Businesses and marketer who want to gain customers should be on Instagram.

Why?

This summer, Instagram announced it has over 1 billion users.

With numbers like that, there are plenty of potential customers to attract, and Instagram can be a great tool for acquiring these potential customers.

Also…

If you don’t figure out how to capitalize on Instagram, your competitors will.

The problem is, managing an Instagram account can be overwhelming.

  • Where do I begin?
  • Am I too far behind to catch up?
  • Do I have the time/resources to manage an account?
  • Do I have to pay for advertising to get attention?

Don’t panic!

We have some quick and easy advice on how your brand can reach these potential customers without driving you insane.

Scroll down to read our 10 Instagram marketing tips that will help you grow your brand and attract a relevant following — for free.

 

1. Get Access to More Tools When You Switch to an Instagram Business Account

Don’t have an Instagram business account yet? Switch it over today.

Changing your brand profile page to an Instagram business account is simple.

Just go to your settings and click Switch to Business Profile.

Instagram will guide you through a few more steps to finalize the process. Don’t worry, it’s quick and painless!

A few benefits to having a business account:

  • Utilize Call-to-Action Contact buttons – followers can click right from your Instagram page to get in touch with you (via email, phone, or text message)
  • Create and publish ads without needing to use Facebook’s advertising tools.
  • Access Instagram analytics tools (Instagram Insights) that provide statistics about the impressions and reach of your posts.

 

2. Update Your Business Bio to Attract More Followers

Your Instagram bio should describe what your business does (quickly inform your audience), what kind of brand you are (are you silly, serious, funny, cute?), and get people to take action.

Make the most of all parts of your bio to attract potential customers –

  • Profile Photo: make sure your photo is relevant to your brand or company.
  • Username and Name: Choose wisely because both are searchable.
  • Bio: You have 150 characters to make a great impression with the content in your bio, so spend some time writing!
  • Website: Choose your best link – you only get one!
  • Call-to-Action Buttons: Take advantage of your Instagram Business account and use the right call to action.

Spending a little time to create a quality business bio will go a long way and make a difference to your Instagram marketing efforts.

 

3. Create a Content Calendar to Ease Stress

Drafting up a content calendar is a good idea for any social media marketing effort.

It takes the pressure off trying to decide what to post each day, and allows you to be more strategic with your marketing plans.

Creating a content calendar helps you:

  • Utilize your valuable content in the most effective way
  • See the general vibe of your social media account before posting
  • Keep your posts varied, relevant and interesting so your audience will stop scrolling long enough to engage with your posts

 

4. Use Geotags for Higher Engagement

 

 

When you post, always include a geotag!

Instagram posts that tag a location receive 79% higher engagement than posts without one.

Adding a geotag gives users another way to find your content. And the more people who view your content, the more likely you’ll have higher engagement.

It’s that easy.

 

5. Repurpose Content for a More Interesting Account

Posting regularly can be time consuming and hard work.

Are you finding it hard to come up with enough content to meet the needs of your following?

Do you see other amazing accounts that have audiences you’d like to attract?

Perhaps you should try reposting content from these relevant Instagram accounts. (Just make sure to give sufficient credit by tagging the photo and your caption.)

Some accounts will even return the favor and repost your content!

Many apps are available that download photos from Instagram and save them to your camera roll, so you can easily repost them.

 

6. Build a Community by Spending Time Attracting Real Followers

Don’t buy fake followers or stress out about acquiring millions of them!

Being too concerned about your vanity metrics won’t help your business long term.

Social media is about building a community, not seeking an arbitrary number that doesn’t care about your brand and will never convert.

Work on building a real community — it will pay off in the long run!

 

7. Use Instagram Stories to Grab More Attention

 

 

Instagram stories are a new and fun tool that can help attract interest in your business.

They sit right at the top of the feed, so they’re flashy, fast and easily noticeable.

Use it to entice customers with sales, giveaways, or a sneak peek at new products.

You can even add links to stories now!

If customers like what they see, they’ll keep coming back for more updates.

 

8. Keep Content Fresh and Personal with User-Submitted Photos

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to create attractive content for your Instagram page without doing any of the hard work?

Through user-submitted photos, there is!

Once you have an engaged audience, you can leverage your following to generate useful content for you.

User-generated content is fresh and personal, so encourage your audience to take photos with your brand by reposting your favorites!

It’s easy for you, and a great ego boost for them. Happy audiences attract more followers.

Win-win!

 

9. Create Engagement with a Unique, Interactive Hashtag

Interactive hashtags are a great way to create engagement and attract new followers.

Every time someone posts a photo using your hashtag, they’re showing your brand to their personal Instagram community — it’s like free advertising!

Create a hashtag that is unique and makes sense for your business, and encourage followers to use your tag when they post about your brand.

This will continue to build your brand community and also help you quickly search through images that you may want to repost on your page. 😉

If your brand has a popular slogan or phrase, that may make for a perfect branded hashtag!

 

10. Attract your Audience by Being Bold, Creative, and Human!

What makes you unique? What attracts people to your brand or business?

With over 1 billion users on Instagram, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. That’s why it’s important to get creative and be human!

  • Post images that you would like to see in your Instagram feed vs. images that look and feel like advertisements
  • Engage with your audience by thanking them for comments, replying to questions, and encouraging interactions
  • Be brave and try new ideas. Let your personality shine!

With some hard work, creativity and a strong vision, you can attract an engaged community that will help your business grow!

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Carly has been working in social media and marketing since 2010. She enjoys watching documentaries, taking photos, and having tea and toast in the morning.

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