While Facebook and Twitter are the two most popular social networks that marketers like to focus their efforts on, it’s important that you don’t count out Instagram. Instagram is a photo-sharing social platform that allows you to add filters to your photos before sharing them while adding a bit of context through hashtags. Instagram followers are more easily engaged compared to other social networks and it’s a fairly simple platform, but there aren’t as many marketers who are adept at using it as there are when it comes to Facebook and Twitter. Instagram offers many opportunities to engage with your target audience. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Post Instagram Teasers on Facebook or Twitter
If you already have a large Facebook and Twitter following, you can harness them to grow your following on Instagram. According to WishPond.com:
You can turn Facebook [and Twitter] Fans into Instagram Followers by posting “Instagram Exclusive” teasers on your Facebook Page with a link to check out all of the exclusive content on your Instagram account.
You can also run Instagram contests that can be shared via Facebook and Twitter. Chances are, many of your existing fans have Instagram accounts as well and would be interested in your posts if you promote it well enough.
Use Hashtags. Lots of Them.
If you are new to Instagram and hashtag usage on that platform, you would think that using more than one or two of them would be a faux pas. However, according to data from BufferApp.com, that just isn’t true. In fact, the more you use, the more interaction you can get. Up to a point of course:
With larger brands on Instagram with more than 1,000 followers received on average 21.21 interactions per post. However the more startling numbers came in with accounts with less than 1,000 followers where a post with 11 hashtags received an average of 77.66 interactions.
Adding hashtags makes your image more discoverable, which helps increase interactions because people do click on them to share, discover and curate other images they might be interested in. Of course, just because the data points toward more than 11 hashtags as the ideal number, don’t just go crazy on them. Make sure the hashtags are relevant.
Some Filters are More Effective than Others
Instagram comes with a selection of filters that allow you to enhance your photos and give them a unique look. These are easily the one thing that has made Instagram as popular as it is today. However, some filters are more effective than others at generating interaction from viewers. According to BufferApp.com:
Mayfair brings in on average 23.044 interactions (the sum of likes and comments) with Normal at about 18.009 average interactions and Inkwell with 16.407 average interactions.
Naturally, you’ll still want to use the filter that looks best with your photo, but at least try out the ones that are supposed to be the best at generating interaction, starting from Mayfair, then Normal, Inkwell, and so on.
Know the Best Times to Post
You may not already know it, but some times in the day are better for posting than others. If you post an amazing photo at a time when fewer people are likely to be online, it’s a waste of a perfectly good photo that could have generated more interactions. A how-to Wiki says:
Post them during the middle of the day during the week, when people are likely to be bored at work and surfing the web. Don’t post them too early in the morning, or around five or six o’clock, or people will be too busy commuting to notice your photos.
You can also post a little after dinner time when people are settling in and starting to relax. And try to be a little active while posting photos. If someone likes or comments, try to give them a like or comment back.