Selfies, images of delicious meals and filtered landscapes are what comes to mind when you hear the word “Instagram.”
However, the app is also an integral marketing tool- billed as the fastest growing social media platform, with half a billion users who are potential customers, employers and business partners.
With website visitors typically reading only 20% of the text on a page and the average person retaining 80% of what they see and only 20% of what they read, visual content is important in obtaining a personal brand.
In addition, visual content is 40% more likely to be shared, according to statistics in an infographic created by Ethos3 – showing the opportunities Instagram poses to businesses.
Fortune has collated seven things that businesses owners should be doing on Instagram to use the app to their advantage;
“Advertising” and “Instagramming” are two different things - The example given is the Victoria’s Secret Instagram page. By posting content which is visually pleasing and fun, rather than product focused, a ‘lifestyle’ is created.
The website reads: “Lesson: The primary objective must be to build a loyal brand following. Purchases and engagements will follow organically.”
Be authentic - No brand is perfect, so showing a combination of images ranging from polished to more ‘real’ and ‘candid’ will give consumers a more personal connection.
“Lesson: Your Instagram should resemble a patchwork quilt of your brand. Some posts will be 100% on brand, while others offer a glimpse into your everyday life. Plan, but be genuine, not rehearsed.”
Tell a story - Keep followers engaged by interconnecting posts.
“For example, if you are a speaker about to present a keynote, post your three potential outfits. Follow this up with a photo of what you chose, and, later, a third photo of you at the event.
“This also works well for packaged goods. Ask your followers for their thoughts on two options of new packaging. Continue with a post of what you chose and, finally, a photo of the restyled product on a store shelf.”
Align yourself with other brands – “Business alliances don’t have to be formal to work. Rub shoulders with other organisations as both sides will benefit.”
Quality over quantity - By establishing and adhering to a benchmark of quality, you can avoid bombarding followers with pointless posts.
“Carefully consider the quality of your content. People prefer lovely and engaging images.”
Use captions to engage - The caption accompanying the image is just as important, giving the user a reason to stop by your page.
“People also respond well to pictures that stir a sense of pride or advocate the need for change. What images can you post that would encourage such responses?”
Start now – “The most important piece of advice I can offer is to be certain your message is consistent and authentic. Be professional and interesting in equal measures, but be interesting first.”