Marketers, if your brand is not on Instagram yet or if you don’t think Instagram as a marketing channel, then you are losing out on some serious engagement stuff. According to Forrester, Instagram has a brand-engagement rate 58% higher than Facebook’s. And more over Instagram is second only to Facebook on popularity.
“If your brand is looking for social engagement — and if you’re not finding it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks — you should start using Instagram today.” So concludes a blog post by Nate Elliot, whose recent research report for Forrester is titled “Use Instagram Now.”
Some mind-blowing stats about Instagram: (as of Jan 2018)
1. 800 million monthly active users
2. 500 million daily active users
3. 300 million use stories daily on Instagram
4. 40 billion photos shared to date and 95 million photos uploaded per day, which is 216,000 photos posted per minute.
5. 25M businesses are already using Instagram
6. Over 80% of accounts on Instagram follow a business, while 200 million Instagrammers actively visit the profile of a business every day
[Source: Instagram Press Release]
7. Two-thirds of profile visits to businesses come from people who aren’t following that business
If this is not enough, some more interesting facts about Instagram.
1. 68% of Instagram users are Females.
2. 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S
3. 77.6 million Instagram users are from US.
4. Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men.
5. 32% of all Internet users are on Instagram.
6. 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram and 33% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram
7. 38% of female internet users use Instagram and 26% of male internet users use Instagram
8. 17% of teens say Instagram is the most important social media site (up from 12% in 2012)
Instagram is no longer considered a destination where businesses are discovered, but it has evolved to a platform where business is done.
So unlike Facebook, Instagram do not have a filtered feed which gives an advantage for marketers to promote their brand on Instagram.
Last year Facebook owned Instagram has released many new features, if used effectively will bring positive results for your brands and increased visibility & engagement.
Here we are listing out 5 features which as a marketer, you can make use of in 2018 for your brands.
1. Instagram Stories Highlights
Copied from Snapchat, Instagram stories is growing rapidly. 300 million Instagrammers use stories daily on the platform. So brands cannot ignore this ultimate feature of the platform. The downside of stories feature was that it will disappear within 24 hours. But now Instagram released a new feature in December to highlight your stories beneath your profile / bio.
Stories highlights will be featured in your profile so that your profile visitors can view them along with your other posts. Earlier when ever you create a new story, all your hardwork and creativity will only be available for 24 hours and the probability of your followers seeing it is very less. Now since they are featured in your profile, even a new visitor can view them once they reach your profile page.
Highlights stay on your profile until you remove them, and you can have as many highlights as you’d like.
2. Request to join a live video
Earlier Instagram live video only had an option for the user to go live. If brands wants to collaborate with their influencer or celebrity, they need to be present in the same location. Going live with a friend or influencer or a brand ambassador is now even easier. When you go live, you can let others know and hang out live together.
When watching a brands live video, the influencers or brand ambassadors need to simply tap the “Request” button in the comments section. You’ll see a confirmation that your brand has accepted your request, and you’ll have a moment to prepare. Once you’re live, the screen will split in half so you can hang out live with your brand.
In the comments section, you’ll see a notification for each request. Just tap the “View” button and then choose to add or cancel the request. This feature is useful for the brands and marketers when they are planning to go live from two different locations. They can request their influencers or they can even call thought leaders to join the live to make it interactive.
Live is one feature which I think brands and marketers can use in 2018 to increase your engagement with your target audience. By collaborating with industry leaders or social influencers who are on Instagram, it will add more value to your live video. When launching a new product or going live for any product event, they can bring industry experts to give their views about the product or the industry.
3. Follow Hashtags
Hashtags are always an easy way to discover content. Everyday, millions of people share photos and videos and tag them with relevant hashtags. It’s never easy to remember hashtags and see what are the relevant content for each hashtag. However best, your post is, if it won’t reach your audience, there is no use of putting your effort to create that beautiful piece of content.
To make these posts even more discoverable, Instagram has introduced an ability to follow hashtags. It gives you new ways to discover photos, videos and businesses on Instagram.
Following a hashtag is just like following a friend or business. To get started, search for a topic you’re interested in or tap on a hashtag from any post. You’ll see relevant hashtags displayed in your search results along with related accounts. When you find a hashtag you like, open the hashtag page and tap on the follow button. You’ll begin seeing top posts from that hashtag in your feed and some of the latest stories in your stories bar. You can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.
So before you post your content on Instagram, do some research on various hashtags to use and compare them to see which one have more followers. So your post will be visible to your followers as well as those following the hashtag as well. This way, every post will bring your more visibility. You can use tools like Sprout Social, Simply Measured, Keyhole etc to analyze various hashtags to be used in your post.
While hashtags don’t replace good, creative posts, they’re an essential part of your overall Instagram strategy. Knowing how to use them effectively is every social media marketer’s job. So you need to be measuring hashtag performance and use hashtag effectively & efficiently.
4. Instagram Stories Polls
Instagram introduced a new Interactive poll sticker in Instagram Stories that lets you ask a question and see results from your followers as they vote. The polls are one effective way to improve engagement with your followers. This feature will make use of your stories as well. So whenever you are creating a new story, try to include polls to improve engagement.
One benefit of using poll feature is that you can see real-time results once your followers start voting. Not only will you see how many votes each option received, but you’ll also see who voted and what option they chose. That way, you’ll be able to compare votes from your followers whose opinions you trust most.
Polls allow brands or marketers to create customizable polls to their stories and collect feedback from their audiences. Interestingly real-time consumer feedback. The poll feedbacks provide insights for brand’s product development. For example, McDonald’s or any other food chain can use poll feature to see what recipes of food resonates well with their audience.
5. Location Tagging
Tagging location is as important as tagging people on an Instagram post. Location tagging will help your audience to know that you are available in a particular location and serving them. It also exposes your business to a new set of audience. Location tagging will allow the Instagram users to see all the posts from that location. For example, people will be able to search “Bangalore” and see all the posts tagged to Bangalore location.
As I mentioned earlier, people are seeing Instagram as a place to discover business and do business. So they search for local businesses similar to Yelp. Adding location increases the engagement and research shows that posts with location get 79% more engagement. You can also add location stickers to your Instagram stories as well.
So marketers can make use of location tagging to their posts so that your content reaches more people.
So it’s a new year and a new beginning. All the marketers out there has a specific plan for 2018 and most of them might have planned on their social media marketing strategy for 2018. But don’t forget Instagram, when used along with the 5 features mentioned above, can give you better engagement and visibility.
What are your #Instagram #strategies for #2018. Let us know your thoughts. Post your comments below.
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