Social media is one of the biggest things you can invest in right now to get customers, followers, and an audience. There are lots of platforms out there, all with different uses, and Instagram is one that you don’t want to miss out on.
In late 2017, Instagram had 800 million users, and it has with no doubt, gone up. According to Omnicore, 32% of users of all of the Internet are on Instagram. If you’re business isn’t on it, then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
On Instagram, like everything else, you have to break through the noise, so that’s why today we’re bringing you 10 marketing tips for startups.
1. Switch to a business account
If you’ve already made an Instagram account, you probably didn’t make it a business account. The first thing you want to do is switch it to a business account. Really it’s about the same thing as a regular Instagram, but you get analytics.
You get to see things like gender, ages, geography, best post times, and more. You can use all of this data to know how and when to appeal to your audience.
2. Brand your Instagram
Sprout Social shared that, “an estimated 71% of US businesses use instagram.” Not branding your Instagram just makes you another user, someone not memorable. You have to stand out.
The way that you can brand your Instagram is by doing things that people will know you right away by without having to look at your username. This means, using your brand colors in pictures, the same text, and even having the same theme.
You also need to have a good bio (make it short and fun, all while telling everyone what you do), a good profile picture, and an easy to remember username.
3. Post at the right time
Because you have a business account and you can access all the data, then you’ll know when the best time to post is.
It’s better to post at least once every day rather than posting random days of the week. You have to post pictures every day because that’s what’s going to make you stand out. If you want to post more than once a day, you can upload 2 or 3 posts, but never more than that. The amount of stories you upload doesn’t matter.
Obviously, the thing you want to do most on Instagram is have exposure to get customers. You want people to see you. Teasing your products is a good way to do this.
This is a good reason to use everything Instagram is offering. To tease, or simply to get people to watch, you can share behind the scenes. This is you making something new or even just sharing your day to day life.
You can announce release dates and the product, and then put pictures of countdowns. Instagram is all about telling stories and connecting with people, so use your caption, and say what you need to say. Show processes and let people in. This is how you connect.
“You’re not selling. You’re building hype.” —Sue B. Zimmerman (@theinstagramexpert)
5. Use your analytics
Use your analytics to see what’s happening, and to track how people are reacting to certain things. What posts are getting the most likes? Which stories are people skipping? What gets people to buy more?
You need to document all of this data because it’s important to look back at it. If you’re paying attention but not documenting, you’re going to end up forgetting a small yet impactful thing that you could’ve implemented again. So analyze your data and figure out what’s happening, and write it all down.
6. Create ads
Ads on Instagram can be really helpful if you know who your ideal customer is. To maximize your ROI, you need to choose the right objective first. Then, when you’re making the sponsored post, it needs to look like your regular post.
Instagram ads are like regular posts, but they just say sponsored, and you can click the ad. You have to make it look normal, but eye-catching, and do something that get someone to stop scrolling.
Sell something that you know that users on Instagram will be interested in. According to Forrester, “Instagram ads have the highest engagement rate of all digital ad placements.”
7. Partner with influencers
There is power in sending a direct message (DM). DM’s are what’s going to connect you with big brands, people, and influencers. It’s pivotal that you network because you can’t do it all alone.
By connecting with others, you can ask people to share your product or content, and get their followers to know who you are and get more follows. Be careful though, unless you’re going to pay, then first, to build meaningful relationships, it’s all about giving.
You can’t just ask and not give. Don’t ever be scared of sending a DM.
8. Use user-generated content
People love to participate in things and love when their content is shared, especially by brands. If people are using a product of yours have a branded hashtag (more on that down below) and tell them to post pictures.
This gives you a chance, not only to interact with your consumers but also to have content for your Instagram. User-generated content is a good way to show off that people actually know who you are, and it makes others want to participate, too.
9. Use the right hashtags
You have to research hashtags. If the hashtags that you’re using have more than a million posts, then it’s likely that your post isn’t going to be seen because people are posting on it often, and your post just gets pushed down.
Pick the hashtags related to your niche, and then experiment. Which ones work best and at what time?
You can create branded hashtags—this encourages people to use it (because people like to be a part of a tribe) and you get user-generated content. Plus, it helps you stand out. Have them for different pictures or challenges, and encourage people to post pictures using that particular hashtag.
10. Use everything Instagram has to offer
It would be a waste if you were only to post pictures when Instagram has so much to offer. It’s best to use just about everything that Instagram has because it prioritizes people who interact with their followers. The algorithm makes you more visible if you do this.
On the app, you can put Instagram stories. On stories, you share short video clips, and in them, you can put stickers, text, gifs, polls, and more. You can also go live, post carousel pictures, and share videos. You can also save stories on your Instagram profile.
Pramod Dhakal is a Tech entrepreneur at heart, a natural leader, an Agile practitioner, and a Digital Transformation provoker. He has spent over a decade implementing various large-scale transformation initiatives in large multinational organizations. He is an author and contributor at Hitechies largely in the technology space. Pramod is an active investor in cryptocurrencies and he is extremely positive about the future of the decentralized digital economy.