Building Your Community With Instagram
Gain a competitive edge with a larger social following
Instagram has established itself as a gathering place for people with a deep appreciation for engaging visuals. Every day millions of people use it to share their best photos and videos which presents your brand with a great opportunity for to build community through captivating imagery.
You can approach community building on Instagram in a three step cycle: first find your community, then engage with your community and then boost the visibility of your brand.
To find your community on Instagram, search for content tagged with hashtags related to your brand such as your company name, unique product names or your branded hashtag. If you run a brick and mortar business, check the photos that have been tagged at your location. This will surface people who are already familiar with your brand. Perform these searches on a regular basis and make sure to recognize the love that’s being shared for your company.
If you’re starting from scratch and don’t expect to find any content related to your brand, try searching for companies and influencers in your industry and engaging with their following in a non-intrusive manner. This can be done by liking and commenting on their photos, but as always, do so with integrity through genuine interactions. Aim to join discussions instead of interrupting them.
Once you’ve started building a following, it’s important to engage with them regularly. Apps such as Iconosquare can show you the people who interact with your content most often. Keep an eye on these followers, recognize their engagement, and follow them back. These are the people who you could potentially consider for brand advocate roles, and their profiles can offer deeper insights into what they find interesting.
You can also subscribe to specific users to receive push notifications every time they share a new post. This is a great way to track key influencers and brand advocates to ensure you’re maximizing your opportunity to engage with their content. Simply tap the more button on their profile and select “Turn on Post Notifications”.
Make use of the content your community is sharing, such as photos of customers enjoying your products or visiting your business. Frequently featuring your customers on your own feed is a great way to strengthen relationships by showing them that you appreciate their support. Don’t forget to credit content from other people by mentioning their username in the caption or by tagging it in the photo.
To elevate your brand, there are a number of things you could do to increase the discoverability of your content. You can think of the Activity tab as a type of news feed that surfaces content that is liked by the people you follow. That means when people like or comment on your images, your content will show up in their networks activity feed, thereby increasing your brand’s visibility. Say you’re hosting a workshop in your juice bar. Instead of simply snapping a few photos of the crowd, ask people if you could tag them in the photo. This increases the likelihood of them interacting with that photo and has the potential to attract the eyeballs of their followers in a non-intrusive way. Another tactic to consider is mentioning relevant influencers in your photo captions, like crediting a popular nutritionist who inspired a recipe in one of your photos. What’s important with both of these approaches is to keep them authentic. Don’t tag people in your photos at random or stuff captions with names of influencers in your space just to get them to check out your profile.
Lastly, If you’re operate in a physical location, add geo-tags and neighbourhood hashtags to attract the attention of those who frequent the area.