Instagram made the headlines this week for surpassing Twitter in terms of the number of users. There are now 400 million Instagram users, and as every good marketer knows, you need to be where your customers are in order to promote effectively. If you’re not sure how you can best leverage this social platform, here are five tips to get the most out of being a business on Instagram.

1. Leveraging The Instagram Perspective

Businesses on Instagram are not just sharing photos with interesting perspectives and filters. Instagram should give your followers an inside, candid look at your business, its services and employees. Your photos don’t just have to feature your products and services. You can also share photos of your employees working, volunteering and getting together for special holidays. If you’re a manufacturer, think about how you can share a glimpse into your processes. If you’re a service based provider, think about how you can demonstrate your corporate culture and the impact your services have. Instagram is the perfect place to give people the sense that they really know your brand and the people behind it.

2. Use Relevant Hashtags

Hashtags are as much a part of the Instagram experience as they are for Twitter. However, it isn’t a game of trying to use popular hashtags for increased visibility. As a business on Instagram, you should only use hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting. Our team can work with you to find out what hashtags you should use most often.

3. Mix it up with Videos

Did you know that you can post 3-15 second long videos on Instagram too? Businesses on Instagram don’t currently use a lot of videos and it is a great opportunity to break up a follower’s feed with motion. Videos will attract more attention and give you more time to promote a message.

4. Start a Photo Contest

Instagram isn’t just a mechanism for sharing a message, it can be a means of collaborating with your customers. A great way to accomplish this is to start a photo contest. Businesses on Instagram can post a photo with the contest rules and ask people to submit their own photos and use a hashtag that is made specially for the contest. One example of this is a business on Instagram asking followers to submit a photo of them with their favorite company product. You can monitor the photos that use the hashtag you specified and give a reward to the person with the best submission. This is a great tool for gaining followers and loyal customers. You may also be able to use the photos in future marketing campaigns.

5. Measure Results

After all of your hard work as a business on Instagram, it is important to measure your results. ICUC Social has a listening service to help you establish benchmarks for your Instagram statistics, and we can help you monitor your Instagram results. Along with monitoring, our professionals will help to make suggestions for improving your business on Instagram over time.

To sum it up, Instagram is gaining popularity and it is time for you to leverage its popularity to your advantage. Having a good mix of insider photos, miniature commercial videos and photo sharing contests will help you gain a steady presence as a business on Instagram. Don’t forget to measure all of your results, however, and try out different hashtag strategies until you hit your goals.

Why not try to tap into the 400 Million users now on Instagram?

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