So you’ve joined the world of filters and hashtags and started an Instagram account? Good on you! It’s a fun, simple, visually appealing, entertaining, and interesting way to develop and engage with a whole new online community. Instagram is a great tool to have in your social media toolbox, and, if you play your cards right, you can really spread the name and the message of your business far and wide with a well-crafted account.
But how do you let people know that you’re on Instagram and how do you build that following and that community?
Promoting Your Account Off Instagram
Firstly, you need to let people know that you’re on Instagram through a variety of means. Add the Instagram icon to your business card, put the link to your account on your email signature, tell people that you’re on there.
Promote your account on other social media. Announce on Facebook or Twitter that you’re on Instagram and include a link to your Instagram profile in your post so that you’re delivering people right to that “follow” button.
A joy of Instagram is that you can easily link your account to other social media. When you post something to Instagram you can choose to post it to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. This is a great way to drive followers from those platforms to your Instagram account.
It can be a fine line to tread though – you don’t want to post every image to your other platforms. You want to keep lots of content exclusively on Instagram so that there is a specific reason to follow you on that medium as well. If everything is going on your Facebook page why would someone bother to follow you on Instagram too?!
Promoting Your Account on Instagram
Once you’ve converted your existing customers, associates, and followers from other platforms into Instagram followers, it’s time to source new followers from Instagram itself. Instagram is very much a two-way street. If you want followers, the best way to get them is to be a follower. There is an unspoken yet established etiquette of Instagram that if someone follows you then you should follow them back. Simply through people being polite, you’re going to gain lots of followers!
Find other users in the same or similar industry, whether they be potential customers or competitors. Follow them, like some of their posts, comment on their images…. Engage. Stay genuine though. Cloying comments like “I love this! Follow me back”, smacks of spam and will not only turn people off.
Use hashtags to connect with people looking for what you’re providing. Third party services like Webstagram will help you to discover which hashtags are popular or gaining a lot of traction. But only use relevant ones. If you hashtag a picture of your dental product with #puppy, you’re achieving nothing but annoying people.
A great way to reach a larger audience and generate new followers is through regramming. Whether it’s you featuring someone else’s photo or your photo being featured on another account, you’re opening up multitudes of potential doors through being exposed to a whole other set of followers. For example, Discover South America has nearly 86 000 followers and features photos of the continent from other users who’ve used #discoversouthamerica. By using this hashtag and being regrammed, photographer MumWeAreFine gained over 100 new followers.
Find relevant accounts which you can be featured on to capitalise on their audience. Featuring images from your own followers not only opens doors to new followers but also builds community and a positive image for your brand.
Instagram is a mainstay of social media. Promoting your Instagram account should be a double-barrelled approach – outside of Instagram and within Instagram. Your established clients and customers should know that you’re on Instagram and that can be as simple as adding a link to your Instagram account on all of your online profiles and adding the icon to your business cards and fliers. Cross-promote your Instagram account on your other social media platforms.
Within Instagram promoting your account is all about engaging. It’s not enough to sit back and post image after image. Follow others, like and comment on relevant images, encourage regramming, and drive people to your profile with savvy hashtags. Then you’ll have a large online community with whom you can share, communicate, and spread the message of your brand and your business.