Starting off as a humble picture-sharing website, Instagram has ballooned into the most powerful social media platform. It has the widest reach and the most influence on consumers according to PwC’s yearly Global Insights research. This fact is well-recognized by businesses and individuals alike, and has gone way beyond just connecting friends, sharing pictures/videos and meeting new people. Today, this useful tool is also being utilized for its immense customer care and marketing potential. It’s time to make the best use of this platform to reach out to existing and potential customers, satisfy their queries and address their complaints, among a lot more.
Here are 6 tips for cashing in on the benefits of Instagram as a marketing platform.
The internet works at supersonic speed, delayed responses or ignored complaints can seriously harm your goodwill. Similarly, a dead page with weeks of non-posting will also hurt your image. If your business has a social media presence, your managers or executives need to be prompt in responding to your customers’ queries, complaints and feedback while understanding that they need to produce some sort of content weekly. The more current your Instagram, the better your PR.
Everything on social media is in the public domain; attaching your business name to a social media account means taking on a constant risk of bad publicity or mud-slinging. All it takes is one post for somebody to raise a firestorm and drive away potential customers. Bold content gets traction and engagement but similarly create controversy and lost sales. Oftentimes Instagram is about finding a balance between what is “acceptable” and what isn’t.
Instagram is all about entertainment at the end of the day. There are social media managers and various other marketers using the platform to promote their business, but the entire website is built upon a foundation of “entertainment value”. Your content needs to fit into this mould. You should always be thinking, “who might benefit from this post?” or “why would somebody click on this post?”. If your content contains value, the clicks will follow.
Understand your business
Many businesses have begun hiring a professional solely for handling and managing their social media operations. For an image-based platform like Instagram, It is crucial for your social media manager to understand the underpinnings of what makes your company, your company. They need to understand what graphics to produce, what photos to highlight and who to engage with. The good news is that this can all be learned, so if your managers are tech-savvy and willing to study the intricacies and hot-topics of your industry, you’ll be better off.
Pick your battles
Unless you’re a Fortune 100 company, you’re never going to corner every single relevant hash-tag to your business. A broad hash-tag like “#foodie” is being used by millions upon millions of small businesses just like yours. Try expanding into more niche, descriptive hash-tags such as “#tacos” if you run a taco shop. Even better, link your hash-tag to whatever image you’re posting and get more specific with something like “#carneasadatacos”. The difficulty will be in finding a hash-tag that actually ranks within Instagram’s algorithms but is not too broad that it is impossible to get noticed…which leads me into our final tip.
Now you might be thinking, “yes, Michael, we already know that. It’s good to stand out, duh”, but hear me out. Standing out doesn’t mean having a wacky page filled with irrelevant posts, it means highlighting the value that your company can provide over your competitors. Here at inteliKINECT what we truly excel at is results-based solutions and a tech-driven ethos; that is what makes us stand out against all the other conversion outsourcing firms out there. Your Instagram page should be doing the same. Determine what your unique strengths are in relation to your competitors and build off of that. Personally, moz.com’s link checker tool has been my go-to for competitor research. It shows you all the backlinks leading into your competitor’s websites and allows you to get a picture of what their link profile (and thus, strengths) looks like.