Did you know that there are over 1 billion Instagram users worldwide? If you're not using Instagram to promote your business, you're missing out on a huge opportunity that costs you nothing.
Using social media is a necessary way to promote your business, especially if your target demographic is people under the age of 35. 65% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 35.
It's not enough to just have an account that you randomly post on, though. You need to have a targeted strategy for Instagram and this article is here to help. Read on for 5 tips for Instagram engagement.
1. Use Hashtags
Many Instagram users have no idea how to use hashtags properly. Don't hashtag #random words in your posts or words that mean nothing. That does nothing for engagement.
For example, if you are a business selling jewelry and you put a hashtag on jewelry, 78.2 million posts are going to come up. Do you really expect people to find your business in a sea of 78 million posts?
Instead, use longtail hashtags. If you make beaded jewelry, use #beadedjewelry in your posts. That hashtag only has 938,000 posts and is much more beneficial for Instagram promotion of your business.
A good strategy is to mix in longtail, strategically selected hashtags with more general ones (about an 80:20 ratio).
If your hashtags are common and have millions of posts, you'll never end up on the "top posts" page when people search that hashtag because chances are, your post will get lost in the millions of other posts.
2. Create Savable Content
Did you realize there was a save button on Instagram posts? On the right-hand side of your post, just above your caption, the bookmark button saves your post. Savable content is anything that might come in handy later, such as a recipe, a story people want to read, or tips or tricks to do something.
For example, you might want to create a summer bucket list that includes things to do (including something related to your business) and your followers can save the post to refer back to the list.
If you have a cooking blog or focus on cooking on your Instagram profile, you can post photos of food that you make with a recipe or a link to the recipe in the comments. This way, people can save the post and come back to it when they want to make something.
3. Figure Out the Best Time to Post
If you have an Instagram Business profile, you can use Instagram Insights to figure out the best time to post. If not, there are different apps out there than can analyze your Instagram engagement to identify the times when you have the most engagement.
These tools can identify where most of your followers are. For example, if a large number of your followers are in the UK or Europe, you'll want to be aware of what time it is in their time zone when you are posting. If you post at 8:00 p.m., going to be the middle of the night there, and you'll miss out on an engagement window.
These tools will also identify exactly when you have the most engagement so you can schedule your posts for that time period. Do yourself a favor and use a post scheduler so you don't have to remember to post at a certain time each day. You can get your posts ready for the next few days and simply schedule them ahead of time.
4. Use Stories to Engage Your Followers
When used correctly, stories are a great way to easily engage with your followers that doesn't necessitate responding to comments. You can use the "ask a question" button to post an ask me anything story where followers can ask you questions they're dying to know the answer to.
Then, you answer these questions verbally in another story or post the question and answer with text on a story. This a great way to share more information about you, your brand, and your business with your followers and allows them to put a face with the brand.
5. Make Sure Your Photos and Posts Fit Your Brand
Followers love to see pictures of people on your Instagram profile. Posts with a face in them (whether that's yours or someone else's) get more likes than other photos, so try to work in pictures with people into your posting schedule. No matter what your product or service is, you can most likely find a way to incorporate people into those photos.
You should also make sure that all of your posts are cohesive and fit your brand. To see all of your posts at one, go to your profile page and you can see small thumbnails of all of your posts. These would all follow the same general formula, use the same filters, and have similar colors and styles.
This doesn't mean that every post looks exactly the same and like you just plugged some content into a template, but simply that the posts are cohesive and demonstrate that you have a clear brand image.
Tips for Using Instagram to Grow Your Business
Using Instagram is a relatively easy and low-cost way to engage with your followers on a regular basis. However, just because you can start posting immediately after creating an account doesn't mean you should.
You should give some thought to your social media strategy, and if you are unclear how to best go about it, you might even hire a social media manager, which you can find on our site.
Whether you need a social media manager, an SEO expert, a website designer, or a content writer, you can find them in our marketplace. Take a look today and hire someone to take some of the work off your plate.