How to compete in an increasingly popular network.

Instagram has been gaining momentum for the last five years but it’s never been more popular than it is right now, especially for targeting the younger generations who make up a huge portion of the users of Instagram.

The only problem with such a popular network becoming more established within marketing terms is that there is now more competition for engaging content than ever, particularly now that Instar introduced enhanced advertising options last year.

Instagram isn’t the easiest channel to spread brand awareness on, even though it’s popular. However, there are just a few of the ways you can and should help boost engagement with your product/brand.

Be an active participant on Instagram.

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Instagram is all about interaction. It’s not enough to post a beautifully designed picture, you need to be a part of the community. Find, interact and follow. Hashtags and keywords relevant to your product/brand can be very useful here. And once you are involved in the community, react and respond to what is being posted. Comment on relevant things, you don’t always need to be pushing the sales talk but you might attract someone’s attention who in turn might check out your info and thus begins a relationship with a potential customer.

Ensure your content on Instagram is high-quality.

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Anyone can upload a decent picture to Instagram and throw a pretty filter on it. What makes yours special? Spend the time and money investing in quality content to upload, it is the very first thing someone will check out about you and it’s amazing how quickly people can be turned off by a minor flaw in the branding. It helps to include a call-to-action accompanying your content too, asking for likes, follows or tags are fine and will help spread awareness of your brand. Also, don’t forget that Instagram is for PEOPLE. Of course, you need to post pictures of your product if that’s what your business is, but make sure to get a mix of nice product shots as well as people interacting with it or talking about it etc. The human factor goes a long way on Instagram.

Get the wording right!

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A picture may say a thousand words but if you can also write the words… double whammy! Instagram captions give you the opportunity to provide more information on your content and tell the details behind the picture. You can include as much or as little information as you like (up to 2200 characters). And don’t underestimate the power of hashtags! It helps to do a little research into what’s currently trending too if it’s relevant. Don’t be afraid to create a custom hashtag that you can stick with throughout your campaign. Make sure it captures the essence of what your brand wants to give to its Instar audience.

Make sure your info is clear and PRESENT!

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You need to write a bio to show who/what you are. Don’t go overboard on this. Short, sweet and simple is best. A few key facts about the brand and something a little bit more interesting. This post demonstrates some popular bios along with some top tips for writing them. Check out some examples here Instagram-bio-examples-small-business

If you include links in your bio (and you should if you want to create traffic to your website!) make sure that the links are mobile-optimised as most people will be accessing them from their phones. Instagram isn’t really a desktop kinda viewing app!

If you’re a startup then you might also want to check out the three keys to success here

The key thing with Instagram is that it is a community. So be part of it. React, respond, reach out. And continue looking for ways to up your game. New elements are being added all the time so spend time learning new tricks and putting them into action. Don’t be afraid to ask for support in the form of likes and reposts and do the same to others that ask. Finally make sure that you always observe what’s happening with your interactions, keep an eye on who is liking your posts and who is responding to them the most and learn from this data how to continue growing as an online presence.

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