CONTENT: WHAT WORKS?
When it comes to finding a winning content strategy – it really depends on the purpose of your Instagram page. What kind of value are you offering with your content? What are your customers looking for? Are you focusing on promotions or is it purely a branding effort?
First things first, posting frequency has no effect on engagement. It rather makes sense to post meaningful content; make sure it’s good quality or carries an important message. Branded or not, high-quality images will perform better. Don’t forget about Instagram features like Stories, Live, Questions and Highlights. Stories is a great way to reach your fanbase as the view count is now outnumbering regular posts.
Western markets showcase a clear demand for strong political and social statements. The brand has to take its stance. Therefore, most popular posts in North-America and the UK for example, touched upon topics of LGBTQ or women’s rights. The Instagram community was quick to praise the banks for their brave efforts. Hence, people are looking for a brand with a strong point of view. The latter fades as we move further to East. There, it’s all about practicality and customer service. if you post a picture about a current promotion, make sure to answer all following questions in the comments section. If possible, post interactive Stories content (‘swipe up’). Use Stories and Highlights for urgent messages such as warnings on fraudulent activity.
Other pointers that should be considered across all markets: avoid low-quality stocky imagery, unflattering photos of people in general and stop praising yourself on the amazing work you’re doing to help the homeless/ animals/ SMEs/ vegans (someone will call you out on this 100%). Naturally, impressive shots that fit with the overall feel of Instagram always work well as fillers: puppies, kids, cool architecture, breathtaking nature, (sponsored) sports teams, foodporn etc. if you’re going for light content – keep it native!
COMMENTS: HOW TO ADDRESS?
Brands, especially telcos and financial brands, receive a lot of hate on social media. Moreover, people are now used to sourcing for information from various channels. It’s very common for an Instagram user to address the brand in the comments section and ask whether they have fixed the ATM at his local gas station. O-m-n-i-c-h-a-n-n-e-l!
Moderating every single complaint may seem like a mammoth task, but this is exactly what is expected if you put yourself out there. The same goes for Instagram. Our research revealed that 5/12 banks fail to moderate their comments section. Studied brands either a) ignore b) keep it positive or c) deal with it. Ignoring all comments is the least favorable approach as it leaves a nasty stain on your overall image. Spam should be deleted and complaints addressed. Ignoring all negative comments and only replying to friendly users isn’t much better, because the angry ones keep coming back.
The best strategy is to set up a full-time Instagram monitoring system (good example: VTB Russia and SBERBANK Russia) and try to resolve your customers’ problems quickly and efficiently. By setting up a separate phoneline or email address for Insta users or contacting them in DM for example.
Overall, users regard branded pages as just another channel to communicate their issues and probably enjoy the fact that these complaints are public. Very detailed descriptions about one’s unpleasant encounter with the brand are very-very common. Hence, addressing hateful or negative comments is absolutely a must in order to preserve one’s brand image.
On that note, here’s a great example on how to address hateful comments from Georgian Water and Power:
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