Boost Your Business With Instagram

Being a huge advocate of using Instagram for social media marketing, I get a lot of questions about “Why?” Why should you use Instagram? Why is it beneficial?instagram Why is it so popular? And I can answer all those questions with one simple answer: Because it can boost your business!

When used correctly, Instagram can help you can drive traffic to your website, grow your audience, generate sales, and do all of it while having fun!

It might sound crazy, but I promise you it can be done and many companies are doing it successfully.

It is imperative that your Instagram account is set up properly. Make sure that your name and username are easy to find and recognize (Instagram’s search function is very picky). I recommend you use the same handle you use on Twitter for your Instagram username. The only place you can put a live hyperlink is in your bio so take advantage of this! Most of the time this link should connect to your website home page or specified landing page. Fill in your bio with relevant information and a healthy description of you and your brand. And, your profile photo is a must! I recommend using the same profile pic that you use on other sites so people recognize you immediately.

Now that your account is all ready to go, here are some ways that you can target Instagram to help boost your business.

Visual Marketing

This is one of the latest buzzwords floating around and for good reason. Visual marketing is the future of social media marketing. People LOVE images. Look at Facebook and their updates to put prominent attention on images in the newsfeed. Look at the popularity of Pinterest – a whole site dedicated to sharing images of favorite products. Google+ allows you to actually edit images in their platform to ensure your photos look awesome every time. And, have you noticed that one of the biggest selling features on mobile devices these days is the camera? Watch the ads for smartphones, they always showcase the camera functions. Why? Because that’s what people care about! And Instagram is, in my opinion, the best tool to really take advantage of visual marketing. In fact, many of the photos you see shared on other sites were actually created on Instagram.

Embed Posts

You want to spice up your next blog post? You want to feature your Instagram videos on your website? Draw real attention to your site by embedding your stunning Instagram posts into your website or blog. Instagram provides real tools to generate great marketing content that would otherwise cost you a lot of money to outsource. Instead, save that money, edit your photos and videos in Instagram and then embed the posts on your site. And, if people click on those posts, it takes them right back to your Instagram account to help grow your audience there too!

Get Personal

The whole point of social media is to be social. And Instagram is one of the best platforms for real engagement. Most Instagram posts get higher numbers of likes and comments than similar or identical posts on any other social media site. Take advantage of this level of engagement to ask questions in your posts or comments  and open up the dialogue.  Make sure to respond to followers comments in order to keep the conversation going. You’ll be amazed at the brand advocates that you can cultivate using Instagram when you engage genuinely.

Reach a New Audience

The average demographic of Instagram users tends to be younger than those using Pinterest and Facebook, giving you the opportunity to connect with and develop an audience within the millennial generation. These consumers are active online and hungry for online communication. Connecting with them gives you the opportunity to put your business in front of the largest demographic of all time.

Use Hashtags

Yes, those dreaded hashtags, when used properly, can skyrocket your post reach, introducing your posts and brand to hundreds and even thousands of new consumers. I recommend using an average of 5-8 hashtags per post (and no I do NOT recommend this same tactic on any other site!). Use relevant keyword hashtags related to your business, product, industry, post, etc. Don’t hashjack just to get into popular searches – it won’t help you, it will hurt you.

Offer Exclusive Coupons

You want to create sales from Instagram? Offer exclusive coupons and discounts for products or services on your site. Create vivid photos and overlay text (many 3rd party apps can help you with this) advertising the special. Always list the promotion in the photo, in case people skip the comments. In order to make sure people can take full advantage of the promotion, change the link in your bio to a specified landing page or product page to easily take advantage of the promotion or discount.

Reveal New Products

Providing exclusive content to advertise product launches or events is a great way to generate buzz. Use Instagram posts (photos or videos) to showcase these products and events to their fullest. Again, editing the link in your bio to a set landing page or product page on your website helps connect users with your products easily.

Drive Traffic to Your Site

As you can see from some of the examples above, it’s easy to drive traffic to your site. But there are even more ways to do this. Advertise new blog posts, announce new services, promote regular features (employee of the month, customer appreciation, tip of the month, holiday celebrations, and other features) on your site through Instagram.

I hope you can now see many of the ways in which Instagram can help you boost your business. It really is a viable and efficient tool. And, in the near future, ads will be made available to businesses to promote their posts to new and/or existing followers. The reach and functionality of Instagram is only going to continue to grow. As the site becomes more popular (hey, it’s already reached 150 million users faster than any other social media site), more users will join as will more businesses. Give yourself the advantage and start growing your audience now!

 

Jenn Herman is a social media strategist and Instagram advocate who writes a blog focused on understanding trends in social media management. She provides tips, resources, training, and coaching for small to medium sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies.

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Comments

  1. Going visual is highly crucial these days – people prefer visual stuff and visual is always entertaining and appealing. You have certainly answered the many questions I had regarding using Instagram.

    Thanks Wade!

  2. Hi Jenn! Great to see you here on Wade’s blog.
    I know that hashtags on Instagram are way more important than most people think and there is definitely a strategy behind picking the right one. My daughter just launched a fashion and jewelry site and I find it challenging to come up with something unique that will stand out for her niche. Of course she is using her website name, but do you have any advice or tips that might help.
    Her site is Chic Renegade.

    Thanks Jenn.

    • Hi Ileane! Good to see you here too :)
      As for using hashtags for your daughter’s site, I would find a hashtag related to her business name (#chicrenegade or other variation that is available). You can use Tagboard to see if the hashtag is being used on any of the major social media sites. Once you pick a hashtag make sure you tag every post with it.
      But also make sure you’re incorporating industry related tags too. Try #jewelry #fashion #style #vintage #bling #gold or any other related terms that will help with her industry. Also incorporate one or two popular tags to increase reach. Try #beautiful #pretty #fun
      And a great way to incorporate these hashtags is to use them in sentences rather than just listing the tags. For example: This #beautiful new #necklace was really #fun to design. You’ve just incorporated 3 hashtags without tagloading your post. And it uses relevant hashtags while still conveying an actual message to your audience.
      I hope this helps!

  3. Hi Ileane! Good to see you here too :)
    As for using hashtags for your daughter’s site, I would find a hashtag related to her business name (#chicrenegade or other variation that is available). You can use Tagboard to see if the hashtag is being used on any of the major social media sites. Once you pick a hashtag make sure you tag every post with it.
    But also make sure you’re incorporating industry related tags too. Try #jewelry #fashion #style #vintage #bling #gold or any other related terms that will help with her industry. Also incorporate one or two popular tags to increase reach. Try #beautiful #pretty #fun
    And a great way to incorporate these hashtags is to use them in sentences rather than just listing the tags. For example: This #beautiful new #necklace was really #fun to design. You’ve just incorporated 3 hashtags without tagloading your post. And it uses relevant hashtags while still conveying an actual message to your audience.
    I hope this helps!

  4. Hash tags must not be underestimated, it’s the best strategy to get more audience of the item you’re promoting, especilly twitter. I’m not really the instergram type of guy but since this post recomments it, I’ll definitely peep into it and see what it has to offer, I hope to get the best out of it. Thanks for sharing this great write up and have a wonderful week ahead.

  5. Hi jenn, at this time we can’t ignore the value of instargram for social promotion, instagram really help to boost our business, this is very helpful article to better know about how instagram help to increase social engagement. thanks.

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