Instagram in 2018 =
800 million monthly active users.
500 million daily active users.
300 million stories daily active users.
95 million photos uploaded per day.
25 million business accounts.
And with a 68% female demographic, there is no doubt Instagram is a valuable platform for brands in the pet industry. Following these five best practices will ensure you are getting the most of out of this powerhouse platform.
1. Stay on Brand.
In a stream of image after image, Instagram users can easily get lost in a sea of imagery without knowing who is posting all of those beautiful pictures they’re double-tapping. And with more users leaning on Instagram as a resource to check the validity of certain products and businesses, it’s more important than ever to make sure your profile follows your own pre-determined, on-brand photography guidelines to consistently convey your brand’s personality and tone. Here are some great examples of fellow pet industry brands who succeed at this challenge: 5 Pet Industry Instagram Pages That Give Us the Heart Eyes
2. Collect UGC…in the right way.
The platform can easily be relied on to supply some unique and amazing photographs of everyday consumers (micro-influencers) using your products for their pets, which in turn influences their followers to purchase your products. When approached in the most effective way, gaining UGC can benefit your brand in more ways than one – more content to share, increased brand awareness and product sales, lead generation, and more. Get familiar with the publishing permission rules Instagram has implemented, establish a process for asking permission and start collecting that UGC!
3. Appreciate the power of hashtags.
Instagram is all about those pound signs and when used the right way, they can be extremely effective for increasing your engagement and follower count. Research has shown using 11 hashtags – to be specific – will give you the strongest engagement overall. Additionally, due to the new hashtag features recently added, they can be a strong ally in leading users to discovering you, or an unfortunate downfall. Since users can now follow hashtags, you have more opportunity to show up in the feeds of non-followers. However, it’s important to continue using the most relevant hashtags for your posts and brand because users can also tag certain accounts to not show up in their feed for a particular hashtag they follow.
4. Create sales opportunities.
If customers have the ability to buy your products online, then Instagram is an effective tool to use. There are many apps and platforms that allow you to integrate commerce into your Instagram feed. One example of this are brands who use Shopify can integrate with Instagram so when you feature your products in posts, users have the ability right then and there to see the product’s name, cost and have the ability to purchase. And if you have more than 10k followers, you can also leverage Instagram stories to drive traffic to specific products for purchase on your website.
Engagement is the most important goal of using Instagram. The average engagement rate for the platform is reportedly 4.2%. To put that in perspective, the average engagement rate for Facebook and Twitter is .10. (source) However because of the Instagram algorithm, there are many followers who likely don’t see your content. Many brands are turning to advertising to solve that issue. The incredibly high engagement rate combined with the non-intrusive nature of the platform makes it an ideal place to show advertisements that deliver incredible ROI. Both the sponsored posts and Instagram Stories allow brands a huge opportunity to target specific audiences in an impactful and effective way.
The take away from all of this is that 2018 is a HUGE year for Instagram so the need to get your profile in order has only increased. When managed properly, this channel can have big results for brands in the pet industry. Keep your eye out for even more announcements from Instagram throughout the year like stronger analytics features, better capabilities in Stories and enhanced sharing possibilities.
To get a better idea of how your brand is doing on Instagram and beyond, consider using an audit as a starting point for bigger and better opportunities. Download: The Anatomy of a Brand Audit.