More than 500 million Instagram users share photos, comments, videos, and stories with friends, family, and fans around the world using this social media site on a daily basis. It currently ranks as the 2nd most popular networking site, only behind Facebook. Many eager business owners who are ready to showcase their products and services to the crowd are included in these Instagram users. Over two million businesses are registered with the site. Many of the site’s users indeed use the social media site to find new products, services, and entertainment, with an average 80% of Instagram users following two or more businesses. But, the Instagram audience is a tough crowd and to gain the loyal fans and following that your business needs to succeed, it is imperative that you not only have the desire to succeed, but also the insider secrets. Many other businesses are out there competing for the same spot in the hearts of as many Instagram users as possible. How will you set yourself apart from the rest and gain their attention?
Create an Awesome Profile
Boring, lifeless profiles fail to attract the necessary attention to gain followers. Far too many businesses create a profile that really doesn’t stand out or make a person want to interact with them. Avoid creating such a profile and choose every aspect carefully, from the profile pic used to the biography that you write. The bio should include details about your business such as your objective or what you have to offer the world and what sets you apart from the other brands. When you create a great profile, it is easy to pique curiosity and gain more followers fairly quickly. Be sure that a link to your website (or other desired content) is also included so those who visit your page can gain more information about your brand with just one click.
Know Your Audience
Obviously, you know what you offer to customers. But, do you know what they want from you? It is essential that you know your customers on a personalized level if you want to stand out from the other businesses out there. So many businesses are willing to do what it takes to show customers they’re a winning brand; make sure you’re one of those brands. When you know your audience, it is much easier to post relevant content that will cause them to share with others, engage and like/comment on the posts, and otherwise continue to perceive your brand in a positive light. There are many ways to get to know your audience a little bit better. Most importantly, pay attention to those comments they’re leaving and ask for their thoughts and opinions via posts or email surveys!
Hashtags categorize your post and make it easier for people who may not follow your account to find the post. In other words, hashtags bring heightened visibility to your brand. Every post that you make should include relevant hashtags that describe the photo so the post doesn’t include a limited audience. Check out trending hashtags and use them when possible, but remember to use hashtags that are relevant to the photo! Many business owners even create their own branded hashtags. Instagram began the hashtag craze several years ago and it is just as useful today as it was in the beginning. TrackMaven reports posts that use 11 or more hashtags to receive better engagement than others. It is safe to say that using hashtags has considerable weight on the success of your posts. Use them to your advantage!
Interact With Your Audience
The Internet Advertising Bureau reports that 90% of Instagram uses would recommend a company after engaging with them. It is essential to engage with your audience and help bring them closer to your brand. When a customer builds a personal connection to a brand, it is easy to gain a loyal customer who always has great things to say about you to others, a customer who tells their friends what you offer, and a customer who always turns to your brand for a particular product or service before the rest. Engagement increases post potential and helps build brand credibility while making certain everyone has fun together when socializing on Instagram. Reply to those comments and messages and make sure to allow your personality to shine whenever you post or comment on Instagram.
Engage With the Instagram Community
It is essential to engage with the Instagram community in as many ways as possible. The more that you engage with others, the more people who will notice your name. Plus, it certainly creates a more exciting environment when you’re using social media and having fun is so important. Follow the accounts of businesses who offer the same type of products and services as your own, as well as related products and services. Follow influencers, too. It is up to you to decide the number of accounts you’d like to follow, but the more, the merrier! Like their posts and comments, reply with your own comments, share posts, and the results can help you build a loyal following! More people will take notice of your name and hopefully, will be intrigued enough to check out your page to discover what your company is all about.
It is important to set goals for your brand’s social media presence. Achievements keep you pushing your brand and striving to do bigger, better things as more fans come your way. Determine how you want to build your community, the products and services you want to promote, and how to connect with customers on a personalized level. Each brand should tailor their goals to their exact business needs and their personal desires. Write down each step necessary to reach your goals and celebrate once a milestone is achieved. It feels great to reach a goal and is a deed worthy of a celebration! Decide how you’ll nurture your growing community to keep them coming back for more. Remember, it is important to build relationships with customers that allows them to feel connected to your company. When there are goals in place for social media actions it’s much easier to achieve great things.
Instagram is a photo-based social site, unlike many of the other social media sites that allow you to share links and other types of content. As result, creating a visualizing, engaging experience for users is important. Use Good Creative (a technique used in marketing) to create captivating posts that intrigue the audience and motivate them to tune in for what’s next in store. Choose the best photos in the roll, understanding that every picture shouldn’t make it to a live post. Choose photos that other companies in your genre aren’t posting and of course, tailor other content using the same technique. When You want to stand out from the crowd, you must take what the best companies have done, give it your own unique flavour and spin, and use it to your advantage. Quality content is an essential step in Instagram and social media success.
Create a Business Account
Once you’ve created your Instagram account, click on ‘Switch’ and create a business account to access more tools that enable you to better reach out to your audience and learn what they want. A business account gives your brand more credibility and an edge that personal accounts lack. Once you make the ‘Switch,’ it is easy to add pertinent business information to your accounts, such as hours of operation, telephone number, and address. Customers are more likely to patronize your business when the information they want is so readily available for them. Additionally, many analytical tools allow businesses to better understand customer interaction to learn what works and what doesn’t. Metrics are also included for easier analyzation. Don’t forget to make the switch once you’ve opened your Instagram account.
Pay Attention to Your Previous Posts
Analyze your prior posts and learn how to entertain your audience better in the future. When you pay attention to previous posts, you learn what works and what does not work for your brand as you get to know your customers a little bit better. Although something posted by a company might’ve worked well for them, you’re promoting to an entirely new audience and the group of people and must learn what these people like and what they want. It is easy to add you own personalized touches to your posts to create your unique personality for fans to enjoy. Look at the posts which receive the most likes, the most comments, and the most shares and strive to create future posts that are similar in nature or structure. After all, this is what they want! Analytical tools available for Instagram businesses can help you better understand your posts.
Although there is no set schedule for posts, consistency is the key to success when using Instagram. Out of sight, out of mind, after all, so staying fresh in the minds of consumers comes much easier when you regularly post photographs and content. Strive to post a minimum of once or twice per week, although if you’d like to post more frequently, that is perfectly acceptable as well. Create each post with a goal in mind, and ensure that it has all of the qualities needed to stand out in the eyes of those who will see the photograph or the content. Posts should make fans want to comment and start a discussion, to share it with other people.
Not only is consistency important when posting on Instagram, share your content on other social media sites. Moz reports a 23% increased engagement rate amongst posts when content is shared on Facebook. More followers, anyone?
Instagram Promotion is a tool for businesses found within the IG app. It is completely customizable or the skilled experts at Instagram can help you choose your audience, a call to action, and the content you want to share with your audience. It is an easy-to-use feature that helps drive customers into the doors of your business or to your website to make a purchase or further learn more about your products and services. It only takes minutes to use the IG Promotion feature to connect with more customers and create more loyal fans. Set up the Promotion tool any time you want an extra boost for business.
Incorporate news events, trends, and other time-sensitive content into your Instagram posts and ensure that your photographs and other content all relate to the current time of the year. For example, a Christmas post in June is unlikely to yield results since most people busy enjoying their summer, not planning the ho-ho-holiday season. Timely content is an excellent way to create more interest in your page. Curating your photographs and posts to mesh with trending topics is an excellent way to draw more attention to your account and, as result, gain more followers.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Instagram has been around since 2002, but it’s been only in recent years that the site’s popularity has begun to soar. Now, it is a Facebook-owned social media site that has more than one billion users located around the world. It’s popular with the under 30 crowds, although there is a broad mixture of people of all ages with their own accounts. If you use Instagram for your business, use the 12 tips above with the tools that Instagram offers to businesses and it is easy to create the brand buzz needed to build a name for your company. No matter how long you’ve been in business, the type of products or services that you offer, or where you hope for your business to be in one- year or 10 years from now, success is easy to achieve using this information.