Its 2016, where can you find people engaging and spending the majority of their time? Social media.
As a marketing professional you already know this. With the many social media platforms readily available to the general public at any given time, Instagram is by far the leading platform with the most active users. Think about all the people who look at Instagram throughout the day. I’m personally embarrassed to admit the number of times I’m looking at it, but seriously why don’t you have an Instagram?
Instagram allows its users to be engaging on a visual platform. If you are looking to optimize your social media usage for prime ROI and efficiency, then look no further because you have come to the right place.
I recently stumbled upon a study conducted by Forrester Research which shows that active Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment, and share a brand’s post than Facebook users, and 120 times more likely than Twitter users. To throw some more numbers your way, the Pew Research Center’s “The Demographics of Social Media Users,” indicates that 28% of online adult users are on Instagram–55% of its users being young adults between the ages of 18-29, with numbers rising each year. And here I sit still trying to understand why more people don’t use Instagram.
What better way to visually promote a product than by showcasing it on a platform where the majority of 2016 millennia’s are spending and engaging their time. So now the question is, how can you use Instagram to promote your products?
- Specific Target Audience Hashtags. Hashtags allow for people to find others who are posting about that specific topic. An appropriate hashtag can help reach new people and spark interest in a product. The most effective hashtags are those that describe the photo and are actively used on Instagram. Iconosquare and Websta are two free online tools that can be used to help come up with popular hashtags that are related to your business.
- Partner with a Social Media Influencer. Fitness and beauty companies are well known for partnering with social media influencers to promote their products. Social media influencers can be anyone from a celebrity to someone with a large community following. These are people that their followers trust, so if they are saying that they use a specific product then it must be good. This is a way of advertising a product that doesn’t bombard the consumer, it’s a new way of advertising that’s not so in your face. Take a look at the queen of social media Kim Kardashian, she has over 60 million followers on her Instagram account and has been known to get 600k plus likes with thousands of comments and shares. Now I’m not saying get Kim K. to promote your products, (don’t even want to begin to imagine what she charges to promote a product on her Instagram). My point is that when she posts something people are going take notice. My personal favorite social media influencer is Kayla Itsines. She has developed her own company to help women achieve their fitness goals in and effective and efficient way. Her presence on Instagram has caught fire with 4.4 million followers and counting. On her page you will see her training methods, healthy eating ideas, and client transformations. Since her following is already more health-targeted and her audience likes and trusts her, they are more likely to use products recommended by her. Not only is the specific audience being targeted, but there is now ample opportunity for tagging and sharing, the company’s reach has become exponential.
- Post an Eye Catching Photo. Once again, Instagram is all about visual appeal; and the right picture can do wonders for your product. There are a number of ways to achieve such visual appeal, one being picking the right filter. I don’t know how many times I have had my friends tell me to make sure I filter a picture before positing it. But does picking the right filter really make a difference? Absolutely! A study conducted by Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech after analyzing 7.6 million photos, found that using an appropriate Instagram filter can increase your likes by up to 21% and 45% of comments (read more Here). “One of the main motivations for filter use is to enhance a photo and correct for brightness, saturation, contrast and focus.” Simply by enhancing a photo you can attract the eye in your targeted audience. My personal favorite has to be Valencia. I use it frequently because I like the way it ENHANCES my photos. Now that we have the filter situation taken care of, we have to talk about the type of photos that you should be posting. Post an exclusive photo, something that your followers haven’t seen before. Post live streaming photos, let your followers know about a new product launch or store opening. Show appreciation by giving a shout out to a follower, like what can be seen on Kayla Itsines Instagram. Remember Instagram users respond to visually appealing photos!
- Engage With Your Followers. Your followers are your targeted audience. By showing appreciation and acknowledging their presence, it will generate a better following. Like and comment on your followers posts, offer promotional discounts or specials, let your consumers know you care about them. Without your followers and consumers, you wouldn’t be able to reach the level of success you have achieved, so go ahead show them some love!
- Show Community Support by Supporting a Cause. Show your community that you care by supporting a local charity or cause. Here at RFA, we have helped support so many local charities and foundations through various promotions. One near and dear to my heart is when my wonderful, amazing co-workers supported the Maria Tiberi Foundation, (foundation focused on educating the importance of defensive driving and the life changing consequences of distracted driving) by walking in Maria’s Miles. This shows that your company isn’t being run by robots, this lets your followers know you are real people, with real feelings and emotions who truly do care about their customers.
Its 2016 people, get with the times!
Look at your Instagram as a way to visually draw people into your realm without shoving ads down their throats. Marketers today need to be taking advantage of this social media platform if they truly want to connect with their consumers. Progression is not possible without change, so maybe a change in marketing is not such a bad idea.