Building your brand’s awareness on Instagram is essential for your overall marketing efforts. Here are 5 tips to get you started:
1. CREATE A BUSINESS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
We recommend that you make a dedicated business account rather than a personal account. Tap the “Edit Profile” button on your homepage to access the settings to change your account to a Professional Account.
Having a business account gives you access to Instagram analytics, whereas your personal account doesn’t. Instagram analytics allow you to see if your marketing strategies are working and allow you to re-strategize your tactics if they aren’t.
In your business account, you want to include a professional and easily recognizable image that represents your company. (PRO TIP: Use the same photo across all of your social networks so your brand is recognizable). Make sure to also include a link to your organization’s website on your home profile, as well as contact information.
2. TAKE CREATIVE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
An aesthetically pleasing feed attracts viewers and establishes your brand’s credibility. Keep in mind that you can crop and use filters to make your photos look crisp. Using the same filter throughout all your photos will make your feed look more cohesive and give it a professional look. (If you want to read more about how to make your videos look great, check out our blog post “How to Shoot Smartphone Videos Like a Pro.”)
Of course, the types of photos and videos you use will differ. Small businesses selling their products online will want to have images of people using their products, as well as eye-catching pictures of the products themselves, whereas nonprofits might find event videos and photos more effective in communicating mission and values.
3. USE STRATEGIC HASHTAGS TO GROW YOUR NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS
Hashtags are a great way to encourage people with similar interests to follow you through Instagram’s hashtag page. To grow your following, you can’t just use any hashtag, though: you need to use the right hashtags in all your posts. Even if you hashtagged “#education”, for example, with an amazing photo, it would still get lost among the 20.6 million other posts with the same hashtag.
You want to use specific hashtags with relevant keywords that fit with your personal brand. You can research popular hashtags on this website: https://hashtagify.me/hashtag/springtime. Even if you find a good hashtag, we advise you look at how many posts are under that hashtag. Again, having all of your hashtags have 1 million posts attached to them probably won’t be effective.
There are many different strategies, but here is one from Vanessa Lau, online marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and content media expert. If you decide to use 25 hashtags, this is the strategy that she suggests:
- 3% of your hashtags should have 1M+ posts.
- 7% of your hashtags should have 500K+ posts.
- 30% of your hashtags should have 100K+ posts.
- 25% of your hashtags should have 50K+ posts.
- 25% of your hashtags should have 20K+ posts.
- 10% of your hashtags should have 10K+ posts.
You also want to include your brand in your hashtags. Be careful not to use hashtags that are already used; look them up on Instagram to check.
Most studies agree that the number of hashtags you should use is between 5 and 30, max. Keep in mind, however, that using more hashtags does not guarantee more engagement. Try experimenting to determine the right number of hashtags for your organization.
4. ENGAGE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS AND CUSTOMERS
Interacting with your followers on your Instagram helps create brand awareness and community. When followers comment on your posts or reply to your stories, make sure to respond to them. You may want to go as far as seeing who is viewing your Instagram stories and commenting on your posts and then liking and commenting on their content. It shows that you care about your audience and are working towards building a community.
You can also run contests, offer discounts, or reshare your followers’ posts that tag you! Another great option to engage your audience is to utilize Instagram stories and their different interactive stickers such as “Ask a Question” or “Poll” that invite your audience to share their thoughts or feedback.
5. ANALYZE YOUR SUCCESS
With your business account, you’ll be able to view the success of your Instagram posts, stories, and videos. View your analytics by clicking the “Insights” button on the homepage of your profile. You’ll be able to see a breakdown of the reach, impressions, and engagements of your content. If you aren’t seeing good results, you may want to reconsider your tactics.
Here are some questions to consider while analyzing your Instagram insights:
ARE YOU ADDRESSING THE RIGHT AUDIENCE?
Take a look at your demographics and make sure that the audience you’re targeting aligns with the audience that’s actually viewing your posts. If you’re not seeing the results you want, it may be because there’s a discrepancy between these two audiences. You could think about what content your actual audience enjoys and keep producing similar content, or if you want to change your audience, think about what type of content would appeal to them.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN DO TO GET MORE PEOPLE FOLLOWING YOUR BUSINESS ACCOUNT?
Consider the tips we mentioned before. Which ones are you following? Is your strategy working? If not, ask yourself why. Look back to our tips, and see if there is anything that you aren’t doing that you might want to try to implement.
HOW FREQUENTLY ARE YOU POSTING?
If you rarely post on Instagram, that might be why you’re not seeing the results you want. The more you post, the more visibility your account gains. Our team at Presidio recommends that you post 5 times a week if you’re a new organization and 3-4 times a week if you’re a more solidified organization. We also suggest that you break your content schedule into quarters so that you can take time to evaluate how your social media is growing and performing. You can then easily adapt your strategy if needed.
Building your brand awareness on Instagram can be daunting, but following these 5 tips can definitely help you craft a marketing strategy that’s a good fit for you!