Instagram – it’s like Facebook, but with not even 5% of the similar features. The cauldron of photo-shopped and airbrushed images, the home of the pretentious, and a perfect way to gloat your personal ego at the falsified cyber image you create of yourself digitally. Whether you fail to fail to understand why Instagram even exists in the first place when essentially the whole world is on Instagram like me, it’s hard to deny the potential for free or minimal advertising it offers. Instagram is instant – the publicity and outreach it offers is definitely beyond what Facebook does, even if it’s primarily targeting next generation hipsters and panorama shots of obscure objects with semi-inspirational quotes. So how would you market your startup on such a colorful platform?
Being diversely spread across social media platforms for some publicity and marketing is important because newer startups will likely help make your product/services or your approach to it viral, thereby helping it gain more momentum on its own. Here’s a simple guide to follow through:
Understand how Instagram’s marketing works differently from FB
Sure, the central concept of Facebook and Instagram is essentially the same, and Instagram might be now the skeleton left of what Facebook has become, but there’s still a large audience that’s actively using Facebook, for some odd reason, so we have to deal with it. Understand how Instagram works on the basis of popularity of posts, and is entirely a visual medium rather than text and multimedia marketing like Facebook. Hashtags here work much more effectively than Facebook does. Your content will organically be pushed to the masses unless it has some hashtags that are very popular. Go through the tutorials that explain how Instagram works.
Chose your Instagram name in a search friendly manner
Searches would be yielded on the basis of popularity so focus on using as simple as available search name as possible on your account. For example, if you startup is a computer repair shop called Lance’s computer shop and it’s got a tagline saying “As good as new computers!”, instead of using Lance_Shop_Cleveland, use a more searchable friendlier name, such as Lance_CheapPCRepairs or something similar The trick is to be included in generic search names.
Try to create a story
Stories keep the users engaged heavily and glued to your profile. Try to break up the story into multiple shots and use this method to rely on getting more followers. For example post updates on the progress of something, such as working on a client’s project, with the first photo being a blueprint, the second being raw materials in action, third showing the work in progress, etc. Such stories mean the user will keep scrolling through just to know the end.
Maintain a color scheme
Instagram on the overall relies heavily on how all thumbnails of your photographs would look once posted together. SO a central color or shade theme would be a wise idea to be utilized. Try using a shade or a hue to all your photographs and stick by them. You can play some advance level Instagram game by slowly progressing through different shades instead of drastically changing filters in one photo to break the scheme tone. Alternatively, try having a different picture of each side/center and see how the overall page looks.
Shootout for a shout out
The easiest way to market yourself is give a shout out in exchange for a shout out. Of course this works only if you’ve gathered an x amount of followers to begin with. Reach out to popular/ similar Instagram pages and give them a shout out because then their massive audience is exchanged for yours. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Everybody loves a freebie! Having a simple product giveaway or weekly discounts where you make your followers give you a shout out to participate or share your post is not only a great way to advertize but also to gain a lot of followers.
Follow for a follow
Without being vocal, try following some legit looking posts on your page. A simple follow for a follow policy works great, especially since you can quietly unfollow most of the bulk months later and lose only a fraction of these followers back when you do. Users love a policy that enables them to be followed by several others, especially with a high number of followers themselves.
Finally, remember it’s not the number of follows you gain organically that matters, but the number of legit responses back your receive from them and the actual engagement that you get. Does your startup have an Instagram page you’d like us to check out? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India