How to Promote Your Business on Instagram
Whether you’re a fan of it or not, social media is becoming more and more popular by the day, and not just among tech-savvy millennials – even older generations are looking to sites like Facebook and Twitter for news and information nowadays. While social media is a great way to share photos and communicate with friends and family, it can also be an extremely effective marketing tool for businesses.
Most businesses have taken to Facebook to advertise, post updates, and receive and respond to customer feedback, but not nearly as many businesses have set up accounts on Instagram. Many claim to avoid setting up an account on the photo and video sharing platform because they don’t believe that their brand is photo-worthy – they don’t sell cute cupcakes or colorful ceramics, so they assume that a social media platform centered on photography won’t be a good fit for them.
The reality is that any business, even something not known for its aesthetics such as a software company or a repair service, can use Instagram marketing strategies to promote brand awareness, build brand loyalty, and improve their customer relationships through a combination of quality content, strategic hashtag usage, and the use of third-party services to get automatic Instagram likes.
The point of social media is, obviously enough, to be social. You don’t need to constantly push the sale and show off the product to market yourself effectively. Promotional sales are profitable in the short-term, but building your brand equity through steady, long-term Instagram usage can create a lasting positive perception of your company.
The Effectiveness of Instagram as a Marketing Tool
If you think that it’s just self-centered, selfie snapping teenagers who use Instagram, you’d be sorely wrong. According to the Pew Research Institute, 32% of Internet users have an Instagram account as of 2016, and that number is only continuing to grow by the day. According to that same research, nearly two-thirds of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 29 – a key demographic that will influence the market for decades to come. And considering the fact that Millennials have already surpassed Baby Boomers in population size, they’re a group that presents a huge opportunity for social media marketers.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram only allows users to post photos and videos, easily making it the most eye-catching social media platform. People are more likely to look stop and look at a photo than they are to look at a wall of text. Adding Instagram to your company’s marketing mix will encourage your audience to engage with the content you put out, spread the word about your business, and give you more control over how your brand is positioned in your target’s mind.
Even if Instagram doesn’t end up being your main social media platform, it can still serve as an effective connection to your preferred form of communication. So even if you really prefer to use Facebook to carry out your relationship marketing strategies, a successful Instagram account can still be of great use to you. By adding a link to your other social media platforms in your Instagram bio or in your posts, your most interested followers will easily be able to follow through and learn more about your business.
Tips for Taking Good Photos
There are view things more unprofessional than a grainy, pixelated picture. Luckily, in today’s smartphone era, phones smart enough to run Instagram are also smart enough to take a decently clear picture. It doesn’t take a pro photographer to focus a smartphone camera, and with the ability to adjust the lighting and contrast of a picture directly through Instagram, you’ll be posting great looking pictures in no time.
Even more important than how you take your photos is what you take your photos of. Variation is key – taking the same old product photos will get old fast. Take pictures of your office, the city where you’re visiting to attend a business conference, or of a happy customer using your product or service. But please, don’t ever post a selfie on your business’s Instagram account – it’s just not in good taste. If you’re still having trouble getting people to interact with your photos, consider buying automatic Instagram likes to get things moving.
Improve Customer Relationships and Build Brand Loyalty
Recent technology has allowed businesses to reach out to and connect with customers in more unique ways than ever before. The days of purely product-based marketing are long gone – today, it’s all about building a relationship with your audience. Unlike a print ad or a radio spot, social media marketing allows the audience to react and interact with your business immediately through comments.
No one expects you to reply to every single comment, but a few thoughtful replies can make a world of difference. They convey the message that your business is friendly, approachable, and genuinely cares about its audience. It only takes a few seconds to say thank you or answer a commenter’s question, but to the commenter that small gesture can make a world of difference in the way they view your brand. People are more likely to be loyal to your brand if they can think of you as a friend, not a pushy door-to-door salesman who’s always throwing advertisements in their face.
Reposting is another popular method of social media relationship marketing that makes customers feel like a part of your brand. By using the free app RepostWhiz, you can easily share and appropriately credit photos taken by customers who have posted pictures of themselves using your product or service. Showing your product being used by actual customers connects with people much more strongly than a simple photo of the product. Customer engagement is a domino effect – people are more likely to engage with your brand if they see other people doing the same, so show off those unprompted instances of engagement whenever you can.
Use Hashtags to Put Your Brand on the Map
Any good business owner knows that building a strong brand image is just as important, if not more important, than driving up short-term sales. Even if you offer the best product or the best service out there, it won’t sell if no one knows that it exists! Building brand awareness is a crucial part of any marketing campaign, especially for lesser known brands.
However, anyone who’s ever created an Instagram account knows that getting people to follow your page and like your posts can be challenging – getting that initial momentum can take months if you don’t know what you’re doing. Anyone remotely familiar with Instagram knows that hashtags are its bread and butter. In addition to paid services that give your posts automatic Instagram likes, hashtags are a free way to put your brand on the map. Without tags, your posts won’t show up in search results, and your target audience won’t be able to find you.
The tags you use should be relevant to the content of the photo or video that you post. Your business should also have its own unique hashtag – something that customers can use to interact with you and show you photos they’ve posted of themselves using your product or service. Once you choose your company hashtags, keep them consistent.
Instagram allows users to use up to 30 hashtags on a single post, but you can exceed that limit by posting more tags in the comment section. However, don’t overstuff – it can make you seem robotic and spammy. Instead of bloating the comment section with tags, a trick is to comment just four or five content relevant tags on your post. Then, after twenty or thirty minutes, delete that comment and make a new one with four or five new, different tags. It’s a bit of extra work, but it’s an easy way to increase audience size without becoming a hashtagging nuisance.
Instagram Marketing Do’s and Don’ts
Especially if you’re new to Instagram, it’s easy to make mistakes and miss out on opportunities. As you build your social media profile, keep these simple do’s and don’ts in mind:
- Do: If your business is brick and mortar, post photos of a casual day at the store or office. Seeing the people behind the business makes your business feel like a living, breathing entity, and not just a flat logo. Use these slice-of-life photos to get your company’s values across.
- Don’t: That being said, don’t post photos of people without their permission! Aside from being the polite thing to do, making sure that the people in the photo look happy to be in the photo is important for setting a positive tone.
- Do: Have a clear and concise bio with a link to your main site. Instagram limits bios to 150 words, so make sure to only include the most important information there.
- Don’t: Spam content or go AWOL for weeks at a time – Instagram is a platform that thrives on consistency and frequency. Posting too much in one day can clutter your follower’s feeds and maybe even annoy them to the point of unfollowing – not posting anything for several weeks will make you look inactive and also cause followers to leave.
- Do: Use hashtags generously, add a location to your post if you can, and tag people whenever appropriate. The more relevant information you can provide with each post, the more people are likely people are to like and comment on it.
- Don’t: Use popular tags that are completely irrelevant to your post – a popular tag might make a lot of people see your post, but more than likely they’ll be the wrong people. When it comes to creating tags, think quality before quantity. Use hashtags that your brand niche so that your target market will be more likely to see your content and even give you a follow.
Boost Your Visibility with Auto Instagram Likes
It’s human nature to trust something that seems popular. If a restaurant is packed at dinner time, you know it’s good, and vice versa – if the booths are empty at dinner time, you might think twice about eating there. The same principle applies to Instagram marketing. If you see a post with only a handful of likes or an account with only a few dozen followers, they won’t stand out to you as a reputable brand.
So how do you get to that point of reputability as fast as possible? Three words: automatic Instagram likes. There are a variety of websites that allow businesses to purchase automatic Instagram likes for their posts, instantly making your brand appear more popular. In the world of Instagram, you have to be popular to get popular. Posts with more likes get seen by more people, show up at the top of search results, and seem more credible than posts with fewer likes.
Bear in mind that paying for auto-likes only solves half of the problem – they get people to come to your page, but the content you post is what gets them to stay and follow your account. Buying automatic Instagram likes can give your business the boost it needs to get rolling.
Take Advantage of Instagram Analytics Tools
Social media marketing is a fast paced environment – trends come and go, Internet memes are fleeting, and it can be hard to stand out in the crowd. The best way to determine whether your Instagram page is sinking, racing ahead, or just barely treading water, is to take advantage of Instagram analytic tools. Usually in the form of phone apps, they’re easy to download and begin using right away.
Instagram analytic tools can track who follows you, who unfollows you, what hashtags are most effective, and potential target markets you could be reaching out to. You can’t expect to keep throwing the same old spaghetti at the wall and hope that it sticks eventually – you have to be willing to adapt to change and make bold choices. Analytic apps can help you devise new strategies to steer your marketing strategy in the right direction.
Growth is the ultimate goal of your business’s Instagram page – the more followers you have, the larger your audience, and the better chance you have of creating a loyal customer base. Instagram is an opportunity to use creative marketing strategies and reach new audiences you may have never even thought to try and reach before.