When it comes to marketing your business via social media, Instagram is rarely the first platform that comes to mind.

Most people think of LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.…

However, with Instagram being one of the fastest growing social media platforms in terms of users/day and engagement, more and more businesses, brands and entrepreneurs are actively looking to use the platform to reach the new younger more progressive market!

If your brand is heavily visual or even if it isn’t, you’d be crazy to not unleash the power of Instagram and see just how effective it can be for your business.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!  

 

What is Instagram?

 

Instagram started out as a photo-sharing app fully equipped with filters and other unique customization options.

Instagram revolutionized photo sharing by introducing boxed photos and allowing users to modify their photos to their heart’s content.

The platform also incorporated social media features like profiles, followers, and comments.

In 2012, Instagram was acquired by Facebook, and it’s growth hasn’t skipped a beat since.

Instagram Quick Business Facts.

 

As of 2019 Instagram has more than 500 Million active users. This has grown by over 400% since its acquisition in 2012. Instagram is expected to earn over 30% of Facebook’s overall ad revenue by 2020.

Cristiano Ronaldo currently holds Instagram’s largest follower base @ 152 Million…. talk about reach! 35% of adult internet users all use Instagram.

71% of young adults use Instagram (ages 18-24).

In 2018, 60% of Instagram users used the platform daily, including 55% of young adults who visited several times a day. This 60% figure reflects a 9-point increase from 2016, when 51% of Instagram users reported visiting the site daily.

31% of all women online use Instagram, with 24% of men using it too – over half of these users are 18-29 years old.

As you can see Instagram is the perfect platform to reach aging millennials. And if you’re in the food, travel or fashion niches, there’s no better place to be than on Instagram since those industries rely heavily on visual marketing strategies.

Ok now that you have a brief rundown of what Instagram is and it’s potential. Let’s break down how to use this ever-growing platform to build and expand your business.

 

Developing Your Strategy

 

Like with all other forms of marketing, you need to have a strategy in a place and roadmap to get you from point A to point B. When using Instagram, you must use its visual nature to capture the attention of your audience.

If you don’t currently use Instagram, go ahead and download it right now. Once you’re setup, look for business in your niche and see how they are positioning themselves to their target market.

What kinds of content do they use? Video, Photos, Memes, etc.

You will also want to look at their engagement. Once your profile is created, you should write a quick and clever bio that is in tune with your brand.

Let’s take a peek at Chic-Fil-A again!

Notice how everything on their page ties in with their brand?

They have a short and sweet bio, amazing content and they utilize their saved stories (5 highlight icons below the profile bio).

They are doing it right and by the end of this article, you will have an amazing profile created for your business!

 

Optimizing Your Bio

 

First things first, we want to create an attractive bio that will attract more followers and more potential business.

In your bio, you only get 150 characters to really stand out and deliver your brand message.

Take a second and write a unique short bio for your business that lets your followers know what to expect.

You can even add a short call to action here.

Next, you want to provide the URL to your website/landing page.

I suggest using a custom link that you can track, and have it point to a page where you can immediately collect your potential customer’s contact information! Example:   See how Chic-fil-a does all of the above and with style! Let’s get your setup the same way!

 

Growing Your Community / Reach

 

If you want to grow your followers and create a highly relevant and engaging community. You will want to do these things:

  • Be attentive and genuine
  • Use a real profile photo of a “real” person
  • Leave authentic comments (no bots/scripts)
  • Respond and engage with your followers in real-time.

The #1 way to build a great Instagram following is to be authentic.

There are tons of bots available these days designed with the purpose of helping you build your Instagram by posing as a real person.

I can guarantee that your followers will see right through this. This comes off as inauthentic and off-putting and could not only get you banned on Instagram but also ruin the reputation of your business.

Take a second each and day and follow real accounts related to your industry and take the time to communicate with people in the comments.

Growing your community will not happen overnight, but it will happen.

 

Building Your Brand

 

Since Instagram is a highly visual platform, it is important that you use strong photos and themes that not only reflect your brand, but that also sticks around in the minds of your followers.

To maintain brand consistency if you’re going to use an Instagram filter, you should stick with using the same one for all of your photos or at the very least use it in a specific pattern.

If you need help creating consistent content, I highly recommend using Canva.

Canva makes it easy to create a post by using their pre-built customizable templates.

When creating your content you will want to keep the images/styles/ colors consistent and visual appealing.

This helps to create a visually appealing almost magnetic profile.   Take a peek below.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to marketing and branding your business you should use ALL of the tools/platforms available to you.

Building an Instagram presence takes time but it’s well worth its weight in gold when its all said and done.

Instagram is a platform that helps you connect with your target audience and demographic and deliver the types of content that they will love all while promoting your business.

You should spend time each day working on your social media platforms or hire someone to handle this for you.

Stay away from the robots please!

No matter your industry, with some patience and work Instagram can be a vital tool to develop customer relationships and generate new business.

 

I hope you found this post helpful, if you did drop a comment below, I’d love to hear your opinions!

 

Homework:  Drop your business or personal brands Instagram below after making these tweaks!