by Hailey Wiggins, PR Intern
It’s midnight, and you are scrolling through your Instagram feed. We have all been there. You cannot sleep and as you continue to browse, an image catches your eye. Why did you stop scrolling? That slight pause leads you to click on the account. What causes you to stay on their page clicking on several carefully curated visuals? Here are four tips to make your brand stand out on Instagram:
Something that is often overlooked on Instagram is the overall appearance of a brand’s page. Make sure your profile is branded with your logo as your profile picture. Use industry-relevant hashtags in your bio. Select a color scheme for your photos and layout. These choices, along with consistency, will make your profile easily recognizable, searchable and welcoming to new followers. If you already have a well-established Instagram page, a simple clean-up of your profile may be something to consider to make sure your brand is aesthetically pleasing. Archiving posts that no longer align with your brand or serve your audience can be your friend.
Stories and Highlights
Instagram Stories and Highlights are booming in 2019, and it is essential that you know how to utilize these tools. A story has a 24-hour life span and can be found at the top of your feed, on a post, or on a company’s profile page. A highlight is a story that is saved to a profile and has a never-ending lifespan. Highlights have to be found by visiting a profile. Highlights can be used to give an overview of a company’s values and culture.
Since Stories disappear after 24 hours, Highlights also allow you to get more mileage from your Stories. When posting Stories, consider tagging people and brands along with the location. Use a countdown for important events or add branded Story stickers to amp up your Stories even more. After you post a Story, save it to your Highlights on your home page so that when visitors come across your account, they can see what your company has been doing.
By now you are probably familiar with hashtags. They are essentially search terms you can add to your post to link your content with similar posts and make it easier for consumers to discover your business. You should be using 1-5 hashtags on each post to attract new followers.
Creating branded hashtags that are unique to your company allow you to build brand awareness, increase the visibility of your content, assist with launching a product or contest, and much more. Because hashtags draw more followers to your page, you can use multiple to let page viewers know immediately why they should follow you. Branded hashtags should be no longer than 3-4 words, easy to understand, and should not be solely about your brand.
For example, Scooter Media uses the Hashtag #BeepBeep to celebrate success. This hashtag does not define our company, but it is a part of what we represent.
Micro-influencers can be a great asset to your brand because they serve as unbiased external validations. Instead of your company posting that Sally should come visit you, have Julie (micro-influencer) post about being at your company’s location or interacting with one of your products. Sally may see Julie’s post and seek out the company as a result. This is a discrete, but effective, way of advertising and communicating with your audience.
Macro-influencers are well-known celebrities who are paid a lot of money to post about a brand. Often times, followers are more skeptical of macro-influencers because they are seen as less relatable. While macro-influencers work for major brands, micro-influencers have a better engagement rate, which can make them more successful for the average company.
Cleaning up your Instagram appearance, implementing the use of Stories, Highlights, hashtags, and leveraging micro-influencers are your keys to a successful 2019 when it comes to Instagram. With these trends, you can reach and engage with more potential customers which will reflect your ROI. However, Instagram is not likely the only social media platform that you are using most likely, so make sure to check out our Social Media Snapshot of 2019.