It is not a secret that social medias can help you to reach more customers, maintain relationships with your clients and skyrocket your business. If you are doing it right.
However, too many businesses spend significant amounts of money for social media promotions and still doing it in the wrong way.
So why are you trying hard and do not have so many followers and engagement and why your Instagram advertising does not work? Let’s step away from boring tips about hashtagging and face reality.
*OMG, have you noticed there are too many useless articles and posts online about how to get more followers – this is just ridiculous. I went through many of those. If you read those, you would probably be agree majority of those posts are the same and those tips do not really work. So I have found the most useful information, studying academic articles, books, bloggers, and spent months experimenting.
So let’s study Instagram from the human behaviour point of view.
Fake vs Reality
You probably have seen so many corporate Instagram accounts that are too boring and do not worth your following or liking. Did you ever think why so many Instagram business are not popular at all?
Yes, some of those Instagram accounts might appear successful and popular with those huge numbers of followers.
Nevertheless, surprisingly, they have a miserable amount of posts likes. This means fake followers and illustrates extremely low engagement index. A decent percentage of likes in relations to followers is usually equal to approximately 10%. For instance, if your profile has 10k likes, then 1k likes per photo is a real and a good figure.
If you see 10k followers and about 100 likes per photo or less, there is obviously something wrong or fake.
Instagram users are more and more sophisticated and demanded. There are way too many good profiles out there to follow with their great content, one better than another and a lot of competition is going on.
It is super easy to unfollow someone if it does not satisfy your needs anymore or if you even do not like only one photo that you have seen in your feed.
So how do you get your customers loyalty and engagement with your business on social media?
Why should people follow your account?
First of all, think of the question:
Do you follow many businesses on Instagram? If you do follow some, how are those accounts different from the others and why do you follow those?
Perhaps because of fantastic quality photos? or value? information? inspiration? fun? or something else?
Usually, the most persuading factors for engagement are valuable information and emotions that account communicates to the audience.
Try put yourself into your customers’ shoes and try to understand why would they follow your account. Here it’s crucial to make sure you do not think as a seller/ promoter and business owner.
Think as a customer/follower
Why would you follow this account and what’s in it for you? Maybe you can learn something new and get valuable information or inspiration, perhaps for a good piece of humor to boost your mood and share the joke with a friend?
A brilliant tip for you: give credits to people who interact with your account – accounts who tag you, like your photos, comment and follow, check ins at your venue. Like their pictures, repost their images, give them some recognition, people appreciate it. This is a priceless experience for your fans and it will increase their trust and emotional connection with your brand. Starbucks Instagram is a perfect example. They often repost their fan’s photos. Thus their fans are more keen to make great posts and tell about your brand to their networks. Which makes them your best brand ambassadors – they make promotion for you and create you some free content (and you do not even have to pay for that).
Master your Content
Show them some ‘behind the scenes’ in your business, open some business secrets, communicate your best people/ staff stories and experiences that might be useful, inspirational and exciting to your audience.
Try to post photos capturing people’s interaction with your product (e.g. a coffee cup in a human’s hands rather than just a coffee cup).
Remember that gallery full of posts only about your product would not work that great. It is too obvious and too annoying, not that attractive to a follower when you trying to sell your stuff hard. Noone likes when you push them your product too hard.
Try to post 6-7 of general photos, for instance, related to the industry or related to something your target audience like and only 1 post talking about your business or your product.
If you only post every time your burger that you are trying to sell, everyone will get bored very soon and unsubscribe.
Consider posting short videos to differentiate your content and making your gallery more vibrant.
Try iMovie for Apple store or VideoShow pro for Android. It might take a bit of time to understand how it works, but after your will get it – you will edit your videos quickly. Make sure to hold your phone horizontally and reduce your movement to minimal.
Instagram Gallery Tips
Choosing a nice and cohesive theme is another excellent idea for you.
Profiles, who’s photos do not look good together are less attractive to followers. In contrast to the feeds, which organised in similar tones, shades, colors, contrast and lights, which photos match the feed in general.
To find your inspiration or examples – search in Pinterest for the Instagram themes.
Remember, Instagram fans love visual content – so your feed has to look beautiful.
It does not have to be your advertising board with random ads and promotions.
Here is an example when a Brand ruined their feed in moments. This is an account that I have managed for a business – I have created a clear feed, trying posting useful information for the hotel visitors along with some travel tips for a destination in general. I was posting similar photos and when I have finished my temporary account management – this is what they posted:
Clearly, black photos are very interruptive, not cohesive with the feed. As you can see, too much contrast and saturation ruin everything. Also this kind of promotional posts do not usually work on Instagram and push away the follower. I mean, would you really love to see that in your feed? The result is dramatic – minus 150% less likes and engagement. So I hope you can learn from this example.
Reaching wider audience techniques and tips
It is a good idea to run a contest or a giveaway. Do not overuse it, otherwise your brand might be in danger of looking cheap giving out too many freebies, prizes and discounts. The best Instagram competitions do not involve reposting, but more involve ‘tag a friend’ form of share. Ask your followers to tag a best friend or those, who will be really interested in this product. E.g. ‘tag a friend who would love this idea’. Reposting a photo competition is an old school method, while people do not like reposting that much, but they are still happy to tag a friend under your post if there is something worthy their attention. Offer them a valuable prise or collaborate with another brand/business or blogger who has a fairly similar amount of followers – thus you will have an exposure to their audience and can share the prise expenditures if it is required.
The genius technique to get more engagement on Instagram is to start a conversation letting your fans and followers talk to each other in your social media. Most people use social media to be social. So give them this opportunity, check what your audience is talking about and give them a reason to talk about it in your account.
Another Methods to get exposure for wider audience:
Invite a social media professional or a blogger to manage your Instagram, for instance for a week. Ensure that current blogger’s audience is real (see the percentage at the beginning of the post). You will also have to find out about who is the blogger’s audience and if it matches to your marketing goals.
A common mistake to advertise with the bloggers: there are many models-‘bloggers’ on Instagram who post seductive photos frequently, and majority of their audience are male from Arabic countries, while you audience are, for instance, female from Australia. So you select your influencer correctly. Here is less is more and if the following is less, but more target and more real – is better for your brand.
You can find many ‘marketing’ companies out there who promise you to do social media marketing work for you and charge a large amount of money for that.
But the funny thing is – majority of these companies have poor established Instagram accounts themselves with small (or large but fake) and effective following. I guess they also need to learn how to provide value for their audience and to learn more about marketing ;)
Use a human image for your account profile pic
This tip I have never seen anywhere and I have discovered it during with my own experience. There are too many spam accounts and programs (bots) who like comment and follow/unfollow around Instagram. This really annoys people and Instagram users do not react to those spammy likes and comments that much anymore and simply ignore them. If you still want to be a real account for real humans, you will need to behave in a human way. Consider setting your profile photo with an image of a person, representing your business instead of the logo. This makes it more personal.
Let me explain how this works: when you see a brand name or a logo on the profile photo – you are less likely to discover what is it about and follow it, especially if they are not engaged with your brand yet. So you perceive this kind of account as a spam, only be seeing the profile. I never open this kind of accounts and ignore them.
Be careful using bots.
Especially those who leave dodgy comments. This will heart your brands reputation and you can be in danger to be reported as a spam account.
That I why I share this information and these priceless tips for you today.
Hope that helps.
Share your favorite tips and techniques in comments and let me know what works for you!
And happy instagramming!
If you have any questions, please, leave in the comments section below or fill out the contact form on my about page.
If you need help with your account, please, submit your inquire in the contact form or comment below.