How to gain new followers and remain relevant on this up-and-coming platform
April 30, 2014: Millenials are flocking to Instagram, and marketers naturally want to know how to attract their attention. As you can see from the image posted above, Millennials comprise a huge “bump” in Instragram’s user base, with the age distribution peaking at age 20. After about age 27, the results begin to taper down gradually.
Here are seven tactics that can be effective:
1. Use trending hashtags. Millennials take pride in being up-to-date on social trends. Just like Twitter, hashtags can be instrumental in gaining followers on Instagram. Using tags that are used commonly or refer to nostalgic or current news and pop culture can help make your Instagram feed popular.
2. Create eye-catching, graphic posts. It’s very simple to scroll through (and pass) posts on Instagram feeds. This makes it imperative to create bold and unique posts that will make a user stop on your post. A trick to attract the millennial user can be to use a candid, less polished photo. This may attract more views and attention because such an image will stand out and be perceived to be (as Millenials like say) more “authentic.”
3. Run contests and promotions. When users have something to gain by following and checking your Instagram feed, your followers will increase. Whether it’s a chance to win something, be featured, or even just to be the first to know about a sale, followers will flock if there is an incentive.
4. Gain a devoted and interactive following. Simply put, where millennials go, more will follow. It is important to have many followers and likes on your Instagram page. The millennial user regularly checks up on the activity of his/her peers. The “news” feature of Instagram shows users what their friends are up to. Encourage users to like, follow, and support your page (see #3). Instagram users place importance on the number of followers a page has. The more people like and follow your posts, the more followers you will gain. Reward and reciprocate your new users by liking their posts.
5. Post daily and during “downtime” hours. Users have to get the impression that a brand’s Instagram feed is interactive and up-to-date. Posting at hours when the average millennial will be checking his/her phone is critical. Usually these hours are around meal times and late at night.
6. Synchronize posts across multiple platforms. Sharing your Instagrams on blogs, Facebook, and Twitter makes it easier for followers to get to know your product. This also reinforces the impression that your online presence is interactive and current. The graphic elements (i.e. fonts) in your Instagram should match those on your other online presences.
7. Feature relatable content and collaborations. Millennials love endorsements. Similar to hashtags, seeing a familiar or relatable image will attract a young demographic. Instagram is a lifestyle-oriented social media platform where many users idolize or rely on the opinion of popular pages. Any millennial can tell you how important the opinion of their favorite blogger/youtuber/, etc. is to them. Many businesses on Instagram work with popular pages and users to create collaborations that bring in double the number of followers. At the same time, however, make sure that you disclose any posts that are the result of a paid endorsement campaign. The FTC has recently become very vigilant on Instagram, and has warned major influencers that their campaigns must be tagged to indicate paid endorsements. Abide by these rules to avoid negative PR blowback in the future.
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