November 6, 2015
Instagram – that incredible photo-worthy social channel filled with images of cats, food, coffee, and possibly your product images.
Do you find that, even though you’ve set it up, you aren’t really owning your Instagram strategy?
I have some excellent tips as well as a list of tools that can help you own your Instagram marketing.
Why should you add Instagram to your mix and just what are these tips and tools? Here are the answers you’re looking for:
Adding Instagram to Your Mix is Vital, but Why?
This channel is absolutely amazing. It is more than just cat photos and images of food – it is a place for people to connect and feel like they are part of each other’s lives.
Millennials are the largest demographic using Instagram. According to Grant Munro from The Next Web, 47 percent of Millennial-age users say they use Instagram as one of their top 10 channels to seek out and find products.
Since Instagram is all about visuals, it can really help convince someone to purchase a product. If people can see it, they will be more likely to click on the website link and purchase it.
In fact, the number of Instagram and Pinterest users is on the rise, and LinkedIn and Twitter are dragging behind.
Pew Research Center points out that, over the last few years, people have been using Instagram more. If you need further proof, just take a look at this great screenshot from Pew’s social site research:
Both Pinterest and Instagram saw usage numbers double over the last few years, as each of the other platforms progressed slowly, or not at all.
Is Instagram Really Good for Your Business?
If you think Instagram is of no benefit to your business, you are dead wrong.
It can help you create more visuals for your business, which is vital in this very visual world. It also helps you reach out to a younger demographic and widen your audience.
Instagram can also give you the chance to show your personality, or the personality you want to give your brand. This is an awesome chance to be silly, sassy, and fun, too.
Currently, 65 percent of major brands are already on Instagram because they see the importance of the channel. These brands range from credit card services to coffee shops.
All you have to do is take a look at some of the businesses on Instagram to realize that any type of business can use it.
How Can You Use Instagram for Your Business?
There are many ways you can use this channel for your business, maximizing your online presence.
According to Evan LePage from Hootsuite, Instagram gives you the chance to build and strengthen your brand.
It also helps you create more connections with your audience, add a personal touch to your social presence, and work on maintaining your client base. You can also reach out to a wider audience.
10 Awesome Tools and Tips for Using Instagram
Now that you know just how much Instagram can really help your business, I’m sure you’re wondering about tips, tricks and tools. Let’s take a look:
1. Don’t Hesitate to Use Photo Editing Apps Like VOSCO or Afterlight. Something that is a big part of Instagram is crafting stunning images. This means that you shouldn’t just post a photo you’ve haphazardly snapped and off you go. You should make sure your images are awesome.
Take some time to research a few photo editing apps and download some to try. Add filters and work on lighting fixes to create epic visuals.
A few great editing tools include VOSCO Cam, Afterlight, and you can always use some of Instagram’s own filters. There are many other apps you can use to make some stunning, unique photos your followers will love.
2. Get the Repost App and Share Client Photos to Your Channel.
Sharing content from clients is a great way to promote more engagement and interaction. However, it isn’t immediately easy to do this on Instagram.
How can you repost a client’s photo, then?
Use an awesome app known as Repost. You download it, login with your Instagram credentials, and you will see your feed.
Select the image you want to repost and there you have it.
3. Latergramme Can Help Remind You When to Post Your Instagram Content.
Scheduling content out on Instagram isn’t as easy as the other channels, but there are apps that can help.
One of the more popular ones is Latergramme, which allows you to create all of your IG content, and it then reminds you when to post.
This is great when you are incredibly busy, and all it takes is a simple push of a touchscreen button.
4. Use Wishpond’s Instagram Contest to Boost Your Brand. Contests are an excellent way to promote engagement with your clients and followers.
There are apps out there that can help you with Instagram contests including Wishpond’s product.
The company not only gives you an app to help with contests but also provides excellent tips and pointers for a successful one.
5. Don’t Forget to Use Those Instagram Hashtags.
Hashtags give you the chance to create your own tag for things like contests or user-generated content.
You can use hashtags for trending topics for great sales outreach, but you can also make sure you stay up-to-date with your clients by following specific tags. Hashtags are a great way to promote engagement and help you see all photos clients are sharing.
When you create and begin using Instagram, be sure you are using your hashtags well.
6. Get Your Awesome Instagram Analytics with Iconoquare.
Analytics are great, aren’t they? You can see how well your posts are doing and what you need to change.
When you start using Instagram, you might notice it is a bit difficult to get your analytics right away but never fear.
There is an awesome analytics app that can help you learn which posts are doing well, who your top followers are, and more. This app is called Iconoquare (formerly Statigr.am) and it is absolutely vital you add it to your Instagram campaign.
7. Remember to Interact With People to Bring in New Followers.
Instagram is a great place to connect with people and make them feel like they are part of your life and/or business. One of the ways to do this is to interact with them.
There are many ways you can interact with other users including tagging them in a photo, @ mentioning them, liking, commenting, and sending direct messages.
Take some time to interact and build awesome relationships and you will be able to create an amazing client base.
8. Use Instagram as a Great Way to Show People What is Going On BTS.
BTS (behind-the-scenes) shots are great. They allow people to be part of your world in just a snap or two.
But how can your business use BTS shots?
You can take images of the process that goes into making a product, pictures if you go to conventions, and day-to-day images from around the office.
Even if you work at home, you can share images of your desk space, any work buddies you may have like a cat or dog, and anything else that gives a glimpse into your life.
9. Give Instagram Followers Unique Coupons and Deals.
You can also make people feel special when they follow you by giving them special deals and coupons. This can also encourage them to tell others about your business.
You can do this for each and every social channel you use, and no matter which one it is on, your followers will certainly feel like you care for them.
10. Share Something Cute. Another amazing way to use Instagram is to do what Instagram users do best – share something cute. Nick Steeves at Wishpond points out that people really love seeing cute images.
Do you have a cat, dog, or some other animal? Share an image!
Did you find something fun and adorable while out grocery shopping? Share it!
People will love seeing all the cute things in their timeline and it can help break up promotional images.
Start Using Instagram and Build Up an Amazing Brand
Instagram is a tremendous social channel that can help you get that competitive edge you are looking for, for your business.
Take this chance to share images with your clients and build your brand, making it absolutely strong.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.