How to Grow Your Business on Instagram

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Instagram is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing social media sites on the web and here are some tips to growing your first business on Instagram.

You can make a business through Instagram if you’re savvy enough.

Instagram is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing social media sites on the web and here are some tips to take advantage of it and grow your business on Instagram.

Be Creative When Showing What You Do

The focus should not be on the products you sell; it should be on the solution you provide. It is crucial on Instagram that you add value to your customers while looking pretty in the process. The fact that you most important asset as well as downfall on Instagram is visual content should not be underestimated.

If you have a service oriented business, your focus should be on displaying the process of how the service is provided. Show the culture of your company, explain your mission to the world, or even just provide some helpful how-to’s and tips.

You can actually upload photos, videos that are up to minute in length and short videos that are similar to gifs. Instagram Stories is the latest addition and is a video collage containing images as well as videos which are able to be edited with color, text and other similar things. Exclusively available on mobile, Instagram Stories are live for only a twenty four hour time span, however if you choose to keep them longer, these can be refreshed.

Create an Engaging Profile

There are probably tons of things that you as a company as well as offer even more solutions. Do not try to fit a full description in a mere one hundred and fifty characters. The focus should be on your next big thing, whether it is and event, production launch or promotion or on your most important USP

Being as the only clickable link will be in your Bio section that is found directly under your name, it is important that you frequently update it. Unfortunately this is something that most brands only use to link to their website, it could hover do so much more. Think app downloads, driving event registration or even purchases.

The Instagram Business profiles as well as paid advertising have already been launched by Instagram. You can add a phone number to your bio with the Business profile; it also provides you with access to extensive analytics data. Currently, this feature is only available in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, all the rest of us will simply have to wait.

Let Your Fans See the Behind-the Scenes

Naturally, customers are curious about where their products come from; their whole lifecycle can be shown to them via Instagram. These elements are especially useful for companies that manufacture Fair Trade or environmentally friendly products. Provide images that show the way the products are made starting from the base material and on to production and distribution.

If you cannot think of anything, feel free to share what others have — notes, sketches and filed blackboards and whiteboards. There is not a business that has not brainstormed ideas, it is on your to take a great picture and then upload it onto Instagram.

Use #Hashtags to Expand Your Reach

These can be general or campaign-specific — the one thing that really matters is that they are actually relevant. Make sure to take the time to set up the main hashtag for your company, a.k.a. #yourbrandname, and through Instagram as well as Twitter, use it sparingly. This makes finding content that relates to you and you main account much easier for people.

Even though the maximum amount of hashtags that you can add on an Instagram post is thirty, it is best to only use around five to ten of them. Use a combination of hashtags that are your own and campaign specific as well as others that are more popular, this will increase your content’s discoverability. You can for example try adding hashtags that have been used in three hundred million posts, such as #instagood, or Throwback Thursday #tbt and of course do not leave out the ones that are industry specific. For example if you are in the IT business, then #IT or @tech will work just fine.

Collaborate and @mention Others

One of the strongest social media channels for sharing customer success stories and highlighting collaborators is Instagram. Even if you are not officially partnered with a non-profit organization, you can fundraise a couple of times each year or give to a charity. As long as the cause is aligned with your mission and brand values, it is all good.

Shout-outs are another great technique. When you partner with another brand that has about the same amount of Instagram followers as you do, that is what an unpaid shout out is you are able to promote each other to your own audiences and benefit by obtaining more exposure.

Those with a bigger budget can opt for the paid shout-out. This is when a brand or influenced with a following that is much larger is paid to promote your service or product. This is the ideal way to quickly gain a large amount of new followers, if the call to action you create is strong.

Anticipation Must Be Built

A crucial part of any effective marketing campaign is keeping your customers interested. Your loyal followers should be rewarded with exclusive content. Let them be the first ones to find out about new events, services or products. Build anticipation for your new releases, store or office openings, create teaser photos that will satisfy their curiosity. With this type of preview, your Instagram followers will feel special and will continue to come back for more of that insider information.

Evaluate Your Success and Build on It

Marketing can quickly become a guessing game if you do not step back and analyze what did and did not work. Even if you read every article available on the best publishing times and practices, the only way you will actually find out what works and does not work for your business is by testing and then measuring the results.

That being said, social media management tools can help. Not only can you use them for scheduling your campaigns in advance, but you can also measure their success with the use of social media analytics. It is important to measure your engagement and clicks as well as your follower count on a regular basis, this will be so you can refine and improve your Instagram strategy.

Not only will these tips improve your channels of performance, hopeful they will also draw in new customers. Please let us know which of these tips you found to be the most useful, and also let us know if you have any other tactics that have worked for you.

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.
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