Instagram continues to be one of the top apps for social connection and marketing, with over 1 billion users worldwide, and the ability to generate over 4 times more interactions compared to Facebook. The platform will continue to grow and adapt to the online marketing world, and with so much change and variety, it’s only natural to find it intimidating sometimes. By following these ten best practices, your brand will easily stand out and compete against the rest.
As Instagram has over 1 billion active users, the most valuable thing you can do is establish who your audience is, and who you want to target. With so many people on the platform, how do you determine this? First, you need to look at who your ideal customer is and what they are interested in. Look at existing brands that they would shop from, and work out how to stay relevant to the consumer while standing out against competitors.
SMART goals stands for; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely, and to gain traffic and brand recognition, it’s important to set them. The key point to gaining a new audience is to keep your content consistent, ensuring it’s conversation-provoking and visually appealing; you want your followers to have a reason to share it with theirs. Set short-term and long-term goals too, think about your first month, then six months, then a year. Beginner goals could be things like a consistent schedule, or your first 1,000 followers.
Keeping track of your insights from your posts can show which type of content is preferred amongst your followers, and so you can tailor your content to what’s best engaged with. With an Instagram Business account, you can click on any post to ‘view insights’, and look in depth at the reach and impressions.
Instagram is a visual app, so the aesthetic of your content and brand feed should be a top priority. Find a style and keep it consistent, whether that be the colour scheme of your branding, or a specific way of editing your images. You can download free preview feed apps that allow you to visualise the order your content will go in.
Again, consistency is key. Plan your content and when you want it posted, and we recommend you use a content scheduler, like Buffer, to save yourself time when manually scheduling and posting content. You need to consider how often you want to post, and at what time (use insights on Instagram to find when your followers are most active).
As obvious as it sounds, using the interactive feature will only push follower interaction with your account. The story features, such as the quiz button or vote button, can add a fun engagement element to your content.
Reels are a quick and easy way to add your personality to your account. They are very fun and casual, replicating TikTok, you can add filters and effects, follow trends, and add text and products while informing and entertaining your followers.
Make the most of the fact you can essentially save Stories to your profile. Maybe there’s a current sale you have on and want that information to be accessed still, or maybe it’s the pricing information or T&Cs of purchasing and you need this information to be a permanent feature, without featuring on your feed.
Invest more time and a little money into your ads on Instagram, they are a great way to expand to potential followers and customers. Try and use content that is the most eye-catching and provoking, so people seeing it want to click on the profile, and are not just informed with a temporary sale, for example.
Giveaways are a great way to grow your audience. They are often low cost too, as you can decide what you want to give away, and they work as effective advertising. Prompt people to follow and tag friends in the giveaway to boost the reach of the brand, if the prize is desirable enough, more people will want to enter.
Following these ten practices for Instagram will be the best way to start your business account on the platform, grow followers and engagement, and compete against your competitors.