What was once a photo-sharing app has quickly become an essential marketing tool for businesses.
According to recent data from Statista, there are over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, which means you have the potential to reach a huge audience if you know how to use it correctly.
If you’re still developing your social media strategy or looking for ways to improve your current tactics, then I’ve got good news: We’ve put together a list of 21 expert tips that will help you increase your followers and turn them into loyal customers.
|1. Leverage Instagram’s visual nature to showcase your products or services effectively.|
|2. Craft a compelling and consistent brand story through your posts and captions.|
|3. Use relevant and popular hashtags to increase your posts’ discoverability.|
|4. Engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages promptly.|
|5. Collaborate with influencers or partners to expand your reach and credibility.|
|6. Post at optimal times to maximize your content’s visibility to your target audience.|
|7. Utilize Instagram Stories to offer behind-the-scenes looks and time-limited promotions.|
|8. Run Instagram ads to reach a wider audience and drive specific actions.|
|9. Use the Explore page to discover trends and connect with potential followers.|
|10. Create interactive content like polls, quizzes, and contests to engage your audience.|
1. Define Your Target Audience
Defining your target audience will help you to understand who it is you’re trying to reach. You should know the age, gender, location and interests of those who will be most interested in your brand.
Once you’ve established your goals and budget, it’s time to think about the type of brand personality you want to portray. Choose one that aligns with what’s important in your business and remember: this doesn’t have to be a replica of what you do!
For example, if yours is a luxury brand selling $1 million cars, some people might think that’s too expensive for them.
Or not what they need right now (such as families looking for a second car), maybe the best fit would be someone friendly and approachable who wants nothing more than help other people out.
Also, consider how much competition there is within your industry this can affect how much effort needs put into getting noticed on social media platforms like Instagram because there will most likely always be someone else doing better than everyone else anyway!
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2. Create A Strategy
Define Your Target Audience
The first step to using Instagram for business is understanding who you’re trying to reach. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you create content for them?
This should be a clear and defined group of people that share similar interests, backgrounds, or demographics.
Why does this matter? Because it helps define the kind of content that resonates with them and keeps their attention long enough for them to see all of your posts (and hopefully engage).
3. Set Goals
Before you begin, it is important to set goals for your Instagram account. The most effective way to achieve these goals is by creating a Plan of Action. A plan will help you stay on track and ensure that your efforts are not wasted.
We recommend setting SMART goals that are:
Specific: If a goal isn’t specific enough, how will you know when you’ve reached it? “Increase followers” isn’t specific but “increase followers to 5,000 by December 31st” is!
Measurable: You need to be able to measure how well your strategy works so that when your strategy doesn’t work (and believe us it won’t always work), at least the data can show where the problem was for you to make adjustments accordingly and improve upon future campaigns.
Actionable: A good goal should allow for action; otherwise, it’s just an idea or wishful thinking without any practical steps toward seeing it through.
For instance, if one of your marketing objectives is increasing brand awareness through paid advertising channels such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads Manager before posting photos on Instagram itself.
Because this method has been proven successful before then writing about what steps took place along with their corresponding results would provide valuable insight into why initial attempts failed miserably while others succeeded wildly well.”
Dive deep into the world of Instagram marketing with our comprehensive resource, Instagram Marketing: The Ultimate Guide. From content creation to engagement strategies, this guide covers everything you need to know to excel in the realm of Instagram for business.
4. Use The Correct Hashtags In Your Posts
When you post to Instagram, it’s important to use the right hashtags. Did you know that using the wrong tags is one of the most common ways businesses fail on Instagram?
The reason this happens is that many business owners use too many hashtags or don’t use enough relevant ones.
The goal here is to find a balance between getting your posts seen by people who care about what you’re posting, and not cluttering up your caption with unnecessary clutter. Here are some tips for picking good hashtags:
Use relevant, popular hashtags for each post. There’s no need to spend hours searching through Google or checking out hashtag lists for every single possible keyword phrase someone might search for when looking for your photos.
Just look at which keywords are already being used in other posts from similar accounts (you can do this by going into the hashtag section). If it seems like a lot of people are using them, then they’re probably good ones!
You should also check out trending topics as well because these will often change over time (e.g., by season) and should be reevaluated regularly so that they stay up-to-date with what’s happening in real life around town/worldwide!
5. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get more views, followers, and engagement on your posts. Make sure you use hashtags that are relevant to the content of your post and that fit with the audience you’re targeting.
For example, if you’re a travel agent looking to attract potential customers who want to go on a cruise in 2020, then using hashtags like #cruise2020 or #cruises2020 would be relevant and likely attract people who are interested in checking out cruises.
On the other hand, if you’re an accounting firm looking for new clients who need their taxes done by the end of the year (so they can file them before April 15).
Then using hashtags such as #taxes2019 or #taxseason2019 would be more appropriate because these will reach people who are thinking about filing their taxes right now which means it’s still possible!
Navigating the intricacies of Instagram marketing can be easier than you think. Check out our insightful post on The Ins and Outs of Instagram Marketing to uncover key strategies and techniques that can help you effectively promote your business on this popular platform.
6. Don’t Use Too Many Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to make your content more searchable and findable by others. However, don’t overdo it.
You want to use hashtags that are relevant and specific to your post so that people who are looking for what you’re posting can find it easily. If it’s not relevant, the hashtag won’t add much value beyond the initial click of finding your post.
Don’t use too many hashtags either you want people to be able to read your content without getting lost in a sea of words and symbols!
7. Use Hashtags With A Meaning
Don’t just throw a hashtag at the end of your caption, because it won’t mean anything to anyone.
Instead, use hashtags that are relevant to your brand and your target audience. For example, if you’re a bakery and want more people from the city of New York to see your Instagram account, then use the hashtag #NYC.
Or if you sell dog collars online and want more people who own dogs in Australia or New Zealand to discover your products on Instagram (where they might not otherwise have found them), then use Australian- or New Zealand-specific hashtags like #australia or #australiandogs respectively.
It’s also fine and encouraged to include industry-related hashtags in posts that are related specifically to those industries:
For example, “#Beef” could be used in an image that showcases a delicious steak dish at one’s restaurant; “#foodie” would be appropriate for food photos shared by someone who has written about food before; “#travel” would go perfectly with any shot taken during trips abroad; etcetera.
8. Use #Ad To Show Sponsored Content
Using the #ad hashtag is a way to show sponsored content. This is especially useful for influencers and brands who are trying to make money but don’t want their followers to feel tricked or deceived.
If you’re an Instagram user who wants to see more of this kind of content, filter your feed through the “Show All” option in your settings. You’ll be able to see every single post on Instagram including those with tags that aren’t visible in your standard settings.
9. Analyze The Competition
You should analyze the competition.
This may sound obvious or like a “Duh!” kind of tip, but it is important to take a look at what your competitors are doing. You can do this by simply opening up their Instagram profiles and analyzing them in the same way you would yourself. Ask yourself the following questions:
How many followers does this company have?
What types of posts are they sharing? Do they post regularly or sporadically? Are their posts personal, funny, inspirational, etc.? If so, why do you think that is?
Could it be because they know their audience best and want to keep them engaged with more than just business news/posts? Could it be because they don’t have enough content to share with their audience so they need more material (i.e., blog posts)?
Or is it simply because they want to appear more approachable through these types of posts rather than strictly promotional ones (like coupons).
What hashtags do competitors use most often in their captions and descriptions when posting images on Instagram Stories (if applicable)?
Why do these hashtags pop up again and again is it because these companies understand how influential keywords can be when determining what shows up as search results for users looking for something specific online?
Is there another reason why certain key phrases keep showing up again and again across different accounts belonging to different businesses within a given industry or niche market segmentation?
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10. Analyze Yourself
You should be looking at your account, analyzing your posts, and making sure that you’re doing a good job keeping your followers happy.
Look at the content of the posts themselves and make sure that it’s engaging and eye-catching. If you aren’t using hashtags consistently (and in an appropriate way), then you’ll have an easier time standing out from the crowd on Instagram.
Analyze your followers both new and old ones by looking at their profiles to see what kind of content they like to share on Instagram.
This will help inform how often you post updates for them to see, as well as what kinds of images or videos might resonate with them best when doing so.
It’s also worthwhile to examine how many people see each update before deciding whether or not it needs tweaking; this is called engagement rate (or “engagement”).
The average engagement rate is around 2%, but some businesses may find theirs higher or lower depending on factors such as industry type (e-commerce vs fashion) and demographics (women ages 18-24 vs men ages 25+).
Ideally, though, every business owner will want their follower base to grow steadily while still retaining all those customers who already follow them today these two metrics together form an important metric called Follower Growth Rate (%/monthly).
11. Talk About Other People And Brands On Instagram
Give them a shoutout.
If you’re into a certain brand, tell the world! You can do this by posting an image or video of the item in question, then tagging the company in it. This will help others find that brand and show your support for them as well.
If you have a personal connection with the company, even better it’ll make your endorsement more meaningful for both parties involved!
Don’t be afraid to mention other people, either. They may become your biggest fans after seeing their name in lights (or pixels). Just be sure not to get too spammy you don’t want anyone unfollowing you because they think their feed has been taken over by ads!
12. Don’t Buy Likes Or Followers (It’s Fake)
It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying followers, or even likes and comments. But it’s not a good idea you’re wasting your time and money, and you’re also breaking Instagram’s terms of service.
You might look like you have an engaged audience at first glance, but they don’t care about what you have to say, or do they just want to game the system so their accounts look more popular than they are.
Instagram has cracked down on this activity over the years and will delete fake accounts from its platform.
Plus, if someone follows your business after seeing a paid ad for it on another platform (such as Facebook), there’s no guarantee that person will follow through with an actual purchase unless he or she wants something from your company in particular.
13. Know Your Audience
Your target audience is what you are trying to reach. They might be new customers or existing customers who want more information about your brand.
Knowing the interests of your audience can help you understand what types of content they like, how they use social media, and when it’s best to post.
Once you know more about your audience and their habits on social media, use those insights to make sure that the content that’s being produced fits their needs.
It could be as simple as making sure that all posts have clear calls-to-action so that they can easily find out more information about your products/services/company in other places if needed (like an email address or phone number).
14. Create A Theme
A theme is, simply put, a consistent look or feel that you apply to your Instagram account. For example, if you sell clothing for dogs, you might use bright colors and photos of dogs in your posts.
Or if you’re an interior design company and specialize in classic styles, you could use black-and-white photos with minimal color accents.
Your theme should be relevant to your business and brand as well as consistent with your target audience’s preferences and competitors’ offerings.
15. Have A Consistent Voice And Tone
Consistency is essential to setting your brand apart. You want people to be able to trust you, and they’re more likely to do so when they see a consistent voice and tone in all of your marketing materials.
It’s also important that you have consistency across all of your social media channels the way you write on Twitter should be the same as the way you write on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
Make sure every piece of content has its unique personality, but make sure it still fits in with everything else we do at [business name].
You can help build trust with your audience by using relevant hashtags in each post this shows that you care about what matters most to them (and helps them find new followers).
Use no more than three hashtags per post, unless it’s an extremely popular one like #instagram (and even then don’t go overboard).
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16. Use Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags are the best way to get your content in front of more people. But not all hashtags are created equal, and using a few simple tips will help you stand out from the crowd on Instagram.
Use relevant hashtags: You should only use hashtags that are relevant to your content and your audience. If you post about fitness, don’t tag it with #politics or #fashion.
Try to choose between 5-10 relevant hashtags per post so that they’re easy for viewers to find but don’t go overboard!
Don’t use too many: The more you use (without being specific), the less likely they’ll be seen by anyone who’s not searching for them specifically; this is called “noise”.
If someone searches for #fitness and sees 10 posts tagged as such, chances are they won’t see any of them because there’s too much noise surrounding the hashtag itself!
Don’t make them too long: Some people like making their custom tags or finding obscure ones that no one else uses; but these can kill engagement because no one knows what exactly it means unless they’re familiar with it themselves (and even then).
Stick with phrases that everyone understands without having any context whatsoever.”
17. Add Text To Your Photos
Text is a great way to add context and value to your photos. Here are some of the ways you can use text:
Add a call to action. The purpose of your Instagram feed isn’t just to show off pretty pictures; it’s also an important marketing tool, so don’t forget to include calls-to-action (CTAs).
If you want people to follow you on Instagram, then make sure there’s something in the caption that encourages them to do so.
Add description. If there’s something unique about the image such as an interesting background or detail then let followers know about it! This will help ensure that they understand what makes this photo so special.
Link back from Instagram posts if possible; most companies are happy if users post links back from their social media accounts because this increases brand awareness among potential customers who might not have seen these posts otherwise
18. Don’t Overuse Filters
Don’t use filters that make your photo look like it’s a painting. If a filter makes your photo look like it was painted, or like you’re trying to make yourself look older, younger, or more attractive it probably isn’t good for showing off your product.
Don’t use cartoon filters they don’t always translate well when people see them on your business profile. Cartoons can be fun and playful (and sometimes appropriate) in other contexts, but not on Instagram.
Don’t overuse filters: even if Instagram offers dozens of options for customizing your photos with filters (many of which are free), no one will want to follow you if all of your pictures look the same every time they visit your page!
19. Tell A Story With Your Pictures
If you want to create an image that compels people to click and engage, you need to tell a story with your content.
Your Instagram feed should not be random it should have an overarching narrative that compels viewers to click through each post until they reach the end of the series. The best stories are authentic, honest, consistent and engaging, and relevant to your brand’s identity.
20. Interact With Other Users
Ask questions and share your experience. If you’re looking for tips, ask the audience what they are doing in their business or personal life. You can also share your own experiences and tips, which will help to build a sense of community around the brand.
Providing answers to other users’ questions shows that you’re an authority on the subject matter, and it also gives people an opportunity to learn from you.
To make sure that you don’t come across as spammy or self-promoting (a common pitfall), limit these responses to one max every few weeks at most so they don’t get annoying!
21. Use Instagram Ads
The next step is to set up an ad. This can be done in the Instagram app or through your Facebook page. Once you’re in the ad management section of your business profile, click on “create an ad.”
Now that you have an ad set up and ready to go, it’s time to target it! Targeting allows you to narrow down who you want to see your ads and what they should see based on where they are located, their age group, gender, interests, and more.
The next step is learning how to measure success with Instagram ads so that when you scale them out across multiple markets they aren’t failing miserably (or worse yet making no money at all). If this sounds like something that might apply specifically
Now that you’ve read through all of these tips and tactics, which ones are you going to implement? Some of them will work for some businesses and not for others. But if you play around with Instagram for a while, then you can make it work for your business.
Smash Balloon: Instagram Marketing Tips Short description: Explore valuable tips and strategies for enhancing your Instagram marketing efforts from Smash Balloon’s comprehensive guide.
Neil Patel: Instagram Marketing Tips Short description: Neil Patel shares his insights and expertise on Instagram marketing, offering practical advice to help you succeed on the platform.
Business News Daily: Instagram Business Guide Short description: Discover a detailed business guide on using Instagram effectively, provided by Business News Daily, to grow your brand’s presence and engagement.
And here’s the “FAQs” section with semantic-based questions and answers:
How can I improve my Instagram marketing strategy?
Enhancing your Instagram marketing strategy involves creating engaging content, optimizing hashtags, and fostering authentic interactions with your audience.
What are some effective techniques to boost Instagram engagement?
Strategies like utilizing user-generated content, hosting giveaways, and posting consistently can significantly increase your Instagram engagement rates.
Is Instagram suitable for business marketing?
Absolutely! Instagram’s visual nature makes it a powerful platform for business marketing, enabling you to showcase products, tell your brand story, and connect with your target audience.
How do I measure the success of my Instagram marketing campaigns?
You can track success through metrics like follower growth, engagement rates, website clicks, and conversion rates to determine the impact of your Instagram marketing efforts.
What are the key differences between personal and business Instagram accounts?
Business accounts offer features like access to Instagram Insights, contact information display, and the ability to run ads, making them better suited for brand promotion and analysis.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.