It’s highly likely that your customers log in to Instagram a few times a day to connect with friends, trusted brands, and thought leaders that they have specifically welcomed into their online community.
The goal of any business using Instagram is to create trusting online relationships with customers that over time lead to brand relationships and experiences.
Instagram is a rapidly growing photo and video sharing social media platform with over 700 million users. Users can upload photos and video, categorize their content using hashtags, search for interest-based posts, and follow other users.
Let’s talk about four methods that help businesses create relevant content that will increase Instagram engagement, build an online following, and cultivate a larger customer base.
1. Ask for Questions
One of the easiest ways to get engagement from your followers on social media is to simply ask for it. Ask your followers what they want to know about your service or product. Answer those questions in subsequent posts. Remember that Instagram is a highly visual format, so you’ll still want to include compelling imagery or video.
2. Before and After Photos
Share side-by-side comparisons pictures whenever appropriate. The landscaper might share a “before” photo of the site prior to installation of the privacy hedges and a beautiful “after” photo that demonstrates the impact of the investment. Explain the details of the project, costs, technique used, and be sure to note the home owner’s reaction!
3. Show How You Treat Customers Like Royalty
Let’s say you’re a dentist. Do patients receive iPads while they wait? Do you serve tea and cookies in the waiting room? Warm blankets or hot neck wraps? Something else special that sets you apart? Share these details and let your prospective patients know how important it is to you that each patient has a remarkable in-office experience.
4. Use Hashtags Appropriately
This is incredibly important. Remember that your goal on Instagram is create online relationships that bring people into your business, encourage an online purchase, and/or motivate your followers to become your brand ambassadors and share your content within their social circles. An important component to this goal is ensuring that your follower base is always increasing. The most effective way to ensure that the right people see your content and have the opportunity to follow you is through effective use of hashtags. We recommend that you use a variety of hashtags, and think of our hashtag selection as starting general and moving to more specific.