Instagram leads the pack when it comes to social media engagement. TrackMaven, a marketing software company, reports that 12 out of 13 analyzed industries saw the highest engagement ratio on Instagram when compared to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest (the outlier was the real estate industry, which gets the highest traction on LinkedIn).
That’s great news for most brands—it means that with consumers already primed to engage on the ‘Gram, a few well-placed strategies and initiatives can go a long way in terms of drumming up likes, comments, follows, and click-throughs. Here are the top ways to drum up meaningful engagement.
Use Relevant Hashtags
I feel so honored to be able to work with the talented @bluebirdchicllc! #Repost @bluebirdchicllc ・・・ This week’s ambassador spotlight is up on bluebirdchic.com (link in profile 👆) and features Addy Paramo of @chicplannergirl . Stop by to learn more about her work and save 20% on her favorite bluebird chic camera strap in the shop this week! #photographer #photographerslife #photographerstyle #womenstyle #womensfashion #womeninbusiness #womenphotographer #camerastrap #scarfcamerastrap #maker #makermade #makermovement #makersgonnamake #etsy #etsyseller #planneraddict #planner
This is—dare we say it—the single most important thing when crafting an Instagram caption. Using a sprinkling of high-traffic hashtags that are relevant to your audience will not only bring new users to you, but allow you to plug into a larger conversation. It shows that you know your community, be that crafting, cars, or clothes.
Host an Instagram Contest
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An Instagram contest spikes fan engagement and helps spread your brand’s influence by word-of-mouth. The first hurdle to running one is setting a goal, be that increasing likes and comments, gaining new followers, boosting web traffic, selling a new product, or increasing in-store traffic–or all of the above! Then, plan the parameters of your contest accordingly. Will you ask consumers to “like” a photo to win, or will you ask them to take a selfie with the product and add a tailored hashtag? Take a peek at Beat the Midsummer Lull With Instagram Contests for some creative ideas.
Post Quotes That Resonate
Though Instagram is primarily a visual platform, images that include quotes do very well. The tenor of what you post will naturally fall into your brand’s voice. A positive mantra, a surprising fact, or a silly meme–which of these best express who your brand is?
Plug Into Holidays and Events
Social media is what builds buzz around pop culture events, world news, and holiday happenings, so why not chime in? Keep your brand relevant by participating in what’s going on in your fans’ lives. Whether it be getting into the excitement for Fourth of July celebrations or a Superbowl game, let users know where you stand.
Regram Your Fans
Your fans are your biggest supporters, so let them cheer you on! Strengthen your online community by reposting images that your fans have tagged with your brand (be sure to ask permission first). You can also start a specific campaign soliciting user generated content that illustrates your brand through the consumer’s perspective.
Partner With an Influencer
Finding a social influencer to promote your brand is one of the fastest-growing marketing tactics for businesses of all sizes. A recent report from Technorati reveals that 65% of major brands include influencer targeting in their marketing strategy. It’s effective, too; that same report found that 31% of respondents said their purchasing decisions had been influenced by information they’d read on a blog or Facebook.
Post an Instagram Story
Instagram Stories are fun opportunities for your brand to branch out from your usual programmed content and experiment with a fresh format. Post behind-the-scenes videos, decorate and annotate photos, live-stream an event—get creative with it!
Don’t Forget a Call to Action
Whatever action you want your Instagram post to precipitate, ask and you shall receive. Ask your followers to chime into a conversation in the comments, tag a friend in a contest, or visit a Have2Have.it link to shop the products featured in your feed. Make it clear what you want your audience to do, and they will be much more likely to take action.