With over 200 million active Instagram accounts, more brands are jumping on the bandwagon of this vibrant social image sharing platform. While there is no right way to win fans on Instagram, there are some wrong ways! Lindsey Wallace shares her top three tips for brand success on Instagram:
1. No Links Please
Including a URL in the caption of an Instagram post is a rookie mistake businesses make. Currently Instagram does not support links posted in captions or comments. When businesses include a URL in a post it is plain text, not a hyperlink. This is a wasted marketing opportunity. It may also indicate that your company does not ‘speak the language’ of Instagram.
Links are a crucial part of marketing for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Social Media Managers take advantage of the tracking and analytics that links offer on social media platforms to track progress. Instagram is an exception. It’s the one social media platform where links in a post are simply out-of-place. This is because Instagram users expect the photo to tell the story. The caption is meant to complement the image. When users are enticed by your brand, they will know to find the clickable link displayed in your Instagram profile, not the caption.
2. Post Frequency
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how often your business should post to Instagram per day. The most important thing when considering post frequency is to remain consistent. An analytics firm monitored 55 business Instagram accounts over time and they found "there’s a compelling reason not to post as often as you possibly can, it’s that once you start, you have to keep it up. Accounts that abruptly decrease their post frequency lose followers quickly."
With this in mind, create a posting schedule. This flexible outline will serve as a reminder to stay on track. Mix brand messages, behind the scenes exclusive images and fun posts to keep fans interested.
3. Use Hashtags
Neglecting to use hashtags in your Instagram post is like hosting a Yard Sale without putting up any road signs. If you take the time and care to create compelling content, make the effort to find your target market on Instagram.
60 Million photos are shared every day on Instagram. Active users explore hashtags in their areas of interest to find new content. The proper use of hashtags can increase your audience size, and your follower count. Here are three important types of hashtags to get started:
- Location: The location of your business or common nicknames for the area. Don’t be afraid to get specific. If you are based out of a big city feel free to tag your location down to the neighborhood. Example: #EastVillage #NewYorkCity #NYC #BigApple #NewYork
- Images: Tagging the items or objects shown in your Instagram post. Example: #Coffee #Food #Shoes #Soccer
- Keywords: Every business should have a list of SEO keywords that targets their desired audience. Some of these keywords can also double as great hashtags. For example, if your business happens to be a bar or nightclub in Los Angeles, some hashtags might be: #LANightLife #LAHappyHour #PartyLA
Instagram, like all social media platforms, is ever-growing and ever-changing. There is no 'one size fits all' solution for businesses, each platform offers unique challenges -- and benefits. Learn to speak the language and to market through the mayhem!