Instagram is a great platform for businesses to extend their branding efforts as well as utilize it as a marketing and sales channel.
Most of you reading this post have a perception about Instagram to be a casual social network which is only for fashion brands and photographers,.. it isn’t.
Fashion and photography industry effectively use it for marketing, brand building and often sales; other industries too can utilize it as a social front (formerly it was Facebook) of their business, share behind the screen images and videos, socialise with people, explore new trends others are following, get hiring leads, create a non-formal army of followers and brand ambassadors, experiment with marketing etc.
Growth hacking for Instagram can be called as a process of rapid experimentation to identify the most efficient way to grow the business over Instagram. The main focus is to grow the business using conventional and unconventional ways, which are low cost alternatives to traditional ways like paid shoutouts, Instagram ads, thunderclaps, etc.
Do you know 80% of the Instagram users are outside the US?.. Do you know 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily?.. Do you know 5% of the Instagrammers take action after getting inspired by a post?.. Do you know 90% of the brands are on Instagram.. and cent percentile should you.
Most of the businesses are using growth hacks for their Instagram profile to improve their brand presence on Instagram, get more followers and likes very quickly and low cost. The benefit of using growth hacks is it organically grow your Instagram followers, which are natural and fits perfectly in your marketing strategy.
Although forums and blogs are flooded with articles on improving Instagram accounts and hacks to achieve followers and likes in loads, there are some evergreen Instagram tips for growth hacking your business on Instagram.
Below are 9+1 such tips to follow.
Theme your Images
Chip this in your Instagram marketing strategy. Theming your images on the basis of colors, saturation, hue and maintaining it throughout the profile can land you bulk followers. Theming generates a sense of uniqueness which flows in sync with your Instagram’s profile aura.
Here are few tips to get started with theming your Instagram profile.
- Stick with the same filter: Get inspired by other brands or use your own variations (BNW+low saturation is my favourite). Let images blend in with a single filter, or keep it real (no filters).
- Take pictures of the same subject : If it’s food, it should only be food, no other random images breaking the flow.
- Think about every picture before you post: Does it suit your theme, if not and is worth sharing, Tweet it, pin it on Pinterest, share it on Facebook or upload it on your personal Instagram and tag your business, or ask a co-worker to do it from their profile.
- Crop all of your images the same way : Go with the traditional square with a white border, or give the background a blurry effect from your image; make your image narrow and long. When all of your images are identically cropped, it makes your feed look soothing and a lot better.
Take a look at LaurenConrad’s profile, all the photos are warm toned and reflects hazy vibe. She also has another Instagram profile for her website, where she shares mixed subjects with bright tones.
Take a genuine interest in other user’s content too. Search images and videos using right hashtags (use allhashtag to generate hashtags, use and search them as well.) Drop your opinions in comments, like or share a tip in DM. Respond to brand hashtag mentions and media tags, re-share them on your profile.
Users love when brands interact with them.
Take a look at Amul India. Amul is an Indian dairy initiative which produces milk products. Their profile has mostly user generated content which looks delicious. Their profile bio openly invites followers and other non-followers to contribute using #amul #amulstories hashtags, which is a great Instagram marketing and growth strategy.
Tag and win
It is a great Instagram strategy to increase brand awareness using existing followers.
Ask followers to tag people relating an image, it can be inspiration quote, funny image, a situation from office etc.
Furthermore, it would be more attractive for followers if you offer something in return.
Let’s look an example to understand this better.
A Female hair styling brand asking people to tag a person(s) who always have messy hair and in return, they will randomly choose 2 out of them and give them a free haircut or discount coupons of exclusive services.
You must be well versed in using right hashtags for your business.
Using many hashtags can ruin your chances of delivering right message to followers and looks spammy; while using very few hashtags can decrease chances on getting more reach and grow organically.
Also avoid #doing #this #to #your #posts.
It’s annoying to read, kiddish and #will #make #people #unfollow #you.
Distributing hashtags is a good idea to parse both the conditions. The trick is to use 4-5 powerful hashtags with your main content i.e. caption and post. Now take another set of relevant hashtags and post them in the first comment. If you don’t want to clutter your hashtags, bury them beneath dots and line breaks.
To project more neatness into your content, you can separate content and hashtags using comments.
Post in a pattern
Post images to form a pattern on your profile.
Check this profile, do you see any similarity in posts.
This profile has recently started its Instagram journey and has adopted this growth hack tip. They have successfully created a pattern in their Instagram feed, by efficiently using grid format.
The Right column is all images and text and opposite two columns are plain images.
You can experiment it with different variations including color filters, post type(image & video), different subjects etc.
Track your Followers
It is very necessary to keep track of monthly follows and unfollows. It helps business keep record of their efforts and outcome. Crowdfire is a mobile app which keeps record of a number of follows and unfollows on your Instagram account. As a special feature, it tracks accounts which have gone inactive in the past one, three and even six months.
Sometimes getting users to do what you want can be as easy as asking them to do it. While writing caption, be clear about CTA you will use and write accordingly. Most popular Instagram CTA for businesses include asking followers to tag a friend in comments, check the link in description, order now, Limited offer and DM us.
If you are writing a long caption, you can include CTA twice, once in between the post and another at the end. Be sure to capitalize CTA to make it stand out.
Additionally, create a sense of urgency to improve the effectiveness of the post.
Instagram stories, a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day other than the ones you want to keep on your profile. You can share multiple photos and videos, and combined they will appear together in a slideshow format.
The Best part of stories is it shows a story for 24hrs only.
Businesses can create and share real or transparent content like insider moments, snaps, videos which are correlating to create a story.
Business can take advantage of it and share offers that are bound to Instagram story.