Whatever your business, it’s likely that many of your customers and potential customers are spending time on Instagram. According to Statista there are over 1 billion active monthly users, so how do you get noticed on instragram with so many users?
Firstly, you have to decide if Instagram is the right platform for your business and brand. Many brands and businesses feel they need to be seen on Instagram, but struggle to demonstrate ROI. With over 33% of the global Instagram audience aged between 25 and 34 years of age, if this fits with your target audience, then it’s a great place to be.
Instagram marketing can be tough, to get noticed and engage even a small percentage of those 4.2 billion likes per day takes time and effort. It needs a different approach to other channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter. As with many social platforms Instagram keeps changing its algorithm, which means it can be hard to get it right, but with 63% of users logging in every day, its worth considering how to get a slice of those eyes on your business. And with 500 million people using Instagram stories every day, that’s another opportunity winning audience engagement.
The secret of Instagram success is not really a secret at all. Its pretty simple: post the right content for the right audience at the right time on the right days. Sounds easy, right? Here are 5 tips to help you get it right and get noticed on Instagram.
1. Create a branded hashtag
Some of the most successful businesses and campaigns use a custom branded hashtag, so do the same. The more you are able to encourage people to make posts and use your hashtag, the broader, wider your reach, not to mention a higher engagement. Hashtags such as #love #photooftheday #beach have millions of followers, you’re looking for something relates back to you. Red bull used #itgivesyouwings, McDonald’s #imlovinit, Nike #justdoit and GoPro use various of #gopro, #gopronordics, #goproathletic.
A dedicated, custom, or branded hashtag allows you to essentially create a collection of your best content. When a potential follower finds you via another highly targeted tag, they’ll be more likely to follow after seeing your top posts.
You many also consider creating different tags for different campaigns rather than simply using your company branding #.
That’s great, you now have your hashtag, but who knows to use it and share it, unless they know about it? Make sure you add to your profile, and use in other activities such as emails, Newsletters and printed materials.
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2. Do your hashtag research
Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags on your posts, if you exceed the number you won’t be able to post. Hashtags can really add to your success, but you need to do your research and test what works. Hashtags fall into a number of categories
- Product or service
- Niche hashtags which could be a sub-sector of your target audience
- Community and focus group
- Special events, seasonal or awareness days
- Location hashtags can be very useful indeed
- Daily hashtags such as #photooftheday
Check out your competition and see what hashtags they are using and what seems to be generating good engagement and likes.
Create unique lists of hashtags and save them so they are easy to add when you need them. There are also a number of free tools available to help research hashtags.
3. Post at the right time for your audience
Timing is everything, but not so easy to nail. There are a number of tools both paid and free that can guide you with what is the best time to post on Instagram. It is a little bit of trial and error and experimenting with success and timing, but this is also affected by what hashtags you used, the topic and the image. There are so many other parameters that may influence success at a particular time.
Although logic may suggest that the more you post on Instagram, the more you will get noticed and the better success you are likely to have. The data and research that doesn’t support that view, but consistency does matter. Regular content that is engaging and engaged with, will keep the Instagram algorithms happy, and increase your visibility. Check out the best times at Social Sprout who have a guide based on your industry.
CoSchedule analyzed the research and shared a more generic guide. The best times for B2C firms to post on Instagram were 8am, 1pm, and 9pm. Their B2B analysis was similar, but their best times were 12-1pm, 5-6pm, and 8-9pm. They found that Friday was the best day to post.
4. Create Instagram Stories
This is a great feature, that allows you to post photos and videos that show up separately from your profile, but they only last 24 hours. Instagram have added some amazing and fun tools within the add to make your photos and images engaging. Prepared gifs, slogans, sparkles and special effects make it so easy and allow you to combine pictures and videos.
They feature at the top of Instagrammer feed and don’t get lost by the Instagram algorithm which helps you get noticed and highlights you. Although they disappear after 24 hours, you don’t need to worry as they can be added to your Stories Highlights which last longer than a day. It’s a great way of saving your stories and clustering them into groups or types of content such as tips, promotions, ideas etc
5. Get your visuals right
We all know that a picture can paints a thousand words, and that’s one of the reasons Instagram is so popular, but you still need to get noticed. Image and photos will help drive engagement and can help tell a story. Engagement tends to be higher because Instagram focusses on visuals, and as humans we are very visual. It’s a phone based app and our attention spans are shorter than ever.
Of course its great to have original and authentic images, but that can be costly and there are plenty of websites offering good quality, free images to use. Check out these sites
Choosing the images, videos and photos that work best for your business is a case of experimenting and reviewing results. An image is what audiences see first, so it’s the key to engaging them to click stay, read more and engage. Try these, but remember they should all align to your brand and your business.
- Landscape and panoramic
- Aerial, architecture and urban photography
- Animals and appropriately sourced children
- Vintage and black and white
- Product images
- Behind the scenes
- Words, quotes, testimonials
- Wildlife photography
Getting noticed on Instagram
Investing time and resources into any social media channel needs to be part of your overall marketing and digital strategy. Instagram may not be right for your business, but can deliver great results, but takes time. Increasing your followers is a great outcome, but how does that positively impact your business objectives and commercial goals?
- Create a custom or dedicated hashtag that includes your business name or a catchy phrase.
- Promote your dedicated hashtag on your other social profiles, on your website, and your email blast.
- Use industry-specific hashtags, locations, events, seasonal and trending
- Update your link to drive traffic to your website or content
- Use images that grab your audience’s attention
- Use the analytics tools available to better understand what is working well for you
If you’d like some support getting your social media and digital marketing delivering the results for your business, please get in touch.