You’re missing out on a lot of potential business if you’re not using Instagram as part of your online marketing plan. With over 130 million active users, Instagram can be used to create short photos and videos to help you increase your brand’s exposure.
Using Instagram is pretty straight-forward. All you need is a brand profile which takes a minute or two to create when you sign up for a free account. It’s recommended to keep the same name (username) as you have on your other social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus etc).
Once the account registration process is complete, you can quickly add a profile photo and a bit of information in the about section before getting to work on Instagram.
However, simply creating an Instagram profile for your business is just one step towards building a successful online marketing campaign. The important part is to follow the below mentioned 10 essential tips that will help you make sense of your Instagram strategy for your business.
1. Embedding Instagram Video In Your Website/Blog
Recenlty, Instagram offered its users the ability to embed their Instagram videos on to their personal blogs and websites. Now whenever you need to embed a video, simply click the Share button (on the right side of the interface) to see the embed code for the video you want to share.
The embed code can be pasted in to the HTML editor of your blog or website. Alternatively, you can use Embed.ly to easily get an embed code after submitting the URL of the Instagram video.
2. Build A Loyal Following
It’s important to have a loyal fanbase following your Instagram account. To start off, make sure your Instagram profile is connected with your Facebook account. This will help you get the word out to people on your Facebook, which hopefully will lead them to follow you on Instagram as well.
You also need to gradually build up your Instagram following by engaging with people related to your target audience. Try following a set number of people on a daily basis. With time, people will start following you back and your fan-base will increase.
You can also make use of hashtags to help you with trying to increase your exposure. There are many people out there who are actively searching for content using hashtags relevant to their interests. By creatively using hashtags in your posts (both images and videos), you can exponentially increase the chances of people finding out about you.
3. Keep Track Of Followers & Follow Them Back
Once you start building up your following, make sure you follow back everyone. Many businesses make the mistake of ignoring their followers and tend to have a strict no following policy. Such measures are not helpful, especially when social media is all about being ‘social’.
It is important to have a close and open relationship with your audience on social media, and for that reason, you must make an active effort to follow back each and every one of your followers. Such an action gives out a very healthy message to your followers and shows them of your seriousness in creating a long term relationship.
4. Plan Out Your Posting Schedule
Having a plan of your posts including it’s content and time period can really help make things easier in promoting your business on Instagram. Contrary to what many will have you believe, posting on a daily basis is not necessary. What’s necessary is a well planned schedule for your posts on Instagram. Decide which days should be reserved for photos, and which one’s for videos.
The timings of your posts can greatly affect how your fans respond to your social media strategies. Posting too often can easily annoy your followers leading them to leave.
5. Encourage Fans To Try Out Instagram Apps
There are numerous apps available for Instagram that will help you to improve your brand image and ultimately your business. You can publicly encourage your followers to use these apps for a better user experience. Applications like Gramgrab, Copygram, Instagrille and Instawar to name a few, will help users to print pictures, get subscribed to Instagram updates via email, search for certain keywords or download all Instagram content (photos and videos) into their local computer etc.
These apps when used by yourself and your followers can greatly bridge the gap between businesses and the target audience and help make the Instagram experience a much more fun-filled activity rather than just another social media portal where businesses try their utmost to create nothing but noise.
6. Keep It Fun
Probably the most important point of all the above suggestions; it’s imperative that you keep your content engaging and fun to read for your followers. Your posts must tell a story and have something insightful for your followers rather than the usual corporate/business pitches that everybody is so tired of hearing on a daily basis.
You can try out different types of content in your posts and then track each posts response over time. This will give you a better understanding of your followers and what interests them the most.
The above mentioned tips are just a few to get you started with effectively communicating with your followers to build your business on Instagram. They are not set rules carved in stone, but can be changed and modified to the situation and the type of target audience.
Do you have an Instagram profile for your business? If so, is it giving you the kind of results you were expecting from it? Do you see the above mentioned tips giving you an advantage in your business strategy on Instagram? We would love to hear what you have to say!