Buying Instagram was probably one of the best decisions Mark Zuckerberg ever made, right up there with starting Facebook. When he bought it, the app had about 30 million users but just last month, it hit one billion. While Facebook and Snapchat seem to have stagnated when it comes to increasing user numbers, Instagram has continued to rise and will most likely overtake both soon enough.

With this being the case, a lot of businesses have shifted their focus to building their presence on Instagram. The number of users is only predicted to increase and those who have had the foresight to create a space for themselves there are going to prosper. So, if you’re someone with a brand, isn’t it about time you started building your presence on Instagram? Here are some handy marketing strategies you can use.

1. Use Your Tools

Part of a graph on a screen. Photographer Agence Olloweb | Source: Unsplash

Just like Facebook offers Facebook Insights, it has a similar tool that helps you understand your Instagram audience. Getting an idea of who follows you and what content is the most popular is essential if you’re looking to expand your reach. You can check out who your followers are, where they are, what they like, and how active they are. Using a social listening tool at the same time allows you to get a good idea of what people are responding to and you can gear your own content accordingly.

2. Let The Story Do The Talking

Use the Story feature to its fullest. Since Stories are right on top of the feed, a lot of users gravitate towards them as soon as they open the app. Post regular updates and keep your stories short and vibrant. You can also jazz them up with all the special features that are available on the app. The temporary nature of stories makes them more attractive to audiences so make sure that your content is good enough to keep them waiting for your next update.

3. The Art Of Hashtagging

hashtag table decoration. Photographer: Allie Smith | Source: Unsplash

Hashtags are a must if you want to start building your presence on Instagram. Even people who don’t make hashtags use hashtags. You can use general hashtags targeted towards specific audiences to build up your presence. On the more creative side, you can come up with specialized tags especially if you’re releasing a new product or campaign. They need to be crisp and catchy enough to stay on a viewer’s mind long after they’ve scrolled past. Consider both the auditory and visual impact of the tag you create before publishing it. Hashtagging is an art and with practice, you’re sure to get it down pat.

4. Leave Them Wanting More

People with eyes closed in audience. Photographer: Luan Cabral | Source: unsplash

Whenever you’ve got some exciting new content coming up or an amazing new product to release, let people know. Leave hints over a period of time, release a short teaser trailer, do a countdown and so on. Remember that less is more. You have to make sure that you give your audience just a glimpse of what is in store without revealing too much. This will give your viewers something to look forward to and keep them checking for updates.

5. Post At The Right Time

Building your presence on Instagram isn’t just about what you post but also when you post it. In an analysis of 12 million Instagram posts, Later discovered optimal posting time is between 9 AM to 11 AM EST. However, this was a very general study and it may not be the timing best suited to your audience. You need to actively use the social listening tools to figure out when your posts get maximum engagement. Try to fit in updates during the hours when people generally get off work and are scrolling to help them unwind. Track not just your own posts but also those of your competition to keep yourself in the loop.

New generations of smartphone users are being introduced to the wonders of social media every day. So, there's no time like the present for you to start building your presence on Instagram. Use these tips wisely and well and get started asap!

Mayukh Saha

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