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5 Essentials for Successful Social Media Marketing: Piloting Instagram

5 Essentials for Successful Social Media Marketing: Piloting Instagram
Jackie Basham
Junior Marketing Associate

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As the pilot of your company’s marketing, it can sometimes feel like most of your time and focus is spent on small assignments. Projects, deadlines, and campaigns disrupt your day to day and distract you from reaching your brand’s final destination. Social media is no exception.

Marketing on social media platforms like Instagram is one branch of marketing that has grown to become a crucial aspect of increasing brand awareness. Instagram has evolved and become more complex for businesses, both for better and for worse. Scheduling, editing, and accessing content is now at your fingertips. With that being said, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the features being offered.

Luckily, there is a way to effectively use Instagram to leverage your brand without having it get lost in any turbulence. Read on to review our in-flight marketing strategy manual for Instagram.

Preparing for Take-Off

Think of social media platforms as different airlines carrying your message around the world. And in this case, Instagram is one of the many airlines to choose from; a powerful tool if used properly. Instagram is a great place to visually and aesthetically build your external brand – everything your audience views and engages with. With the content you post, people, companies, or corporations can visually get a sense of your brand identity, team culture, and products or services provided. However, there are some safety instructions to review prior to take off.  

[#section1]1. Pitfalls Causing Turbulence[#section1]

We all enjoy a smooth flight to our final destination, but nonetheless it's important to prepare for any turbulence that may make your flight a bumpy ride. And as for your Instagram marketing strategy, turbulence can arise when treating all social platforms as if they are all the same tool with the same audience or features.

It’s all too easy to create content and copy that can be shared across all social platforms. It makes sense, right? To use a single use of copy and content and share it on all social channels? While it may be time efficient, this is a trap. Posting identical content on all social media accounts can lead to audience disengagement, resulting in a drop in your brand’s performance.

Content being shared on Instagram may not be the best fit for your LinkedIn page and vice versa. Each platform has their own tone and arrangement of best performing content that should be considered in the content creation process. With this in mind, all social platforms that you post content on should follow their own strategy to produce the results you desire.

Take again for example, Instagram. It is primarily a visual platform, whereas Facebook on the other hand, while more commonly used by middle aged moms, is focused on connecting people on a more personal level. As for LinkedIn, it serves as a professional platform that can be used for networking and building a company’s identity.

The challenge is finding universally valuable content that caters to each platform. With this in mind, it's important to adjust your content to the necessary tone of each platform. Because each platform has their own algorithm, audience, and tone, we’ve found it helpful to create guidelines for each platform separately, therefore we will begin with focusing on Instagram. Read on to learn the best practices of posting to Instagram and how to get the most out of your brand on this social media platform.

[#section2]2. Benefit From Instagram's Algorithm[#section2]

After identifying the main objectives and goals you would like your Instagram content to achieve for your business, you’ll need a content strategy. Instagram, like other social platforms, has an algorithm that can be used to your advantage if used properly. As of the latest Instagram algorithm update, the platform controls the order of posts users view on their feed, pushing the most relevant posts for the user to the top of their feed. In doing so, these accounts gain more visibility in comparison to others that are deemed less relevant. While catering to the algorithm at hand is important, it’s important to note that the formula is ever changing and adjusting to the needs of their audience, so one Instagram strategy may not be the best option as the algorithm continues to change.

When creating this content strategy, consider the following promising metrics of Instagram’s algorithm while formulating an individual algorithm for your audience.

  • Relationship – Users who have engaged with your past content are more likely to engage with your current/future content.
  • Interest – Instagram targets users who have interacted with accounts that are similar to your company's page and will suggest your content to these users.
  • Relevancy – Keep in mind when posting to Instagram, “How relevant is this content in current culture?”. Instagram produces a relevancy score that can dictate how visible it will be to your audience.

While there are other factors to consider when understanding the Instagram algorithm, these 3 points are the most important to take into account while creating content.

[#section3]3. Build a Structured Posting Schedule[#section3]

Whether you’re posting 3 times per week or every day, creating a structured posting schedule can also come to benefit your algorithm. Posting more content would more likely result in more brand visibility, however we understand that there are some limitations to this. Your graphics team may not have enough designers to produce that amount of content regularly, designers may just not have capacity to produce the high-level content you want to publish on your feed or other major client projects may require more of your attention. These are very understandable and realistic obstacles that may arise, and therefore should be kept in mind as you create a posting schedule. Think about the capacity, availability, and energy  you want directed towards going into making social media content.

At TGCo, we use Sprout to follow a posting schedule of 3x per week, following our HERO – HUB – HELP model. This structure helps to classify and give purpose to our content while also streamlining the content creation process.

  • HERO – Content that serves to share about team culture and/or values. This is typically more creative, fun, and engaging content.
  • HUB – Content that serves to inspire, intrigue, and engage the user audience.
  • HELP – Content that serves to teach or inform the user audience.

From Reels, carousels, to static posts, the HERO – HUB – HELP model can adapt to any media type you see is best for your content.

[#section4]4. Choose a Post Type[#section4]

The emergence of TikTok has completely altered the course of social media marketing and has had a lasting impact on all social platforms. While Instagram used to be the reigning platform for lead generation, TikTok has now shot to the top, causing many businesses to focus their attention towards creating short, video content that caters to their TikTok audience.

To compete with TikTok’s success, Instagram is continuously altering their algorithm, introducing Reels, to mimic the behaviors of its competitor. And to some extent, it has worked in its favor. It’s been proven that Reel content, followed by other video and carousel content receive the most visibility and engagement from users.

You may start to think, “Why don’t businesses just start posting only Reels then?”

While that sounds like a solid solution, those media types also require the most amount of attention to produce quality content. So again, consider the capacity, availability, and energy of your team.

We understand how it may be tempting to go after the large engagement/viewing numbers, but that can be hard on the supporting team around you to continually post content that requires so much of their time to create. In conjunction to this, publishing content that is continually striving to attain a large engagement is most likely content that isn’t serving to better explain your brand, services, or products. Better yet, there are ways to receive the same amount of your audience's attention without having to produce an excess amount of Reels or carousel content.

Post types that have performed well on Instagram are quality and dynamic static photos, videos, or GIFs that spark interest and engagement. While other medias foster more views, you can still achieve the same total engagement with static posts that serve to teach, inspire, and explain aspects of your business to your audience. Such content includes:

  • Service Highlights
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Creative inspiration
  • How-to content
  • Call to Action (CTA) posts

While we may adapt a similar posting structure at TGCo, it may not exactly serve what is needed from your account. Evaluate the main objectives and goals for your Instagram and create a strategy to help achieve those goals.

[#section5]5. Tweak Your Tone[#section5]

Although Instagram is a platform that can be used to raise awareness around your brand identity, its tone is casual and conversational. Therefore, don’t be afraid to let your brand’s personality shine through in both the content and copy. At its core, Instagram is a more personalized platform that is less formal as other social platforms you may be posting to.

One way to embrace the more personal approach and let your brand's personality shine is the use of Instagram Stories. Luckily, we were able to get the opinion of content creation and reels expert May who shared the following Instagram Story-Tips for effective engagement:

"Here are my top 3 ways to use Instagram Stories for my business that you can use today:

  • Start sharing bits of your routine and behind the scenes focusing on what you have to offer: This makes your business extremely transparent and honest, invites followers into your world, but it also helps your followers see that there are real people buying what you have to sell.
  • Create mini trainings or rituals that you repeat weekly that generate trust. It can be a mini-audit, a mini training about a topic you master, or a tutorial on how to use your product in a creative way.
  • Share client results and testimonials in strategic ways. Don’t just throw them in your stories without context, but rather, tell a story about that client, what they came to you for, and how you helped them.

Instagram stories is a very strategic tool to nurture and convert your most engaged followers into buyers."

[#section6]A Runway Ready Strategy[#section6]

With the right approach to Instagram, your social media can help lift your company to new heights. Engage with new followers and leverage it to discover and connect with the voice of your brand. Finding the tone that resonates across all platforms with your audience is paramount to a successful experience in the realm of social media.

This is your captain speaking and we’d like to remind you that communication is key! You are now ready for take-off! If not - At Tiny Giants Co, we do have some pilots onboard that are ready to unleash your brand’s potential. Contact us today to find out how! 

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