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How to Develop an Instagram Strategy for Your Brand

Business.com / Last Modified: February 23, 2018
Photo credit: Pixie Me/Shutterstock

When you start a new business, marketing is everything. One of the best ways to market is using social media, and one of the best social media websites to use is Instagram.

When you start a new business, marketing is everything.

You need to get your company out there so you can market to the billions of consumers around the world who have tremendous spending power. One of the best ways to market is using social media, and one of the best social media websites to use is Instagram. 

No longer just for celebrities and food lovers, Instagram is a great place for a business to find its audience and build its brand. Most people spend a good portion of their day looking at their phones and computers, so take advantage of what this social media site has to offer.

Instagram is a great place to show a "behind-the-scenes" look at how your business functions and that it isn't a faceless organization but a company with hard-working people providing a valuable product or service.

Having an audience is crucial.

When the audience can see what happens behind the scenes, it accomplishes three things: 

  • It provides a window to the outside world. People like to knowt what you are doing, and many want to be the first to know when a new service or product is available. An online presence creates this availability.

  • It allows your company to become more individualized. It is always cool when a consumer can hop on your Instagram page and see not only the faces behind the company but how much these employees enjoy their jobs. These experiences resonate with followers.

  • It provides more exposure for your business, plain and simple. Instagram has over 800 million active users, meaning you have a sea of potential future customers to market your brand to. 

How do you create an effective business account?

Setting up an Instagram account is a snap, but when you are a business on the rise, there is so much more to do than simply adding your name and clicking Join.

1. Set clear goals.

The first step is to build a roadmap for where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. What is your primary objective? To sell your products? To bring more people to your brick-and-mortar establishment? Or do you simply want to generate traffic? Determine your goals at the outset and the creation state becomes that much easier.

2. Determine your growth strategy.

You know that you want to acquire followers, but there is a right and a wrong way to make this happen. 

Although they might frequent the platform, many businesses do not know how to use Instagram properly, and they often depend on third-party apps to get the desired response. But these third-party apps may actually hamper your chances of success. It all comes down to your secret health rating.

When you first create your Instagram page, your health rating is at its absolute peak. What you do from there can either keep your score consistent or force it to drop. Some actions that can decrease your health rating include losing followers, leading people to report your account as spam, inconsistent posting, changing your username, and using obvious automation software. 

This health rating is Instagram's way of looking out for its followers' best interests. Create a conservative growth strategy that includes keeping the same display picture, presenting authentic posts and actively commenting on pages of similar businesses. 

3. Implement a proper growth strategy.

Now that you know how not to build your base of followers, how do you actually make it happen?

It all comes down to the type of content that you provide. For one, skip the clip art. Instead, fill your account with vibrant photography. Pair that with high-quality graphics and attention-grabbing captions that provide a call to action that the customer just cannot ignore. 

Once you have your images, go make friends! Do some research and find large influencers within your niche and follow all of their followers. Avoid spreading spam messages, but create a clever way of showing followers that you exist. The sky is almost the limit as Instagram allows you to follow up to 7,500 people.

You can also use the "power-liking" method to increase your stock with both your audience and Instagram itself. Power likes are likes and comments that come from large accounts (of 100k followers or more) within the first 10 minutes of your newest post. Instagram learns a lot about your company's popularity within this first 10 minutes, so take advantage.

It is essential that you stick to your growth strategy, because keeping on track is necessary to keeping your current followers engaged and successfully bringing in new followers. In addition, maintain consistency by posting two to three times per day.

4. Utilize a feature page.

A feature page is a page on Instagram that showcases the most popular content in a specific niche. These can be made for food, travel, luxury or whichever niche your business is best suited for. All you do is find content related to your niche, take a screenshot of a photo that you like, create a catchy caption and then post it on your businesses feature page.

The purpose of this page is to attract followers who are interested in your business's services and turn these followers into loyal customers. Start off by creating epic and interesting curated content. Once you have secured followers, throw out an occasional product push or call to action. 

You won't see overnight success.

A common mistake made by many businesses is expecting that their brand will see success within days of starting out. Instead, it takes time and trial and effort to become a success on Instagram.

Start with a three-month strategy. After three months has passed, examine what you have achieved or perhaps what you have failed to achieve. What can you do differently to see more desirable results? If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. It's about testing, revising and changing it up.

Take time to poke around and see how people are reacting to your hashtags, posts, and captions. Assess how they are taking to your overall branding. Are they not only following but becoming customers as well? If so, then you are on the right track.

Above all, don't be afraid to revise your strategy until you get the desired results.

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