#1: Build a community around an actionable Instagram hashtag
This strategy is the perfect way to get your audience to engage with your brand. Nike did it well with their winter campaign Choose Your Winter. Instagram themselves have recognized Nike for having the ability to start a movement with their #runfree campaign.
Smaller brands can leverage hashtag campaigns as well. Take #EEEEEATS for instance. This hashtag was created by the guys at Infatuation to create an online food community for “anyone who is serious about food, but doesn’t take food too seriously,” according to their site. And it’s worked absurdly well with over 8,417,214 posts shared using the prevalent hashtag for foodies all over the map.
2: Partner with a good cause that supports your brand’s values
Few brands take a unique approach to their posts by promoting and sharing their partnerships with their followers. For instance, SweetGreen, a lunch spots for salads, soups, and fro-yo, pride themselves on serving local and organically sourced ingredients from farmers and trusted partners.
They’ve developed a relationship with the non-profit FoodCorps. This partnership aligns seamlessly with SweetGreen’s healthy-living values, since FoodCorps’ mission is to enable children to make healthier choices when it comes to food.
This SweetGreen Instagram beautifully demonstrates their partnership with FoodCorps and displays how their values align and what their company stands for.
#3: Relate to your followers while staying relevant to your brand
You always want to be thinking in the mindset of your target consumers. Likely you’ve already established a few buyer personas and have an idea of the makeup of the leads you’re nurturing and the customers you’re delighting. But now you need to think about why they’re on Instagram. To kill time? To see what’s up with their friends? To check-in on what their children are up to?
Harpoon does this well by always using humor, delicious looking recipes made or inspired by their beer flavors, and always staying relevant to the time of year while promoting their seasonal flavors, to show how they relate to their followers.
#4: Don’t over-post
This tip is pretty self-explanatory, but for those new to the Instagram platform, please note that over-posting is a big insta-no-no!
If you’re tempted to post multiple pictures at once, use Instagram’s album feature, which allows you to make a carousel gram with multiple pictures in a slideshow format. That way, you won’t clog your followers’ feeds and cause them to unsubscribe for life.
According to a study from CoSchedule, the optimal amount of times for a business to post on Instagram per day is 1-2, but no more or less. They also found the best times to post are between 8:00 am – 9:00 am and at 2:00 am (so make sure to schedule that post!). I would guess this is because people have more time to check their feeds in bed in the morning, as well as when commuting to work.
#5: Promote your Instagram everywhere
This one is also somewhat self-explanatory, but you need to leverage this channel in the same way you do your other social networks. For example, do you have social icons on your homepage or product pages connecting visitors to your social channels? An Instagram icon needs to be added as well.
Instagram Feed lets you embed your feed right inside a WordPress website
When setting up your Instagram account, you should first connect with Facebook to pull in your friends, but this is just the start of promoting your channel. You should be running Instagram campaigns across your social networks and sending out reminders to employees, brand-ambassadors, and partners (basically anyone who’s established a positive relationship with your brand) to use your business hashtag and any hashtags that are relevant or important to a marketing campaign running.
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