With over a million subscribers under its belt, Instagram is one of the most popular image sharing websites out there today. Although it originally started as a venue where online users could post and share pictures, its potential as a profitable marketing tool is now being explored by numerous business owners.
Instead of bombarding consumers with long-winded walls of text, Instagram allows business owners to reach their target audience using attractive visuals and short messages. This gives them the fastest and most efficient way to get their message across. If you are one of the many online business owners out there who have yet to utilize Instagram, it is best if you learn more about the possible ways to use it as a part of your marketing strategy.
There are quite a few things you can do on instagram to make sure your images receive the attention they require. They’re just small tweaks here and there, but if you don’t know about them and don’t use them you’ll receive a lot less interaction that you should. Here are the best practices you should definitely with your Instagram account in order to make it more active than ever:
1. Use Strategic Hashtags
One of the best strategies for Instagram marketing is using strategic or target-specific hashtags. After all, hashtags are now being utilized not only on Twitter, but on Pinterest, Google+, and Facebook as well. For this reason, it is highly recommended that every business owner learn how to make the most of the now ubiquitous symbol.
Hashtags enable users to easily find other people who are posting about their favorite concepts, topics, and conversations of interest. For business owners in particular, this tool will enable them to easily find new clients for their products and services.
Nevertheless, hashtags should still be used in a highly strategic manner in order to make sure that they will truly be able to benefit your marketing strategy. Two such specific tag types that enable businesses to promote and market their brands to their target audience are the brand and campaign hashtags.
- A brand hashtag is a highly personal tag that is unique to a certain brand or company. Therefore, once it is used by either you or your customers, it can be immediately associated with your particular product or service.
- On the other hand, a campaign hashtag is a tag type that is specific to a certain company event or marketing campaign. Similar to the brand hashtag, it is also unique to the brand. However, it is a tag that is only meant for short term promotional use.
For both tag types, it is recommended that you find a way to make your brand stand out from the numerous companies out there. Likewise, make your brand and campaign hashtags short and catchy for better recall.
2. Use the Right Filters
Although most people initially think that Instagram filters only serve the purpose of making images and short videos look more attractive. In truth, for business owners in particular, filters can actually be used to enhance an online marketing strategy.
Choosing the right filter has been noted to affect the overall level of interaction on your page. Although people naturally have different tastes, majority of Instagram user have been found to gravitate towards images that make use of the Inkwell filter, Mayfair filter, or the no filter option. In the end though, it is best to experiment with different filters in order to discover the exact filters that are most attractive for your particular target market.
3. Find the Best Posting Time
Naturally, in order to ensure that you are able to maximize the potential of Instagram as a social media website, you should be aware of the most opportune times to engage your online customers. After all, though most everyone has internet access nowadays, previous commitments and other interests means that not everyone can be online at all times.
Although most people do have more free time to browse websites during weekends, studies have shown that most Instagram users are most active during working days. In particular, Mondays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays, and Fridays attract a lot of users even during the usual working hours.
For Mondays, users are most active at the start of the working hours at 9 am. Likewise, they are active at the tail end of the working hours from 5:00-6:00 pm, and again at 8 pm. Meanwhile, Instagram users have been found to visit the website at 3:00 pm on both Wednesdays and Tuesdays. Finally, the best time to post pictures and videos on Fridays would be at around 9 in the evening when people are ready to wind down for the weekend.
4. Find your Competitor’s Followers
Similar to your competitors, by simple association, you already know that their customers are also people who share your same interests. Therefore, it is pure common sense to include engaging with your competitor’s followers as an important part of your marketing strategy.
After all, there are only so many people that can be reached by a niche or local business, so the more potential clients you find for your website, service or product, the better it will be for you. Likewise, by interacting with an already established fan base, you will be able to increase your own followers and find it easier to turn them into very engaged customers.
Naturally, one of the easiest ways to interact with Instagram users is by first following them and subsequently liking or commenting on their photos. However, you will be unable to perform even those simple acts if you are unable to find those potential clients. Thankfully, one of the best tools that you can use to search for your competitor’s followers is JustUnfollow.
JustUnfollow is a hassle free tool that allows you to simply input your competitor’s name and immediately supplies you with a list of their followers. With those lists in hand, you will gain immediate access to your potential clients and acquire an opportunity to expand your network.
5. Collaborate with Influencers
One of the easiest and most effective ways to expand your network is to find the largest accounts in your niche and ask them to feature your products. Unfortunately, although highly recommended, this tactic does entail shelling out a certain amount of money. Nevertheless, the benefits are quite considerable, thus making the investment worthwhile in the end.
Two options for many business owners is either to send a product to a well-known online personality or to pay them to advertise your products and services. As long as the chosen influencer has enough online clout, it is likely that their endorsement will greatly increase both web traffic and Instagram followers.
Similar to searching for competitors’ followers, the easiest way to look for the most influential users in your niche is by searching for them in your competitors’ followers lists. After you find a suitable endorser, go to his or her profile and check whether the user accepts business collaborations. Otherwise, you also have the option of sending them an email and inquiring about their policies regarding collaborations. If you are both amenable to each other’s conditions, then all that is left is to ask them to send them the products and ask for their endorsement.
6. Manage your Account with Iconoscquare
Although Instagram is exceedingly convenient and efficient as an image-sharing website, it is unfortunately lacking in analytics capabilities. Analytics are particularly essential for business owners who need to be able to constantly monitor their accounts. Thankfully, even the most inexperienced online business owner can make use of the analytics platform, Iconosquare to supplement the deficiencies of Instagram.
Iconosquare is not only easy to use and to navigate, but it is also manages and organizes your account by providing you with useful reports on your growth and returns. Additionally, you can make use of the optimization feature to make it easier to find the best times to post, as well as the best filters and hashtags to use in accordance with your followers’ specific interests.
In order to get an Iconosquare account, all you have to do is go to their webpage (iconosquare.com) and log in using your Instagram details. Afterwards, simply authorize your account and Icnosquare will immediately sync with your Instagram account and provide you with summaries of your account performance.
Some other notable features of Iconosquare are the cover picture generator and the campaign manager tools. The cover picture generator allows Instagram users to sync their account with their personal blogs in order to facilitate traffic and increase visibility. Meanwhile, the campaign manager tools do not only allow users to make their own campaigns for their marketing strategies, but they also grants them access to their competitors’ campaigns.
7. Use Repost for Better Networking
Repost is one of the easiest ways to repost pictures while giving proper credit to the original poster. This free mobile app allows users to repost Instagram pictures without worrying about forgetting to credit the owners since the app already does that step for you.
Repost is particularly useful as a marketing tool since it allows business owners to interact with potential clients. It will facilitate your networking strategy with potential customers by allowing you to repost their images with proper credit. Likewise, it enables you to share your own pictures and further expand your network. Afterwards, Repost makes it easier to search for particular images according to particular hashtags or specific usernames.
8. Use Twtrland for a better Marketing Campaign (twtrland.com/)
As its name suggests, Twtrland is most commonly used as an analytics tool on Twitter. Nevertheless, this free tool is also capable of summarizing your Facebook and Instagram accounts as well.
Business owners can find particular use in Twtrland’s capabilities as an account manager. After all, not only can it provide a live count of online followers, but it also help you quickly find the top influencers within your niche market and near your current location. This will make it easier for you to send them products intended for review.
Additionally, Twtrland allows business owners to browse and study the profiles of both followers and competitors. This online spying enables them to gain more insight into the types of marketing strategies that they should apply in order to help them get ahead of the competition.
Ok, so this sums up the 8 things you can implement right now in order to use Instagram to its fullest. If you have not been using the above tools try them out now, most of them wont take a lot of time but will bring you a lot of benefits. They can make the difference between a regular Instagram account and a super Instagram account where you have a lot of interaction with your fans and everything you post is shared and seen by more people that you could have thought possible.
There are many ways to do your promoting on Instagram, most people don’t take the time to read a little before starting, they just post and hope their content will be seen and shared by people. Think about it though, there are so many people doing this and there is just too much content on the social networks in general. If you want to stand out of the crowd you will need to put in the extra effort and act now. You’ve half way there having read this article you already know about these great ideas, all there’s left to do is: Go and implement them, stick with them for at least a couple of weeks and see what changes they can bring.
By the way, you know what time it is?