Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

In celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Instagram is creeping up on the age of its biggest audience, which ranges from 18 to 24 according to data gathered by social media platform company Sprout Social. Unlike some of its competitors, Instagram has held steadily in the size of its following since 2013. As of October 2020, Instagram had about one billion users. The U.S. alone has the highest concentration, with 116 million users split almost evenly among men and women.

When Instagram analyzed its user data in October 2019, it discovered that 90 percent of its users followed at least one brand on its network. It comes as no surprise then that brands also want in. Add in the fact that Instagram is also the chosen platform for many celebrities with hundreds of millions of followers, resulting in users spending an average of 53 minutes daily on it, second only to 58 minutes on Facebook.

The consistency of user traffic, combined with the average amount of time spent there and the tremendous number of users who follow brands, makes advertising on Instagram a no-brainer. However, running an ad on Instagram is no guarantee of success. What else can brands that advertise on Instagram add to their strategy?

Facebook published the results of a study early last year that revealed some valuable information. It acknowledged what industry observers already knew: Instagram was hot. But it also conceded that building an audience is difficult with people being even more selective on Instagram.

The good news was that the study also showed that once Instagram recruited new followers, they were much more likely to become customers based on the brand’s posts. Two thirds (66 percent) also said they see Instagram as a way to connect with brands.

Here’s where encouraging customer feedback and collecting, analyzing and acting on that data can be invaluable. Instagram users want to be engaged and feel involved with the brand. Use the data to improve content strategy and personalize communications.

Set up a regular schedule for Instagram stories and posts. Reach agreement on how success will be measured and track results regularly. Choose from the many interactive stickers to invite more audience feedback as an integral part of the strategy. Question stickers allow brands to gather suggestions or comments about a suggested fragrance, flavor, etc. The option is to respond privately in direct messages or publicly in the Q+A content.

Poll stickers can help gather feedback about a potential new product, name. etc. It also empowers the audience by giving them a voice. Questions with multiple-choice responses work a lot better than yes or no ones.

Quiz stickers are like mini-surveys. Use a maximum of four multiple-choice answers to generate the best results. The quiz is valuable for gauging audience preferences on a host of different things.

In addition to offering yet another way to get feedback, DM Me Stickers create a more personal connection. Only use this for call to action or invite a direct message to the brand, which will also have to be answered.

Invite customer feedback in other ways like asking a question in the caption or encouraging and monitoring user-generated content. A branded hashtag will also gather insights, and encouraging its use enhances its discovery.

If videos are produced, engage consumers, and invite comments and feedback. Similarly, if the brand partners with influencers, also invite comments and feedback. In all cases, gather and analyze the responses and consider them in adjustments to the brand’s content strategy.


Ronn Torossian is CEO of leading PR agency 5WPR.