The Do’s and Don’ts on Instagram Marketing

Here are the dos and the don’ts on Instagram marketing.

Users are increasingly turning to Instagram over other social platforms.

Why?

For starters, the content on Instagram is more universal than elsewhere.

Also, it tends be more anonymous than Facebook.

Although the irony isn’t lost on us that Facebook bought over Instagram for $1 billion… 

With that being said Instagram remains a very appealing outlet, especially for businesses looking to grow their brand and especially their brand’s image.

Instagram is perfect to help make your brand identifiable, as long as you follow a few guidelines of course.

Because if social networks praise spontaneity, with Instagram in particular, when it comes down to marketing, a lot of thought actually goes into what is posted by brands.

Images with the most reach are often carefully arranged to fit trending criteria (even when they have an effortless feel), with a clever caption to boot!

Use Instagram to tell your brand’s story

Visual imagery is a very powerful form of content when it comes to storytelling, so use it wisely to reflect your brand and business.

Your Instagram account should be curated with that in mind.

Things you should do with Instagram Marketing

Instagram photos

DO use high quality photos and with a consistent style.

Feel free to edit your photos but use a set of similar filters to make for a more professional feel. 

DO use hashtags to categorize your content.

You can also use hashtags to track content generated by your users or for a contest even.

DO design beautiful quotes and share them in your Instagram feed for variety.

If you don’t want to use Photoshop, there’s plenty of apps you can use to produce them.

Plus, #quotes can make for a great hashtag to get additional views throughout the platform.

DO follow users in your niche and interact with them.

After all, Instagram is a “social network“, so be social! 

DO share behind-the-scenes of your business, sneak peeks of upcoming releases.

This will give your followers a little insight inside your brand and humanize it for the better.

Instagram Followers

DO run “Instagram only” offers for your followers

It’s not so much contest as it is a coupon requiring a validation code.

The “code,” in this situation, would be a photo of a subject that you define with regards to your product/location along with an offer-specific hashtag.

Such as, Lowes in Toronto might ask for a selfie in front of your house with the hashtag #LowesTODIY in order to get 20% off exterior paint.

DO enter a contest gain more notoriety

Search sites such as Iconosquare to find open contests in your country that might be relevant to your industry.

The contest organizer will have already chosen a hashtag, so you just add the tag to your entry.

Best case scenario, your amazing photo wins the contest.

Regardless, slews of people who are already active on Instagram will see your entry pic and probably follow you.

Win/win!

DO have your business host a contest

A contest is a great way to encourage people to use your hashtag as well as extend your reach.

The prize doesn’t have to be massive, just suitable to your brand and valuable to your audience, such as offering a free product or service to a random person, or reward a particularly good shot.

The most important factor is selecting a hashtag that is clever, identifies your brand, and defines what the contest is about.

You can then promote your contest on all of your social channels, as well as submitting it to contest websites.

DO ask your email list to follow you on Instagram

Offer bonus content in return for following you and using your pre-chosen hashtag on one of their photos that relates to your brand.

The bonus content could be anything from a product discount to photography tips, or anything else that would be reserved exclusively for new Instagram followers.

Instagram Show and Tell

DO play show-and-tell for grownups

Instagram is a great platform for highlighting what is unique or special about your business.

Social media allows the opportunity to reveal your company’s more human side without seeming too unprofessional by offering an ‘exclusive’ behind-the-scenes look at your business.

Show your followers how your product is produced, or profile a day in the life of someone at your company, or just show employees hard at work.

DO show off your before/after photos

Have you recently revamped your product with a new/improved version?

Have a whole new lineup you want to show off? 

Certain industries, such as design, decorating, health programs, etc. would be ideal for showing off before-and-after shots.

If you have custody of such a great subject at your disposal, fearlessly utilize it to drive sales for your service or products.

Invite your followers to share their own now-and-then pictures.

DO develop the excitement of expectancy for impending promotions or broadcasts

Have an upcoming event or launch that people will be super stoked about?

Build the buzz by occasionally snapping a sneak peek or a shot of the product in production.

Use a hashtag to link the photos together thematically to show off exciting, relevant events. 

For a really good example of product spotlight with amazing images, check out GE’s Dubai Airshow on Instagram.

Instagram geo-tagging

DO make geo-tagging your ally when showing fixed company site

Attaching geographical information can be useful for businesses tied in some way to a physical location.

Geotagging can be effective when running a promotional campaign to get patrons to come to your store or restaurant.

Food trucks have used Instagram geo-tagging very successfully to show what and where they are serving at a specific time; often, their customers also snap shots of their food to share, tagged with the location.

Even if your company doesn’t have a fixed geographic location, you can share images from a conference or industry event, and become a part of that conversation.

DO reach out to well-known bloggers in your realm

Inquire if you can do a guest post on their widespread blog, and ensure you include a few of your Instagram photos with a watermark of your Instagram name in the corner.

If the blogger goes along, a better bet would be to insert a link to your Instagram account within the pictures, and/or place a link in by your writer credentials.

DO create a dedicated page on your website

There are WordPress plug-ins to help your setup your Instagram gallery with ease.

Now your blog readers will see your cool pics, and be able to follow you on Instagram with just one click.

Things you should avoid with Instagram Marketing

DON’T post more than 1 to 3 times a day and avoid posting several photos in a row.

Space out your posts.

Don’t irritate your followers by crowding their feed space at the risk of being banned.

DON’T neglect to write a good bio for your account

And don’t forget to include the link to your website in your Instagram profile. 

DON’T forget to add a caption for every post!

Instagram isn’t only about hashtags, captions matter, so put some thought into them and above all, don’t forget to engage and ask questions.

DON’T neglect to offer a reason to follow you.

You are a brand, not friends or family.

So followers will expect rewards from time to time.

A contest, a promotion, goodies…

Sharing valuable content is key.

DON’T forget to track your results!

Don’t let your efforts go to waste and track the performance of your posts.

Try and see what material gets the best reach, what time is most efficient with your audience, etc.

instagram advertisement

DON’T use Instagram just for advertisements

Instagram is for photos.

So resist the urge to share all kinds of visual advertising your company has been using.

Don’t do it.

Save your infographics and illustrations because they will just look weird and out of place in square format anyway.

Save this for Pinterest!

DON’T flood your news-feed

Also, don’t bombard your followers even if you do have a lot to share and spread it out over several days. 

A few photos a day is great.

A few dozen is not.

Ditto on overdoing the hashtags.

Not having the character restrictions Twitter does is not a free-pass over to over-tag your images.

join instagram

DON’T join and then leave a barren profile

You need to be just as much a dynamic poster on Instagram as you are on Facebook and Twitter, to engage your followers.

Failure to do so will look like a pathetic, failed attempt at outreach.

If you try it and find it isn’t working out, at least disable the account.

DON’T re-post photos to other networks

Ix-nay on flooding your other social networks with your Instagram photos.

Followers have their own chosen reasons to follow you on specific networks.

So don’t shove another one down their throats.

Instagram is not your parents’ Facebook.

It speaks to a younger, hipper generation who is more visually oriented.

Your content should reflect this demographic shift.

Don’t try to recycle your Facebook photos for Instagram and use native content instead.

DON’T be the hashtagger from #hell

Just because Instagram isn’t character restrictive like Twitter does not mean you have a license to tag your image with 40 hashtags.

Use hashtags for content discovery but don’t overdo it.

Like other platforms, use 1 to 3 hashtags to expand content discovery that’s relevant, to spotlight and share images of your product.

In the end, it’s up to you to assess what works best for your business on Instagram.

Simply find the balance between the golden rules above and your own 😉

Do you have any other Instagram tips you would like to share with us?

Please post your comments below, we would like to hear from you.

So, tell me, which dos or don’ts you find the most useful in Instagram Marketing?

Top 5 Advantages of Instagram Marketing
Here is a great article to read on: 8 dos and don’ts for brands on Instagram

Read my latest blog on: The Do’s and Don’ts on Reddit Marketing

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

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