Promoting your start-up through social media can be quite challenging but also extremely rewarding. Eloise Emley of PHA Media explains how start-ups can use Instagram to grow their business...
Instagram has become a leading platform for communication for consumers, bloggers and brands alike. An app with a penchant for highly-finished aesthetics, and a fetish for ‘authenticity’, it has exploded into the global marketplace and is becoming an increasingly viable point of sale.
The accessibility and popularity of the app makes it very attractive for brands, and many have achieved huge success since it was launched in 2010. So, what can your business do to begin to emulate this growth?
Instagram is an inherently creative space, visually led and aesthetically demanding, but it’s also becoming increasing difficult to get your voice heard. With the change to the algorithm, from chronological to engagement-driven, almost all accounts have seen a significant drop in the number of engagements they receive. Harnessing your brands creativity is essential to stop followers endlessly scrolling through their feeds and focus on your content. And once users engage with your posts they will be shown them more frequently!
FIND YOUR NICHE
This goes hand in hand with being creative; find a way to channel your creativity that makes your brand look and feel unique. What’s your USP? Why should someone follow your brands’ account? Finding this niche that best encapsulates your tone of voice and visual identity is the best way to cut through the digital noise. The importance of tone of voice is often overlooked, but a strong and consistent personality is crucial in an environment that depends on unique conversation and being Social.
This niche could be anything from the content you post, to the way you take your pictures or even just your captions! It’s all about conveying your brand at just a glance, because often that’s all you’ll have.
HASHTAGS = POWER
Hashtags are the most immediate way to extend your reach, and build your online community. By putting up to 30 relevant hashtags underneath your post you can make yourself visible to the potentially millions of daily users who are searching for, or engaging with, brands like yours. Engaging with other users in these hashtags is the next step to generating conversation, and building a personality and tangibility to your brand online.
You can also use location tags to hone in on a particular community, or area, or just to give your post some context! Posts with location tags get 79% more engagement.
It’s incredibly important for brands, especially smaller ones, to remember that Social Media is not a one-way street. Social should be social, and the best place to start is with a conversation. Reply to those who talk to you and try to actively engage with your following. This can be as simple as liking and commenting on similar user’s content, asking questions and generally being a part of the community. This is also an important tool in positioning your brand as a present member and thought leader in an industry!
USE THE WHOLE TOOLBOX
Authenticity is the key to modern marketing, especially when you’re trying to appeal to the elusive millennial and Generation Z. Luckily, Social Media is the marketing option most capable of this, and many would say Instagram leads the pack for authenticity online. The plethora of tools available on Instagram make it the perfect platform to display flair, personality and ‘intimate insight’ into a brand, its values and its people.
Instagram Stories are a brilliant way to do this, capturing all the smaller details of your brand, inside and out. Using this tool regularly is a fantastic way to increase engagement with your account and keep people interested in you. Like your main posts, the more someone watches your stories, the more they will be shown them.
You can monitor how many times your story has been viewed and who’s viewed it – which is a great way measure what posts are working better than others!
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
It’s important to remember that Instagram, like most of Social Media, can be fickle. Instagram’s algorithm also will not help you here, seeing as it relies on regular engagement to advise what it shows to who. However, if you carry out all the above tips then you should start to see your follower numbers pile up. Just remember to be regular and consistent in your posts and online presence!
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