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Using Instagram to promote your business is a great way to build brand identity. With such a visual presence, Instagram provides a great platform to show off your portfolio and drive sales. Here are a few tips for making it work better for your business.

Use Hashtags

Using hashtags relevant to your business’s industry is crucial to being found. I recommend using 5 – 10 hashtags, based on your industry keywords, for each post. Follow the top 10 brands in your industry and pay attention to what hashtags they use.

Post at Night

One thing that improved my shares and likes on Instagram dramatically was posting later in the evening, around 9pm. Within 12 – 14 hours, I was astonished at how much more attention my posts got than they did during normal business hours. I’ve seen this consistently through several niches. A lot of people use Instagram later at night, and it’s easier to cut through the clutter.

Don’t Forget About Videos!

The web is visual! Videos and photos are going to continue to be relevant, and it’s an easy way for people to digest your content. Don’t bore people with endless “me” focused videos! Instead, feature quick snippets about topics your customers would find important (how your operations work, what your sales team is up to, what you are doing).

Optimize Your Profile

In all social networking, it’s extremely important that you take the time to completely fill out your profile. Here’s a copy of our Instagram profile for your viewing pleasure:

oxpsryk

Note how I’m using a hashtag and have a link to the company website. I also have a small blurb about what the company does.

Showcase Employees and Customers

I’ve posted little snippets about our employees and customers, and they’re always warmly received. The customers have all appreciated the shout-outs, and everyone I’ve posted about has made a point to contact and thank me.

It’s a win-win situation across the board. Your customers and employees feel appreciated, your potential customers see real world examples of your work, and you have content! By showcasing your employees, the customers get a better understanding of the many faucets of your company, and the unique talent you have working there.

Test “Long Form” Posts

A “long form” post is basically an image with an article attached to it. Rather than limiting your posts to a couple of sentences, try posting full-length articles attached to photos. It’s a cool way to re-purpose existing blog articles in a different format.

…Did I mention Hashtags?

I cannot stress enough how important it is to use multiple hashtags on Instagram. Every client or colleague I know who has received business via Instagram, was found because of a hashtag. People (your customers) are actively searching for and engaging with brands based on the hashtags used.

Of course, like most things, hashtags need to be used in moderation. No one likes to see a post with 40 or so hashtags, the last 20 being ridiculous (obvious over-promotion is obvious).