Engaging with, and building communities is a key aspect of social media management across all platforms, but especially on Instagram. Boasting features that no other platform offers and with social media giant, Facebook, behind it, Instagram is a no-brainer for our consumer clients and many of the B2B brands we work with.
Instagram has evolved dramatically from where it began. To start with, it was a simple photo-sharing app. Now, it’s host to thousands of communities in almost every industry with opportunities to engage in various new and exciting ways.
Within this increasingly sophisticated platform it is easy to overlook some of the most beneficial Instagram marketing features – those that drive reach and create conversation – so here are four points to consider when managing your social community on Instagram:
1. Create a bespoke engagement strategy
It’s important to remember that social media community management isn’t ‘one size fits all’. Tailoring your strategy to the individual brand will maximise results and growth in the community. As an agency that specialises in social media, we always build up a ton of knowledge about the client before we begin.
Ask your client how they’d like to be portrayed on social, and this includes taking into consideration their origin, values, goals and target audience. It’s then that you can adopt the appropriate tone of voice for the brand, determine which Instagram features to use and who to engage with.
2. Spin off brands that are similar to yours
While it’s good to focus on your own client’s brand channels, it’s also important to take note of similar brands. Analysing how they’re managing their community, and more importantly – if it’s working – will be beneficial to informing your own strategy.
Brands can be similar to yours not only by industry, but also by other factors such as location. This is especially relevant for independent businesses; nearby independent businesses (whether it’s in the same county, city or borough for example) may wish to collaborate and build a relationship with your brand on social, potentially encouraging growth for both parties.
3. Use influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a fantastic route to take when managing and growing a community on social media. Influencer identification is the first step; your influencers, or their followers, are likely to fit into one of your target audiences.
Once you find the right ones, influencers can be extremely powerful members of your community. If they genuinely believe in your client’s brand, their content will show that, creating conversations and potentially conversions – whether that be sales, landing page views etc. A few things to keep in mind (as noted in one of our previous posts – 6 tips on how to maximise your return from influencer marketing) include:
- Influencers want creativity – don’t put too many restrictions on them, they thrive on creative opportunities and tend to dislike tight, brand-heavy restrictions.
- Trust your influencers – they use Instagram every day and are experts in content creation. They’re also likely to have lots of experience in brand collaborations, so you should respect their opinions;
- Keep the ball rolling – good influencers who love your brand will likely want to work with you again. While it’s good to extend your reach with different influencers, keeping the collaboration going with ones where you’ve had success previously is potentially even more valuable as they learn more about your brand.
Once you’ve worked with influencers and built those strong relationships, continue to engage with them – maybe even on content that isn’t directly tied to your brand. This will help the relationship to continue, creating more conversations and opportunities.
4. Take advantage of Instagram’s unique features
Managing social media channels is much more than responding to comments and Likes on your own content. Go out and find relevant conversations and make use of all of Instagram’s features:
- Follow hashtags and locations: An Instagram feature which often gets overlooked is the fact that you can follow locations and hashtags (not just other individuals and businesses). Get to know your client’s goals and see if these features can contribute to reaching them; e.g. increasing customers in a certain location, or reaching consumers who follow hashtags linking to your industry.
- Instagram Stories are fantastic for creating conversations. Run Polls, use the Question feature and use the recently-added Countdown feature in your Stories whenever possible. These are easy-to-engage-with features and are sure to promote conversations within your community.
As you’ll have gathered from my this post, we see community management on Instagram as a huge opportunity, but you need consider all of these points to maximise conversation and grow your community on Instagram.
Thanks for reading to the end! If you need more advice or practical support on how to build a thriving social media community, please read our community management page. If we can help further, please feel free to contact us.