Social Media: 10 Tips on Using Instagram to Market Your Business
Though you may think 10 tips on using Instagram to market your business are all common knowledge, you would be surprised to learn how many business owners are not using the simple strategies—or Instagram, for that matter. Mark Zuckerberg’s billion-dollar acquisition of Instagram was an ingenious way to integrate the already-socially established, independently operated photo-sharing platform with Facebook. It’s probably a smart move for your business to use it as a means to develop and thrive. It’s creative, intuitive, and accessible, and using it to market your business can be a piece of cake if you follow these easy strategies.
1. Use the app’s features and abilities to their full potential. If you want to share good content that gets views and likes, take time to go the extra inch. Choose the perfect filter for your photo. Use relevant hashtags—which are words prefixed with a “#” symbol that are tagged and grouped together for users to view—in your captions. Users may then search a hashtag term such as “#sale” and see the photos that have been tagged. You can also share your Instagram photo with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Maximizing the quality and outreach of your content is key.
2. Use editing apps to create the best photo possible. Using popular camera apps like Snapseed, Pictwo, Lenslight, and Camera+ is a minimal investment that will give you the best photos possible. Your audience will notice and appreciate the final work. You know the saying, “There’s an app for that”? Well, there is, and you should download it.
3. Network by following important users in your demographic and field of work. Networking on Instagram is similar to what you may be accustomed to on Facebook or Twitter. It takes more than following companies, publications, and consumers that would be valuable to your business. Liking their content or commenting on it shows your interest in their feed and make you a visible participant in your shared network. If all of the accounts return the favor, you’re off to a great start. You will find a natural balance of give and take.
4. Reveal new products or developments. Revealing new merchandise, media, and collaborations is a tried and true strategy when using Instagram to promote a business. People love to feel like they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to the next big thing. Since Instagram is visual, instantaneous, and far-reaching, it’s perfect for releasing new products. Giving users the inside edge will attract new followers and keep old ones coming back for more.
5. Promote sales and contests exclusive to your Instagram followers. Use the platform to promote product markdowns, share coupon codes, and run prized contests. Here’s an example: You’re giving away new summer product, you instruct followers to compete by submitting photos of their summer vacations, and you then select your favorites as winners. They will enter the contest by sharing their photos and hashtagging a unique phrase specified by you. This incentivizes your followers immediately, and keeps them coming back to check for more promotions. There are a number of different contests that you may wish to run via Instagram—be creative!
6. Build anticipation. Just like any good movie, marketing with Instagram is successful when consumers are anticipating something significant. Use anticipation with a number of other strategies such as contests, featuring customers, revealing new products, etc. For example, if you’re planning to conduct a contest, you may want to post a photo every day counting down to the launch date of said contest. Note that it’s important not to over-use this strategy, as it can quickly become annoying to your followers.
7. Regularly feature behind-the-scenes photos of your business to create intimacy with your followers. Doing so will send the message that you are proud of your product and how it is created. It will make followers feel closer to your company by creating a feeling of exclusivity—without the red velvet VIP rope.
8. Construct creative collaborations to stay fresh and multifaceted. No one likes a person who only talks about himself or herself, so stay weary of that social quo on Instagram. Reach out to charities, businesses like yours, creative people in your network, etc. and come up with unique strategies, events, contests, and more. The possibilities may be endless when you have another successful Instagram marketer to work with, and you will reap the benefit of being exposed to their entire network.
9. Keep up with the company by visiting the Instagram blog, following them on Facebook and Twitter. It’s the fastest way to find about new features that may help you better market your business.
10. If you can’t personally market your business with Instagram, hire someone who can! You may not have the time or energy to successfully use Instagram to market your business. It requires time and creativity, so if you’re short on either of those two things, consider hiring someone who isn’t. Make sure to hire an individual who has mastered social media marketing and fully believes in your brand.
Practice will make you better at marketing with Instagram. There’s no doubt about that. Employ some or all of these strategies and evaluate what works for your business and what doesn’t. It’s important to try and err and to strategize and re-strategize, because even if you think you’ve got it all figured out you could always use some more followers.