5 Ways to Get Instagram Instantly Working Better for YOUR Business

By Emily A. Hay on June 29th, 2015 / Comments

Well, we all know “instant success on social media” is an oxymoron. However, there are certainly a few things you can do to take your business to the next level using the social network that is hotter than a Michigan summer — Instagram. Want to get Instagram instantly working better for your business? Here are 5 ways that will work faster than a firecracker:

1) Think about YOUR creative strategy. Offer your followers something they can’t find elsewhere; i.e., be sure to post content that differs from what you’re sharing on Facebook or Twitter. Use Instagram to highlight the people behind your business and share behind-the-scenes content that tells a story and invites followers to feel included in your brand (and remember to make these images eye-catching…Instagram is all about the visuals!).

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Think outside the box when it comes to your content. Are you located in an exciting city or community? Highlight things going on around you. If you offer a service, post photos of happy customers or before-and-after shots of completed projects. If you sell a product, think about showcasing that product in a unique way that doesn’t feel pushy. Here’s a great example of a post by @WarbyParker:

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This could also mean creating a campaign that has nothing to do with your product and everything to do with the context in which your product is used. Harry’s #ownyourAM is an excellent example of one such campaign.

Feeling creative yet?

2) Engage with your audience. Continuously monitor your own brand mentions. This means searching for your hashtag, checking your notifications for @mentions and new hearts/comments on your posts, and generally being on the lookout for people talking about your business. It’s important to remember that Instagram is a social network (which means no one-sided conversations allowed).

In addition to staying on top of brand chatter, be sure you’re initiating connections by hearting photos that are relevant to your brand, following users who are potential customers or brand ambassadors, and rewarding users that talk positively about your business. A great way to do this is by reposting or regramming.

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One way to regram is to simply download the Repost app for Instagram and connect the two apps so they can communicate with one another. When you select an image in Instagram to regram, Repost will automatically give credit to the owner of the image. This ensures you’re never accidently claiming the image as your own. You can add #regram to the caption to boost your potential reach.

3) Collaborate. This is an especially powerful tactic for small business owners and makers. The handmade goods industry is both prolific and well-connected on Instagram so be sure to seek out complementary businesses. Not only do you gain exposure to followers of that business but you might also bring potential new customers their way, as well. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship.

An excellent example of a maker using this tactic also happens to be a local Michigan entrepreneur: @Orikami_Organics (maker of adorable organic cotton baby leggings among other awesome things). By posting a photo of her pants with another artisan’s top, and yet another artisan’s baby booties, she can tag everyone in the photo and share the love. More exposure for all = win/win.

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4) Utilize tools to generate more creative images. If you feel like your product or service is drab or you’re struggling to take creative photos, there are plenty of third-party apps that provide tools to make your posts more captivating. Collages give your followers two images for one and also make great avenues for sharing any before-and-after shots. Utilize filters and other editing tools available within Instagram or check out similar options within third-party apps to make your colors pop or draw intrigue to your composition. And don’t forget video! Perhaps a less-than-captivating photo could make a unique video.

Some apps to help you with this: PicFrame, PicCollage, Frametastic, VSCO, Hyperlapse, Instasize, Snapseed, Colorsplash, Mextures and Photoshop Express.

5) Use Instagram as a lead generator. At the end of the day, the goal of most businesses when it comes to any social media platform is to increase sales. To that end, you should be posting images that make people want to buy from you. The trick is to do this without being pushy or overly promotional. If you’re selling something like travel, that’s not a difficult goal to meet. Airbnb does a phenomenal job at utilizing user-generated content to sell the Airbnb experience. Glance at any number of their wanderlust-worthy images and you’ll see countless comments tagging friends in order to share the image. This is incredible exposure for the business and even individual residences.

Chocolate may be no less difficult to sell but @BonBonBonChocolate, located right here in Detroit, is really winning the Instagram game. They succeed at keeping their product exciting and engaging customers through creative posts, sneak peeks and good old fashioned humor.

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We hope this article gave you some new ideas on how to use Instagram for your business. Leave us a comment with your Instagram handle and we’ll be sure to check out what’s happening with your brand.


About the Author

Emily A. Hay

Emily A. Hay is the founder of Hay There Social Media and TweetTeam.com™, startup businesses that deliver social media marketing services to a variety of consumer-focused clients. She is also the co-creator of “Saving Face for Parents of Tweens,” an online video program helping parents coach their tweens to become smart digital citizens. Emily is a public speaker and is the social media contributor to the Internet Advisor show on WJR 760 AM in Detroit, where she currently resides. You can follow her on twitter @emilyahay .