posts by the hour

Instagram Marketing – Should You Bother?

instagram marketingWith the latest tally of registered users at just over 400 million, posting 80 million photos daily, Instagram is widening the lead over Twitter (316 million) for the title of second largest social network.  (Facebook has 1.5 billion registered users.)  Adding 100 million accounts in the last year with more than half joining from Europe and Asia, the network is expanding globally with the most new users coming from Brazil, Japan and Indonesia.  This makes the Instagram user base over 75% non-US residents.


Should You Be Marketing on Instagram?

In short, absolutely!! Instagram is one of the easiest platforms on which to engage your community base.  Short and sweet.  Post a pretty picture, an inspirational quote along with some relevant hashtags and sit back and watch the engagement commence.  It has been our experience at 5ONE9 DESIGN that marketing on Instagram results in the most engagement with the least amount of effort.  Reaching the local market on Instagram through the use of hashtags is much easier than on other platforms where you have to drum up a large community of followers first, not to say followers are not important on Instagram, they are not a catalyst to engagement the way they are on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.


The Subtleties of Instagram Marketing

To be successful on Instagram you need to develop a strategy that highlights the difference between advertising and marketing.  This is not the time for blatant product placement, sales messaging and calls to action.  Do not “always be closing” on Instagram.
You need to develop content based on knowing what makes a great, provocative, engaging image or a distinct world view, a statement piece.  Things that relate to the brand and align with the interests of your customer. Things that are beautiful, positive, satirical or funny will also work.  Cultivate a unique visual sense.  Keep a consistent look/feel to your posts.  Ensure that your Instagram account is entrusted to someone who understands the messaging and the alliance with your target customer.  Hashtags are key to engagement.  Do not look for the most popular hashtags because there is too much competition and the shelf life for engagement can literally be a split second.  Long tail hashtags are better here, something relevant with a mid-range of posts. Taking a popular one word hashtag and adding the prefix IG_ can help lengthen the life of your post.  #ig_photography #ig_quotes for example.


Turning Engagement into Sales

Once you’ve developed that subtle relationship with the user you can slip in some marketing messaging.

70% of the 16,000 in a 2015 study by Iconosquare reported that they have specifically looked for a product or brand on Instagram.

62% of users follow brands they love.

41% follow or would follow to take advantage of perks and giveaways.

65% of Instagram users feel flattered when a brand engages their post.

The one place that you can sell your brand is in the Instagram bio.  Make sure you include a full description, contact info and link to your website.


When Should I Post on Instagram?

The best time to maximize engagement is between 6 a.m. and noon.  From the visual representation of posts by the hour here you can see that posting is low, the half-life of an Instagram tag will be longer, users are just getting out of bed or commuting, having their morning coffee, so while they might not be posting, they are peeking.   There is less competition for engagement.

Here is Mavrck’s hour-by-hour breakdown of the percentage of Instagram posts occurring when:

instagram posts by the hour

*Mavrck data

I always tell my clients, if you were to choose one Social Media Platform to market your business, choose Instagram.  If you are a local business always include your popular geographic location tag, ie for us in London Ontario it’s #ldnont and never be afraid to use 10 to 20 hashtags.  That’s how you engage.  Give us a call today to talk about getting you set up on Instagram. 519.872.3578