In the previous two blog posts we have expressed the advantages of building a social community, and how you can use Facebook groups to build that community. This week we will explore Instagram and how you can use campaigns and challenges to further develop your community.
Like Facebook, you can use Instagram very successfully to build your community. Instagram bases most of its popularity on its ability to connect people and grow a loyal following, and this is mainly through building genuine communities between likeminded Instagrammers.
There are a few ways you can become part of a strong community, or start to create your own.
What is an instameet?
An instameet is, quite simply, a meeting of people who use Instagram. It gives Instagrammers an opportunity to network with each other, and have a ‘real life’ connection. Of course it is essential that photos are taken and uploaded to the platform during the instameet. A relevant hashtag should be chosen and used so that followers can check in and feel part of the event.
Anyone can create an Instameet, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Think about your location, how many people you want to invite, and what hashtag you want to use to promote the event. Make a plan for the meetup so that all the attendees have a clear understanding of how it will work. Hootsuite have written a great article on how to create an Instameet which you can read here.
The most important thing about hosting an Instameet is to have fun, build your community and enjoy using your camera.
For more information on Instameets, take a look at https://community.instagram.com/
Challenges are getting more and more popular on Instagram, with new ones popping up every week. But what are they?
Challenges come in lots of forms, but ultimately they are another form of engaging with other accounts with the aim of becoming part of a growing community. Anyone can create a challenge on Instagram, choosing any subject or any timeframe. Below are some generic examples of how they can work.
It is really easy to set up your own challenge, you just need to set a clear theme. Make it easy for people to get involved and remember to promote it well before it starts throughout all of your social media to get as much engagement as possible. You will find as the challenge progresses more and more people will get involved as they have a snowball effect. Decide on the timeframe beforehand – do you want it to run for a week? A month? A year? Monthly challenges are the most popular as it gives followers enough time to join in and create a buzz about it. This gives you, the host, a great opportunity to build up your followers, but remember to engage with the accounts that are involved in the campaign. This will all feed back to the influencer marketing that we spoke about in part one of this blog series.
Campaigns work similarly to challenges, but they are usually held by larger brands, and there is usually a prize involved for those that engage. The purpose of the campaign is always to gain influencers through the general public. Therefore, campaigns are a great addition to a brands marketing strategy, and allows them to build reputation through user generated content that is usually required to ‘enter’ the challenge.
Like challenges, anyone can create a campaign. However it is key to have a clear plan of how the campaign will run, and how followers can enter. Have a great prize on hand for them, and remember to have a memorable hashtag that needs to be used within all campaign entries.
The beauty of Instagram is that through hosting instameets, challenges or campaigns, you are essentially building your following and reputation through using other people’s content. The more other accounts get involved, tagging you and using your hashtag, the bigger the buzz surrounding you. Make sure you acknowledge those getting involved, and keep the energy created going, following each campaign or challenge.
Ultimately, anyone can build a following but by nurturing your audience and keeping them happy you can create a huge influential following which in turn become your tribe, your community. It does require time and sometimes investment, but if you remain authentic, passionate and involved, it won’t feel like effort.
If you would like more information about building a community through using social media please get in touch.
All three parts of building a Social Media Community are available here and as a complete downloadable PDF document.
If you would like more information about our social media service please contact Helen: [email protected]