When it comes to imagery and visuals, Instagram along with Pinterest reign supreme. If your brand relies on the use of imagery to promote its products (i.e. food, fashion), then it is imperative to include Instagram into your social media strategy. The question then that begs to be asked is, “How do I create a strong presence on Instagram?” Don’t fret, for below are 5 simple tips that will help you to create an Instagram presence to be reckoned with!
1) Become One with the #Hashtag
One of the best features of Instagram is the use of the #hashtag (back in the day, it was often referred to as the pound key, indeed the times have changed). A hashtag is a keyword inserted into the caption that ties your particular post to the general conversation related to that specific hashtag. As far as best practices are concerned, you want to make sure the hashtags you use relate to the specific product or industry you belong in. Include as many hashtags as you deem fit that pertain to your business and industry. Research has shown posts that include 11 or more hashtags, receive 77.6 interactions on average. The key is to use precise hashtags to ensure that your audience can easily find you.
Make it a point to also research and look at other posts that are within your niche or industry. Chances are you might find a new hashtag that may be worthwhile to include in your posts. Also consider coming up with a brand specific hashtag, one that identifies your brand and makes you distinguishable. Remember, the goal with the hashtags is to reach as many people as possible.
2) It’s All About the People
The whole point of social media is to interact and engage with one another. Hence the word SOCIAL! As with other platforms, communication is a two- way street. Just as your audience like and comment on your posts, make it a point to reciprocate that favor. But while doing that, remember to add value to your commentary and not to spam. Research your followers and learn as much as you can about them. Understanding your audience is key to building a meaningful and ever lasting relationship on Instagram as well as other platforms.
3) Make Things Entertaining with a Contest!
If there is one thing people love most it’s winning free items. Get creative and come up with some fun contest ideas to engage and excite your audience. Ideas can include; come up with a creative hashtag, first 50 to like the post win, etc. It’s a great way to gain followers and create engagement for your brand.
4) Where Can I Find You?
Simple but often overlooked. As with Twitter, your Instagram profile features a handle that identifies your brand and helps your audience find and connect with you. Be it through links on other social platforms, websites or social media cards, make it a point to include your Instagram handle where and when you can.
The most common advice you will constantly hear for any social platform is cross-promoting. Never assume that your audience knows your social presence. Those who follow you on Twitter may not necessarily follow you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Make it a point to include a post that promotes your presence on Instagram, through your other social channels.
Currently, Instagram features more than 300 million active users, accounting for more than 30 billion visual posts. Clearly, it is not a platform to be underestimated. If your brand depends on the use of imagery, then Instagram will clearly work best for you. You know how the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words!”
Is Instagram part of your social strategy? How has Instagram worked for you brand? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Victor, E. (2015, August 4). How to Grow Your Instagram Exposure. Retrieved August 12, 2015, from
Tamer Mahmoud is a Social Media Content Coordinator at Venerate Media Group. Based in New York City, he is currently pursuing an MBA in International Business at Wagner College and plans to pursue a second MBA degree in Marketing. When not busy, he indulges in anything and everything pertaining to social media, be it following up on the latest news and trends or sharing his own insights via Twitter and LinkedIn.