Beth O’Neill, senior intern at More Fire PR Ltd considers the opportunities for your business being seen on Instagram.
Are you too old to Instagram?
A quick web search shows that 92 year-old US Internet-personality, baddiewinkle, is still going strong with 3.6m followers, and her social media tagline – ‘Stealing Your Man Since 1928’ – has quickly passed into popularvernacular for teens and adults alike. So in other words – no, you’re probably not.
‘But why should I bother?’ I imagine you responding.
Well, for starters social media is now widely accepted as a vital tool of business-to-audience communication. Whether a company is a garage, upholsterer or bank – you’ll be hard pressed not to notice a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn icon somewhere on its website.
The mechanisms of being able to engage with existing and prospective clients on a daily basis has never been easier. However, knowing exactly what to say or show, and choosing the right platform can be a much trickier proposition.
New More Fire PR clients often introduce themselves by saying something like ‘I know I should be doing more communication, but I’m not sure where to begin or what to say?’
To be clear, not every platform will be right for your businesses, and trying to cover too much ground in the short-term can make it difficult to remain consistent and engaging. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been largely adopted as ‘safe’ routes for many businesses, but for this piece let’s get visual for a moment and focus on Instagram…
Awareness, trust and loyalty
Instagram has around 500 million active users every month, and while e-commerce businesses tend to dominate the platform, you don’t just have to be selling something to utilise it for business purposes.
Instagram can be used to help build a community for your stakeholders that encourages communication and grows awareness, trust and loyalty in the process. It can also encourage active participation from clients, inform others about your business plans and allow you to receive insightful feedback.
Instagram is often the first social media platform younger customers turn to when looking for a new service or product. Why? Because it allows them to see a mix of ‘owned’ and user-generated content, quite literally giving them both sides of the picture.
The visual element of Instagram is a great way to creatively and engagingly showcase your brand – using a mix of intuitive filters and editing tools you can highlight what you do, how you do it, and give stakeholders an in-depth insight into who you are.
Whether it’s behind the scenes content posted as a story, or more informal material placed on your grid, your organisation’s Instagram feed can provide a more personal understanding and view than a traditional website will allow on its own.
However, this also means you need to remain consistent and true to your brand when posting. What you post is an extension of your business so always keep that in mind before hitting upload.
Instagram is a great way to develop customer retention by building relationships and connections with others. It can be an opportunity to demonstrate support, educate, show empathy and encourage the safe exchange of ideas.
One way to do this is by creating a sense of community with followers by making your page an easy place for them to get in touch and reach out to you.
Frequently interacting with stakeholders, keeping them in the narrative loop, and allowing them the space and freedom to be involved with you all helps to increase long-term buy-in and engender trust.
You can also deal with any negative feedback quickly and effectively, potentially turning something negative into a great customer experience. It goes without saying that this reflects well on your businesses and is an straightforward way of keeping customers in your corner.
Attracting the best
Instagram can also be used as a means of attracting new potential hires by showing them your company culture.
Just as you would do your background research on a potential new candidate, they will do their own homework on you as an organisation. Instagram is one of the best ways to demonstrate to prospective recruits what your business is all about, both as a brand and what it looks like behind-the-scenes.
The type of culture they can expect, the people, and what a day in the job could look like are just some of the images and videos that can be shared. Instagram stories are also a great tool to show snippets of your company culture, record ‘day in the office’ clips, or just talk about the issues that are important to you.
These can also be saved and made visible on your feed thanks to the highlights section Instagram now offers.
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