Are You Using Instagram Effectively?

March 19, 2015
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Written by Kait Sawyer Hanson 

If you think Instagram is just a fun platform for sharing pictures of your kids (or fur kids!) and what you had for dinner, think again! Instagram is a great marketing tool that can be used to turn fans into customers and generate business leads. Turn your feed into an effective tool with these 3 steps!

1. Caption That!

While it can sometimes be a pain to think of a creative caption on the spot and much easier to skip it altogether, utilizing the caption feature on Instagram is critical to success. The best part about the photo caption is that regardless of how many followers or fans comment, the caption remains visible at the top, so buy up that valuable space! Using a call to action in your caption works best. For example, clearly stating an incentive (20% off your services if they leave a contact e-mail) or giving a direct objective (clicking the link in your bio today to receive a free consultation) is a great way to build retention.

2. Link Up!

Speaking of that link in your profile—it’s important! You might be thinking, “what link?” When you sign up for Instagram, you’re given the option of inserting a link in your Biography section. This is marketing GOLD! Why? Placing a trackable link (think bit.ly) allows you to track traffic to your website, blog or business page specifically from your Instagram feed. Perhaps the best part of this tactical tool is that you’re able to change the link as frequently as you need to!

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3. Hashtag Frenzy!

We all have those friends on our feed that use their caption space to hashtag every single descriptive word they can think of. After following step 1, we won’t be doing that, but we will still be using hashtags to help our photos and promotions reach a bigger and broader audience. How? By selectively picking words or popular phrases that have meaning and can put your post in front of an audience that may have otherwise missed it. Once you’ve selected a group of hashtags that accurately describe your brand, save them in a note on your phone so you’re able to easily copy and paste them as the second comment on each of your photos.

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Because more and more companies, brands and small businesses are jumping on the Instagram train, there’s a sneaking suspicion Instagram will be around for awhile. By integrating these simple fixes to your feed, Instagram will become an invaluable asset in your marketing toolkit.

About the Author: Kait Sawyer Hanson is a Hawaii-based freelance writer who enjoys cooking, traveling with her husband, Dane, and playing with her chocolate lab, Judy. Kait’s daily musings can be found on her blog, www.CommuniKait.com.

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