10 Proven Methods for Boosting Conversions on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most widely used social media platforms, and as such, is one of the best marketing channels for brands. Many large brands are using the platform everyday to connect with their customers and make sales.

The unique photo-sharing platform gives businesses the chance to create one-of-a-kind opportunities to engage with their customers and increase brand awareness and visibility.

While it’s likely you’re doing everything you can to strengthen your presence on Instagram, but here are a few tips to help you increase your conversions and boost sales from the social channel.

1. Connect with Influencers

Influencers are the people on Instagram who have an established audience – and the audience is similar to the one you’re going after.

Their followers look to them for, and trust their product and service recommendations. Spend time cultivating relationships with influencers in your niche that have high engagement rates – not necessarily large audience sizes.

2. Invest in Ads

Advertising on Instagram is one of the best ways to reach a new, yet targeted audience. The investment is worth it, but can make an especially large difference if your brand or business is still in its infancy.

You can plan your ads in such a manner that you reach customers who are most likely to be interested in your products. You can include a Shop Now button that takes users to a category or a product page.

3. Use Retargeting Campaigns

To make your Instagram ads even more effective, you can use retargeting to engage people who’ve already been to your website.

These people have already expressed interest in whatever your brand provides, so retargeting them helps keep your brand at the front of their mind. You can set the retargeting campaigns to advertise to people who’ve left your website without making a purchase.

4. Show Products in Action

High quality images can do a certain bit to show off your products, but they generally aren’t enough to drive sales. Use video posts, too, of course, but beyond that, showcase the experience of using your products.

Tell a story with the photos and videos, and make the most of your caption space. Describe the textures of the material if you sell clothes. Include recipes if you sell ingredients, and so on.

5. Make Your Instagram Shoppable

This makes it easier for people to buy the products they see in your images, which will of course boost conversions. There are several ways to do this – the easiest one creating a Facebook product catalog and linking Facebook to Instagram.

6. Vary the Link in Your Bio

As you run different campaigns on Instagram, you should change the link in your bio to the appropriate landing page. This, aside from Stories, is the only place you can put a link.

You can also use space in your bio to provide a call to action. Tell people where to go and what to do next, and you’ll likely see an increase in your conversion rate.

7. Go Live on Instagram

Rather than just showing your products in photos, you can use the Instagram Live video feature to show your products in action. Sephora, for example, uses the platform to do product demonstrations so their fans can see exactly what they’re getting before they buy it, which makes it easier for them to shop when they’re ready.

This is meant as an expansion of tip number 4 – because you don’t want all of your live videos and other content to be about your products. You should also use the platform to show your company culture.

8. Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content comes from reposting people who use your products and services taking photos or video and sharing it across social media. It’s another form of word-of-mouth advertising that can help grow your business. Your existing customers are creating content that shows your product, which you then share with your audience.

Some people may not share images of your product without you encouraging them to do so. One of the best ways to do this is to offer an incentive for their content, such as a chance to win a prize if they post photos that feature your product or hashtag.

Whenever you share any kind of user-generated content, make sure you give appropriate credit to the person who created the original photos, as they will appreciate the shout out.

This fosters a deeper connection with the people who are already your customers, while serving as social proof for the people who may still have doubts.

9. Use Hashtags

Instagram hashtags are a great tool for discovery. They help you expand your audience, but they can also be used to boost conversions. Do some hashtag research to find popular hashtags that are relevant to your niche and create a branded hashtag for each of your promotions.

You can use up to 30 hashtags per post, but you shouldn’t try too hard to max them out with every post.

10. Host Giveaways

Running a contest is a great way to build buzz about your brand, and get your products in the hands of people who will use them and talk about it. But before you decide to post about a give away, do some planning. This way, you’ll be able to track the buzz you generate, and determine how well your efforts pay off.

Using all of these tips as part of your Instagram strategy will most definitely increase your conversion rates. If you don’t notice a boost over time, take a look at your analytics to see if there are adjustments you can make to the time and frequency of your posts.

If it still doesn’t work the way you want, study your competition a bit more and work on boosting your overall engagement rates.

5 Rules to Follow When Reposting on Instagram

Instagram is a great network for connecting with your audience, and if your business is just getting started, it can be a bit overwhelming to learn the ropes. Sometimes, it can be difficult to have your own original content when you’re a brand new account, so that’s why it’s a good idea to learn the etiquette associated with regramming.

One of the most common reasons to regram a photo on Instagram is because an influencer or customer has created and shared content about your brand.

Whether it’s because of a collaboration you started, a sponsored post you paid for, or an organic mention, there aren’t too many issues with using someone else’s image, as long as you remember to follow these rules, and consider that you don’t own the content – even in cases when you brand is mentioned or featured.

1. Always Give Credit

There’s a fine line between sharing someone else’s content and stealing it. Instagram doesn’t have a native sharing feature like you see on Facebook and Twitter. It’s not because they don’t want you to do it – but it’s because they want everything to be shared in “this instant” and re-sharing others content takes away from that.

That said, there are a few different ways you can do it, but you should always give credit back to the original poster, because it is their content – not yours.

You can do this by tagging the original account in the caption of your regram. It can be as simple as “Credit: @username” or, you can work into a sentence like, “We love this photo by @username.”

2. Ask for Permission

While most people won’t mind that you regrammed their content with credit back to them, it’s still a good idea to ask them for permission. This way, you’re completely covered legally.

When you come across a photo you want to regram on your own account, comment and simply ask. All you have to say is, “We love this photo! Can we repost it?” or, “Thanks for sharing our brand/product/service. Can we regram your photo?” Ask however you want, as long as you remain kind.

Wait for the account to respond with yes before you add the photo to your queue for regramming. If the person says no, respect that and move on.

3. Make it Clear It’s a Regram

Attribution should be enough to let your audience know your photo is a regram of someone else’s, but it’s always best to make sure your followers know this content did not originate with you. Use hashtags like #regram and #repost, too.

That way it is very clear you are not stealing other people’s work. When they see that you’re crediting another person with their work, they will be more apt to submit user-generated content for you to share.

You can even use it as a chance to invite people to submit content to you for that purpose. You can say something like, “Want your photo featured on our Instagram? Tag it with #brandhashtag for a chance to be included.” Then, monitor the hashtag for photos, and reach out to ask permission for the ones you want to use. You could make it a weekly feature if you get enough interest.

4. Don’t Edit from the Original

If possible, avoid making any edits to the original, because it’s not your work and you don’t want to change it in anyway. You can make minor edits like cropping the photo slightly, but too much and it becomes a different work – one that you’re stealing, since it’s not really something you can give credit back to the original poster for because it’s so different from the original.

If you feel the need to edit something before you regram it, then you probably should just skip regramming it in the first place.

5. Don’t Only Regram Other People’s Content

While it’s okay to regram other people’s content from time to time, it’s not acceptable to create your entire Instagram feed with curated content from other people. In fact, the time it takes you to ask and get permission from other people could mean that you’re left with nothing to post anyway, so you may as well spend time creating original content to share on your own.

You never know when someone might find something you share worth regramming. It’s always a good way to get exposure to other audiences’ and increase your overall following.

How to Save an Instagram Photo to Regram

Because there’s no built-in sharing option, you’ll have to go through some extra steps to get photos ready to regram to your account. You’ll need to save the photo to your phone and add it from your camera roll, or use a third-party Instagram tool like Repost for Instagram or Iconosquare. These will make it easy for you to give credit to the original poster, too.

Regramming quality photos that are related to your company or brand, or feature your company or brand, is a great way to engage your audience without having to constantly come up with your own unique and original content. But if you rely on it too much, or don’t take the right steps to get permission, you could land your brand in a lot of trouble.

How to Use Instagram Live to Grow Your Followers

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around. They boast at least a billion monthly users. They’re second in popularity only to Facebook. People seem to love this image sharing site, so it makes sense that businesses, brands, and bloggers should be using it to market themselves.

One feature that was rolled out a few years ago and is gaining traction is Instagram Live. Using this service, you can post live video clips to your Instagram Stories. It’s a fun and meaningful way to engage your audience.

However, there are definitely some best practices when it comes to using this feature. Take a look below to discover how to use Instagram Live to grow your followers.

1. Decide on Your Purpose

Before you create a video, you want to determine its purpose. This helps to give you direction and keep you on task when recording. It also lets you inform your audience of what the video will include when you promote it. You want to build anticipation, right? IG Live videos only stick around for 24 hours, and then they’re gone. There are a number of reasons why this format can be beneficial.

Many marketers use these short videos to announce a product launch or give a tutorial on how to use a product. They might also do interesting and relevant interviews with other Instagram users. Hosting an audience Q&A is a great way to boost engagement.

People also like to see the ins and outs of your business through video tours of your headquarters or behind-the-scenes highlights of your staff. These are just some of the more popular ways people are using Instagram Live video these days.

2. Promote Your Video Ahead of Time

Create hype about your video by promoting it before its launch. Let your followers know when you will broadcast your video. A date and time are both necessary to ensure your audience will show up.

You can write an Instagram post to create some buzz and get the word of mouth going. If people know ahead of time, they’re more likely to tune in.

3. Provide Incentives

Now that folks know when your video will launch, you can also sweeten the deal by offering them some incentives to attend the viewing. Giveaways are always a good draw when it comes to enticing viewers. Exclusive discount codes are also good.

If you have some loyal and engaged followers already, it may be enough to promise them a big announcement they’ll learn about first by watching your video. Some type of incentive is always good when it comes to any live event.

4. Practice and Prep

As they say, practice makes perfect. You don’t want your video to be overly scripted. However, having a plan in place and running through it a few times is a good idea.

It will help to calm your nerves and make sure you know what you’re going to say during your live stream. It will also give you an idea of how long the video will be and can alert you to any potential problems ahead of time.

You don’t want to find yourself stumbling over something that could have been prevented with just a bit of practice. In addition, take the time to prepare your supplies ahead of time. If you are doing a demonstration, you may need certain products or props. Have everything on hand when you’re ready to launch to avoid any potential embarrassment.

5. Hype Up the Urgency

You can use the fact that Instagram Live videos are only around for 24 hours to your advantage.

Be sure to remind your audience that they will only have a limited time to see your video. This will provide a sense of urgency around the event. They may want to mark it on their calendars so they don’t miss it.

The fleeting nature of these video broadcasts makes them ideal to offer exclusive discounts. People hate the idea of missing out. If they’ve been thinking about buying your product or investing in your webinar, now might be the best time for them to take the leap while they can get it at a great price.

6. Set Settings to Automatically Save Your Video

The settings in your Instagram stories let you upload your video to your story, share it to Facebook and save your video.

The settings icon is shaped like a gear and is located in the upper left-hand corner of the Stories screen. Make sure you set your video to be saved automatically so that you don’t lose it.

You may want to take advantage of some of the other features to expand your overall reach. It’s possible to share your video only with select followers. This can be great if you want to offer exclusive access to a particular group.

7. Engage With Viewers

There are some steps you should take during your live video to ensure things go as smoothly and effectively as possible. Engaging with your viewers is always recommended because it adds a personal touch and helps them to feel invested in your content.

Take a look to see which users are watching. Give them a shout out if you can, especially if you’re familiar with them. Also, take time to welcome new people.

Answer questions if any are coming in. If you’re not able to pay attention and answer them right away, be sure to let your viewers know you intend to follow up on those questions. Any type of engagement will help you video session to flow more naturally.

8. Make It Personal

An Instagram Live video is the perfect outlet to add some personal touches to your content. People like to attach a face and voice to a brand. Let them into your world by sharing your personality.

If you’re quirky and fun by nature, let your audience see that. If you’re shy, it’s okay to admit it. Video live streaming opens you up to being vulnerable, and that’s okay. In fact, you can actually use that vulnerability to your advantage.

Hopefully, these eight tips will help you to get started using Instagram Live to grow your followers. This feature is a fun and effective way to facilitate engagement and expand your reach. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Before long, you’ll overcome your nerves and feel like you’ve been doing video forever.

How to Use Instagram Hashtags to Grow Your Audience

If you want to be successful on Instagram, you absolutely must use hashtags. There’s really no way around it. People can’t find you and connect as easily with your brand if you’re not using them.

These simple words and phrases help users find posts that are relevant to their interests. When used correctly, hashtags can bring you tons of new followers and create engagement in ways that are significant.

However, there are a lot of marketers out there who are using this valuable tool in ways that are completely wrong. Avoid that trap by following these tips on how to use Instagram hashtags to grow your audience.

1. Make Sure They’re Relevant

You can easily find lists online of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. Checking out what’s trending will also give you a good insight into what people are talking about. However, don’t be tempted to use a hashtag just because it’s popular. First of all, popular tags tend to be too mammoth.

You’ll get lost in all the competition if all you’re using are the most popular hashtags. You also want to be sure the ones you use are relevant to your business, brand or niche.

Doing otherwise will just look spammy and turn people off. Instead, do some research to discover hashtags that are related to what your brand is all about.

2. Use the Right Number of Hashtags

You should definitely use multiple hashtags if you want to increase your chances of getting engagement on your posts.

After all, people are looking for different things. Using more than one tag will let more people find you. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Nine or ten should be a good target to shoot for.

Remember, though, only use the tags that are relevant to your post. If you can only find a few good ones, that’s fine. Targeted tags are better than meaningless ones.

3. Get Specific

You want to attract a targeted audience. That means an audience that is interested in your specific offering and will find the most value in your business. Therefore, it’s important that your hashtags be specifically targeted in a way that will appeal to those people.

Knowing your ideal audience will help you to create those hashtags. You’ll get better quality engagement when you take the time to use hashtags that are highly relevant and specific to your audience.

4. Do Your Research

Yes, you need to research to find the hashtags that are relevant to your industry or business. You can do a search on Instagram using related keywords to find tags others are using that are generating engagement. You can also check out what your competition and their followers are using.

Try different tags out to find the ones that work best for your audience. Also, be sure you take time to research any tags you’re not sure about to make sure they’re not associated with anything questionable that could tarnish your brand’s image.

5. Consider Popular Hashtags Sometimes

There are times when popular hashtags can be appropriate for use. Again, if they’re relevant to your post, use them. It’s possible they could expand your reach, and they won’t come off as spammy.

Just be sure you’re using additional, more targeted tags as well. A combination such as this can work well in your favor by helping you to reach a wider audience and still getting through to your more targeted demographic.

6. Add Hashtags Later

You can even add hashtags after a post is published. Sometimes you become aware of really great hashtags later that you wish you had been using all along.

That’s okay. Just go back to relevant posts, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the post and click “edit.” You can then edit your post and add the newly acquired hashtag. It’s also possible to avoid the editing step and just stick hashtags in the comments if you prefer.

7. Hide Your Hashtags

Sometimes hashtags can look pretty messy and clutter your content. There’s a simple way to avoid this if you’d like. As noted above, you can always opt to add hashtags to the comments of your post. This way, they’re far removed from the important stuff and aren’t distracting.

However, they’re still useful in helping users to find your post with Instagram’s search feature. You can add these tags easily by clicking the speech bubble beneath your post once it’s published. Add the hashtags, and then click “post.” It’s simple.

Unfortunately, people won’t be able to see the tags once you get several comments added. They will have to click on the “View all comments,” button in order to do so.

Some users prefer to bury the hashtags within the caption. That’s also quite easy to do. When writing your caption, just tap the “123” key, then the “return” key.

Add a period, dash or bullet (whichever you prefer) and hit “return” once more. Repeat these steps five times, and you’re done. Because Instagram only allows users to view the first three lines, they won’t see your hashtags unless they click on the “more” option.

8. Use Brand Hashtags

Did you know you can create your own hashtags just for your brand? It’s true, and it’s a really effective way to attract engagement for your business. A brand hashtag is one that is meant just for your business.

Sometimes it refers to your brand. Sometimes it points users to a particular campaign or contest. You can get extremely creative and have lots of fun with brand hashtags.

These hashtags let users tag their posts containing your brand so they can be easily found. It’s a great way to create viral word of mouth if you have a particularly compelling campaign or story to share.

It also allows users who are involved in the campaign to find each other and to share or compare posts. People like to engage in these campaigns, and they can truly generate a lot of interest. Just make sure they’re short so folks can remember them easily. Otherwise, they won’t be very effective.

Try these eight tips when using hashtags. Hopefully, you’ll find that they create the engagement you’ve been seeking and grow your audience significantly.

Want More Instagram Followers? Here’s 25 Easy Ways

The sheer size of Instagram is staggering when you think about it. Last year it smashed past the 1 billion monthly active users mark and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. That’s over an eighth of the world’s estimated 7.7 billion population. Soon it might even reach a fourth.

With its mouth-wateringly massive user base, just about every business has set its sights on Instagram. Their hunger has been rightly justified, too.

According to Instagram, 80% of their users follow a business. Its engagement rates are also among the highest of any social network. So it’s to be expected that everybody wants a slice of that pie while it’s still fresh.

Sitting at the table doesn’t guarantee you’ll get any of it, though. Sometimes you’re lucky just to catch the crumbs.

Are you tired of being starved for followers? Here are 20 easy ways that you can fill up your plate.

1. Buy Instagram Followers For Social Proof

If you want more followers, then you could simply buy more. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. Thankfully there are services like ViralRace that will gladly supply you with exactly what you need.

Engagement is another important factor to consider. ViralRace can provide this for you as well. As your posts accumulate likes and views, they get elevated towards the top of people’s search results. In turn, this will also promote further follower growth.

Think of it as a way to get the ball rolling and instant social proof. All it takes is a little shove to put things into motion, and soon enough you’ll have an unstoppable amount of momentum.

2. Optimize Your Hashtag Usage

Hashtags serve as Instagram’s primary means of organizing content. If somebody wants to find anything, they’ll likely search through a few hashtags first. This can be a bit scattershot in practice as there are often several hashtags for the same topic.

In other words, to maximize the visibility of your posts, you’re going to need to optimize the way you use hashtags.

Don’t assume that the largest hashtags are always the best bet. You’re actually going to want a mixture of hashtags of various sizes. The smaller ones will put you in front of niche communities, while the larger ones are for the more general crowds. Both have their own advantages.

As for how many hashtags you should put in your captions, the sweet spot seems to be about a dozen. Make sure that they are all relevant to the content of your post. Spamming unrelated hashtags is a surefire way to get ignored.

3. Find the Right Time To Post

This is something that gets frequently debated between experts. Ever since Instagram switched to an algorithm-based feed rather than a chronological one, it’s been uncertain how much posting at specific times of the day affects anything.

The best advice on the subject comes from Hootsuite. They assert, based on the data they’ve collected, that the right time to post depends upon your industry and when your audience is the most active. Their recent study goes into further detail on the matter.

You might need to do some trial-and-error research of your own to confirm their findings. Then, once you’ve found a time slot that yields the best results, you should stick with it and try to post at least once a day. Two or three daily posts would be even more ideal.

4. Maintain Consistent Content Quality

Quantity has never been a substitute for quality. A handful of high-quality posts will make more of an impact on viewers than a flood of low-effort content. There’s enough of the latter on Instagram as it is right now.

Take a look at what other similar brands are doing. Hold yourself to a higher standard than the average. That’s the only way that you’ll stand out from the rest.

If you make your own content rather than hire professionals, then you should research the principles of photography. There’s a myriad of tutorials out there that are only a Google search away. You should at least have a basic understanding of lighting, composition, color theory, and editing techniques.

5. Follow Other Users, Like Their Posts and Leave Comments

Never lose sight of the whole reason that social networks exist. They’re meant for socialization between individuals, as well as the creation of communities. So when you have a presence on Instagram, you are expected to interact with others like everybody else.

Start by following the accounts of anybody who seems likely to be interested in your brand and follow you back. Then you can continue to develop your connection with them by liking their posts and leaving friendly comments. Many will appreciate being noticed and treated in a personable manner.

Performing these actions will show them that you’re there for more than just promotional reasons. Giving other people attention will go a long way in humanizing your brand and gaining a positive reputation on the platform.

6. Make The Most Out Of Your Bio

Your bio is one of the first things that a viewer will look at when they visit your page. It’s the space at the top of the page where you explain what your brand is about and provide any important information.

You only get 150 characters to work with, so you need to make each one count. Try to make an attention-grabbing, single-sentence description of yourself and what you do. Don’t sweat the minor details if you can’t fit them in.

You’re also allowed to include a clickable link in your bio. This is the only place that you can do that on Instagram. While most just put their main website here, you could use Linktree to make a hub containing multiple links.

It’s been said that it only takes a few seconds for most users to decide whether they want to follow somebody. Having a strong bio might be what seals the deal for them.

7. Have A Visual Identity

Aesthetics are key to establishing your brand’s identity on Instagram. Having a unified visual style will hook viewers in, as it gives them an idea of what to expect from you. If your content lacks cohesion and jarringly switches styles at random every other post, then they might be less inclined to follow you.

There’s a lot of different ways to build a visual identity. It could be as simple as the colors that you use, as many brands have a certain palette that’s unique to them. There’s also many different approaches to photography, whether you go more composed or spontaneous.

The most important part of choosing a style is that it conveys the personality of your brand. Instagram users tend to be more receptive to accounts that are willing to be expressive and unique.

8. Engage With Your Captions

Captions don’t have to be just dry, boring descriptions. They can be as fun and compelling as the content itself. In fact, a perfect caption can push a post over the top and win over new fans.

There are numerous ways to spice up your captions. You can joke around and make puns, or tell an interesting story that provides some context and background information. Feel free to add emojis and talk in an informal tone if it suits you. Unless you’re discussing serious topics, a lot of social media tends to be light and humorous.

You can try asking questions and soliciting opinions, or telling your followers to tag other people who they think would relate to the content. All of these are good ways of generating comments on your posts.

9. Feature User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content is anything made by other users. When it features your brand, it essentially acts as free advertising. That’s why it’s a wise idea to encourage people to make more of it.

One way to do this is by featuring User-Generated Content on your feed. There’s a lot of users who enjoy seeing their work get the spotlight from their favorite brands and influencers. It’s a mutually beneficial interaction where both parties get exposure with each other’s followers.

Always remember to give proper credit in the captions where it’s due. You don’t ever want to be accused of stealing content. Even if it’s totally accidental, something like that could damage your reputation for awhile.

10. Hold Contests and Giveaways

It’s difficult for anybody to resist the siren song of free prizes. It’s especially true if you don’t demand a whole lot of effort to compete for them. That’s what makes contests a tried-and-tested method for obtaining more followers.

A basic Instagram contest typically involves asking participants to follow your account and leave a comment on your post in order to qualify. You can also require them to tag some of their friends. That will assist in spreading buzz about the contest to more people.

If you want to get more complex, you could do contest based around user-generated content. In that case you should ask them to follow your account, tag you in the captions of their submission post, and include a branded hashtag.

11. Tag Your Locations

Location tags function a lot like hashtags on Instagram. Anyone can type in the name of any city into the search bar and look at all of the posts under its tag.

As a result, many people browse around these tags to see what’s going on in their surrounding area. It’s where they learn about upcoming events, make new friends, and discover local businesses that they can support. You might be missing out on lots of these types of followers if you don’t tag your locations.

If you have a physical store and take pictures in and around it, you should tag it so that people know where to find it. You should also tag photos whenever you travel and create content in different locations.

12. Partner With Influencers

The power of influencers can’t be underestimated. There’s a good reason why they have their own dedicated followings. They know what content will perform well with their audience and how to foster tight-knit communities around them.

Working with the right influencers can send your follower numbers skyrocketing. However, you shouldn’t jump into a partnership with just anybody

The first thing to ask yourself before reaching out to an influencer is whether their attitude and public image aligns with your brand. You should also consider whether their followers will mesh well with your own. If you can confidently answer “yes” to both of these, then it should be okay to proceed.

An influencer partnership can take on many forms. For example, you can send them products to review, let them takeover your Instagram for a day, or ask them to participate in a hosted event. Spend some time brainstorming together to come up with a plan that suits both of you.

13. Collaborate With Other Brands

Keep in mind that you’re not alone in the quest to get more followers. There’s an incalculable number of other brands that are in the same boat as you. Rather than treat each other as rivals, you could team up to become invaluable allies.

Collaboration campaigns tend to succeed when they’re between brands that offer complementary products. Let’s say that you sell supplements for athletes. It would only make sense if you worked alongside another brand that sold training equipment or fitness apparel.

Don’t worry if the other brand is bigger or smaller than you are. Both sides have access to a considerable amount of followers that the other doesn’t. By combining your strengths you can reach greater heights than ever before.

14. Get Verified

If you’ve been on Instagram long enough, you’ve probably noticed that some accounts have blue verification badges next to their names. This symbol means that the account belongs to the actual person or brand that it represents.

While it might seem like a small thing, a verification badge can have a major effect on how many followers you get. It reassures any cautious visitors to your page that you’re the real deal and that it’s safe to trust you. Without one, they might become suspicious that you’re some sort of shady copycat trying to deceive them.

All you need to do to receive a verification badge is apply for one. That involves going into your Settings, then Account, and finally Request Verification. After submitting your name and proof of identity, Instagram will check your eligibility and decide whether or not to verify your account.

15. Use Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories started off as the platform’s answer to Snapchat. Eventually it outgrew its competitor and became one of Instagram’s most popular features. It has an average of over 500 million active users on it every day.

The best thing about Instagram Stories is that anybody could stumble upon your posts. Users don’t need to be already following you or searching through hashtags to find them. Stories also tend to garner higher levels of engagement than regular Instagram posts. That means that each Story has the potential to bring in a lot of new followers.

Instagram Stories only last 24 hours before they disappear. So your content on it can be less polished and more casual than the stuff you put on your main feed. You have the freedom to be more relaxed and playful with what you put on there.

16. Share Live Video

Over the last few years, live streaming has taken off as a medium. Platforms like Twitch, Mixer, Livestream, and Periscope have become giants in the internet world. Now almost every social network has their own live video feature, from Facebook to YouTube.

What attracts viewers to live video is that it’s unpredictable. Given that its recorded and broadcast simultaneously, there’s always a chance that something unplanned is going to happen at any moment. That makes it far more exciting than any pre-made and edited form of video.

Instagram Stories has a live video feature called Instagram Live. You can use it to make special announcements, reveal products, share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your operations, or capture events as they’re happening.

Live video opens the door to countless creative opportunities that could reel in tons of new followers. The possibilities are endless.

17. Promote Your Instagram On Different Social Networks

A common mistake that brands make is that they assume that they have the same followers across all social networks. That’s hardly ever the case. Most of the time they tend to be distinct groups with little crossover.

If you have followers on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you might have an established presence, then let them know about your Instagram. They might have been totally unaware of the fact you have an account on it too.

Be sure to include it on your website and blogs as well. If you use WordPress, there’s even plugin options to embed your Instagram feed right onto any page of your site. That can be a great way to draw traffic straight to your profile.

18. Include Your Handle On Printed Materials

Don’t limit yourself to promoting your Instagram on other networks. You can do it offline too.

Most brands do this by reserving a small section of their printed designs for a list of their social media handles. All that’s necessary is an Instagram logo with your username next to it. Any Instagram user who sees it will understand it immediately.

You can include your Instagram on business cards, flyers, posters, billboards, newsletters, and any other printed material you can think of. There’s a high probability that it’ll lead to some people noticing its inclusion and deciding to check out your profile.

19. Keep An Eye On Trends

Social media moves fast. Much faster than anybody can catch up with. Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t keep track of everything. Just try your best to follow the things that’s important to your core audience.

Take a moment every other day to browse through your feed and see what your mutuals are talking about. Check out the Explore tab whenever you get the chance. It’d also be a good idea to follow a handful of accounts that post about the latest news and trends. This might give you some ideas for possible content.

Just be careful about controversial topics. Don’t risk your public image by wading into something polarizing that could cause a major backlash. Play it safe and go for subjects that you can relate back to your brand. Seasonal trends, for instance, can be fun and bring lots of viewers to your page.

Following trends will also show you what kind of content is attracting the most attention on Instagram. You could use what you find in order to further develop your own visual style.

20. Target Niche Communities

Not every brand should cast their net wide. In reality, attempting to do so can be a detriment to the effectiveness of their marketing. That’s because not all products and services have the ability to appeal to everybody.

Sometimes it’s better to limit your scope and hone in on a specific audience.

With niche groups, you’ll find that individuals are much more passionate about their interests. They tend to latch onto anybody who shares it with them. This translates to more engagement and brand loyalty on a platform like Instagram.

So try to make a profile of your ideal follower. Narrow it down as much as you need to when it comes to age, location, gender, or any other defining traits. Create a mental image of them that’s clear enough that you can use it to search through hashtags and find the users that match it the best.

21. Advertise On Instagram

There really isn’t any reason why a business shouldn’t be using Instagram Ads. They’re incredibly affordable, quick to set up, and Instagram does most of the hard work for you. You can depend on their advanced targeting capabilities to boost your visibility and get the right eyes on your content.

Instagram has a wide variety of ad types that you can choose between. You can create photo and video ads that appear in people’s feeds. These can be expanded into multi image/video Carousel ads. Additionally, there’s also ads for Instagram Stories and the Explore tab too.

You don’t even have to create new material for an ad, as you can even choose older posts to promote. It’s about as effortless as you can imagine.

22. Join An Engagement Group

There’s one method to getting followers that’s not discussed enough: you could join an engagement group, which are sometimes also known as Instagram pods. These are groups of Instagram accounts that agree to interact with each other’s content to expand each others’ reach.

To find an engagement group, you usually need to look around messaging clients such as Telegram and WhatsApp. Some of them specialize in specific actions, such as likes and comments. It might take a little searching to find and join them, but they’re most certainly out there.

Be careful and selective about which groups you join, though. Make sure to talk with a group’s members so you can understand what’s expected from both sides before agreeing to anything.

23. Be Responsive

Sometimes in the comments you’ll see people asking questions or voicing complaints. Don’t ignore them. That will only make you seem uncaring and impersonal to other users.

Take the time to write out a thoughtful response that addresses all of their concerns. Keep a polite and respectful tone with your words. As long as they aren’t an obvious troll trying to provoke a reaction out of you, they at least deserve your serious consideration.

Responding to comments will demonstrate that you are a brand that cares about their customers’ experience. Also, you should be willing to admit mistakes and try to make up for them. Honesty is a rarity on the internet these days, and it’s one that’s often rewarded.

24. Moderate Your Comments

There’s a reason why the phrase “never look at the comments” has become a motto on the internet. That’s because they frequently become spaces for needless negativity and antagonism. You can make an effort to change that, however.

Don’t be afraid to moderate your comments when necessary. If you see anybody using hateful language or harassing another user, then it would be best to delete their comments. You should also consider reporting abuses from any repeat offenders.

Spam comments from bot accounts are also another nuisance you’ll commonly run into. Feel free to report both the comment and the account before you delete it. That will help Instagram with detecting and removing them from the platform entirely.

Making a good first impression with viewers is important. Your comments are the best place to start with accomplishing that. You’ll find that the more inclusive and inviting your community appears, the more people will want to follow you to join it.

25. Tag Other Accounts

If you ever share content with other people or brands in it, you should definitely tag them. That will send a notification to the tagged user, who can then repost and share it with their own followers. It’s an easy way to encourage crossover between your audiences.

To tag somebody, simply choose Tag People on the Share screen before publishing a post. Then all you have to do is select the person in the photo/video and enter their username. If it’s a post you’ve already shared, then you can go back by tapping Edit in order to add the tags.

You should also mention the tagged accounts in the captions as well. That will ensure that viewers will know who they are and be able to visit their profiles.

13 Instagram Tools Every Marketer Needs

Running a successful Instagram account takes a great deal of time and dedication. It can be a full-time job in many cases. Fortunately, there are a number of useful tools on the market that can truly streamline your Instagram tasks and make them more enjoyable.

In addition, some tools can even help you to increase your follower numbers and engagement. If you want to make your Instagram marketing a more enjoyable task, take a look at these 13 Instagram tools every marketer needs.

1. Iconosquare

Iconosquare is an online tool that can help you to monitor your brand and track your competitors. Its insights give you pertinent information that lets you see how you’re performing in comparison to others in your niche. One unique ability this service provides is a way to monitor your hashtag performance.

Another really handy feature is its scheduling ability. You can schedule your posts in advance so that you don’t have to think about it every day.

2. Have2HaveIt

Have2HaveIt is a resource that increases the ecommerce abilities of Instagram. This is great because it makes it even easier for your business to use Instagram to make money. It does this by allowing you to create a shoppable page that looks much like your Instagram account.

You can then link it to your Instagram profile as a way for users to check out your products directly from your Instagram feed. They just click on the links to be taken to your ecommerce website.

3. Buffer

Buffer is a well-known name in social media scheduling and account management. You can use it to schedule and monitor multiple social media accounts at once.

They’ve been around for a while and have made a name for themselves. This service doesn’t stop innovating, though. They now offer more Instagram capabilities within their app. You can add numerous team members and assign unique posting abilities to each.

4. Boost

Boost is a unique tool for ecommerce. It actually allows Instagram users to purchase your products directly from the comment section. It works by creating a unique hashtag for each of your company’s products. Boost then adds a three-digit code to the end of the tag.

Let users know in the caption of your post that they can type this unique hashtag code in the comments if they wish to buy the product. It’s as easy as that.

5. Magisto

If you create a lot of videos, you’ll want to check out Magisto. All you have to do is upload your content to the service.

Then the AI-driven system of Magisto does the rest for you. The site claims their video creation can be done as quickly as writing a blog post.

6. Sendible

Another great tool for scheduling your posts in advance is Sendible. From one central dashboard, you can schedule and monitor social media accounts across various platforms.

This is an ideal option for anyone who works with a team or manages several social media accounts.

7. Tagboard

Tagboard is perfect for you if you need to filter posts in order to monitor activity in a certain niche or related keyword.

You can also search by hashtag to see an all-in-one type grid of posts using that hashtag across various social media platforms. Tagboard lets you block users and websites you don’t want to show up in your results.

8. Boomerang

Boomerang is an app that’s actually by Instagram. It lets you take up to 10 snapshots and compile them into a mini-video. What you get actually looks a lot like a GIF. This is a fun app that lets your creativity shine.

9. Social Rank

Social Rank allows you to segment your Instagram followers. There are a number of ways you can sort your audience. These include by the number of followers, specific demographics, keywords, geographic location, hashtag and even by the device they use.

You can even get a snapshot of which users are most and least engaged. You can then create a list-like report based on the parameters you choose.

10. Tailwind

Tailwind is a popular social media marketing tool that can save you a ton of time. You can use it to post automatically to Instagram. It also can recommend relevant hashtags within your niche. You can even analyze how individual posts are performing. In addition, it’s available for both iPhone and Android.

11. Crowdfire

Crowdfire is a helpful app that lets you see which of your followers isn’t following you in return. This information can be quite useful. You can choose to unfollow those who aren’t following you or it may make sense to attempt to engage with certain users in order to get their attention in hopes of attaining a follow.

Crowdfire also lets you copy the followers of other users in order to easily find new and relevant people to follow.

12. Soldsie

This tool gives you some pretty unique insights. Soldsie lets you generate reports on things like clicks from your bio link and conversion tracking.

It’s fantastic for ecommerce sellers because it can actually sync with your Instagram product posts to manage your inventory.

13. Later

Later is another scheduling app, but it’s unique in its use. It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop feature that works with a calendar interface on your screen.

This is perfect for those folks who are more visual in nature. You’ll have a lovely and orderly calendar when you’re done that’s easy to navigate and to determine what’s coming up in your editorial calendar. This app will help keep you on your toes.

These 13 tools for Instagram will be lifesavers in your social media marketing arsenal. Take a closer look at them to see which might work best for your particular brand, style, and team.

You won’t need to use them all, but combing tools can be useful, depending upon your particular needs. Some may even work together within their interfaces. Don’t rely on scheduling, monitoring and researching your Instagram account by hand. Give these tools a try.

12 Killer Instagram Hacks You Need to Know

If you’re just starting out in Instagram marketing, you may find things are a bit slow going. Even experienced Instagram users may find their growth becoming stagnant sometimes. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit back and hope for new followers or try worn-out techniques that don’t work.

There are lots of new strategies out there that are helping businesses and influencers grow their following like crazy. Read on to discover 12 killer Instagram growth hacks you need to know.

Then you can begin putting them to work for your brand and gaining the engaged following you’ve been dreaming of.

1. Outline Your Strategy

Perhaps more important than any other activity when it comes to growing your Instagram account is having a detailed marketing strategy. Having a plan in place will increase your chances of success far more than just winging it ever could.

You’ll want to determine precisely what you hope to achieve with your Instagram account. Things such as follower numbers, increased engagement, and lead capture might be on your list. Try to be precise and specific. Knowing what your exact goals are in advance will help you to best meet them.

2. Include User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is, as its name implies, content that comes from your users. It encourages followers and other Instagram users to post images that contain your business or brand. You can encourage people to make these kinds of posts by creating a specific hashtag that identifies user submissions.

Having a product that lends itself well to social media also helps. You can find creative ways to encourage people to submit such content such as with contests. Just giving them a shout out offers an incentive for many, as it helps them to feel validated and connected to your brand.

An added advantage is that user-generated content increases your reach and allows users’ followers to discover your brand.

3. Tell a Story

People are naturally drawn to stories. Our brains respond well to a narrative. So it makes sense to capitalize on this fact by incorporating stories into your Instagram posts.

When users hear your stories, they will feel more connected to your brand and also more inclined to follow through on things like making a purchase or signing up for your newsletter to stay in touch. Know your audience and strive to tell stories in a way that resonates with them.

You can do this by appealing to their emotions or by showing them how your product can add real value to their lives.

4. Use Video Content

Video is a powerful medium. People tend to watch videos more frequently on their phones and tablets than they do on their computers these days. You’re missing out if you aren’t using this form of content in your Instagram posts.

People love video content, so it’s important to get in on this trend while it’s hot. Videos can be uploaded to your feed, Stories or Instagram TV.

This gives you a number of outlets to share your creations and those of your fans. You can give a behind-the-scenes tour of your business, introduce your staff or offer a product demonstration. This type of content lets followers feel more connected to your brand. Tutorials are also extremely popular. People enjoy learning how to do new things.

5. Consider SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a common online strategy for boosting results in search engines. It involves using certain keywords in a strategic manner so that your site ranks higher in the search results.

While SEO is typically used in blog posts and website content, you can also put it to strategic use in your Instagram posts in order to boost your account’s rankings in the search engines. The more people who can find you, the better chance you have of gaining higher follower numbers and engagement.

6. Work With Influencers

Influencers can do a lot for your brand awareness. Working with these popular Instagram users exposes your business to their followers and offers a great deal of social proof for your offerings. People already trust these individuals.

When you collaborate with them on marketing campaigns, you’re gaining their seal of approval. This type of marketing does cost money, but it’s proving to be well worth the investment as more and more people are using Instagram and connecting with these influencers.

Another advantage of these types of collaborations is that you can usually see the results relatively quickly. Once your collaboration goes live, people will start to visit and engage with your business account. Give it a try!

7. Run Sales Promotions

Everyone loves a sale, right? That’s why you should be running them on your Instagram account. Giving people a discount is a time-trusted way to gain new business. People are willing to try something when they feel they are getting a good deal.

Contests and giveaways are also good promotions to run. Who doesn’t love a chance to get free stuff? When it comes to giveaways, an added bonus is that you can require entrants to follow your account or to tag a friend as a way to enter.

This gains you more followers and the potential for future sales. Providing discount codes or time-limited sales provides a sense of urgency. Folks will be more apt to try your product when they know their chance at a discount will go away soon.

8. Don’t Forget to Tag

Instagram’s tagging features offer you a goldmine of possibilities when it comes to account growth. You can tag up to 20 users in your Instagram post. Just be sure that you’re tagging relevant accounts so that you don’t come across as desperate or spammy.

Tag people who are featured in the photograph or who would be interested in some specific reason. Acknowledging loyal customers or tagging user-generated content is always a good idea. Geotags are also a helpful way to get noticed on Instagram.

These tags allow you to let users know where you are. You can tag by city or even by a particular venue in that city. Users may search that geotag to discover relevant posts within that area. This is a great way to be found by those who have something in common with your brand.

9. Get Local

Speaking of geotags, local marketing is a social media strategy that is all too often underutilized. Be sure to take time to do some local demographic research on Instagram. Check out the folks in your area or ones who frequent attractions near you.

These people have a common tie with you already. They may be more than willing to follow your business and engage with your brand. Find local events to follow through geotags and engage with attendees. Perhaps you may even consider creating your own locally branded event.

10. Engage With Regrams

A regram is when someone shares your post or content with their followers. These are a great conversation starter for you to start building relationships because these users have already shown interest in what you have to offer.

So don’t neglect your regrams. Take time to notice who shares your content. Then be sure to interact within the comments of their post. This will ensure that you show your appreciation and will allow you to be noticed by those who are following the post.

11. Mix Up Your Hashtag Game

Hashtags significant increase Instagram visibility. People use these tags to find topics that interest them. If you’re not using them, you’re missing out on a key segment of your marketing plan. Try to use hashtags that are specific to your niche.

This will increase the odds that relevant users will find you. Avoid using the most popular ones or else you’ll just blend into the crowd. Mix it up and try different strategies to come up with a hashtag plan that works for you.

12. Promote Brand Awareness

For too many businesses are hyper focused on sales. Yes, sales are your bottom line, and they matter. However, content that is constantly promotional is a real turnoff to most people. You’re likely to lose followers if you’re over-promoting yourself.

Instead, strive to create a brand awareness strategy. The goal here is to let people know who your business is and what you can offer them of value. When you show you can help people, they will be more apt to consider purchasing your product.

These strategies should give you a good start on increasing your Instagram account’s growth tremendously. You don’t have to remain stagnant in your social media activity. Give these techniques a try to get things moving.

10 Ways to Build a Massive Instagram Following

If you run any kind of business, you know social media is a necessary part of modern marketing. In order to be seen and make sales, you need to have a presence where your audience is. Chances are, your target demographic is on Instagram. After all, it’s the second most popular social media site, right behind Facebook.

Having a profile on the site won’t do you any good if you don’t have an audience. Let’s take a look at some of the fastest ways to build an Instagram following. These ten ideas should give you a good start.

1. Post at the best times.

Remember, a post is no good if no one sees it. That’s why it’s crucial that you post at times when your audience and potential followers are online most. This is a process that will take some trial and error.

You’ll need to try posting at various times and then analyze which seem to get the most engagement. If you have a business account, you can use Instagram Insights to discover such important metrics as reach, impressions and interactions.

Adjust future posting according to the patterns you see and then continue to monitor your progress.

2. Use relevant hashtags.

If you’re not using hashtags, you’re missing out. These short phrases help people to find the topics they’re interested in and care about most. Hashtags are key to growing your audience.

However, you won’t be likely to attract the followers that fit your target demographic unless you’re using hashtags in a strategic way. You can find tags relevant to your industry by doing a search on Instagram for keywords people might use to find you. That’s a good start.

Another way to discover popular hashtags within your niche is to check out accounts similar to yours to see what they’re using and what seems to be getting engagement.

Try to use a variety of hashtags in order to increase your chances of reaching your intended audience. Broad tags will get you more eyes, but using ones that are more specific will attract those who are most interested in what you have to offer.

3. Use consistent filters.

Cohesiveness matters in the look of your Instagram feed. You want people to be able to recognize your brand as you begin to grow your followers. The filters and colors you use in your images can help tie things together and provide brand recognition.

You can try different filters as you’re starting out and use Insights to see if one outperforms the others. However, you’ll want to find a filter and color scheme and stick with it consistently in order to create the aesthetic that fits your brand and is recognizable by your audience.

4. Work with influencers.

When you need to grow your following, Instagram influencers can help. These are users who have grown large and engaged followings within their particular niche.

Take a look at some of your current followers or profiles you find through search of your keyword. See who has decent sized followings and which seem to get a lot of likes and comments.

You can then approach them through direct message or email, if they have one listed, to discuss the possibility of collaboration. You’ll want to ask their rate per post. This type of marketing isn’t free, but it can provide a strong ROI, as you can get exposure to their followers and may gain some new ones of your own.

5. Engage with your competitors’ followers.

A strategic way to find followers who are interested in your product or service is to research the competition. Take a look at the feeds of your closest competitors.

See who is engaging with their posts, and then take time to reach out to those people. You can do this very simply by following them. Folks will often reciprocate and follow you back.

Liking or commenting on their photos is also a good way to get relevant followers to notice you. In addition, by engaging with these users, you’re working to create a relationship. This is crucial to both social media and business success.

6. Add Instagram Highlights.

Instagram Stories are a fun way to feature multiple posts, but they only last for 24 hours. You can extend the life of your Stories by adding them to your profile as Instagram Highlights.

These are tabs featured at the top of your page that allow potential followers a deeper look into what you’re all about. You can organize your Highlights by theme or use them to showcase some of your featured products.

Clicking on your Highlights gives users an idea of your style and content so they know what to expect should they decide to follow you. If they’re like what they see, they’ll be more likely to give you a follow.

7. Use geotags so locals can find you.

If you want people in your area to find you, geotags are the way to go. A geotag is simply a hashtag that includes a location. This can be as broad as a city or it can be very specific, such as a venue or building. You can use these tags in your posts and in your Stories. Geotags are searchable.

When a user searches for a particular location, your post or Story will show up in the results. It’s a great way to be found. You can also search by location as a way of interacting with users who are in the area.

8. Follow the trends.

Following relevant things such as holidays, current events or other trending topics can help you to engage in a timely manner with new followers. Fun hashtag holidays like #CheeseLoversDay, #WorldEmojiDay or #TalkLikeaPirateDay are also a great way to get creative and generate interest among new potential followers.

You’ll expand your reach to people who may not otherwise have come across your profile, and there’s a good chance they’ll become your follower if they like what they see. Stick with trends that are relevant to your niche.

Otherwise, your current audience may be turned off or annoyed. You can research different holidays and events ahead of time. Then add them to your posting calendar so that you’ll always be prepared with fresh, timely content.

9. Ask for followers.

It may sound counterintuitive, but simply asking people to follow you on occasion is an efficient way to gain more followers. You can find creative ways to work the ask into photos or add it to a caption as a call to action.

Sometimes this simple reminder will spur users into action and get you the follow you seek. If someone likes what they see, they’ll likely take you up on your suggestion.

10. Run a giveaway.

One strategic way of gaining followers is to have users tag a friend in the comments of your post. This increases your reach, allowing you to potentially gain new followers. It also gains you engagement on your posts, which is favorable when it comes to Instagram’s algorithm.

More people will see your posts when you have higher engagement. Contests or giveaways are  useful when it comes to encouraging people to tag their friends. Just make this a requirement for entry, and you’ll see your follower numbers rise.

These are just ten of the best ways you can build a massive Instagram following for your business. Give them a try and see which are most successful for you.