5 Tips to create a successful Instagram strategy

Does your business have a presence on Instagram? Do you have an Instagram strategy in-place to help you use the popular photo-sharing tool?  While it is one thing to be on Instagram and to occasionally share photos, if you are a business, Instagram is definitely a place you want to consider creating a presence. This is because Instagram brand engagement has grown 350 percent year over year (tweet this | source). So how do you go about leveraging Instagram and its 150 million users? It starts by having an Instagram strategy.

Why you need an Instagram strategy

Anyone can get started on Instagram in just a few minutes. With the abundance of mobile devices available, business owners can begin taking photos and sharing them with the popular social network as well. While that works to get you started, if you truly want to tap-in to the growing user base, it helps to have a strategy in-place. This way when you are going about your day, you can be thinking about the different types of content you need to curate for the different social networks that you have a presence on. In doing this, you can plan ahead and begin thinking about the bigger picture for your social media marketing strategy and how to make Instagram a part of it. To help you out, we have put together five Instagram strategy tips to help you learn what types of content you want to be creating to help your business develop a dominant presence on the growing social media platform.

5 Instagram strategy tips


Instagram strategy tips

1. Express your brand through photos

Instagram is a place to share photos and videos. When you are developing your Instagram strategy for your brand, think about the types of photos you would share.

What to share:

Tell your story via Instagram. For example, the Yoga and running gear company, Lululemon does a great job sharing photos of people using their products. They also post a lot of motivational quotes that tie-in with their brand. Here is an example of a photo shared on the Lululemon Instagram account.

What not to share:

Because most people these days have a smartphone with a camera, they can take a photo or video and apply an Instagram filter and produce a stellar photo. What this means is that you will want to avoid sharing stock photos. If you don’t have a photo of your product on-hand, you can easily whip out your phone, setup your product, and take a quick photo. It does not have to be perfect (that is where filters can help). Not only will this make your brand come across as more authentic, but it will get you thinking more about different types of photos you can take yourself.

2. Find your voice

If you look at a lot of businesses on Instagram, the one’s that are rocking Instagram are those who are authentic and have a unique voice. They are telling their story in meaningful ways and not just pushing products either. An example that comes to mind is Disneyland. They do a great job of posting their own photos, but also share a lot of user generated photos. Pro tip: If you haven’t yet developed your own voice on Instagram, you can always start-off by curating content from other users. Encourage users to post an Instagram photo and include a specific hashtag. This way it is easy for you to find their photo and to share it via your businesses Instagram account.

3. Don’t overlook hashtags

When it comes to the right number of hashtags to use,  the number can vary. For example, users on Facebook usually only include 3-5 Facebook hashtags. On Twitter, it is considered poor etiquette, if your tweets are comprised of mostly hashtags. On Instagram, including lots of hashtags (such as 10-12) with your photos and videos is considered a good thing and can actually increase your Instagram reach. Hashtags are also a great way to inject humor and irony into the content you share on Instagram. The takeaway here is when sharing photos on Instagram, use lots of relevant hashtags. This way it helps insert your photo into streams with other users using the same hashtags and can help you grow the number of Instagram users who see your content.

4. Explore Instagram

Did you know, Instagram has an explore tab. The Instagram explore tab is a place where Instagram highlights “recently interesting photos.” Think of explore Instagram as a place to see the best photos from all over Instagram and not just those from the people you follow. While this isn’t something you can integrate into your Instagram strategy, you can make it part of your strategy to work to get your photos shared in the explore tab. To do this, be sure you take great photos and videos and you network.

Instagram explore tab

Instagram highlights recently shared interesting photos on the Instagram explore tab.

5. Network with other Instagram users

One last area you don’t want to neglect are the 150 million Instagram users. One of the best Instagram strategy tips you will want to do is to network. You can choose to follow similar brands and develop a relationship with them so that you both are cross-promoting each others content. If there are certain users who post content that is relevant to your field, you can also follow them as well. This way you can grow the size of your network and get your content shared and hopefully get listed on the Instagram explore tab.

Bringing it all together

While these are just a few Instagram strategy tips to help you get started, they help lay the groundwork to building a solid foundation for using Instagram. One other thing to remember with Instagram (and all social networks), what works for one business may not work for your business. This is why it is important to look at what other Instagram strategies other brands are using and to get ideas on what you can be sharing on your own Instagram channel. Do you have other Instagram strategy tips that have worked for you? Leave them in the comments below.