Instagram is a social network that needs no introduction. It ranks amongst the biggest social media platforms out there, with over 500 million active daily users and over 95 million images being uploaded every single day! We’ve decided to pinpoint the five ways you can use Instagram to promote your startup.
But why Instagram?
Creating an Instagram presence for your business is a no brainer, with over 62% of Instagram users following at least one company page. There is so much potential to not only promote your brand but to create an enriching engagement experience with potential customers.
Instagram marketing can feel daunting. With some profiles having millions of followers it can feel intimidating when you begin your account. However, you have to use this platform with a long-term approach if you want to create a real audience who follow and interact with you on a regular basis. Anyone can just buy followers, but your aim is to attract them organically and below we outline just how you can achieve this.
How to Use Instagram to Promote Your Startup
1. Trending Hashtags
Hashtags are a way for users to explore pictures based on what they enjoy. If someone is passionate about traveling they might look up or follow the #travel hashtag to have travel related posts in their feed. They will then be able to engage with others who share this passion.
If you are a startup with a small following you should target the right hashtags that represent your brand.
Start by searching for the hashtags that represent your industry. The most popular hashtags on Instagram are #travel, #food and #fitness. But they are also the most competitive and you will risk being overshadowed by big brands and influencers. The best way to engage is to use similar hashtags that have a lower following but are still popular, such as #coupleswhotravel or #solotravelgirl.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, but this can come across a bit spammy. Remember to use a minimum of 10 though.
2. Let’s Get Tagging
Your Instagram popularity will all depend on how well your followers react to your posts in its first few minutes. A post that receives a lot of likes and comments in the first few minutes is seen as having high engagement potential and will be moved up the newsfeed of your followers – this is where you want to be!
You can achieve this by tagging active followers on your new posts. Tagging them will send them a notification. This can trigger likes and comments on your post. Interactions like this can go a long way in eventually defining the popularity of your post.
3. Utilize All of Instagram’s Features
Instagram has a number of features that you should use when connecting with your audience. There is a live stream video option, a story option and a shop now option.
Try to use all of the engagement tools Instagram has to attract customers and build your brand awareness.
The number of followers you have is not as important as you may think. It is all about the likes, comments and direct messages that mean you are connecting and engaging with your followers, thus creating better exposure to your brand.
4. Collaborate With Influencers
Partnering with influencers is a popular marketing strategy for startups. By partnering with someone who already has an audience in your industry you can help spread the word about your brand through, ‘word of mouth’ and build up credibility in the industry.
Choose an influencer from your industry who is active and has a significant following. They don’t need to be celebrities, as long as they can attract your target audience to their posts.
The easiest way to collaborate is to pay an influencer for these services. The price can vary depending on the influencers following. As a startup, it may be a good idea to start off on the lower end of the spectrum.
If you already have a decent Instagram following yourself you could also try to work out a cross-promotion deal, where you promote the Instagrammer, just as they promote you. And you could add in complementary products or a referral fee, if this is something that could work for your type of business.
5. Instagram Advertising
As a startup, you will have to be careful with your budget. As a result, not a lot of startups use advertising on Instagram to grow subscribers. However, Instagram can be the perfect platform for building a brand through advertising as unlike other social media platforms it is entirely a visual medium, so your branding campaigns might be a lot more effective.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, Instagram also has a higher engagement rate than other social media platforms. At 2.26% it is significantly higher than Facebook (0.21%) or Twitter (0.027%). The benefit of it being a visual platform along with the high rate of engagement has made Instagram ads very effective. Costs to advertise on Instagram are also incredibly low compared to traditional channels with targeted ads costing around $5 CPM.