It's not just for the teenagers anymore. Instagram has found it's way into many entrepreneurs' social-media strategy.
Forrester studied more than 3 million user interactions with 2,500 brand posts across seven social networks. This study found the Instagram posts of top brands generated a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21 percent. Instagram delivered these top brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.
While many entrepreneurs have Instagram accounts, they may not be taking full advantage of their potential reach. Following these six tips, you're bound to get instaresults and grow your Instagram account following and engagement.
1. Authentically grow your following.
Find others on Instagram who would be interested in your business and who you genuinely find interesting based on their photos and the hashtags they use. If don't know where to begin or you've run out of ideas and are unsure which hashtags work best for your image, use websites like hashtagify.me or ritetag.com to help jumpstart your imagination.
Once you've found people who would be interested in your images, brand and/or company don't just follow them. 'Like' their images you truly do enjoy, and make a comments explaining why you like their posts. Please be creative with this. Lazy marketers will post things like, "great photo" or "I like your photos." Don't be one of those people on Instagram.
2. Include your website address in your bio as well as a description.
The whole point in your having an Instagram account is to attract people and drive them to your website to sell your products or services, right? Put your website URL into your bio description so it's clickable and takes them to your site. Instagram doesn't allow you to have clickable links in your image descriptions or comments, so posting a great image and then saying, "Click the link in my bio to take advantage of this week's sale" will help followers know where to click and how to get to your website.
Entrepreneurs who are not using the real estate given in their bio description are missing a great opportunity to explain what they offer others.
3. Use a photo consistent with your business in your profile picture.
If you own a snowboard shop, it makes sense for your logo to be your profile photo. Even an image of you, the owner, is better than a photo of your dog or your adorable child. Using an image that best fits your brand helps the potential follower to understand what your account is all about.
4. Use videos.
People love to watch videos! You can use videos in Instagram, but they last only 15 seconds. You can be creative in 15 seconds to get your message across. Using an app such as PicPlayPost allows your creativity to combine videos with photos or use multiple short videos within one image.
5. Add text to your photos.
It's one thing to have a beautiful image of your product or service, but adding a text overlay explaining what it is, how it's for sale, or why your customer ought to get their hands on is helpful. Two great apps to create text overlay are Moldiv and PicLab.
6. Run a contest.
This can be a very successful way for you to encourage your followers to help you grow your following, by offering them something in exchange for their efforts. One example would be asking your followers to post a photo of them wearing your product, using a hashtag you suggest (specific to your brand), and tagging a friend in their post. If you offer a great prize, your loyal followers will be happy to play along!
Instagram will continue to grow, attracting more and more people to this social media platform. These people are future customers and clients for you as an entrepreneur. After implementing these six tips you're bound to get #instaresults.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.