Updated: Jun 6, 2020
In 2020, Instagram boasts more than 600 million users with the majority of users being in the 18-34 demographic. Whatever you are promoting, if you want more young people to engage with your brand, Instagram marketing is a must.
Of course, the downside of Instagram’s popularity is that it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. With 95 million photos and videos being posted on the platform each day, you are going to have to give users a special incentive to follow your account and engage with your content. Unfortunately, well-lit pictures of your product taken on your smartphone may not always be enough.
Running a successful Instagram campaign depends on a lot of factors and can be time-consuming. If you are looking for a quick way to increase your brand recognition, there are some simple steps you can take that will improve your organic growth and Instagram reputation.
Hashtag strategy is complex and will require research into your target audience, your competitors, and relevant topics in your niche. There is no point using a ridiculously specific hashtag that no one is using (unless it is your brand's hashtag!) and there is also no point posting overused hashtags where your post will get lost instantly in the flood of images.
Instead, use a mix of niche and broad hashtags based on your research findings. Hashtags with fewer posts typically have higher engagement among users. As a rule of thumb, it is best to follow hashtags with at least 1,000 posts. This applies to Instagram stories too.
Branded hashtags, event hashtags and daily hashtags are also effective ways to reach more people. I will write a post dedicated to this in the future as hashtag strategy requires a lot of attention.
Whew, that was a lot of hashtags which brings me to my final point - don't overdo it!
The Takeaway: Use hashtags in your niche to reach more potential followers.
Give People A Reason To Follow
People follow other people on Instagram for two main reasons. First, it’s because they are hoping for a follow back. Obtaining mutual followers might be good for numbers, but it doesn’t equate to having authentic fans of your page.
The second reason people follow is the one that you should aspire to fulfill. People will follow you if your account adds something of worth to their feed. This could be anything from useful information to beautiful images. The higher the quality, the more incentive people will have to come back for more.
For example, if you have your own nail business, it will not be enough to post photos of your customer's manicured hands after each visit. Posting your unique nail designs, however, will give people inspiration and thus incentive to follow. If you add tutorials and tips on how to stay inside the lines (seriously, how do you do this?), then you are using your Instagram to offer something to the Instagram community.
By adding something valuable to people's feeds, you build brand awareness and gain a reputation for caring about your customers. Some of the people liking your photos will eventually start thinking of you next time they want to book a nail appointment.
The Takeaway: Post images for the benefit of your target audience as well as your brand.
Engage With The Instagram Community
If you want to build a fanbase on Instagram, you are going to need to do more than post great content. You are going to need to engage with other accounts and be an active member of the Instagram community.
The easiest way to do this is to follow your key hashtags - i.e. the hashtags that are followed by people who may be interested in you and your brand. Each day, Instagram will show you some of the top posts from each of these hashtags in your feed. Like and comment on these when you can or even better - start a conversation. If you are engaging with the same content as your potential fans, they are more likely to come and check out your page.
In a way, choosing not to engage with the Instagram community is like showing up to an open mic night, doing your little piece and then going home. Sure, it saves time, but this just isn't the way to win fans.
The Takeaway: Support other Instagrammers and engage with your niche.
These starting points won't make you an Instagram superstar overnight, but they will help you begin to build an organic following and improve your Instagram presence. For longterm growth, collaborate with APT Content on a results-driven Instagram strategy.
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