The Most Useful Instagram Features for Building a Brand
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There are plenty of Instagram features you can leverage to increase the authenticity and prevelence of your brand. Instagram is one of the best social networks for building a brand because of all the features you can leverage. Any business - whether it's B2B or B2C - can capitalize on the easy to use features that have allowed many companies to grow massive followings and make millions of dollars.
If you're looking to grow your following, create more website traffic, get more warm sales meetings, and make more money Instagram is a great place to do it.
Finding Your Social Media Voice
As you will see in this article, Instagram has the best functions available and least amount of restrictions for a brand with zero followers to scale. My suggestion is to look at each of the functions and select the ones that work for you. You might find that images are not the best way to get your message to the masses, either because you're not a great photographer or lack the writing skills to convey your message. Video, however, might be right up your alley.
If video is, indeed, your medium of choice you can make short videos - of 1 minute or less - within a post, or live-stream using Instagram Television, or IGTV.
Obviously, whichever features work best for you is what you should use the most while you build your brand and improve your skills in the other features. It's important to become savvy with all the
Instagram stories is one of the best places to spend your time each day - once you get a following. It's the perfect place to keep your fans up to date will all that is happening in small bites.
This is a great place to lead your followers to other longer pieces of content like posts, blogs, and product pages. It's also a great idea to let them know about cool places you've been. However, you use Instagram stories just make sure it's unique and consistent with your brand.
If your brand looks polished and utilizes a certain color palette, make sure your stories have the same consistency. If you're trying to use stories to sell your products and services, removing anything that isn't on brand will stop people from abandoning their carts when it's time to pull their credit cards out.
Instagram Television or IGTV is a phenomenal way for anyone to broadcast a brand to the masses. Generally, it's a good idea to have a following of people before you do this, but it's not necessary for success.
Consider IGTV to be the features most closely related to having your own television show. Every business wants to be front and center these days - and it's totally possible - if you treat it like one.
I have yet to see an actual television show on Instagram, but it's coming. This feature is the wave of the future and I want you to think about it in the best way possible.
Don't use it to just showcase your products, QVC. You have to give people value.
Without value who is going to tune in to see your products over and over. What is best is to have an entertain television show then sell your products during commercial breaks. This is not a webinar leading to a product page. It's a television show with commercials in between segments.
Posts and Hashtags are Instagram Features worth Mastering
This is the feature you need to maximize your time, because this is where you reach the most people in the least amount of time. Posts, targeted with hashtags, will attract more people to your brand.
Create your post using images or short videos. Then, add a detailed caption that is fun or interesting to read. The copywriting in your captions is vital to the most important metric. To learn to use hashtags appropriately, click on this link to find out how to target the best hashtags for your brand.
What is the most important metric on Instagram?
It's engagement, pure and simple.
This means that followers and likes all take a back seat to real, live conversations within the comments of each post. Ahhh, the essence of social media.
I know it's bazaar but social of media is the key to success.
Engagement is what truly increases followers and makes your brand truly profitable from Instagram.
Did you know that most of the followers of modern celebrities are fake? What good are they if they aren't real people looking to share their valuable thoughts and opinions with you.
Social Participation - The Most Important Metric
You might think that attracting tons of comments could be a bad thing, and yes, it's entirely possible, but without taking that risk your brand will remain undiscovered and not profitable.
Engagement is what builds their interest in you. Think about how excited you would be if you called your favorite movie star or business person and they actually picked up the phone and had a conversation with you. You would be thrilled, right? And, tell all your friends and the next time that celebrity is brought up in casual conversation your friends will tell their friends about the conversation. Even if they think it's not real. Haha.
The point is people want to talk to the "man in charge." If your creating great content, people will want to see it and talk about it. If you blow them off when they ask you question or snark when they ask a dumb question, they will remember that and odds are stop watching.
As much as every new entrepreneur dreams of using these Instagram features to create an automatic income and the "4-Hour WorkWeek" everyone that interacts with your brand is a potential customer. That means that by answering their questions to the best of your ability and going above and beyond, you can create sales without a massive following just by injecting some customer service. Those people that you help are great people to remind of upcoming product launches and sales.
Look at Pat Flynn's story, he gave so much value that his fans begged him to charge for something and now he's a multimillionaire.
Boosting your posts and live-streams is an easy way to build a following either when you're just starting out or going for a million followers. Usually, the prices to reach 10,000 people are pretty reasonable, but only if you target your audience and make sure your content is good.
Don't waste your money if your just winging it. You should know exactly what you're doing when you decide to put your effort into anything that is associated with your business. Yes, you have to start somewhere, but that doesn't mean that what you say has to suck.
What you say should be the best part of what you live-stream or post. It's the quality of the picture and sound that can be lackluster if you don't have the money to buy a nice camera, lighting, or microphone.
Ads are another great Instagram feature you can use at any time to boost your following and hopefully your engagement. You have to make sure that what you're "selling" is worth selling first, but once you've established that then sell the pants off your offer because Instagram can be a cash machine for many savvy entrepreneurs.
Your ads should be punchy and benefit-oriented. This means - for instance - that if your selling a social media management tool, the benefit is not being able to schedule all your posts in advance. The benefit is being able to go fishing while you're making money.
This is why when you see a commercial for a new drug on television, they don't show you blood result reports. They don't show you graphs either. They show you a happy person enjoying life in a normal way - seeing a person at a barbecue, climbing a mountain, or snuggling up with a loved one is much more appetizing than a graph showing a downward trend. Sometimes it's not easy to understand what the true benefit is but an experienced copywriter is.
Most products are not very interesting except to the right people. That's why your ads need to be benefits heavy, short and to the point and targeted specifically to the audience you intend on buying your product. To target your products appropriately, use the Instagram or Facebook Audience Insights tool to make sure your ads are being shown to the right demographic.
Lastly, your profile is extremely important for directing traffic on Instagram. It's not possible to attach links within captions, so what you should do is direct people back to your profile where you'll have a link to where your customers can find what you sell or more content that supports your initiative to sell your products.
That being said, you should avoid the hard sell with products and services unless you know that they are going to sell. Every time you sell something you are going to lose followers, so that means, you have to pick and choose when and where you do it. I'd say something in the realm of 10% of the time you should be selling something. The majority of what you do should be geared towards educating your followers and building trust.
To learn more about the ins and outs of Instagram, check out this post on building a brand on Instagram for more information.