Forget Twitter, Now Everybody’s Piling Into Instagram

It only seems like a few months ago that businesses were implored to get on Twitter and reach out to their customers. But thanks to a bunch of recent free speech scandals where Twitter has been targeting people with political opinions they don’t like, the platform has seen its share of the overall social media market fall.

Now many marketers are asking themselves whether there is a better platform out there.

Recently we also got the news that engagement on Facebook is also declining, That’s strange since the number of people hooked up to the internet is growing every year. It suggests that something monumental is happening in the social media market.

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Truth be told, it is. There’s a new social network in town: Instagram. And although it’s been around a while, it’s power is finally being felt far and wide, especially by those in the marketing community. It turns out that the form of social media communications on Instagram is uniquely suited to people. Most of our brains are dedicated to processing visual images: we find it particularly easy. This is essentially what Instagram is: a giant visual image repository where individuals can interact with one another and follow each other’s feeds. And it’s a massive opportunity for marketers. Here’s how to make your business a success on Instagram.

Tip #1: Build A Balance Of Fun and Business Images

Building a following on Instagram takes a bit of cunning, There’s no point just spamming your customers with images from your company and hoping that they will go viral and grow your audience: they won’t. What builds audiences on Instagram are a mixture of fun and professional images. You want the odd picture of a dog doing something weird interspersed with the rest of your content. Cute animals sell these days, especially on sites like Instagram. Of course, it doesn’t just have to be pictures of animals. McDonald’s recently caused a stir on its Instagram account by turning a zebra crossing into a work of art that looked just like one of its famous cartons of fries.

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Tip #2: Cultivate Your Following

Building a following from scratch on Instagram is difficult, just like it is on your other social media sites. Experts recommend, therefore, that businesses use tools, like Socifollower, as well as connect their existing fan bases to their new accounts. If you’ve got a large following on Facebook, get them to sign up for your Instagram feed. Show them that Instagram can deliver a higher quality experience.

Also, work on engaging with others by liking their photos. And finally, use relevant and popular hashtags to drive your content and take advantage of what is trending right now.

Tip #3: Use Video

Twitter is really feeling the heat right now. It used to have a video platform called Vine, but it never really took off in the way that they company hoped, and CEO Jack Dorsey announced that it would be shutting down at the end of last year.  Some of that may be because of the new live video platform Twitter owns called Periscope.

In its place, Instagram video has emerged. It’s actually a much more sophisticated platform. You can apply filters, delete the last clip, do image stabilization and create photo maps. What’s more, videos can be up to 15 seconds long, which is significantly more than Vine’s 6.5 seconds.

Tip #4: Always Follow Your Followers Back

Following your followers in no way puts you at a disadvantage, and it helps to grow your network fast, even if some of the people following you are only doing so in order to get a follow in return. It’s a good idea to have plenty of people following you so that new users know that they have found a quality account that will provide them with value.

The best links to make are, of course, those people who are related to your industry or likely to benefit from your product. If you run an interior design company, for instance, you might want to target things like “mommy blog accounts” as the people behind them are most likely to have followings who would be willing to spend money on your service.

Tip #5: Create A Posting Plan

Posting to Instagram every day would be time-consuming, It’s hard to get great photos taken on a daily basis, and even if you could, you run the risk of saturating your followers’ feeds.

Instead of doing that, make a decision about what you have ready to post and create your own schedule. A couple of posts a week is usually enough to keep most people happy. Remember, you’re a business, not a blogger.