*Despite how much startups look towards platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter as the primary social media platform to showcase their brand, investing in Instagram has quickly become the top runner for the startup community.
Not only is it the most engaging, but also the primary channel we gravitate towards when we want to learn about a new product or service.
Plus, the inclusion of video content has completely changed the game on traditional thought leadership content.
And if you’re interested in developing a solid community from day one, then luckily for you, we’ve put together a few helpful suggestions on how your startup can get started building a quality Instagram. Check them out below:
It Starts With How You’re Going To Change The World
While it might sound high-minded, going into your Instagram from day one with a mission to change the world will be what resonates the most with your audience.
As noted by 3D Digital, 64 percent of consumers say that they trust a brand that shares the same values as them, and when we consider the brands we currently support, that makes sense.
After all, just ask yourself why you choose the brand of phone, computer, or tablet you’re reading this sentence on. Does it make you a better you? Do they share similar values in what they’re trying to offer the world? Even if it’s not an impactful, grandiose change, there’s still an impact you’re aiming to make, which is often the first core component of your story for Instagram
When assessing your story, try to imagine your brand as a living, breathing person. Ask yourself what type of moral foundation or grounding they stand on, as well as what they’re aiming to fulfill in the world; for example, a company like Patagonia is a clothing brand driven on corporate responsibility as much as Wag is looking to make the life of pet owners easier. Often times startups need to have a big, bold idea to gain traction, which you should aim to map out as much of a narrative as you can, starting with who you are, why you’re here, and what’s interesting about you. The more you think about this as introducing a person into the world, the more likely you are to nail down that ‘human’ aspect to your brand’s personality and voice, making your Instagram much more enjoyable to engage with.
Discovering Your Base
With a solid idea of what you stand for, the next step is to figure out just who’s willing to listen to this. The most significant aspect to audience discovery isn’t necessarily just about the overall vision of who you’re after, but the specific, niche crowd that will more likely be what you need to engage with. And while this isn’t the normal growth hacking you might be used to, it’s also gearing towards an audience that could potentially do the majority of posting for you.
When starting out, get the tools you’ll need to track the progress of campaigns and monitor critical Instagram marketing statistics. A scheduling system will also be useful. From there, take a look at what demographic you believe to be your initial base, then work your way in; for example, 67 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds are currently on Instagram. Although it’s smart to keep an analytical approach to building your base, another noteworthy factor is to simply follow and keep up with the content that you feel best represents your brand. As the name of the game for social is authenticity, keeping your following and relationships organic is crucial for developing a solid brand presence long-term.
Keeping It Engaging
For how important it is to follow the right people, it’s equally (if not more) important to be consistently engaging with them. According to Kinsta, the average Instagram user spends between 24 to 32 minutes per day on the platform, which is a pretty staggering amount of screentime considering that’s practically an entire TV show. Yes, Instagram grabs our eyes for quite a bit of time, which is why there’s no excuse for not being able to engage and promote yourself amongst a proper audience. And while you might be thinking that this involves a lot of qualitative strategies, it’s as simple as using Instagram how you normally have been.
Some helpful items to keep up with include commenting regularly on posts, following accounts that catch your eye, tagging others’ events and content in your story that you want to promote, or even just liking all the content you can (that you enjoy). Try to pose comments or questions that you think are worthy of conversation, giving you a dialogue to hopefully go back and forth on and increasing the interaction with a particular post or page. As Instagram is a place to get into engaging with others, embrace this as an opportunity for your brand to genuinely start building out its core community.
Invest Into Quality Partnerships For The Future
As your startup’s brand continues to grow, it’s crucial to invest the time and energy into forming new partnerships for the future. This includes campaigns with not just those in your immediate circle but eventually graduating along to full-blown influencers. There’s a reason we consider this the age of the influencer–as noted by The Digital Marketing Institute, influencer campaigns earn an average of $6.50 for every dollar spent. Which, if you’re looking for numbers like that, then the time to start bootstrapping strategic partnerships for Instagram is now.
Brainstorm what brands or influencers you think your startup would best align with, as well as why you feel like they’ll bring the most value to your firm. The overarching goal is to find those that are attainable for either a trade or low cost per post, which may be someone with a primary YouTube channel, while their Instagram is considered secondary. As long as their brand has value to coincide with yours, the general idea is to form relationships that are mutually beneficial to all parties for years to come. Before you know it, you’ll be rolling amongst a pack of new influencers in no time.
What are some strategies you’ve found helpful in developing a quality Instagram for startups? Comment with your insights below!