Now over 500 million users strong, Instagram is quickly becoming a must for many brands. A recent report revealed that businesses actually get 58 times more engagement than through Facebook — and 120 times more engagement than through Twitter. But Instagram is an entirely different medium — with a different set of rules. So how can businesses take advantage of that enhanced engagement on the platform dedicated to photos and 15 second videos? Here are five Instagram tips for creative businesses.
The hashtag is king — and Instagram isn’t any different. Find (and brainstorm) hashtags that relate to your brand as a whole as well as those specific to the image you are sharing.
So if hashtags are good, then more is better, right? Not so fast. Research suggests that four to five hashtags are best. After five, engagement actually starts to drop, not increase.
Don’t forget videos.
Instagram is a visual platform. While photos are more popular, videos can actually drive more engagement. On Instagram, videos are limited to 15 second clips, but getting creative with those 15 seconds can help brands capture their audience’s attention.
Get followers to post for you.
Keeping up with social media is tough work — so work smarter, not harder. Craft a hashtag for followers to use when they share, then share some of those best posts. That encourages followers to share photos related to your business — reaching all their friends — and as an added bonus, you get more content to share. The content doesn’t even have to be directly tied with your brand either — for example, Tiffany’s used the hashtag #lovein6words around Valentine’s Day to successfully increase engagement.
Create a business profile.
Individuals and businesses can create different types of profiles on Instagram. Creating a business profile allows you to share essentials like contact information and even a call to action. Using a business profile — instead of an individual one — is a small but simple change that can help lead your Instagram engagement into actual business. Instagram also gives business users analytics to help learn how to better drive engagement with their particular audience. If you already had an individual account, don’t worry — Instagram allows users to convert it into a business profile instead of starting from scratch.
Promote posts in multiple locations.
Instagram is a great platform — but why stop there? Encourage the followers of your other social channels to follow your Instagram account as well. Linking your profile to your Facebook account, for example, will automatically share your Facebook posts in both places, with a link to your Instagram profile.
Another simple way to drive more fans to your profile is to add your Instagram posts to your website. A link is great, but some web platforms can also automatically display your latest Instagram photos there as well.
Instagram may not be the oldest house on the block, but the platform’s significance is hard to ignore. Starting any new social media platform is hard to do, but Instagram’s tendency to drive more engagement with less fans can help businesses quickly expand their fan base in a meaningful way.