How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business

How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Business

Did you know Instagram boasts over 800 million monthly active users (Source: Sprout Social)? In fact, many experts believe that this count can reach 1 billion before 2018 ends! As a result, Instagram has become a viable platform for brands to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and grow their business.

And brands are taking full advantage. Big brands like Coca-Cola and Lego are successfully leveraging Instagram to uniquely engage their followers and promote their initiatives. Because of its ease of use and visual appeal, Instagram is an ideal social channel to advance your digital marketing goals.

So, here are four steps on how to use Instagram to grow your business this year:

#1 Be Clear on Your Instagram Business Goals

It’s important to have clarity on what you want to accomplish with your Instagram marketing. Are you seeking to grow your followers and engagement? Drive traffic to your website or YouTube channel? Or encourage an action such as subscribing to your list or purchasing a product?

Whatever the goal, each content piece must have an intent to do one of the objectives to have a working strategy.

So, establish what you aim to achieve on Instagram so you can concentrate your efforts on creating content that encourages these results.

#2 Hashtags Reign on Instagram

Hashtags are absolutely vital on Instagram! They’re essentially keywords that allow new followers to find your content.

This is particularly useful for people who’ve never heard of your brand before. Optimizing your content with hashtags – whether a post or a story – will increase its visibility in search, thus, getting your message in front of new audiences.

Additionally, people can follow hashtags now! This means that your content can show up in their newsfeed even if they aren’t following you. As you crank out amazing content, these targeted users are likely to follow you…helping to boost your follower count and engagement.

Use these best practices and tips when using hashtags on Instagram:

  • Posts with 9 hashtags receive the most engagement
  • Use targeted hashtags that apply to your content and business. Refrain from stuffing irrelevant ones. Quality is key.
  • The more specific the hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be
  • Check out the hashtags your competitors are using to glean ideas
  • Use Instagram’s search function to find relevant hashtags that relate to your brand
  • Don’t forget to view your own analytics. See which hashtags are producing the most engagement for you

#3 Optimize Your Caption

The next step to use Instagram to grow your business is by optimizing your message for search and engagement. Publishing a well-thought-out post offers value to your followers. It also positions you as a brand authority in the industry, which helps people like, know, and trust you.

Remember to keep your goal in mind when crafting your message. In fact, here’s how to best optimize the caption for each of the following goals in your Instagram marketing:

Grow Your Followers

Again, include hashtags! It’s the best practice to gain new followers using the caption space.

Increase Engagement

Ask a question to get your audience opinion on a topic. Easy answers such as “A or B” are perfect for fostering engagement and getting your followers talking.

Drive Traffic to Your Website, Blog, or YouTube Channel

Give a clear call to action that directs followers to your link in the bio. In your caption, offer value by sharing a benefit or tip that they can use. Then let them know where they can get even more tips by clicking on the link directing to your website.

Subscribe or Purchase

The same advice applies; give the benefit of why users should subscribe or buy the product. What’s in it for them? How does it solve their problem or pain point? Being clear on this and telling them what to do next are key to getting followers to take action.

#4 Leverage Different Types of Content

Sharing a variety of content formats allows you to appeal to various styles and preferences. It also keeps your page fresh, dynamic, and engaging. Simply just sharing images can get redundant. You want to stand out and get noticed in the newsfeeds…offering different types of content will help you do that!

How-to videos perform incredibly well on social media. By sharing a quick 30-second video where you’re showing users how to complete a task is a great way to capture attention.

Reposting content from your followers and customers (or user-generated content) is a killer way to amplify your content strategy while mentioning others. Particularly when this content highlights your brand in a positive light, it’s the perfect tactic to build trust and attract new customers to your business.

Also, using content types such as collages, GIFs, Instagram Stories, and motivational quotes are all successful posts that will keep people checking out your page.

Conclusion

As the fastest growing social media platform, Instagram can be a game changer for your social media marketing. Leverage these steps to begin fleshing out your Instagram marketing strategy. Study your analytics to discover what’s working and what isn’t. With consistency, you’ll experience a growth in followers, engagement, and traffic that can ultimately result in better leads and sales.

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