Should I tweet? Should I promote on Facebook? Does Linkedin work for me? How about Pinterest?
We’re bombarded by so many different social channels, it’s hard to keep up. As a brand, which ones should you focus on and which ones should you just “forget about”?
In an information overloaded world, cutting through the junk and getting to the meat of things is what consumers look for. What’s a better way to do that than through a short, sweet, and simple image? Today, we’ll take a look at Instagram and our tips for getting the most out of this wildly popular mobile app.
INSTAGRAM LESSONS FOR YOUR MOTO BRAND
Close to 50% of brands use Instagram, and that number is expected to rise to over 70% by 2017. The social media channel is a great tool for brand discovery and awareness, using images to capture consumer attention.
Just recently, Instagram made it easier for followers to research and purchase products directly from the app. This is big for the online retail industry, offering up the opportunity to convert followers to customers immediately.
But first! You need to catch the eyes of your followers -- it’s all in your images and how you post them.
1. Inspire, motivate, and think big
A single visual image can do so much more than words on a page. Motivate and inspire your followers to think and dream big about all of the possibilities with your products in their hands.
Show your products doing what they do best at their highest level of use, captured in the most magnificent ways possible. Using professionally shot and edited photos of your products being used to the extreme in their native environments allows consumers to see for themselves what that would actually look like. No need to have to imagine it! These shots make the seemingly “impossible” possible to the average, non-athletic individual -- it brings their dreams of being a crazy motocross stunt driver or motosport racer closer to reality.
@scottmotosports is a great example of a brand that uses photos to inspire their audience.
@alpinestars is another brand that does an awesome job at showing their products in full use. With a whopping 724K Instagram followers, they know what will make their audience drool.
2. Show the human side to your brand
If it’s not possible to get big budget images done like large brands can do -- that’s fine! We even encourage mixing it up a little. Showing the average human being using your products will get people just as excited.
Followers jump on content that is relatable: you want to make them see themselves using your products. Try using a smartphone that takes high-quality images or a DSLR to snap the shots. Capture real moments with how you use your products in your daily life. People want to see the man or woman on the ground using the product how they’d use it. It’s all affirmation that your products are for everyday people.
Another is @giantloopmoto. They take things personally and show you the life behind an avid moto fan.
3. Spice things up, throw in a video every now and then
If images weren’t enough, share a video every so often to intensify the experience for your followers. You hit two senses for the price of one! It helps bring people closer to experiencing the moment as if they were actually there.
For instance, for @rekluse_motorsports’ TorqDrive product, it’s rather difficult to capture the sound of the system in an image. A blog post or some form of written content may be a bit better -- you could describe the noise and the feeling that it leaves, but still, it wouldn’t be the same. Now if you’re talking about a simple 5 - 10 second video that allows Rekluse followers to hear and feel the power and rawness of the TorqDrive system, you’ll have your audience coming back looking for more.
Or try taking your followers through a first-hand view of what it’s like using your products. We couldn’t help but mention @gopro. They do a fantastic job of putting their audience at the hands of the wheel. Their biking video gives the viewer a look into the sights and sounds of what’s around and puts them into the head of the rider, their thoughts and feelings. It gives you a rush as he rides downhill and jumps from place to place.
4. Location, location, location
Little do brands know, location tagging is huge for engagement with your users. According to SImply Measured’s Instagram study, posts that are tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement than those that don’t.
That means you should be adding the location of where the image was taken to any post! Why? It’s another way for followers to find you and your content. Think of it like a hashtag. For instance, say a user is viewing Brand ABC’s image at Location DEF. For whatever reason, they become interested in all of the other photos that have been posted at that location. If you’ve taken an image and tagged it at Location DEF, that will user will be able to see your picture.
This is just another small, quick thing that you can do to gain more exposure for your brand, so it gets discovered by more people. Seriously, it takes less than 10 seconds before you post that photo to your Instagram feed.
5. Everyone loves a free giveaway
Do you know how popular Instagram is in the social media sphere? According to Brandwatch, “engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.” That’s huge! So many brands focus their efforts on Facebook and Twitter, when they should be drilling down on Instagram.
Our question is: if you’re not on Instagram, why? If you are, use these engagement levels to your advantage! Hold a contest -- use your hashtags and location tagging to really get the most out of it. If you want to target current customers, ask them to share photos using your products. If you’re trying to acquire new customers, have them post images relating to what they’d use that product for. Contests are easy, especially ones that ask you to point, click, and upload --- your followers already do it everyday!
One of the most crucial things to any successful contest is utilizing your hashtags. See our next point below.
6. Don’t forget to use your #hashtags
Oh hashtags. Like location tagging, these little guys help your brand get discovered and exposed to the millions of Instagram users out there (read: potential customers). Hootsuite says that posts that have at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those that don’t.
We suggest having a standard five to ten hashtags that you use with every post, and any additional ones that are unique to the image itself. Around 70% of the most used hashtags are those that are branded or brand-related (think: #tradevitality). As you start using these hashtags more and more, people will catch on, and use them for their posts -- all which helps with getting the word out their about your products.
Just don’t go too overboard. Sometimes, it’s a bit overwhelming when there’s a hashtag list that’s longer than the description of the post itself.
7. ABP: Always be posting
You’re sitting there wondering: okay, that’s all great Trade Vitality, but how many times does our brand need to post?! According to Hootsuite, top brands post 4.9 times per week. (But let’s just say 5, since we don’t really know what to do with a .9 of a post).
Frequency is key, especially with a social media channel like Instagram -- whoever’s online at the time will see your post. A few hours later, it could be way down the long list of other posts on your followers’ feed, easy to be missed. You want to ensure you engage all of your followers, which means posting multiple times a day.
If you’re a little strapped for time, schedule things out. There are some cool tools out there to make your Instagram experience easier. Buffergram schedules and publishes your images, while Buffer for Instagram schedules, reminds, and then pre-populates your Instagram app so all you have to do is press “Post”.
Instagram doesn’t have to be scary or complicated, it’s a fun and easy tool that any brand can pick up and learn within minutes. Give a few of our tips a try, and let us know what you think! Does your brand have any unique, off the usual path practices for posting on Instagram?