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How to Build an Engaged Instagram Following

 Renew Marketing    Social Media Marketing
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How to Build an Engaged Instagram Following

Like it or not, your customers are increasingly using Instagram. If your business caters to a younger demographic, then up to 90% of them may be using Instagram – with many of them ignoring “traditional” social media like Twitter and Facebook.

Engaging customers over Instagram has never been more important.

With that in mind, let’s talk about how to build an engaged Instagram following that you can convert into real value for your business.

Make Clear Calls to Action

The first goal on Instagram is to get distracted users to stop scrolling and focus on your image for just one second.

The best way to do that is with clear calls to action

And no, you can’t place those clear calls to action in the small comments section below your image. It needs to be a loud headline above the image. Consider this picture from Brisk, which turned a loud headline into a clear call to action:

Call to action example

For those who don’t know, double tapping on Instagram likes the photo. There’s no way to track which flavor people liked, but it nevertheless leads to more engagement for Brisk and their customers.

Take Advantage of the Location Section

The location section of your Instagram post is a highly visible spot. Many marketers now take advantage of this spot to put forward a call to action.

One of the most popular things to do with your Location section is to say something like this:

“Want to be featured in our next photo of the day? Click the link in our bio.”

Instagram doesn’t let you share links in posts (only hashtags), which is why you need to direct users to your bio (where you can post links) if you want them to visit your site.

To edit the location data on your Instagram post, upload an image, share the post, then tap the three dots in the bottom corner of the photo and click Edit. Hit Add Location, then cancel the automatic location finding tool and type in whatever you like.

It’s All About Those Hashtags

You can’t write an article about Instagram marketing without mentioning hashtags. Proper hashtag usage can turn a post from 10 views to 10,000 views.

Throwback Thursday is an obvious hashtag where many brands have seized the opportunity – often in a tongue in cheek way.

Other hashtags surround major events, like the Super Bowl or whatever big TV show is on that night. Take a look at the hashtags and strategically pick one relevant to your business. After using that hashtag, your post has the potential to be seen by all the thousands (or even millions) of users searching for it at that moment.

Don’t Write Novels in your Captions (But Sometimes Do)

Instagram is primarily a photo sharing service. People scroll through their feeds to quickly find images they find funny, entertaining, breathtaking, or sexy.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t write a novel in your Instagram photo caption and expect people to read it.

However, there are some cases where this can be a very effective marketing tool.

Let’s say you have a mysterious photo with an intriguing backstory. People might see the photo and think to themselves, “WTF?”.  If you can spin a good story in your caption section, then you can make someone follow along for thousands of characters.

Interact with Other Users

One of the biggest mistakes made by brands on Instagram (and pretty much any social media) is that they miss out on the actual social part of social media.

They don’t interact with any users. They just post their own stuff and then log off.

Interact with other users. Comment on funny posts. Be genuine and don’t advertise yourself. The fact that you’re commenting with your company’s name is already enough of an advertisement.

Follow companies in your niche. Give shout-outs to congratulate competitors. Launch friendly rivalries that get customers talking and laughing.

It’s no secret that many Instagram users are self-obsessed. If you can feed into their egos and leave a few congratulatory comments, then you might just get rewarded with a mention, follow back, or other interaction.

Ultimately, Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active users. Most companies can benefit from an Instagram presence. With the right Instagram marketing plan, you can push traffic towards your business without being too obvious about it.

To find out how Renew Marketing can implement social media marketing plans that drive real traffic towards your business, visit our social media services page here.