Marketing through Instagram

With more than 500 million users, Instagram is a social network that provides a marketing platform to reach potential customers from all over the world.

In order to utilize Instagram for marketing, there is a need to increase your following on a steady and consistent basis. After all, the more people that come in contact with your brand and follow you on Instagram, the larger your audience is that you can potentially reach every time you post. Here are five easy to implement Instagram marketing tips that will help you grow your brand.

1. Take advantage of free Instagram tools

Instagram just started to roll out business profiles, which heavily mirrors Facebook’s business profiles, complete with a huge “contact’ call-to-action, allowing users to email, call or text the business. 

Along with the contact option, business profiles have access to analytics, giving users access to impression and engagement data. If you use your Instagram account for your business, you might want to consider converting your personal profile to a business profile in order to take advantage of these options. The more you understand about how your users are interacting with your content, the better you can make adjustments to improve your engagement.

2. Cross promote Instagram posts

An easy way to gain more Instagram followers that already love your brand is to post across all over your other social media profiles — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — and invite them to follow your Instagram profile. They are already following you on social media, so they are obviously interested in what you offer, so give them another way to socially connect to your brand. 

Each social media platform attracts certain users. Those who are active on Instagram may not see your content on Facebook or Twitter. Encourage followers to be connected to as many of your social media profiles as possible to increase your reach per post.

3. Don’t overwhelm your audience

You need to find a balance with your posting schedule. You want to post often enough to keep the brand relevant, but you also don’t want to oversaturate the feed of your users, which could lead to them unfollowing your account.

There isn’t a magic posting formula that will work for every brand, so you need to test and see how your audience responds. Figuring out the right posting schedule for your brand will take a lot of trial an error, posting at different times of day and checking the analytics on each post. Once you find your sweet spot, the work doesn’t stop — as your following increases you will have to adjust. Post frequency optimization is a never ending task.

4. Interact with followers to spark growth

If someone takes the time to leave a comment on one of your posts, take two seconds to reply and thank them. That simple engagement can create a loyal customer as well as a raving promoter of your brand. Comments are like a conversation. It would be kind of awkward to not respond to someone trying to initiate a conversation with you. 

Incorporate ways to get your followers to interact with your posts. A simple, “Tag three of your friends that would love this” can quickly put your brand in front of a larger audience as well as attract new followers. Since they are being introduced to your Instagram profile through a friend, there is less resistance, resulting in many of the tagged users following your profile.

5. Create an interactive hashtag

Creating an interactive hashtag is a great way to create instant engagement — just make sure you are using hashtags the correct way. A very simple strategy I have used for some of the larger brands I consult for is creating a hashtag that customers use to tag photos of them with the product that they just purchased. 

For example, creating a hashtag that your company can search for to re-post the pictures of your customers with your product will accomplish two things. It will cause more of your followers to use the hashtag and post images of them with your product because they will want to be featured on your page. Also, every time someone posts using your hashtag they are exposing all of their followers to your company and product(s), which means free advertising.