Facebook is still one of the best ways to market your business, but there’s another social platform that can be just as valuable, if not more so, for marketing your business: Instagram.
Studies also show that is the best platform for engagement rates with followers. Typically, brands can expect to receive anywhere from 15 to 50 times greater response when using Instagram compared with using Facebook.
On Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites, each post you make can include links to your website without users ever having to visit your page directly. However, if you want engagement on Instagram, you must direct them to your bio. Most users who connect with your brand will find their way to your bio, so make sure it’s good enough to catch and keep their attention!
First and foremost, make it an expression of your brand. If you want users who are interested in your business to follow you faithfully, don’t try to deceive them. Make it an accurate depiction of who you are and what you do using the voice of your company.
You also want to make it interesting to your intended reader. That’s not an easy task, but many brands do it successfully. Research the top 50 brands on Instagram and see what they do with their bios to help or inspire their followers.
Finally, include a very clear call-to-action in your bio, encouraging your readers to follow you. Sometimes, all users need is a little direction on the next step you should take.
You should also be creative with your bio link. While including your link to your website is key to a successful bio, it doesn’t have to stay stagnant. If you’re trying to drive traffic on a certain webpage, change it up without your bio to advertise it.
“Do you really want your bio to only link to your website homepage, now and forever? Yawn,” of WordStream. “Change it up at least bi-weekly and use that clickable link in your bio to drive traffic to your newest or most popular content.”
When you can provide relevant, useful content to your customers on a regular basis through the information on your website, you’ll naturally increase Instagram followers as a direct result.
As an Instagram user, you’ll get props for creating content and sharing information that’s completely original and specific to your brand, which will lead to . That being said, it can be extremely valuable to monitor your competition, taking notes on what works for them and what you can and should do better.
There are several competitor analysis tools you can use to spy on your competition, but one of the best strategies is good, old fashioned research. Follow your Instagram competitors so that you can see what they’re posting on a regular basis.
“Whenever you find something that was insanely popular (without having to be a Kardashian), find out what it was about the photo that made people tick,” of JeffBullas.com. “There’s almost always a pattern you can notice.”
Although hashtags were initially introduced as a tool for Twitter, they’re just as useful on Instagram, particularly if you’re looking for followers. However, hashtags only work if you know how to use them. Alex Tooby, influential Instagram coach, for succeeding on Instagram with hashtags.
“Choosing the RIGHT hashtags can make a massive difference in the amount of engagement your photos receive and the amount of targeted users you get visiting your feed,” she says before listing several do’s and don’ts of the system. Her advice includes:
-use overly popular hashtags.
-choose hashtags that you only use one time for a single photo.
-use irrelevant hashtags.
-copy the competition exactly.
-use jargon or industry keywords.
-use hashtags that are descriptive of the content you share on a regular basis
-use several hashtags.
-create a set of hashtags that work across all pictures you’ve posted or will post.
-do hashtag research.
-adjust your tags every few weeks to generate new traffic.
With these tools in mind, hashtags can steadily help you grow your followers and connect you with a more targeted audience.
Although what you do on Instagram will obviously affect the number of followers you can come up with, your efforts outside of the mobile platform will also have a powerful influence. This goes back to PR basics: If you have a strong presence outside of social media, your target audience will seek you out on social media.
Start by getting into the media any way you can. “Getting featured in the press, doing a podcast interview, or guest posting on someone else’s blog are all great ways to get more Instagram followers… Pitch your ideas to blogs, podcasts, and even other Instagram accounts that your target market would read,” of Later.com.
“If you get asked to do an interview or give a quote for an article, always say yes,” she continues. “Especially if it’s a small publication; they potentially have a much more engaged audience, and you never know who is reading or listening.”
You can also increase your following by encouraging your customers to follow you on Instagram. You could offer customers, whether online or in person, a special discount if they follow you on Instagram. Not everyone will continue to follow you after the discount is redeemed, but a few will, leading to repeat customers.
Don’t underestimate the power of a strong Instagram following for boosting your business. Focusing your marketing efforts on this incredibly fast-growing marketplace will keep you competitive for years to come.