Instagram is our new BFF (for the uninitiated, read: Best Friend Forever).
Right from sharing that good-angled, well-lit picture of a steaming cup of coffee to scouting for that perfect Prada couture, we capture moments, shop, search, and store memories here.
Capitalising on the basic principle - ‘all humans are visual beings', Instagram today has become a powerful marketing tool, globally. Everyone wants in, from budding fashionistas to booming businesses. And, why shouldn't they? After all, with over 500 million active monthly users, Instagram is where the business is.
The Science of Instagram
Before we explore the how-to's of smart marketing on Instagram, let's take a quick crash course on what Instagram is. As a free application, available for iPhone and Android users, Instagram is a visual engagement app, that lets users take photos, apply filters to beautify the pictures and then share it publicly or privately. Users also have the options to inter-link their accounts to other social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare.
A social media marketer's dream come true
With Instagram fast becoming the most popular medium of social sharing, it presents a great platform for social media advertising agencies to participate and engage their audience through this thriving community. But, having said that, like almost everything else in business, Instagram marketing must be done right.
Like always, the firsts to ride this wave of change are the social media and advertising agencies from Dubai. So, taking a cue from their social media marketing strategies, here are 5 tips for growing your business's presence on Instagram
Tip #1 Click ‘Clever’ Pictures
Your success with Instagram will only be as good as the pictures your post. So, get your pictures right. Start with high-resolution images only. Good quality of your brand’s pictures should be a non-negotiable clause.
Make sure essential elements/messages are covered within the photo frame. To make avoid essential information from getting cropped out of your photo, social media experts’ advice is to for square frames. The best way to save time and compose better pictures.
As using Instagram alone, to shoot and edit images, can be limiting, use external photo apps for options such as grids, palettes, frames, and colour schemes.
Tip #2 ‘Hashtag’ it right
The best way to get to the best of anything is to get the facts right. In the Instagram world, it is the knowledge of right hashtags. Explore before your start. Swope around to discover trending hashtags that might be relevant to your brand.
The technical way to do that - use Instagram's ‘Explore’ feature. It will help you find posts and hashtags that are trending and relevant to your brand. Then, use it wisely and in a timely manner to get your brand discovered.
As a second, hashtag study will also give you an insight into your consumer's social media consumption pattern. You'll notice the kind of content your community is interested in, by the way of their posts, and what they follow. This will help you customise your hashtags and content accordingly.
Like everything else on social media, boring doesn't sell. Don't go blatantly plugging your own brand, instead, be wise and get social media-smart.
Tip #3 Get smart with ‘bio-link'
When using Instagram as a marketing tool, you need to get creative and be calculative at the same time. Not only do you need to plan your posts well in advance, you need to start ideating content for your bio link as well. You can add a link to your bio to connect the user to you're the landing page of your business portal. This will increase the traffic, allow leads, promote business, enhance brand visibility, and build social media presence for your agencies and clients.
Social media advertising experts recommend using a customised bit. ly link for the bio URLs. Not only are these links short, but they would help document the numbers of visits to your website.
Keep it fresh and innovative. Change the link frequently to continuously monitor your social media progress.
Tip #4 ‘Cross-promote’ is the word
In the world of social media advertising - breed friends, not enemies! The rewards can be umpteen. Don't go around promoting your products and clients, instead look for complimenting businesses, experts from a similar arena, sister concerns, and even your own consumers, and promote them.
This smart move of cross promoting other content will drive more followers to your page, increase your credibility among your users as well as competitors, increases traffic and improves overall visibility.
Tip #5 Get ready to ‘pay’ up
Piggy-back on accounts of Instagram superstar. That is, to make your Instagram campaign explosive, identify large Instagram accounts that already have followers from your demographic and pay to be featured. Sponsored ads, as they are called, are largest drivers of the social media audience.
Any good social media agency will immediately notice this potential, as this scheme will give you the cheapest CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) of all the ad platform available in the market today.
Scouting for a suitable account should not be tough. There are many a thousand of Instagram accounts that are built with the sole aim of broadcasting features and companies.
If you want to make your mark or start a spark, with social media marketing, in the ever-expanding Dubai market, Instagram is your ticket. Remember, with a plethora of marketing benefits to offer, this space is constantly innovating, businesses and individuals, alike, are only bound to profit from it further. So, sign up and get ready to have your consumers hooked on to your brand, almost … ‘INSTA'ntly!