Social media is one of the best tools that you can use to expand the reach, appeal, and visibility of your business. Instagram can be one of the greatest assets to your business, especially if you know how to use it as a marketing tool vs. a social tool.
In its nine years of existence, Instagram has amassed more than one billion active monthly users, including 25 million business profiles. People use Instagram not only to look at photos but also to learn about new brands and even to make purchases.
Here’s what you need to know about using Instagram as a marketing tool to increase your brand’s reach and appeal.
Optimize Your Account
Once you have a business Instagram account created, the next step is to optimize it. Start by choosing a profile picture. This is likely to be one of the first things that visitors will see once they land on your page. Your profile picture serves as a first impression for new visitors.
Choose a profile picture that’s consistent with your brand. You can use your company’s logo or some other image that portrays who your business is. Remember that Instagram profile pictures are cropped into a circle, so you want to leave enough room around the corners so that the picture doesn’t get cut off.
Once you have a good profile picture, write your Instagram bio. You only have 150 characters, so make sure you get your point across! Provide a direct and concise summary of who your business is and why people should follow you.
Know Your Target Audience
As with any form of marketing, one must-do is to get to know your target audience. Even if you post amazing content on a consistent schedule, this doesn’t mean that your audience will see or interact with what you post.
The key to using Instagram as a marketing tool is to spend time getting to know your audience. Figure out what kind of content they prefer. Research when they’re most active on the network. You can find a lot of this information through the Insights feature, which provides information about reach, views, time on page, and more.
You’ll also want to research demographic information about your target audience. Where are they from? What’s the average age? Is there a certain location that most of your followers are from? All of this information matters.
To create a consistent stream of new interest in your brand, hashtags are a must. Hashtags allow users to search for content using a specific search term. If a user searches for a hashtag that you use on a post or a photo, it will appear in their search results. In return, they may click the post and then take time to explore your page and possibly even follow you.
One thing you don’t want to do is to use hashtags without thought or research. Visitors don’t want to see a post with dozens of hashtags. Focus on quality or quantity. In order to find the best hashtags to use in your posts, you can:
- Look at the hashtags competitors are using
- See which hashtags are trending in your industry
- Research which ones your followers like the most
Be sure to include a mix of hashtags, such as local, trending, and broad ones, so that you can effortlessly boost awareness of your brand. By using the right hashtags, you can get new leads organically versus having to buy Instagram followers.
Interact With Your Audience
Posting quality content is a good step, but if you want to maximize your marketing efforts on Instagram, it’s important to interact and engage as often as possible. Interaction increases brand advocacy, customer satisfaction, likability, visibility, and creditability.
To interact with your followers respond to comments. Use Instagram Stories and Stickers so that you can get feedback from your audience by using polls and the voting system.
Though it takes time to engage, be genuine about it. The more you interact with your viewers, the more likely you are to build a network of loyal consumers.
Share User-Generated Content
Not only do you want to engage with users by responding to comments and getting involved in the conversation, but you can also boost engagement by sharing user-generated content. There are all sorts of ways you can encourage your followers to share their photos, videos, and experiences with your business.
When new visitors see that people just like them are happy with your product/service, they’re more likely to get on board and be interested in what your brand has to offer.
Instagram is one of the best marketing tools out there. Not only can you use the social media network to improve your brand’s visibility, but it can also be used to interact with influencers and other big names in your industry.