So, you’ve taken the social media plunge and established that elusive Instagram account everyone keeps telling you to get onto. However, your current list of followers includes you, a couple of mates, your mum and the odd spambot or two.
There’s a bit of an art to reeling in a hearty audience on social media platforms; particularly when they’re as competitive as Instagram is, with its 300-million-and-counting-users. Here are a few essential tips to keep in mind in order to boost your digital dwellers and therefore, optimise your business’s exposure…
Inject meaning into your posts. First things first – before you add a slap-dash post to your account, take a moment to ask yourself: what can my followers gain from this? Your images, captions and hashtags should all work seamlessly together to advertise, entertain or educate those who view them. Let your audience know about upcoming events or new product launches, or add humour to their day with a cleverly-crafted caption accompanying a quality image.
Think before you link. At this point in time, Instagram still only allows one link to be incorporated into your bio line. Hence, you really want to make it count. Redirect your Instagram audience to a landing page that can benefit greatly from a good click rate (the homepage of your company’s website is generally the best choice). When promotional pieces of content come up, it’s a good idea to link to those for a maximum of two days at a time before returning to your anchor link.
Interact with your followers. Insta-audiences love it when their pics feature on other accounts, so make sure you capitalise on this. Whenever a user creates a post with your company attributed, re-post it to your account and tag the user’s name. That way, you’re reaching out to an even broader audience while giving your account that highly-coveted human touch.
Run competitions. Who doesn’t love the chance to score some free stuff? Instagram competitions are always a popular way to gauge new followers; just post the details of your contest with one requirement being to follow your account. This strategy also gives you the golden opportunity to cross-promote – for instance, Melbourne foodie groups might latch onto a comp your café is running, which they subsequently share. The result? Your account is introduced to a much wider spectrum of users.
Be smart with your hashtags. Essentially, hashtags are what get you noticed on Instagram. They are a hallmark of SEO, dictating those keywords that get your posts popping up right in front of your target audience. Do your research, find what’s popular, and strike a good balance (remember, too many and you look amateur; too few and you won’t be recognised).
Trial and error is important. Last but not least, your journey to curating a healthy social media following is always going to involve learning curves. Test out your posts and keep a record of what works and what doesn’t. That way, you can find your Insta-niche and cultivate a platform that’s rich in high-quality content supported by a passionate league of organic followers.