Instagram is on pace to have more than 1 billion active monthly users my 2019. Currently boasting 700 million users that log in at least once a month, Instagram has 400 million users that are on the site daily. In March of 2017 alone, more than 120 million Instagram account holders got directions, emailed, visited a website, called or direct messaged to to learn about a business they discovered on the social media website. There are a lot of reasons you need to have a business presence on this photo and video sharing site.

The following Instagram marketing tips will ensure you get the most of your marketing efforts on this popular social network.

  • Geotag your posts with your physical location, especially if you own a local business. This will help you in local search results on Google and the other search engines.
  • Hashtag all of your posts with relevant keywords. Try to use terms and phrases you think Instagram users will be searching for.
  • A professional profile picture that effectively illustrates you (or, if a brand, your topic or niche) is absolutely critical. Instagram is a visual site, so when your profile picture looks eye-catching or tells people what your page is going to be about, it helps attract followers.
  • You can add photos and videos by using the camera on your smart phone. Or you could ask for submissions and “curate” other people’s photos that they send you.
  • Always write an engaging, informative caption for your posts. This helps in the search results, and tells Instagram users what your post is about.
  • You have only 150 characters for your Instagram biography. Make them count. Make your message short and to the point, use keywords and phrases related to your niche, and let your personality shine through.
  • Experiment with the many filters and photo editing features Instagram offers. Different filters work better for different types of photos.
  • Don’t just take simple photos. Make your images and videos “talk”, carrying a conversation with your followers.
  • Host a contest or run a survey to drive engagement. Applications and websites like Heyo, WishPond and Survey Monkey have free and paid options that handle all the work for you.
  • Instagram allows business profiles to access analytics, which they call Insights. This gives you impression and engagement data, and other information that allows you to monitor how successful your marketing efforts are.
  • Spend some of your time on Instagram commenting on content that is a lot like yours. Use hashtags with relevant keywords, and make your comments high-value.
  • When you follow others and “like” their photos, you stand a good chance of those people following you as well.
  • When people comment on your content, start a conversation with them. Remember that social media sites are for socializing, after all.
  • Tell your followers to like your photo or comment. Give them a clear call to action.
  • Make sure to link your Instagram account to all your other social networks.
  • Develop a unique hashtag for your page. Include the most relevant keyword or phrase that relates to your niche or topic.

Get Started with Instagram Checklist

Using Instagram to build a loyal audience can seem daunting. This checklist helps ensure you cover everything to get started with Instagram on the right foot.

Setting Up Your Profile

Be sure to do some research on your audience before setting up your social media profiles because it’s best if all your social media profiles have the same or similarly memorable user names.

  • User Name: Can you use the same user name for all your social networks or similar ones? Remember to try using an underscore if needed.
  • Profile/bio: Develop a well thought out profile for your biography for Instagram. You don’t have a lot of space so you need to use every word. Since it’s the only place you can have a clickable link, think carefully about which link you want to use.
  • Profile Pic: Get a special headshot for Instagram and keep it up for the long haul. This is how people know you on Instagram. Changing it too often will confuse people. But, due to this, make it really good.

Creating Content

  • Content Calendar: Use a spreadsheet or a calendar to create a plan of action for your content based on your promotions, the seasons, and your audience’s desires.
  • Repurpose: Remember that you can take content from elsewhere, reorganize it, make it appropriate for Instagram and reuse it.
  • Imagery: Instagram, more than other networks, is all about the beautiful visuals. Up your game by learning photography skills or outsourcing to a photographer/graphic designer to create amazing imagery.
  • Mix it up: Post promotional updates after about every four or five informational updates. Mix up the times, mix up the type of post, use images, video, and text in various lengths.
  • Hashtags: Use hashtags to make it easy for your audience to find you and add interest to your shares.

Engagement

  • Set Aside Time: On a regular basis set aside time to comment, like, and engage with your followers. They’ll love you for it.
  • Share Often: Share your updates often. Don’t worry about it being too much, but provide enough time between shares to keep your feeds from being back to back.

Apps & Add-ons

  • Automation: Instagram doesn’t really allow a lot of automation, but you can use software like Later.com to schedule posts that you push out manually when reminded on your device.

Metrics

  • Do The Numbers: You can’t know if what you’re doing is working if you don’t mind the numbers. Look at how many new followers you get, how much engagement you get and other things that are trackable.

Tips & Tricks

  • Find New Hashtags
  • Find New People to Follow via Your Competition
  • Engage Others by Tagging
  • Try Different Instagram Apps
  • Post Different Times a Day
  • Respond to Comments on Your Posts
  • Comment on Other People’s Posts
  • Ask Questions to Engage

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