Whether you are new to Instagram, or if just want a few more pointers, here are 45 ways to market your brand more authentically on Instagram.
Set-up Your Instagram Account
Create your Instagram for Business account – It’s easy, just go to your settings.
Create a username – Use your real name or business name. Decide what makes the most sense for your business.
Complete your profile – Add a fun photo, a short informative bio, a link to your website and a hashtag.
Connect your account to Facebook – Instagram is owned by Facebook. Connect these two very powerful social media sites to boost your marketing efforts.
Create a brand-specific strategy – Keep your Instagram content strategy focused on you and your brand’s unique way of seeing the world. Instagram is a photo (and now video) sharing site. You don’t have to over-share just be consistent in your overall message
1. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram – Make sure you are using hashtags that resonate with your brand.
2. Use hashtags (#’s) in your updates – Hashtags are a major part of Instagram. It’s a big way of how users can find you through their mobile Instagram searches. Unlike on other sites (such as Twitter), you’re not limited by character count.
Here are a few strategies in using hashtags:
3. Use brand specific #’s – Include your business name in some of your post hashtags. Also, use unique tags for particular marketing campaigns you run. For example, if you’re hosting a photo contest on Instagram, make a unique tag just for that campaign. This tactic both promotes your contest, and it gives your consumers a distinct tag to connect with others participants (so they can see their competition!).
4. Use general #’s – Include general tags on your posts, to be found for your products or lifestyle posts. For example, if your business is a coffee shop, and you post an image of your scrumptious latte, include tags like #latte or even #coffee.
5. Use trending #’s – Trends on Instagram can happen at lightning speed – and they are often even quicker to go. If you spot a trend, and it fits with your brand, use it. Your post could literally be seen by thousands of interested consumers in a matter of minutes.
6. Explore and engage on #’s – Be sure to keep exploring for new and relevant hashtags on Instagram. Use them in your posts. If they are active tags, take your social media marketing time to connect with users of it by loving their posts and commenting. It can be a very cool way to get connected with (and market to) even more Instagram users around the world.
7. Monitor your brand #hashtags – Your consumers are using your tags to connect with you. Be sure to keep checking your Instagram #’s, just like you would your Facebook Page and Twitter mentions. Respond to comments and concerns quickly, and you’ll build happy customer relationships.
Focus on Your Customers
8. Make your followers famous – Share followers photos on your social sites. Show your customers you appreciate them by acknowledging their cool photos, and share them with your Facebook fan or Twitter followers. NOTE: be sure to ask permission to use their photo first!
9. Embed followers’ photos – Instagram now enables you to embed Instagram photos on your website and other sites. Use this, like Starbucks, to show cool images of your brand and product from your Instagram followers by embedding the entire post. Make sure you tell them you’re showcasing their image, to make them feel appreciated, and to get their permission to use it.
10. Like your Follower’s photos – Acknowledge your customers’ awesomeness by liking their photos – particularly if they include your product, or emulate your brand.
11. Comment on Followers’ photos – Engage with your consumers by commenting on cool product related photos they post.
12. Respond to comments on all your posts – If someone comments on your posts, respond to them. This is particularly true when then the comment is a question or even something negative about your brand.
13. @mention your customers – @mentioning is another huge part of Instagram. @mention your followers, your customers, and any other user with great photos of your products. You show appreciation for them, and you get to engage with your market.
14. @mention celebrities and other related industry leaders – If your images are about celebs – let them know. They may just appreciate it enough to share it with their followers!
15. Focus on engaging your customer – Post images with your customer in mind. Post about more than your product. Make your business Instagram about lifestyle, and authentically connecting with your customers.
Show Your Stuff
16. Be creative with your photos – Use filters to enhance your photos. Use cool angles, lighting, and other photography tricks – whether you hire a photographer, or learn a few tricks on your own.
17. Make videos – Instagram allows you to upload 1-minute videos
18. Post photos and short videos of your products – take and post cool photos of your goods to share with Instagram users.
19. Show your products authentically – Show photos of your products as they are used in real life.
20. Show your products creatively – Be cool and creative on this hip mobile site.
21. Show your brand story – post cool photos and videos to show your company’s core values and brand.
22. Show who you are – feature fun photos and videos of your employees. Give your Instagrammers a “behind the scenes” look at your company. This makes you look like a cool company.
23. Post fun, authentic videos of your CEO – make your top executives look personable. Make short, quirky videos of them to post on Instagram. For example, get them to show one thing they like to do when not working, or doing something fun at the office.
24. Share exclusive content – Use your Instagram feed to show photos you haven’t shared on your Facebook, Twitter or blog (and vice versa). This makes your followers feel special.
25. Launch a product live on Instagram – If you’re launching a new product, taking your music group on tour, or opening a new store, etc – do it live on Instagram. For example, the day you launch your product, make a few short videos of you or your client/staff behind the scenes preparing for the launch, and the actual launch with excited customers. Post this to Instagram.
26. Build pre-launch momentum – If you’re launching a new product through Instagram, be sure to build excitement. Tease your followers with a 60-second video behind-the-scenes looks at how you’re preparing for the new product – without giving away exactly what it is.
27. Show your post-launch staff party (or clean up) – Dare to show you and your employees authentically, by posting a short video of you after a product launch.
28. Partner with other Brands on Instagram – Whether you’re a small one shop business or a large multinational, you have relationships with other businesses. If they’re on Instagram too, partner up, and get them to post your products on their Instagram feed.
Add More Tactics
29. Post for fun – Just post something simple and behind the scenes of your business and life.
30. Ask questions about your business or products – Use questions to get your people talking about your business. For example, ask your Followers if they have used your product today. Add a unique hashtag and give your consumers a hub to share photos of how they used your goods with each other.
31. Ask questions about lifestyles – Ask a question about lifestyles or how to solve common problems. For example, if you’re a fashion store – ask what boots your followers would wear with a new line of jeans you have.
32. Use photo caption posts – Another great way to get engagement on your Instagram posts is through photo caption questions. Take a cool image of your products, or something related to your business. Ask your followers to have fun by captioning it. Tip: You can even make a photo caption contest, to entice engagement in your followers through a cool prize.
33. Crowdsource photos – Ask followers to submit photos of what they love about your business/food/products, remember to designate a hashtag for the photos. This could help your business gain customer insight into what’s popular.
Run Instagram Photo Contests
34. Run photo contests – To get a lot of user-generated content, to crowdsource product ideas, or to just get your fans engaged by letting them share their best photos with you – run cool Instagram photo contests. Make contest themes that get photos and videos for your business objectives.
35. Run Instagram photo contests with cool prizes – When you host an Instagram photo contest, make sure your prize provides the right incentive to get your customers to enter and share with their friends, too.
Make Use of Mobile
36. Geotag your posts – Target your local consumers by using Photo Map to tag where you are.
37. Bring offline online – use QR codes to entice your in-store traffic to engage with you instantly on Instagram. Entice them with group offers and coupon codes.
38. Bring offline events online – Are you hosting a live event? Promote a hashtag for attendees to use to share their photos of it.
39. Bring online offline – Host an Instagram meetup to engage in real life with local Instagram enthusiasts – and potential customers.
40. Post consistently – Regardless of your follower count, post consistently. This gets your brand seen regularly by your followers. They will be more apt to become more regular customers this way too.
41. Determine post frequency – You might need to post 2-3 times a day, or 2-3 times a week. Monitor your account to determine your post frequency.
42. Find your perfect Instagram posting time – Not all brands have the same best time to post on Instagram. Not all products do either. Use analytic tools to monitor when your photos are getting liked and commented on. Find out when your hashtags are being used. Then post your fresh content at these most active times.
43. Monitor your Instagram results – use third-party analytics, or track your followers, your hashtag post numbers, your post likes and comments.
44. Continuously improve – Based on your content results, keep improving your photo and video posts. If a particular type of image drives tons of engagement, keep using those types of posts. If using general hashtags get your posts interacted with a lot, keep searching for and using general hashtags.
45. Keep on top of Instagram trends – Instagram is constantly developing new and innovative ways to engage. Keep learning to stay knowledgeable about the coolest ways to connect.
I hope you enjoyed this curated article we curated with Krista Bunskoek!
Make An Impression
Image credit: © Bigstock