Without an Instagram Strategy, the fight to engage users in today’s attention economy can be difficult. With more users online today than ever before, users turn to social media for entertainment, learning, and shopping. Your customers are online, and your business should be too. The average customer journey begins with an online search! This means that your existing customers and potential customers are likely looking at your social presence before ever visiting your store or purchasing your products.
To navigate this highly saturated social media landscape, we’re sharing 10 tips to level up your Instagram strategy in 2021.
1) Start Conversations
How often do you interact with your followers? One of the main reasons to use social media is to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Instagram makes it easy to start conversations with your followers and interact on a more personal level with features such as comment, share, direct messaging, and more.
You can easily start conversations on your business’s Instagram account by:
- Creating engaging captions that encourage your followers to participate such as asking them to comment on which product they like the best
- Mentioning and tagging other users and brands to include them in a conversation
- Using the “Question” feature when posting stories to allow your followers to ask questions and provide feedback
- Create “live” stories that showcase your new products and allow your followers to ask questions and have them answered
- Always responding to comments on your posts and direct messages
2) Post Regularly
Your business profile on Instagram needs to be active to increase engagement and attract followers. Every brand is different and so there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for how often you should be posting; however, research suggests that sharing 1-3 times a day on Instagram is a good target to aim for.
When you post is also an important factor to consider when creating your post schedule. When are your followers most active? In this article by Benjamin Chacon, he shares research on the best times to post on Instagram for different days of the week. Every account and audience vary, so try out different times for different days and see what works best for you.
3) Know Your Audience
As previously mentioned, every Instagram’s audience is different. Instagram offers analytic tools for business accounts to help you gain insight into your followers’ demographic and behavioural information. Instagram Insights tracks information such as:
- Follower growth
- Age range
- Most active times
These insights are important to help you understand the type of content you should cater to your audience, the time of day you should post, as well as insight into the types of offers and promotions you should consider.
4) Be Consistent with Your Branding
Do you have a clear brand image? Your followers may not always read your captions or look at the account that is posting while scrolling through their timeline. Having a consistent brand image will help your followers recognize you as a brand.
Some simple ways you can do this is to keep your brand messaging consistent and create a theme that is easy to stick to. You should define your brand’s voice and incorporate that into your social messaging such as captions and stories. For themes, try to take images that match your brand and use your branded colour scheme to create posts that will leave a lasting impression.
5) Write Strong Captions
Unlike Twitter, Instagram’s character length is more lenient and can be up to 2200 characters in length! Captions are a great way to give a backstory to your image, provide product details, and other important information that your audience can refer to.
Users care about a brand’s authenticity, so it’s important to write authentic and compelling captions.
6) Use Relevant Hashtags
We’ve all seen brands that cram as many hashtags into a post as possible- but just how effective is that? Hashtags play an important role in making your brand’s content more “searchable” by linking your content to keywords. For example, if you post a photo of running shoes, and hashtag “#runningshoes”, a user who is searching for “running shoes” will likely come across your content.
It’s important to understand how to use hashtags effectively, or you can cause damage to your account. There are thousands and sometimes millions of brands using the same hashtags as you, so it’s a good rule to use a mix of popular, average, and extremely specific hashtags.
This guide by Hootsuite dives deeper into how to optimize hashtags on your brand’s profile, check it out!
7) Share Offers and Promotions
Does your social presence offer your followers any value? Whether consciously or subconsciously, people are constantly asking themselves “what’s in it for me?”. Social media is a great place to offer your loyal followers special offers and promotions on your products and services. For example, you can create a special code to offer your Instagram followers 20% off your products. This is also a great incentive to build your following as users will want to take advantage of special deals that are exclusive to your Instagram account.
8) Create “Savable” Content
As mentioned in Tip #7, your followers are always asking themselves how your content benefits them. Instagram’s bookmark feature allows users to save your post and create folders- much like saving a pin on Pinterest to their Pinterest Boards.
At this point, you may be asking yourself “what is savable content”? Savable content is social posts that have value to them or are inspirational. For example, if you create a carousel post that contains easy-to-grasp educational material, a user may save the post as it offered value to them. Inspirational content such as a stylized photo of a model wearing your clothing brand is another example of savable content. If you have a clothing brand, your followers are likely interested in fashion and may save your post for their outfit ideas.
By creating savable content, your followers are likely to reference this content again, trust in your brand to continue sharing valuable content, and remain a loyal follower. Followers may also choose to share this content with other users and on their Story.
9) Leverage Instagram’s Built-In Features Such as Shop and Reels
Instagram offers users many cool features that allow for share content in various ways. By leveraging all of Instagram’s features, you’re likely to reach your audience in many ways. You can reach a new target audience by using Instagram’s Shop feature. This feature also allows you to tag your products in your posts so that users can shop the exact products in your branded images.
Features like Reels also work to reach new users and make excellent savable content. Be sure to create video content in the form of Reels to help reach more users and increase your engagement.
10) Post Stories
Instagram Stories are posts that last on your profile for 24 hours. You also have the option to save these stories to your profile as a Highlight.
Stories are a great tool to give your brand and social presence an extra dimension. Here are some ways that you can use stories on your business Instagram account:
- Give your followers a “behind the scenes” look at your business, such as creating “pack an order” videos or a tour of your factory
- Share extra details about your products
- Test your products
- Share 24-hour sale information and promotions
- Talk about the launch of new products and services
The possibilities are practically endless! Stories are a great way to get creative with your brand’s voice, products, and services.
Boost Your Instagram Strategy
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