Instagram is too vast a platform for any ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy to work long-term. Therefore, as a business looking to build a brand on Instagram, you have to craft your own path. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, necessarily, but you’ll have to adapt best practices and give them your own unique spin.
Maybe you’ve already been on Instagram for a while and you’re wondering why you don’t have the following and user engagement that you want and need. Whatever your current situation is, there are always some fundamentals you can rely on:
- Use lots of relevant hashtags on your posts.
- Interact with your followers and people who comment.
- Be genuine and stay true to your brand.
With that said, if you want to give your Instagram profile a little shot in the arm, here are some unconventional strategies you can employ.
MAKE YOUR AUDIENCE A PART OF A CHALLENGE.
Social media is a great way to enlist a large group of people to a common cause/challenge. As a brand looking to make your way on Instagram, finding a cause or challenge that is relevant to your audience is a great way to improve user engagement.
For example, if you are a yoga/health/wellness business, you could have a “30 Days of Yoga/Pushups/Eating Clean” challenge. The success of ideas like the Whole30 diet shows that when you combine a healthy habit and add a time clause to it, people will catch on. Your page could become a hub for people sharing their 30-day challenge photos and tagging it with hashtags you created.
If you’re not in the health field, there are still plenty of ideas you can use to leverage your subscriber base. If you own your own business, you could post your victories or challenges with the hashtag #theimprefectboss and feature one new insight to running your own business once a week. You can encourage your followers to tag their own photos!
When big-ticket events come along or there’s a news story that is spreading like wildfire, contribute to the discussion. If there’s a new blockbuster about to hit theaters, you can use it to create fun content for your own channel.
For example, if you’re selling sneakers and the new Avengers movie comes out, you could have a small illustration drawn up with the caption “The Hulk doesn’t need sneakers. But you do.”
Major sporting events, entertainment trends, national issues and current affairs are all good places to look for content ideas. By throwing your hat into the ring (with an appropriate post, of course) you are exposing yourself to thousands of people who wouldn’t have otherwise discovered your page. Just make sure you’re not making any insensitive or offensive comments when you talk about these topics though.
Posting a great image on Instagram is the first step. But to take a post to its fullest potential, you sometimes need to frame a description in a way that encourages users to comment.
Giveaways and contests are a great example of this concept. By picking a lucky user from the comments section, for example, you are giving people who view your post a tangible reason to comment and follow your page.
Humorous posts are also likely to see more shares and comments. You might have come across several Instagram profiles who exclusively post memes and other pop-culture trivia, but still have thousands of followers.
Find what works, and then adapt it to your own style.
LET YOUR BRAND SHINE THROUGH EACH OF YOUR POSTS.
When you’re posting a piece of content on Instagram, ask yourself the following question.
“What does this image say about my brand?”
If you’re a brand for wedding photography, for example, you want your Instagram profile to generate a specific set of emotions – love, happiness, etc.. Therefore, lots of images with exactly those feelings. iI you’re a fitness/strength brand, maybe you’d like your entire profile to be motivational and light a fire in the minds of your audience. In this case, you should have a lot of inspirational quotes, images of people working out and body transformations on your page. Whatever you do, just stay consistent.
You get the idea – you’re not just posting images because they might get you more views. Each image you post says something about your brand.
Take a step back and view your Instagram profile from your main profile page. Does your brand feeling show through by Just looking at your feed? Do you brand colors come across? Does it look too cluttery?
If you are a brand that tends to post more photos with white in them, don’t one-day post something dark. Keeping consistent in your look and feel is a huge part in getting people to follow you. Who doesn’t love a good looking feed?
Think outside the box. Go back to the drawing board, and make sure you’re applying all of the basics correctly. Once you’ve done that, add the aforementioned strategies to your toolkit and watch your profile soar!
Additionally you can use Instamigos which will help you increase your engagement automatically and grow your audience with real users based on pre-selected hashtags, location or competition.