With more than 500 million active users, Instagram is a veritable goldmine of opportunity for businesses. But as with any other social network, you can’t be successful unless you’re reaching a big enough portion of your target audience. Whether you’re new to the world of Instagram or you’ve been using the platform but just don’t seem to be gaining any traction in terms of number of quality followers, here are a few tips for increasing your audience.
Pick a Theme – What is it you want visitors to associate your brand with? Is it freshness? Innovation? Humor? Art? Whatever particular image you’d like to portray, make it your Instagram theme and stick with posting content that falls in line with that theme. That way when people come to your profile, they’ll know what they’re getting into and what they can expect if they choose to follow you.
Use Relevant Hashtags – If you want more traffic on your Instagram page, you have to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. That’s where hashtags come into play. These are words or phrases that proceed the # symbol, such as #fashion or #socialmediamarketing. Hashtags make your content searchable, so do some research (try Hashtagify or check out your competitors) and use relevant tags on all your images. Just don’t overdo it – 3 or 4 should be plenty.
Share the Love – In the social media world, you have to give love to get it in return, so spend some time looking up, liking and commenting on posts made by others in your particular niche. This will help get your brand in front of more people who already like whatever it is you happen to offer. It will also establish valuable, mutually-beneficial connections with others in your industry.
Be Social – Many business owners make the mistake of forgetting that Instagram is “social.” In other words, it’s not just about posting beautiful and compelling images and getting as many followers as possible. It’s equally important to engage with those who are liking and commenting on your content.
Create Your Own Hashtag – The beauty of hashtags is that you can make up your own, which can be a highly effective way to increase your Instagram audience. It can also provide you with valuable user-generated content that will help build relationships. Make up your own, use it regularly and encourage others to do so as well. For example, if you sell women’s shoes, you could create a hashtag like #RockYour[BrandName]Heals. When people post pictures using that hashtag, you can like and share.
Use Geotags – This is great for reaching and connecting with your local audience – something most small businesses strive to do. A geotag lets people know where a particular image was taken. When someone local conducts a search for that geotag, they’ll find your content and see that you’re nearby, which might increase the chances of them following you (and hopefully doing business with you as well).
Link and Cross-Promote – You can’t just expect people to go out and search for your Instagram account. Make it simple and straightforward for them to connect by including links to your page on your website and in email communications. Likewise, use your other social networks to encourage others who haven’t yet done so to connect with you on Instagram as well.
These are just a few of the many ways you can optimize your efforts on Instagram to get better results. If you could use some specific advice on this or any other area of your social media marketing strategy, give us a call and let’s discuss!