Social media is already a dominant force in changing how businesses grow and advertise their products and services. And Instagram is one of the social channels playing a key role in this. With more than 500 million users, Instagram provides a great marketing platform to reach potential customers from every corner of the globe.
Images rule on Instagram. The most successful brands use strong, striking imagery – and increasingly short form video content – to emotionally connect with people.
Read our top tips on how to grow your brand on Instagram, for free!
Add High-Quality Images to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
It’s clear Instagram is all about the perfect photo. But this doesn’t mean you have to be a professional photographer, just a professional in your field. No business can make a great statement with a blurry, low-quality image that a viewer gains nothing from. Show your audience just how great your brand is through a crisp, clean image that interests them.
Perhaps you don’t have that keen eye for a cutting image and that’s okay. Just make sure you employ someone who does or up your skills by following the next steps.
Be Caption Creative to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
Even if you have the most eye-catching image in the whole entire world, if your caption screams negativity to your audience, you can wave goodbye to your followers. You may get the odd like or two, though your poor writing skills and overuse of irrelevant hashtags and emoticons will send most of your audience packing. By the time you edit it they have already set up camp and are settled on another account. Too late!
You know that users are attracted to great images. To grow your brand on Instagram, post something amazing and grab their attention. Having a cleverly worded caption that perhaps entertains or informs them, then gets them interested. Their interest urges them to check out your photo feed. Great because by following our guidelines, you have a whole range of high-quality photos all with creative captions. Before you know it after a few scrolls they’re sold. They’ve decided to venture to your website or have even hit that follow button.
What’s the lesson? Well, if you don’t get caption savvy you will stop them at the second hurdle. A poorly constructed caption can uninterest your audience making it unlikely to build a following, thus your brand will remain small and even lose customers. So, be creative! Captions can make or break a great photo. Be witty, concise and relevant. And, don’t over do it on the hashtags!
Use Relevant Hashtags to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
One of the popular features to grow your brand on Instagram is the great ‘#’ hashtag. Perfect for generating instant engagement, this little symbol can be customised by businesses to give customers a way of communicating with your page and for you, free advertising!
Hashtags can be promoted by a business to create more interactions for the brand. How so? Well, your company creates a hashtag that is related to your brand and then encourages users to post a picture with the hashtag, by offering the chance of featuring on your feed or winning a free product. By doing this, three things are accomplished:
- You get more chances of communicating with your followers as they post their images to you.
- Each post that uses your hashtags gets you increased exposure with minimal effort.
- Users view you as a friendly, go-to brand that cares for customers. This helps to build relationships and customer loyalty which ultimately helps to improve and grow your brand on Instagram.
Keep Your Hashtag Head On!
Though using hashtags can be helpful, being hashtag heavy can drive your followers crazy. Obviously, getting more followers is a benefit for any business. Yet, using generic #followforfollow hashtags, can get you the wrong people and gives relevant users, the wrong impression.
You want your audience to believe you are there to give them useful information, not to increase your “followers” figure. If you establish this, the right followers will soon come along.
Geo-Tag Your Images to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
Geotagging is a feature that allows Instagram users to upload their photos and display location information so other users can see exactly where it was taken. With the updates, geotagging has been improved to make content posted with a location, easily transferable across other social media channels as well as enhancing user profiles with a photo map.
When users add the location of their photos on Instagram, they are automatically added to their user photo map. This displays a user’s photos on a world map at the exact location they were posted. This is great for showcasing the places a user has travelled to as well as allowing users to see a collection of photos from certain places.
Promote Your Location Through Pictures
The photo map proves a great tool for businesses wanting to interact with nearby Instagram users or people who have previously visited this place. Restaurants, retailers and many other brands can promote their location and connect with people posting both generic photos in their area or photos of their products, services or store, by the public.
This way businesses can extend their reach by interacting with both those local users who live in the area and those from all over the world, who were visiting the area for a short period of time.
Interact With Your Followers to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
Replying to comments on your own photos is critical in communicating effectively with users and building your engagement. Likewise neglecting other ways to interact with users can also have a major impact on your business.
Finding related images through geotagging of your business location should be utilised fully. Interact with these users! Commenting, liking or even reposting their content is a great way of showing your appreciation for their post and building a relationship.
Getting people to interact with you in the first place can be difficult. Yet, through the use of contests and other promotions, you can encourage your community to display your brand on their photo feed.
A great example could be to post a competition for users to win a free product if they post a picture that features your product, your chosen hashtag and tag your location. Simple. We can assume everyone loves to get a free product, so if you have a good follower base, engagement is pretty much guaranteed.
Customer Service Is Getting Social
Many people take to social media to complain and rant, which can be destructive for brands if not handled with care. As posting a bad review has gotten easier, particularly with mobile usage increasing, it’s ever more important to solve your customer’s problems quickly and smoothly.
Don’t be put off by negativity. If you can find a solution to a problem, customers may feel intact to remove their negative comment or post a positive review on how their problem was sorted, both of which, help to keep customers happy and your brand stable.
Remember: It’s important to reply to your on your own posts, but reaching out by liking other photos too – particularly those that mention your brand, product or location.
It’s Not a Race Against the Clock
For businesses only just venturing onto Instagram, don’t panic. Building a following takes time. As you post more and interact with more users, more people will start to show an interest in your business. Over time, you will develop a growing list of loyal, potential customers. Your opportunities will gradually open up and new sales leads will soon come into sight.
When To Be Posting
Using analytic tools such as SimplyMeasured helps you to get great business insights into your Instagram engagement. By analysing your data, you can find out which tags, filters and times have the greatest correlation to comments and likes on your photos. This gives you a simple way of finding out when is the best time for your business to be posting to get the most engagement.
Post in a Pattern
Think about when you post content to your blog. When publishing your articles it is a good idea to be consistent and frequent. Readers will expect you to publish new blogs at certain times so they can get hold of your content easily.
It’s best to bear this in mind with all social channels too. Although you don’t have to be as strict on when you post, it’s good to make sure they relate to the best time possible and follow some sort of pattern. If you sell food products, think about the times your customers will be most likely to use them i.e. breakfast, dinner, tea, or as daily snacks? Posting around these times can help to encourage the use of your product as it’s promoted at a convenient time.
Share, Share, Share – A Smart Way to Grow Your Brand on Instagram
Instagram is great for connecting multiple social media networks to communicate content from one channel, to users on another channel, quickly and easily. This integration has a significant impact on the impressions or views your content gets. Get researching and find which channels work best for your type of business and target that channel first.
We recommend using a mix of all channels to get the best coverage of your content. However, this can be time-consuming and hence put off by many brands. Instead, in the early stages, choosing around three channels to publish content on will help to build brand awareness.
Three of the most common social media channels are Instagram (obviously), Facebook and Twitter. For companies who may have more photographic content to publish, using multiple visually friendly sites like Pinterest and Tumblr may be of more use. It’s down to your careful judgement to decide. Connecting to these other platforms after you have established your following will then make people more likely to connect with you on different platforms, to spread your reach.
Time to Conclude
If it’s not yet clear, Instagram is one of the best tools for interacting and engaging with customers to build your brand. By catering to people’s inner emotions through high-quality photos and creative captions, your customers feel connected to you.
Building relationships and advertising your products and services can be done completely free. Not only is this a great tool for marketers to grow awareness but it can help to save company expenses too. By using the clever features to tag photo locations and make unique, interactive hashtags, your business can reach the right people and get them talking.