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When you think of Instagram, you might not think of an indispensable tool for your small business. But you should.
Instagram is currently one of the fastest growing and most popular social media platforms, and it can be an incredibly useful tool for your business — if done correctly.
Use the following five tips to take your Insta-game to the next level, and attract customers with this fun and effective tool.
1. Post Consistently
Instagram users follow your account because they want to see your content. If you stop posting, they’re going to stop following. In order to grow your account, your brand, and your customer base, you need to be consistent with creating content. It can be difficult to create new content frequently, but even a quote or landscape photo will suffice. Posts like this still keep your brand fresh in consumers’ timelines and minds.
You don’t need to post every single day in order to grow your business, but we recommend doing it, at minimum, four days a week. Any less than that and consumers are going to forget about your brand. Instagram is not the place to be sporadic with your content.
2. Change it up
Instagram is filled with fun, creative, colorful and eye-catching images. In order to attract attention, your images need to be just as fun as the rest. That means posting the same flat-lay or photo of your morning coffee day
after day is not going to do you much good. You need to switch up your content now and again. Try posting a product photo one day, a video the next, and a fun quote the day after that. Your followers will appreciate a little variety in your content.
However, make sure everything you’re posting ties back to your business, brand or product in one way or another. Remember, your content is for your business; you’re not running a personal account.
3. Reward followers
Keeping followers around is easier said than done. Not only do they need fresh, fun content to stick around, but they also need an incentive to follow you in the first place.
You can grow your account by offering deals, promo codes and discounts for followers. Post discount codes in the captions, or create a graphic with details about the discount. Not only will this give you fresh content, but it will give followers a reason to engage with your page and posts.
Followers like seeing your photos, but ultimately they want a reward for interacting with your account. You don’t need to make every post an opportunity for free stuff, but you should consider adding posts like this to the mix every so often.
4. Use hashtags
Instagram, like its fellow social media platform Twitter, is organized by hashtags. When you include these tags on your post, you’re essentially making it easier for users to find relevant content. You’re also making it easier for Instagram to categorize and organize your posts.
When that happens, users are able to find accounts and images that fit their interests. For example, say your company sells makeup. If you use the hashtag #makeuptutorial or #makeup, users that search those hashtags will be more likely to run into your posts, follow your page and possibly become customers in the future. Whereas if you omit hashtags, those same users may never stumble onto your page.
Hashtags are powerful tools on social media, but use them wisely. Don’t include random hashtags like #dogs on a post about hair products just to attract more users. Also, don’t use an absurd amount of hashtags on everything you post. Eleven is the optimal number, but anywhere between 10-20 will suffice.
5. Be social
It’s called social media for a reason. You need to be social!
Running a successful Instagram account takes more than just posting a photo here and there and leaving your account to grow. You need to interact with other accounts, fans and followers. It’s essential that you comment, like and repost content from other pages; respond to comments from followers; and don’t leave direct messages unopened or unanswered.
If a user follows your page, it’s because he/she wants to have a more personal relationship with your brand. It’s important to make sure you’re giving your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business, and/or something they couldn’t get if they weren’t following you on social media.
Social media isn’t a piece of cake, but it doesn’t need to be a complicated puzzle, either. Use these five tricks to up your Insta-game, and watch your account (and your sales) grow.