Instagram Demystified [01/05]

They judge YOU in less than 3 seconds… and mind it, they won’t be back again.

Whether you are a Brand Strategist, a Marketing Manager or a visionary CEO. Instagram Demystified will help you understand why this tool is the most obvious platform that has the potential to transform your business, not just in 2017 but beyond. Now you might have a question in mind: Is this statement applicable for any product or service?

YES, totally. Whether you sell a piece of Software or an Apple Pie, that simply doesn’t matter. Every brand has a unique value proposition for their target customers. Audience is fragmented, however it won’t be difficult for you to identify your Target Tribe. For example, if you have a Bakery business and the products are cakes, cookies, breads, pastries etc. I bet, that you know where to find your Bakery Tribe in the digital ecosystem. If you don’t, there are plenty of easy techniques to do that. For instance, follow a set of hashtags on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you will find them all. Let’s cut the chase and get into the real stuff one by one. I will be patient as this article will have a total of 5 segments, I’ll attack the first one in this piece.

An answer to the most obvious question. Is Instagram an appropriate channel for your brand?

YES! If you’re hoping to spread the word about your brand to a wider audience, Instagram is statistically a sound place to invest your time and effort. Besides, Instagram is designed in such a way that engagements are quick and quite relevant for the immediate piece of content. The users while using Instagram has no distractions like Facebook. Users on Instagram are restricted to see only one post per screen and a total of three options to take an action. Thus, your audience is more focused and has plenty of time to evaluate a post. Now the question is, would they invest that time for you?

YES, they might. But only if you feed them what they ask for. The average engagement per post on the platform has a significant growth of 416% as compared to last two years, and thus you can expect more hits on your posts this year. Instagram is the second most engaged social media channel after Facebook, over 60% of the Instagram users login daily to check if there is something new happening in their network. And to justify the above discussed points, it is predicted that by the end of 2017, 70.7% brands will be on Instagram which is much more that the previous figure of 48.8%.

To identify the audience who is perfect fit for your business

Image: simplymeasured.com

Posts with at least one hashtag gain 12.6% more engagement, and thus the more hashtags you use the more easy it will be for the audience to find you. However, using too much of hashtags will dilute your brand. Be careful. Let me help you with that. Sign up for RiteTag, an excellent tool to scout for the most relevant tags on a particular topic. On top of that, it will also help you with trending #hashtags, and suggest hashtags on the basis of its health in the digital space whether it has been used too much or too less.

An insight from my personal experience:

As a brand you might use multiple hashtags for different purposes → content, campaigns, sweepstakes, challenges, shoutout, etc. However, try to discover a hashtag that is appropriate for your brand (preferably your brand name if it’s unique or adding suitable suffix to it. For eg: if your brand name is Apple Pie, you can use #applepie but if it’s unavailable or has been used by a different brand, use #applepieonly or #applepieforyou etc) and keep using it with every new post. Don’t expect results in a short span of time but ensure that you encourage your audience to use it too. I personally have experienced a variable growth of 2469.4% (37,415) in merely 15 months beating brands like #Flipkart (33,838) or #cafecoffeeday (30,510). Secondly, you need to keep in mind that that the hashtags are event based and sometimes you need to identify and adopt hashtags which has very less number of posts and start using it for sometime till it becomes well accepted by your target audience.

To automate your Instagram efforts upto 85%

Let’s get straight to the point. Would you agree that even when you have access to tools, you don’t get the expected results. But before you start groping for tools, you must focus on the strategic outcomes you want to achieve. The choice of right tools makes your job a hell lot easier. Out of many tools, I would suggest to use Instagress which allows you to trigger conversations and automate the whole engagement process. Below are some key features and recommended strategy to use it:

The bot will like different posts released by Instagram users you want to keep a tab on, either by mentioning their profile on the platform or by using a specific set of hashtags which Instagress will automatically detect. For eg. if you instruct Instagress to like all the posts released by “users” in the “US” “Last Week” with “#ilovepie” (- or a few more -), Instagress will like all of them on your behalf. And the tool has a clean and handy dashboard which allows you to analyze results and take a quick decision on your next engagement strategy.

You can even automate the leading comments as well. You can comment on the posts of your target audience depending on the engagement strategy. For example, I announced a campaign inviting the Instagram users from Berlin to post a selfie eating apple pie. So I’ve configured messages like — Did you know about the #applepie challenge? / Who will you nominate for the #applepie challenge? / Did you participate in the last challenge we announced (Just to trigger the conversation) etc. This will encourage the audience to respond or get in touch with you.

And then,

#thehacktrick: Questions like: “I know you like #applepie, would you be interested to learn how to make pie in 465 different ways? Here is the link: www.applepiemania.com." This will drive traffic to the website like never before. Even if the conversions are less, it would be a large number in effect to the comments you diffuse per minute. 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.

To connect Instagram with the most prominent social media channels for FREE

Out of so many multi channel automation tools, I would suggest that you should start using IFTTT: If This Then That, now I don’t think I need to explain it all. This tool will allow you to integrate n number of channels all together and work as an army for your brand promotion. You can create your own recipe using this tool, for example if you post a content on Instagram with a specific hashtag and want it to automatically distributed through all other social media channels, you can easily do that. In addition, IFTTT applets will help you automate your home automation systems, security systems, back up your latest pictures in google drive, mute your phone when you reach work and what not. It is a great tool for branding as well as for personal use. But as I have told you earlier, use tools wisely for excellent results. If your marketing strategy is not designed keeping in mind the value proposition you have for your customers, it won’t work perfectly and you might end up loosing your loyal customers.

That’s all for this section peeps. Keep an eye on the space for Instagram Demystified [02/05]. Well, I am going to discuss the following key areas in 02:

  1. As a CEO, will it be difficult for you to handle your brand profile “just for fun”?
  2. Who is the Influencer for your brand? How to make them your brand ambassador for FREE!
  3. Even if your target audience segment is 45+, why should you channel your message through the millennials.
  4. When you should ask your Marketing Manager to step back.
  5. How often you should post and what time is appropriate?

And some more which needs your attention :)

Questions / Suggestions? Drop me a message at uttaminator@gmail.com