Instagram is one of the preferred social media platforms for visual-heavy brands. However, the platform also works well for brands that benefit from customer participation. That said, growing on Instagram can take a considerable amount of effort because of how competitive the platform is. Here are five proven things you can do to improve your brand’s reach on Instagram.
1. Leverage Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are an excellent new tool for marketers. Stories are not like regular Instagram posts. Instead of staying on your profile until you delete them, Stories can only be viewed once by a follower, and then they’re gone. Regular users use Instagram Stories to feature events throughout their day, often with doodles or stickers accompanying the stories. Don’t be afraid to do the same thing.
Aside from pictures, you can also post short-form videos as Instagram Stories. These videos can be used to tease a new product or promote something about your brand. Photos can be used for the same thing, or you can use them to show off what a day is like in your office or store. Despite Instagram Stories being deleted at the end of the day, there is nothing preventing you from sharing the same photo on other platforms or reposting it as a regular Instagram post.
2. Engage in cross-promotion
Cross-promoting is important on every platform, but on Instagram it’s something that smaller brands particularly need to do. Cross-promotional events are a great way to generate interest in your brand as well as help people become aware of brands you care about. Everyone involved experiences higher recognition, a growth in followers, increased sales, and improved traffic.
There are a lot of ways to promote on Instagram. The easiest is to simply tag other profiles, although sometimes you can just upload images of products from other brands or companies. Instagram isn’t only a platform for people to post their content. It’s also an excellent place to network with relevant brands.
3. Use it to leverage your other marketing strategies
Getting a boom in your Instagram followers is important, but for most brands, that’s just the first step. Don’t think of Instagram as your ultimate marketing goal. Big numbers on Instagram translate to a wider reach, not only on Instagram, but also on other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. These platforms often share the same audiences. Use your profile on Instagram to promote your brand on other platforms.
Instagram is also good for collecting email addresses for your email marketing campaigns. Share images with calls to action that can allow you to capture people’s emails. This can be as simple as asking your Instagram followers to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog. Consider directing your Instagram followers to specifically tailored landing pages instead of just any page on your site.
4. Avoid spamming your audiences
As on other platforms, you don’t have to post new content every day. Posting consistently is important, but avoid posting irrelevant content on your brand’s Instagram page. You can post new Instagram Stories every day because Stories are less obtrusive, but avoid overwhelming subscribers with new posts. As on your blog, your content should either trigger an emotional response in your audience or teach them something new. At the same time, don’t make your content overly promotional. If you end up spamming your audience, there’s a good chance they’ll unsubscribe from you.
5. Interact with your followers
Social media allows brands to interact with their followers. Although Instagram is an image-focused platform, using it to interact with your audience isn’t that different than doing so on Facebook and Twitter. Respond to comments on your pictures, tag people, and ask your followers to tag their friends. The ways you can interact with your audience on Instagram are endless, and Instagram marketing won’t be going away anytime soon. The platform continues to grow and innovate. New free tools are being made every day to help both regular users and brands. When you follow these tips, your following on Instagram will be well on its way to growing.
Originally published 05/08/17.