Today, we’re bombarded by choice. Want a burger? There are twenty different restaurants listed at your fingertips within five seconds. Don’t feel like eating out? Order online or from an app and choose pickup or delivery. But sometimes having so much choice makes it difficult to narrow down our preferences and when it comes down to it, what really matters to you. For me, that burger needs a solid vehicle – it all comes down to the bun.
It’s no different for businesses looking to create a holistic marketing strategy through social media. The social media landscape provides businesses with a variety of options, and with so much selection, it can be difficult to choose where your brand should spend the bulk of its time and resources connecting with the consumer base. Especially when building those foundational relationships and a community is so important in today’s business landscape.
Enter Instagram. This platform is a fantastic way for small businesses to engage an audience. RivalIQ found in their 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report that the median engagement rate for Instagram sits around 1.22%, which is 13.5 times higher than Facebook posts and 27 times higher than a Tweet!
Social media, and Instagram, are here to stay (I think we’d all agree). It’s a place to gather, share ideas, thoughts, and products without ever leaving the comfort of your home. So it would make sense to build a meaningful relationship with customers online with the goal of creating “brand champions” – those who share your product or service, in a positive manner, with their own social following.
Here are a few Instagram tips you can use to cultivate engagement and excitement about your brand:
Get giving away!
Incentivize those customers! Giveaways are a great way to get people involved in your posts. Utilizing small giveaways, say 10% off next purchase or a small product, can encourage followers to share, like, tag… all on your behalf! It’s truly the simplest way to gain more followers and awareness of your brand. Plus, who doesn’t like free stuff?
Respond to your followers
It’s important to consistently respond to your followers – both positive and negative commentary alike. Show that you care about what they think about your products and services. When you engage with the following, it shows that there are genuine people behind the brand – a voice, someone to connect to. When followers post about a product, share their experience with your company, or tag you in a giveaway, ensure you respond by resharing, adding the post to your story, or simply using their name in a follow-up response. Everyone likes a little acknowledgement now and then.
Stories & Lives are King
What better way to market a product or service that an old-fashioned demo? Utilize your stories (a feature that lets you share moments of your day) or go live (broadcast video to your followers in real-time) and post a customer or employer using the product or service exactly the way that it was intended. Apparel brands typically do a great job of this by showcasing customers in their clothing.
Another option? Go behind the scenes at work! It gives your audience a look into your company that they typically won’t see, creating a stronger bond between your brand and followers. Great opportunities for this include potlucks, day-to-day activities, conferences, or trade shows.
If you haven’t already, consider adding Instagram into your social media toolbelt. Especially if you’re looking for a platform that will create memorable interactions for your customer base. Remember, have fun with it. The most meaningful interactions are when they’re relatable – be a human!
Ashley Herchak is a Product Consultant on the Brand and Digital Platform Team at Directwest