If you run a sports business, facility or coaching service then it’s likely that you already use social media as part of your marketing strategy. Social media is a great way to connect with your customers and, when done correctly, can be a cost-effective strategy that brings more return than traditional forms of advertising such as print. These tips will be focused on enhancing your engagement on Instagram in order to help you grow followers, likes and comments.
Most people using Instagram recognize the need to post content that customers can engage with; asking a question or for their opinion are easy ways to do this. However, don’t fall into the trap of putting out meaningless content that is not relevant to your business. Imagine every post is the first post a new customer sees – they need to know who you are and what you do from that very post. Doing this doesn’t mean writing a lengthy ABOUT US section in every post; instead, make your profile picture your brand logo to help with brand recognition and make sure the post is related to what you do.
To Do –
> If you run an indoor sports facility your posts could be about things such as; the classes you run, the coaches who run them, alumni success stories, etc.
> Use hashtags related to your content and keywords you want to be associated with. These could be geographical, sports-related or even your own (be warned though, if you are a small business using your own made-up hashtags is unlikely to see much return).
What To Avoid –
> The number one thing you should avoid is empty, meaningless posts that try to engage with customers in an unrelated way. We’ve all seen the random quotes or ‘How are you today?’ type of questions and while for some businesses these things may be relevant chances are you’ll have more success with content related to you and your business. After all, people will choose to follow you because they are interested in what you do, they don’t particularly care about the ‘water-cooler’ chat.
Simultaneously to posting your own content you should also engage with other peoples content. There are three key types of users you should interact with;
- Users who are your existing customers (find them by looking at who follows you),
- your target audience (find them by looking at who else posts under the hashtags you use)
- and partners (this could be Instagram accounts of coaches who work at your facility or partner clubs).
The group you spend the most time engaging with will be dependant on your marketing goal. If you’re looking to grow your followers then it’s important to interact with your target audience who are not yet customers. Meanwhile, if you want to increase customer loyalty interacting with existing customers could be a very successful tactic in achieving your goal.
The Instagram Algorithm
Speculating about how the Instagram Algorithm works and how to ‘beat’ it is always being shared. Whilst no one knows for sure there are a few different things you can try in order to see what works best for your account.
> Try posting at different times of the day and analyse the results. It doesn’t have to be specific to the hour just categorising by morning, afternoon and evening will be enough to give you an idea of what time is the best.
> Have an A/B set of hashtags and see which ones give you the best results
> Try keeping your private messages active (this one is less proven however some people believe that active DMs are a good way of increasing your engagement).
Thanks for reading, and stay active! If you enjoyed this please be sure to rate the article.