HOW TO… have impact on Instagram

To ‘reel’ or not to ‘reel’? In the latest from the FanFinders’ guide, we share advice on what brands in the baby and parenting sector should be doing to develop their Instagram channel and grow their reach.

Our recent survey of members in the Your Baby Club network found that over 70% of parents in the UK and US are spending more time on social media than they did a few months ago and when it comes to what platforms they’re using most, only Facebook ranks above Instagram.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share some insights into how brands in our market can start having real impact – whether you are looking to grow your followers or starting completely from scratch.

Think valuable, shareable and save-able

The way people have been using Instagram since the first lockdown has completely changed the dynamic. Having an ‘aesthetic feed’ has gone out of the window, because no-one cares about that anymore. No-one cares if your filters and themes match.

The reason for this is no-one really clicks on your profile after they’ve followed you.

While there’s nothing to stop you being on-brand and using vibrant colours to catch people’s attention, one of the main obstacles with content across Instagram and IGTV is that it’s ultimately not a searchable platform.

Unless someone has used a specific hashtag, you still have to rely on someone scrolling past. Which is why reels are vital right now.

The most important thing to be able to do on Instagram is stop someone scrolling and take notice. Reels are easily digestible, only 15-30 seconds' long and you can cram a decent amount of information in them.

- Jasmine Gurney, FanFinders’ Head of Content & Social

Especially on the ‘explore’ page, what’s going to stand out more than carousels with useful information. Think about how you as a business can help parents and mums?

We try to do carousels that cover a couple of tips, one per image, and then they can just save that for later.

One of the most valuable metrics on Instagram is saved content. Likes don’t mean as much, so you want valuable, shareable and save-able content.

Good content + creating community = growth

The road to 10k followers is long and hard, but it starts and ends with your content.

Use video, because people are going to spend a lot longer engaging with your content and digesting it, than they would with a static image.

You also need to pay attention to what the platform itself wants to showcase.

If you head to the ‘explore’ page, the majority of that screen is taken up by reels. You can easily monitor and react to what is being pushed out most, then replicate those for your brand.

Another key factor for brands is building your community. This is about finding people who are like-minded, interested in your products or services, and want to hear what you have to say.

Communities build pretty organically, but you still have to put in lots of time.

The more discussions you’re having and the more you’re engaging with individuals within your niche by commenting, the more you’ll get back.

Personality over products

Even as a brand, there needs to be a personality behind your profile.

One of the many little things Instagram likes to see is strong engagement with comments on your posts. This isn’t as simple as replying with an emoji, you should be using three words minimum and supporting with emojis.

For us, our Instagram channel is a community where we share tips and tricks for parents, supporting them on their journey.

Pages shouldn’t be driven by just products or services. Nobody wants to be force-fed pictures of products in every colour variant throughout the day and if users wanted to check which products you stock, they would most likely visit your website.

Optimise your profile

Ok, so is there is one searchable element of Instagram: your profile.

Think about SEO. If you’re a baby brand, you not only want to be in the right business category but you want something in the first line of the copy that tells people exactly what you do or what you sell.

Include your location, even if you’re just an online shop. This is beneficial for weeding out the people that would never buy from you.

You need links, but don’t just have a link to your website. Have a link through to a micro-site, which can contain multiple other links to relevant pages and can drive traffic to your other social channels, your blog or competitions.

You should also include a way for people to contact you (a customer services email address), because you can’t rely on people using the buttons.

Include anything else that singles you out from competitors in your profile and use your highlights wisely. If you do sell products and you post them on your stories, save them to the highlights with swipe-ups (once you’ve reached 10k).

You’re all set and if, like us, you base your strategy around providing valuable and useful content for parents, you can’t go far wrong.