You can (FINALLY) quit holding your breath… After an extended period of time, the number one request to Instagram by their 16 million customers, including the iFocus Marketing social marketing team, has been the scheduling and publishing of content. Instagram officially announced on January 30th that their API has been updated to the Instagram Graph API, built on the Facebook Graph API!
So what exactly does this mean?
Previously, businesses were unable to schedule Instagram posts in advance, view posts they’ve been tagged in, or view other business profiles. For businesses who manage their own Instagram accounts, the inability to schedule posts in advance is a very tedious task, as you may know.
Is there a catch?
Yes, unfortunately… For businesses who manage their social media in-house, the API has yet to be optimized so that posting can be scheduled directly onto the Instagram platform. A third-party social media management platform is needed to take advantage of the API update, and more often than not, these are paid services. In other words, without investing in a management platform or outsourcing your social needs, the convenience of the API update is not so convenient, and you will have to continue staying on top of a very consistent manual posting schedule.
But some days… That’s tough, right? Although any social presence is better than none, inconsistent posting makes it difficult for consumers to verify the timeliness of your communications. Inconsistency often leads consumers open to assumption that if they were to purchase your product and/or service, would it be handled in an efficient manner?
Your business’ presence on social media determines more than you might be aware of. From a customer standpoint, before investing in a new product and/or service, a few key items I look to before trusting a company are:
- Are they present on social media?
- Are consumer comments primarily positive or negative?
- Do they engage with consumers in a caring and helpful manner?
Each of these key items that I look for before throwing my money towards a company are all manageable through Instagram. At iFocus Marketing, our Social Media team understands that thinking about your next Instagram post, it’s relevancy, and it’s timeliness are probably not at the forefront of your mind. But it’s first-in-mind for our social media team!
Not only can we help you create a social content calendar so that your consumers are provided with relevant, engaging, and informational posts on a regular basis, but we can also broaden your following and interact with consumers, too!
What type of posts can we create for you?
Each social media platform has a different approach to the sharing of content. Instagram, in particular, is designed to inspire. Your followers should be inspired to take action, interact with your posts, and learn about your business or industry each time they visit your profile.
At iFocus, we like to follow the rule of 20% promotional, 40% engaging, and 40% educational posts. Here’s what those might look like:
- Promotional: Your business has a storewide sale going on? Let’s push a social post across all platforms raising awareness that your consumers should be shopping now before it’s too late! Below is an example of a promotional post from our Instagram:
- Engaging: The idea here is to increase the awareness of your brand by interacting with your consumers on a more personal level. An example of this might be asking your consumers their thoughts and opinions on a particular topic (but don’t worry, we keep it non-controversial!) Whether it’s related to a holiday, a funny meme/image, an interactive article/quiz, or even just sharing an in-office celebration, it’s important to include lighthearted posts in your content calendar to mix up the product and services push. An example of an engaging post:
- Educational: These posts are meant to not only affirm that your business is up-to-date in industry news, but also informs your customers of new topics or ideas that they’re likely to be interested in! Although links are unable to be shared on Instagram posts (except for in your bio,) we highly recommend including links to informational articles on other platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Typically, the key points or statistics from those articles can be pulled out and optimized for an Instagram post. An example of an educational post:
You might be wondering why the promotional content percentage is low considering the whole idea of your business is to bring in money. Am I right?
Think about it from your perspective as a consumer, rather than a business owner. When you are at home after a long day of work, and you begin to wind down by scrolling through social media, what type of content are you most intrigued by? For many, constant promotion-based posts are off-putting because it leads users to believe that their interests and well-being as a customer are on the back-burner behind what is in their pocketbook. We prioritize in engaging and educating our clients’ followings because it affirms that as a business, they are interested in YOU – not just your money. So, if an issue arises, you won’t be left in the dust with a faulty product or an unsatisfactory service… They are interested in actually helping you!
Additionally, we NEVER create cookie-cutter content. We love receiving the input of our clients, so that we can not only speak in the voice of your company, but also cater to the specific needs of your business and your goals. We see ourselves as a “digital bakery” as you saw in our promotional post example, which ultimately means that we can whip up a social strategy that fits the taste buds of your exact target audience.
Are you ready to take advantage of these Instagram updates, boost your social presence, and reach your business’ goals? Well, we’re ready to help you and begin inspiring your consumers!