Instagram may have a reputation as the app of choice for hipsters snapping photos of their every meal, but the popular photo app is growing in both audience and influence. If you’re interested in connecting with more than 150 million consumers (many in the enviable under-35 demographic), you may want to consider making Instagram a larger part of your social media marketing efforts.
If you’re not quite up to speed with Instagram yet, don’t worry—you don’t need 1,500,000 likes or twelve million followers to attract a big following on the site. As with other social media sites, a key component to building your following is engaging with your audience. Creative and thoughtful use of hashtags can encourage participation and open up some great opportunities for direct contact with interested folks (who can be converted to followers and maybe even customers with a little personal attention).
You can also attract new followers by comparing the most popular themes and posts on Instagram (including the most popular posts in your own stream) and planning your posts accordingly. If there’s a trending theme or hashtag that’s related to your business (or of direct interest to your audience), don’t be afraid to join the conversation and contribute some images.
Conversely, if there’s something happening in the news or in your industry that you know your audience would love to see or hear about, but it’s not getting much traction, jump in and fill the gap with some pics, commentary, or a review. Just remember to share sparingly—you don’t want to end up labeled as Insta-spam!
As mobile users account for more and more of the social media pie, Instagram has become the fastest-growing social site in the world. In order to build a successful online presence for your brand, creating, sharing, and connecting through Instagram is not just wise, but essential.
Check out the rest of this series, and become a social media powerhouse!