6 Tips for Using Instagram for Business
As of June 2016, Instagram had about 500 million active users on a monthly basis.
This means that in a period of nine months, the social media platform grew by 100 million in terms of active users as there were 400 million monthly active users as of September 2015.
With so many people using the platform regularly, it has become crucial for brands to optimize their online marketing efforts with the help of Instagram.
While there are a number of brands achieving success through Instagram, it’s not easy to market your brand using the platform.
Unless you do it right, it won’t make too much of a difference in your digital marketing campaign. So here are some useful and actionable ideas that can help you use Instagram for your business:
1. Make the Most of Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to leverage your Instagram marketing campaign. A branded hashtag can help you gain more visibility while encouraging more people to interact with your brand.
It’s also an excellent tactic for increasing the number of user-generated content if you’re inviting followers to create their own content using the tag.
Take it one step further and have a relevant influencer promote the hashtag. Chobani makes use of the #creationaday tag to leverage their Instagram marketing.
They often repost images from fans using the hashtag. They even got influencer @foodbycherry to create a post for their Instagram account while promoting this hashtag.
2. Come Up With a Posting Schedule
The recent change in Instagram’s algorithm makes it crucial that you post on a regular basis. Users will no longer see the most recent posts first.
They’ll first get to see posts from the accounts they regularly interact with and posts they’re most likely to be interested in.
So you’ll need to create a posting schedule that lets you stay on top of your followers’ newsfeed.
This doesn’t mean you regularly post 10 images a day and flood your followers’ newsfeed. This could be seen as annoying for many as it might prevent them from seeing posts made by their friends.
So make it a point to post at least once a day and average at 2-3 posts per day if possible.
3. Follow the Latest Trends
In addition to creating a unique hashtag, you can further increase visibility and engagement by making the most of trending hashtags.
For example, using hashtags like #throwbackthursday and #selfiesunday can help you become part of a larger community and improve your chances of being discovered. You can also find hashtags that are trending in your niche and then make the most of them to improve visibility for your brand.
Having trouble deciding on a trending tag? You can find trending tags based on an upcoming event relevant to your niche.
For example, Orange County Yelp made use of the #NationalIceCreamSandwichDay tag to enrich their content and draw in more followers. The tag is relevant to the food industry and it’s trending because of a certain event, making it the perfect choice for them.
4. Make Use of High-Quality Images
The quality of images you post on your brand Instagram account can make a huge difference in how people view your brand.
When you’re using the platform to market your brand, grainy and low-quality images taken using a phone camera isn’t going to cut it.
Amp up your “photo game” by posting high-quality images relevant to your brand so that people consider you worthy of their attention.
5. Build Relationships Through Interactions
As a business owner or marketer, you would already know by now that brand-customer relationships are invaluable for long-term growth.
When you have a strong relationship with your customers, you’re going to instill a sense of loyalty in them. Instagram offers you the perfect platform for strengthening your relationships with your customers.
Engage in regular interactions with your followers by replying to their comments, asking them for their opinions, featuring their posts, etc. Make them see how much you value them and they’re going to develop trust and loyalty for your brand.
Here’s another example from Orange County Yelp reposting images contributed by Yelp users, which is a great way to make them feel special.
6. Be Relatable And Inspirational
If you have a good idea the kind of audience you’re reaching out to, it would help to create posts that they can relate to or find inspiration in.
This is another way of building and strengthening your relationship with them. If you’re targeting moms, for example, you can post funny images they can relate to as a mother.
You can also post quotes that this group of audience will find inspirational.Harpoon Brewery often posts interesting images with relatable captions that their followers love.
They make use of clever product placements using humor, pets, and food.
The Bottom Line
You now have some useful tips that can help you leverage your Instagram marketing efforts.
Make the most of these tips to expand your reach and increase your engagement with your audience.
Got any questions or ideas for Instagram marketing? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.