...And have fun doing it!
It’s time to start thinking of your business’ social platforms as entertainment for your consumers.
An Instagram user’s feed is a reflection of their ideal life. A well-curated feed follows the user’s friends and family, the brands they buy, places they want to visit and, ideally, your awesome company. Each Instagram user chooses the accounts they wish to follow of their own volition, so how do we ensure your company account is on this list? By following a few simple guidelines to create a stunning presence worthy of being a part of each user’s daily life.
Thanks to the little blue ‘verified’ checkmarks Instagram has instituted, we can find and follow the official accounts of our favourite companies and celebrities. Although verified badges aren’t essential for every account, their existence on the platform represents a level of assurance that the accounts we follow are genuine. This verification strengthens Instagram’s simulated first-hand experience. By connecting through social media, consumers feel like they’re instantly one degree of separation away from everything they desire. We don’t need to wait for the monthly issue of Cosmo to publish a picture of Beyonce eating a cheeseburger, anymore. Now, we can see her post it on her Instagram feed (pun intended) before the first delicious bite is even chewed, as if we were sitting across from her. When you’re that present in your followers’ daily lives, you’re that much closer to a sales conversion.
Admit you're impressed I found a .gif of Beyoncé eating.
So how do we amp up your small business’ content? Here are a few things you can start with before you really dive in with a specialist.
You would never see a low quality image printed in a magazine. So please, please, I said PLEASE stop posting low quality images to your business’ feed. This is your public image we’re talking about! Potential customers will scroll back through these images and retain an impression of your company that will be instilled in them. Don’t waste this valuable interaction with pixilated uploads, blurriness or low lighting. (I know I said please 3 times and although I am super passionate about this point, there are a few exceptions to the rule including the moment everyone yells SURPRISE at a surprise party, Yeti sightings, or if you ever meet Beyoncé. If any of these things happen, you can post the low quality picture and I won’t be mad. But otherwise, please, please, PLEASE stop posting low quality images to your business’ feed.)
The best content is that which emulates consumer content. It should be interesting and engaging and must give your followers significantly more than it takes from them. Imagine you buy a magazine and within the first few pages it seems to be comprised mostly of ads (AKA it’s a flyer). You’re going to feel mislead, and close the magazine immediately. Now imagine you open a magazine and it’s full of gorgeous images, informative articles, fun facts and how-to lists. In this case you’ll probably keep reading… and by doing so, you’ll also absorb all of the advertisements that have been tastefully sprinkled within.
Pretty simple concept, it’s the application that becomes a challenge.
How do you give your Chiropractic Office, your Organic Dog Food company, or your Aesthetician Clinic an entertaining social media presence? Simple: Hire me. (See how I tastefully sprinkled that ad in there?) Consider what is interesting about the day-to-day operations of your company. Start taking pictures and searching for special moments. Brainstorm about the exciting lifestyle surrounding whatever it is your company offers and what interesting images could be associated with that. Think about the kinds of images that you double-tap on your personal Instagram account, and when you’re publishing your next post, consider how double-tap worthy it will be from the consumer side of things.
This way of thinking isn’t just for good optics. Facebook (Pretty big website, maybe you’ve heard of it. Also the owner of Instagram since April 2012.) will no longer let images with significant amounts of overlaid text become sponsored posts. This is to protect the integrity of the consumer experience. Facebook/Instagram doesn’t want a user’s feed to look like a flyer. If all the sponsored posts look like ads, they would not successfully emulate consumer content. Facebook Business Pages that repeatedly include calls-to-action in their posts will be flagged and receive diminished organic (unpaid) traffic. Repeat offenders may be penalized so heavily that their organic traffic becomes next to nothing.
Look, this way of thinking about your feed is going to be way more fun for you, as soon as you start embracing it. A flyer full of ads for Organic Dog Food is way less interesting to stare at all day than a photo of a giant bushel of organic vegetables, a video of a dog running through a field in slow motion, or a boomerang of a sopping wet Golden Retriever shaking himself dry in front of a heaping portion of the best Organic Dog Food on the market! See what I’m saying? Pictures like those listed above include the interesting day-to-day experience, the lifestyle of those who buy your product, and finally, an engaging product shot that’s entertaining to look at.
The .gif queen strikes again.
If you need a hand, feel free to reach out. That’s what I’m here for. Also, please tag me in that picture if you ever meet Beyonce because I’m excited for you, and I want to live vicariously through your social media presence. Best of luck with this new way of looking at your content, and while you’re making changes and working out the kinks, remember; the only thing more important than looking good on the internet, is not looking bad.
Jenna Warriner is a Publicist Social Media Specialist in Toronto, ON. She regularly teaches courses on how to achieve your business goals by excelling on social media. For more information, and social media tips and tricks follow her on Facebook.