You may think that Instagram is all about selfies, pictures of pets and showing all of your friends what you’re having for dinner. Would you be wrong? No and yes. Instagram can also be a great tool in helping you promote your business or products. Here are 17 tips on how to utilize this platform to the maximum level.
1. Get your profile right
This will, obviously, be the first step. Use your brand’s logo as a profile picture and make sure to include a link to your website in the description. Your name should be the company’s name and, if you have a Facebook account, the same, of at least very similar to that one.
The next step is to assemble a following. Connect to your Facebook account and follow everyone you’re friends with, search for other people on Instagram and follow them, like and comment on other people’s photos. If someone follows you, make sure to follow back, it makes you seem friendly and interested in your customers.
Oh, and, by the way, you can also use apps, such as GetFollowers or Followers+, to gain more followers.
You don’t have to post 5 images a day. In fact, if you go overboard, people’s feed will be cluttered with your images and they might unfollow you. Yes, there is such a thing as overexposure. Find the right balance between always being present and being too obtrusive.
4. Rule of three
Never post more than 3 images in the same setting or of the same product in a row, it gets tired. This is actually Kim Kardashian’s rule, and you know she can sell her brand.
5. Looking pretty
Instagram is a visual app, so ‘how it looks’ is actually more important than ‘what it says’. Keep in mind that potential customers will be attracted to images that are beautiful more than to, let’s say, an image with your product’s description.
6. Utilize other apps
Instagram offers over 20 filters that you can use and options like blurring, saturation and so on. However, you can still use other apps to make your images even more appealing. My favorites are Instasize that allows you to post entire images without cropping them, InstaCollage that combines several photos into one collage, Pomelo that has a bunch of additional effects, but you can choose whatever suits you.
7. Balance between work and fun
Your Instagram shouldn’t be all work and no play. It is an app where regular people post about their daily lives, after all. Posting a picture of a cute puppy or something funny makes you seem more down-to-earth.
As I’ve said before, being all about business won’t actually be good for your business. If you can be inspirational, fun and make it seem like your brand is more of a way of life than a company selling things, customers are much more likely to take notice.
When posting a picture, make sure to geo-tag it. That way, people will know where to find you.
10. Similar brands
Hey, did you know that more than a half of world’s companies there days have Instagram accounts? Make sure to follow those that are similar to your brand. Not only can people find you amongst their followers, but you can also learn from them, see how they are advertising their brand.
11. Tag followers
Tag other users in your photos. You don’t have to do this in every single photo, it could be too much, but try doing it when you have an important announcement, a contest or a new product. That way, more people are guaranteed to see it.
People like to compete. More importantly, people like free things, especially when they don’t have to do much to get them. Organize contests for a chance to win something. For example, get people to include a hashtag of your company’s name on their photo or get them to repost a photo of yours. It gives you instant exposure to a wider audience.
Most of us are interested to see how something is made or what’s going on behind-the-scenes. Use this to your advantage. Post previews of upcoming products or a sneak peek of a new project you’re working on, it will get people interested in what’s coming next.
From time to time, share inspirational quotes and messages that reflect what your brand is all about. That way, your followers can see your values and beliefs, which makes you relatable.
15. Satisfied customers
Share images of your customers, whether in your store or while they are using your product. Seeing regular people smiling, happy with the service, will only attract more potential buyers.
16. Use trending hashtags
There is this, sort of, movement on Instagram, where users post specific pictures for each day of the week. It’s highly popular, so why not be a part of it? Whether it is #ManCrushMonday or #ThrowBackThursday, it shows that you are current and fun.
17. Analyze your posts
There are tools, like BlitzMetrics, that allows you to see which one of your pictures has gotten most attention. By studying the response to each one of your posts, you can get a better idea of what makes your customers tick, or what you need to work on.
So, why not give it a go? You can try the things that I’ve mentioned or get creative and come up with new ways to help your business through Instagram. You really have nothing to lose.