Recent research shows that Instagram provides much more engagement than Facebook or Twitter. While the other two networks may boast more users, people are less likely to interact with posts on there versus on Instagram. And the biggest reason why Instagram provides you with the best odds for engagement is that there are actually fewer brands on Instagram, meaning there’s less competition to battle to reach your followers. Also, marketers tend to post less frequently on Instagram.
All this presents a huge opportunity to stand out above your competitors right now. Keep in mind though that Instagram is also one of the fastest-growing social media networks, and eventually as the platform gets more and more cluttered, it may start filtering out brand posts to stay relevant, which means the time for brand engagement on Instagram is now.
Think this platform is too tedious because you have to upload photos through the mobile app? It’s a small price to pay for what you get in return! Here are some tips to get you started on Instagram:
- Connect your Instagram account with your other social media channels so you can easily share unique visual content on multiple networks at once.
- Share a variety of posts: display new products that just came in; tease new upcoming products with sneak peeks; take users behind the scenes with a tour of your shop; show off your staff and fans; photograph events you host or attend; promote your blog posts, etc.
- Test different times of day to see which times get you the most response. Try downtime hours such as lunch, dinner, or before bedtime.
- Include relevant calls to action asking your followers questions, or to like, comment, or repost the photo, or to visit a link.
- Inspire your audience. Everyone wants to be inspired! That’s why uplifting, motivational quotes usually do so well.
- Use hashtags moderately when relevant to help others find your posts if they aren’t already following you. Think of popular tags/trends such as #tbt (Throwback Thursday) to boost engagement.
- Host photo contests to increase your visibility and use a unique hashtag to make it easy for you to see your followers’ photo entries.
- Stay active by posting photos consistently. Even just five posts per week will help you grow your following.
Social media is a two-way street. The point is to spark dialogue, so make sure to follow other accounts and like, comment, and share their posts as well. What are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present to be on Instagram.
Ana Montoya is Social Media Director at First Vision Media Group.
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