their platform. An example of the "dot method", courtesy of topliketags, can be viewed below.
Furthermore, most of your hashtags should be consistent from post to post. Try to use around 10 identical hashtags related to your page or business and around 5 variable hashtags directly related to your picture with each post. For example, your consistently used hashtags might be words and phrases like #Band #Music #IndieRock #Guitar #NewYorkCity #Manhattan etc. With each post, these consistent hashtags will reinforce your brand and image. In contrast, words and phrases used as variable hashtags might be #Nike #VNeck #Red #TBT #FlipFlops #Summer and ideas of similar nature. These hashtags are not specific to your brand, but are specific to your post.
Finally, the utilization of Instagram Influencers is a must for any business trying to enhance their brand visibility. Instagram Influencers are users who have an established following and image. More often than not, established Influencers maintain a following of at least 5000 and receive engagement of 500 reactions or more on each post. These individuals may be models, YouTube stars, travelers, singers, athletes, dancers, or artists. Influencers who are verified by Instagram tend to have an even stronger following and impact.
Influencers are great individuals to reach out to for business partnerships. In exchange for free merchandise or a small fee, most Influencers are willing to give your company a shout out on one of their posts or even feature your product in their picture. For example, if you have a clothing company, you might ship an Influencer a free shirt or hat in exchange for a post from them about your business. Evidently, the larger the following or engagement Influencers have, the more likely they are to charge you for their services. Usually, major Influencers charge $100s-$1000s for a simple shoutout, but their post might receive tens of thousands of likes. Learning how to effectively use Influencers takes time; however, as your brand becomes more established and more visible, the easier it will become.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! We appreciate you taking initiative to learn more about the opportunities and potential of social media marketing. If you are interested in learning more about SoBro Creative and how we can help market your business, please click the link below!