Whenever I talk social media marketing strategy, Instagram always comes up!

Instagram used to be known as ’the’ channel for ‘young and cool’ people – but now more businesses are starting to use Instagram as part of their social media marketing strategy.

Instagram’s personal and business users are high engagers – over 300 million users currently share over 60 million images a day.

As a social media channel, Instagram is really quick and simple to pick up and use. It’s also fun, free and very addictive!

Easy to use and cost effective, Instagram advertising enables businesses to effectively target their specific niche audience.

Instagram doesn’t always ‘convert’ – it probably won’t drive as much traffic to your website or blog as Twitter or Pinterest, but it’s a great channel to build trust and communicate your personality.

If Instagram is part of your social media marketing strategy, then here’s how to get more Instagram followers –

Spend some time working on your profile

Keep your bio short and sweet! Make it appeal to your audience and clearly and concisely communicate what your page is about and how you are different or add value. Include a call to action and a link to your website or blog.

Get organised!

Scroll through your feed and analyse what you’ve previously posted. Be brutal! If an image isn’t quite right or looks out of place, then delete it.

To turn visitors into followers, your feed needs to look as coherent as possible.

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Promote your Instagram page

Add an Instagram link to your website, blog and email signatures. Announce your presence on Instagram across other social media channels.

Also think about promoting your account across non digital marketing materials.

Understand your audience and define your style accordingly

When new visitors land on your profile, they should be able to instantly understand who you are and what you offer.

What style will your posts follow? Some users opt for a limited or restricted colour palette – even just black and white images.

On Instagram being ‘niche’ is often a good idea. Don’t try to be everything to everyone.

Focus on quality of image

Quality of image is crucial! Don’t post lo-res, blurred or badly composed images. Make sure your images are as ‘professional’ as possible.

If Instagram is the key channel for your social media marketing strategy, then it might be worth investing in a smart phone with a great quality digital camera.

You could also consider using photo editing software to further enhance your images.

Don’t get carried away with filters! Use filters that reflect and compliment your brand and message. It might be a good idea to limit your posts to one or a few filters.

Be consistent

There’s no golden rule on how often you should post – but I always advise that it’s best to be consistent. Commit to something – post daily, every other day or weekly?

A consistent approach will be more beneficial than random sporadic posting.

Engage with others

Don’t forget that Instagram is social media! Dedicate some time to interacting and engaging with your existing following as well as others.

Like, comment on other posts and reply to messages. Try not to use standard replys – your approach should be to be as ‘human’ as possible.

Use hashtags – but don’t get carried away

Include popular and relevant hashtags in the captions of your posts. This will help other users to find and appreciate your content.

However, don’t use too many hashtags. Instagram posts with lots of hashtags can appear ‘desperate’ or ‘sales focussed’.

Set targets and focus on the right metrics

It’s important to have goals, aims and objectives. If you don’t know what you want to achieve on Instagram, you won’t ever know what you’ve achieved!

Your social media marketing strategy should be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Have fun! Go for it!

Be creative! Push the boundaries and operate outside of your comfort zone!

It’s important to remember that although Instagram is still social media, it’s very different to Facebook and Twitter.

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I use this simple approach to Instagram social media marketing –

Stand Out – communicate your authority and personality
Attract – the right type of followers for your business or brand
Grow – attract more followers quickly and organically
Convert – your followers into customers

As with all marketing and social media marketing activity, you will only get out of Instagram what you put in!

There’s no magic wand! It always takes time! I recommend working through these tips to help to get more Instagram followers.

Let me know if I’ve missed anything? Do you have any other Instagram tips that you think should be added to this list?

Lets get connected! You can find me on Twitter at Perro_Andy. #freemarketingtips

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