26 Dec 4 Questions to Answer in Your Instagram Strategy
Your social media profile started with Facebook (as well it should). You’ve grown your followers and increased engagement and now you or your staff or board or ED thinks it’s time to branch out and Instagram is the next target. Before you grab that Instagram handle and post a picture of your staff stuffing envelopes for your next appeal, put the brakes on and think through this a little.
Why do you want to be on Instagram?
If your answer is because everyone else is doing it or it just looks like something we should be doing, those are clear signs it’s not time for you to launch this idea yet. Do you know who Instagram’s users are? In our recent survey, 18-22 year olds are the most likely to use Instagram multiple times a day. Although 75% of social media users in all age groups under 35 have an Instagram account, this youngest group is using it the most. If your target market is over the age of 45, Instagram isn’t your best bet. Why spend time crafting a marketing strategy around people who aren’t your target market?
What do you want to accomplish?
Successful Instagram marketers post pictures to their account every day, often multiple times a day. If your target market is Millennials, Instagram could be a great way to reach them. But what do you say? You already know your messaging to this generation can’t be the same messaging you use for Gen Xers or Boomers. What is it you want to accomplish with this campaign? Do you want to increase volunteers? Increase awareness of your organization? Or drive more of those users to your organization as a resource? If this audience is yours, have a goal in mind before you start your campaign.
Have you developed your voice?
With any advertising or inbound marketing strategy, consistency is key. Consistency, however, isn’t limited to how often you post on social media or what time of day you post. Consistency also includes your voice and the types of pictures you post. Knowing your audience, their expectations and how you want them to perceive you all play a part in creating consistency. Do you want to be quirky? A southern bell? A little nerdy? Humorous? Think about your audience and your company. Are there words you will use or won’t use? Are there specific products or services you’ll promote more than others? On Instagram your voice is more than your words, it’s the pictures that you take. Will you commit to taking pictures from specific angles, using specific fonts for your overlays or specific filters?
Do you have a hashtag?
A successful nonprofit Instagram strategy will include hashtags. While it’s always super cool to develop your own hashtag and have it catch on, one of the easiest ways to gain new followers is to know what hashtags they are using. Second to the hashtag discussion is using those most popular hashtags effectively and appropriately. While #love is the number one hashtag right now, it’s not necessarily for every picture and every brand. Also remember if you create your own hashtags ensure they make sense and that you use them consistently.
What are others doing that’s gaining attention?
Certainly be your own person, but take advantage of people who have already been there and found a following. Evaluate their social media marketing strategy. Maybe their following isn’t yours, but take note of the consistency of their posts, their voice and the types of photos they use. What about their strategy can you use to make your strategy stronger?
Before you get started, you need to know where you are going. At what point do you want to see results and what are those results? Do you want to see increases in followers and engagement or do you want to see sales in specific product increase? Do you want to increase volunteers or donors at your nonprofit? You can put together a great plan, but with no one in charge, it will not be implemented. Make someone in charge of Instagram, give them what they need to do the job and together set some goals. Evaluate along the way to make changes to correct what’s not working and celebrate what is working. If you can’t spare the manpower for one person to take the job, consider hiring an inbound marketing agency to help.
As one of the top social sites, Instagram marketing offers great opportunities for those with the time, interest and skill to jump in. It can be a great source of organic website traffic if your pictures drive people to your page where the one and only link to your site can be found. The key to making it work and work well, lies in a well crafted strategy. What’s working on your Instagram account? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!