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How to market your business on Instagram

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Feb. 23, 2016
Social media, marketing and business experts share their tips on how brands can get the most out of the photo- and video-sharing site.

4. Time your posts. “Make sure your posts go live at a time when your audience is likely to be online,” says Gil Eyal, founder, HYPR, a provider of real-time social analytics. “A younger audience may not be available during school hours. An older audience might go to sleep early.”

Also keep time zones in mind.

Not sure when the best time (or times) to post is? “Experiment at posting different times of the day,” suggests Patrick Wong, marketing & community manager, Nomiku, a sous vide immersion circulator. “For instance, you may find that posting at 5 a.m. Pacific Time gives you better engagement (more likes, comments, etc.) because East Coasters are already awake, checking their phones, when they wake up or go to work. Posting when people are leaving work or taking a lunch break can also provide extra engagement [as] people are more glued to their phones [then].” 

5. Select the right hashtags.“Make sure you are using hashtags that appeal to your target audience,” says Heather Heuman, founder, Sweet Tea Social Marketing. “Yes, the hashtags #Starbucks and #McDonalds are popular, but they won't convert to the right type of followers. [Instead,] use quality hashtags. A source like is great for finding those specific hashtags you want.”

“Using hashtags pertaining to your industry or brand category, such as #foodie for restaurant businesses, is a great way for people to discover your content,” says Eric Dahan, cofounder & CEO, InstaBrand.

What is the optimal number of hashtags? There is no magic number, but posts with around a dozen relevant/popular hashtags (such as #fashion, #instafood, #cool, #foodporn) tend to do much better than images with just a few hashtags.

6. Create a hashtag specific to your brand. “A good practice is to come up with one or two hashtags unique to your brand,” says Dahan. “For instance, accessory brand Fossil uses #FossilStyle. Branded hashtags are also helpful if you want to drive social conversations about your brand by encouraging fans to post images about you using your unique hashtags.”

“If you post a call to action to use your hashtag, your hashtag will start to grow exponentially as you gain more followers,” adds Finn Cardiff, owner & CEO, Unreal Drones. Just “be sure to comment and like [posts] that feature your hashtag. [And] don’t [leave] the same comments over and over. [Rather,] make them personal and descriptive.”

7. Utilize geotagging. “Some users view photos by location, so adding a location to your images can increase exposure and engagement,” says Andrew Meyer, senior account manager, Seer Interactive. “You can view a certain location and see all the images posted there, which can be helpful if you have products or services that can be found in different locations.”


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