2018 experienced some drastic changes in the way people saw and interacted with Instagram posts on their timeline. Today, their algorithm continues to be more engagement driven rather than chronological. But one thing that Instagram has changed for the better, is that everything from ads to posts you see from your friends and family are getting more and more customized. Whether it's a brand that you're loyal to or if it's your best friend, whose photos you like and exchange comments with.
What's important to understand with the most recent algorithm is that Instagram will show you content that interests you, content that matters to you, so, the chances of you engaging with it are higher. Now, this is helpful but also problematic in some cases. When you see content you like you're likely to spend time on the platform and scroll your newsfeed for a hot minute. But this also means in order to show you content from brands that are trying to build your interest, they will most likely have to invest in some form of paid advertising.
But this blog post is not about spending tons of dollars on advertisements it's about brand awareness and reaching out to your audience on an organic level. Here's how we do it.
Investor and entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk says, "collaboration leads to distribution." If you already have great content and are producing it very often, then your next goal is to channelize that content and take it to the next level. Influencers who are well known in your industry with a massive following are your gateway to gain organic engagement. Collaborating with large accounts in your niche will get you noticed by people whose interests match with your target market. So dig deep into the search bar and look for hashtags similar to the ones you use and contact the people you find who would love to collaborate and represent your brand.
Plan some of your content at least a week before and add the necessary hashtags relevant to your brand. HubSpot recommends not using more than 5, but we've seen good results when we use 5 hashtags in the caption and at least 10 - 15 in the comments. This increases the chance of your post reaching its desired audience and when it does and gets good engagement, it will land on the Instagram "Explore Page." Use a minimum of 3 hashtags that are only specific to your brand. For instance, create a hashtag that is the name of your company. The rest of the hashtags should be about the photo you're sharing. Avoid using lengthy and spam hashtags asking for likes or follows.
Stories in the Agenda
Instagram Stories has seen a huge bump in engagement and popularity. Use this feature to your advantage. Here's a little tip to remember: share quality and color coordinated images to your feed and leave the "behind the scenes" and extra details for stories to cover. Add fun boomerangs, images and videos to showcase your brands personality. Use the location of your establishment, this will add your post to the collection of "City Stories."
It doesn't hurt to cross-promote. Post your Instagram content on Facebook and Twitter once in a while. This will make it easy for your followers on the 2 platforms to simply click and land on your Instagram profile.
The value of a single comment means a lot to businesses on social media. Try to not leave any comments, questions or concerns unanswered. Their comments and your responses are seen by your audience. Not responding to them will look unprofessional and portray your brand as someone who doesn't care for its customers. Hear their complaints and suggestions and get back to them with the necessary steps that you will be taking. Even consider taking the conversation off line getting their contact information.
Open Pandora's Box
There are customers sharing your photos but not necessarily tagging your accounts. Research your brand hashtags, visit the location tag and respond to people sharing content of your business. Re-share their posts, follow them and engage with them frequently. This will make them follow your account and engage with your content making them a loyal follower.
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If you are looking for professionals to get your brand noticed contact us today (951) 479-5411