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Instagram is a highly-targeted visual advertising means for brands. In fact, recent studies point out that Instagram provides brands with 26% more social engagement over other social media options. This means that Instagram is a vital tool to build your brand for your online business. Like most social networks out there, there is a way to use it in order to gain more visibility and more viewership on your photos. This article shows you how to successfully use Instagram to boost your engagement and gather an immense following.
Use the Right Hashtags
Your main objective on Instagram is to connect with your audience as you grow your following. Post regularly new, interesting, and captivating photos that will satisfy your viewers. In order to grow #hashtagging your photos is very important. #Hashtag your photos to make it easy for people that are searching for those specifics to find your photos easily.
So which #hashtags should be used?
Just like Twitter and other social sites, on Instagram certain #hashtags are used over others. When used correctly, #hashtags within your photos will more likely reach new viewers and help you get discovered.
Here are the current top 20#hashtags on Instagram according to Webstagram:
Popular tags will likely get you additional Instagram views and likes.
If in order to tag your photos appropriately, you’ll need to get the most pertinent #hashtags. Use the appropriate keywords to ensure you’re using relevant #hashtags that describes your brand but is also searched for on Instagram.
To find appropriate hashtags, use free online programs like IconoSquare or Webstagram.
Try searching for diverse keywords that describe your brand, build out your #hashtag keyword list as you go.
Keep in mind that Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Popular words change every so often, so make sure you re-examine your #hashtag keywords monthly to make sure you’re using the appropriate terms.
Tip #1: use #hashtag for every product category in your list of products or services, research keywords to see which are popular on Instagram around your product categories. Come up with 10-20 popular #hashtags for every category of products/services you sell, base 5-10 popular tags that describe your brand. Finally, create a list of popular local precise #hashtags that relate to your brand.
Examples of Brand Keyword Hashtags: #mybrandname #kidsfashion #kidsaccessories #kidsgoods #fashion #kidssstyle #instafashion #kidsswear
Product Category Keyword Hashtags: #happysocks #socks #kidsockswag #kidssockgame #sockswagg #happysockday #funsocks #happysockday
Location Specific Keyword Hashtags: #Italy #ItalianFashion #ItalianFashionBloggers
Store all of these keyword #hashtags on Google Drive or on Evernote. This makes it easy and efficient to post a new Instagram images, optimized for the most relevant keywords. Just open your Drive or Evernote and copy your preferred standard brand, product/service and use specific #hashtags to post with each photo.
Tip #2: If you’ve posted on Instagram, and sense that you’ve overlooked on opportunities to build your viewers by using keyword #hashtags; you can still post a comment with your new #hashtag keyword lists and observe the viewers roll in.
Using the Right Instagram Filters
The Instagram population responds to some picture filters more positively than others. With these ideal filters, your Instagram viewership can have a positive impact.
Below is a list of current popular filters on Instagram based on Populagram:
- X-Pro II
- Normal (No Filter)
Instagram communities’ favorite filters are your viewers preferred filters. You can use IconoSquare –a great tool review the performance of your account to understand what works best for you.
Post on the right days and the right time
When adding the appropriate #hashtags and using the top filters, you should consider the timing of your posts. Target and analyze an approach that has worked for you in the past. IconoSquare’s optimization tool can get you a detailed analysis of your posting history and viewership. This report also highlights the best times of the day, and the week, to post.
You may consider using a scheduling program to schedule your posts for subsequent viewership. Use a paid program – ScheduGram for this task
Entice Your Competitors Followers
The best way to find new followers is by hunting out your competition’s Instagram accounts and appealing to their followers. This audience may show some interest in the products you promote simply because they follow your competitors’ account.
So how do you effectively woo your competitors’ followers?
There are a number of ways to engage ad interact with Instagram users, predictably, the more work you put in posting strategic and captivating photos, the more followers and engagement you’ll get out of it in terms of viewership
There are three tactical types of engagement on Instagram:
- Follow users
- Like photos
- Comment on photos
Target the followers of a local competitor. Add your city to your profile to create a sense of familiarity between my brand and the people you are targeting.
Begin by following 200 of your competitor’s followers. Follow an additional 100 but also take the time to like some of their photos. Finally, follow another 100 followers and commented on each of the 100 user’s pictures as well as like some of their photos.
When you do this simple act, you are most likely to get the below results:
- Follow: 15% follow back
- Follow + Like: 25% follow back
- Follow + Like + Comment: 33% follow back
Although the variables may differ elsewhere, the results will most likely give you a similar result. The more you engage with people, the more viewers and followers you’ll get out of it. It’s a give and take situation.
Sponsored Posts and Product Reviews
Optimized posting to your account is great but in order to make an impact, you need to post to other, superior accounts in your niche, expose your brand to a bigger audience.
Make a list of large accounts in your industry. For example, find big accounts from fashion bloggers if this is your niche. Use Webstagram and search for the closest #hashtag keywords you saved up in the beginning of this article. Your keywords search will show you the related keywords by top Instagram accounts that feature the specific keywords.
Look out for profiles results with a large following of about 50k-200k and an email address in their profile; an email indicates that they’re open to sponsored posts. You may email them and ask for their sponsored post pricing. In general, the average rates go for $20-$50 per post, depending on their following. However, if you’re selling unique products, you may consider sending them your product for reviewing and subsequent posting. The more natural the image looks, the greater the engagement.
Instagram tool round up
There are numerous tools out there that can help your Instagram strategy. Below are the five key tools to help build your audience and engaged them.
- Populagram - popular #hashtags
- Schedugram - Schedule your Instagram for the most engaging times
- IconoSquare - Info, analytics insights and followers
- Webstagram - Find the best #hashtags for your posts
As with any social website, the most successful strategy is to be genuine and engaged. When correctly used, Instagram can be a successful, visual advertising site for your brand that can earn you a steady stream of income for your online business. Goodluck!