(1) Why Instagram?

Instagram is a powerful social media platform that will help you:

Build your online brand
Increase your overall online visibility
Drive traffic to your website

I am surprised at how many businesses I see that are still not using Instagram.

Don’t bother with Instagram if you:

Don’t care about building your brand online
Don’t care about increasing your online visibility
Don’t want to drive more high-quality traffic to your website

Almost any business can benefit from using Instagram and you could find yourself at a huge competitive disadvantage if you are NOT using this VERY POPULAR social platform but a competitor is.

(2) Still Not Sure About Instagram?

Still on the fence that Instagram should be a part of your overall Internet marketing strategy?

Here are some Instagram stats that might convince you otherwise!

34% of Instagram users are millennials
22% of all Instagram users log in at least once a day
38% of users check Instagram multiple times a day
25% of smartphone owners use Instagram

In 2018, 104.7 million people in the US—or 31.8% of the population—used Instagram, a 13.1% increase from 2017, according to eMarketer estimates.

If a competitor is using Instagram and your business is not, you could find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

Remember, the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The next best time is today!

(3) Account Type

Convert your Instagram profile to a Business Profile in order to gain valuable information about how people are interacting with your Instagram feed using Instagram Analytics. In addition to analytics, business profiles let you add your physical address, contact information, phone number and a profile link to your website.

(4) Test, Test, Test (always be testing!)

Post consistently and always be testing. Test different graphics, messages, and hashtags. Based on my experience, it’s really hard to figure out exactly what gets the attention of an audience and what creates the most engagement (likes and comments). As you might imagine, the graphics you use play a big role in the success of your Instagram posts. Use Instagram Analytics to review the results you are getting and you will most likely see a pattern. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see great results all the time. Test, test, test. It’s what Internet Marketing Professionals do!

(5) Links

Instagram does not let you put clickable links in your posts, but it does provide you with a “profile link” at the top of your feed that is clickable. You might try sometimes using a call-to-action in your post content, something like: “Visit our website in our profile link above.” or “Learn more by visiting our website in our profile link above.” Effective calls-to-action will drive more traffic to your website. You can use links in your posts, they just are not clickable.

(6) Geo-targeted Hashtags

Don’t forget to use geographically targeted hashtags with your posts. Many people use and “follow” LOCAL hashtags. Using geo-hashtags will help you increase your post reach and more effectively reach a local audience. For example, if you were a wedding DJ in Boston you might want to use #bostonma #boston #bostonstrong #bostonweddings #massachusettsweddings.

(7) Get More Traffic to Your Website Using a CTA

Use a Call-to-action! (CTA) Change up your profile message from time to time to include special offers. Special offers are a great way to drive traffic to your website from Instagram (as well as other social media platforms!). Here is a great example!

(8) Hashtag Research is a Must

Spend some time doing hashtag research to see what local hashtags are popular. Visit your competitor’s Instagram page to see what they are using. Look at the hashtags local media outlets use. Hashtag research is an important part of successfully using Instagram. Without it you are really just throwing mud against a wall and hoping something sticks.

(9) How To Get More Followers

Chris, how do we get more followers at Instagram? Post interesting content. Post consistently. Follow others to get a follow-back. Building quality followers takes time. Avoid “We can get you 10,000 followers” offers which are total scams and may adversely impact your feed visibility.

(10) Your Instagram Profile is VERY Important

Take the time to write a good Instagram profile. What you write will largely determine if someone clicks on your profile link and visits your website. You only are allowed 150 characters. Using emojis in your profile tends to increase its visibility and adds a “fun” factor but counts towards the 150 limit.

(11) Post Regularly to Keep Your Followers Interested

Posting regularly will keep your brand/business in front of your followers. Posting once per day or once every couple days should do the job! If you go long periods of time without posting it will adversely impact the effectivness of your Instagram marketing. Did you see my “3 C’s of Social Media Marketing” post.

(12) Don’t Go Overboard with Hashtags

Hashtags are used to increase the reach of your posts. Avoid posts bloated with hashtags and keep your hashtags relevant to your post and photo. I usually use between 6 and 12 hashtags.

(13) Tools to Help You Manage Instagram

Looking for tools to help you manage your Instagram feed? Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com), and SmarterQueue (https://smarterqueue.com) are two social media marketing tools I’ve used to manage Instagram feeds. They also work with other social media platforms. Both I would recommend highly. Smarter Queue allows you to re-use your posts over time, so that would be my favorite. Using these tools with a business account at Instagram (not personal account).

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