Instagram’s users make definitely smaller audience compared to Facebook, yet they are highly engaged in the platform opportunities and rate of their engagement is about 120 times higher than the same rate for Facebook. Now it is high time to think about converting this engaged Instagram audience into dedicated fans of your business.
Yet it may turn out to be harder than it seems, as Instagram has its particularities. Instagram is about beautiful pictures (service developers like to remind of this quest for beauty). Thus to succeed, one has to select the best images – best in quality, best in marketing message delivery, best in everything – and then share them. Direct branding is not welcomed, thus, results are achieved through very careful selection of images and not through persistent posting logos and advertizing pics. Then, Instagram by default was designed for mobile OS and gadgets of different kinds, thus it is very inconvenient to operate PC marketing tools and then try to transfer the prepared material to a mobile device.
All this may present Instagram as a scarecrow for marketers, however, there are very elegant and functional ways out. Instead of messing with Instagram accounts on mobile and watching the clock for the next post, devote a bit of time and master the art of posting on schedule, or ratherof scheduling posts and letting the system do the rest. Instagram does not offer in-built posting timer, yet this obstacle is easily removed with a couple of maneuvers and a special program tool.
Show What You Sell: Use Instagram Properly
Instagram’s audience is still growing, yet its enthusiasm is overwhelming, and these people know a good deal about interesting images and a striking photo will catch their attention very fast. Business owners feel this trend and try to get inside this community in order to establish its promotional channels while the niche is still free. Posting pictures is possible only on mobile, yet pictures browsing is available from desktops too, so audience is several times bigger actually.
Instagram is a very favored platform for picture contests. Your target audience may be posting their own pics on given topic or selecting the picture according to the task, yet all you need is rules, winner selection guide, proper hashtag and the prize, of course. Your contest will hit the bull’s eye. Another incentive is placing some baitfish in the picture description, like promo codes for some small gifts or discounts. Then people will eagerly browse the stacks of images and engage in marketing process on the way.
You can announce some business events on Instagram, it also works very well, yet it is necessary to present these news when users are actively browsing the service, and to achieve the precise timing, the scheduling services are vitally important.
Postso, otherwise called simply Post, is a powerful tool which allows scheduling posts for many social channels, like Twitter or Pinterest, Instagram being included. Yet the full functionality of the service is available upon subscription, in trial version you gain access to the site for two weeks only. Monthly plan of $15 allows you to employ one channel - Instagram. Monthly plan of 25$ allows you using 10 different social media channels, and the most costly subscription plan of $50 opens you access to 20 channels and allows teaming up with other 10 users.
Keeping in mind that free version of Post is very limited in instruments – it allows only 5 posts per month and they are watermarked, - the described monthly plans are not at all bad if you are going to develop your business on Instagram extensively. What is not so good about Postis that you have to provide the service with your login and password from Instagram account. If you do not like this option (for fear of possible data leaks and disclosures), then you cannot make use of this service. Instagram does notencourage third-party services topost content on your behalf, and this feature is not integrated into its API, so Post has to pretend to be ‘you’ in order to post in your name.
Option of adding hashtags is not integrated into Instagram’s API either, because Instagram does not allow other services browse its internal databases. If hashtag is very necessary, it is possible to attach it as a plain text description, and then convert to hashtag after entering your official Instagram account on your mobile device.
The tool Latergram.me, sometimes spelt like Latergramme, or even Latergram, does not try to keep everything under one roof and works with Instagram only. Its advantage in opposition to Postso is that this service does not ask for your account data because it does not have to incorporate the images into its database in order to post instead of you. Rather, it prepares everything for you to open the picture on your Smartphone and simply press ‘Upload’ button. You enter description and edit photo on your PC, and afterwards the service simply sends it to your phone for you to post on Instagram in time. You keep your password safe and you are accurately reminded of the time to post, so everything should go well. However, in different time zones the schedule may go wrong, and it will be very annoying experience. However, one more advantage of the service is its free distribution, you do not have to pay at all.
ScheduGram decided to attract attention of users even through the unusual domain name looking like schedugr.am, and this outstanding tool definitely justifies its ambitious promos. It is truly efficient and multifunctional instrument for Instargam management, including opportunities for cropping pictures and basic editing, uploading them through web interface, adding text and of course scheduling posts, and even more.
On the bad side, ScheduGramrequires subscriptionand selecting a monthly payment plan.One can choose from 4 plans, all coming with a free week of trial. The most affordable monthly plan of $13 allows you to work with one Instagram account to which not more than 10,000 followers are connected. The higher the monthly payment, the more followers your account may have.
One more drawback of ScheduGramis that you also have to provide the service with your password and login in Instagram because of the mentioned issues with API. However, ScheduGram employsmobile devices in their workand uploading of posts takes place without your participation. In other aspects ScheduGram is more or less similar to Latergramme service.
HootSuite is a highly acclaimed tool into which you would directly integrate your Instagram account and from now on will do everything you need right from one window (almost one, at least). Yes, you will have to provide the service with login and password of Instagram account, yet afterwards you will enjoy using instagram as you typically do with all options and benefits of HootSuite included (scheduling is only one of the bonuses the service offers).