It’s no secret that your business needs to be active on Instagram — with more than 500 million users, it’s a social network that provides an excellent marketing platform to reach potential customers from every corner of the world.
To improve your Instagram marketing, you need to increase your following on a steady and consistent basis. After all, the more people that come in contact with your brand and follow you on Instagram, the more significant your audience is that you can potentially reach every time you post. Here are seven easy to implement Instagram marketing tips that will help you grow your brand — for free.
1. Take advantage of free Instagram tools.
Instagram just started to roll out business profiles, which heavily mirrors Facebook’s business profiles, complete with a vast “contact’ call-to-action, allowing users to email, call or text the business.
Along with the contact option, business profiles have access to analytic, or as they call them, Insights, giving users access to impression and engagement data. If you use your Instagram account for your business, you might want to consider converting your profile to a business profile to take advantage of these options. The more you understand how your users are interacting with your content, the better you can make adjustments to improve your engagement.
2. Cross promote Instagram posts.
Want to add new Instagram followers that already love your brand easily? Post across all over your other social media profiles — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — and invite them to follow your Instagram profile. They are already following you on social media, so they are naturally interested in what you offer, so give them another way to connect with your brand socially.
Don’t assume that your posts will reach everyone that’s connected to your brand on social media. Many people move away from individual social media platforms, and some aren’t as active on some than they are on other networks. You want your followers to be connected to as many of your social profiles as possible to increase your reach per post.
3. Don’t overwhelm your audience.
You want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant, but at the same time, you don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they end up UN-following your account because they feel you are always in their face.
There isn’t a magic posting formula that will work for every brand. You need to test and see how your audience responds. As a starting point, I would suggest posting twice daily, alternating times of the day to find out when your highest engagement occurs. Then start to experiment with more and fewer posts per day, really paying attention to commitment. Once you find your sweet spot, the work doesn’t stop — as your following increases you will have to adjust. Post frequency optimization is a never-ending task.
4. Interact with followers to spark growth.
If someone takes the time to leave a comment on one of your posts, take two seconds to reply and thank them. That simple engagement can create a loyal customer as well as a raving promoter of your brand.
Also, incorporate ways to get your followers to interact with your posts. A simple, “Tag three of your friends that would love this” can quickly put your brand in front of a broader audience as well as attract new followers. Since they are being introduced to your Instagram profile through a friend, there is less resistance, resulting in many of the tagged users following your pattern.
5. Create an interactive hashtag.
Creating an interactive hashtag is a great way to build instant engagement — just make sure you are using hashtags the correct way. A straightforward strategy I have used for some of the larger brands I consult for is creating a hashtag that customers use to tag photos of them with the product that they just purchased.
6. Re-purpose content from other relevant accounts.
If you are finding it hard to come up with enough content to meet the needs of your following, consider re-purposing content from other relevant Instagram accounts. Just be sure to credit the source in the post by tagging their profile and mentioning them in your caption.
7. Use creativity to connect with your audience.
Being creative with your images is a great way to connect with your followers — it’s much more efficient than posts that look like straight up advertisements
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