Social media marketing is an absolute necessity for businesses. If you’re not taking advantage of this free opportunity to promote your business, you’re really doing yourself a disservice. While Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular networks, Instagram is following close behind. If your business has anything visual to share with the world, from product photos to event highlights, it’s definitely worth joining the Instagram craze. With a little time and effort, and some added strategy, you can reach masses of people and grow your audience. If you’re new to Instagram, or are looking to grow your following, try implementing these 4 easy steps.
1. Use hashtags liberally
It’s important to use hashtags in order to make your posts as visible as possible. Try to add between 3-7 to every post. For ideas, and to find the most popular hashtags, you can utilize free websites such as Iconosquare and Websta. But don’t pick the most popular, just because they’re popular. That may earn you more views, but it certainly won’t help you in the long run in terms of gaining leads. Be sure to choose hashtags that are relevant to your business.
2. Engage with others
Follow other industry-related accounts and like/comment on their posts. This will not only make you visible to them and their audience, but will help you build that know/like/trust factor. Monitor your own account closely and always respond to comments on your posts. The more comments on your post, the better chance you have of being featured on the Explore page, which is another great way to be seen by more people.
3. Promote your account
Promote your Instagram account on your website, on all your other social networks, in your newsletter, at events, in your email signature, etc. Use any opportunity you can to make people aware that you’re on Instagram. By using content that's exclusive to your Instagram account and posting teasers via the same avenues listed above, you’ll give people a reason to check out your posts.
4. Give people a reason to come back
The number one rule across all social media networks is to post frequently. If you don’t have any new content, people have no reason to check back. Post daily if possible, and use Instagram tools such as filters to be creative with your photos so they stand out. Post varied content, including both product pics & lifestyle pics (photos of everyday things). The latter will help with the know/like/trust factor by making you relatable, and also provide you with another way to showcase your creativity. Also consider running a contest. In order to win a prize, require people to take a photo, post it to Instagram with a unique hashtag (of your creation), and then follow your account. Contests are a great way to increase both following and audience size.
If you’re wanting to leverage Instagram to increase brand recognition or to drive traffic to your website, give these steps a try. If you don’t have the time (or the desire) to spend doing so, consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. Social media management is a great task to outsource. From posting to conducting research, a Virtual Assistant can provide and schedule content, ensuring optimal visibility for your Instagram and other social media accounts. Contact me for more information on outsourcing your social media management.