Did you know that Instagram grew a massive 73%, from 3.8-million to 6.6-million in the past year? This is according to the SA Social Media Landscape 2019 report, released by Ornico, the Brand Intelligence® organization, and World Wide Worx.
In a previous article, we shared that Instagram allows smaller brands to reach their audience in an easy to find and segmented way. Jandre de Beer, Digital Marketer and Owner of Version.Eight Media says the fact that Instagram is a very visual platform also makes it easier for businesses to connect instantly with their audience because a good visual can convey the right message in a split second.
“Instagram is one of the most interactive 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.”
Marianna Boguslavsky, a digital marketing strategist and founder of Boguslavsky & Co, says startup founders who have the focus to sell products and services to other businesses should 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/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.”
Using Instagram for business sales
Joe Human, the brand identity developer who is the co-founder of Creative Mind Space, shares advice on:
– how the Algorithm of Instagram works
– how you can be more visible on this social media platform
– what you can do to increase engagement on your business’ Instagram profile.
Before using something we kind of need to understand how it works, right?
I know some of us are the type 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 are to be followed. Every time you post an image on your Instagram profile it only pushes that post up to about 20% of your followers. So let’s say you have 1K followers, it means that 200 followers are likely guaranteed to see it, so now if your 20% doesn’t engage with the post, you won’t be able to unlock your other 80% – how this works (the Algorithm) is that the more engagement you get on a post the faster that post starts moving up to more people’s feeds.
So, I guess the question here comes down to how do I increase my engagement?
1. Do some spring cleaning on your account
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 huge 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.
2. Have a brand story
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.
3. Share your best images
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.
4. Be mindful when you caption images
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.
5. Try to create a colour scheme with your images
Use the same filter, try and use the same camera or photographer. If you use different people (to take your images) then give them a brief of what your feed is 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 light – sometimes that’s the filter.
6. Being consistent is key
Growing engagement is a job, learn your post times by looking through your insights so you know when your followers are most active. Once you know that try and post at least everyday. Some people post more than once a day but I love letting my audience digest my content.
7. Always try to respond to comments
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 a part of your content and entice them to always comment or hit the like button.
8. Use #hashtags correctly
Use hashtags that relate to your post. Have at least 3 hashtags, a good number is 5, please don’t do 55. A lot of users search for content through hashtags, what this will do for your post is filter it to appear through those searches, this will increase account visibility and organically grow your numbers.
9. Do follow and engage with others
Follow accounts that make sense to you. Accounts that have content you’ll actually like. If you really only like two people in the world on Instagram then follow those accounts. I don’t follow influencers, celebs, brands just because other people do, I do some 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.
10. Spread your content
Don’t post everything at once! If you have a shoot compile 4 outfits you have in your wardrobe and make 8 outfits out of them. Mix and match them, for example, shirt 1 of outfit 1 will go with pants 1 of outfit 2… or whatever you’re wearing. So you’ll end up having at least 8 outfits.
Those are 8 looks and most probably 10-15 images depending on how you and your photographer work. This will be enough images for 2-3 weeks or even a month. When you post spread your content, post different outfits everyday or 1 outfit in a grid of three weekly.
11. Don’t be fake
Don’t spend money on fancy clothes, expensive holidays, good food just to maintain Instagram. Use what you have. I always tell my friends when I attend fancy meetings, lunches or when I go on holiday, I don’t do it to maintain an “Instagram lifestyle” I do it because that’s what I want to do or it’s what’s genuinely happening in my life at that specific moment. LIVE YOUR LIFE. Don’t be pressured by what you see on these platforms, most of it isn’t real or made up so create true and genuine content. Always.
This post was originally published on joehuman.co.za