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Tips for maximizing Instagram for your business

For better or worse, many businesses in recent years have chosen to concentrate their social media marketing efforts on Twitter and Facebook. However, it’s another social network – Instagram – that is currently the fastest growing of all social media platforms, with over 800 million active users. As a photo and video sharing application, it requires a slightly different approach from other forums, but harnessed correctly it has the potential to connect your brand to millions of potential customers. Here are our three top tips for getting the most out of Instagram.

  1. Hashtags – Hashtags, as we know them, originated on Twitter, but they’ve always been big on Instagram. You can add up to 30 hashtags on a single photo or video, which makes them a useful discovery tool to help users find your content. Even better, a recent change rolled out means users can now follow specific hashtags, which further enhances the discoverability of your posts. From users’ profiles, you can see what hashtags they follow and, with a bit of effort and research, it’s possible to tap into the power of this data to use hashtags more strategically. Simply check out the hashtags your target audience is following and use this to inform future Instagram
  1. Instagram Live – Live video streaming on social media carries great potential for driving engagement with an audience, and Instagram Live now allows the functionality to add guests onto your live broadcast. This gives the opportunity for events such as interviews and Q&A sessions, potentially resulting in much greater levels of immediate engagement than can be achieved with prerecorded video. Overall, live videos present a great opportunity to let customers see the human face of your brand.
  1. Visual consistency – Bottom line: Instagram is a visual medium. When posting images, you’ll want to ensure not only excellent composition and quality but also, perhaps more importantly, that they are visually consistent both within your Instagram channel and with your brand’s wider visual identity. Customers recognize and value brand consistency and, conversely, find it jarring when a piece of social media marketing is inconsistent. You should be putting as much thought, planning and effort into an Instagram post as you would a print ad or any other marketing activity.

Instagram as a social media platform continues to grow. While that means more potential customers for your business, it also means more competition for your brand – there are already more than 25 million businesses actively marketing on the platform. As with any other form of social media marketing, the key to success on Instagram is to make your content stand out. The three tips given here should help your brand to do just that.

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