The very first Instagram photo was taken by its founder, Kevin Systron in Mexico in 2010. I find it fitting that it was of a dog. We all know pets are a big hit on Instagram. However, Instagram has become more than a site to post pictures of dogs.
The Instagram app has become the number one photo sharing app in the U.S. with 95 Million active users, and also globally, adding almost 100 million active users each year since 2014. Now attaining over 800 million worldwide active users. And not surprisingly, that has attracted many big businesses to Instagram.
I previously wrote about 13 power tips from successful America-based Instagram users. So, I decided to reach out to four business power users on four different continents and ask their thoughts on the value of Instagram in their region and some of their best tips on how to get IG followers and grow your business. Here's what they told me:
Get more Instagram followers in Qatar
Ibrahim Al-Haidos is the founder of the luxury handbag brand, Fursan, and is based in Qatar, Doha. He has 162,000 Instagram followers, and he says, "Instagram has become a vital marketing platform for businesses in the Middle East. It has become one of the most used social media apps, if not the most popular. Businesses in Qatar use it to tell their stories in a way that is visually appealing to their customers. "
Al-Haidos's top Instagram tips:
1. Have a complete bio and write what your business is about. Make sure you are consistent with all of your social media profiles. Use your logo as a display picture, and make sure to use your logo with the correct font, style and color.
2. Take professional photos.
3. Take your audience behind the scenes sometimes: You can use Instagram stories to film moments behind the scenes to engage your Instagram followers and make them feel belonged to your brand.
4. Collaborate with the right bloggers and Influencers that belong to your segment.
Get more Instagram followers in the United Kingdom
Oliver Isaacs is based in the United Kingdom, and he has 331,000 Instagram followers. He says, "You can enhance your brand identity significantly on Instagram, and this strategy is being adopted by numerous online and offline businesses across the U.K. and Europe daily.
"Mobile has now taken over desktop traffic, and Instagram is the place to be. In my specific business sector, which is primarily focused on cryptocurrency investing and blockchain technology, I've seen multiple blockchain-type startups using Instagram to generate exposure for their initial coin offerings (ICOs).
"A lot of blockchain companies or specific cryptocoins have set up Telegram groups, which link to their Instagram pages. They use those pages to generate viral content or endorsements from major public figures, celebrities or influencers."
Isaacs's top Instagram tip:
Be consistent. It's easier said than done, but no matter your niche, it's vital to remain consistent with your content and stories. Being consistent will allow you to stay on the good side of the Instagram algorithm, which will attract a more engaged and loyal following.
Then, you'll be able to gain high-quality followers quickly when you find bigger accounts in your niche from Engagement or Facebook groups, Telegram and KIK apps, and negotiating cross-promotion on stories or post captions.
You can also make use of "power likes" -- likes from much larger accounts -- if you build a solid relationship with the account owners of pages with a million or more Instagram followers. This will give your posts the best chance of going viral on the Explore page.
Get more Instagram followers in Australia
Adel de Meyer (@adeldmeyer), is the founder and new media specialist for Adedemeyer.com. She is based in Gold Coast, Australia, and has 14,900 Instagram followers. She says, "Social Media usage in Australia has been very consistent over the years, and Facebook and YouTube have been popular among Aussies. The last two years, Instagram started to get a big slice of the pie, and we are seeing steady growth for Twitter and Snapchat.
"Businesses in Australia spend most of their marketing budgets first on improving their websites and content. Then, they look at incorporating budget spend on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram advertising, strong influencer marketing campaigns. We only see creative ways to reach millennials on Snapchat from the bigger brands."
Meyer's top Instagram tip:
To build a brand with the Instagram app, you need to understand the type of content people crave, then find your niche. The competition on Instagram is tough, so you will have to be consistent and deliver top-notch content every time, otherwise you will not get noticed. Have a solid strategy, get a content calendar in place and combine that with some ad spend to boost reach.
Get more Instagram followers in Brazil
Luana Soares is based in Brazil and has 12,600 Instagram followers. She says, "Brazil is the second biggest country for bloggers and YouTubers today. Every brand or public person knows they must be on Instagram to stay competitive. Businesses in Brazil are using Instagram every day to engage and be social with their customers. We are a very social country, after all."
Soares's top Instagram tip:
Many businesses are now learning that Instagram is very important to communicate with the younger generation. Retail stores are selling directly from Instagram. Soares says you should always be updated with Instagram's latest features and changes to their algorithm. She follows Instagram's official blog, and you can do it right from the Instagram app on your phone. This will help make your account look amazing and stay a step ahead of your competitors.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors