Breaking News and 5 Tips for Instagram Marketing

instagram marketing

If your small business has a following on Instagram, you need to understand how the algorithm governing its news feed has changed recently.

Items used to appear chronologically in the news feeds of your followers, so if your followers checked their Instagram accounts shortly after you posted something, your photo would appear at the top of their news feeds. That has changed.

Instagram, as you probably know, is owned by Facebook and the Instagram news feed algorithm has been reworked to parallel how items appear in the Facebook news feed. Items that generate more Instagram user interest get priority news feed placement – or items that Instagram believes will be of more interest get better placement. This paves the way for more profitable advertising in the Instagram news feed.

However this ultimately plays out, it shines a very bright spotlight on the importance of engaging your followers on Instagram. You need to do everything you can to prove to the new algorithm that – darn it – people like you! With that goal in mind, let’s look at five strategies that will help you engage your followers and gain you new (engaged) followers.

1. Capitalize on the special interests of your customers. What are your customers passionate about? Maybe it’s sustainability. Use a “hook” like that to build your Instagram marketing around. Create a hashtag. Use other general hashtags related to your topic of choice so you can branch out to new people.

“Diversity” has been a mainstay of American culture for a generation and the Internet has allowed us to push diversity further than ever before. This is great for marketers because it creates all kinds of “micro-niches” that can be exploited. Find these niches and use Instagram to develop them.

Hint: Sometimes you can discover these micro-niches by looking at the long-tail keywords that perform best for you.

2. Feature your employees (great for a local business). With all the talk about moving jobs overseas, let people know that your hire locally and support the local economy. Have your employees post to your business Instagram account showing their activities in the community. When your employees post, they bring in their social network following, so you can greatly increase the size of your digital marketing footprint with zero cost.

3. Post a discount code via Instagram. Create a custom graphic or just have an employee hold up one of those hand-written signs with a discount code and other offer details. If you do this on a regular basis, you can get your customer tuned into what you’re doing and they’ll regularly check your Instagram feed to see if you’ve posted any more discounts.

4. Get your customers to post using a hashtag you’ve created. If there is any “lifestyle” angle to your business create a contest where people post pictures of your products being used in their lives. This can also be adapted to the B2B environment in many cases. Pick one random winner each month for a discount, special recognition or a prize.

As with encouraging your employees to post, when you get your customers involved, you also get their social network followers involved.

5. Let your followers know that some of your special offers are ONLY communicated via Instagram. As with any social media marketing, you need to establish your presence. Interest will snowball over time, but if you make one or two attempts and then move on to something else, you’ll always be facing failure.

Post on a regular basis. Post special offers on a schedule so people know to check you out.