5 Clever Ways to Grow your Business on Instagram

February 4, 2015

Is your business on Instagram?

With the announcement that it’s now home to 300 million monthly active users, the answer to that question should be a definite yes.

With visual posts across the internet generating 94% more views than text-based posts, it’s hardly surprising that visual content marketing has taken over the web. But if you’re new to Instagram or you haven’t got many followers then how are you supposed to stand out?

Check out my 5 clever ways that you can grow your brand on Instagram….

1. Optimize your profile page

Consistency is key across all of your social platforms and Instagram should be no exception. Clearly you want to choose your business name as your profile, but if it’s already taken then use something as close to your name as you can. Upload your logo as your profile picture so people will know who you are, even if your name is slightly tweaked.

Instagram gives you the chance to add your tagline. As with your other social bios, try and keep it short and simple, by summing up what your brand is all about in as few words as possible, like Sharpie have below.

Finally, don’t forget to add a link to your homepage so you can direct people back to your website.

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2. Cross promote

If you’ve got a decent following on other social platforms then cross promoting is a great way to bring more exposure to your Instagram page. Let your followers know about your page, and don’t forget to add your Instagram badge to your website and blog posts so people can link direct to your page. You’ll be able to find the code for your badge, or create your own, under your account settings.

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You can also integrate your profile with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr, so each time you share a photo, it will appear across all feeds.

2. Get hashtag happy

Hashtags are really important on Instagram as they help people track your posts and let you find out who is talking about you.

The great thing about Instagram is that you are free to use as many hashtags as you like, helping attract a wider audience. In fact, a TrackMaven report found that people who used 11+ hashtags received an average of 77.6 interactions!

Make sure you a strategic in the way you approach this as you don’t want to come across as a spammer. Make sure that you are using relevant hashtags to your posts and you should see your likes and comments increase.

Check out hashtag research tools such as Talkwalker to analyze popular hashtags, find out what your competitors are using, and monitor your own campaigns.

3. Tell your brand’s story

Storytelling is a powerful way to connect with your audience. And since 44% of people are most likely to interact with a post that contains pictures, Instagram offers the perfect platform to help you do just that. Whether you market to b2b or b2c, you can still tell effective stories on Instagram, here’s how…

If you’re selling a service, this is the perfect platform for you to showcase a ‘behind the scenes’ look into your company. Think about posting photo’s of your meetings, your latest office event, or even your early morning coffee!

Here’s a great example from Ogilivy and Mather as they offer an exclusive look into their social newsroom.

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If you sell a physical product then your job is a little easier because you can use your product at the heart of your posts. Check out some of the top brands on Instagram such as Starbucks, Taco Bell and Burberry and you’ll see that they use really creative ways to showcase their product.

Just like the Starbucks post below, get creative and think of ways that you can encourage followers to join in by posting photo’s of your product to help further promote your brand.

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4. Give something away

Running a contest on Instagram is another great way to build you following and it’s really simple to do. Just let people know what they should post and give your contest a unique hashtag, so you can judge the results under one stream of posts.

This is another great way to tell your brand’s story as it helps generate loads of content that relates to your brand, it keeps people engaged, and it further promotes your products to people who may not have heard of you before.

Come up with a great theme for your campaign, just like General Knot did here. They asked their followers to upload a photo of them wearing their tie, with an actionable question to encourage engagement: How do you wear your GK?

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4. Create videos

Did you know that a third of all online activity is spent watching video? Creating a video is another great form of visual content marketing, and Instagram makes it really easy for your business to do!

You can create a video right from within the app, and since you’ve only got 15 seconds to tell your story, it’s all the more reason to make your videos really creative! Just like any post on Instagram, you shouldn’t be solely focused on conversions. Sure you can create a video with your products, but it has to be fun, engaging and shareable – just like this McDonald’s video below.

5. Post at the right time

The good news is that according to this TrackMaven report, it doesn’t matter too much when you post your pictures as people will interact with them regardless of when it was posted.

Videos on the other hand need to be more strategic, as people tend to not watch videos during working hours. The report found that during working hours an average 22.5 out of every 1000 followers interacted with videos, where-as outside working hours that number increased by nearly 50%.

Think about posting your videos at lunchtime, the weekend or early evening.

Good luck!

So there are my 5 clever ways to help grow your business on Instagram. The takeaway here is that Instagram is all about telling your story in a visually creative way. Think carefully about the story you want to tell and start implementing these steps to your strategy!

If you want to learn more about Instagram and start seeing real results then download my e-book, Instant Profits with Instagram, today.

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