If you want to inject your marketing strategy with greater levels of engagement, then the latest Instagram research should impress you. Instagram engagement is highest of the social networks, at 4.21%, compared to only 0.1% achieved by the others. When the data were analyzed it was shown that Instagram offers a 58% higher engagement per follower compared to Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
The report by Social Media examiner also showed that 28% of marketers make use of Instagram, which is an 18% increase compared to last year. Furthermore, 42% say they expect to be using more of it in the year ahead. Let’s have a look at some important insights and how you can improve your results through Instagram.
Play By The Instagram Rules
But making use of Instagram requires you follow certain rules. Because of the platform’s signature look you can’t use posed or stock photography and expect to see the same results. Grainy images with softened edges get a better response from Instagram’s users, who also expect to see a certain degree of spontaneity in the shots.
This article from Entrepreneur.com explains why it’s important to be discerning about your choice of imagery:
Non-organic images are now the banner ads of the social world. Studio shots don’t evoke an emotional reaction. They’re not seen as ‘real,'” said social agency Laundry Service founder and president Jason Stein in an interview with Digiday’s John McDermott. Stein told Ad Age that his company saw a 25 percent increase in sales conversion rates when they switched from traditional pictures to images stylized for Instagram.
It might surprise you to know that brands are quite well received because they upload content to their own accounts and are not forcing anyone to see it unless they want to.
Make Use Of Hash Tags
Similarly to Twitter, Instagram makes use of hash tags. Using hash tags ensures your content is indexable so people can search and find it. Use hash tags to contextualize and categorize your photos and describe them to your audience.
Take Note Of The Personal Difference On The Platform
Using Instagram feels more intimate than many other social networks but you have the advantage of knowing that whoever is following you is genuinely interested in what you have to share, and thus is more likely to engage deeper with your brand.
Moz.com provides this advice for getting maximum results on Instagram:
When posting content for your customers, always think of the effect it will have on them, and how they’ll perceive it. Is this picture good for your brand image? Will it make your customers more comfortable in doing business with your company? Following the “Instagram for business” basics is enough here: Show your employees at work, give glimpses of new ideas, your meetings, awards you won, publications mentioning you, and so on.
Make Use Of Instagram Direct
Social Media Examiner points out how Instagram Direct can help you to nurture more human connections with your followers:
Instagram Direct gives you a non-traditional communication channel that’s more human and personal so you can form deeper connections with the people who matter most to your business.
You can use Instagram indicators (e.g., a like or comment on one of your posts) to find existing followers, then create targeted direct messages that could result in solid leads.
Through Instagram Direct you can also connect with Influencers, follow people of interest and look to increase the size of your network. You use their profiles and behaviors to create your own blue print and see which ideas work for your brand.