As social media marketers, we often concentrate on attracting new followers. We want to see follower numbers tick up and measure our reach by tracking those, hopefully, rising numbers.
But have you ever stopped to think who you should follow on Instagram? In addition to sharing your marketing message, Instagram can be used as a research portal and relationship building tool.
There are several types of Instagram accounts you should be following.
Your Target Market
This recommendation may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked by marketing professionals.
Following people in your target market is important for two reasons. First, you can find out what your target market is thinking and feeling about certain topics. Secondly, by taking the time to comment and like your target market’s images, over time you will begin to develop awareness about your business.
Be sure to keep your comments relevant to their images, rather than posting your promotions. That’s just plain spammy, plus it puts you on the fast track to get blocked by the user.
Following your competitors can bring all kinds of marketing insights. Use them as a learning experience. The items below are just a few things you can discover by following your competitors.
- What are they posting on Instagram that is working?
- What are they posting on Instagram that’s not working?
- How often are they adding new images?
- Are they rolling out any new products or services?
- How does their pricing compare to yours?
Use your market research to guide your promotional efforts.
Your Industry Associations, Experts and News Sources
Keeping up with changes within any industry can be daunting. Follow industry associations, recognized experts or news sources to stay up to date.
In addition to keeping yourself in the know, following these sources can be a great way to discover content to share and even prompt the creation of your own Instagram or blog posts.
Companies Who Inspire
Are there companies who aren’t in your industry, yet still have a fantastic Instagram strategy? Of course!
Following these accounts will provide you with ideas for branding and marketing you can apply to your own strategy. You don’t want to copy them exactly; rather follow Instagram accounts who are “doing it right” to spark your own creativity.
Instagram is a wonderful tool for sharing your business branding and message – but it doesn’t have to stop there. Following others in Instagram will provide you with ideas for your own company and gives you an opportunity to develop relationships with your target market.
How do you decide who to follow on Instagram?