In my last #AskMeAnything Series, I talked about travel, social media, email marketing and ice hockey. I chose these topics because they are some of the many things I have deep interest and understanding in. Since the session went well, I decided to host my second AMA event. This time, I wanted the session to focus on a very specific topic, so I asked friends and family what the next topic should be about, and the response I got was moving towards branding.
Ding ding ding! When I created yasminuurya.co I had plans to share this blog on my favourite social media platforms but there was always one that I’m particularly fond of – Instagram.
This week’s #AskMeAnything Series topic is Branding with Instagram. (Note: You may find one or two questions about content marketing for this blog, which I’m hoping could be useful to you too.)
Here are the highlights:
Cory Reed – How exactly does Instagram work that it helps businesses improve and expand their spread?
Since I started using Instagram, I’ve tried different ways to reach out to the right audience in my market niche. In my case, I wanted people to read my stuff on my blog and it was a no-brainer to use Instagram because the platform is driven by images and I had lots and lots of images. The tips I’m about to share are also tips I use to help my clients grow their brand on Instagram.
1. Post Images Daily. Say your goal is to introduce to your audience a new product. Your post can be in a form of typography or text designs or a really good picture of the product. To entice audience upon a discovery they’ve made on your product, its always best when your pictures are of good quality.
2. Caption Quality. If there’s an early bird promo, be sure to spell it out in the caption – creatively. Having a caption that speaks to an audience on Instagram is what entices people to dig deeper into your stuff. They’ll want to find out more details from your website or even DM you for a quick enquiry. (Be sure to be responsive). It’s got to be easy to read too. Instagram caption area is not exactly paragraph sensitive, so anything you write straight in Instagram will turn out to be clustered or rather crowded. Using your phone’s note app to write your caption and then copy and paste on to Instagram always works.
3. Posts Scheduling. Timing is everything. Instagram provides insights on each image you post. It tells you the number of impressions per post, it tells you gender and age distribution of your followers, location of your followers and average times your followers are on Instagram on a typical day. While the information can be useful, it may not be as accurate. You’ve got to be willing to test out your post timing every now and then to see what time of the day works best for your account. Alternatively, tools like Crowdfire, Schedugram and Sprout Social can help you work your Instagram efficiently.
4. Hashtag Strategy. Instagram’s algorithms can work like magic for your brand if you know how to use it. Choosing a random hashtag with millions of posts is not enough. Knowing how many hashtags you need to use, arranging them in the right order according to how many post each hashtag has and literally scrutinizing who on Instagram are using the hashtags could be a game changer when you want to expand your brand’s reach. Tools like Websta helps you analyze your Instagram community and find potential fans. What’s neat about this tool is that you’re able to have access to hashtag ranking. Tagboard is another cool tool. It uses hashtags to search and collect public social media within seconds of posting on Instagram.
5. Engagement. So just because you’ve posted an image at the best time, with quality captions and quality hashtags, the right people may still not find your brand. After posting use the hashtags to find users that are in similar market niche. The people who like, comment and follow their Instagram account, are likely to follow, like and comment on your Instagram too. It makes sense for them to do so because you’re brand is selling similar products of your competitors. So go ahead and follow away, like it and comment already!
RPrice – What are the pre-requisites for opening an account on Instagram?
Before opening an account, be sure you know what your market niche is. Are you in travel, fashion, sports, fitness, home design, beauty?
Think of an Instagram name that is both unique to your brand and if possible one that is simple to pronounce. You’ll want people to remember your brand forever.
Upon signing up, set your account to connect to other social media platform you own. You’ll want to spread the news about what you’ve posted on Instagram to other platforms where followers who are not on Instagram could be.
Be mindful of what you post daily. Every post must have a purpose and if your brand is selling a product, posting images with a straight forward message about the product is always good. It doesn’t have to only be about your product, it can also be about your lovely customers or a short tutorial video of how to use your product.
If your brand is already on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, its also good to introduce your existing followers to your new Instagram account. Post a Facebook ad about your new Instagram or tweet about it on Twitter. Chances are your existing followers will become your new Instagram followers too.
Gregory Le – How does Instagram compare to promoting business via Twitter or Facebook?
Instagram is all about discovery and images rule this platform. In my previous AMA event, I talked about how Instagram is one of the world’s fastest growing social media platform. There are 600 million users on Instagram worldwide and on top of that 85% of the world’s biggest brands are on Instagram. With just one single still image post, you have endless supplies of people looking and scrolling by the second through hashtag feeds for some kind of confidence that “this is the product I’m looking for and want to get”.
Posting images on Facebook is ok. But the picture won’t appeal the same way it does on Instagram. With Facebook, its all about insightful content. Content that is useful and gives potential customers more clarity towards your business. I’m not saying that your images on Instagram are not useful, your images are useful and are just as important because it confirms how your product really looks like. Whereas Facebook, it can further validate your awesome pictures on Instagram with how-to articles, videos, articles about your brand’s top products or content on anything related to your market niche.
Twitter on the other hand is about little snippets of daily announcements. It’s a quick way for people to grab on information and eventually proceed to a website or Facebook page to find out more about your brand.
Hensley Mark – Are there any age restrictions at Instagram to prevent undue exposure of underage people to content not suitable for them?
Instagram has an age restriction. Any kids 13 years old and below are not allowed to open an Instagram account. But that doesn’t mean they can’t open one. Some kids open an account with their parents permission and some may even register with false birth dates.
While Instagram has privacy and blocking features that can help prevent unwanted strangers reaching out to your kids, it’s probably not enough to prevent them from being exposed to unsuitable content. It’s not hard to use Instagram’s explore feature and hashtags. Kids can easily find images from these features.
If parents allow their kids to use Instagram (or find out that they are using it), there has to be a set of strict rules and guidelines for them in order to protect their safety, reputation and inappropriate communications with strangers.
Here are some possible rules and guidelines parents can use with kids:
1. Set account privacy setting. This way anyone who wants to follow your kids account, will need approval.
2. Talk to them about posting images. Tell them to think before they post.
3. Advise them to call out on cyberbullying.
4. Be respectful.
5. Discuss with them the different ways that a stranger could come accross as harmful and dangerous.
Read Instagram tips for parents. These tips could lower the of kids being exposed to unsuitable content.
Thansen – How does Instagram help you grow your travel blog or spread its word?
I use Instagram to provide a snippet or a summary of the latest travel blog posts. Its a great way to inform people that they can click on the link in my bio to view the full version. Along with quality caption and relevant hashtags, Instagram helps target potential audience who could be interested in reading my stuff.
The work doesn’t just stop at posting. Engagement with followers and other users within a few minutes after posting is probably the most crucial step to making sure my latest post is known and visible.
Within those few minutes, users are scrolling through tonnes of other posts in the same hashtag I included in my post, and in that time I want to rank in the top three post in all my hashtags to increase the chances of people tapping my post first. It’s all about timing with Instagram.
Micheal – What are the advantages of using Instagram for business use as compared to traditional business tools?