Remember when Facebook used to be all about sharing pictures of your drunk friends until they asked you to remove them? If you’re like me, you probably secretly kept them as leverage for later. 10 years later, brands have taken over your Facebook feed, and you’ve turned to Instagram and Snapchat to actually get an update on what your “REAL” friends are doing. So why would you follow a brand?
How can brands adapt to the platform without being perceived as pure spam? Here are 6 easy steps to kickstart a business Instagram account, to create a strong community of fans and to turn fans into customers.
Create Great Content.
Sounds like common sense? Yeah sure, but how do you do it? You don’t have to be a Jetsetter to be great on Instagram. You just need a strategy. You can plan a serious month of great content in only two days. You just have to take those two days to get it done. Shoot all of your posts and plan your captions. If you’re someone always on the go and shoot great content every day, be patient and save it for later. Take the time to edit it and make sure it fits perfectly within your strategy before going ahead and posting.
*Instagram is a visual app so having strong pictures is key however the caption is prime real estate, you have to use it to your advantage.
Create Value For Your Followers.
Building trust is the #1 component of Social Media. How can you build trust with a potential customer before they even think of buying from you? By sharing valuable content. Value doesn’t always have to be educational, it can be relatable, inspiring or funny. Identifying your target market can really help you figure out how you’ll do so. It doesn’t have to be too specific, whether it’s foodies, teenagers, athletes, fashion fiends, activists, entrepreneurs or young professionals. Once you pick that target market, make sure every single post would appeal to them. If you don’t, you’re just shooting darts in the dark. It’s going to take a while before you start getting some action. When using Instagram for business purposes you can’t count on your friends, you really have to reach out to your target customer/follower and direct all of your efforts towards them. The selfies you’ve taken with your product might do well on your personal account but you have to be careful when using them on your business account. Is this valuable to a potential customer who happens to be stranger?
Building a strong following takes time and you have to be patient. Even if you didn’t reach 500 followers in the first month. Keep planning your second month, and third month and year. Stick to the direction you opted for but don’t let things fizzle out. Keep things exciting and keep improving your content, eventually people will get it. Same thing goes for giving value, be patient before you start talking about your product and getting a buck from your followers. Make sure you’ve really created a core community of people who are active in your industry before you even try to sell them anything. You can give hints, but keep it cool until people start asking about it. Don’t use social media like your would use cold call sales, try to get those incoming leads.
Interact With Potential Fans.
Unless you’re doing Instagram ads, when you’re just getting started it’s really hard to suddenly start appearing on your target markets feed. So how do you slide into their life? Interaction. It’s time consuming but oh so worth it, leave a comment, like a pic. If you are confident that your feed is great and valuable, you just need to get their attention a few times before they start following you back. Use the location tool to interact with users closer to your business or who shop at a competitor’s store.
Get Influencers To Endorse Your Product.
The key to growing an Instagram account organically is getting people to talk about you. Creating word of mouth is the entire point of social media marketing. Select 50 people you think would be interested in your product. Figure out if you can get them to endorse your product for free or ask for their rate. It will give you a good idea of how to value a fan in your industry. When starting your Instagram account from 0, start with people who have 500-1000 followers. They will probably endorse you for cheap and their followers are more likely to be real friends/family who will actually believe in their endorsement. As you grow, your can target accounts that are always a little bigger than yours but nothing too crazy. People who have 50k followers might help you build your following but those new followers are less likely to lead to sales then a friend of a friend would.
Giving the opportunity to first time clients to become endorsers can also help you gain momentum faster.
Once you’ve built a strong account with growing interest in what you have coming next, start promoting your product every 3 to 5 posts. Whether it’s a promo code or simply redirecting your fans to the link in your bio. Track how well these posts do.
This would also be a good time to jump into the Instagram Ads platform.
This might sound like a long process. Don’t get me wrong, it could get done faster if the right influencers start paying attention but put in some time to plan, bring value and build that strong core community and your efforts will be rewarded.
Ariane >> Now if you could go ahead and follow me, that’d be great. @arianetonka
Also a cool read:
Instagram now shows how many times your videos have been viewed.