Social Media Marketing Bootcamp: A Comprehensive 5-Part Series (Part III - Instagram)

How to Utilize Instagram to Increase Your Fitness Company’s Digital Marketing Reach

In 2014 the number of US Instagram users increased nearly 60%, bringing the social network’s US monthly user base to 64.2 million people.

In the world of social media, Instagram is the “little engine that could.” In 2014, Instagram officially surpassed Twitter to become the second largest social network next to its parent company, Facebook. The success of this seemingly simplistic platform is due, in part, to the visual preferences and short-term attention span of users.

We want pretty pictures, we want fast information, and we want it all right NOW!

Here is how your business can start using this social media platform to your marketing advantage:

Select Your Account Name:

Preferably as close to your business name as you can – and utilize a simple logo or graphic as your profile picture. Remember that this picture will be cropped to a 150px by 150px circle and those icons are significantly smaller on mobile devices. Keep it simple.

Keep Text Short:

Instagram is a visual-first platform. Keep your captions and descriptions short and to the point, but do not neglect the use of hashtags! Let’s take a moment to dig deeper into this Social Media tool.

            THE HASHTAG
            #thisisimportant

Hashtags are used across most social media platforms as a means to spread the reach of your message and to help your audience categorize and filter the information they are seeing. An analysis has shown that on the Instagram platform, interactions are highest on posts with 11+ hashtags.

Consider utilizing a hashtag analysis tool, like the one at http://keyhole.co to find the best hashtags to use for your audience. This tool will also provide you with information on the demographic following those hashtags and the other hashtags where the same demographic has shown interest. Hashtags work differently across each platform. Take a look at this helpful study done by #sociallystacked for more information on how to best utilize hashtags on each platform.

Engage with your Audience:

Utilizing the above mentioned hashtags, as well as tagging high profile audience members in your postings can help to not only establish reach, but also engagement. Ask questions of your audience and tag specific users and brands to get answers to those questions. Now, more than ever, social media has given the every-day person direct communication with influential people in every industry. Use that influence to your company’s advantage.

Monitor:

In the same way that you can easily connect with your audience, your audience can easily connect with you. It is imperative to monitor and manage your Instagram account. Answer your audience’s questions, compliment their images and offer your professional opinion and advice in a way that will earn their trust and loyalty.

Instagram is a platform that has taken full advantage of a public outcry for authenticity and immediacy. This is a platform that has great power to publicly display your company's objectives, personality and daily activity. Use this power to your full advantage by following the steps above. Take action and become a member of your client’s online community. Be the brand they recognize.

References:

http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Instagram-Will-Top-100-Million-US-Users-by-2018/1012148