Could Food and Filters Become Core to Your Social Media Strategy?
By Conor Bant
There’s something of a perception that there’s a scale of social media networks, ranging from professional to personal. At one end you have the digital contact book that is LinkedIn, with the disappearing image app Snapchat considered by many to be firmly at the leisure end of the spectrum, unless you’re a highly engaging consumer brand that is. Arguably Twitter sits between the two, with Facebook seen as a more personable social network for, well, socialising.
It’s fair to say many people would see Instagram leaning towards the personal, less professional side of the scale. However, businesses dismissing the app as little more than fancy food with filters may well be missing a trick.
Instagram’s growth has been profound, now holding over 500 million active users. In recent years, the app has really upped the game in terms of adding new functionality, providing analytics reports and offering a more valuable advertising interface (the influence of owners Facebook to the fore), making it a more compelling channel for businesses.
But how is this relevant to a business? Especially one that produces content outside of the Instagram favourites such as food, fashion and selfies?
What Instagram really has going for it in terms of a B2B marketing channel is the strong engagement rates received. Likely due to the ease of a simple tap, Instagram posts receive greater interaction than that of Facebook, Twitter and the rest. Even if it’s the same for your competitors, Instagram is more likely to get you seen; that recognition could be the first step along the sales process.
Likes and comments are all very well, but when it comes to marketing a business you’re interested in the right likes, relevant comments. More so than any other social platform, people actually use hashtags for their intended use: grouping content. This is why 15 hashtags on a single post is common practise on Instagram, as users know those with associated interests will use and search on these hashtags, positioning content to a like-minded audience. For example, when MAXX posts on Instagram (maxx_design if you’re not already following) we’ll often include #Newbury, as it’s where we are based. Unsurprisingly, we receive likes from local businesses; awareness with people who are potential clients on our doorstep.
So how does this relate to your businesses social media strategy? If you can find your audience through hashtags and promote engaging, interesting content, it’s going to do wonders for your brand awareness. Here’s a few tips to integrating Instagram into your social media strategy:
Do some homework first! – Whilst the whole point of this blog is to make businesses think about using Instagram, it’s not for everyone. Just because you’re not a highly visual consumer brand, there still may be a thriving audience. But it’s well worth a look first before investing real time and money into the channel. Look at how competitors and like-minded businesses are using Instagram. If their content and hashtag use is good but there’s still little engagement, it might be worth directing your marketing resource elsewhere.
Product content that’s relevant to you and them – You might notice that the MAXX Instagram feed showcases an array of cakes. This isn’t just a false portrayal of our company; cake is ingrained within the DNA of MAXX. If your business doesn’t eat cake and most importantly your prospects don’t care if you do, there’s not much point.
What hashtags do your customers search on – Not what do they use, but what do they think about and look for? In some cases this might be the same thing.
If you need some support around creating an Instagram or more holistic social media strategy, we’d love to hear from you. Visit the social media pages of our website or give us a call on 01635 521 224.