Chances are you’ve heard about the recent and upcoming Instagram changes (algorithms, API’s, autofeeds, oh my!). But how will these changes impact YOU, the small business owner? StyleBlueprint is here to help! While we (and others online) can only speculate on what the updates will actually impact on June 1st, we do know that the changes are meant to deter inauthentic interactions and spammy apps. Thus, your number one strategy on the platform should be to thoughtfully and strategically engage with your Instagram audience.
Instagram’s per-follower engagement rate for brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter, so it’s not a channel to be ignored. Here’s how to get the most out of your Instagram efforts:
1. BE CONSISTENT.
Make sure your followers can clearly identify your brand message and style by looking at your Instagram feed. Be consistent with the colors and size of photos that you post. Also, find a post timing schedule that works for you and stick with it. Hint: most consumers check their instagram before heading into work, so posting before 8am is a great idea!
2. START POSTING VIDEO.
It’s easier than you think! Use Boomerang for super short, fun shots and use Hyperlapse for longer time lapse videos that can catch customer traffic in your store or restaurant, or a beautiful sunset over a house for sale.
3. ENGAGE WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS.
This is a must. Respond to customer questions and thank them when they compliment your post. In addition, ask your followers to post photos of themselves interacting with your business with a unique hashtag (more on hashtags below). Then repost their images in your own feed. Customers love being “re-grammed” and followers get to see real customers loving on your brand. It’s a win-win.
Hashtags are a way to organize Instagram content and to make your posts searchable by an interested audience. Make sure you have a consistent and unique-to-your-business hashtag that is used on most of your instagram posts. Then, utilize topical hashtags to draw in people that may be looking for your product or service. Your social media content should always have a purpose, whether it be to drive traffic to your website, to acquire new followers or to sell a specific product. Your hashtags should be relevant to your current campaign so that you drive the intended results.
With a new Instagram update rolling out on June 1st, some third party platforms and apps that pull user feeds and hashtag data will no longer be allowed. Giveaway platforms will no longer be able to use “Like” or “Follow” on Instagram as an entry method and it’s possible that we won’t be able to pull hashtag feeds as well. All of this will change the ways we do giveaways on Instagram, so we’ll send more details on this in a future email.