Without a doubt, Instagram is the new king of social media. While the official numbers show that the number of active users on Instagram hasn’t yet surpassed Facebook, those of us who use Instagram know it is the most powerful tool available to brands today, to grow awareness, trust and reputation, and to sell your products and services online.
Using Instagram correctly has major payoffs, such as:
- rapid growth
- ability to connect with collaborators and influencers
- becoming a branding hub
- communicating with your clients and customers online
Whatever you use Instagram for, or if you’re just getting started, here’s how to use it to benefit your brand best.
How to Instagram like an absolute rock star
Get set up
First, create you bio. Use emojis (copy and paste them from here to set it up on your computer) to replace words so you can get more info into your bio.
Choose your @ handle wisely. You shouldn’t change this – ever.
Unless it’s completely irrelevant to your business, tell your followers where you’re located in your bio.
Provide a link to your website.
Choose a profile photo that allows people to recognize you easily.
Best practices for Instagram marketing
You’ll have the most chance at growing your following quickly and building awesome relationships, not only with your followers, but with influencers and partners in your industry, if you do ALL of these things CONSISTENTLY:
Keep your images on brand. Are they detailed? Or minimalist? Use the same filter.
Use all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows. Research what others are using for their hashtags to get inspiration.
Put the hashtags in the comments, or separate them from your caption using lines of *
Use emojis – but only if that aligns with your brand.
Respond to EVERY comment on your posts. Don’t tag several people in a response and write “thank you” to everyone, address each commenter individually.
Ask people questions. Show them that you care about their lives and interests.
Tag relevant people in your posts.
Always credit the source of a photo you’re reposting. Be a kind member of the Instagram community; don’t steal.
Comment on other people’s posts frequently. Don’t write something generic – write a comment that is specific to the post.
Follow others. This is SOCIAL media, after all, not a popularity contest to get the most followers while your number stays at 0 or 1.
An awesome app to automate your Instagram activities
We’ve used a web-based app called Instagress to automate liking, commenting, following and unfollowing for some of our Instagram accounts. It’s not a perfect system, but if you’re DIYing your Instagram marketing, Instagress can save you hours and helps grow a network of real followers quickly.
Selling on Instagram? Here’s what to do
How to sell on Instagram isn’t something that can be quickly explained in this article. Just remember to constantly ask yourself, “WHY am I doing this? What do my followers expect to see from me?”
More often than not, your brand, and therefore your Instagram, should be focused on the lifestyle, the benefits, the image that are tied to what it is you’re selling. Do you sell tea? Your brand’s purpose is to help people find peaceful solo moments in their day, to relax, to have some warmth in their lives. The tea is just a bonus.