You’re likely to be like many marketers and constantly looking for innovative ways to reach your target market. If you don’t use Instagram, you are missing out on a lot. It can be difficult to know where to begin with Instagram’s incredible potential.
There’s an easy way to get started in Instagram marketing: Listening.
You can monitor what people say about your brand on Instagram and adjust your strategy accordingly.
This guide will tell you everything that you need to know about creating an Instagram listening strategy that will allow you to grow your brand on this powerful platform.
So, let’s get started!
What is Instagram listening and why should you care?
Many marketers mistakenly believe that Instagram is for sharing photos of products or pictures from team building trips.
Did you know that Instagram can also serve as a powerful listening device?
Businesses can use Instagram to gain insights into people’s thoughts and feelings, just as they use Twitter to monitor what people say about them. Businesses can monitor hashtags, keywords and user-generated material to get an idea of what people are saying about their industry and competitors.
Social Media Listening vs. Social Media Monitoring
Companies used to have to rely heavily on market research before social media was invented to gain information about customer sentiment. Social media has made all this possible. Businesses can now monitor customer opinions in real time, and it’s free.
What many companies don’t know is
There is a huge difference between monitoring social media and listening to it.
socialmedia monitoring simply means collecting data. Social media listening is about making sense . You must listen to customers’ words and not just count the likes and mentions.
Analyzing the sentiment behind data and identifying trends is crucial. Only then will you be able to identify the needs and wants of your customers.
Social media monitoring is important, but it’s only half of the story. You need to do serious social media listening in order to get the full picture.
The same applies to Instagram listening.
Why is Instagram Listening?
Listening is the key to building relationships with peers through interpersonal communication. This is the foundation of trust, understanding, and loyalty.
It’s also the same for marketing communications.
These stats are just a few of the many:
- 66% customers want brands that understand their needs as well as their expectations.
- 82% want retailers to cater to their preferences and needs.
Another research has shown that:
- 52% would pay more for excellent customer service (including direct contact with the brand).
- 25% customers would pay an additional 10% to get this.
This is where Instagram listening comes in.
You can see what your target audience is posting on Instagram by monitoring their posts. It’s possible to see which products and campaigns are most talked about, as well as which hashtags are most frequently used.
You can therefore:
- Learn about your competitors
- Find user-generated content possibilities
- Establish relationships with customers, influencers and other business people
- Monitor customer sentiment
- People should be able to choose the products that they love
All of the above statistics indicate that:
- Engagement increases
- Trust increases
- Sales increase
Here’s an example:
In 2016, Taco Bell’s iconic dish Quesalupa, a combination of Quesadilla & Chalupa, was removed from their menu. The responses show that people wanted to see the dish back on the menus.
Taco Bell delivered the goods on March 11 th 2021, even if it was only for a short time. The results are multiple:
- The brand demonstrated that it listens to customers.
- People are talking about the limited-time offer and begging for more Quesalupa. This signature dish ensures that the brand is always top of mind.
Pro tip Every platform offers its own benefits in social media listening.
While Twitter is great for following real-time conversations and Instagram can be even better for visual trends analysis.
What is the importance of keeping up with trends?
A picture is worth a thousand pictures, as the old saying goes. This is certainly true when it comes social media data.
While text-based posts are useful for understanding what people are saying, photos can provide a deeper insight into people’s feelings.
You can also use images to inspire you. You can be sure that people are interested in your products and services if they already post about them.
You just need to find a way for you to participate in the conversation.
Let’s suppose you own a clothing shop. You can find a lot of inspiration by searching Instagram for #jeans . Just by looking at the first few photos, you will discover a variety of styles, accessories, and clothes that go well with jeans.
Take, for example:
These are the key points:
- Searching for can be overwhelming. You may need to choose between #clothes and @fashion.
- Getting the right insights on people’s style, wants and trends
- Use these insights to build your brand’s product line (e.g., introducing a new line sexy maternity clothes)
How to use Instagram Listening for Your Business
Now that you have answered the question “What is Instagram listening?” Let’s take a closer look at what it can do for you.
These are the four best ways to get started.
1. Learn what people are saying about your brand
Set up basic monitoring is the first step to any social media listening strategy.
This will allow you to see how frequently your brand is mentioned, what hashtags are being used, and who is talking about you most.
This will allow you to get a clear overview of your brand’s Instagram presence and identify any trends or issues.
Even if your company isn’t as big as Coca-Cola (currently with 8,484,334 mentions) on Instagram, this can be difficult.
Partnering with an agency is the best option.
2. Analyze customer sentiment
It’s important to monitor brand mentions and the sentiment behind these posts.
Do people feel happy with your products?
Are they interested in your ideas or not?
You can analyze sentiment to better understand what people think about your brand, and where you need to make improvements.
Notice how Jason VanRuler, therapist, wrote a post about a healthy couple that elicits strong emotions: ” love,” facts,” exactly,” etc.
Tip: Interjections (“aah”) as well as ellipses can be extremely powerful in this context. Ensure you pay attention to punctuation marks, interjections and other irregularities when listening to Instagram.
3. Find User-Generated Content Opportunity
We mentioned it earlier that Instagram is a great place to find user-generated content (UGC).
People post photos and videos of products all the time, and many are willing to tag your brand in these posts. UGC monitoring can help you get great content ideas and new ways to reach your target audience.
Bluehouse Salmon is one example.
First, think about starting a business selling organic Salmon.
What would your advertising strategy be for your product? There are many more products available on the market, and we can all agree that this is true.
This is why the company uses the power of user-generated material to the fullest, boosting its Instagram with tagged photos/videos and fan recipes.
Here is the tagged content
The fan recipe reels are:
4. Establish relationships with customers and influencers
Instagram listening is a great way of building relationships with customers or influencers.
You can identify unhappy customers by monitoring what they say about you and your products. Reach out to them to see if you can improve their experience.
Instagram listening can be used to locate influencers talking about your brand. Get in touch with them to see if you can collaborate.
Bonus This is a secret weapon few companies use, even those who are actively leveraging influencers .
Influencers can help you gain access to your potential customers’ minds. Influencers don’t just have to be content creators. For insights into their audience, you can also connect with them.
Warning! Use an Instagram engagement calculator to determine if these content creators truly connect with their audience.
This is an example showing how Mount Saint Helens Institute partners with a passionate hiker in order to promote itself.
Here’s the bottom line:
Andy Neal is not your typical hiker. Andy Neal is a proponent of plus-size fitness for mental well-being and has cultivated a loyal following. He received positive interactions even though he used a noncontroversial advertisement post.
MSH not only associates with mental health and inclusion, but also creates a pool of hikers interested in the same (known as qualified leads).
It all begins with your goals, as with every marketing strategy. You can create the best plan for your goals once you have established them.
A competitive analysis is the first thing you should do. Here’s how:
1. Take a look at the profiles and posts of your competitors
This one is easy. To get an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you can start by reviewing their profiles and posts.
- What type of content do they post?
- What type of engagement are they getting?
Write down the things that you love and hate.
2. Find their most popular content
Next, take a look at the most popular content of their website and identify patterns.
- What does their most viewed posts share in common?
- Are there any characteristics that make them unique?
Make a list of what you like and dislike.
3. Analyze their hashtag strategy
Instagram hashtags are an integral part of the platform. It’s important to study your competitors’ hashtag strategies.
- Have a look at their hashtags to see if you can find any that you could use in your posts.
- A tool such as SocialPilot can be used to locate related hashtags and determine which ones are the most popular.
4. See their engagement rates
Finally, take a look at the engagement rates of your competitors to see how well you connect with them. If they have a high engagement rate, it means that they are doing something right. So try to find out what it is.
- Type of topics, visuals and audio you choose
Insta listening is giving people the opportunity to share their thoughts. So:
- Ask questions
- Set yourself challenges
- Make polls
- Discuss controversial topics
Give people something to talk about. You have more chance to get people talking and gather insights and data if you get them talking.
Here’s an example:
Joe Yoon, a coach, helps people to regain mobility by doing stretching exercises. As you can see, he uses Instagram to find out more about his followers’ preferences.
As you can see, people answer Joe’s original question (“Is it the best T-spine mobility exercises?”) with a variety of follow-up questions or ideas. They also answered the second question (“What’s the best ?”),?”) which will allow Joe to create new videos and stretches that meet his followers’ needs.
It’s now time to monitor mentions. You should be looking for mentions of your brand and competitors.
- Look at the mention you have found and learn from it.
- If you are able to thank the poster for a positive mention, do so.
- If you’re not happy with the outcome, reach out to your supervisor and ask for help.
See Ria Dixit’s response to her followers’ complaints regarding how she edits her videos.
- Although polite, she is firm and does not promise to change her editing style in the future.
- She offers advice to solve the problem of her follower (e.g. pausing all Instagram videos and not just hers).
- She uses emojis to help ease tension.
You should monitor mentions but also keep an eye on sentiments to see how people feel about your products and industry.
Look for keywords that convey positive or negative sentiments. You can use the example of ” love,” hate,” and ” great” as examples.
The post you see above shows all possible ways to express positive emotions, from emojis and words. It is also possible to see how the brand responds to followers who comment. This strengthens their relationship.
Tip: If you see a negative mention, get in touch to see if you can improve it.
You can also monitor mentions and join conversations to gain more insight.
Talking to people is about connecting with them and being at their level. This makes customers feel valued, heard, and included.
Consider their suggestions. You can use their suggestions if you make a promise to do so.
This is a great example showing a board-certified physician reacting to an Instagram video that had been posted about a doctor who dismissed chest pain caused by period.
This doctor discovered Instagram listening and decided to discuss some of the rarest symptoms of endometriosis. This is another chance for him to build credibility, participate in the conversation and offer advice.
Without Instagram listening, he would not have missed this chance.
Many people on Instagram share amazing insights through comments and DMs. It can be difficult to keep up with all the messages. Is there any way to monitor all the feedback?
It is actually true!
SocialPilot’s Instagram Inbox allows you to access all DMs and comments on posts, reels and comment threads from one place.
These messages can be replied to in real-time, filtered and prioritized conversations, marked threads as “Done”, and monitored for all audience responses. This can be done on multiple Instagram business accounts.
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Instagram listening can be a powerful tool to collect data and insights about your brand and products.
It will help you to understand what people think about you and identify opportunities.
It’s time for you to learn how to use Instagram listening.
The Complete Guide to Instagram Listening was first published on SocialPilot.