Instagram is a huge social network with over 1 million active users – a user base that is continuing to grow even now with no signs of slowing down. It is quick to manage thanks to its largely visual nature, and has some of the best engagement on the web.

Many companies use Instagram to boost their products and services to extraordinary popularity. Moreover, there are countless ‘Instagram celebrities’ who make a living from posting to Instagram alone. Some of them get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single post.

That ought to tell you something about how much big companies value Instagram!

But despite all this, countless businesses are still failing to gain any momentum on the platform. That’s because they’re stuck posting the same content day after day, not providing any value for their audience, and not quite ‘getting it’ when it comes to what sticks or what strategies work.

Instagram – Seller of Dreams

Instagram is a great tool for business. It’s about selling a dream or a ‘value proposition’. Being very visual, Instagram lends itself to promoting feelings over figures – it shows people who are successful, who are happy, or who are very trendy.

This in turn creates an instant visceral reaction in the viewer, who is socially motivated to want to do the same things and feel the same way. That’s why we follow aspirational accounts, and it’s why Instagram posts have the potential to influence moreso that anything you can accomplish on Twitter.

Like they say: a picture is worth a thousand words! In fact, you could even go so far as to pin many a cultural movement on Instagram. Instagram is at least partially responsible for the selfie for instance – selfies are at least somewhat a way for teens and others to express themselves online and this has spilled out into countless other mediums. 

What and How to Post

With all that said, you need to make sure you are posting images and videos that help to convey the message you wish to portray. Ideally, someone should see one of your images and feel inspired and moved – in turn seeking out your content to learn more.

For many, this means taking photos that are as attractive as possible – so if you have photography skills, then that’s ideal! Each photo should somehow tell a story, and show the benefits of the product or service you’re offering. At the same time, it also means sharing videos – which actually have a higher engagement than video on Instagram! 

Frequency and Tips

So, how often should you post? The good news is that the guess work has been taken out of the equation: businesses on average recommend posting 1-3 times per day in order to achieve maximum engagement. They recommend posting between 10am-3pm for local businesses, or 6pm GMT if you have a global audience.

Use the right hashtags. Instagram lets you add up to 30 hashtags for each image post, and that means you have thirty opportunities to help people find you, but don’t use a lot of hashtags if the post is small.

The best hashtags are the ones that are popular (100,000 posts+) but not insanely popular (1,000,000 posts+).

Hashtags that are too popular will mean your content gets drowned out the moment you post, while those that are too niche won’t bring enough views in. Aim for that happy sweet spot in the middle, but also use a range of hashtags with a couple at both end of the spectrum. More valuable still are the hashtags that are very hot topics in your niche, or that are trending generally. Use ‘news jacking’ in order to ride off the success of a popular topic. Ask yourself what you could post that would be relevant.

More Ways to Engage

Finally, make sure you engage with your audience using every other available trick. You can pay for sponsored posts and ads, but you actually don’t need to if you focus on answering the comments on your posts, commenting on other people’s posts, and liking their photos. Follow people in your niche too, and try to use hashtags and mentions to get noticed by bigger brands.

Follow 20 new accounts and you’ll likely get 10 follows back as long as they are relevant and especially if you’ve engaged with them in the past. And remember: this growth is exponential over time.

Using Instagram’s Live Video and Stories is another way you can engage more – especially as these will sometimes notify users that you’ve just posted. That’s a great way to interact in a more personal and direct manner with your audience, which in turn means that you can build that trust and authority.

Finally, work with other creators to do ad swaps and to promote each other every so often.

If you do all this, if you are consistent, and if you put real effort into delivering a message to your audience – then there is every chance that you could generate AT LEAST 100 new followers a day. And because this growth is exponential… the sky is the limit!

Quick Tip!

Create a business profile, so your personal profile remains personal. It’s better to not mix your personal with professional. To create another account, go to your personal profile and click on top of your personal page on your name. Then click add account. Enter a username and password for your business profile. It’s really important your fill out the edit profile area in detail with a website or number you can be reached at. 

Keep your posts for your hair business page related to hair. Anything not related to hair will alienate your audience. If you are talking about your cute cousins or you dog swimming for the 1st time, you’ll take away from your message. Keep it business.

To tag someone in a post, you simply put the @ sign 1st. This is a great way to acknowledge brands and put your name out there. For example, if you do a color on someone using Goldwell and then tag Goldwell, this is a great way to connect with the brand. If your business page is already set up for Facebook, you can link your Instagram. So, anything you post on Instagram, you’ll have the ability to share on Facebook at the same time.

So, how often should you post?  Earlier we mentioned 1-3 times a day. It may sound like a lot, but once every day is very normal. Some people are even posting twice a day. The reason for posting so frequently is for a few reasons. Number one, you don’t know who is going to see your post. If you aren’t getting engagement people may not see it. Number two, if you don’t post enough, you’ll never be fresh on their mind. You may actually be the reminder they need to see you. You may actually be the reminder about a question they may have for you. Whatever the case, stay consistent. Instagram is in the business to make money off your posts just like Facebook, so they sometimes limit your reach. That’s why engagement is so important. Every time someone engages with your post, you end up in the news feed again as relevant.

Here’s some features you need to know Instagram offers…
Instagram stories – This allows you to share a unique view of your day to day activity in a slideshow format, having a more direct personal interaction with your followers. Unlike your profile, Instagram stories have features that add to your content such as drawing tools and stickers to text and filters. By doing this you can share more content without cluttering your Instagram page. Stories can be found at the top on your page. Stories disappear from your profile and feed after 24 hours, unless you add them to your profile as highlights. Remember you can have up to 5 different Instagram pages.

Do you want to know more about Instagram & really master the platform?

Instagram is one of the most important platforms when it comes to branding and reaching a wide audience.

It has over 1 billion active users, and is considered a ‘trendy’ and youthful platform for by the majority of marketers.

The only issue? A lot of people including you may have no idea how to make use of it.

Fortunately, I’ve written a course called Instagram Marketing Secrets – How To Build An Audience and Market Your Business on Instagram — Even If You’re Just a Beginner.

You can grab your copy here:

Instagram Secrets

Here are some benefits you’ll get from getting this course:

• How to sell the ‘value proposition’ of your business – that means understanding how an image can tell a thousand words and make people mad for your products and services

• How to create an Instagram strategy for a non ‘visual’ business product or service

• How to make an Instagram account grow 10x as rapidly using simple and easy tricks

• How to convert your loyal followers and most popular posts into sales

• How to grow a successful Instagram account without posting a single photo!

• How to use Instagram advertising

• How to use advanced features – set up a business account, get verified, use shopping on Instagram

• And for those that want it: how to create a personal brand and become an Instagram celebrity! Get paid to wear nice clothes!

And MUCH more…

Act now and you get an added BONUS with

* An Instagram Checklist – (Something To Guide You Every Day When Posting)

* A Resource Cheat Sheet – (This has websites you use as tools as you’re building your page)
* Start & Grow Your Business E-Book – (The Instagram Way)

To Your Success,
Eric DeLuca

P.S. – If there’s one thing you look at today, make sure you get this:
Instagram Secrets