Instagram has become a social media powerhouse, beating out all their competition with respect to social engagement. Even though people don’t appear to engage with branded social content very often, Instagram has the most users who do. A study by Forrester showed that branded Instagram posts generated a per-follower rate of 4.21%. This is 58 times the engagement rate on Facebook and 120 times the engagement rate on Twitter.
With over 400 million users, Instagram is the place to post branded content. Today’s consumers have exceptionally high expectations for their social experiences, however, so in order to get the most out of Instagram, it’s important to focus on a few specific details:
- A call to action (CTA) is essential. When you use a CTA, your followers will know exactly what you want them to do. Look for interesting and exciting ways to incite action, but remember to keep your language simple and straightforward. An example like ‘Want to be featured? Click the link in our profile to send us your best pics!’ does a great job of conveying friendly, appealing language while still making a request. Keep your CTA central to the action of the page so it doesn’t get lost and try adding a sense of urgency to persuade readers to go ahead and click.
- Utilize hashtags to increase reach. Hashtags are an easy way to help your dealership stand out on Instagram. Not only will they help you categorize your content, but they make it easier for those who haven’t yet followed you to find you. Consider taking advantage of trending hashtags if they are relevant to your business, as this will help you get discovered by new followers. The beauty of Instagram is its simplicity, so be sure you choose hashtags that are topically relevant and stick to no more than three per post so your content doesn’t appear overly complicated.
- Caption creatively. It’s a great idea to try different things with your captions to see what resonates with followers. Each image is allotted a 2,000-character caption, so you’ll need to make every character count. Your picture should tell a story all by itself, and the words you add should serve to accentuate that story. The most powerful ads and brand stories use a combination of both images and strong words—and with Instagram, you can have the best of both worlds.
- Maintain a consistent presence. Once you’ve established your dealership’s presence on Instagram, it’s important to stick to your posting schedule in order to build your audience. Those who follow you will grow accustomed to seeing your posts, and they’ll look forward to liking and sharing your content. Keep in mind many of your followers may be waiting quietly in the background for you to make the first move, which means if you want improved engagement, you’ll have to initiate it. Try using hashtags to find content that’s relevant to your brand and jump in on already-established conversations. Users will receive a notification when you’ve commented on their posts, and you’ll likely earn yourself some new followers by being the first to reach out.
- Promote your other content. Instagram doesn’t allow clickable URLs in photos, however, you can still creatively direct followers to your content that exists elsewhere by using the link in your Instagram account bio. Consider directing them to a permanent page, like your website or your blog, or for more current content, try linking them to your most recent article or even a promo or deal you’ve got going on. By creatively using the link in your bio, you can gain more visibility for your content on other platforms.
- Create interesting visuals. Your followers will be more likely to interact with and share visuals that are appealing, and while some of the designs you see businesses sharing online may look complicated, there are easy-to-use sites that can help you create memorable content. For example, check out Canva if you’re looking for a simple way to utilize text over images. Get creative and mix things up to keep followers interested in what’s coming next.
By reaching out and maintaining a consistent presence, creatively posting, and interacting with your followers, you’ll boost your dealership’s online reputation and build an even larger audience of Instagram followers. It’s about creating relationships and telling your brand story in a way that’s compelling enough to draw people in and keep them interested. It will take a little bit of work, but you definitely won’t regret it.
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.