5 things successful brands are doing on Instagram

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media networks.  More and more businesses are finding ways to turn it into a valuable marketing tool. Instagram is powerful way to reach customers and build relationships.

  1. They are consistent.  They show up daily, or several times a day.  They make Instagram a priority.  Repetition is key.   You want your followers to know instantly it's you.  Their STYLE is also consistent.  Even as you scroll through Instagram, you know it's from a certain person or brand, even before you see the user name.  You want your images to look familiar to your audience, this boosts a trust factor because they know what to expect from you.
  2. They communicate.  Serving your community, engaging with customers and would-be-followers are beneficial, because they show you give a damn.  How did you feel the last time a brand addressed you after you commented on a photo of theirs.  Pretty good hey?  Don't be faceless in your account - let people know you are there.
  3.  They put serious thoughts into their hashtags.   Hashtags have a HUGE impact.  There is a good way and a bad way.  If you are using multiple hashtags,  place them in your second comment.  You want to do this so that is becomes hidden when people start commenting on your post.  You want your first update to be nice and clean.  If you add all of your hashtags to your first post, it will look spammy. Tuck those babies down into the second comment where they'll soon disappear, while still giving you the advantage of being connected and searchable.  Note: If you're using a hashtag specific to YOUR BRAND and you're using that as a way to connect your followers, I would say that hashtag could go in your first comment. 
  4. They give back to their community.  Treat your following to something special. Make sure your contest is a) easy to enter, b) isn't spammy, and c) is desired by your following. If you're not a product based brand, or your product is too costly or big to giveaway (ie. if you're a real estate agent or sell cars) you can always reward followers with a Starbucks card instead.
  5. They optimize their profile link.  Since you only get ONE clickable link on your Instagram account - make the most of it.  While your website is the obvious choice, you can also use this space by changing it frequently to correspond with seasonal events, current promotions, contests and blogs.