Hawke Media's Instagram account just reached 10k followers! We think that's cause for celebration and hope you do, too. First, we'd like to thank The Academy, our friends & family, our clients, our team, the dogs of Hawke, without you we probably wouldn't exist (especially the dogs)…*Queue Music*
We want to thank you all by showing you how we got here and hopefully offering a lesson in how to do it yourself:
We're unapologetically us. As a brand, it's easy to get bogged down in who your customers or target audience want to see or even more so what you think they want to see. It's easy to see through that.
If you're weird, be weird and own it. If you're high-energy and charismatic, be that. Just find a way to connect with the people your product or service was meant for on a deeper level than selling.
Here at Hawke, our people and our values help us show who we are. We highlight the work we do for our clients, the times we succeed, the times we've learned, and of course, our pups.
We're proud of who we are because we've cultivated a clear vision of who we want to be.
Don't flip-flop. Uncertainty and mixed messaging can damage your brand's reputation and authority in your space.
While best practices may change, products may change, and people definitely change, your brand should keep consistent messaging, values, and a reliable voice. You're allowed to evolve, but make sure it's coordinated properly.
Our friends at SnackNation went through an entire rebrand recently, but they managed to remain true to who they are throughout the process. It went over seamlessly as with the clear vision from leadership and a good agency.
They were able to have a successful rollout using a 3-step process: buy-in, strategy, and creative.
Being consistent also means sticking to a posting schedule. Test and find the times of day your target audience is most active to determine when the most effective times are for you to post.
Get Your People Involved
When your people are included they're more inclined to share with their networks because they have a vested interest, they put their time into creating it with you.
Imagine if half the people in your network of 500 people shared a post of yours. Imagine each of those people has 500 followers and a quarter of them share your post, that's 31,750 shares!
While that's a highly hypothetical thought experiment, it shows the impact even a small network could have on the visibility and growth of a brand.
Hashtagging isn't rocket science. Instagram tells you the amount of activity under every potential hashtag. Choose a few a post consistently under those to gain more visibility and give your content a greater chance of being sticky.
Try to steer clear of branded hashtags unless you're running a campaign or event that requires posts to be visible and organized independently of the usual noise of a hashtag.
Do your best to get attached to trends and use relevant hashtags to share content that you make to engage with those topics.
Actually interact with your audience. This can be time-consuming, but the return is undeniable. Building a rapport with your followers is a great way to get anecdotal research and fresh ideas for what you should do next.
You have to be prompt and attentive. Make sure you actually answer people and don't use a canned response. This brings us back to the beginning where being authentic comes into play. People value transparency and thoughtfulness.
Thanks for riding along with us on the journey to 10k! We hope you'll stick around for the next big one. 50k, here we come!
This article originally appeared in the HawkeMedia blog and has been published here with permission.