Devote Tips: Instagram

Renowned as the ‘cool kid’ of the block, Instagram offers a plethora of potential for businesses. Despite its relatively young age, Instagram serves as a sharp tool for communicating highly-engaging brand content to curated brand communities in ways that other social media platforms are far from reaching. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses on Instagram do not use the platform as effectively as they could be. By following the Devote Tips below, you’ll be 8 steps closer to utilising the tool to its full potential. Because if you’re one step behind in digital marketing, you’re not even in the game!

1. ONLY POST CONTENT THAT’S THUMB-STOPPING GOOD

Ask any social media marketing what the most cliche quote in the industry is, and they’ll repeat the same words: "Content is king" And when it comes down to it, they’re for the most part correct. Instagram is a visual platform that revolves around content that’s “thumb-stopping good”. Following this philosophy, your page’s content must be both relevant and visually stunning in order to appeal to your followers. This expands beyond your photographs; to maximise your content quality, you should extend this content philosophy to Instagram stories, advertisements, and landing page experiences. Take Movement Watches for example; the success of their company is founded upon digital strategies promoting thumb-stopping good content. If it wasn't for thinking outside the box with their multimedia content that spans FAR beyond ordinary photos, who knows how long they would have taken to reach the top. 25625328_10212971736361474_1638048297_o

2. CONSISTENCY IS KEY

Instagram’s algorithm favours a perfect amount of consistency. The magic formula for consistency is three times a day: one early morning, one mid-day and another throughout the evening. This balance not only abides by Instagram’s algorithm, but also ensures that your brand is reaching consumers a few times a day without becoming excessive (and outrightly annoying). Our strongest suggestion, of which is completely non-sponsored, is Grum. Grum is a Instagram post scheduler, all from the convenience of your computer. At a small cost, you can have complete control over your planned content.

3. FOSTER YOUR BRAND VOICE

When you break it down to its foundation, Instagram is a communication tool; since communication involves the perception of the viewer, businesses are yielding on the ability to build their ‘brand voice’ using the social media platform. Think of brand voice as the personality that your brand communications; is your brand perceived on Instagram as strong and serious, fancy and nostalgic or friendly and fun? Compare the following two Instagram pages' brand voices; what image and general feel do you develop towards the individual brands? Likely not the same! As a rule of thumb, try to ensure your content sticks to 3-5 ‘content pillars’. Think of content pillars as the pillars that support your brand voice (or ‘house’). For example, a holiday planning business (‘house’) could have ‘content pillars’ of destination information, promotional deals, and user-generated posts. With these content pillars set, the business knows ONLY to post content relating to these three topics. The business can post about popular tourist spots in Sydney (destination information pillar), however, should not post about the fancy lunch they had at a business meeting (not a content pillar).

4. OPTIMISE YOUR POSTING TIME

If your Instagram account is registered as a business profile, you have the powerful ability to identify the ideal posting times specifically for your followers. By abiding by the times Instagram recommends for your followers, your posts attract more engagement and as a result, your page establishes its authority. 25579180_10212971585317698_259380507_o

5. Use #HASHTAGS

Instagram utilises hashtags like a filing cabinet utilises a filing system; by tagging your posts with popular and relevant hashtags, you’re essentially allowing customers using the explore feature of Instagram to find you. It’s recommended to use between 10-20 hashtags per post for optimal performance. The closer you get to the 30 limit consistently, the more likely Instagram perceivers your page as spammy. 25593176_10212971585277697_431205373_o

6. CUSTOMER INTERACTION - BE RESPONSIVE

Respond to followers who comment on your posts, message you or posts photos tagging your business. Not only does this obvious practice prove to customers that your brand actually cares about its followers, but it also increases page engagement via algorithm rewards. Instagram comments need to be treated as though someone is talking directly to you in real-life. When you ignore Instagram comments, that’s the equivalent of ignoring someone who’s talking to you in person.

7. BIO OPTIMISING

Since an Instagram bio acts as the cover of a book, you’ve got to make sure it sticks when your customers judge it. How to do this in 150 words and a single link? Creatively!

8. TRANSFORM YOUR INSTAGRAM TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH ADVERTISING

Why limit yourself to JUST Instagram? Leverage the follower base and engagers established on Instagram, and create a digital marketing strategy that follows customers across other social media channels and web browsing sites. 25578937_10212971749041791_1352697819_o