Leveraging Instagram for Your Business

Now you’re probably wondering how you’ll be able to use Instagram to build your business. Instagram gives you the opportunity to engage and convert leads, partners, and current customers as well as build a long-term loyal customer base.

Here are 10 interesting facts about Instagram, from Daily Pastime:

  1. Instagram was officially launched on April 6, 2010, as an iPhone app. Within a month, it had a million users.
  2. Filter that earns most likes and comments is Mayfair.
  3. In April, 2012, Facebook has bought Instagram for about $ 1 billion. At the time of sale, Instagram counted only 13 employees.
  4. 68% of Instagram users are women.
  5. Android version of Instagram app was launched on April 3, 2013. Within 12h, it was downloaded is a million times.
  6. In June 2013, Instagram introduced the option of uploading short videos. In just 24 hours was uploaded over 5 million videos.
  7. Currently the most popular brands on Instagram are: National Geographic, Nike and 9GAG.
  8. The most popular hashtags are #love and #selfie.
  9. As of 2016, Instagram has more active users via mobile phones than Twitter.
  10. 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35 years.

Okay, let’s get started…

Build a community using an actionable hashtag.

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This strategy is very versatile. It can be used across multiple social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, just to name a few. Hashtags help with brand recognition, encourage your followers to participate, and help your images reach a broader audience. Research the most popular or most searched for hashtags with a service like Iconosquare.com. A few of the more popular hashtags at this time are #throwbackthursday, #tbt, #regram, #nofilter, and #latergram.

  1. Build trust among your followers.

Gain the trust of your followers by providing value and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Share the proof of your expertise with testimonials before you try to sell anything. For example, Kayla Isines, an Australian personal trainer, often posts individual workouts to her Instagram account. This allows her followers to preview her program before they make the commitment to buy it. Find ways you can offer value to your Instagram followers.

  1. Connect and collaborate with other influencers in your niche.

Instagram, like the other social platforms has communities in every industry. The key is to reach out to a large number of influencers. The more others see your products in a user’s feed the more they will pay attention. Research and connect with Instagram influencers who are a good fit for your products. The influencer and his or her followers will probably have similar interests. This means that the followers are likely to be your potential customers. Consider collaborating with these leading influencers.

  1. Make it a habit to post regularly.

The key to being successful on Instagram is to be visible. To be seen, you have to be consistent and post frequently. The Instagram feed is constantly refreshing, meaning it’s essential to post frequently to stay in your followers’ feeds. One way to stay on their minds is to post several times a day. Experiment with different post types daily and at different times of day. Then measure your results to find what works best.

  1. Partner with a good cause that supports your values.

Promote and share partnerships with a good cause with your followers. Align your company’s values with your consumers.

  1. Stay relevant to your brand while relating to your followers.

Think in the mindset of your target market. You likely already have a few buyer personas established and have an idea of who your consumer is and what they like. Try to think about why they are on Instagram. For example, maybe you’ve discovered your target market likes high tech equipment and tend to follow popular tech brands on Instagram You sell financial consulting services. Instead of posting pictures of high tech equipment all the time, what you might do instead is occasionally post images of the newest gadget with the caption of how they could own this when they start making better financial decisions. And give a call to action.

  1. Promote your Instagram account everywhere.

Place an Instagram social icon on your homepage and product pages for visitors to connect with you. Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account to pull in your friends. Run Instagram campaigns across all your social networks. Send out reminders to associates and partners to use your business hashtag and relevant hashtags.

  1. Get inspired from others.

Follow incredible brands such as Charity Water, GoPro, Starbucks, and Taco Bell just to name a few. Follow top brands in your industry or a closely related field. Copy their best strategies with your own ideas. Copy their followers.

There you have it. Eight ways you should be leveraging Instagram for your business. These tips should help you get off to a good start on Instagram quickly.

The No-Nonsense Approach to Finding and Converting Customers on Instagram

No doubt, about it, Instagram is a fast-growing resource for businesses to grow their business. You’ve already gotten some ideas for what kinds of content to share on Instagram and how you can leverage it for your marketing. Now it’s time to build the following to make it all happen. In this module, you get ideas on how to get new followers.

  • Connect with your followers on other social media sites. Interact with them on Facebook and Twitter. Learn about them through their profiles. Keep in touch with them on other social media sites.
  • Interact with other Instagram users. Tag other users in your photos or send them private messages. Tag them before you post an image or a video. Tap the Tag People option before sharing it. Then, tap in the photo where you want to add a tag. Type in the person’s name and add the name to create a tag. Once you share the photo, other users can tap the photo to see who’s been tagged.
  • Make use of the hashtag, location, and Photos of You tabs to find other people who have liked, added, or shared similar images as well as your own images. Interact with these new people by liking and commenting on their images. Hashtags help other users find your content on Instagram, which allows up to 30 hashtags in a post or comment. Use fewer hashtags for quality responses.
  • Create contests to find potential clients. Contests are very popular among users. To get new followers from your contest, encourage customers to share the content using a specific hashtag for the contest or offer.
  • Offer exclusives to get new followers and inspire loyalty. Do this by offering a sneak peek at a new product to your Instagram followers only. Offer discounts only your Instagram followers get.
  • Encourage your followers to take action with enticing product images or events. The key is to create images that evoke a strong emotion in your followers.
  • Let your followers create their own content for you. Create opportunities by running contests or creating collaborative projects where users take pictures using your theme or motif. Starbucks partially built its Instagram followers by asking customers to make and share artwork with Starbucks cups.
  • Be personable and likeable by creating and showing your company’s face, whether it is your own or that of a spokesperson. The face of your company should be on your profile and in content that you share. Interact with your followers as often as possible.
  • Build relationships and a sense of community with your followers. Share content that triggers emotions, asks questions, or addresses a specific problem. People feel more comfortable buying from brands they are a part of and trust.
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As you can see, finding and converting followers into customers is a lot like any marketing you do. Build relationships with your group. Take advantage of being a part of influencer’s networks. Share relevant and fun content that readers want to see. For example if you are in a food industry, take pictures that make viewers hungry and their mouths water. Williams-Sonoma does this well with images of food, parties, and decorating using their products.

No More Excuses On What to Do Now

Take a deep breath. I know this is a lot to take in.

So far, you have seen how Instagram is perfect for almost every type of business to begin sharing and building relationships with their customers. It’s an easy to use mobile app you can use anywhere you are.

To get the most out of your Instagram account, these tips need to be kept in mind:

  • Instagram’s photo tools helps you resize images and add filters to make your images look inviting.
  • Your posts should be related to your business or brand when possible. However, occasionally you can include images, which are related to your niche as well as an additional common interest. For example, if you have a catering business and one of your employees was caught in a funny photo while working, share it with a caption that highlights one of your company mottos such as, “The ability to see humor in situations is a big part of celebrating even the smallest, unexpected events.”
  • Giveaways and promotions are a great way to drive more people to your profile and get followers.
  • Keep in touch with your followers. Reply to users’ comments when they comment on your photos.
  • Embed your Instagram posts on your website. This can be done with the desktop Web version of Instagram’s embed code.
  • Be sure to share your Instagram posts on Facebook and other social networking platforms. Posting your content on several platforms is a great way to build all your individual social media presence.

So far, you’ve learned how set up your Instagram for business account. You’ve also discovered how to take photos and videos that people will want to share. The next step is to decide how you want to incorporate these strategies in Instagram. Then start practicing the techniques to fine-tune your skills while interacting with your followers. Please connect with me on Instagram and see what I am up to there for my business.

Online marketing strategist, author, speaker, and publisher working with entrepreneurs on six continents. https://ConnieRagenGreen.com

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