With 700 million users and over 250 million using the story feature daily, there's no doubt your business should be on Instagram. Here's five tips for creating a dynamic and effective Instagram profile for your brand.
1. The Basics
First, completely fill out your account by adding your logo, writing a bio and then connecting your account to your Facebook page. Once you connect your Facebook page, the call-to-action buttons will appear which is an important feature for businesses.
2. Be Consistent
For maximum exposure, research shows posting at least once per day and a maximum of three posts per day is recommended. However, high quality content is a MUST on Instagram so only post as often as your content queue will allow. Be sure to develope a realistic posting schedule that you can maintain. Once you identify your posting schedule, stick with it and be consistent.
Timing of posts is also incredibly important. Iconosqure shows that the best times to post are generally early morning and late evening—7am and 10pm respectively.
3. Create an Aesthetic
One of the best (and fastest) ways to gain followers on Instagram is to establish an aesthetic or theme. What this means is creating a cohesive look and feel that will help attract new followers, increase your engagement, and help build a recognizable brand. Try these tricks for creating a theme. First, upload all images into an app like Concept Office. With Concept Office you're able to arrange photos and map out a posting schedule. This really helps to see how photos will line up next to one another and make edits prior to posting. Try choosing images with a similar composition, hue or subject. Below you'll see two examples of themes I've developed for SoSocial clients Life's Rad and TevaJane.
4. Utilize Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the quickest methods of growing your Instagram account. Using the right combination of hashtags helps expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. In fact, your chances of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement are vastly increased by using hashtags!
As a general rule, you should include 3-5 “big” hashtags that are less targeted but generate a lot of likes and comments. Some examples would be #tennessee #adventure and #explore. These “big” hashtags should still be relevant to you, but they should have a ton of posts and a high amount of engagement (lots of people searching for them). Next, you'll want to include 10 or so targeted hashtags, like these #downtownnashville #nashvillescene #musiccityusa. These are still quite broad but hone in on a specific demographic. Also, include a branded hashtag that's unique to your business. This helps foster community engagement and encourages followers to use your tag.
5. Interact and Engage With Others
Lastly, get social! Engage with your followers—like their photos, follow them back and view their stories. Use an app like SocialRank to view your most engaged followers. One you've identified your top followers, do something special for them—it can be as simple as a shoutout or make their day by gifting them a small present to thank them and show your appreciation.