If your business hasn’t included Instagram in your marketing plan, you’re missing out on a wide world of advertising opportunities and exposure. However, in a sea of more than 1 billion active users, it can be difficult to get the right eyes on your account. Resolve to build your company’s Instagram following in 2020 with this quick guide:

Setting Up: Make sure your Instagram is set up as a business account. Optimize your profile by including an easily recognizable profile picture (like your company’s logo) and a well-written bio. Make sure your company’s contact information is up to date, and that you’re utilizing the call to action button feature.

Make Your Feed Pop: The most successful Instagram accounts are known for its stunning visuals. 

    If you’re producing your content in-house, be sure to follow photography best practices (natural or elevated lighting, using the rule of thirds, etc.), and use tools both within and outside of Instagram (like Photoshop Express) to edit your pictures to perfection. Ask your creative team to help you make branded text templates; these can be used to create images featuring customer testimonials, quotes, and engaging questions for your followers to interact with and share.

    If other users are already posting about your brand, consider “regramming” their content. Most Instagrammers are happy to let you repost their images and use their quotes as customer testimonials, but it’s best to ask for permission first. Don’t forget to credit the original poster in your #regram with a shout-out!

Use Both Organic and Paid Content: In addition to all of the free things you can do on Instagram, consider promoting posts within the app and running various Instagram ads through Facebook Ads Manager.

Use Strong Captions: Although Instagram is a photo and video-based platform, your copy still counts. Make sure to write all of your photo captions in your brand’s voice, and include hashtags relevant to your industry, customers, and products. Try creating branded hashtags that make it easy for your customers to find you and share content with you.

Engage With Your Audience Often: Your customers will use your Instagram to ask questions, praise your services or send negative critiques of your products. Keep up with comments and direct messages, and comment and like posts that others tag your business in.

Team Up: Utilize Instagram influencers and partner with other brands for maximum exposure. Look for companies that offer services and products complementary to your brand, and start dialogues about co-branded giveaways. This is an easy way to double your brand’s exposure, plus you have the added benefit of some extra networking.

Ready to take your Instagram strategy to the next level? Start with these three tips:

#1 – Promote your Instagram outside of Instagram: In addition to your in-app efforts, you can easily encourage your customers to follow your Instagram through in-store signage, your company’s e-newsletter, and on other social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Try adding in an easy contest – anyone who’s following your Instagram tags your account in a post featuring your product and uses one of your branded hashtags can be entered in a monthly drawing.    

#2 – Tag your products in your posts: If your business sells physical goods, you can connect your online catalog to your Facebook and Instagram profiles and add product tags to posts. New features, including the option to checkout directly on Instagram, are just beginning to roll out – learn more here.

#3 – Utilize IGTV and Instagram Stories: Video content on Instagram is booming with the addition of bite-sized, Snapchat-inspired Instagram Stories and long-form, YouTube-esque videos on IGTV. Get in on the action by sharing video content on IGTV and making Instagram Story ads.Want more guidance with your brand’s Instagram strategy? Contact the experts at The Loop Marketing for more inspiration and business solutions.

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The Loop Marketing Team