Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown into a $100 billion company with more than a billion active monthly users. From personal pages to meme accounts to political campaigns, Instagram has it all, so brands are eager to engage with their audiences on this popular platform. To help businesses increase their followers, build their brand, maintain relevance and cut through the noise, Rivers Agency has compiled six tips for successfully leveraging Instagram.
1. Consistency is Key
First and foremost, consistently posting on your Instagram page will increase your chances of being shared and discovered by new users. Regularly posting will also allow your brand to stay fresh on viewers’ minds. To maintain this cadence, create a calendar and stick to it, posting a certain number of times per week and scheduling posts for the times of day when your audience is most likely to engage. Along with making consistent posts, it is important to have consistency throughout your profile so your feed is recognizable and pleasant to look at. Although posting regularly will help you gain followers, remember to keep your posts thoughtful and relevant. In other words, don’t post just to post.
2. Use Instagram Stories
Stories are a relatively new feature on Instagram that allow users to post temporary photos that are live for 24 hours before disappearing. Photos, videos, GIFs, music and stickers can all be incorporated into Stories to make an engaging experience for viewers. Stories also provide a direct line of contact between the brand and followers by “swiping up” to respond to a Story via direct messaging (DM). When a Story’s 24 hours are up, that photo or video will be archived unless you choose to add it to your Story Highlights on your profile. Story Highlights are helpful to organize important information about your brand conveniently located right in your bio. Without cluttering the profile, Highlights allow brands to show off their best moments and give a glimpse into who they are.
3. Promote Your Page on Other Platforms
If your business has other social media pages, it will be helpful to keep all usernames the same so followers can easily find you across platforms. Using Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and your brand’s website to promote your Instagram account will provide ease and convenience for followers to jump from one platform to another. You can share your Instagram posts on other platforms or have your account linked in your bio, as both practices will help users find your page.
4. Interact with Followers
Regularly interacting with followers is a great way to build a positive relationship with your audience and increase your follower count. Instagram offers a lot of features that allow brands to directly interact with followers. Some interactive features include polls, questions and quizzes that can be used via Instagram Stories. Contests and giveaways are also effective ways to interact with followers, which will attract many new viewers as well as provide a fun experience for your followers. Your followers will appreciate you not only posting great content, but also showing interest and respect for them by responding to comments, reposting tagged photos and posting interactive Stories. Posting a funny meme every once in a while doesn’t hurt either.
5. Keywords, Hashtags and Location Tags
When done right, keywords and hashtags can be an effective way to optimize search results and increase discoverability. However, too much can be overkill. Stay away from hashtags like #FollowForFollow and stick to keywords relevant to your brand. Keywords in the name field on your profile can also help users find your page without searching the exact username. Location tags will also increase discoverability and introduce your brand to a whole new audience. For example, just by adding “Chapel Hill, NC” to one of Rivers Agency’s Instagram posts, the chances of our account being discovered in the community is much greater than without the tag.
6. Stay Up to Date on Current Events
In an age of activism and social justice, it is important for brands to have a point of view on important issues. Celebrate diversity and inclusion in your posts as well as in your daily business practices. Choose images and language that promote diversity on your Instagram page and align with your brand values. If your organization feels compelled to comment about current events, make sure the information you are spreading is reliable and fact-checked. Making your Instagram page more inclusive is not only the right thing to do, but can also increase brand loyalty and help to boost your follower count.
By following these tips, your Instagram account is primed to welcome an influx of new followers. If you need more help developing your social strategy or producing captivating, on-brand, original content for Instagram, Rivers Agency can help. Contact us to see if we can help you with your social media presence. As an award-winning team of creative minds and marketing professionals, we have a ton of social media experience under our belts to help you launch or enhance your Instagram account with a steady stream of engaged followers.