A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor and privilege in taking part of an Five-Day Instagram Engagement Challenge hosted by Social With Shayna’s Shayna Marks. It was there where I had the opportunity to work alongside many female entrepreneurs from different places with different backgrounds while learning a great deal about the work that they do in building their online presence. One of the biggest lessons I learned from this experience is that people crave authenticity. They prefer brands that are open to two-way conversations and make it about their target audience. In other words, they love brands that speak their language. In this article, we’ll discuss creative ways on how one can use Instagram to be personable on your way to establishing the reputation of your brand.
Defining Your Target Audience
When it comes to establishing your brand via Instagram, the first step is to know who your target audience is. It’s important to know that the “One Size Fits All” approach won’t do the job when targeting a specific audience. Depending on the type of business or page that you have, each will have their own type of audiences who have different kinds of needs. In other words, you must dig deep in researching the kinds of consumers that are more likely to perform a specific action on your page or even become your customer. Let’s say you own a Digital Marketing blog page and want people to read your blogs, you might want to target people who work in Digital Marketing who are looking for ideas on how to make them better at Digital Marketing. They would be more likely to do business with you than say a bicycle rider (BTW, I love riding bikes 😉). Definitely take time to know everything there is to know about who your potential consumers are. If you do that, you’ll be off to a great start in building up your online presence here on Instagram and on social media overall.
In addition to defining your target audience, you also want to partner up with people who can be of help to you in establishing your brand. This is where adjacent accounts come into play. Now you’re probably wondering what adjacent accounts are. Basically, they’re businesses or page owners who have a target audience similar to yours but do different types of work. Let’s say that you’re a Digital Marketer looking for quality photos that capture the feelings of your target audience. A great type of adjacent account to try to partner with in this scenario would be brand photographers like Courtney Paige Ray. When it comes to partnering with adjacent accounts, it all depends on the needs of your business so I recommend that you take the time and research potential adjacent accounts who can collaborate with you while helping each other stand out in today’s online world in a positive way.
Using Location Tags
You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about location tags. Well just so you know, location tags can actually be more helpful than you think. If you use location tags in a strategic way, you just might be able to grab the attention of your target audience. The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to grabbing the attention of your target audience via location tags is know which places they like to hang out at. Let’s say for example that you want to reach avid bicycle riders. More than likely, the best places they would hang out in would be in recreational areas or in parks such as Big Bend National Park. That’s where the location tags come in handy when it comes to making yourself known to your target audience. Assuming that the Instagram profiles of your target audience is public, reaching out to your target audience via location tags is pretty easy. Always remember to never be afraid to reach out to them via their “natural habitats’ as Shayna likes to call them.
Using The Right Hashtags
Now we arrive at the section where music instrument players call the “sharp sign”. Oh and did I forget to mention that I played the baritone and mini-tuba during my days at Ropes High School in small town West Texas.Those were definitely the days. Well anyways, these hashtags or “sharp signs” or whatever you like to call them are a valuable symbol that can get you visibility if you know how to use them to your advantage. Now you’re wondering how you can get seen by your target audience when you post on Instagram. What you’ll need to do to be seen by your target audience is identify 7-10 hashtags that they actively use. Now comes the tricky part figuring out which hashtags would actually help you get seen by your target audience. It’s important to know that many hashtags have a high density (over a million) and are more likely to be highly competitive meaning that you’ll have a hard time being heard by your target audience. Same thing goes for using hashtags that very few people use. The one time I recommend using low-to-no density hashtags is when you want to create your own unique hashtag that best identifies with your brand. Now what you want to do to be seen by your target audience is use hashtags that a more moderate amount of people use. The recommended hashtags that you should use as Good Ole Shayna told us are those that have a density in between 10K-200K. By following these tips on how to use Instagram hashtags, you’ll definitely be on your way in seeing your online presence grow and making your voice heard in today’s competitive online landscape.
Authenticity Is The Key
Now that we’ve covered the basics of researching your target audience and how to grow your online presence on Instagram, we’ve now arrived at the part where we talk about the best ways to actually engage with your target audience on Instagram. The #1 rule when it comes to Instagram engagement is to never use sales jargon or ask for favors right off the bat. That will never end well in almost every scenario. Whether you’re reaching out to an Influencer or to your target audience, the one thing that people seem to be craving in today’s online world is authenticity. People are interested in brands that speak their language and are personable with them. When reaching out to them via Instagram, start out by complimenting their work or how a certain topic related to their content resonated with you. When inviting them to connect with you via Instagram, definitely mention what you liked about them and how you look forward to hearing more about the work that they do. That will help your cause in a big way and will help lay the foundation towards great relationships. In addition to that, always remember to tailor your messages depending on the types of consumers, Influencers or businesses you interact with. This will help make your target audience feel that they had a personalized experience and would more than likely do business with you in the future. Definitely important to remember that this is a long-term game. It will take time to build up your brand but by making it all about your target audience, you’ll be on your way to establishing your online presence in a positive way.
Recapping How To Grow Your Online Presence Via Instagram
No doubt that today’s online world is constantly evolving. The days of sales jargon and the “One Size Fits All” approaches are over. To recap, online consumers definitely love brands that speak their language and go the extra mile in being personable towards them. Always important to remember that the key to making your online presence known in a positive way is to research your target audience, research potential collaborators, make great strategic use of your location tags and hashtags, and most importantly, never be afraid to be authentic. By doing all these things, you will without a doubt be on your way to great successes in establishing your brand for the better.
I’d like to extend a special thanks to Shayna Marks, Courtney Paige Ray and everyone else who took part in Social With Shayna’s Five-Day Instagram Engagement Challenge in inspiring me to write this latest blog post about how to go by building your brand via Instagram. I learned a great deal on how to be better as a Digital Marketer. I’ll definitely do another challenge like this in the future.
What do you feel is key when it comes to building your online presence in a positive way via Instagram or through other social media channels? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below