The following is a guest contributed post from Amber Racer (@RevitalAgency).
Start snapping photographs in exchange for sales leads. Instagram — the popular social media platform for sharing photographs — is officially bigger than Twitter.
Instagram has risen to the top of the list as one of the ‘best social media marketing tools’ with an amazing 400 million users to date. Instagram allows you to connect with your audience by putting your business in the palm of their hands through the mobile phone your customers carry everywhere they go.
In an article by Austen Allred, who helped a friend sell $4,000 in neckties on Instagram, he states the ability to move products all boils down to two simple things:
1. Creating something desirable enough that some subset of the human population wants it
2. Getting in front of those people in the right way
Build a following with marketing campaigns on Instagram:
Find Your Community with Brand Identity
Sharing is essential to the success of your social media efforts. So find your people. The first step to creating an Instagram campaign should always be know who you’re targeting. Tap into the minds of your audience by creating buyer personas based on the Instagram users who respond best to your brand identity. You can add various aspects of the user’s personality, interests and style when building out buyer personas to reach more like customers.
Showcase Products Daily
If you want to increase sales leads with Instagram, start by showcasing your products and services on a daily basis. Balance posts between products/sales and fun content, and be consistent! Think of your Instagram profile as your very own digital magazine. You can take photos of your products in action and leave captions that entice people to click through. This not only increases traffic to your online pages, but it also generates new leads simply by showcasing what you offer.
Announce Sales and Exclusive Discounts
Is your business ready for a sale soon? Try using Instagram to announce online sales and deals. Give them a reason to follow your page by offering exclusive discounts to your Instagram followers. Instagram is an easy place to create excitement over a sale, so try offering your loyal customers a discount.
Explore Every Day
The “Explore” option of your Instagram profile is a useful tool for gaining more followers. Just look for the search icon. It automatically finds similar posts, hashtags and profiles for you. If you search for like profiles and posts everyday, you can get a ton of Instagramers interested in your page simply because they already identify with it. Find followers that you know would love to see your photos in their gramfeed.
Follow the Hashtags
People also like to know that you’re still human, so it’s always a good idea to reciprocate. Like your followers’ posts and snap live photos ‘behind the scenes’ to tell a story and better connect with your target audience. Any time you post a new hashtag, follow it through. It’s amazing how many followers you can find just by being like-minded. If someone else just posted using the same hashtag, watch how easy it is to get them to respond with a like.
Another strategy is to use the “Follow, Like, Like, Like” method mentioned by Allred and many others who use Instagram for marketing campaigns. Click through your latest hashtag, follow the profile, then like three photos. This will encourage new followers to join your online community.
Ask more questions. Any opportunity you get to leave your posts open-ended, take it. Encourage your Instagram community to interact with posts by asking questions with your captions and answering replies in the comments. Include the customer in the conversation by making questions a part of your marketing strategy.
Quality not Quantity
When it comes to building a following on Instagram, it’s quality not quantity. No one is going to follow your account if you’re constantly posting spam or telling people to buy from you. Your photos alone should compel them. In order to determine the best approach, try to first A/B test photographs and posts to see what works.
How many photos should you add per day? At least one photo per day with solid branding should set the standard for consistency. But in reality, it all depends on your products/services, industry, and audience. You can get away with posting much more when your inventory is huge.
Increase Demand with a Giveaway
Instagramers love free stuff. Get them buzzing about something new with an Instagram giveaway. If you’re about to release a product that you want everyone to see then give it away for free. Share a photo of an item, and in the caption, ask them to repost the photo, follow you, and tag your profile to enter. Follow up by posting a photo naming the winner, and tag everyone who participated in the comments.
Let them know it’s still available for purchase.
Start building a following on Instagram with a brand identity, customer targeting, and strategic marketing. Did you find this article useful for your Instagram marketing campaigns? Please share your strategy by leaving a comment and share this article with your network.