Instagram is one of the most underutilized marketing platforms on the web. The social networking site has over 200 million users, but only 28% of marketers use it. However, 59% of the top 100 brands are on it, so it is clearly an effective branding and social selling platform.
If you are trying to develop a social selling strategy, you should join Instagram and start building an audience. Follow these guidelines to get started.
1. Use specific hashtags
Hashtags play a very important role in getting attention on Instagram. However, too many brands fail to use them effectively because they choose very broad hashtags, instead of focusing on those related to their audience. The trick is to choose hashtags carefully.
If you target too broadly, it will be very difficult for your hashtags to stand out. They will get lost among tens of thousands of other posts. Your post would also be ignored by most users, because they aren’t relevant to them.
Let’s say that you are running a social selling campaign for a website promoting vegan cookbooks. If you use the hashtag #recipes, your posts would be seen by people that have no interest in vegan food specifically. Many people that do want to learn about vegan food probably wouldn’t see them though.
It would make more sense to use hashtags like #VeganRecipes or #VeganFood. Your posts will be seen by people specifically looking for vegan content and many will follow you.
2. Post frequently
There is a strong correlation between the number of daily images that you post and the number of followers you receive. According to an analysis by Quintly, Instagram accounts with under 1000 fans posted eight times a day, while accounts with 10,000 to 100,000 fans posted 41 times a day.
Post as frequently as possible to get more attention and earn more followers. Of course, the quality of your posts is far more important than the quality, so make sure your content meets their standards. Consider creating your own infographics, take your own pictures and share the best content from influential Instagram users in your niche.
3. Invest in Premium Tools
You can generate a lot of traction on Instagram without spending a dime, but the most successful marketers invest in quality tools. Here are some tools that are well worth the investment:
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite is both a social media analytics and marketing automation tool. You can use it to measure changes in your Instagram follower count, schedule future posts and see which posts work the best.
- Iconosquare: Iconosquare is used by National Geographic and other major brands to monitor hashtags and trends on Instagram.
- FollowersBiz: FollowersBiz is a popular platform for exchanging and purchasing likes and followers on Instagram.
These services have proven to be highly efficient ways to earn Instagram followers.
4. Hold a contest
Hosting giveaways is one of the best ways to grow your audience. After all, how many people can turn away a chance to earn something for free?
Your contest should be built around your audience building and social selling goals. You could run a contest that offers a prize to the person that likes or comments on the most of your posts. You could also make it more interactive. You could ask people to share their own images with your brand hashtag.
5. Collaborate with influential Instagram users
Too many brands obsess about the number of shares their image is received. They should be more concerned with who is sharing their content.
Samsung conducted a marketing experiment while working with five influential Instagrammers. They found that the 105 images that were promoted by these power users received 325,700 likes.
If you want to get more attention on Instagram, it’s important to identify and collaborate with the top users in your vertical.
6. Engage With Your Existing Followers
Building a follower base is important, but it shouldn’t be your only goal. You must also engage with your existing followers, so they don’t abandon you and are more eager to share your content.
Instagram is a great tool for social selling, but you must build a strong follower base first. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult if you take the time to post great content and collaborate with your followers.
Featured photo credit: Pexels / JÉSHOOTS via pexels.com
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