A Comprehensive Guide to Making the Most of Instagram

Learning how to use Instagram more effectively will allow your business to reach new customers, reach out to current customers and engage your target audience more effectively.

What’s With the Hashtags, Anyway?

Instagram allows users to add hashtags to their posts. Then, users can click through those hashtags to other posts on similar subjects. You can draw from the 25 most popular Instagram hashtags to reach the widest possible audience or develop hashtags that are unique to your business, but have the potential to catapult your popularity. Use your hashtags as effectively as possible — including:

  • Connecting your hashtags across all of your advertising platforms to make it easier for your audience to learn about your business.
  • Loading up the hashtags. Instagram is the only social media platform where users want more hashtags — not less.
  • Researching your hashtags. If it seems too perfect, make sure it hasn’t already been used by someone else. Check the hashtag yourself or do a quick search on Hashtagify or RiteTag.

Create Content for a Younger Audience

Instagram is most popular among younger users. With the greatest percentage of Instagram users under the age of 30, it’s critical that you develop your social media strategy to address the needs and desires of this age range. This age group is coming to social media with entertainment in mind, not to get their voice out there and share their opinions about products and services. Keeping this in mind with each post you make will enable you to more effectively attract followers among Instagram’s largest population of users. And please, don’t force it — if your personas don’t match the instagram audience, think long and hard before spending the time and effort on this channel.

Tell a Story

A picture is worth a thousand words — but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a few more to go with it. Use your Instagram captions to tell a story. Your words have the power to touch your audience, deepening their emotional response to the picture or enticing them to visit your website for a closer look at the content you’re offering.

“Your #Instagram strategy needs to tell a story — don’t just post superficially — try to truly connect” TWEET THIS

Develop a Theme

Your audience likes the idea that they can know what to expect from your business. While that doesn’t mean you can’t ever step outside it, developing a framework of themes attracts potential customers who have seen a single post and encourages them to become followers. Think carefully about what you want your Instagram account to say about your business. How do you want users to view you? What information should your account share about the company? Fill in the framework for that theme before you start posting.

Rolling Stone 100 Best Instagram Accounts

Follow Others

Creating an audience on Instagram won’t happen overnight, but there’s one surefire way to bring in more potential customers from your target audience: follow them. When you follow others, they’ll get a notification that then provides them with the opportunity to check out your account. Then, they can follow you in return. Target some of the big names in your industry or check out relevant hashtags to see what users you should be following.

Control Your Post Rate

Instagram users don’t want to be flooded with a constant stream of posts. One to three times per day is the ideal posting rate for most business accounts. Keep in mind that if you post too frequently, your users will become overwhelmed and may choose to unfollow you as a result.

“Don’t get spammy on Instagram — post 1x-3x a day and spread your posts out — or you risk losing followers!” TWEET THIS

Instagram is a great source of new followers, fans and customers. Like any social media account, it offers an opportunity to provide relevant, relatable content for your target audience. The more strategically you develop your Instagram account, the more effectively you will be able to reach both current customers and new ones.

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Originally published at blog.thinkcreativegroup.com.

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