How To Capitalize On Instagram’s High Level of Engagement

October 16, 2015

How to get a return on investment from your Instagram community

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What’s This?

Businesses that haven’t yet included Instagram as part of their social media line up are seriously wasting time and money (for detailed information on this, click here). Consider that last year mobile phones surpassed online data consumption with over a billion daily likes and 20 billion shared photos. And since average Instagram users are younger in age than users of other social venues, it’s a great way to capture the millennial market. Today, we’ll touch on how to get ROI from Instagram.

What may be the most compelling reason businesses and brands should use Instagram is the incredibly high level of engagement. The average post on Instagram has an interaction rate of 4.80, compared to Twitter’s 0.25 and Facebook’s 0.72. And the Instagram community has grown to over 400 million users who “like” roughly 2.5 billion photos and videos per day.

In order to take full advantage of Instagram’s high engagement level, below we’ve listed a few tips on how you can maximize on the marketing capabilities Instagram provides.

Build Relationships With Images

Instagram serves as a customer feedback platform

When M.Gemi, a new luxury women’s shoe startup, considered how to launch their brand, they wanted to establish a direct relationship with their customers and communicate with them a visual way.




They began by sharing the first images of their shoes. Since M.Gemi is a direct-to-consumer retailer, they anticipated that they could rapidly respond to feedback from sizing and styles to shipping policies.

“There is no other platform that allows us to form that type of genuine connection,” said Michelle Davis, M.Gemi’s Social Media Coordinator. “Instagram allows us to communicate with, listen to and respond to the needs of our clients through imagery.”

The high level of engagement for an image of a pair of strappy black sandals on Instagram contributed to the company’s decision to feature the shoe on their website for their official launch. And the feedback on another pair of block-heeled sandals led the team to add a new style with a similar heel.

Besides posting images of shoes, M.Gemi also posted videos and snapshots of the company’s first empty office space, and travel to the Italian factories where its shoes are produced. “Our target audience is on Instagram everyday — by focusing our efforts on the platform, we are able to become part of her daily routine,” said Davis.

Hashtags on Instagram

Use targeted hashtags to build a good audience

The creative use of hashtags can render much greater brand engagement. And on Instagram, without the use of hashtags, content from your brand or business would never be seen, just as content alongside generic hashtags would get swallowed up. Hashtags should be original. And using too many hashtags can reduce their effectiveness. Try to use around three or four at the most. Also keep your hashtags outside of the write up for legibility and in the comments.

Try tagging a photo with an entire brand instead of a company hashtag, With this approach, all brands within a community profit from the added exposure to new customers.

Local brands can use hashtags effectively on Instagram like Cafe Devocion, a boutique coffee shop in Brooklyn. They use geo targeted hashtags such as #Williamsburg and #CoffeeNYC. This allows them to be found by their local audience and in turn allows them to have a better chance of converting their Instagram audience into a sale. When something special happens, such as yesterday’s announcement that they were voted Best Coffee Shop in NYC by the Village Voice, Devocion goes further by using hyper specific hashtags to drive the point even further.

How Often Should I Post on Instagram

The standard premise is that you should post often enough to keep your followers’ attention but not so often that they feel spammed. But according to data gathered last year by the social analytics firm Union Metrics, for brands, you can pretty much post as often as you want within reason.

Union Metrics looked at the activity of 55 brands over a period of several months, during which time the average brand posted 1.5 times per day.

“Our initial assumption about those high-frequency posters was that the more often a brand posts, the lower their engagement rates would be on the subsequent posts. But that does not seem to be true. So far, we haven’t seen any relationship between the amount of content a brand posts each day and the engagement rates those posts receive, and definitely not a negative one. We’ve monitored accounts that post once an hour, all day long, and they see above-average engagement rates on almost all their content, no matter when it occurs in the one-post-an-hour sequence. Later posts do not decline in engagement.”

For example, Martha Stewart posts multiple times a day. Yesterday, the brand posted 5 times and each image had incredibly high engagement. If you plan to post multiple times per day, make sure that your content is high quality and that you have time to engage in order to maximize your engagement and follows (click here for our tips to growing your account and getting engagement).

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