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Getting up to speed with Instagram

How to master Instagram and use it effectively in your business' marketing mix

Instagram

Synposis

The population of the UK currently stands at 66 million. Instagram currently has 23 million users in the UK. That’s over a third of the population actively engaged with a social media platform that your brand could benefit from. But where do you start with so many people? Their algorithms are always changing and you have to keep up-to-date to keep ahead of your competition.

For visual businesses (designers, architects, interior designers, builders, arts and crafts) and eCommerce Instagram can be an amazing investment of your time and energies. This is why:

  • Instagram currently has 23 million users in the UK alone
  • That’s over a third of the UK’s population actively engaged on Instagram
  • It’s an important place to show content to your customers on the go

Instagram: Our How To Guide

The population of the UK currently stands at 66 million. Instagram currently has 23 million users in the UK. That’s over a third of the population actively engaged with a social media platform that your brand could benefit from.

1) Organise your bio

Getting the basics right means optimising your bio. Ensure you have a branded hashtag others can share, a slogan or description and a relevant link towards a key landing page.

2) Make use of stories

Everyone uses stories on Instagram and its important your business is too. They can be fun, quirky and relatable – putting your brand into a real world space customers relate to.

3) Generate video content

People digest information by video far easier than written content. Use native apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse where you can easily edit.

4) Set a publishing schedule

Timing is everything, even on social media. There are optimal times to post content to generate more interaction and views. Organise how often you post to maximise traction.

5) Set a call to action

Including call to actions shows off your creativity and encourages people to interact. Ask questions, encourage hashtag shares or point users back towards the link in your bio.

But where do you start with so many people? Their algorithms are always changing and you have to keep up-to-date to keep ahead of your competition. Here are some basic Instagram tips to get you started:

6) Maximise use of hashtags

Hashtags make it easier to find your posts and brand amongst millions of posts. Concentrate on branded hashtags and tags related to your wider industry and Instagram community.

7) Tell people you’re here!

Let existing customers and social media followers on other platforms know you’re on Instagram. It’s the easiest way to get off zero and to start building a network.

8) Interact with other accounts

Social media is designed for interaction – the clue is in the title. Don’t just talk at everyone, show you have good customer service, reply to questions and tags from your followers.

9) Show your human side

Followers want to know you aren’t just there to sell and make money from them. Make content relatable and tell human stories that generate an emotional response of some sort.

10) Review your analytics

You should know what content is working well, and what isn’t. This allows you to fine tune your approach to improve responses and make the most of your profile.

How to build up your followers

Everyone wants a huge following on Instagram. But it takes good planning and a lot of hard work to achieve it. The more followers you have, the more interactions you get and the higher level of credibility you achieve. The easy way out is to buy followers, but that
is cheating and can quickly be exposed with one simple look at the list of accounts. Create a strategy and you’ll soon see those follower numbers start to quickly grow.

1) Regular posting

Instagram users interact with posts more than any other social media platform. Post content every day at the right times and you’ll start to pick up followers on a regular basis.

2) Deliver relevant content

You can’t just post anything – make sure it’s what the audience want to see. Look at competitor’s posts, current Instagram trends and use your analytic tools to get it right.

3) Mix up your style

Don’t just rely on photos. Turn to short, but powerful,l video content to get eyes on your brand and the messages you are trying to get across to people.

4) Talk to your followers

It can be easy to get in habit of just posting but not responding. Talking with followers shows good customer service and that you are actually listening, instead of just selling, to them.

5) Become a hashtag master

Make the tags relevant to the post. Don’t just use the same hashtags on every post as the same people will see them and your brand won’t be exposed to new eyes every day.

Handy Apps to know about

There are a huge range of Apps you can use to turn your content into gold. Here are just a small handful of those we recommend:

Sprout Social

This amazing engagement App allows you to queue up posts to plan your content schedule. You can set aside time to put together the content, which is then posted at a time and date you decide.

BeFunky

A photo App that gives you access to a range of photo editing tools. There is a free version available where you crop, resize, sharpen and much more, ensuring you’re completely satisfied with images.

Boomerang

A native App found within Instagram itself, Boomerang is perfect for bite-sized videos that act like GIFs. It quickly tells a story to your followers and shows you aren’t afraid of having a bit of fun too.

IFTTT

IFTTT means “if this then that”. It uses applets to connect applications and products. For example, use a Slack channel to bring together all Instagram posts with a certain hashtag before regramming.

Hypetype

This is a great way to add another dimension to your Instagram stories. Hypetype allows you to animate phrases in a photo to create a bold and visually striking story people will love to like.

How to use IGTV

Businesses everywhere are turning to video content for one simple reason: it produces fantastic results. Research shows that five
billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. It’s a staggering amount. Scientists have long since revealed why video is preferred over text: our brains process videos over 60,000 times faster. There’s simply no argument to be had that video is the now and future of online marketing. Instagram recently launched IGTV. This allows users to create videos that last up to 60 minutes long. Here’s how to make full use of Instagram TV.

What is IGTV?

You can create videos up to an hour long that won’t disappear after 24 hours. IGTV can be accessed through the Instagram app, or the
IGTV app.

How to use IGTV

Once the app is downloaded, log in, and it will locate your Instagram account. Click the “+” in the right corner to upload a video you’ve recorded. Add hashtags and then hit “post”.

IGTV marketing strategy

To get the most from IGTV, create a channel people will watch. Show exclusive content, develop a video series, share news updates, or
give people a sneak peek behind the scenes.

IGVT best practices

Create and stick to a regular schedule of posting exciting content you can promote. Always maintain brand identity and find the right length of video – shorter videos tend to do best.

Instagram Stories

Over 400 million stories are made every day on Instagram. They provide a fun and relatable way for your brand to connect with your audience. Like Snapchat’s videos that disappear,Instagram Stories can be either video or static photos that are accessible for 24 hours.
Stories are prioritised in your feed, making them feel like a must-see and exclusive for your followers to click on.

Great ways to use Instagram Stories

Tutorials and how-to’s They are great for providing short and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. This allows them to be educational without asking people to watch a longer video.

Behind the scenes

Show your followers what goes on behind closed doors to make them feel included and part of a select group. It reveals you are more than just a brand, but people, like your customers.

Timed offers

Time sensitive deals can be promoted using Instagram Stories. It encourages people to keep checking your feed for any new deals or offers you might suddenly produce.

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