According to studies, Instagram is the best social networking site to use when you actually want to get in touch, interact and get close to your customers and clients. For the most popular accounts on Instagram, the per-follower engagement rate can be as high as 4.21. That might not mean a lot to you, but to put it very simply (and bluntly), Instagram is 120 times better for follower engagement than Twitter. It’s also 58 times better for follower engagement than Facebook.
If you want to get your followers to ‘interact’ click on the “link in bio” or find out more about the services or products you offer – Instagram is the way to go.
How do you go about getting Instagram followers? How do you use Instagram for your business? Let’s find out more. Just in case you haven’t already checked out part one, you can find it here >
- 50 Brilliant Ways to Use Instagram For Your Business (Part One)
26 – Ask your followers what they want
You want your business to make its customers and clients happy, right? In order to do this, you’ll need to know what they want. You don’t get anything in this world if you don’t ask for it, so ask for it.
What do your customers / followers / likers want?
Should you order in a new product? Are your customers looking for something specific? Is there anything you can help them with? Maybe you could make something a little easier for them to understand?
I started working with a brand new, local mobile coffee van business, and I advised him to take a picture of the flavoured coffee syrups at the wholesalers. I then suggested he should post the snaps to his social media accounts (we focused on Instagram and Facebook to begin with), and ask his customers to tell him which flavours they would try. The people who followed him, and even a few that didn’t, responded. Some picked a flavour, some said all of them, and some just liked the page. They all interacted, however, and this is important to get yourself ‘out there’. The more interactions you have, the higher you’ll come out of the Instagram algorithm (that no one seems to understand). In turn, your image will be shown to more people. That all means more brand or business awareness. That’s what you want!
27 – Use Instagram for great giveaways
Giving away something worth £50, when the giveaway itself generates hundreds or thousands of new followers on Instagram, is definitely worth it. You could get new followers, new likers on your snaps, and also new sales out of it. People will be talking and interacting about your business, and what you have to offer.
If you have a beautiful new design of shoes in stock (let’s say you’re a shoe boutique), you could give a pair away for free. Not just for nothing though… In exchange for likes, shares, comments, etc.
Many of the bigger Instagram accounts offer giveaways and in order to win, you need to tag a friend or two, ‘like’ the account and image / video, and occasionally re-post on your own Instagram account too.
Because it gets the brand name out there. If one follower re-posts to their Instagram account and they have 500 followers, that’s 500 people that might not have seen the page otherwise. If another follower re-posts to their Instagram account and they have 2,000 followers, that’s 2,000 extra people you will have just reached. Imagine the chain reaction of that.
All for the sake of one free pair of shoes.
28 – Instagram is great for photo competitions too
Many of the vape-brands I write for or about use Instagram in a very clever way to increase brand awareness and knowledge. They’ll ask vapers to take a great selfie using their brand of vape equipment, and the one that receives the most likes will win a prize. This prize is usually a big bundle of vape stuff.
I get involved in these competitions as it’s a great way to boost awareness of my e-cig review website. So do many other people. People love to take photos and post them to Instagram, so why not get them to do that and promote your brand at the same time?
29 – Show appreciate to ‘likers’
If someone has interacted (or ‘liked) many pictures in a row, post a picture saying thanks! I do this a lot for my vape review website. Not only does the ‘liker’ appreciate it and feel valued for their thumbs-up action, but I tend to get a few more followers out of it too, from their list of followers. It’s one big chain reaction.
30 – Respond to comments
Firstly, it’s only polite to respond to those who communicate with you. Secondly, you’re encouraging interactions, and what have we learned…? Interaction on social media is a GOOD thing. That’s why you’re using Instagram for your business.
If someone says they love your picture,, say thank you. Make sure you tag them in it otherwise they might not see you’ve responded at all.
“Thanks so much for the love @ukwordgirl!”
That’s as simple as it could be.
Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it!
31 – Comment on other accounts and posts
Why not? You want people to interact with your posts, don’t you? You should lead by example – start by looking at local accounts that post similar content to yours, learn from the kind of content they use (don’t steal it obviously), and tell them how much you love their stuff. They might come back to your account and do the same. They may even re-post your stuff if you re-post theirs. This is especially great for promoting other local businesses you intend to work with.
If you really like someone’s picture, tell them you like their picture. Give them a little comment, and you never know, they might just check out your profile page and decide to buy whatever service it is you’re offering.
32 – Analyse your posts…
Sit back and look over the last few posts you released into the Insta-world. Which ones received the most likes? Encouraged the most followers? Got the most action?
By working this out, you can see the best times and days / dates to post certain things, and also what post types work better than others. It’s all about learning what your audience likes and dislikes and although it takes a little working out, it is well worth paying the extra attention.
There are programs and websites you can use to get a better, closer, more in-depth view of your traffic and Instagram statistics. I’ll go into that at a later date so make sure you give the Facebook or Twitter pages a like to keep up to date with what I have to say!
33 – Make great use of end of month / payday
Pay day, for most people, is the end of the month. This varies from company to company, obviously, but plenty of people get paid at the end of the month. This is definitely when you’ll want to concentrate on making the most of your Instagram page.
If you’re going to run a sale or ‘freebie’ offer (for example, giving away a handbag with a pair of shoes, or offering a percentage discount), do it at the end of the month. This is when people have plenty of cash to splash. (Or they think they do…)
You want people to buy your services, preferably at the full price, but if you’re a new business with a new Instagram account and you’re just trying to build up your brand name, this is definitely a great way to do it.
Are you focusing enough of your attention on pay day social media posts? You should be.
34 – Re-hash old content
Did you see this post?
Are you looking for some #lunchtimereading?
Are you a #commuter looking for something to read on the journey home?
These are all great ways of re-hashing old content. Post the image and add the link to your bio. Then write ‘link in bio’. Makes perfect sense… right?
Or, you could just stick to the honest (and particular favourite of mine):
“I loved this post and I wanted to share it with you again!”
Another one I quite like is a very simple and to the point, “Did you see this?” with a link to an older post.
As long as you’re not continually spamming the same stuff over and over again, it’s okay to rehash old content on your Instagram feed from time to time. Even when it’s not a #throwbackthursday!
35 – Promote popular posts
Another one for bloggers, I like to post the images connected to, or posted on, old blog posts that have had the most traffic for that particular week. If people are already finding that blog post popular and helpful, a few more views won’t hurt! You could even use similar hashtags to what I mentioned above.
36 – Post selfies!
Everyone loves a good selfie, especially me! I have a vape website, so on that Instagram account, I regularly post selfies of myself vaping. Why don’t you do the same using the product or services that your business / company offers? We live in a selfie world now. Is it time to brush up on your selfie-taking technique?
37 – Quotes, quotes, quotes
Another one aimed at bloggers, if you’ve written a bloody genius quote in your blogging, turn it into an image-quote and send it out to the world. A great website to use for this is one called Canva. I use it for a lot of my graphics. You can create quotes, sales signs, business cards, blog post images, whatever you like really. You should take a peek. As a quick, easy and FREE editing tool to use for good social media images, you can’t beat it.
38 – Connect your Facebook & Twitter accounts
Whenever you post to Instagram, you should also share to Facebook and Twitter. You’re essentially killing three birds with one stone. Sit back and let the likes roll in!
39 – Use Facebook ads
Share that Instagram photo or video to Facebook. Then look at the idea of using Facebook ads to ‘boost’ your post, spreading it far and wide. Facebook advertising is something I use fairly regularly. They can yield great results if you use it the right way. I must remember to write the Facebook advertising masterclass …
Give my Facebook page a ‘like’ and you’ll be the first to read it!
40 – Reward your followers
Sticking with the idea of ‘using’ your followers (as such) to promote and better your business Instagram account, rewarding those who are loyal followers, likers and commenters is a very good idea.
Every now and again, if a certain Instagram username keeps popping up on your activity page, give them a shout-out on your page. Say thank you. If you are being tagged in a customer’s photos, re-post the photo and say thank you.
Normal people – people just like me – love it when a business or company thanks them for their custom. Or for their loyal following. It makes me feel valued and appreciated as a customer. It will make your customers, likers, and followers feel valued and appreciated too. It’s only a little thing, but that little thing could mean big things for your business.
41 – Make announcements
If you have something to say, don’t just say it; announce it instead.
If you’re opening a brand new event for your airsoft events company, shout about it. Be bold and brave about it. Be proud of it! Make some cool graphics with a program such as Canva (as I previously mentioned), or hire a designer to do it for you. I like Fiverr for cheap, simple and easy graphics. Then release those graphics and images and watch what happens. You can learn a lot – if the template or design you have used works, you can use it again. If it doesn’t, you don’t use it again. A lot of what you do in ta social media for business sense is down to trial and error.
Whether you’re announcing a sale, a new product, an event you’re holding, or just a birthday or a leaving announcement for a member of staff within your company, make a big announcement.
Your customers won’t know about it if you don’t tell them. To stand out in this digital world, you’ll need to be big and bold about it.
42 – Say thanks to those who helped you
When I started working with a local mobile coffee van business, he was using a number of local and skater-related businesses to help him get things started. He used a local t-shirt designer, plus a relatively local coffee van specialist to help him get the van up and running and on the road.
I advised him to thank those people who helped him on Instagram (the social media account he was focusing on to start with) to help build himself a brand name. He did – tagging the t-shirt designer to say thanks for the designs and also tagging the van specialists too with photos of his newly amended van. As a result of that, he got a number of new followers, and more likes on the pictures too. People saw his account that wouldn’t otherwise have seen it, and now more people know about his business and brand name.
43 – Give your followers a follow
It’s nice to show appreciation and although I’m not suggesting you follow EVERYONE who follows you (although some people do that), following your followers is a good way to grow your social circle even more.
If someone regularly likes or comments on your Instagram images, give them a cheeky follow. Show them a little Insta-love from time to time. It’s only polite!
If you have ‘established’ Instagram followers, for example, someone with thousands of followers themselves, you should definitely follow them.
44 – Tell your other social media followers
If you’ve signed up to Instagram and you haven’t posted that fact on your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you’re missing a trick.
Let’s say you have 500 Facebook followers and 500 Twitter followers. If you post the new Instagram account details on those accounts, you may gain more followers – 500 from Facebook and 500 from Twitter (assuming you don’t have duplicate followers).
Again, it goes back to what I said about making an announcement. Make the new Instagram news your announcement, get excited about it, and share it with your followers on other social networking sites.
45 – Reward your Instagram followers
When I was asked to overhaul the local airsoft business’s Instagram page, one piece of advice I gave was to reward your followers.
Put up a created graphic or image that goes along the lines of:
“Show me this Instagram post, or use the discount code Instagram123 to get 10% off!”
By doing this, you are rewarding your followers, encouraging them to tell more people about your Instagram page and the special deal you’re offering, and although you’ll be technically 10% down in terms of profit per customer, you could gain an extra few customers out of it, and a few more followers. More than that though, a few more happy customers who feel they are really being valued.
46 – Watermarking
Some people like it, some people hate it, but if you want an Instagram account that’s going to be popular, with images that’ll get your name and brand out there, watermarking your images is the way forward.
Let’s say you are a nail artist, creating wonderful nail creations on the hands of women every day. Let’s say you post a picture of a client’s hands, beautiful new nails, a design so unique and stunning, everyone is going to want to talk about it…
And then they do.
What happens if your picture is picked up by one of those share-pages on Instagram – accounts with thousands of ‘likes’? If you haven’t watermarked your image, that picture of those nails that YOU created, thousands, potentially even millions of people could be seeing your work without knowing it was you who was behind it.
If you’re putting up an image of something you have created, add a watermark. This could be something as a text addition to your image (using Canva or even Fotor, two sites that have been invaluable to me) saying @yourinstagramusernamehere. If your image gets re-posted or ‘stolen’ (re-used) by other accounts, or even your followers just sharing your work, people will know was behind it – your name will be right there.
I always watermark my ‘vaping’ images, just like you can see here:
47 – Acknowledge / thank your staff members
Your business wouldn’t be your business without the brilliant stuff members behind it so if you have some, acknowledge the hard work they do for you and thank them, publicly, via Instagram. It’s a great way to get your customers more personally involved with your business, and also shows off how much of a great business it is, one where people love to work there. If people love to work there, the staff members are going to be happy and that, in turn, provides great customer service – something that is guaranteed to keep customers coming back time and time again.
48 – Coming up soon …
Do you have exciting news in the pipeline? Tell your audience about it. If you are planning on adding a second mobile coffee van to your collection, get excited about it on Instagram – tell people about it. If you’re planning for your two mobile coffee vans to be at various events over the coming week, post a schedule up on Facebook stating where your customers can find you. When you’re adding a new uniform to the mix, post a somewhat cryptic image on Instagram to show that something new is coming but you can’t tell them about it yet… How about a real close-up view of a section of the new t-shirts, for example, or maybe just the slight hint of a logo?
Once that post is up on Instagram, it’s always there. If someone sees a post they like and choose to head on over to your profile page, they’ll see it. Make use of that – use it to tell people what’s coming up soon. Maybe even show your Instagram audience your to-do list … if you’re brave enough. (I’m not!)
49 – Use videos
Videos are a relatively new thing to the world of Instagram, and it’s a topic I’ll cover in greater depth later. There are plenty of genius ways in which you can use Instagram videos for your business. Firstly, however, you’ll need to get the hang of using images.
Videos are a great way of expressing a vast amount of information at once, something you can’t do with a still image. Use it to your advantage. Show behind-the-scene videos of what happens with your business, or a video of someone using your product / service. You could even ask customers to leave testimonials or reviews of what you’re offering which you can then share on your business page.
Dear bestcigliquid, I love you and your Easy Mix Eliquid. Where has ‘Biscuit Monster’ been all my life? 😍🍪 Thank you for sending me this wonderful deliciousness! 📦🎁 @bestcigliquid #bestcigliquid #easymix #BiscuitMonster #biscuits #vapegirls #girlswhovape #vapefam #vapenation #ejuice #vapepics #handcheck #vapecheck #love
Videos … opening up a brand new way of using Instagram for your business!
50 – Experiment!
The best way to learn how to use Instagram better for your business is to experiment. Play around with lots of different tricks and techniques to work out what works best for you and yours. Start by using the tips and tricks I’ve suggested in these two blog posts, and then expand on them. Use new hash tags, new styles of images, new ways of using the social networking site to build your brand and boost awareness of your business.
The only way you’ll learn the right times and days to post certain things, is to start posting and see which ones work better. Try posting something at 8 am one day, and then 9 am the next. Which one gets the most likes? What hashtags are more popular? What kind of images seem to bring more interactions? These are things you’ll learn as you go along using Instagram, and the more you use it, the easier it’ll be to understand and the braver you’ll feel about playing around with it more.
Word of mouth is important. Using social media is one of the fastest and most efficient ways of word of mouth spreading. What’s the first thing we do when we have a bad thing to say about a company? We complain to the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page of that company. What’s the first thing you do when you have a good service from a company? You use the social media pages to say thank you. With Instagram generating more interaction from followers and likers, it makes sense to make it the one you focus on.
Would you like more information on how to better use Instagram for your business? Would you like to hire me to come up with some fabulous ideas (not included in this list) to make social media more profitable for you? Get in touch!