Your Instagram page is a wonderful opportunity to create a curated view into the personality of your business, but you have to make sure you are not just talking to yourself. Once you are familiar with all of the basic tools of posting, it’s time to start creating strategic opportunities to increase visibility, get new eyes on your account, and grow your base of followers.
Why is visibility important? When you tap into a new audience you are uncovering a previously unaware group of potential customers who are interested in related topics.
There are three main ways I use Instagram to make new customers aware of our accounts.
- Prepare for newshacking and holidays
- Get off your feed and onto someone else’s
- Leverage Hashtag communities
1. Newshacking and Holidays
Capture the inevitable social media buzz and get in on the action during holidays and relevant newsworthy moments. Make sure to think ahead! Either style photos using props specifically for the occasion, or look at past content for relevant images.
For example – it’s Memorial Day Weekend. Are you a wine shop? Post photos of the best wines to pair with grilled meats. If you’re a boutique, show off your best patriotic ensembles for the first day at the beach. Celebrate smaller relevant holidays like “National Whiskey Day” or the first day of Summer.
Pick the Right Hashtag
Make sure you look into which hashtags are being used. You could choose any of these for Memorial Day:
How do you decide which one is best? Use sites like Iconosquare to see which variations are the most popular.
Have a sense of humor
Holiday and newsworthy posts should be fun! Some of the most popular accounts on instagram remember the cardinal rule is to not take yourself too seriously. Celebrate the humor in wrapping a hundred presents, announce that the first day of spring is “iced coffee season” and make an average day a holiday by calling it #Fryday.
First Day of Spring
2. Get Off Your Feed and Onto Someone Else’s
Find creative ways to get your products featured on other accounts. We’ve sent food to magazines, invited bloggers in to dinner and have had great exposure as a result.
Tag all visible brands
Tag other brand’s products in your posts and they’ll have the opportunity to repost your image on their accounts. You’ll also show up whenever anyone views tagged photos of that brand.
Location, Location, Location
Don’t forget to geo-tag! Tag the location of where you are to show up in the feed of all posts at that location. If the venue isn’t showing up, tag the city or neighborhood.
User Generated Content
Return the favor and feature photos from other users. This is referred to as “User Generated Content.” It’s a best practice to ask for permission and give them credit in the copy of your post.
3. Leverage Hashtag Communities
Tap into accounts that aggregate interesting content. These are Instagram accounts that are specifically dedicated to compiling images that fit into a specific theme. #CoffeeNClothes is a feed of beautiful style images. #EEEEEats is a drool-worthy feed from the Infatuation. #IHaveThisThingWithFloors showcases gorgeous, intricate flooring.
By tagging your posts with their hashtags, you are applying to be featured in their feeds that have a large amount of followers. You can expect a feature on these accounts to drive traffic and gain you some new followers.
Some of my favorite accounts: