In previous years Instagram has been (and still is in certain circles) associated with mouth-watering food snaps and far flung beach shots to inspire wanderlust. But over the last year, retailers and big brands have realised the potential for brand engagement and promotion through photo sharing. A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say, and no one can deny the power of an image gone viral.
So why Instagram? Well, firstly the app is free, and within seconds brands can have their very own image up on their profile and circulating amongst this vast pool of Instagrammers.
Secondly, the photo sharing app is extremely popular with young adults, a key demographic for brands such as Nike, and retail giant Topshop whose followers rack up into the millions. Currently 53% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram, and the market doesn’t begin and end there. Just as Facebook’s demographic shifted over the years, the number of Instagram users over the age of 34 is growing month-on-month. Encouraging news for brands wanting to expand their reach to new markets.
What’s more, unlike Pinterest that commands a predominant female following, Instagram records a rather even split of subscribers, with most recent figures at 51% male vs 49% female.
Most importantly, Instagram is a proven powerful platform that can gain massive exposure for brands. Forrester recently conducted a study into brands on Instagram noting a 4.21% per follower engagement rate, which is phenomenal when you compare it to just the 0.7% experienced by Facebook, and the even smaller 0.3% engagement on Twitter.
Like most social media networks, you now have access to Instagram analytics. Here at Michon, we use Iconosquare, which lets you see which images are performing the best, top keywords for the day and optimum times to post to your audience. With statistical insight such as these, plus the ability to track ad spend for sponsored posts, businesses can truly capitalise on the engagement of this social media heavyweight – whose 9% growth this past year greatly surpassed Twitter’s 5%!
Tips for increasing engagement on Instagram:
Using relevant tagged keywords is the best way to get your images out to potential new followers and share your photo with a wider audience. Look at similar images to get inspiration for hashtags you may not have thought of using.
Tagging other users
By linking up with other users, you increase the likelihood of engagement with their network of followers, and reposts of your image, expanding the audience.
Adding a location to your posts results in 79% more engagement, with many users searching for posts by place.
Consistency of image style
Take your images from a certain angle, stick to a set colour palette or use the same Instagram filter on all of your images – however you do it, stick to your signature style. It’s important to represent your brand consistently on Instagram, as you would in any other medium. In a recent study it was discovered that lighter imagery generated 24% more engagement than darker images on Instagram. And images with more background were also noted to generate 29% more likes.
Take part in Instagram #projects
Instagram run Weekend Hashtag projects that can really get you noticed. Participate by submitting your tagged image and Instagram may just feature you in their favourite submissions. An accolade that could land you a massive follower boost.