Social media portals have become the virtual “hubs” of our daily lives. Not only are they useful in terms of keeping up to date with friends and family, but their multifaceted nature has allowed them to host a plethora of online media. Instagram is a perfect example of how such popularity can enjoy exponential exposure within a relatively short period of time. According to the latest statistics, this website boasts more than one billion followers and more than half of these are young adults under the age of 30. It therefore stands to reason that many small businesses are choosing to leverage the enormous reach associated with Instagram in order to boost their products and services. Let’s look at how to get more Instagram followers as well as why retention rates are just as important.
All About Relevance and Connectivity
Instagram (much like many other social media portals) primarily relies upon a single concept: sharing. This begins with quality content. If you are able to capture the interest of your audience, the chances of gaining followers into the tens of thousands will be dramatically increased. This begins with posting the right type of content for your niche sector. Irrelevant material will quickly place a digital “black mark” on your page and trust can be lost within a short period of time. First and foremost, make certain that the images presented to the end user resonate with what your business has to offer.
We next need to consider the power of the almighty hashtag. Hashtags are quick and simple ways to describe an image or an idea. Unsurprisingly, they are also heavily used when promoting a product or service. Keep in mind that there are character limits associated with Instagram hashtags, so brevity is indeed the soul of wit. Hashtags are also employed by search engines when directing individuals to your page, so mentioning the appropriate keywords is just as important. Shorter hashtags with relevant phrases are much more likely to be shared with others.
In terms of sharing, never fail to embrace the power of cross-channel marketing. This is another way of suggesting that you link your Instagram profile with other social media pages as well as with your central website. Such exposure will increase the likelihood that potential shoppers become interested in what it is that you have to offer. The good news is that adding hyperlinks and outbound pages takes only a matter of minutes. Try to envision Instagram as the hub of a large virtual wheel. Your website, its associated social media pages and even third-party portals where your products are offered (such as Amazon or eBay) are all spokes within this wheel.
Retaining Your Followers
One of the subjects which is not often covered by e-commerce articles is how to retain your audience once they have become followers. Always remember that the tide ebbs and flows. To put this another way, never assume that your followers will exist tomorrow simply because they are present today. This is why the concept of retention is critical for your online success.
The best way to keep visitors interested is to regularly engage with them. In fact, this is just as true when referring to any social media hub. Respond to their feedback; regardless of whether it proves to be positive or negative. Some other worthwhile suggestions to keep in mind include:
- Ask them which photos are their favourites.
- Enable them to participate in promotions such as giveaways.
- Include QR codes within your images, as these can be used to provide discounts.
Of course, the exact methods will be partially based around what it is that you are trying to promote. The main takeaway point is that an attentive audience will remain loyal over time.
Another unique method involves keeping your finger on the “pulse” of the Instagram community. Hashtags are unique in the fact that they follow trends. These can be based off of the time of the year (such as #christmasdeals) or specific events (including #blackfriday). Trending hashtags are capable of keeping your followers loyal while simultaneously generating an additional level of interest in regards to your business venture.
Above all, there are many ways to leverage the benefits associated with your Instagram profile. Some of the most successful viral business campaigns began as simple ideas which quickly transformed into tangible realities. The suggestions mentioned above are but a handful of the ways in which you will be able to properly take advantages of this amazingly popular portal. Still, never be afraid to think outside of the box and to experiment. While not all ideas will prove useful, stumbling upon an innovative marketing strategy could be all that is required to take your online business to the next level.