Some social media sites are making it difficult for businesses, so why not try Instagram?
Getting your brand to a global audience couldn’t be easier in the age of social media. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have become the first point of call for businesses wanting to engage socially, which is great if you’ve got the budget to keep behemoths such as Facebook happy. However updates in the way that Facebook works with businesses have ruffled more than a few feathers; the hard work that goes into building up a steady flow of page ‘likes’ is futile if you’re not willing to fork out extra cash to ‘promote’ your posts. So where should you seek social engagement?
Although owned by Facebook following its takeover in 2012, image-sharing app Instagram remains a standalone brand through which businesses can connect with their audience. At the end of last year Instagram had 300 million users, a huge percentage of which use the app to keep up with their favourite celebrities and brands. While this figure still pales when placed next to Facebook’s 1.35 billion monthly users, there are plenty of reasons for your business to migrate to Instagram without any regrets:
- Harvest the power of the hashtag
Much like on Twitter (and latterly Facebook) the hashtag is the key to tapping into conversations and communicating your style to your audience on Instagram. Categorising your posts both helps you identify with your audience and also seek them out; you can experiment with hashtagging as social listening experiments to gauge how your audience differs between hashtags. Once you build up a following, creation of your own unique brand-specific hashtags is a great way to engage personally with your audience.
Just getting started? Check out the most popular hashtags on Instagram.
- Romanticise your brand
Most users agree: “We all look better under an Instagram filter”. While it may not seem like ‘looking good’ should be top of your business checklist, building your brand DNA is important to identifying with your audience. Instagram could be a great way to personalise your brand with images of your staff. The ease with which you can romanticise your images with Instagram’s handy filter and edit tools makes for high engagement.
Our favourite Instagram filter? 1977 for giving our pics that retro vibe. Not so sure yourself? Huffington Post have ranked them all best to worst here.
- Think outside the box
Instagram allows you to be truly creative with your brand – show off your creative side with a feed of interesting visuals. Some of the most successful Instagram gurus around the world generate engagement by thinking about how to use the app in an innovative way. A shining example of this is Tourism Australia: their social media manager Jesse Desjardins hit the headlines by getting the rest of the travelling community to do the work for him. Tourism Australia accepts image contributions from anyone and everyone, and being the most followed travel and Instagram account worldwide with 1.2 million followers it would seem they’ve got the right idea!
While Facebook shows no sign of slowing down as the King of Social Media, your business’s approach to social engagement should be multifaceted in order to reach the largest market possible.
As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram is best used to engage with a creative audience whilst your Facebook and Twitter accounts stir up conversation. Ensuring your social media presence is interlinked is just good business practice.