With more than 300 million monthly active users, Instagram has solidified itself as a major social media platform.
Of course, where the people go..the marketers follow.
Instagram is a unique platform that is based primarily on using images to convey a message. Links and sharing are limited, which makes it a challenging platform to convert on.
But it can be done.
The savvy business owners and entrepreneurs who have taken the time to learn how to properly use Instagram for marketing their business are crushing it!
Here are 10 ways you can use Instagram to build your business!
1. Optimize Your Instagram Profile
Instagram offers users a profile area similar to Twitter. You are able to add a profile picture and a few lines of text. Make sure you add a couple of keywords that describe your business in this area. Just like Twitter, you have limited space…so be as descriptive and brief as possible.
Instagram lets you add a profile photo. USE IT! Nobody wants to follow accounts that have blank profile pictures and incomplete profiles. Your Instagram account is a reflection of you and your business..use a picture that represents your brand.
One unique thing about Instagram that can prove challenging to marketers is the lack of clickable links. The ONLY clickable link you are allowed to have on Instagram is in your bio. Although this can seem at first like a negative, I will give you a detailed strategy later on in this post to get the most mileage out of that one link!
Instagram offers you the option of setting your account to public or private. With public settings, (which I highly recommend) anyone can view your posts, comment, like, and follow you. With private settings, your page appears blank and users must request to follow you.
2. What To Post On Instagram
Instagram is obviously a photo heavy platform..but that does not mean you have to be a great photographer to get some traction on Instagram!
Some of the most popular posts on Instagram are motivational quotes, meemes, and inspirational images. These can be easily created using free apps, and I will list a few of my favorites in the resources section near the end of this post.
Keep in mind people also love to see “behind the scenes” of a business, and they like to see the faces of the people who make up the business. Try to use photos of your business team, different shots of your office space, projects you are working on, and any special events you are involved with. Mix in a few quotes for motivation and inspiration..and you have a winning combination for Instagram!
3. Use Unique Video Clips
Instagram also allows you to upload video. You are allowed 15 seconds and it can also be a great way to take people behind the scenes, or share a quick personal message. There are a number of apps to help you create videos for Instagram, but the easiest way is to just shoot a 15 second video with your phone and upload it to Instagram. You can do some pretty amazing and creative things with video, give it a try!
4. Use The Proper Hashtags For Instagram
Instagram, much like Twitter, uses hashtags as the primary way people search for content. It’s basically Twitter on steroids when it comes to hashtags, as it seems Instagram users rely solely on hashtags to find what they are looking for. A hashtag is a keyword preceeded by the pound symbol. For example, #marketing or #business. You are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags in a single post, although most users rarely use more than 10 to 15 hashtags. This gives you a great opportunity to reach a large audience, but keep those hashtags relevant to either the post or to your business! You want targeted followers who will relate to what you and your business have to offer. A complete step by step process for creating a hashtag strategy will be included in the resources section at the end of this post.
5. Post Consistently For Rapid Growth
I have found that for establishing a brand new account, you are going to want to post 3 to 5 times per day. Spread your posts out evenly so you don’t flood your followers streams! I have had the best engagement posting in the morning and then again in the evening. The middle of the day and early afternoon are slower times..as they are on most platforms. If your target market is overseas or in a different time zone, take that into account and post when they would most likely be active on Instagram.
6. Repost Popular Content On Instagram
It might seem like a lot of work to create and share that much content per day..and it would be..if you had to create it all yourself! One of my favorite strategies for sharing content AND getting other influencers attention, is to reshare other people’s content. Unlike other social platforms, Instagram does not provide a way for you to easily reshare other people’s posts, but it can be done..and if it is done in the right way, can be one of the best ways to quickly grow your Instagram account. For the complete step by step strategy, see
the resources section at the end of this post.
7. Connect Instagram To Your Facebook And Twitter Accounts
Everytime you make a post on Instagram, you are given the option to simultaneously share that post on your connected Facebook page and Twitter profile. Tumblr and Flickr are also available options.
This option allows you to post to multiple platforms at the same time which will help you expand your reach and share your message with many more people.
Now, just because these sharing options exist doesn’t always mean it is the best choice. Make sure that what you are sharing is relevant to your followers on each platform.
Tip: Facebook owns Instagram. I have had good results when sharing Instagram posts directly to my Facebook page. Facebook seems to encourage it, as my reach is greater on Instagram shared posts than content shared to Facebook from other platforms. For this reason, I rarely share content from Instagram to Twitter, Tumblr, or Flickr..but do it on a regular basis to my Facebook page.
8. Engagement Is The Key To Instagram Growth
The keyword in social media is the word social. Engage with other Instagram users and they will return the favor. Leave appropriate comments on users posts, “like” their content, and respond to people who leave comments on your posts. Thank people who follow you and share your content. Engagement goes a long way on all the major social media platforms..including Instagram!
9. Create Discount Codes, Coupons, And Promotions
A great way to get extra engagement on Instagram is to create something specifically for your Instagram followers. Offer coupon codes, giveaways, and contests specifically targeting your Instagram followers. This works great on Facebook as well, but don’t cheat! If you create something for your Instagram followers, don’t cross promote it on the other social media platforms..it will lose it’s effectiveness!
10. Driving Traffic From Instagram
Instagram is sort of the untapped holy grail of traffic. With only having the one link in your profile to send people to, it seems like a difficult challenge. But with so many people on Instagram, it’s well worth the effort to try.
Here is the strategy that has been working the best:
Use a give away you think your followers will be interested in. It can be an ebook, a short list of something, a .PDF you created on how to do something, a recipe, a list of diet tips..etc.
Use a strong CTA (Call To Action) in the post you use to promote the giveaway, directing them to the link in your bio.
Use a strong CTA in your bio, directing them to click on your link and claim their free giveaway.
The link in your bio should send users to a custom-built landing page designed SPECIFICALLY for your Instagram followers. Include text on the landing page that welcomes them from Instagram and thanks them for their support. This will create a sense of familiarity..letting the user know that the link they clicked has taken them exactly where you promised it would. Using the same image on the landing page as you did in your Instagram post also creates a sense of trust, letting them know they are in the right place! Provide a sign up form where they enter their email address in exchange for the promised giveaway. This adds them to your autoresponder and allows you to build your email list and generate leads from Instagram.
Resources For Marketing Your Business On Instagram
How To Create A Hashtag Strategy For Instagram (Step by Step)
How To Reshare Photos On Instagram (Step by Step)
Essential Marketing Tools:
Create Custom Landing Pages Watch The Demo!
GetResponse Autoresponder My Autoresponder of choice!
Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are having great success growing their customer base using Instagram. I hope you try these 10 ways to market your business on Instagram and have nothing but success! It will take some time, but in the end it will be worth the effort!
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To YOUR Success!