22 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business

Startup Guides > 22 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business

Since Facebook is declining in popularity among younger users, more and more businesses are turning to Instagram to reach younger demographics. If you plan to adopt a similar strategy, you'll want to take a look at the following Instagram marketing tips and tricks for getting the most out of your presence on the site.

1. Fill Out Your "Bio" Section

First things first. Before you pass "Go" and collect $200, be sure to fill out the "Bio" section of your Instagram profile. Doing so will ensure that people who want to connect with you elsewhere are able to make these connections.

2. Learn How to Take Better Pictures on Your Phone

You don't need a fancy DSLR camera to succeed on Instagram. Chances are the smartphone in your pocket has all the power you need.

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3. Share Drop-Dead Gorgeous Images

As a general rule, the pictures that perform best on Instagram are stunningly beautiful scenery shots. While not every photo you share will be this caliber, try to make it a priority to share gorgeous images once a week.

4. Get to Know Instagram's Filters

Instagram offers more than a dozen automatic image filters, but they're not all created equal. Overall, go-to favorites for general image editing include hefe, inkwell and rise.

5. Experiment with Other Image Editing Apps

If Instagram's filters aren't enough for you, there are plenty of other image editing apps out there to give your pictures the love they need. In particular, check out Lumie, PicMonkey, Pixlr and Color Splash.

6. Think About Story Arcs

The pictures you share on Instagram don't need to be one-off photos that aren't associated with one another. Think in terms of story arcs, and share a series of pictures that show actions being taken, items that are associated with one another, or progressions through time.

7. 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 referenced above or one of a number of other programs designed to help you mash up pictures in this way.

8. Add Text to Your Pictures

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 meme to share.

9. Experiment With Video Clips

Instagram now has the ability to share video clips alongside the platform's static photos. To give it a try, use the movie camera icon within Instagram to record up to 15 seconds of footage, and then apply a video-specific filter to improve its look.

10. 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.

11. Give a Behind-the-Scenes Look

Some of the most popular accounts on Instagram share images that aren't the kinds of polished production photos you'd expect. Instead, their candid "behind the scenes" shots help to personalize their brand and connect on a more personal basis with followers.

12. Showcase a Lifestyle

One way to tell your brand's story without directly selling is to share lifestyle shots that reinforce your brand's persona. Sharing surfing photos, for example, gives off a casual, laid back vibe; while sharing pictures of races creates a more motivated, driven identity.

13. Show New Uses for Your Products

If you want to be more direct when marketing on Instagram, use your uploads to show off innovative new ways to use your products. Followers tend to be more forgiving of brand marketing efforts when they receive something of value in exchange for their attention.

14. Preview New Products

One way to gain attention on this social media platform is to preview new products exclusively on the site before they're released to the general public or announced elsewhere.

15. Introduce New Employees

Whenever you hire a new employee, take a photo of him or her and post it to Instagram. Doing so helps your followers build personal relationships with your team, while also filling your feed with content that isn't directly self-promotional.

16. 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.

17. Share your Instagram Pics on Other Social Networks

Don't limit your Instagram pictures to only Instagram. Post your Instagram links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn 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.

Try automated social media marketing sites like 40Billion, which is a fast-growing network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders. They specialize in promotion of small businesses by broadcasting and promoting to its large network of several million users across the most popular social networking sites for small businesses - including Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services such as promoted company listings were created for small business entrepreneurs to tap into a growing, active network online while saving valuable money and time.

18. Focus on Community - Not Influencers

Instagram tends to be a democratic space where 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.

19. Host an Instagram Contest

Instagram contests can be as involved or as hands-off as you want. 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 (as well as the brands that run them).

20. Post at Peak Times

As you post on Instagram, pay attention to the times during the day when your images receive the most likes and comments. Use the trends you've identified to be sure you're posting at peak times when you'll be most likely to reach members of your audience.

21. Keep an Eye on Your "Feed Speed"

Don't inundate your users with too many images. See how frequently other brands in your industry are posting, and then mimic their feed speed while paying attention to the impact on your account's metrics as you vary this rate.

22. 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 comment back.

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22 Instagram Marketing Tips for Business