Instagram in The New Year
If you’ve been receiving our letters for a while now, you’ll know that effective social media management is what we strive for, both within Neon Canvas itself, and for every client we work with. In 2017 more and more brands realized that connecting with their target audience using the array of social media channels available is the way forward, and most adjusted their strategies accordingly. With that comes our challenge for 2018 – combating the shrinking attention span of the very people we want to engage with!
As an ever-increasing number of brands compete for attention across the social media landscape, we will have to work a little harder to generate better engagement and increase loyalty. Producing more personalized content will allow us to remain relevant by engaging our audience without a “salesy” vibe. This type of content is more likely to be read and shared than that resembling traditional advertising.
Brand stories are going to be an incredibly important component for success in the coming year. Adopting a storytelling approach with clients is something we’ve touched on before, but in order to stand out, this technique needs to be refined. By narrating our stories in the kind of visual and literal language our audience understands best, we increase our chances for genuine engagement with clients. With that comes a responsibility for us to connect with users on a personal level by commenting on their posts, sharing their voices, tagging them when applicable, and responding to them when needed. It’s that kind of authenticity that will build up brand loyalty organically.
When it comes to creating relatable content within a social media context, you don’t need to look much further than Instagram. It’s instantly recognizable, has millions of active users, and is easily accessible. With the popularity of Instagram Stories last year, the app created a social media channel that is attractive to both individual users and businesses. In 2018, Instagram looks to be capitalizing on that by optimizing content performance, introducing new analytics tools, and rolling out a few new features.
Here are just a few Instagram marketing trends we can look to this year to help us grow our own brands.
Using Instagram Stories strategically
Instagram Stories may not have as many features or filters as Snapchat, but that hasn’t deterred the 300 million active users uploading content daily. Using Instagram Stories for business should be an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy in the new year, with a real focus on using those stories to reach new audiences. These stories may be temporary (24 hours to be exact), but their effect on your overall brand is anything but! Polished stories that are able to show a real, but carefully crafted look at your practice are an excellent opportunity to humanize your brand to existing clients, and introduce it to potential ones.
Instagram marketing is going to get a lot more analytical
Successful Instagram marketing in 2018 is going to come down to really understanding your audience and your content performance. Neon Canvas can help you get up close and personal with your Instagram analytics, optimizing your content for its ever-changing algorithm. Previously, third-party apps were the only way to gain account insight, but Instagram now offers its own metrics and insights through Insights API, enabling businesses to more effectively stay on top of how content is performing. With robust tools like this and Instagram Stories Analytics being refined in the coming months, businesses will be able to easily interpret and act on analytic information.
Instagram Stories and live video will encourage more frequent engagement
Many brands are hesitant to post content on Instagram more than once or twice a day, except on special occasions or during particular promotions. They worry about diminishing returns and oversaturating their audience. In 2018, Instagram stories and live video are changing that. Both options capitalize on our love of authentic experiences, our fear of missing out, and our natural curiosity, and drive higher engagement levels for businesses of all sizes. In fact, users tend to watch live video content for eight times longer on average than pre-recorded video. That’s a huge window of opportunity for genuine connection with clients!
Instagram should be a foundational part of showcasing the distinct personality of your practice to a targeted audience. Combined with other forms of social media, a streamlined website, and your advertising, it has the potential to put a human face to your business – something that is even more important in an increasingly digital world. But we know that building and reinforcing trust in your brand on Instagram can be time-consuming and even confusing, which is where our talented team comes in. Neon Canvas can help you find the best formula for creating and sharing the kind of content that will keep your clients engaged, encouraging brand loyalty and organic reach. This is your year to maximize all the potential Instagram and other social media platforms have to offer in growing your brand into something worth sharing!
As always, we’re here to answer any questions, address any concerns, and listen to any suggestions you may have. We appreciate you and your business, and are proud to continue to grow alongside you and your practice in 2018.
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
Co-Founder, Neon Canvas