Guest blog post by Jonathan Chan of Foundr Magazine.
Finding a way to reach your target market is tricky for many small businesses. In today’s cluttered online climate there are millions of things out there constantly vying for your potential customer’s attention. It’s difficult to cut through the noise and find your target market.
That’s why you should consider Instagram. It is much more than just a picture-sharing social network, as we’ve proven at Foundr Magazine. With over 300 thousand followers, the majority of our conversions come from Instagram.
It’s also an incredibly viable and direct way to reach your target market, whatever your business is.
Why use Instagram?
Incredibly diverse audience
o Within the US alone there are about 77.6 million users and Instagram boasts an online audience of up to 17% of all adults online. Though the demographics skew slightly towards females and millennials, Instagram has proven to support an incredibly diverse and vibrant community.
· High rates of user engagement
o Last year Forrester found that Instagram had the highest rates of user engagement across all major social networks. It found that Instagram delivered brands 58 times more engagement than Facebook and 120 times more engagement than Twitter.
· Longer online presence
o Another study by Simply Measured found that for high-performing posts it took more than 13 hours to hit 50 percent of total amount of comments. In the age of the Internet - where the average post has a shelf life of a couple of hours - this is practically an eternity.
What does your target customer look like?
When it comes to Instagram you want to work from the outside-in. So start by figuring out what your ideal customer looks like by asking yourself these questions...
· Where do they live?
· What age are they?
· What’s their marital status?
· What’s their annual income?
· What’s their education level?
· What do they do for a job?
· What are their hobbies?
· What’s their lifestyle like?
Consider the power of the hashtag.
While hashtags might seem cheesy or something than an annoying teenage girl might use, if you look a little a deeper you can discover just how powerful they are.
· What hashtags are your ideal customers using?
o Firstly research what the most popular hashtags are in your niche. Try to find a nice balance between incredibly popular keywords and those with a medium sized following. This will take your exposure through the roof.
· Turn your answers into hashtags.
o Take the answers you’ve come up with from creating you customer profile and turn them into hashtags. For example use the hashtag of your target location and see what the top posts are, find out how you can insert your brand into that demographic.
· What hashtags are your competitors using?
o An easy way to curate hashtags is to take a look at what your competitors are doing with their content and the hashtags they’re using. See if you can find a way to piggyback off their style off what they’re doing.
· Hide your hashtags in the comments.
o Don’t put your hashtags into the description of the photo itself. This way you’ll be able to keep a clean and uncluttered description of your photo and still reap all the benefits of having hashtags.
· Find out what content your customer are using.
o By following the hashtags your customers are using you’ll be able to do valuable research and figure out what content your customers like the most. Let your competitors experiment for you while you cherry-pick the themes and tones you know your customers will engage with.