How South African businesses can use Instagram accurately and effectively

bizcommunityMany brands are still not effectively using social media channels to their advantage. Depending on your type of business, there are multiple social channels available. These channels give you direct access to thousands of potential customers if you use it properly.

Instagram is becoming increasingly popular; I receive almost three notifications a week from Facebook indicating that a new friend has just jumped on the Instagram bandwagon. It is no longer about editing your photos with multiple different filters; it’s about sharing visual moments. Facebook is an excellent word-of-mouth tool; instant recommendations from friends are great but what about the visuals?

Instagram works perfectly for product-based businesses (as well as a few service-based offerings). If you have exciting things to sell then there is no reason for you not to capitalise on the Instagram market by sharing visual moments.The types of brands using Instagram to drive engagement and increase sales are predominantly retailers selling everything from clothing to home ware. Travel and Tourism dominates this space as well by enticing their customers with luxurious pictures of their favourite travel destinations. So, how does a brand use Instagram properly?

#Share Visual Moments

Regular posting of great images is the first step to getting started. Ensure that your pictures are creative; Instagram is not a place for boring pictures. It is all about the visual; instead of selling your customer a product, sell them an experience and take them on a journey with you. Show your followers some behind the scenes action and do not be scared to use the video feature as well.

#Engage, Like and Follow

Use a few hashtags to increase your engagement. Hashtags are great for increasing your following and engagement and we recommend sticking to five hashtags as a maximum. Stats have shown that hashtags work but only if it’s done right. And remember, hashtags are searchable. Your engagement is not limited to only hashtags, follow your followers, follow new people, reply to comments, and like other peoples pictures (especially the ones about your brand).

#Hyperlinks

The Instagram application is constantly being updated and we are hoping in the near future hyperlinks within comments will be allowed but unfortunately for brands, you are limited to one hyperlink only. Brands that use Instagram well understand this limitation and encourage their followers to click on the link in their bio. Because hyperlinks in comments aren’t allowed, you will need to place product specific links in the bio. Tip: Don’t forget to change the link regularly, based on what you’re posting.

#Partner with Instagram Celebs

Competitions are always an excellent way to increase your followers. Team up with Instagram celeb bloggers who have a high following; there are tons of South African bloggers using this platform. They might be interested in product reviews and giveaways via their Instagram account. It works just like any other social media platform.

There are over one million active Instagram users in South Africa and local brands are finally catching up. Perfect South African examples of brands doing well on Instagram include Yuppiechef, South African Tourism and Woolworths. Collectively these brands have close to 100,000 followers and their following is growing rapidly. Use these as examples and learn about what works for them before applying it to your business.

According to Simply Measured, 71% of the world’s top brands are using Instagram. That is a high number and it is about time that you joined them! We also understand that Instagram isn’t easy to use for everyone, which is why our team is skilled to assist you with creating and managing your Instagram account. Chat to us for more information – www.realmdigital.co.za.

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