Instagram is not new: It started up in 2010. It is not recently popular either: It had over 15 million users in 2011. But, while Facebook’s usership is plateauing, Instagram’s continues to grow at unprecedented speeds–even in spite of their recently rolled out advertising opportunities and algorithm changes. And Instagram’s popularity is bleeding into older (notably female) demographics. Which, for many brands, makes it another place you have to be! But the best part is: If you have social platform savvy staff and a smartphone, you already have everything you need to create great content!
See, Instagram is different from Facebook because it’s not so easily outsourced. Content pushed to Instagram needs to be visually compelling and authentic to what’s in-the-moment and in-store in order to maintain your following. Artfully filtered shots of carefully curated outfits tend to liken resale retail Instagram accounts to live feeds from buy counters. So, while we’ve seen a great deal of success when advertising store Instagram accounts, the post generation and account management are entirely different balls of wax.
There was a time when pages were buying untargeted likes on Facebook. We always stressed that this was a big “no no,” but many stores felt pressure to validate themselves in those “likes.” Well, hate to say we told you so: Now Facebook needs to be fed ad dollars in order to ensure your posts are seen. So let’s learn from Facebook’s mistakes on Instagram. Because Facebook is now Instagram’s parent company… And the apple never falls far from the tree…
Here are our top 3 best practices to keep your Instagram account in-line and at the top of your followers’ feeds:
1) Quality over quantity. Post great content! The more apt it is to get interaction, the more positive its effect on the algorithm.
2) Instagram is notorious for seeing better engagement. Why? One might surmise that this community is more intimate: Unlike Facebook, Instagram interactions aren’t blasted to everyone newsfeeds. So when you get engagement, acknowledge that user and reply!
3) While it may seem easy to push content directly to all of your social media pages, make an effort to keep content tailored to each platform. Not only does this appear professional in your understanding that each platform serves a different purpose, but it motivates your audience to follow you in multiple places. You will have opportunity to be omnipresent if you shed a new light on your brand on each platform with a unique experience and a different voice attributed to each space.