Achieving the Best Results on Facebook and Instagram
Want better results from your social media marketing? Then it’s time to level up your understanding of each platform to help you grow your business. In this new four-part social media marketing series we dive into some of the top social platforms today and explain how to best leverage them for your business.
Going All in with Instagram
Since Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, the popular social media platform has blossomed into one of the most effective marketing tools for personal brands and businesses. It’s also becoming a popular news source among younger generations, outpacing Twitter through visual stories that have fueled global movements like climate change and Black Lives Matter.
Instagram is no longer the Wild Wild West that it used to be. Your strategy and approach must be well thought out, intentional, and focused. If you’re still posting just to post, you’re missing out on massive potential to gain trust with users and communicate your brand’s values. Here are the top three ways to maximize content on this platform:
Educate – Teach followers something connected to your brand that piques their interest and gets them engaged. You can do this with swipeable graphics, headlines, videos, stories, IGTV, and long-form captions. Educational content will improve your credibility and overall trust for your brand.
Entertain – Content that is funny, controversial, or well-produced can go a long way into helping a brand go viral. Entertaining content can also be educational as long as your company is willing to let creativity shine. Video continues to be one of the simplest ways to create entertaining content, but this can also be done with post captions and stories.
Appeal – As a visual platform, content must be aesthetically pleasing and used strategically to grab users’ attention. Everything from lighting to branding should be consistent and connect users back to your primary objective. This is also a great time to showcase your brand’s personality and communicate the company’s values.
Instagram In Action
To put this into perspective, let’s say your goal on Instagram is to recruit prospective employees. Consider the core values you want to communicate that will attract the right person to your company – professionalism, teamwork, fun, and transparency, might be a few.
Now, consider how a photo at a company meeting can educate, entertain, and appeal to prospective candidates.
1. Create an educational caption dissecting one key theme or insight that was discussed in the meeting. Perhaps it’s a professional development discussion around public speaking where the caption teaches users the top three tactics of an effective speech.
2. Entertain followers with an attention-grabbing photo, caption headline, or graphics. Infuse some personality to make your brand stand out and feel relatable. Instead of a photo of employees sitting in a conference room (can you say, boring?), perhaps it’s one of their pets sitting around the table, complete with notepads and coffee mugs. This communicates a laid-back professional environment, humor, and of course, that it’s a pet-friendly office.
3. Post an aesthetically pleasing photo or video that has been properly edited to attract more followers. This cannot be said enough, but a poor quality photo yields poor results. If possible, bring in a skilled photographer for an office branding photoshoot or hire a freelancer who can touch up photos for social media use.
Instagram is an incredible platform that requires time, attention, and detail. There are no hacks or quick tips for success. In a recent conversation with a fellow entrepreneur, he confessed he spent three hours per day every day for over a year to grow his following to over 80,000 engaged users! That included filming videos, editing them, posting, responding to DMs, and posts every single day. This is a testament to the real work that goes on behind the scenes to make Instagram a viable social media platform that can grow your business.
Playing by Facebook’s Rules
No platform has evolved more in the last decade quite like Facebook has. Once popular among college students, the platform now boasts a diverse audience. A recent survey found that 68% of users are between ages 50 and 64 while 79% are between ages 30 and 49.¹ This is great news for brands whose aim might be to attract new leads in large amounts.
In order to win on Facebook, companies must play by its rules. The Facebook algorithm changes often and works predominantly in Facebook’s favor. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can take advantage of this platform.
Ads – Facebook has altered its algorithm to push brands into advertising, so if you want to promote a service, product, or event, you’re better off paying for users to see it. Most companies will balk at this, but the reality is that organic search is no longer viable on Facebook’s platform. The good news is that Facebook advertising is affordable, convenient, and effective when done well.
Groups – Groups are private communities built within a brand’s business page that gain better traction and visibility from users than anything posted on the newsfeed. That’s because Facebook has prioritized groups to increase engagement, and it’s a popular hub for warm and hot leads if your brand is consistent. Managing groups takes hard work. One post a day may get you started but when users join a group it’s because they want to interact with your brand regularly. This is a great place to poll your audience, get feedback on products and services, and sell them exclusive offers they won’t get anywhere else.
Video – Facebook’s algorithm has a hierarchy of posts it prefers with live video and native video being the top two. If you want users to engage with posts on a company page, creating a weekly educational video show will show up on top of users’ newsfeeds and increase engagement. You also have the added benefit of promoting that video again in a newsletter or on social media as these videos will live on the site for as long as you decide to keep it. Native videos, or videos you create and then upload to Facebook are also highly favored by the algorithm.
The key to making a big splash on any social media platform is to focus on one that will give you the most bang for your buck. Organizations often try to jump into every platform at a time, thinking that a few posts a day is sufficient for organic growth. The reality is that Facebook and Instagram are sophisticated and constantly evolving platforms. Focus on one platform at a time, put in sufficient energy and resources towards it, and you’ll start to see benefits in a few months to a year.