With more than 500 million monthly active users, Instagram is bigger than Twitter today. It is not surprising then that a growing number of businesses are flocking to this social network platform. But being completely image-based and targeted at a younger demographic, Instagram may be a little more challenging than marketing on Facebook or Twitter. In this article, we have listed out five Instagram hacks that marketers can take advantage of in order to get the most out of their campaigns.
As an image-based social network, the engagement rate on Instagram can be quite high. But you may not be able to make the most out of it unless you already enjoy a large list of followers. One of the most effective ways to reach a larger following is by using these steps below:
Step 1 : Follow your direct competitors’ accounts
Step 2 : Use Instagram recommendations to follow other top accounts in your niche
Step 3 : Visit each of these accounts, build a list of their followers
Step 4 : Like, comment and follow each of these followers
Step 5 : Repeat Step 4 for as long as you can
As long as you have quality posts on your own account, the five steps above should yield you pretty high follow-back rates. One study puts the follow-back rate for the above strategy at 34%.
2. Hashtags In Comments
Hashtags are a great way to ride the wave of trending topics and get seen by people who may not be following you currently. One mistake that many marketers do is to clutter their image description with dozens of trending hashtags. They do this in the hope of getting maximum views for their images. While your photos do get discovered well this way, you also run the risk of annoying your legitimate followers. Avoid this by adding hashtags in the image comments section instead. This way, you do not clutter your image description while attracting new visitors at the same time.
3. Organic Vs. Inorganic Shoutouts
Social media marketing, including marketing on Instagram, requires a lot of perseverance. You begin by engaging with influencers, commenting on their photos and over time build a rapport that is good enough for them to start engaging with your photos. This strategy is organic and is the most sustainable way to build a social media following. However, this may not be the quickest. For businesses with a marketing budget, a viable alternative is to find influencers in your niche and pay them for a shoutout. It should typically cost you between $100-$150 to receive a shoutout from an influencer with 500K followers.
4. Marketing Campaigns For Contests
Photo contests are a great way to build engagement and followers on Instagram. But offering a freebie or reward alone is not sufficient to execute a successful campaign. Your photo contests must have their own independent marketing campaign. This includes paying influencers to promote your contests on their Instagram page, requiring contestants to use a unique hashtag to participate as well as using other social media platforms to advertise the Instagram contest. You may also make use of the Instagram API to instantly interact with participants, use the posted photos as part of your contest campaign or create custom collages. In short, your photo contests need to be properly planned and executed for maximum ROI. Simply announcing a prize may not cut it.
5. Go Beyond Linked Accounts
Instagram lets you link your other social media profiles on services like Facebook and Twitter so that what you publish here gets automatically posted elsewhere too. While this is good for engagement, you may also want to re-use the photos published on Instagram for other social media platforms or your own blog. An easy way to do this is to use a tool like Instaport – this tool lets you download all your Instagram photos to a local desktop folder. You can set this desktop folder to your Dropbox folder and make use of the API to automatically publish photos from here to your other social networks on a pre-set schedule.
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com