If your business has invested any time and energy into social media marketing, chances are good that you have a fairly strong presence on both Twitter and Facebook. Navigating these networks as marketing tools is old hat by now and most businesses have figured out what works and what doesn’t – but Instagram is another story. The photo-based social networking tool boasts more than 300 million active users, which means that it’s worth your time and marketing dollars to figure out how you can make this popular social media outlet work for you. We have five tips on how you can leverage Instagram for your business.
Use hashtags. A strong hashtag game is the best way to increase your profile on Instagram and reach your target audience. For example, if you run a catering business and you’re throwing up photos of delicious food without linking to anything else, you’re operating in a silo and you aren’t getting your work out there. However, adding hashtags containing food descriptions and things like #[insert city]caterer can help you get noticed by people scouring Instagram for accounts like yours.
Be consistent with hashtags. Are you getting how important hashtags are to Instagram? Make sure to consistently include some of the same ones with each post to build a community around your brand. This will also entice followers and other peoples to join in by linking their own relevant posts back to a specific hashtag you use.
Get creative. There are only so many pictures of your products and services that you can post, right? That’s why is behooves you to be creative. For example, if you run a bar, in addition to featuring posts of drinks and events, mix it up with a “dog days of summer” post that features a dog in sunglasses next to a drink at your establishment. Instagram users tend to be young and hip, so creativity goes a long way to engage them.
Find angles beyond your products and services. Just because your company isn’t necessarily visual or glamorous doesn’t mean that you can’t make Instagram work for you – but you will need to look at your operations from a new perspective. If, for example, you’re a mechanic, showing pictures of cars over-and-over can be pretty redundant. Try mixing it up featuring an employee’s pet as the shop mascot and feature its high-jinks – even if they’re staged. For example, a cat curled up in a tool box or peering from around a tire can – when matched up with a cute caption – be pretty follow-worthy. Call it “The Adventures of Max the Cat,” slap the same hashtag onto every picture, and you’ve got yourself a pretty a “must add” campaign.
Interact with other pages. As you probably know by now, social media is a case of getting what you give – and Instagram is no exception. To focus your campaign solely on your own page is short-sighted. To improve your exposure and increase followers, it’s critical that you follow other pages—especially industry-worthy ones – give away “likes” and add comments.