Instagram is a mobile photo editing and sharing app that saw its user base explode from 15 to 80 million since Facebook acquired the company back in April. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Instagram doesn’t have business-specific profiles, built-in visibility, engagement metrics, or paid advertising options. But with Facebook declining in popularity among younger users, more and more businesses are turning to Instagram to reach younger demographics, reports SmallBizTrends.com. Besides, pictures speak a thousand words.
Take a look at the following Instagram marketing tips and tricks from SmallBizTrends.com to get the most out of your presence on the site.
1. Tell About Story Arcs
The pictures you share on Instagram don’t need to be one-off photos that aren’t associated with each other. Think in terms of story arcs and share series of pictures that show actions being taken, items that are associated with one another or progressive through time.
2. Try a Collage of Pictures
Similarly, collages of pictures combined into a single image allow you to share more content with each upload. Use the image editing apps or one of a number of other programs designed to help you mash up pictures in this way.
3. Add Text To Your Pics
Memes tend to get a lot of traction on Instagram, so take advantage of this type of viral-style image by creating your own graphic and text combinations. Use the Meme Generator website to research current meme trends, as well as make your own to share.
4. Tell Your Brand Story Without Selling
Brand marketing on Instagram can be tricky, as younger demographic users tend to be sensitive to over-promotion. Avoid irritating these users by identifying ways to share key components of your brand’s image without resorting to outright sales tactics.
5. Give a “Behind The Scenes” Look
The Ellen Show is one of the most popular accounts on Instagram, but the images her team shares aren’t the kinds of polished production photos you’d expect. Instead, her candid “behind the scenes” shots help to personalize her brand and connect on a more personal basis with followers.
6. Preview New Products
Similarly, one way to gain attention on this social platform is to preview new products on the site before they’re released to the general public or announced elsewhere. Obviously, this strategy isn’t right for every brand, as those targeting older users could lose some media attention by announcing here. But if Instagram’s user base represents the right fit for your company, there’s almost no better way to make a splash.
7. Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are incredibly important on Instagram. Before releasing any image, search around for similar content to see which hashtags are likely to lead to the most awareness and engagement.
8. Focus On Community —Not Influencers
Instagram tends to be a democratic space – there aren’t many individual influencers who shape the community. So instead of trying to find and target these power users, focus your marketing efforts on reaching out to and connecting with members of your community.
9. Host Instagram Contests
Instagram contests can be as involved or as hands-off as possible. No matter what prize you decide to offer or how you’ll track and judge entries, site users tend to get excited about these promotions (and the brands that run them).
10. Share Your Pics On Other Social Networks
Don’t limit your Instagram pictures to Instagram. Post your Instagram links to Facebook, Twitter and any other social media service your company uses in order to grow your user base and provide followers on other networks with valuable content.
11. Respond To All Comments You Receive
Recognize users that take the time to comment on your images by responding to their messages. Clicking on users’ names first will add them to your response, tagging them and making it more likely that they’ll see you’ve taken the time to respond.
12. Check Out Statigr.am for Instagram Statistics
One last Instagram tool to add to your arsenal is Statigram. Once set up, you’ll be able to view account stats on everything from the number of likes each of your photos has received to the growth of your follower base.
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