When working on your marketing plan for 2019, it’s important to look at all available social media platforms and weigh the importance of each. I’m here to say you shouldn’t rule out Instagram as quickly as you may have last year. Posting on the platform that 59% of 18 to 29-year-olds use can seem daunting at first, so let’s take a look at the platform a little more closely.
Instagram announced this year that it had hit over 1 billion active monthly users, meaning this platform can directly impact your company’s strategic goals! You just need to align those goals to metrics specific to Instagram. Here are some goals that Instagram can directly influence:
- Increase sales
- Drive traffic to your website or blog
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase customer satisfaction and appreciation
- Attract top talent
- Identifying and establishing relationships with influencers
All of this sounds great so far, but how can you actually make this happen? Consider incorporating one (or two or three!) of these Instagram trends into your marketing plan in the new year:
- Encourage more user-generated content. Having content to post is one of the biggest roadblocks to this photo-sharing platform for businesses. If you encourage your followers (no matter if you have 10 or 10,000) to share photos with your account by using a hashtag, then you can utilize this as a foundation for your Instagram content plan.
- Promote your products/services to drive more traffic to your website. Another task many companies overlook is sharing photos of their products or services. If you are a dentist, then post photos of some of your patients during their appointment (with their permission, of course). If you are selling skin care products, then you need to show not only the bottles of your products but also the applicators and the texture of the creams, cleansers, and other strong selling points and features of what you have to offer.
- Showcase your company culture. Last but not least, Instagram can be an effective way to attract not only customers but potential employees as well. You should be sharing pictures of your office, employees, events, and more!
When it comes to Instagram, it isn’t just about the number of followers you have—you need to post quality content and represent your brand in a way that is authentic.
Recently, we have been seeing a shift towards authenticity in marketing that isn’t just happening on Instagram. There has been a dramatic change in tactics overall, and brands have gone from selling via elitism to selling via inclusivity. What some people are calling the “Fenty Effect,” brands are seeing much more success with their customers when they are marketing using welcoming, authentic, and inclusive messaging. The “Fenty Effect” refers to the growing popularity of Rihanna’s brand Fenty, including both lingerie and makeup. Her brand includes women of all sizes, shapes, colors, and ability, and is almost the polar opposite of the tactics Victoria’s Secret uses. As a result, Victoria’s Secret has seen their sales declining in recent years. This change in tactics towards diversity and inclusion is vital to keep in mind as you plan your Instagram content.
Some examples of Instagram accounts that are doing social media marketing right can be found here! While it is important to follow some of these larger brands like Airbnb and Tesla, make sure you’re also looking at your local or industry competitors for inspiration.