Sahail Ashraf posted on 2 November 2016
Instagram is a cinch to get started on but a bit of a hard nut to truly crack.
Brands have a big hill to climb if they want to get the utmost out of the social media darling, but we’ve put together some quick tips that should make it a little easier for you to launch your brand perfectly (pretty much) on Instagram.
We’re assuming you’re set up and ready to go, and all you need now is a bit of a direction. Consider the below a map. And a good one too.
Instagram is useful for brands. We know that. But how do you get the best possible launch? Here are some tips.
This is a bit of a doozy. If you’re already up and running with a new Instagram account, and you’ve put a bit of work in, you can kind of skip this part. But if the paint is still new, consider the name of your brand’s Instagram account very carefully. This is because hashtags are big on Instagram, very big.
Much of what happens on Instagram centers around hashtags. The platform loves it, the community adores them and uses hashtags at almost every available opportunity. So imagine if you chose an account name that could also double as the coolest hashtag in the world.
If you’re going to go down this road, think about a future campaign that you have in mind, or a part of the ethos and spirit that your brand has, and then make that your account name. Corner it as soon as possible with a hashtag and you will have something that will help drive even more people to your account, as long as you’ve mastered hashtags, that is.
For example, if you sell bikes, and your brand name is ‘Bikes and Tyres’, you could come up with an account name that is simply ‘Bikes And Tyres’. Then this could later become a huge hashtag for your account as #bikes and tyres. The world is your oyster then, as the hashtag grows in popularity, and your account is visited in a huge way.
Think about the name of your account. It could be a great opportunity to jump on a cool hashtag.
Do this first.
There is absolutely no reason for trying to get people to visit your Instagram feed unless it is truly spectacular from the outset. We know it’s new but (and this is especially important if you are trying to reboot) people will not stay on the feed unless it captivates them immediately. Take the time to create some incredible images and hashtags, then start directing people to your Instagram like we said you should in the last section.
Beauty and finesse count for a lot on Instagram, so take the time to ensure that your content is not only visual, but also stunning and memorable too.
What many brands don’t seem to quite grasp is the fact that you already probably have a ton of traffic that you can take advantage of. It’s kind of sitting there, right under your nose.
Got a blog? Great, link out to your Instagram from there. Run a post about it and focus on the amazing images you’ve already got going on. Hit up your other social media accounts and link out to your brand spanking new Instagram, it will immediately create a siphon of traffic that should help to launch your Instagram much more effectively.
If you’re sitting there with an email list that you approach with content quite often, use that to link to your Instagram too.
It all adds to the traffic, and if you do all of this before you really launch the channel, it will help to boost that traffic so that the launch makes waves.
Your look is what people will pay attention to. If the majority of your posts use the same colour scheme, for example, it means that you will hit the right note with an audience that depends on that look when they arrive. This consistency in colours is a big thing. Try to make your imagery on Instagram kind of uniform (as much as possible) in colour. It will make a huge difference for branding. Here it doesn’t matter if the colour scheme isn’t the same on Twitter or Facebook, but don’t make the mistake of making it way too varied on the one platform that relies wholly (pretty much) on imagery.
And make the images themselves kind of similar in tone. If you want (or rather if your audience wants) professional and soft-focus, give that to them on a consistent basis. If they want garish and fun, drag that feeling out with every image. Again, it’s about building consistency and it will keep people returning.
Just as with images, your captions need to have that singular, consistent style as you build up after launch. People will start returning and tagging if they feel you have a genuine voice, and you’re putting the effort in. They will also appreciate a consistent voice, especially so, if you have a number of contributors.
Pre-launch, spend a few weeks tagging and following influential people that you would love to have on your side. These people are the types that would do you a huge favour if they send traffic your way from their Instagram.
Then introduce yourself, get involved in their conversations, and like as much as possible, without coming across as creeps. The more you engage, the more successful the launch.
Jump on your metrics to see when your followers on your other platforms are most likely to be awake and at least three coffees deep. By knowing when they are around you should then be able to schedule your very best Instagram content and launch activity to this time.
Pre-launch, if you’re savvy enough with those metrics, you can glean a whole lot of info that makes the launch a little more accessible. Timing Is important, because knowing when your people are active allows for a launch that gets noticed (sending out an email to build up excitement for an Instagram launch that is happening at 3 pm on Tuesday afternoon sounds a whole lot more exciting than just saying ‘this week’) but there is a whole bunch of other stuff that makes sense.
If you know that your audience likes content about the latest movies for example, and it blows up for you on Twitter, ensure that your Instagram does the same thing as part of its content mix.
It’s not rocket science. If you have metrics, use them for more intelligent Instagram marketing.
If we’re going to focus on one piece of advice here above all else, it’s to make the feed amazing at the outset. Boosting traffic, and engaging, will all come naturally as you work hard at launch. You’ll just do it. But if there is nothing worth coming back for, you’re going to lose out.
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