by UFSocial contributor Amanda Kehrrington
Social media platforms are the way we communicate with one another. This is where we get our information, see what is new, what is on sale at our favorite company, what events are happening, even find out which one of our friends is having a baby.
Nearly 65% of the population are visual learners and Instagram knows how to communicate through images by being the platform that focuses on capturing moments and grabbing attention with visual content.
Companies and individuals are using social media to build successful brands and make money.
I bet you have asked yourself, “how?”
Guess what? It’s not a secret
Everything you need to build a successful business or brand is inside of you. Here are a few pointers to building a brand and increasing engagement on Instagram:
Sharing on Instagram is all about capturing natural moments as they happen, most Instagram posts are not staged, they are on- the- go photos snapped and shared during events in time.
Angie Bellemare, Top 10 Coach with Team Beachbody, a multi-level marketing business or MLM, has nearly built a six-figure business off of Instagram. During an interview, she expressed the importance of creating a relationship with people based on similar interests.
“No other platform allows you to share a visual representation of your life as well as Instagram… and before somebody says “Pinterest”; that is not a visual representation of your life, but in my view, rather a visual representation of what you’d like your life to be.”
Instagram is more about sharing your original content and less about sharing others content.
A Photo is worth 1,000 Words
Instagram is an opportunity to grab attention through creative and unique eye catching images. The context of the post is in the image not the text. You are essentially creating a visual story.
Aside from your brand or company, take photos of things that your ideal customer would be interested in such as dogs, sunsets, or boats to make a connection and trigger an emotional response.
Showcase yourself and the fresh faces of your team. This gives your brand a face and depicts the joy and excitement others are having surrounding your brand or company.
Use the 3 Touch- Points
The great thing about Instagram is that you do not get flooded with invites or requests to join or follow someone; you simply choose to follow people and brands that you relate to.
Utilizing the 3 touch-points is how Bellemare grows her following:
“Every time you comment, like & follow somebody, your profile photo shows up on that individual’s smartphone, thus making you more visible. You’re able to make 3 touch points through simply interacting with people on Instagram (like, comment, follow) … and if they decide to follow you back, you can make as many additional touch points every single day as you please.”
You cannot force or invite others to follow you. Instead, you are ultimately being followed because they like your content, meaning you have already established a connection.
#Hashtags #Hashtags #Hashtags
Hashtags are important on most social media platform, but especially on Instagram. Utilizing hashtags the correct way increases visibility and awareness of your brand.
Bellemare utilizes hashtags in a way that helps her create connections with others on a daily basis.
“I search hashtags of things that bring me joy and follow people that empathize. I follow pages & follow the followers of pages on topics that I am passionate about. I start dialogues with dozens of people daily this way.”
Hashtags can also be used for specific events. If your brand or company is hosting a special event, drawing or giveaway, creating a hashtag for others to utilize, search, and follow will give people a way to look up the event before during and after the fact.
Hashtags can also be used as a way to direct people to your content. Use hashtags that are unique and niche specific to you, your brand and/or your events.
You can also create a brand hashtag (#companyname). This create a win-win situation for you and your brand awareness. Brands receive the benefit of increased exposure to new potential customers through an Instagrammers photo, and Instagrammers love to be featured on a brand’s profile for both the prestige and the increase in followers.
Create a Community
The goal is to drive engagement from people with similar interests. The best way to grow your following on Instagram is by building a living, breathing community of users that are actually interested in your content. Have a call to action or asking questions to create interaction and conversation.
Bellemare believes in sharing valuable content; something educational, inspiring, or simply something people can relate to:
“My exclusive purpose on Instagram is to create a meaningful connection with my audience by sharing authentic me. If I ever have a desire to share a product or service I am offering, my call to action is to connect with me personally so that I can talk to everyone 1 on 1.”
Connecting with people through personal messaging is an underutilized way to build a personal relationship with a follower.
Community is built by each post you curate because it’s a chance to connect with others through their comments and questions. Never leave questions unanswered and always thank and acknowledge people who leave comments.
Very Cool Things Instagrammers Are Not Using Enough
- Video Instagram increased the 15 second limit of its videos to a whopping 60 seconds in length.
- Instagram Live Video Unlike Facebook, however, Instagram livestreams don’t stick around. Broadcasts disappear once a user ends a broadcast.
- Hyperlapse An app that allows you to create time-lapse videos and share them on Instagram.
- Boomerang Create captivating mini videos that loop back and forth, then share them with your friends.
- My Story Instagram users will be able to send expiring content to individual friends as well as groups through a direct message.
- It Encourage users to click the link in the business’s profile which sends users to a virtual storefront. Users can purchase directly from that storefront, increasing your sales and revenue.
Hyperlaps and Boomerang are fun apps that can be used to grab the viewer’s attention. A lot of fitness accounts utilize Hyperlaps to show an entire workout in 20 seconds. Brands such as Plated are using Boomerang to show a moment in time forward and backward, like sautéing veggies. Several cosmetic brands use this as well to show makeup going on and coming off, almost like a continuous before and after shot.
Ready to create a business profile on Instagram?