As a business owner or manager, you realize the importance of engaging potential customers on social media as a tool to get your brand out there and increase sales. Your Instagram account is an integral part of this social mix. This platform is especially popular with the younger crowd, so it’s great for getting new lifelong customers while they’re still young and impressionable. It also doesn’t hurt that Instagram just hit one billion monthly active users this past June, so you’re reaching a potentially huge audience. That said, perhaps your Instagram account hasn’t caught on quite like you’d hoped it would. You may want to try some or all of the eight steps below to promote your Instagram account and fully leverage this powerful tool and platform for growing your business.
- Keep Business and Personal Accounts Separate – Instagram is a great place for potential customers to see and interact with your brand personality. Make sure you don’t clutter it up with a bunch of personal photos from your latest family vacation. Keep your posts focused on your businesses’ target audience and what they want to see. You do want to promote your products, but do it in a way that shows those following your Instagram account how they can use your products in their lives and how cool they are. With a little creativity, you can keep your businesses’ Instagram account professional while also making sure it’s anything but boring.
- Simplicity Is Powerful in a Username – Don’t make it hard for people to find you. This seems like common sense. This advice translates to your Instagram account by you picking a username that’s simple, easy to spell, and reflects your brand. It also shouldn’t have any weird characters like underscores, asterisks or anything else someone won’t naturally think to type in when searching for your company or brand name. Also, try using the same username on all your social media platforms, so anyone already following you on Twitter or Facebook will already have a good idea of what to type in to find you on Instagram.
- Optimize Your Instagram Bio With a Targeted Link – Your bio is the only place you can insert a link that takes people off your Instagram account to a website of your choosing. For this reason, you need to use a link that maximizes the opportunity for converting that person who clicks on your link into a lead or customer for your business. Some companies will simply use the homepage of their website for a link, but you might want to take it a step further and craft a landing page just for those coming from Instagram.
- Learn the Characteristics of Successful Instagram Photos – Instagram is the ultimate visual platform. While it has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, some pictures might be worth even more. According to Curalate.com, there are certain qualities that will make your photos more effective at engaging viewers and garnering likes. Brighter images fair better than darker ones, and when it comes to colors, blue dominates red. Of course you also need to be smart and creative in terms of the subject matter of your photos for attracting attention, but a little knowledge about certain image characteristics can magnify the positive effects of an already good photo.
- Use Instagram Hashtags – Hashtags are extremely useful whether you’re an Instagram user trying to find posts and accounts related to a particular topic or you want to attract attention to your posts. Companies adept at promoting on Instagram already know the power of Hashtags. This is why 7 out of 10 hashtags currently used on this platform are branded. To build your own unique brand identity on Instagram you should be thinking up your own brand hashtags. Using a combination of these and standard hashtags can make a potent combination to get your Instagram posts found by far more people.
7 out of 10 hashtags.
- Utilize Geotags for Local Engagement – If your business depends on local customers for your livelihood, such as a coffee shop, brick-and-mortar retail store or just about any service business, then geotags are critical to your Instagram marketing. If you have a restaurant in a particular city, people searching under a geotag for that city won’t help you if you don’t have posts with that tag on them. Beyond a location on a map, this tag puts your actual physical address there for Instagram users to see, so use geotags for your local towns or cities every time you post.
- Get Your Followers on Other Platforms Over to Your Instagram Account – Just as you can use a particular social media platform to directly build awareness of your business, you can also use it to build awareness of your other social media accounts. Make sure you have your Instagram account link in your Twitter bio and in the appropriate spot for such links on all your other social media accounts. Beyond just putting your Instagram account in your Facebook or Twitter Bios, you can send Tweets and create Facebook posts that encourage people to follow you on Instagram.
- Try Paid Instagram Ads for a New Product Launch or Hot Marketing Idea – While the methods above are good for increasing awareness of your brand on Instagram, this platform can feel a little like the saying about finding a needle in a haystack. Even worse, it can feel like being another piece of hay in a haystack trying to stick out from the rest. It’s estimated that 70 percent of Instagram posts never get seen. This isn’t surprising when one realizes that over 95 million photos a day are shared on this platform. If you just came out with an exciting product and you’re fairly new to Instagram and don’t have too many followers yet, it might be worth it to pay to put an attention-grabbing video ad in front of a targeted audience for instant exposure.
70 percent of Instagram posts
The eight tips above are just a few of the things our team at Planet 8 Digital has learned over the years about promoting your business on Instagram. We are a full-service digital marketing agency that can help you with web design, SEO, paid search and social media marketing. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other popular social media platform, we know the ins and outs of how to grow your brand name recognition quickly and effectively. Our social media experts can handle strategy and planning for your social media campaigns and continue to optimize them so they are working for you over the long term.