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With a staggering three hundred million users per month, Instagram is fast becoming the number one social media platform to its counterpart, Facebook. This has it’s benefits to for small businesses since Facebook owns Instagram allowing you to use your ad dollars across both platforms if you choose too.

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With a staggering three hundred million users per month, Instagram is fast becoming the number one social media platform to its counterpart, Facebook. This has it’s benefits to for small businesses since Facebook owns Instagram allowing you to use your ad dollars across both platforms if you choose too.

If you don’t want put any advertising dollars, there is still ways to use Instagram effectively for your business.

Here are 7 ways your business can exploit Instagram

Set-up a strictly ‘business only’ account

To get started, you have to set a business only account. As you venture into using Instagram as your key marketing tool, your customers need a consistent picture of your business. Like your other social media platforms, you need consistency, for example, in your bio you can also include the business contacts and a link to boost traffic to your website.

Build a strong brand

A strong brand is friendly and consistent. Your customers need to connect with the brand. Businesses need to focus on storytelling as a marketing strategy. Your customers want to know how the business runs, who is runs it, what is the brand involved with.

Instagram is mostly visual, businesses can take advantage of this by posting images that will connect with their audience. In turn, your business will gain something called brand recognition.

Post trending topics

One of the main advantages of keeping up with what is trending, you will be able to understand what your target audience’s interests. Once you understand that you can focus of tailor making your posts to resemble their interests.

Use hashtags

You can use custom made hashtags to make it easier for your customers to find you. Likewise, you can use popular hashtags to also make you easier to find.

Include video content

It is better to break up the monotony of posting picture by throwing in a short video every now and again. Thanks to Instagram’s live videos feature, businesses can interact more easily and freely with their customers.

Add a splash of personality

Aside from looking professional, it is also important for your brand to seem and feel relatable.

According to a recent study, passive marketing is even more effective now due to the visual nature of most of today’s social media. Aside from posting product-related content only, consider posting a picture of your staff at a recent company picnic, a special story, behind the scenes, a new product, unboxing, anything that would peak someone’s interest.

Businesses should mix their product pictures with lifestyle pictures which will boost the brand identity of the business.

Be active and consistent

This goes without saying, you need to stay active on Instagram. It is the easiest to gain followers and increase your influence but most importantly it is how you stay visible. The easiest way to achieve this is by coming up with a post schedule.

You need to give your posts a lot of forethought, plan them and make sure they are purposeful and consistent.

Finally, it is important to mention to really reach and connect you your audience, businesses should consider cross-marketing across several social media platforms.

The strategies become even more effective when used across two or three platforms. Your brand will appear to be solid and that will bring customers even closer to the business.

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