10% of people remember what they hear. 20% of people remember what they read. But 80% of people remember what they see and do (Wyzowl). Instagram is based on the power of visual communication…without too much work for the user; and has other social media platforms trying to match pace. Forrester Research found that Instagram generates 120 times more engagement than Twitter and the ability to immediately edit and post images provides the instant gratification missing on Facebook. We know that Internet users interact with more image-based content than they do with any other content form on social media channels. Images evoke emotions and speak directly to each viewer on an individual level. Images foster a more personal relationship which helps customers feel invested which, in turn, creates loyalty. That loyalty can spark conversations that further engage clients with your business.
While less than 10% of small business use Instagram, 80% of the platform users follow a business or brand (SproutSocial). Of 800+ million Instagram users, 200 million of those visit a business profile every day. Beyond that, more than 70% of users have purchased a product or service they saw on Instagram. Business owners can be assured that the audience they seek is available. But how to make the most of the opportunity? SproutSocial found that 70% of Instagram posts don’t even get seen so it is important to build excitement by presenting engaging visual content. The adage of 80/20 is one to follow to avoid having your Instagram page become a sales catalog: 80% education and enrichment, 20% self-promotion (SproutSocial). Avoid hard selling your products or services and, instead, harness creativity that embraces the social culture of Instagram and allows viewers to draw their own conclusions without feeling pressured.
What Should You Consider:
1. Help people understand who you are, beyond the business name. Provide behind-the-scenes peeks of your business to give followers special insight to your company culture and mission. Photos with faces get more likes. Post pictures of team members to build familiarity and promote recognition when there are face to face opportunities. Share infographics of company accomplishments and interesting historical facts to provide easy to read tidbits that followers can share with others. Videos are more eye catching than regular posts. Create how-to videos that can build followers’ confidence in your brand and the services you provide.
2. Use Instagram to directly involve customers with the business. Utilize question posts to ask for feedback on new products and services. Ask for input on social media platform content. Use “How Are We Doing?” posts to elicit suggestions for future material. Post quotes from customer reviews or videos of testimonials from satisfied clients.
3. Promote contests, events and fundraisers – be sure to include a geotag. Posts with a location get 79% more engagement. Carefully crafted teasers can build excitement about upcoming events or promotions and increase traffic to your website and other social media platforms. Hootsuite found that as many as 70% of Instagram users take action based on posts they view. Special promotional offers or Instagram unique discount codes can build exclusivity and keep customers checking back for more.
4. Use your Instagram page to share industry news. Provide links to news sources and articles. Comment on content and posts of others in the industry. Most users will follow others who are complementing of their page.
5. Utilize hashtags – just don’t over do it. Hootsuite found that posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. Hashtags are an easy way to reach new people as they make your content discoverable and increase your chances of engagement. Hashtags also provide opportunity for you understand what others in your industry are doing. And don’t forget the emoji hashtags!
Pitfalls to Avoid:
Content - a lack of regular posts will discourage return visitors to a page; repetition without purpose shows a lack of planning; boring posts…
Poor images – professionalism is essential
Lack of visual strategy – a color palette, a company logo, consistency is key
A wordy bio – use hyperlinks, emojis, and line spacing to create an easy to read bio
Too many metrics – use the network like your audience does
Lack of response to followers – monitor your account, engage in conversations, build relationships
Sound like a lot more than you want to deal with? There is a lot to think about when you think about social media set-up, management and strategy. We can help. Contact the team at Strategy Driven Marketing today to discuss your specific business needs and goals.