You already have an Instagram account for your business set up, but do you know how Best Practices and how to best use Instagram to market yourself or your business (or both)?
These 3 tips are the best ways to market using Instagram and, of course, to grow your business!
Tip 1: Leverage Your Followers – How To Get More Without Paying
It used to be a big deal to pay for followers on “all” the social media sites, aka Facebook and Twitter. The thought was that quantity was better than quality in followers. That thought is gone and has been replaced with quality over quantity, and that’s for all social media sites.
Why have followers that don’t give a rip about your business (or don’t even really exist)? Answer: No idea, so don’t pay for them and don’t chase or follow people that don’t like you or your business’ products.
Here’s the best way to get Instagram followers that are quality ones and get a good quantity of them at the same time. It’s not fast or incredibly simple, but really, is anything that fast or simple in social media? NO, but it’s worth it!
Here’s what to do to get more followers on Instagram:
- Be interesting and genuine, and set yourself apart from the others in your niche. Be funny, be sensitive, be sincere. Be yourself! When I went looking for people to follow, I saw the same thing in the coaching and creativepreneur niches which is motivational quotes and “stuff.” Give actionable tips, show us the real you and don’t let it ALL be about business.
- Post quality, ingenious, well-thought out or spontaneous and pictures of yourself, your business, and your products in fun and colorful (or black and white!), filtered or unfiltered pictures, 3-4 times per day. Be sure to post at the times that your audience is most active on Instagram, so do some research to find out.
- Along with these pictures, sometimes post ones that create conversation instead of only double taps or hearts. By engaging your audience in conversation, their followers can see that they were involved in a conversation with you and your business, and can create an environment of more follower interaction and more followers!
- Actually go and double tap your followers’ pictures. Post comments under them. Even just a, “Nice!” makes them feel like you’re personally involved in their lives.
- Do searches of hashtags that have something to do with your business, then go and find people that used that hashtag. Don’t follow these people *yet*. This is when you double tap pictures and make comments on pictures. They will see that this person or business they don’t know or follow made an effort to like their picture, and they will very likely come and follow you, especially since they like the same types of things as your company based on their hashtag usage.
Tip 2. What types of Instagram pictures get the most interaction for businesses?
Based on the infographic from Mashable, Ellen has the highest follower count on Instagram. She’s not a business (well she kind of is), but she’s a personal brand. If you check out her Instagram profile along with the others on the list, you’ll notice that 9 out of 10 are not posting magazine advertisement-type pics every few hours. They’re posting personal, funny, engaging, thought-provoking, reposts from followers (or even ones that aren’t followers) that are interesting or have to do with their niche.
The pictures aren’t perfect – they’re sometimes blurry, never photoshopped (read: Beyoncé), and very rarely have a CTA (Call To Action) for marketing. Leave that stuff for Twitter. This is fun on Instagram. If you do want to use a CTA on or along with a picture, do it only once a day or every other day or you’ll be losing followers like crazy tomorrow.
Tip 3. What other Instagram related apps should I have to get the most out of my Instagram marketing?
You cannot have the full functionality of Instagram without having accompanying Instagram app tools. Here is the list of the ones I use that are absolutely invaluable in both my personal and business Instagramming.
Repost - “Repost for Instagram makes it easy to #Repost your favorite photos & videos on Instagram while giving credit to the original Instagramer.”
With just a few clicks, starting at the Repost app, decide if you want the picture you’re reposting to have a white or black banner with the original Instagramer’s name and its location, then you’ll automatically move the picture over to Instagram. You can choose whether to edit the words and hashtags or just post as is. So simple. Easily my favoriteInstagram reposting app.
Resize - “InstaSize is a full blown photo editing app for your everyday photos. With the ability to resize, create a collage, you can add beautiful filters, typography and effects. Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.”
I’ll admit I haven’t tried the other picture squaring apps, but I like this one so much that I wanted to look for another. Basically, we don’t always take pictures that are exactly the square that Instagram requires, so Resize adds a border to it to make it the square.
Resize has so many different borders to choose from: Basic Colors, Holidays, Solar System, Polka Dots, and so many more. I love using them to make my pictures stand
out. Resize app also has its own version of different picture filters, and they’re different than the ones on the Instagram app. It has stickers, a collage feature, resize, and text overlay to add words to your pictures if you’d like.
InstaQuote – “Express yourself. Create beautiful text pictures.”
I love this one, it is free but I bought the paid version which is like .99 or 1.99 (I don’t remember). Up above is a pic of what it looks like on my Galaxy Note 3. It is so easy to use!
If you like to create motivating quotes (and biz tips too) on beautiful pictures or add words to pictures (that aren’t necessarily uploaded on Instagram, but used on your blog or wherever else – like I do!), then you need to download InstaQuote. If you don’t believe me search the hashtag #InstaQuote on Instagram or search for InstaQuote pictures on Google. There are some insanely beautiful pictures out there.
InstaQuote has an inventory of their own beautiful pictures for your use to buy, but you can use your own for free. There is a huge selection of fonts to choose from to add to your pictures and any color you can think of. You can also use two colors at once – your normal color font and the “Punch” color to make it stand out from the regular font.
Those are all the apps I use because they all do multi-duty, plus they were all FREE – my favorite kind.
Between the the tips and apps, you should start seeing growth with your Instagram following. Be sure to do at least 10 minutes Instagramming daily, plus posting 3-4 per day (even on the weekends) to not lose momentum on your account.
In a few weeks, I’ll do InstaAwesome training on Instagram hashtags to help you grow your biz, so stay tuned for that! You can also follow me on Instagram here.