Looking to grow your business and better engage with potential customers? Then add Instagram marketing to your social media strategy.
Instagram is home to a highly engaged and active user base – a potential goldmine for smart brands and businesses that know how to do marketing right.
On May 22, I moderated a sponsored SEJ ThinkTank webinar presented by Anna Semyanova, Marketing Manager at Combin, who shared five tips to skyrocket your Instagram marketing this year.
Here’s a recap of the presentation.
Despite the massive opportunity that the platform offers, not many companies are doing Instagram marketing well.
If you want to find success in the platform, you need to learn how to grow your followers organically.
Getting followers on Instagram is not hard. But getting real Instagram followers in your niche that are highly likely to purchase your product is a slightly different story.
The main goal is attracting real, genuine interest to your page.
This may sound easy, but once you get your hands on it, it becomes obvious how confusing and time-consuming a user search and attraction really is.
Many brands resort to using specialized applications to help them simplify the process.
Follow these five tips if you want to grow your brand and get great results on Instagram.
1. Know Your Target Audience
Instagram target audience research should be one of the first things on your to-do list when developing an Instagram strategy.
It seems obvious and easy, but still not many people exactly understand what this means.
You need to understand your audience so you can produce great content, write killer captions, and find your best time to post.
Actionable insights into your audience’s interests, preferences and behavior pave the road to a successful Instagram strategy.
To help you learn more about your target audience, you can use a tool like Combin which has an advanced search feature. You can:
- Search by hashtags: Find your audience in just 5-10 minutes.
- Search by location.
- Search by hashtags and location combination.
For instance, imagine that you have just created a profile for a watch brand. You are looking for visibility and larger audience on Instagram. Your goal will be to find accounts interested in what you offer.
In Combin, just click Search on the left and then search by posts.
Think of hashtags your audience might be using (like #wristwatch, #watchesofinstagram, #watchoftheday, etc.), then type that into the hashtag field.
You can also specify the location you want in order to find potential customers around your area. It’s a winning idea especially for those who are local business owners.
As soon as you’re done with all the settings, click Find. When the search is finished, you will see users’ posts related to your search parameters. You can also apply some more filters.
2. Research Your Competitors
Your competitors have the same target audience as you and they might have already done a lot of the hard work for you so why not use this to your advantage.
One of the best ways to find, attract and build a huge following is targeting your closest competitors and after that stealing their audience.
These people have already shown some level of interest in your niche simply connecting with your competition.
You can use Combin’s Search by Users feature to look for a particular account’s:
3. Find Influencers & Promote Your Account With Their Help
Influencer marketing is a growing trend within the social media sphere.
Influencers can share your products or brand with their established audience because they tend to have a relationship with their followers.
A product that an influencer recommends is similarly perceived as a product recommended by a friend.
When it comes to collaborating with influencers as a brand, authenticity should be one of the most important factors to consider.
The best influencers are those who have real followers that are genuinely interested in their content. In other words, influencers who have real influence over their audience.
For example, H&M has one of the largest Instagram followings of any fashion brand on social media today and this is because they have an influencer campaign with women who reflect H&M’s style.
Fashion blogger Julie Sariñana and model Ela Velden are two influencers whom H&M partnered with for its fall 2017 catalog.
Julie loved the clothing so much that she decided to promote it to her own Instagram account and H&M had great success from this.
There are several ways to find influencers related to your niche.
If you’re using Combin, you can do it through User Search. Go to Users List and then type in your competitors’ user names.
Sort the results by the number of followers – those at the top will be the influencers you need to work with.
You can also use Search by Posts – just type in the accounts, hashtags, or locations relevant to you.
After this, you can look up the post uploaders’ profiles and then decide who you want to work with.
Remember that it’s necessary to sort the results by the number of followers, likes, and comments. Instagram accounts appearing at the top after sorting are your potential influencers.
But before working with any of the influencers you found, take some time to truly research them and their social media presence. Beyond these follow numbers:
- Are they getting enough engagement on their posts?
- Does their audience actually care about what these influencers are saying?
- What other brands have they collaborated with? What were the campaigns like?
- Are they truly authentic?
4. Be as Active & Up-to-Date as Possible
The next tip is all about engagement. Social media is all about engagement – not about the numbers.
You’d be surprised how many companies searching for Instagram growth just forget this simple social part of social media marketing.
Posting the right content constantly attracts more attention from your target audience, but it’s the conversations you have with those people that turn these casual visitors into brand advocates and really loyal fans.
Answering a question in the comments section or even responding to a direct message help you build deeper relationships with your followers.
Not only is it demanding to create original content every day, but it’s also a more solitary experience just posting one’s own content.
In order to grow your community, curate content from accounts that you find inspirational and relevant. It’s also a great idea to repost user-generated content.
Instagram allows brands to experiment. If you to be a relevant brand, take a risk and try every new Instagram feature such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and Question Stickers.
Show your followers that you’re up-to-date.
For instance, Forever 21 experiments with many features in their profile. Look at how bright and
and engaging their Stories are.
If you are constantly interacting with your audience, Instagram will start pushing your content to their feeds more often. If your content is good, they will like and comment back.
When you have a good engagement, Instagram starts to promote your content in the Top posts section and the Explore feed.
So in addition to accumulating as many new followers as possible, you must build strong, long-lasting relationships with your followers.
5. Enjoy the Journey!
Enjoy the journey and keep it casual. On Instagram, you can showcase your brand’s light side so don’t be afraid to be entertaining.
Embrace that avatar and have fun with your content.
“A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It’s about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role.” — Yehuda Berg
[Video Recap] 5 Easy Secrets of Fast Instagram Promotion
Here’s the video recap of the webinar presentation and Q&A session.
Or review the presentation deck below.
All screenshots taken by author, May 2019