Instagram is quickly becoming a social media mammoth, and it now boasts over 500 million active users. What’s more, almost two-thirds of these Instagrammers use the app every day.
With such a large and attentive base of potential customers, it’d be foolish not to utilize Instagram in your marketing strategy. But where do you start? And if you’re already on Instagram, how do you kick it up a notch?
Here are seven simple ways you can improve your Instagram game and use Instagram to increase your brand presence.
Develop a visual style for your brand or business.
Instagram users often see hundreds of images on their feeds each day. If you can make your original content cohesive and identifiable, you’ll be one step closer to widespread brand recognition. Sticking to a specific color palette and the same type of fonts and filters can help create a unique and recognizable visual style.
Keep your target audience in mind when considering potential color palettes. Would they be drawn to bright, bold colors or a calmer, more subdued color scheme?
When selecting Instagram image filters, try to stay true to your chosen color palette. Additionally, sticking with one or two tasteful fonts for all your original text-based images goes a long way in creating a consistent feel for your posts.
Embrace the hashtag.
For some business owners, hashtags might seem cumbersome, awkward, or just plain pointless. But remember that hashtags are the essence of Instagram—or at least part of its essence. Properly incorporating trending words and phrases into your hashtags can increase your overall reach and help your brand get more visibility.
You also might want to create your own branded hashtag to immediately identify your company or product. A unique brand hashtag also lets your followers mention you in casual, everyday contexts.
If you’re worried about cluttering up your captions with too many hashtags, you can add them in a separate comment after the post is published.
Incorporate your Instagram feed on your website and/or blog.
Use your Instagram profile to share links for your website and blog. The hashtags and information in Instagram bios aren’t searchable, but they’re helpful in explaining your mission and driving new traffic to your site.
You can also include your logo and addresses for any physical store locations in your profile and bio. You’ve got to keep it short and sweet, as there’s a limit of 150 characters, so leave the longer text for your website and just include links in your bio.
Collaborate with other Instagrammers.
You can co-host giveaways with influencers in related spheres, share valuable content from industry thought leaders, thank a fellow Instagrammer for a free sample, or share any other collaboration that would be interesting or valuable to your followers.
On Instagram, name dropping isn’t pretentious—as long as it’s reasonable and relevant. Think of it as another way to stay connected and relevant.
Utilize the caption.
When Instagram users are scrolling through their feeds, they’ll see three lines of your caption before it’s cut off with an ellipsis. Even though you’ve got 2,200 total characters to work with, you’ve got to make those first few lines count, or users won’t want to click through to see the whole post.
That means it’s time to whip out your creative writing skills and hook readers with an interesting caption. If you can pull off a little humor, go for it; above all, try to stay authentic to your voice.
Stay focused on your followers.
As with any type of marketing, one key to succeeding on Instagram is to know your audience. Take some time and browse through your followers, learning what types of accounts they follow and what types of content they like.
Understanding what your followers and customers want to see is the first step in being able to deliver it.
Keep track of how you’re doing.
There are a few different ways you can track your presence on Instagram. You can simply take notes on which types of posts perform the best and try to create and share more of that content. Although this method won’t get you many quantitative metrics, it’s better than doing nothing. You can also hire a social media manager to keep track of your Instagram account for you.
Whether you’re doing the tracking yourself or outsourcing to a social media expert, another option is to use Instagram tracking tools like Iconosquare, InstaFollow, or Simply Measured, among others. Many tracking apps are free, and most allow you to track your stats over time, including the number of comments and likes your posts have received, your average number of comments and likes, the number of followers you’re gaining over time, and more.
By incorporating these easy tips, you can turn Instagram into a successful, profitable, and even fun outlet for your brand’s marketing strategy.