3 Golden Rules Before you post On Instagram (With Case Studies)
Now that you have your account set up and ready, the next step is to make the commitment to building a community.
17:00 22 March 2021
Instagram is all about engagement with your audience it is not about blasting ads and hope someone will buy from you.
To build the community, you need to follow the same 3 Golden Rules as building a community on any other social network:
Golden Rule 1 — Consistency: Post regularly. There is nothing more frustrating to a community that wants your content only to see that your last update was three months ago. Not posting regularly also sends the message that you don’t care enough to dedicate any time to your followers which doesn’t inspire confidence and certainly doesn’t gain you more followers nor customers filling your cash tills.
Golden Rule 2 — Engagement: Don’t just post your photos and move on. If people like your photo or leave a comment, make sure you reply to them and mention their username in your comment too. The followers see it as certainly doesn’t work you need to belong to..hat are tagged with these hashtags which exposes your great ego-boost to have their name mentioned by a power brand.
It makes them important and they tell their friends, which increases your followers. Don’t be afraid to follow your followers back. See what they are posting. It’s a free insight into their mind and what they will spend money on.
Golden Rule 3 — Quality: Posting images for the sake of posting is a no-no. People can tell. Take a bit of time to ensure the photo you upload has a nice effect to it, has some thought behind it, and is something that the community would want to see. The underlying reason for the existence of Instagram is for people to save and share a moment in time and not be inundated with SPAM. As your business takes off on this platform, remember this principle message and stick to it.
Posting the Moments It is all about the community that you are building. If they feel like you are spamming them with your marketing gum you lose them forever. However, if you engage with them, they can respond very well and connect with your brand enough to buy your product too.
Remembering that Instagram is all about capturing moments and your Instagram account needs to maintain its professional reputation at all times. Whatever you upload is available for public viewing and needs to be aligned to your brand.
Here are some tips on how to capture your business moments and still make a connection with your audience without coming across as a marketing spammer. Each unique moment can be broken down into these categories:
The Behind-the-scene Moments: There is a lot that goes on inside your business that people don’t ever get to see. Your business might have a 24-hour production line or an automated warehouse facility or you are busy with a hot photoshoot or have Bring-Beer-Casual-Friday. People don’t typically see this side of your business as they just see the end product that they are buying.
Instagram offers the opportunity to share and expose those behind-the-scenes moments with your customers.
Snap away the co-worker who is wearing his Rugby jersey to a formal function and the employee of the month who manages the chocolate wrapping machine or even the company’s outing to the local restaurant to celebrate a new merger. Include some “bloopers” where things go funnily-wrong too.
Who wouldn’t want to see the Accounting Manager who locked himself in the office and is now squeezing through the window? This is how customers connect with you on a personal and human level. They connect with your company and with your product.
Woolworths_SA shows behind the scene footage of models about to take to the catwalk runway. Unless you have backstage passed, you would not be able to see this but now you can be a VIP:
Yuppiechef shows their people in the office wearing paper hats in time for #Christmas:
Wish You Were Here Moments When your business has an event or a launch make sure you have at least one person who is capturing those moments and uploading them to Instagram. It allows people to join in the excitement of the event. It even allows people to add their comments and questions.
Upload those short video clips too. Video is ideal to use during an event as it captures both the visual and the surrounding sounds. Video captures the mood too. Share the excitement with the audience and forever record those moments in your timeline for anyone to see at any stage.
TheTechieGuy posted a video of the new Nintendo 2DS at the South Africa launch event and someone posted a question about its availability
Newsjacking Moments Newsjacking is the ability to take breaking news and topical events and use them to inject your brand into the unfolding story. This is an art form that takes a lot of practice but well worth the time investment.
The trick is for people to find your business or brand amongst the breaking news that everyone wants to read. Businesses that Newsjack needs to be smart and be able to act quickly when something happens but always be mindful of not coming across as cheesy or disrespectful to the real unfolding story. A perfect example of Newjacking done right is the famous
Oreo case. When the power went out during the US Superbowl game in February, Oreo instantly uploaded the picture to their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark”
The result was that their Facebook post generated 20 000 Likes, their Tweet was re-tweeted 15 000 times and their followers increased by 8000.
Their Instagram account increased from 2000 followers to over 36 000. Oreo was quick to latch onto an event. It was the perfect opportunity to inject their brand on an event that affected millions of people that were glued to their TV sets.
The quick-thinking people at Oreo knew that as the power went out, the millions of spectators would naturally turn to social media for information, and Oreo was there with a bit of humor.
Exclusive Sneak Peak Moments
When you have a new product, or a new service, or a new marketing campaign or a new announcement, Instagram is a great platform to build excitement with exclusive sneak-peaks of the upcoming product or service.
People love to be the first to know what is about to unfold. This is a great way to engage with your community and show them what you are about to launch so they know something is coming first.
Filo Yogurt uses their Instagram to show their “piece of froyo art” which gets a follower excited about trying it out:
They also used Instagram to give people a sneak peak at their store that was about to be opened “any day now!” — they even used their own #FILOSeapoint hashtag
Question the Moment
“How was your day?” “How was work?” “Did you like that movie?” “Which one do you like?” Questions are part of everyday conversation. We ask and answer questions continuously.
This stimulates a conversation and is an accepted norm. The same applies for Instagram. It may seem obvious, but to engage in a conversation with your Instagram community, simply ask questions.
Starbucks asked a simple question: Mug or Muffin? Their community replied 964 times and Liked this pic 101 000 times.
Moments of Fame and Glory
When a celebrity is in town, fans line up in the hope to get a “selfie” with the celebrity. People want to be associated with an icon. This trait also translates to social networks. In Twitter, this is done when a brand mentions a customer’s handle in their Tweets or when a brand Re-Tweets comments.
Unfortunately, unlike Twitter, Instagram doesn’t have a re-Tweet option. You can’t find an Instagram pic you like and share it with your audience. You can’t find a happy customer’s Instagram comment and re-share it.
This means, that as a company you need to pay special attention when your community mentions your product or business, then reward them by mentioning their Instagram username in your comments. When a brand mentions its customer’s username in their comments, even just by answering their questions, it is the equivalent of the celebrity “selfie”.
Levis (the Jeans people) are constantly engaging with their fans. In this example, they posted a “Happy Monday. Don’t forget to dust-off the weekend.” message which elicited 4250 Likes and 42 comments. You can see how Levis is engaging with their customer who asks about a specific style and they reply: