Instagram is the fastest growing social media network in the world. It was created in 2009 and has over 300 million active users. Today we’d like to help you understand what a valuable asset Instagram can be for any business.
There are a few companies that we can learn from with regards to using Instagram. Freshly Picked is one of them. The owner of Freshly Picked, Susan Peterson, started her company in 2009 from her kitchen table making baby moccasins from leather that she bought at a garage sale. When she perfected the moccasins, she used Instagram to market her product. Now Freshly Picked is a successful business with over 430,000 followers on Instagram. How awesome is that?!
We’ve compiled this list of different ways that you can utilize Instagram to both grow your brand followers and to increase awareness for your products and services:
- Build Your Followers Through Giveaways: Giveaways are something that arguably every business can benefit from. This is an easy way to increase brand awareness and to build followers without spending a lot of money. When doing an Instagram giveaway, you will need to post detailed instructions for your followers to tag their friends in a comment below your post to help spread the word about your product and hopefully gain exposure with people you wouldn’t have otherwise reached. A unique take on a giveaway offering is to do a Loop Giveaway. This is a collaboration between 5 to 30 Instagram users that offer a prize together consisting of a combination of their products or gift cards. All of the companies involved in the giveaway post the same picture to Instagram at the same time while tagging the next person in the loop. The idea is that your followers will follow the other businesses in the loop to be entered to win the grand prize. This is a great way to piggyback on other companies’ followers and increase your own followers.
- Develop Your Brand by Posting High-Quality Images: If you don’t have beautiful, entertaining pictures to look at, your followers will quickly unsubscribe from your feed. One of the best ways to make your pictures look better is to use apps. With all the photo editing apps available out there, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a way to improve the photos you’re posting. Also, make sure that the images you are posting are applicable to your brand. You can incorporate personal photos into the feed to give it a more down-to-earth charm and connect with your followers on a personal basis, but the personal photos should still reflect the same quality and aesthetic of the rest of your images.
- Strengthen Your Other Social Media Platforms with Links: Not only can you use Instagram to build your following on that social media platform alone, but you can use it to direct traffic to your other social media pages as well. If you post a longer, more detailed post on Facebook, offer an enticing preview on Instagram to show your followers that they are missing out by only following your Instagram feed. Include links to your top social media pages on your website so you don’t ever miss the chance to connect with your website traffic on each of their favorite social platforms.
BONUS TIP: Did you know that if you link to your website in your Instagram profile, those visits are recorded by analytics tracking apps as direct links? That means that you can’t really track those visits, because they are disguised as a direct visit instead of a referral. One simple way around this is to create a page on your website with a URL like www.yourwebsite.com/instagram and include that link in your Instagram profile instead of a link to your homepage. As long as that profile is the only place where that link is listed, you can safely assume that all traffic to that page on your website is coming directly from your Instagram page and you can easily see how much traffic your feed is bringing to your website.
Are you already on Instagram? What businesses do you follow that are great examples of using Instagram to build their brand?