5 Simple & Effective Instagram Marketing Tips for Businesses

Michael Bird | May 28th, 2014 | Business2Community

If your business already has Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you may wonder why you should also invest your time in promoting your business via Instagram. Instagram is a great platform for grabbing the attention of users who are drawn to visual messaging and sharing. It has more of a personal touch than Twitter and Facebook, but it has similar features such as “likes,” shares and hashtags for putting your content in the same category as others. The main difference lies in that your content is contained within one square image.

So what’s so special about sharing images? For one thing, users are more likely to be drawn to visuals than to text. In addition, people are 40% more likely to have a better response to visual content as opposed to plain text. The bottom line here is that people love pictures (just look at the success of Pinterest). So if you’re looking to enhance your business promotions via Instagram, here are the expert tips that can get you started:

1. Formulate your creative strategy. Ask yourself what your business has to offer people who are on Instagram. Why should they follow you on Instagram, when they are already following you on Facebook and Twitter? The trick here is to give them exclusive access to things that have more to do with your business location and your community than the actual promotions itself. When you’re using Instagram, think of personal engagement and the genuine interest of your audience as opposed to making your posts all about sales and promotions.
Examples:

  • Create posts centered on your hardworking employees, their passion for the work they do and the things they do to provide excellent service.
  • Forego product shots for shots of the actual product as they’re presented to the customer. For example, you may use a picture of a customer enjoying a slice of pizza from your restaurant.
  • Location shots get great responses from users as well. If your business has a lot of different locations, showcasing them can garner interest from users who live nearby.
  • Relevant events can also make for great Instagram content as it shows your business interacting with others.

2. Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags tend to get mixed reviews from people, primarily because a lot of users haven’t mastered the art of effectively using them. But the beauty of hashtags from a business perspective is that it allows your posts to be visible to people who search for certain hashtags. The rule of thumb is to stick to about 4 to 7 hashtags, and make sure you make use of popular trending hashtags.

Examples:

  • One of the most popular hashtags on Instagram is #tbt or throwback Thursday wherein you can post old photos on your brand’s Instagram account every Thursday. Pictures of the old office or vintage shots of old products can be used. Use popular hashtags like #love, #instafood, #photooftheday, #quoteoftheday or #happy to be featured when users search for these tags.
  • Come up with your own hashtags based on your brand or the promotions you’re running. For example, Victoria’s Secret used #AngelGetaways for shots from their summer photo shoots. Converse, on the other hand, went with their general marketing campaign by using #WearSneakers.
  • Run with the current trends. Lots of brands used #Earthday on relevant content to go with the celebration of Earth Day.

3. Share often, but don’t over-saturate your followers’ feeds. The best way to go about this is to create a posting schedule when you think your followers are most active. This can be after work hours or during weekends or well into the night. In addition, it’s best to share content that you know your followers will like. How can you tell? Check out which content gets the most likes and comments and start sharing similar content. However, don’t exclusively post that content. It’s still best to add some variety to what you post.

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