We receive a lot of questions from brands about Instagram best practices and the best way to showcase their products on the channel. Here are quick answers to seven of their most common inquiries.
Instagram Best Practices
The visual nature of Instagram means it was made for almost any brand that has a product to sell. But it takes more than just posting pretty pictures of products for brands to be successful on the channel.
1. Why should we be using Instagram to connect with customers?
Instagram is the fastest growing social network—with over 600 million monthly active users, it’s bigger than Twitter. There’s a really good chance that your customers are using it. They’re likely to be posting photos of your products too. If your customers are there, you should be as well.
Instagram’s advertising and shopping features also allows brands to do what they love to do: sell their products to a highly targeted group of people most likely to buy those products.
2. How do we start finding and connecting with customers on Instagram?
Search for those tagging your brand in their photos or updates. Search for people using all brand or product related hashtags too. If you have brick and mortar stores, don’t forget to search Places to find people who’ve shared photos from inside your locations(s).
3. What should we do to build community on Instagram?
Respond to mentions and tags. Comment on and “double tap” those pics! Follow your followers and others mentioning you or sharing photos from inside your establishments. You know how good it feels when someone tags you in their photo or likes one of yours? Give your customers that same feeling.
4. What actions or tactics should we avoid on Instagram?
A common thing we’ve seen negatively impact many brands is purchasing followers. They wonder why they’re getting no engagement or where all of their followers went all of a sudden. Don’t forget the Instapurge of 2014!
I get it; image and perception is everything and you want look impressive with a lot of followers. But think of how bad you’ll look—and how embarrassed you’ll feel—when Instagram cleans up spam accounts again and everyone knows you bought fake followers because your audience size dropped from 1 million to 10 thousand.
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5. What tools can help us make Instagram more manageable for us?
Sprout Social is my favorite for scheduling photos to publish, as well as monitoring for (and responding to) all comments, mentions, and hashtags. Their Optimal Send Times feature make it easy for you to post at times when your fans are most likely to engage with your photos.
Brands should also get comfortable with Instagram regramming and reposting apps so they can show fans & customers some love.
6. What brands are doing a great job on Instagram?
Any brand that is actively monitoring for, and engaging with, customers’ photos of their products instead of just posting their own. Take a look at your competitors’ accounts and make note of what’s working for them: is their a type of photo or video that appears to be generating more engagement than others? Incorporate that into your own content mix if it’s relevant.
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7. How can we learn more about marketing on Instagram?
Well, Firebelly can certainly help! But don’t neglect the Instagram Help Center either. It contains a lot of great information for brands new to Instagram—from advertising to enabling shopping on your posts, and more.
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