Instagram is a social media heavyweight with over 1 billion users. Simply put, it is a powerful mobile sharing (photos, videos) social networking service that lets users take pictures and short videos (one-minute maximum), then share them on other social networking platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr. Younger generations are arguably moving away from verbal communication, and the general population also seems enamored with visual media there is plenty of room for growth and opportunity for you to reach your target audience right now and convert Instagram users into traffic, subscribers, and sales for your business.
As a primarily visual medium, Instagram can complement your Facebook marketing and Twitter advertising strategies. In addition to shareability, consider how photographs and stunning graphics can attract visitors and bring them into your sales funnel. Have a look at what the world’s most popular brands are doing to optimize their Instagram space. Don’t forget to use filters. Photos ‘on the fly’ often seem mediocre on first sight. That’s why Instagram’s filtering technology lets you transform your images into great-looking snapshots that get attention – which is the first step to getting users to take action.
Instagram does not allow hyperlinking in photo captions (non-clickable) or comments, but you can put a link (150 characters maximum) in your bio section. Most marketers use this feature to link back to their business home page, or the landing page of their current marketing campaign. You can choose to superimpose a URL across an image, but it’s probably better to direct visitors to your bio’s clickable link. If you decide to use paid advertising with Instagram, then you can have links that are clickable.
Remember that while Instagram is a great platform to build a following and create engagement with your audience, you also want to drive people back to your website so you can build your email list and generate leads and sales as well. Instagram does not impose a character limit your posts like Twitter. However, it’s in your interest to let the images do most of the talking. Besides, since shorter Facebook and Twitter messages draw more traffic and interaction, your Instagram audience is not likely to buck that trend.
That being said, meaningful captions can offer supplementary insight and increase your engagement and conversion rate. Keep your captions short and punchy, or at least keep the most important information at the top of the post if you are planning on writing longer form posts. Most people will read what’s immediately below your photos, but fewer will actually expand the text to read anything that gets cut off.
Experiment with hashtags. Choosing the right hashtags is not an exact science, so look at what others in your niche are using and consult prolific bloggers who often provide interesting word options. Accept follow requests and follow people who present attractive photos and teaching points for your own marketing efforts. Don’t forget to inform people on your website and newsletters that you are on Instagram! Add Instagram ‘Follow’ buttons, or periodically send out reminders to subscribers that you offer content there. The more places you can reach your audience (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) the better chance you’ll have of them seeing your message and taking the actions you want them to take.
In social media, trends and tendencies can appear and disappear on a dime, so keep your eyes and ears open for Instagram innovations and policy changes. By testing out new options, your performance efficiency can improve and get noticed by more visitors. As with other mainstream networking sites, Instagram offers analytic tools that assist you with performance tracking. Use the results to make adjustments to the photos and images you post. Factors to be considered include:
Instagram is one of the main flag bearers for the modern, mobile, visual Internet. You can download for free from Apple’s App Store or get it from Google Play. ‘Capture and Share’ is bound to become the social media catchphrase of choice. In fact, multiple platform sharing is a fantastic company innovation, thanks in no small part to a fast, efficient uploading experience that turns beginners into experts. If you’re interested in Instagram then you’ll want to check out all of our social media marketing articles which cover popular topics such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Also, you may want to consider doing paid ads on Instagram as well to amplify your content marketing efforts.