This month I would like to discuss Instagram. IG is the not so new but ever so popular kid on the block that is getting all the love and attention from the girl next door. Instagram has become wildly popular with the 18-29 crowd but with up to 500 million daily…that’s right DAILY users…there is a broad range of individuals logging in to find out the latest news, trends and gossip.
IG is in a sweet spot right now; it is new enough to be exciting but old enough to be trusted. It has managed to avoid market saturation (so far) and it is still an exciting frontier. If you haven’t begun marketing through Instagram yet then stop procrastinating; the time is now. Open your business account, polish up your bio, put several posts together with the help of some clever apps and start inviting your friends to follow.
So what is the big deal? What is different about this site compared to all the others? IG is a social media site that is based on sharing pictures and short videos. If people like what you post, they will follow you to see what else you have to offer; if you like the posts of others then you will do the same. You are going to want to establish a healthy ratio of follows to followers. These numbers are, of course, always changing but if you are posting relevant and engaging content then you should be able to maintain a pretty decent following. Often companies of similar size and of a similar industry will agree to follow each other to improve their standing on the site. If you are able to make arrangements like this then you can also follow the followers of your competitors to gain some valuable market insight into what they appreciate and why. There is a plethora of information flowing through social media that is available for the taking by those who are paying attention. Be one of those people.
Not sure you have the time to commit to such an enormous undertaking? Sure, that makes sense. Hire it out. (I know a great virtual assistant) Can’t afford to hire it out? What about just paying for some training on how to utilize Instragram? You can also download IG apps. There are hundreds of apps explicitly developed either to make you stand out on IG or to save you time while maintaining an interesting and engaging page. Don’t bother with the regular IG filters. Those are for personal accounts. Upgrade with one of the dozens of apps available with better filters and various other tools to add captions, text or borders . Don’t have time to post every day? Who does? Download an app like Later. That way you can make several posts and schedule them to upload when desired. There are apps for everything. You can get full video editing, hashtag and even statistical analysis on your clients or your overall marketing campaign. The question is not, “Is there an app for that” it is “Which app for that should I choose?”.
Okay so you have polished up your Bio, Introduced yourself to the world of Instagram and downloaded several apps to ensure your feed looks professional and polished. Now what? Engage! Your followers are not going to just hang on your every word. They want to see that you care as well. If they ask a question, they will expect an answer. They will appreciate a like, comment or @mention from you. The whole point of IG is that it displays the personal side of your business….so you have to be personable. You are better off to have a smaller but fully engaged following then a significant but mostly unimpressive group of followser. Ultimately you want your social media efforts to result in sales and this is the way to do it. Engage and create brand awareness and ultimately brand loyalty.
Been there, done that, now what? Monetise. Yep, make your IG account make you money. Now obviously this sounds much too good to be true right? Well no; it is very possible and lots of companies are able to do it. The catch is that you have to put the time in to grow your following. Grow it big…really big…like 10,000 followers big. Yes that sounds like a lot….but then there are about 1 billion IG users and half of them are logging in every day so really that is not an unreasonable piece of the pie. It is even doable to monetize with a smaller following but you have to make sure that following is loyal and engaged and ready to buy what you are offering.
Instagram is here to stay…well as long as anything in the fast-paced cyber world is here to stay. It has been around long enough to gain a significant following but not long enough to become entirely saturated by industry. The market is wide open. Take your stand, make your mark, download your apps and connect with your target market.
Thanks for reading, until next month!