5 Instagram Marketing Lessons From DJ Khaled

DJ Khaled is hailed as the King of Snapchat, but he has quite an amazing following on Instagram, too. Want to be like him? Take a look at these lessons his account can teach you about Instagram marketing.

1. Dominate One Platform
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat… there are so many social media platforms out there it can be difficult to give proper attention to all of them. While it’s tempting to try to be everywhere, and you can create an effective social media strategy that encompasses multiple social networks, you can do far more for your business if you choose one platform and own it.

Instagram is an easier platform to dominate, especially for brands that lend themselves to visual content, because there’s a highly active and engaged audience that tends to be more affluent, and there’s less competition compared to Facebook and Twitter.

While Khaled dominated Snapchat, he also does fairly well on Instagram – but you don’t see that he has much of a presence elsewhere.

2. Be Authentic
According to an interview with CNBC, Khaled says, “Being authentic always wins. When people see somebody that is just real, they love it. It ain’t no act. It ain’t no fake.”

Senior VP of Coca-Cola Emmanuel Seuge called Khaled “The King of Snapchat” because he gets 3 to 4 million views on each of his snaps. Though Snapchat is how Khaled rose to social media fame, he has a large following on Twitter to complement his Instagram following, too. Khaled says he likes all the platforms and uses tools to post the same content across all of them.

Khaled, at the time of the CNBC interview in June 2017 had 6.2 million Instagram followers. At the time of this writing in December 2018, his profile currently shows 12.9 million followers.

On his accounts, he shares photos of himself and his family, as well as his events. On Instagram, photos get anywhere from 17,000 likes to more than 40,000 likes, with over 100 comments. People like to see what his life is like when he’s not doing a concert or prepping for an event. They get to see the real him and they feel a stronger connection to him because he’s more relatable.

You can do the same for your business or brand. Even if you have more than one person behind the account handling social, as long as you stick to things that demonstrate your brand’s story and core values, you will be able to come across as authentic. When people see authenticity online, they build that connection you – and that connection is what fosters the customer relationship that eventually becomes brand loyalty.

For a multi-person social media team, create a style guide of sorts that everyone can refer to. This should include hashtags that you want them to use – and allow everyone to use their initials or some other identifier so people know they’re speaking to a customer service rep or one of many reps. You see this from brands like T-Mobile in responses to comments. This also helps keep your team on the same page so multiple staff members aren’t replying to the same comment or attempting to resolve the same issue.

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3. Tell a Good Story
Good storytelling is a major pillar of successful content marketing for businesses. Though some people don’t mind constantly being sold to, there are a lot of people who will start to ignore brands that are doing nothing more than pitching them to buy stuff all the time. Use a mix of video, photos, and even live video to tell a story with every post – and make it part of your brand’s story every time. The variety of content will also be good so your audience doesn’t get bored.

4. Spread Positivity
Proper social media etiquette means sharing things that are positive. Don’t share things that are gory or violent or bullying. You want to share things that are happy, and for the best results, Khaled says you should focus on posting inspiration because inspiration has been a “major key” to his success.

5. Know Your Brand
Instagram and other social media platforms will only help you build stronger brand awareness and customer relationships if you’re using it to promote things that are your brand, or at the very least, in line with your brand. No business should be using the platforms to share anything and everything. Even if you find something you personally find funny or inspiring, if it doesn’t somehow relate to your business or goals, save it for your personal account.

If you’re a bath and body brand, then it doesn’t make sense to share things about lawnmowers, cars, and other stuff – even if you have a line of products targeted toward men. You’ll often see that Lush USA, a bath and product division from the global company Lush Cosmetics, posts things that aren’t bath and body related, but they are, however, related to the charitable causes or groups the company supports. The brand is well known for their philanthropic efforts, so these “off-topic” posts, such as this one about trans people rights, still make sense for the brand.

While Khaled’s celebrity status certainly gives him a boost in terms of the exposure he needs to grow followers – it’s only because of his consistent and correct use of Instagram that he was able to double his following in 18 months. When people find accounts (and businesses) they love, they will share the word with friends and family members, which will help you expand the rate at which you get new followers. By catering to your audience and giving them what they want, you can never go wrong.

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