While becoming Instagram famous might not necessarily be on your priority list, the photo sharing app’s 100 million users is a pretty good reason for why you should at least be leveraging some of it’s power for your business’s marketing, especially if you’re a business that can appeal to your market through visual content.
You don’t have to be a massive brand or business, there are plenty of small businesses in our local area that are doing seriously amazing things with Instagram. All it takes is following a few basic tactics and some creativity.
Below are some of our tips on how to harness some of Instagram’s influential power and potentially gain new customers for your business.
1. Set up an Instagram account for your business
You might already be a devoted Instagrammer, however your business customers might not want to see photos of your every meal or how cute your cat looks. Although Instagram doesn’t have dedicated business accounts like some other social networks, all you need to do is set up an account with your business as the username (if you can get it), your business logo or relevant image as your profile image, and optimize your account with your business’s information, such as your website and short description of your business. Instagram also has an Instagram for Business blog.
2. Link your Instagram account to your other social media accounts
This will let your followers on your other accounts know that you’re on Instagram. Every time you post a photo it will also give you the option to automatically share your Instagram photo directly to your other social media accounts on your behalf. We love anything that saves a few minutes of time!
3. Feature your customers using your products
Check to see if anyone has #hashtagged your business or products, and if they have, say thank you by featuring them! It’s a sure fire way to increase engagement. Entrepreneurial and lifestyle magazine Renegade Collective @collectivehub feature creative Instagram pics that it’s readers have published, showing where they were reading the magazine. Many fashion and beauty brands feature their customers and bloggers wearing their clothes and makeup, restaurants and cafes regram their customers food photos. It says thank you to your customer and shows your other followers that your existing customers are excited about your product or service – enough to share it with their own friends on Instagram! Remember when you repost someone else’s photo to shout out to them with the ‘@’ symbol and their username.
4. Harness the #hashtag
Undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to grow your following. There’s no need to go #hashtag crazy, but adding a few hashtags relevant to your photo will definitely expand your reach. Think outside the box as well, if you select a hashtag that relates to your photo, try to add some other popular hashtags that relate around the first one.
A great resource to find additional tags is Iconosquare. You enter your word e.g. #fashion and it will bring up a list of related hashtags along with their popularity. Although you should try to stay relevant to you and what you’re posting, it can help to use hashtags that are popular as well.
Top 10 Instagram Hashtags right now… (source http://websta.me/)
1. #love 682,058,576 posts
2. #instagood 308,621,627 posts
3. #me 292,206,874 posts
4. #tbt 266,028,144 posts
5. #cute 253,447,778 posts
6. #follow 253,393,257 posts
7. #followme 235,251,276 posts
8. #photooftheday 234,048,462 posts
9. #happy 217,353,969 posts
10. #tagsforlikes 216,935,869 posts
Bonus Tip: Get organised and keep groups of your most regularly used hashtags stored in the notes on your phone so that you can copy and paste straight onto your Instagram post.
5. Encourage your followers to use a particular #hashtag with your businesses name or something unique relating to your business
Encourage your followers and customers via your Instagram account and other social media platforms to show off their pics of your product or service and to use a particular #hashtag so that you can find them easily.
6. Find Instagram users relevant to your business follow them and engage with them
You can search for users by using #hashtags related to the location of your business or your business type. For example if you are a business on the Sunshine Coast, search the hashtag #sunshinecoast. This will take you to images that have the hashtag #sunshinecoast and these users might either live or be visiting the Sunshine Coast.
Just like other social media platforms it’s a two-way street, and you need to follow and connect with other people so that you can grow your own virtual community.
7. Let your customers get a glimpse behind the scenes of your business
We all love to see the real side of life and not just the polished (and seemingly too perfect) outcome. Giving your customers a sneak peek behind the scenes of your business is a really nice way for your customers to connect with you on a deeper level and put a real face to your business. It’s not all about promoting your products, you want people to get to know you so that they trust you.
8. Check out who is following your competitors and follow them!
This is one of the awesome things about social media, it’s SO easy to find your competitors’ customers and followers. Just like Twitter, you can go to your competitors account and see who is following them.
Follow the basic steps of engagement by following, liking and commenting, and you’ll make them aware that you exist and might even spike an interest to follow you back.
9 Try to get a shout out from an influential Instagrammer
This one could cost you money if you don’t know anyone personally who has a massive following, however it’s a quick way to boost your following. Some large Instagram accounts now do sponsored posts so if you find someone influential in your niche, it might be worth contacting them to see how much it would cost for them to promote you.
10. Be Creative!
People don’t want to see unappealing images in their Instagram feed. Remember it’s all about quality, NOT quantity. If you’re not naturally the most creative person, it’s helpful and inspiring to follow other interesting Instagram accounts to get ideas.
Check out this video from travel supply manufacture Herschel Supply Co. and how they are using Instagram to market their business…