With over 300 million active users, much more than that of Twitter, this social networking website has become one of the most powerful weapons of internet marketers today.
I am talking about Instagram.
“Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day,” says CEO-cofounder Kevin Systrom of Instagram, a Facebook owned social photo-sharing app born in 2010.
Here’s a tidbit for you: Over 2.5 million people like and share photos on Instagram every day!
Yes, that’s how BIG it is.
And anything that big and popular on the web is bound to be a favorite for marketers, right?
The question is, are you using it for your business?
It does not matter whether you are selling a product or a service. If you are looking for awesome results, this is one marketing weapon that you need to own right now.
Before you leave to start bombarding Instagram with your photos every day, here’re a few pointers for you.
Rule #0. Be Real
This rule applies to all social media channels – Instagram is a social network. So that means don’t go all-out on the promotion, you’ve got to be real and social not just see this network as another cash cow for visitors to your latest blog!
Rule #1. Build Your Community. (Use A Hashtag.)
A #hashtag is a very beautiful technique when it comes to getting exposure on Instagram and building your own community on a certain topic.
All you need is the right picture that inspires sharing and likes, and put a hashtag so that like-minded (pun not intended) people can find it and relate to it. What can be a better way to promote your brand than this?
Rule #2 A Good Cause Behind Your Posts.
Yes, we know that you are in there to market your product or service, but if you want the best results for your business, don’t just promote. Remember, Instagram is after all a social networking website.
People don’t visit it to learn about new product or service launches.
They are there to be entertained and amused.
They want to live an experience when they are browsing photos over Instagram.
So, give them that beautiful experience, and they will love you for it.
Rule #3 You Have To Follow First To Lead Others
Margot da Cunha, in this Wordstream post, says, “Know your target audience.”
Try to figure out what they feel. Try to find out what they like or dislike. Try to know what they are thinking at this very moment of the day. What do they do on weekends? Are they single or married? Are they waiting for the upcoming summer?
Is the latest Rihanna song their favorite? Just know as much as you can about them, and maneuver your posts according to what they feel.
Let your followers relate to you.
Rule #4 Do NOT over-post
You want to focus on quality, not quantity.
Nobody likes someone who talks all the time. Besides, they haven’t got the time to follow your posts all day. They have got a job. They have got school. They have got a life apart from Instagram.
According to Carly Keenan of 435 Digital, “You don’t need to post on Instagram every day. If you start posting a lot, you might over-saturate your followers’ feeds, and you don’t want to force yourself into the noise too often.” So, don’t overwhelm them with a barrage of posts all day.
Rule #5 Promote Your Instagram On Other Social Networking Sites
This one is really important, yet overlooked by most internet marketers.
When you are a social media marketer, you need to connect your marketing efforts across all platforms. This is all the truer when you are an Instagram marketer.
Share your Instagram photos on Facebook and Twitter as well. The more likes and shares you get there, the more followers you build on Instagram at the end of the day. This is called “leveraging of social media”.
Rule #6 Interact With Others, Especially Your Followers
Remember what I said in Rule #0 and Rule #2?
Your followers are not there to learn about your business.
They are looking to be impressed, to be entertained.
They are looking to get SOCIAL.
And how many of those marketers don’t understand this.
Don’t be like them.
Always interact with your audiences. I would go one step more, and start liking and sharing others’ photos too. “If you expect people to engage with your posts, they expect the same as well,” writes TINT CEO, Tim Sae Koo.
The more active you are, the more exposed your username is to the owner and owner’s followers.”
Rule #7 Post AWESOME Irresistible Photos
Last but not least, post catchy, irresistible photos (whenever you do).
Let your audience expect the best from you, always. Photos that inspire them. Photos that awe them. Photos that blow their mind away. Build your own strong story with your photos.
And yes, as Kristi Neher says, share “real photos of real things, taken by real people.”
Post photos that have the potential to go viral yet connect with your brand message. As they say, a picture is equal to a thousand words. Remember, it’s not just about sharing photos.
It’s about sharing an experience!
Follow these 7 pointers to the T and see your business skyrocket to the next level.
The power of the internet is huge, and with Instagram by your side, you can literally win over the world.
Share your brand message today…not through words but by a powerful picture! And of course if you found this useful don’t forget to share it with your friends!
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: How to Break Into the Instagram Market
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