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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.

8. Show people using or interacting with your product(s). “We've repeatedly seen higher engagement in pictures that include people in them,” says Kindra Svendsen, digital marketing specialist, Speak Creative, a full-service digital agency. So “include a person using your product or enjoying your service. Even a glimpse of a hand in the picture boosts engagement. [Just] pay attention to what's in the background, removing it if necessary.” 

9. Feature customer photos and videos. “If your company says that they care about their customers, show this by promoting customers who post about their product/service on Instagram,” says Alice Williams, communications specialist, Frontier Business Edge, a provider of data, voice, video and equipment solutions.

“Highlight photos of real customers incorporating your products and services into their everyday lives,” suggests Lux Narayan, CEO, Unmetric, a social media intelligence platform. “Instagram users can become evangelists for brands when they tell their own visual stories that engage other users.” You can even “design campaigns around user-generated photos. Encouraging and engaging consumers who submit photos results in genuine brand stories that spread to other users and boost sales.”

“Major fashion and beauty brands have reaped many benefits from user-generated content,” notes Dahan. “REVOLVE Clothing, for example, gained more than 35,000 followers with its #REVOLVEme campaign, in which fans [were] incentivized to post pictures of themselves wearing REVOLVE clothes for a chance to win $1,000. Another common incentive is to feature fan-created content on brand's Instagram pages. Other sweepstakes gimmicks like ‘follow us and leave a comment to win XX’ are also highly effective for brands to gain followers and drive engagement in a short amount of time.”

10. Turn customer testimonials into images. “Use a free online tool such as PicMonkey to transform some of your clients' testimonials into attractive images to share on Instagram,” says Cristina Castro Moral, owner/designer, Sombras Blancas Art and Design. And “don't forget to include your [company’s] URL.”

11. Don’t be afraid of video. “Instagram understands how much their audience loves video, as evidenced by the recent focus on video in the Instagram Ads platform,” says Sarah Matista, marketing communications manager at Vistaprint Digital. “You don’t have to be George Lucas to succeed here. [You can] use Instagram’s integrated Boomerang and Hyperlapse video apps to make easy, creative videos your audience will love.”

12. Engage with your followers. “Social media is built on relationships, so [my] top advice for Instagram is to engage,” says Nikki Fica, founder & CEO, Social Media Facelift. “Do not just do a ‘post and run.’ Interact with others by liking and commenting on posts and by searching relevant hashtags, as well as responding to every single comment on your photos. This will help you grow a following, find your audience and create relationships.”


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