While it may not immediately stand out as a top candidate for Instagram, Bloomberg has actually grown its Insta following by some 391% over the past year.
How have they done it?
In a new post on the Facebook Business Blog, Bloomberg's Senior Social Editor Kevin Young shared some of their keys to success - here are Bloomberg's five keys to better Instagram performance.
1. Summarizing Key Shifts in Graphics
Young notes that a large element of their success has been in creating visuals which quickly capture key business shifts.
"We’ve harnessed the power of Bloomberg’s analytics skills to bring business news to life through clear, concise data visualizations and maps, as well as using bar charts and color to illustrate dramatic market developments."
As you can see here, the visuals are basic and to the point - but they capture the essence of each story.
And while not everyone will have access to graphic designers and tools to create visuals of this caliber, it is possible to create simple, effective visualizations of industry trends and shifts as they relate to your market. Brand them effectively, and you can tap into the same process, building your expertize and showcasing your business purpose.
2. Inspirational Quotes from Business Leaders
Young also notes that they've seen success in posting inspirational quotes from business leaders.
Quotes are a commonly used Instagram tactic, but often, profiles will use random quotes and sayings, accompanied by pretty images, which have little to do with the actual brand. Note here that Bloomberg is using very brand-aligned quotes and images, which not only get attention, but also help to reinforce its broader business purpose.
3. Tracking the Data
Bloomberg's social team also makes a key point of tracking the performance of its posts and subjects in order to double-down on what sees best response on the platform.
"We closely monitor the analytics to learn what our Instagram audience likes and wants. We know they’ve been gripped by the dramatic rise and fall of Bitcoin, for instance, with huge engagement on this topic. They’re also fascinated by the stories behind the world’s most successful people and the advice they have to offer, and we’ve seen that individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Jack Ma are hugely admired by our followers."
The key point of note here is that Bloomberg is tracking performance relative to the platform, so they're not posting the same content they would on Twitter or Facebook necessarily.
In order to maximize performance, you need to tune into what your audience wants on each specific network, along with the content types that perform best.
4. Keep it Simple
Further underlining the previous point, given the way in which people use Instagram - scrolling quickly through their feeds and watching short video clips - Bloomberg also makes a point of keeping their posts simple and to the point.
"Once we’ve identified trends or topics in which our audience is interested, we’re also careful to explain the news in everyday language that avoids unnecessary jargon. We consider @bloombergbusiness to be the home of business news on Instagram, but you don’t have to have an MBA or an investment portfolio to understand what we’re describing."
5. Using Stories as a Complimentary Channel
The final key element in Bloomberg's Instagram success is Stories, which Bloomberg uses as a compliment to its feed updates.
"Driving referrals to Bloomberg.com is our primary goal for Instagram Stories. We’ve developed the "5 big stories" sequence on Saturdays and Sundays, which takes 10 of our most popular articles of the week and presents them for an Instagram audience. We’re regularly generating click-through rates of 25% for these Stories."
Bloomberg approaches the Stories format with a clearly defined strategy, which not only aligns with their end goal (to drive traffic), but also with how people are using Stories - i.e. as a quick, simple way to get information.
Rather than go with behind the scenes looks or off the cuff clips, Bloomberg utilizes its Stories feed to reinforce its broader mission - and again, as you can see here, they keep it simple, with an eye-catching image and a basic headline prompt for each frame.
Bloomberg also utilizes quizzes and polls to encourage Stories engagement during the week, while it'll also post Stories to promote its best articles.
There are some key Instagram lessons in here. Yes, Bloomberg is producing a lot of high-quality content, and has a whole team of people at its disposal to better hone its Instagram strategy. But the key notes are fairly easy to follow - understand your audience, align your content with their interests and keep it simple and on-brand.
The lessons here align with how people use each platform and option - start with that, and you'll be on track to improving your strategy.