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4 Brand-Building Tips on Using Instagram for Your Business

How to Create a Powerful Instagram Social Media Marketing Strategy

One of the most powerful marketing tools marketers have today is social media. From Facebook posts to tweets on Twitter, sharing your product or service on social media platforms is a great way to increase brand awareness, engagement, sales, and leads.

However, many people scratch their heads when it comes to marketing with Instagram.

Many of us use Instagram as a personal account to post photos of our family, friends, vacation and food – but how does that relate to business? And should it?

With the speed at which Instagram is growing, don’t underestimate its value in growing your brand and marketing efforts.

It has grown into an incredibly valuable marketing platform and while the 18-29 year olds are still the predominant users, the older age groups are catching up and catching up quickly.

Some of Sprout Social’s Instagram stats for 2018 say:

• 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded

• 80% of users follow a company on Instagram

• 65% of the top performing Instagram posts contain products

If you feel like exploring Instagram as part of your social media marketing strategy, check out these first pointers to get you started:

1. Use hashtags wisely

You don’t have to put every hashtag you can think of into one post, but you do need at least a few.

A hashtag is the # sign followed by descriptive words about your picture as in this example I used #marketing and #ctaconf which was the conference I was attending at the time.

When a user clicks / taps on a hashtag or enters a hashtag in the search box, all images that use that hashtag are displayed. The user can even subscribe to keep following this hashtag.

The hope is that the user sees your photo, goes to your profile, and in the best case scenario, follows you and engages in more of your posts!

However, when hashtags are very popular, competition for results is fierce. Similar to SEO keywords, the more popular a term, the more difficult it is to stay at the top of search results. So my example of using #marketing was really pointless if I was going to accomplish anything from this post.

You want your hashtags to be relevant to your business and location, but also to be engaging enough for a user to type them into Instagram’s search box.

For example:

• Say you have a pizza place in Vancouver. You post a picture of your pepperoni pizza with the hashtags #VancouversBestPizza #NicolosRestaurant #DeliciousDeepDish

• Or you are a wedding planner in Toronto. You post a picture of the first dance of a newlyweds with the hashtags #TorontoWeddingPlanner #LoveWins #WinterWedding

Holidays and special events are excellent times to promote your business and gain Instagram followers. Whether it’s a Black Friday sale, Thanksgiving-related use of your product, or a National Dog Day product call, they are all great opportunities to showcase your corporate brand in a non-sales manner.

2. Thank your audience for showing up

You don’t just post a bunch of photos and hashtags and wait for the likes to come in.

In order to gain Instagram followers, connect with your audience, and increase sales or leads, you need to invest the time free instagram followers 50.

Here is an example from video expert Michele Moreno responding to each of the comments on her video post.

So if someone leaves a comment or question on any of your posts, take the time to respond and thank them / answer their question.

Take a look at their profile and if you like what you see, follow them.

Companies often follow commenters first, hoping that they will return the favor.

You can also search for people who might be interested in your product, then comment on their photos and / or follow them, but don’t spam them with a request to follow you right away.

3. Interact with the right influencers

Influencers are Instagram users who can influence your target group based on their popularity and / or social media followers.

Danielle Bernstein is a great example of an influencer who has worked with a brand. You may not recognize her name, but the 1.8 million followers on her Instagram WeWoreWhat account do.

Bernstein and FIJI Water have jointly developed BodyWoreWhat, a marketing campaign with 8-minute training videos with you

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