Instagram followed a familiar pattern of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter when it hit the scene in 2010 . They each began as platforms for personal expression, with communities developing around various niche interests through the ability of one person to reach a world far beyond their physical realm. Much like it’s internet predecessors, after a while digital marketers began paying attention to the new social site. Before we knew it, Instagram’s appeal to the social media strategist became clear. Instagram’s platform offered the one thing marketers value most: consumers.
Instagram experienced an explosive rise in the social media ranks. When Instagram launched 4 years ago, it added 100 million users by April 2012, where Facebook purchased it for $1 billion. It seemed like a lot of money then, but a bargain two years later. It accounts for 200 million active monthly users, with 7.3 million average daily users. Visual content is vital for engagement, as 89% of online marketers are reaping its benefits. Instagram is visual content on steroids and as a social media strategist, that’s the sweet spot. So the question is, why wouldn’t your company use Instagram as a source of visual content?
Instagram fits into the ecosystem of the social media strategist
A compelling Instagram account can double as a lead generator, as your business has the ability to reach the entire world. Use the community and content creation resources of Instagram to generate leads by using the following tips:
Use the Right Hashtags for Instagram
Hashtags on Instagram had a higher like to follower ratio than pictures that didn’t use hashtags. Interestingly, the most effective number of hashtags on Instagram pictures were 2, 5, and 9. Create a hashtag for your business that gets used with every post. In addition, use more general industry hashtags to find browsing customers.
Contests on Instagram Increase Interaction
Implementing contests can be an effective marketing campaign for a social media strategist. Contests have the ability to draw in customers from all over the world to your Instagram page. The most popular contest is the give away featuring a quirk of Instagram: the Regram (for the social media strategist out there, a Regram is when a user takes a photo of an Instagram posts and uploads it themselves, with the hashtag #regram). Savvier companies have used contests asking participants to create something all their own in line with a theme. In that case, your content is being created for you while your brand grows at the same time.
Use Promo Codes for Followers
Another popular method to increase Instagram traction is to reward your Instagram followers with special offers or discount codes. The offer can either be in the photo itself, or in the description. Many companies use this during major holidays, especially leading up to Christmas. Brands as varied as Vanity Fair to Starbucks use this strategy often. This also doubles as an excellent opportunity to send users to your website to redeem their discounts.
Upload Pictures at the Right Time
Similar to tweets and Facebook posts, the timing of when you post Instagram content matters. Uploads during business hours resulted in 16.31 interactions per post, while pictures posted past business hours and on weekends only got 15 interactions per pictures.
Link To Your Business Website
Lastly, but certainly not least, add a link to your company’s website in your Instagram profile. Your Instagram biography acts as a call to action on the platform. Imagine customers interacting with your Instagram content – then having no place to go.
Instagram harnessed the power of visuals and the social media age to create a defining platform with no signs of slowing down. Their most recent update for Android targeted low cost smartphones targeted growing countries like Brazil. With one eye set firmly towards global growth, Instagram is a visual platform that any social media strategist should use to generate business leads.