How to use Instagram as a social media platform: A to-go guide to build and grow as a brand and how to visualize ideas and strategies
We are very sure that you all have heard of Instagram before and that most of you are using it on a daily basis for private or business circumstances. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms existing. Every year more and more businesses and brands jump on the online marketing bandwagon of social media to reach out to their younger audience. Publishing content and advertisements on Instagram got more and more popular and especially for new brands, it is very important to know how exactly they should use Instagram and the power of social media to their advance.
1. Is Instagram worth the time? Yes!
But before we will dive right into the social media explanation here you should be aware of how important Instagram exactly is for younger generations and how many people are using this app on a regular basis. The number of monthly active users on Instagram is growing drastically every year. In addition to that, the number of impactful influencers is also growing every year. In case you do not know what influencers are, here is a short explanation. Influencers are mostly lifestyle bloggers who upload pictures, videos, stories, and highlights on their profiles on a regular basis. They have a lot of followers and thus reaching out to a lot of active followers with a new upload of content.
2. Influencers as the new marketing strategy
A lot of brands and companies are working with influencers and build cooperation with them to successfully promote their brand or a new product. The reason why this marketing strategy is so successful is that influencers usually have a very good feeling of how to present themselves and a specific product. It is less work for a brand with a possible better marketing outcome in the end. If you are looking for influencers for your brand and still need a little know-how of how to approach this marketing strategy, then stay tuned because there will be a more detailed post about this soon.
3. Getting started with your account
So you have a brand and the idea, products, and business plan is somewhat standing already. The only thing you need now is to reach out to an audience that fits your brand and raise the popularity of your brand. If you do not already have an Instagram account for your brand we highly recommend creating one now. The name should resemble your brand name, do not take a confusing name that has nothing to do with your brand at all. You created your profile – and now? Add an easily understandable description in your profile, link your website and add a profile picture which should definitely be the logo for your brand or something easily recognizable to your brand at least. Change your profile into a business profile to be able to tag products in your pictures and stories and to additionally link your website in everything you post on your profile.
4. Planning your content
Once your profile is set up you have to think about the content that you are going to upload on your profile. This varies for every type of brand so you have to think about what kind of brand you are exactly and how you want your products to be seen on social media. Important to know is that the pictures that you are going to upload in your profile – the newsfeed – should have a high-quality resolution and should show the product in its most perfect way. But keep in mind to not over-edit your pictures and to keep some natural aspects in your pictures that do not seem fake and photoshopped. It may take some time to find the perfect balance between these two.
5. Free inspiration all throughout Instagram for your benefits
If you need some inspiration or ideas then you should definitely check out similar brands to yours on Instagram. Check how they are managing their profile, what their pictures look like, and how regularly they are uploading pictures. You should also pay close attention to what kind of hashtags they are using and how their target audience is reacting to the content they are uploading. Another good tip is to check out the brand’s followers and what kind of other accounts they are following with their profile. This is really helpful to understand your own target audience more and to create content that will raise attention to your own brand profile.
6. What should your feed look like?
Okay so you have checked everything and you really want to upload your first picture? We can definitely understand that you can not wait to do that but before you do that keep in mind that you have to upload pictures on a regular basis to stay active and win more followers. Write down a posting plan of what kind of pictures you want to upload. Do you want to show different products in different pictures or do you want to tell a story with each picture? Before you start posting you have to know exactly what your profile should look like once you have uploaded a few pictures. The first impression is usually the most important one for a new follower. The perfect posting time on Instagram is between 7 pm and 9 pm, which is when usually a lot of people get home from work or relax on their phone at home. You should definitely use this time frame, in the beginning, to reach out to as many people as possible. A recommended post amount is one post every two days or even every day if you have enough content to upload.
7. The power of hashtags
Keep in mind that it is also very important to work with the perfect hashtags for your brand. You have probably seen some Instagram posts by now with a whole paragraph of hashtags. This is not recommended and will look unprofessional. Sit down and think about what kind of hashtags would suit your brand. Look them up on Instagram and get a feeling of what kind of hashtags are popular and which of the popular hashtags would fit your brand perfectly. It is recommended to use around 5 to 10 hashtags for every post you upload on Instagram. Of course, these hashtags can vary for each post, this is even more recommended to get some more variation in your profile and to cover a bigger target audience.
8. Uploading new content is the key
In addition to uploading posts regularly, you should also post stories every other day. You do not have to upload a lot of stories after another, just one or two every two or three days is perfectly fine and will keep your profile in the story notifications of a follower. This is very important to form a better connection to your already existing followers. They will recognize your brand faster and will interact with your profile and your pictures more. Do not forget to tag your products in the pictures you are uploading and to add a brief description for the post about the shown product or the story you want to express on your profile. It does not have to be a long description, a few words are usually enough and the chance of a follower losing interest in reading that description is way lower.
9. Stay motivated
Now you are ready for takeoff with your brand new Instagram account for your brand. Do not get demotivated if things are going slowly at first. Imagine it to be a little bit like SEO for a website. It is a lot of time investment and you have to stay updated, but once the hard work is set up it will definitely pay off and you do not have to pay loads of money for it. Of course, there is also the option to publish advertisements and as mentioned before to work with influencers but this is going to be explained in more detail in the following post on our FAIRLING Blog.
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