5 ways Instagram can grow your business

When I first started using Instagram, it was so overwhelming that I literally deleted and re-installed it like 5 times within the first 4 weeks. Can we say visual eye candy? And not the fluffy cotton candy stuff that easily dissolves. This was like Macintosh chewy caramel toffee. The type of delicious goodness that melted into your taste buds, woke up your senses and stuck with you. You might even still be chewing on a piece that didn’t get flossed out a few days later ;)

Instagram is a storytelling powerhouse. 95 Million photos are shared on the platform each day out performing twitter, Snapchat and Facebook posts. Posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.6% more engagement than those without hashtags. Instagram posts get 4.21% following per post, 58 times more than Facebook. Because engagement rates are so much higher, and the ability to convey messages through a simple post is unmatched, Instagram has been used by companies of all industries to build personal brands. Dentists can use it to teach children about the benefits of flossing and sanitation workers can use it to educate the public about the perils of not recycling. The possibilities are virtually endless.

If you run a business and are not using Instagram, you are missing out on a powerful platform. Its optimizes storytelling which is the greatest marketing strategy for engaging an audience.

If a picture is worth a thousand words imagine how much you could be saying by posting a steady stream of consistent images on your Instagram page daily. Instagram currently has over 300 million active monthly users, so chances are your target audience is on there waiting to hear from you.

1. If you are not using this platform to engage your audience, your competitors probably are. Even if you are not ready to jump on Instagram yet, you can at the very least create an account so you can check out what your competition is doing. You can get ideas and get insight into industry trends. You can also monitor on-going communications about your brand to see what audiences are saying. You can use this insight to help you strategize what marketing moves to make next. All of this recon is 100% FREE! so why not jump in?

2. Instagram has the highest engagement rate than any other platform including Facebook. Facebook has changed to a ‘pay to play’ system. Posts are not getting anywhere near the type of engagement they were a year ago before, the algorithm changed for the 281st time. So why not put your content in front of audiences who are more likely to see and respond to it? Instagram users are more engaged generally and open to receiving messages from you.

3. Have a strategy - You’ve heard the saying if you fail to plan you plan to fail. With a strategy, you are able to set goals, outline specific tactics, and move towards them. With this knowledge in tow, go forth and communicate! But please be careful not to spam your audience or promote yourself constantly. This is a storytelling, emotionally connective platform. Make sure the content you create goes beyond a product pitch and creates an authentic, lasting impression.

4. Create a theme - By creating regular content themes or pillars for your brand you can ensure a consistent message throughout your feed. Make sure all your posts are consistent with the themes or pillars you have created. Be an authentic voice because this will be reflective of your brand culture. Don’t try to be something your not. People will see right through it. Take your audience along for your journey. Make sure that everything you post comes back to who you are as a brand and who you want to attract as your audience.

5. Photos - Create beautiful photos. This goes without saying. With today’s smartphones, it’s pretty difficult to take a bad photo. You want the highest quality, most visually captivating photos you can take because people are moved by visuals first. Photo editing apps like snapseed, facetune and literally thousands of others, exist for a reason. Even if you are beginning with a beautiful photo you can use filters as an easy way to create a consistent theme for your brand. If you are a personal fitness coach perhaps you want to use detailed, high contrast imagery to convey sharpness and intensity. Or perhaps you want to convey or bright, bubbly and fun as a party planner. Whatever your niche there’s a way to visually communicate and play up your brand personality.

Have you considered using Instagram for your business? If so what’s your favourite part about using this platform?

Till next keep rising,

Rhoda