Ah, Yes – The Beloved Instagram
It wasn’t very long ago, that Instagram stepped on the scene and changed the way we visually interacted with one another within seconds. For a while, it was super low angled shots up peoples nostrils, or close up shots of a smashed sandwich served for lunch that was only posted just so people knew you were somewhere or doing something – Instagram seemed to be the teenager trying to make its way through life and become someone.
Fast Forward –
It’s 2015 – and brands are all over Instagram; brands are all over my Instagram platform, and the many platforms of my friends. Want to know why? They found people to be part of their “circle of influence” – one of the wisest moves for a brand moving from the startup phase, into becoming a full on brand. If you are familiar with Instagram, or social media in any form or fashion, i’m sure you’ve began to see many of the same faces, pushing products for other companies, both large and small. Why are brands moving in this direction? Because visual content is King. A single post of your product on an Instagram platform that has well over 45,000 direct followers, can provide more efficient result, than a Pay Per Click (PCC) campaign. Sure, you lose money intitially by giving someone a product to take product shots, and show it in action with their friends, but the end result is, “keeping up with the Joneses” – and no, that mentality will never fully die.
As seen below:
Product (Amōs Brand)
In a single post, you have the opportunity to reach far beyond your immediate audience – you need to commission brand ambassadors.
Now, this isn’t a shameless self promotion of my own account – in fact, I would much rather have used someone else as an example. However, since I work for UZU Media as their Manager, Social Media and Business Development, I only found it fitting to share my personal experience working with social and being a brand ambassador for both large and small business.
As A Business Owner –
Don’t ask – now I previously mentioned in a recent article that, “you have not because you ask not”; but this doesn’t necessarily correlate in all aspects of social. Sure, you could ask someone through an Insta-Direct on Instagram, but depending on their platform, they could be annoyed at another company trying to use their platform they worked hard to build on their own. From my personal exeperience, you should ask a potential partner in your “circle of influence” if you could send them a product, period. If they love your product, they will help promote it, and it’s more than likely to happen for a couple reasons:
- If you have a quality product that is in line with their platformm, it’s bound to be mutually benefitcial – If someone has an outdoor platform, and you want to send them stilletos, good luck getting them to go hiking in those, (ouch.)
- If you are personable about the process, and have been interacting with them before even sending them an Insta-Direct, they will be more receptive to your product offer. Too often, companies will randomly send a message to someone with a large platform, and expect a response – typically, if you’ve not yet built a relationship with that individual, or you aren’t a large brand with a massive following already, they will more than likely dismiss the offer.
This might seem like a lot to process, but it has been proven effective and is one of the predominent market trends as of late 2013, and is only going to continue as far as market analyst can see. Search your market, and find the appropriate tags to find those individuals – it works across all sort of business’, and non-profits. Currently, UZU Media is working with over 8 companies on social media , and implementing the “circle of influence” strategies. In one of our most recent campaigns, we have increased reaches above 30% in 2 weeks from the initial start date.
Part of the process for some of these major companies, is to keep their audience engaged beyond just the products themselves – they want to know what is happening behind the scenes, or having a contest – sometimes it works to do both at once! By showing what happens behinds the scenes, your company is relateable and respectable. You aren’t above anyone, and can share the hardwork and labor that goes into making your product that people love.
An Seen Below:
Product (Amōs Brand)
As you can see, this company has decided to impliment both aspects of showing the process of making a product – making them not only relatable, but friendly because they want to involve their audience and give something in return for interacting. Consider these things when establishing a social media marketing budget. Sometimes the not so obvious option of content marketing through a “circle of influence” is the best option.
Your Business –
Social Media Matters: As an advocate for social media, I cannot stress enough how important this is, not only for your business, but for SEO purposes. You need time dedicated to updating multiple platforms (4-5 typically.) Wherever there is an empty page with updates once a month, or twice a month, your audience is less to engage with you and feel that you are not truly driven about your products or services. Social is a massive part of audience engagement, and we would strongly dislike to see you missing out on these oportunities.
If you are looking for a social media campaign, social media consulting, or a boost in the right direction, we would be more than happy to assist you. Now remember, social media has a huge impact on your SEO – irregardless of what others might tell you; but that’s an entirely different conversation.