5 Instagram posts to boost SMB brand engagement
Instagram is a powerful marketing channel for small businesses, especially e-commerce. The platform is largely made up of young audiences who are increasingly open to engaging with brands and even buying products directly from Instagram.
90% of people on Instagram follow a business, and two-thirds of respondents say Instagram enables interaction with brands.
While there are plenty of post formats you can try out, here are the best types of Instagram posts to foster better brand engagement (not just simple double taps).
Ask a question
One of the easiest ways to start driving more engagement is to ask your followers questions, either in the captions or in the visual itself.
When posting open-ended questions such as “What’s your favorite __?” “Or” What is your best recommendation __? You trigger an engaging two-way conversation that increases your followers’ interest in your brand as they are able to connect with you better.
So, regularly use this simple tactic to increase engagement on your Instagram posts.
Show behind the scenes
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the perfect ways to showcase the “people side” of your business. A great way to do this is to provide your followers with insight behind the curtains of your brand.
So if you are an online seller selling custom sneakers, your followers already know how awesome your sneakers are to look at, thanks to your usual product-focused Instagram posts and stories.
But do they know all the hard work that goes into creating them? A quick video on Instagram Reels is a nifty way to show off your team’s behind-the-scenes work.
Likewise, a simple ‘a day in the life’ clip is an effective way to give your audience a glimpse into the culture and values of your business, your life as a business owner, the technology behind it. – stretches the manufacture of your products, efforts of your team. members, and so on.
And you don’t necessarily need to plan in depth or make elaborate changes. People love and appreciate a raw, uncut behind-the-scenes pass.
Behind the scenes content gives your audience a better understanding of your brand. Ultimately, it’s a good way to not only boost your engagement and reliability, but also improve the overall customer experience people have with your brand.
Share creative memes
Everyone loves memes. Instagram is a great platform to entertain your audience (and thereby generate those likes, comments, and shares) rather than just promoting your products.
Show off the witty and humorous side of your brand to delight your followers by sharing creative and relevant memes.
While you can organize and share popular memes (providing credits in the caption, of course), the most relevant memes you want to post may not be available in high resolution (important for visual platforms like Instagram), or may already be old and seen by your audience.
It’s best to make your own original memes and add your branded watermark. Creating memes might seem like a non-commercial task, but it’s a fun activity that doesn’t take a lot of time (just a pinch of wit). When done right, it can make your brand go viral at its best, increasing engagement, subscribers, and traffic.
Use free online tools like Imgflip or Meme Creator which allows you to upload your image and quickly overlay even style text.
Repost user-generated content
While Instagram is known to be a platform where people “pretend until they do,” you can use it to boost your brand’s authenticity. People don’t follow you to get simple product promotions, they follow you to get to know and connect with your brand.
86% of consumers say authenticity is important in deciding which brands they like and support, and the modern audience made up largely of Millennials and Gen Zs will only engage with genuine branded content.
Besides behind the scenes, the other type of content proven to improve authenticity is user-generated content.
UGC allows your audience to be more involved, so you’ll get quality content from real customers that you can then repost to showcase the true quality of your business.
So how do you inspire more UGC?
You can start by partnering with micro-influencers to create content for you where they use your products or services. If you have any photos or videos submitted by fans, ask them if you can repost the content and then do so by crediting them in the caption.
Another effective way to get UGC is to …
Organize contests and giveaways
A hashtag contest is a tactic where you invite people to post content with your product and tag your brand. Once the contest period is over, you reward entrants with the best or best performing content.
Contests like this get your audience to publicly tag and praise your brand, which helps drive engagement and improve your social proof.
Likewise, a giveaway is a format in which you randomly select winners. Participants must interact with your post in some way (like a comment with the correct answer, a retweet, a newsletter subscription, etc.) to have a chance to win.
To create an effective gift:
- Offer a relevant price, like your brand’s top-selling product that your ideal buyer wants, not a generic price everyone wants.
- Establish clear entry rules, with the contest start and end date highlighted.
- Encourage participants to share the contest. One way is to offer additional entries for each successful referral.
- Create a branded hashtag to increase your brand’s visibility. For example, your contest may require participants to retweet your post and include a branded hashtag.
Consider using your choice of social media contest tools to easily launch your Instagram contest or giveaway.
The last thing you want is to keep wasting your limited marketing budget and resources on Instagram posts that fail to generate meaningful engagement (two-way interaction, clicks, social shares, etc.). So, start pivoting your Instagram efforts to the types of posts discussed above and you will soon generate more engagement for your brand.
Lucy Manole is a Creative Content Writer and Strategist at Marketing summary