There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet with well over 3 billion on some form of social media. This is staggering and if you run a business or intend to be an influencer you should take advantage.
The advent of the internet has had a positive impact on much of human life. It’s enabled people to operate their businesses internationally with greater ease, for relationships personal or otherwise to be possible regardless of distance and for information to be shared without boundaries.
The internet has been amazing and social media has been a great contributing factor to making the world a smaller place.
With social media you can stay connected with people no matter where you are on earth. You can engage your favorite brands. Social media makes it possible to reach things and people that were previously unreachable. The appeal is obvious.
Facebook is the current leader in the race for social media platform dominance with roughly 1.5 billion regular users around the globe. Honestly, this is astounding. Recently sweeping past the former number two (Twitter) is Instagram at 800 million regular users and climbing. Going forward this is my favorite for several reasons.
Instagram, the simple photo sharing app
When Instagram was initially released it was pretty bare-bones and that was the source of its charm. You’d sign up on the platform and you’d upload photos or 15 second video clips to share with people you were connected to. Its strength was in its simplicity.
It was so easy to use anyone could pick it up. No complicated set up. No convoluted menus. The names of people you wanted to see could just be searched. Your grandmother could make an Instagram account and get to uploading selfies in no time.
As its popularity picked up via random influencers or famous people jumping on the platform marketers started to see the opportunity and it was lift off from that point going forward.
Instagram, the innovative and evolving photo sharing app
As influencers, pop stars and major brands had taken to the platform the team at Instagram realized their opportunity – they were going to do their best to make Instagram the platform. If you’ve ever noticed that Instagram has features similar to other platforms, now you know why.
People love hashtags – Instagram incorporates them. People love SnapChat – Instagram makes stories. The video length is to short – Instagram makes them longer. People want to put recorded videos up on stories – capability released. Their dev team is consistently giving people what they want and it’s really working for them.
While they aren’t the standard for what social media is, they’re working towards becoming the standard of what social media should be and honestly Instagram is fun. Now that you know all this all that’s left to do is get yourself an account assuming you aren’t already on.
What makes a successful account
The success of an account can be measured in a variety of ways and the all depend on what the purpose of the account is. The metric that most people look at is the number of followers and for non business accounts this is mostly appropriate.
The number of followers is relevant, but ENGAGEMENT(i) is what truly matters. Followers is a great metric because usually 8-12% of a follower base actively engages with uploaded content. If you see an account with a massive following and no post engage you’ve likely seen a purchased following.
Setting your account up for success
With very very few exceptions, accounts that do well and have an active following do the same things. They usually have:
- A common theme – Be it a personal page or Nike’s Instagram account people show up to see something. When people think Nike they think of the swoosh, but they also think of speed. They think of athletes. They think of sneakers. Nike has a brand image and they stick to it. Consistency is key to keeping their and your image.
- A consistent feel – Artist and lifestyle brands have one major thing in common: they sell a feel. People have moods and media affects that. If Edgar Allen Poe had an Instagram it would probably be in black and white with generally dark over and undertones…get it?
- High-quality content that entertains or educates – Unless you’ve found a signature niche that allows you to upload LoFi or 8 bit content stick to HD everything. Consider the investment in a solid camera (or proper lighting/post production for your iPhone photos) and mic an investment in your marketing overall. It makes a difference.
Also, everyone has their own struggle. For many, Instagram is either a tool for distraction or to help lift them out of their situation. So, if you want to add major value to your account teach or be entertaining. Make people look forward to your uploads!
Combined, the above are the basic building blocks for your general brand strategy.
All three things mentioned above should be set before you decided to make your influencer or business account. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. If you already have an account, no worries. It’s never too late to shift your marketing strategy.
So long as you have an idea of what you want people to think and feel about you or your business you can craft a proper campaign.
The little things
If you’re on Instagram, you should take advantage of everything the platform has to offer starting with hashtags.
If you aren’t aware of what hashtags do (when use unironically) they serve the purpose of pooling your content with others that have also used the hashtag. They can dramatically improve your exposure if used properly. So, do proper research of what will help you cast the biggest net (to your targeted demographic).
Stories is amazing and you should use it. It takes advantage of two key concepts: people love feeling like they’re getting a peak behind the curtain AND because it’s temporary you have their full attention. That last one is HUGE. Any opportunity to give more priority to your content should be taken.
Finally, have fun. It sounds cliche, but people can tell if you aren’t and fake doesn’t sell. You’re unique, be you and have a good time. People will tune in for that.