Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms out there, and unlike Pinterest, is incredibly mobile. With more and more users on their phones, promoting yourself on an active, mobile friendly website is becoming incredibly important. For local Seattle businesses, that can sometimes mean leaving YouTube and other slow-to-load social media sites for their desktop marketing, and moving to more tablet and phone friendly sites like snapchat and Instagram. Because Instagram is by far the more valuable for marketing, we’ll discuss how local Seattle businesses can integrate it into their marketing tactics.
Don’t Forget to Hashtag
The hashtag is as much a part of Instagram as it is on Twitter, so don’t forget to use it. Find out which brand relevant and local hashtags you can get involved in, and try to join in. Remember not to hijack hashtags, as that wont’ get you anywhere.
Share Fun Photos
Instagram is all about photograph and short, 15 second videos. Essentially, it’s perfect for an audience with a low attention span. If they’re scrolling through their feed, you want to attract their attention enough to get them to stop, double tap, and maybe even visit your profile, before going back to their feed. What can you share? Art, style, humor, inspiration, and sales. Most businesses use Instagram as a sort of lookbook or style book, think a mobile magazine that updates constantly, instead of once a month.
Don’t Just Post Pictures
It’s easy enough to post pictures, especially if you’re in the food, fashion, or sports industry, as all of these have a huge following on Instagram. Instead, you should figure out how to get involved with your local community. Local Instagram challenges, local hashtags, and interacting with stars in the niche (I.E. Irene Papas if you sell yoga gear), can help you with promotion, gaining followers, and building your brand value.
The golden rule of social media is to post often, and to do so regularly. Create a flexible posting schedule that has you putting up at least 5 photos a week, and usually closer to 10. You don’t want to spam your feed, but you also want to keep people interested and let them know you’re still there.
Just like Twitter, Instagram has trending hashtags. Watch them, get on them, and sit back to see traffic coming in. You might not make any sales off of trends, but you can jump on the bandwagon and find followers that you might later turn into customers.
Don’t Forget to Reward Followers
The easiest way to convert social media followers to customers is using incentives, but you don’t want to overdo it. Taking special occasions like a business anniversary, a follower milestone (I.E. 1,000, 2,000, etc.) and turning them into giveaways can give you leverage for building your fanbase and followers. Simple “regram and tag three friends to enter + you have to follow the page” giveaways can generate a great deal of followers. You can also offer coupons and discount codes to Instagram followers to help boost their conversion into actual sales.
Don’t Pay for Followers
An Instagram follower has no value as a follower. It is just a number. Furthermore, most Instagram users are smart enough to know that if you have 10,000 followers and no likes or comments, you’re probably faking it. Avoiding the temptation of paying for fake followers builds your trust.
Take five to fifteen minutes a day to interact with your followers on Instagram. Follow people who interact with you a lot, and try not to spam anyone. A lot of people are highly active on Instagram and they will see if you’re just pasting the same comments onto everyone’s photos. Take a few minutes, make a few meaningful engagements a day, and keep building on that.
Instagram is a rapidly growing platform, and while not valuable to every business, it works well as a marketing platform for many. If you need help with Instagram or other social media management in the Seattle area, contact Rory Martin for a consultation.