Did you know that Instagram grew its users by a massive 73%, from 3.8-million to 6.6-million in South Africa in the past year? This is according to the SA Social Media Landscape 2019 report, released by Ornico and World Wide Worx.
In a previous article, we shared that Instagram is one of the most interactive social media platforms, “so if businesses focus on building their presence around that engagement and interaction then they can build a community that is vested in their business and brand,” says digital marketer, Jandre de Beer, who is also the founder of Version.Eight Media.
Instagram is not only for consumer brands, but has also proven effective for brands selling to other businesses.
Marianna Boguslavsky, a digital marketing strategist and founder of Boguslavsky & Co says B2B businesses should also consider that Instagram advertising can be a revenue driver for their businesses. “It’s not just for B2C companies as I have worked with B2B brands and have seen tangible results along with a positive Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) when experimenting with Instagram and Facebook advertising.
“Small businesses that have not yet used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn paid advertising to grow, should try to explore these channels for not only generating revenue but more so bringing marketing qualified leads for their sales teams to nurture and convert.”
With more brands competing for people’s attention, brands looking to succeed on Instagram have to make use of best practice to boost their engagement.
To help SMEs do just that is Joe Human, a brand identity developer who is the co-founder of Creative Mind Space, a digital agency which offers strategy, design, product design, animation and website design services to clients. Human has also succeeded in building his own personal Instagram profile with a following of nearly 30 000 followers.
Before using something we need to understand how it works, right?
I know some of us are the type that when we buy a new device, we don’t read the manual. We start using the device and go “aaah what does this button do?” Well, unfortunately, social media doesn’t work that way.
Instagram has something called an algorithm, this is just like a fancy word for process or rules which the platform follows. Every time you post an image on your Instagram profile it is only pushed to about 20% of your followers. So if you have 1 000 followers, it means that 200 of your followers are likely to see it. So if your 20% doesn’t engage with the post, you won’t be able to unlock the other 80%. How the algorithm works is that the more engagement you get on your posts the more of your followers are likely to see them.
So, I guess the question here comes down to how do I increase my engagement?
There are quite a few things: firstly you need to watch the accounts that follow you. Some people are ghost followers. Others are inactive and some are mass followers.
Ghost followers and inactive users just make up your numbers as they don’t engage with your content. Some are suspended accounts and others are accounts that aren’t being used anymore. Mass followers are people that are already following a large number of accounts. These people will hardly ever see your post so they won’t engage. Get rid of them.
Now you’re wondering how do you get someone to unfollow you? You block and unblock them, this is a long and tedious process so use an app like IG Cleaner.
What are you selling? What’s your story? How do you want to communicate that story through your post? It’s important to know who you are, what you do and how you want to share that with the world.
I personally don’t understand people that post low-resolution images – you guys don’t deserve Instagram. High-resolution images definitely push your audience to engage with the image. Aesthetics capture the eye.
Have at least three hashtags, a good number is five. Please don’t do 55
People don’t have all the time in the world so don’t write an essay as a caption, and if you do, keep it short and impactful. Avoid one-word captions unless your image backs it up.
Use the same filter and try to use the same camera or photographer. If you use different photographers make sure you brief them on what your feed looks like or what you want to achieve.
Be strategic about what you post, maybe use an app like UNUM to assist you in planning the mood and style of your feeds. Pay attention to lighting in your images, always try and achieve the same lighting.
Growing engagement is work. To start, learn your best times to post by looking through your insights, this will let you know when your followers are the most active. Once you know that, try and post at least every day. Some people post more than once a day but I love letting my audience digest my content.
Don’t be a celebrity and ignore people that comment on your images, some of your biggest personalities if you look closely actually take time to respond to at least 5-10 people on their posts. This will grow your engagement massively as people will feel like a part of your [community] and this will entice them to comment or to hit the like button.
Use hashtags that relate to your post. Have at least three hashtags, a good number is five. Please don’t do 55. A lot of users search for content through hashtags. If you use hashtags in your posts, they will appear in those searches, this will increase your profile’s visibility and will also organically grow your numbers.
Follow accounts that make sense to you. Accounts that have content you actually like. If you really only like two people in the world on Instagram then follow those accounts. I don’t follow influencers, celebs or brands just because other people do, I do so because their content is what I want to see.
Comment and engage with those you follow, be active. Sometimes you get followed because of your comment on someone’s else post.
This is an excerpt of a post that was originally published on joehuman.co.za. It is republished here with permission.