20 Tips: How to Market on Instagram
Do you know how to use Instagram to market your business? Do you get enough interaction with your brand? Do you know how to get more followers on Instagram?
Instagram is cool way to connect with your socially engaged consumers. There are 130 million active users on Instagram every month, and every day 1 billion photos are liked.
Use Instagram for business purposes in the right way, and you could have an instant viral marketing success. Use it wrong, and your efforts on this young site could be a big empty fail.
Do you use Instagram to tell a visual story about your brand, instantly engage with your followers wherever they are, and even get very real user-generated content through photo contests on the app?
Set-up Your Instagram Account
1. Create your Instagram for Business account – It’s easy to make a business account on Instagram.
2. Make a business username – Use your business name as your username. If it is taken, choose a username that is instantly recognized with your brand.
3. Complete your profile – Include a cool, branded photo, a short informative bio, and a link to your website.
4. Connect your account to Facebook – Instagram is owned by Facebook. Connect these two very powerful social media sites to boost your marketing efforts.
5. Make an Instagram tab on your Facebook page – this enables you to instantly share your Instagram photos to your Facebook Fans.
6. Create a brand specific strategy – Keep your Instagram content strategy focused on your brand’s unique way of seeing the world. Instagram is a photo (and now video) sharing site. Connect your business with your ‘tribe’ on Instagram in a consistent and particular visual way.
7. Use hashtags (#’s) in your updates – Hashtags are a major part of Instagram. It’s a big way of how users can find you through their mobile Instagram searches. Unlike on other sites (such as Twitter), you’re not limited by character count. Include a few tags (but not too many – or you’ll look desperate) in your posts to get connected.
Here are a few strategies in using hashtags:
8. Use brand specific hashtags’s – Include your business name in some of your post hashtags. Also, use unique tags for particular marketing campaigns you run. For example, if you’re hosting a photo contest on Instagram, make a unique tag just for that campaign. This tactic both promotes your contest, and it gives your consumers a distinct tag to connect with others participants (so they can see their competition!).
9. Use general hashtags’s – Include general tags on your posts, to be found for your products or lifestyle posts. For example, if your business is a coffee shop, and you post an image of your scrumptious latte, include tags like #latte or even #coffee.
10. Use trending hashtags’s – Trends on Instagram can happen at lightning speed – and they are often even quicker to go. If you spot a trend, and it fits with your brand, use it. Your post could literally be seen by thousands of interested consumers in a matter a minutes.
11. Run an Instagram Hashtag Contest – A hashtag contest allows your fans and followers to upload photos under a certain hashtag. All submissions are then displayed in a voting gallery on you Facebook Page, website, etc.
12. Monitor your brand hashtags – Your consumers are using your tags to connect with you. Be sure to keep checking your Instagram hashtags’s, just like you would your Facebook Page and Twitter mentions. Respond to comments and concerns quickly, and you’ll build happy customer relationships.
Focus on Your Customers
13. Make your followers famous – Share followers photos on your social sites. Show your customers you appreciate them by acknowledging their cool photos, and share them with your Facebook fan or Twitter followers. NOTE: be sure to ask permission to use their photo first!
Starbucks is one of the top 3 brands on Instagram. They use this tactic frequently. Every few weeks they show appreciation for one their followers, by giving a shout out to cool image makers. The images include their products. They take it one step further by updating their Facebook covers, using the Instagram photos. Their fans love it.
14. Embed followers’ photos – Instagram now enables you to embed Instagram photos on your website and other sites. Use this, like Starbucks, to show cool images of your brand and product from your Instagram followers by embedding the entire post. Make sure you tell them you’re showcasing their image, to make them feel appreciated, and to get their permission to use it.
15. Like your Follower’s photos – Acknowledge your customers’ awesomeness by liking their photos – particularly if they include your product, or emulate your brand.
16. Comment on Followers’ photos – Engage with your consumers by commenting on cool product related photos they post.
17. Respond to comments on all your posts – If someone comments on your posts, respond to them. This is particularly true when then comment is a question, or even something negative about your brand.
18. @mention your customers – @mentioning is another huge part of Instagram. @mention your followers, your customers, and any other user with great photos of your products. You show appreciation for them, and you get to engage with your market.
19. @mention celebrities and other related industry leaders – If your images are about celebs – let them know. They may just appreciate it enough to share it with their followers!
20. Focus on engaging your customer – Post images with your customer in mind. Post about more than your product. Make your business Instagram about lifestyle, and authentically connecting with your customers.
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