Social media has dramatically changed the way brands and consumers interact. Many businesses are slowly discovering the importance of having an active social media presence, especially on platforms like Instagram.
Instagram currently has over 800 million users and has been reported by Social Media Today as one of the world’s fastest growing social media networks. As the platform becomes more saturated, businesses are finding it more challenging to have their voices heard. But in spite of the rapid growth and constant changes to Instagram’s algorithms, there are still a few tried-and-true methods that are getting brands some incredible results.
Below are seven methods:
1. Share Visually Appealing Content and Be Consistent
Instagram has changed over the years, but one thing that remains is that it’s a visual platform. What this means is that, the quality and consistency of your content still matter. With this in mind, businesses need to plan and develop a visual strategy to help them stand out from the crowd. Many helpful apps can help you layout your visually appealing content and schedule your post ahead of time. Some good examples are Planoly and Buffer respectively. Focusing on creating visually appealing content and posting more consistently will tremendously boost your Instagram performance and grow your business.
2. Post More of what happens ‘Behind The Scenes’ On Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories has rapidly grown to over 300 million users, far outpacing the growth of Snapchat with 178 Million users. These numbers mean nothing if your business is not taking full advantage of Instagram Stories.
To grow your brand, post more ‘behind the scenes’ photos/videos and always make sure your post has the right hashtags relevant to your industry. Also, add your location when necessary to help boost your visibility on Instagram Stories. Recently Instagram added a feature called Highlights, where brands can showcase specific Stories from events, related products and customer highlights. This is a prime feature that is worth considering.
3. Get Your Audience Involved, Inclusion Over Exclusion
Businesses can increase their visibility by encouraging their fans to get involved in creating and sharing content. Encourage your fans to share your content, tag their friends in your post and create content that is related to your brand. Often repost some of the best material that has been created by fans and acknowledge them. This will encourage others to post content about your brand, as they know that their photos and videos could potentially reach thousands of new people.
4. Partner with Influencers, Cross Promote Over Self Promote
One of the fastest ways to increase your visibility and grow your business on social media is by partnering with social media influencers. The reason many renowned social media experts talk about influencer marketing is that it works. It’s as simple as that! With that being said, brands should make it a point to build relationships with influencers that are relevant to their industry and to work hand-in-hand to create marketing campaigns that can steer conversations in their favor.
5. Incorporate Geotagging, Cities Over Specific Locations
A great way to increase your visibility on Instagram local search is by adding your geographical location. Most brands add their specific location to their post but to reach more people, I recommend adding a broader geographical search term like the name your city. For example, rather than adding your specific business location “John's Pizza 232 Flower Town St, Manassas” add the city where you operate in this way “Manassas, VA.” By doing this, you will increase your chances of being discovered by a greater number of people.
6. Use Hashtags, Trending Tags Over Random Tags
I often see brands sharing posts with random hashtags they probably came up with, and wondering why their posts do not get maximum engagement. This might be the reason why. You see, it is not enough to add a hashtag just because you thought about it. Use websites like top-hashtags.com to find the top trending hashtags that are relevant to your industry. If your industry doesn’t have many people searching its hashtag, then it might be a good idea to integrate trending hashtags strategically. For example, rather than just putting #interiordecoration you can use #love #interiordecor. That way people searching the hashtag #love would see you post under #interiordecor.
7. Engagement Over Likes, Depth Over Width
It’s easy to start focusing on how many followers you have and how many likes you get per post, but what builds brand loyalty are not followers or likes. Brand loyalty is built by developing a deeper relationship with your customers and fans. Invest your time engaging with your fans in the comment section and develop deeper connections with Instagram direct messages. For example, if a customer leaves a comment on your post, you need to reach out to them directly to say thank you. Make your response personal and let them know they are appreciated. People might forget what you say or do, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Did you learn anything that could help you grow your business on instagram? Do you have something to add? Please share your thoughts below.
About the Author
King Buari is a speaker, entrepreneur, and CEO of Buarich; a full-service digital marketing agency offering cutting-edge website design, social media marketing and everything in between. He is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive in today's digital world. Connect with him on Instagram.