A recent survey we conducted amongst undergraduate students (18 - 24-year-olds) shows that out of 218 people, 75 percent of people will look at a brand's Instagram profile before they look at a company website or LinkedIn page.
More and more businesses are fine-tuning their Instagram channels and prioritizing the efforts due to the rise in millennial buyers and their marketplace influence. Brands are searching for ways to crack the code on millennials' decision-making process.
Brands that leverage Instagram to reach this audience in their marketing are seeing success. For the most part, the millennial generation, now between 22 - 37-years-old, was raised in the digital age. Smart phones are extensions of themselves, not just for the amount of time they spend on their phone, but because they have created an idea of themselves in the digital space.
Why it's important as a business to become an extension of the digital experience
When you open the social media apps on your phone, what do you see? What accounts make up your feeds? What and who do you associate yourself with? These small details are identifiers to who you are or wish to be.
Throughout all of the social media platforms, consumers are following brands that produce quality content. Consumers start following companies that do so because, in one way or another, they are looking for another way to identify themselves. When they find a brand that they connect with by relating to it or aspiring to be like, they follow it.
We are engulfed in an age where people are putting only their best selves on social media. Although our realities may be skewed because of that, people are trying to find genuine and emotional connections, and in the digital age they are reaching out through social media to do it.
Brand engagement on social media
You might be sitting here thinking, I can do advertising and marketing the old way — cold calling, direct mail, and print advertising. Social media is just a fad that doesn't reach any qualified consumers.
Think again. Social media marketing can be that push into converting your potential customers into loyal clients.
Instagram is the platform
Although there is brand engagement with Facebook and Twitter, Instagram takes the cake — having 4.21 percent of people engage with brands by following the company's account.
Consumers really do follow the brands that they think represent themselves, or the best version of themselves. A recent study done by Invesp, a conversion rate optimization company, shows that 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on their personal social media are more loyal to these brands.
It’s not just about being on the platform, it’s about the quality of content you post through it. Your audience is looking for ways to engage and communicate, and when you post quality content that drives an emotional connection, your audience will notice. They follow you, share posts with friends, comment or add your posts to their stories.
Understand social media from a millennial standpoint
Social media platforms for businesses can drive engagement and sales to your company. But the question is, how do you do it well? Here a few tricks to create social media content on Instagram that will drive follower engagement with your target audience, even those hard to reach trendy and skeptical millennials:
- Tell a story in your captions, but make it short. When making a caption on your Instagram, you want to be able to tell a story. When consumers are scrolling through their Instagram feed, they want a statement that is creative and inventive. However, they don’t want it to be long. Find that balance of telling a genuine story relevant to your brand and then post in a few short sentences.
Quality over quantity. When posting content on Instagram, people can forget that quality content will make the viewers stop, look at the picture, and then click on your company profile for further engagement. Don’t waste your time posting every day if the posts don’t leverage quality photos or help tell your brand story.
The schematics of the grid. The grid is what a consumer sees when they click into your Instagram profile. It is the 9-12 of your most recent profile posts. What most people don’t realize is that these photos should be cohesive and aesthetically work well together. Having the same edit and filter for each photo or picking out a scheme of colors for your profile makes your grid seamless and more attractive to the consumer. The color combination of your grid should reflect the essential brand ethos of your company.
- Your bio is your brand statement/mission. Remember, your Instagram bio is one of the first things a follower sees in your business profile. Keep your bio short and to the point, but be sure to include your brand statement and a link to your company website.
With these tips, you can run with the best of them. Reach more of your target audience, up your followers, and increase engagement because with these things in place, consumers won’t be able to get enough of your content.